- DISTILLER: Luxco
- MASH BILL: Blend of three different high-rye bourbons with one finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels
- AGE: 12-year high-rye bourbon + 7-yearhigh-rye bourbon + 7-yearhigh-rye bourbon finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels
- YEAR: 2017
- PROOF: 98.6 (49.3% ABV)
- MSRP: $99.99
- BUY ONLINE: Binny’s | Liquor Barn
NOSE: Vanilla Creme | Butterscotch | Leather | Floral – reminded me a bit of Honeysuckle
TASTE: Cinnamon | Oak | Dark Fruit | Creme Brulee | Touch of Mint
FINISH: The mouthfeel is well balanced and leads to a long finish laced with a surprisingly nice balance of oak and peppery spice tempered with fruit and toffee notes. A fantastic throat burn lingers and builds as you savor each sip.
SHARE WITH: Bourbon lover’s of all levels of experience will enjoy this release. Those who have the previous year’s releases in their collection will enjoy comparing the differences between each release. While I no longer have an open bottle of Pact 1, I was able to compare Pact 3 with Pact 2 and found comparing them to be a lot of fun. If you have 2 or more releases, I highly recommend inviting some friends over and doing a blind Pact vs. Pact tasting.
WORTH THE PRICE: MSRP remains at $99 for Blood Oath this year, but I’m becoming a little numb to the price tags put on limited releases these days. While I won’t proclaim it a bargain at almost $100 per bottle, it’s no longer on the high side of limited release bottle prices, and some might just see it as a bargain.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Blood Oath Pact 3 is a nice sipping bourbon and a solid choice among the past year’s limited releases. It’s a bottle that seasoned bourbon lovers will enjoy adding to their home collection. For those on more modest budgets or with less sampling experience, I recommend trying a pour at your favorite bar before dropping a C-note on this one.
OVERALL: It’s been a lot of fun watching Blood Oath progress through the years with each new Pact release. I prefer Pact 2’s nose compared to Pact 3’s with it’s creamier and heavy traditional bourbon notes that I enjoy. However, I found Pact 3’s taste to be preferred as it was less oaky and tannic when compared to Pact 2. The added finishing in cabernet sauvignon barrels for one of the blended bourbons helped to brighten the overall flavor and added some needed complexity to the finish.
I’m very excited to see what John Rempe and the folks at Luxo have planned for the future of Blood Oath, especially as they look to transition actual distilling of the whiskey to the new Lux Row Distillers in a few years. While we’ve got a long wait ahead of us before we’ll get to sample a release containing their distilled whiskey I’m sure John won’t let us down with each year’s release along the way.
A masterful union of well-bred bourbons. Taking the lead is a far-from-shy, sharp and floral rye, finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for a dry, blackberry and espresso complexity. This, coupled with a well-seasoned, rye bourbon, rich with fragrant vanilla, toasted caramel, oranges and oak. Be grateful for this fateful affair between Kentucky and California.
Appearance: Deep dark amber with long legs.
Aroma: Caramel, vanilla, stone fruit, cocoa, oak.
Palate: Caramel, vanilla, creamy smooth from the barrel finish, toasted oak, apricots, higher spice than the previous pacts but still ultra-smooth for the proof.
Finish: Long lingering spice, balanced and surprisingly-smooth at this high proof, with lasting caramel and oak.
Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Finish: For the third chapter in the Blood Oath epic, we’ve conspired with like-minded craftsmen in the heart of California wine country. Nestled in the Oakville region of Napa Valley—famous for its fertile, alluvial soil—Swanson Vineyard has been making nationally known and limited, small batch Bordeaux style wines for over three decades. These prized Cabernet barrels add an unforgettable layer of complexity to the whiskey.
BLOOD OATH BOURBON BLEND COMPARISON
PACT 1 WHISKEY BLEND
6 yr wheated bourbon + 7 yr high-rye bourbon + 12 year high-rye bourbon
PACT 2 WHISKEY BLEND
7 yr high-rye bourbon finished in port barrels + 11 yr wheated bourbon + 11 yr high-rye bourbon
PACT 3 WHISKEY BLEND
12 yr high-rye bourbon + 7 yr high-rye bourbon + 7 yr high-rye bourbon finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels
BLOOD OATH PACT 3 PRESS RELEASE
St. Louis-based Luxco has launched Blood Oath Pact No. 3 – the third chapter in the limited release, ultra-premium bourbon series, Blood Oath. Blood Oath combines rare, top-notch bourbons, blended and bottled by hand for a distinctively exclusive and unimagined Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.
Pact No. 3 offers the most unique expression yet, with a masterful union of three rye bourbons ranging in age from seven to 12 years. A 12-year rye bourbon is artfully joined by a seven-year rye bourbon and – to add an unforgettable layer of complexity – another seven-year rye finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels.
“These carefully selected bourbons come together for a spicy, yet incredibly smooth flavor profile. By finishing some of the bourbon in cabernet sauvignon barrels, I was able to drive more character and depth into the bourbon,” says John Rempe, creator of Blood Oath and Director of Corporate Research and Development at Luxco. “Not only will you taste the spiciness of the rye along with the sweet notes from the wine barrels, but you’ll also taste strong caramel and chocolate overtones, giving it a velvety, well-balanced finish.”
To make Pact No. 3, Rempe conspired with like-minded craftsmen in the heart of California wine country. Nestled in the Oakville region of Napa Valley, Swanson Vineyards has been making nationally known and limited small batch wines for more than three decades. These prized cabernet sauvignon barrels were the perfect choice to add a layer of complexity to the whiskey.
“I wanted to partner with a high-quality vineyard that specialized in small, limited releases and with a winemaker who shares the same passion and pride for his work,” says Rempe. “We found that in Robin Akhurst at Swanson Vineyards.”
Swanson Vineyards has a long-standing reputation for classical Bordeaux-styled wines with great finesse, character and elegance. “The level of expertise and devotion that goes into our wines mirrors the creativity and skill that goes into creating the Blood Oath series,” says Robin Akhurst, winemaker at Swanson Vineyards. “It was fantastic to see the character transfer from our barrels come alive in this ultra-premium bourbon.”
Blood Oath Pact No. 3, like its predecessors, is topped with a custom, eco-friendly natural cork, sealed and labeled with certificate-style paper stock signed by John Rempe. Each bottle of Blood Oath Pact No. 3 will be sold in a commemorative fire-branded wooden box. Pact No. 3, bottled at 98.6 proof, is available in limited quantities nationally in 750ml bottles, with a suggested retail price of $99.99.
Pact No. 3 is limited release, with only 10,000 cases (3-packs) created – this bourbon will never be made again. The Blood Oath series launched in 2015 with Pact No. 1, and will highlight a different variant, or Pact, each year.
Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.