Blood Oath Pact 5 Bourbon Review Header

Blood Oath Pact 5 Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett2 Comments

“When selecting these bourbons, I knew the dark rum sweet notes would be a perfect complement for these well-aged bourbons, and the result is extremely satisfying.”John Rempe, Master Blender - Lux Row Distillers
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  • DISTILLER: Lux Row Distillers produced but sourced from another distillery. (Rumored to be Heaven Hill.)
  • MASH BILL: Blend of 3 bourbons: 13-year old rye bourbon, 11-year old wheated bourbon, and an 8-year old rye bourbon finished in used Caribbean dark rum barrels.
  • AGE: A blend of 13-year, 11-year and 8-year bourbons
  • YEAR: 2019
  • PROOF: 98.6° (49.3% ABV)
  • MSRP: $99.99

NOSE: Vanilla Creme  |  Brown Sugar  |  Dark Fruits  |  Black Pepper

TASTE: Sweet Oak  |  Pepper  |  Vanilla  |  Honey

FINISH:  Medium to long finish with vanilla, pepper and slightly bitter oak.

SHARE WITH: As with previous year’s release, Blood Oath Pact 5 is a solid whiskey to share with with bourbon lovers who can appreciate the differences that each year’s blend brings to the series.

WORTH THE PRICE: Each year I’m more and more number to the price tag of $99.99, but this year’s expression still falls short of me saying it’s totally worth the suggested retail price.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Nothing wrong with this year’s release but there’s also nothing super compelling compared to other releases so far this year. As such, I recommend trying it at a bar first unless you want to add another bottle to your collection so you have all five releases to date.

OVERALL: Five years into this expression’s existence, and I still look forward to each year’s release. I love how John Rempe and the folks at Lux Row Distillers work hard to put something new and creative out each year. (It’s not an easy thing to do and put yourself out there as they do for us reviewers to critique.) But as with anything, they’re not always going to create something that hits my sweet spot.

This year’s release has an enticing nose, but it’s not quite as dominant in regards to the rum notes as I’d like it to be. This lack of “rum power” is also present when tasting. The essential elements you’d expect from a rum cask finishing are there, but they’re in the background. This means the rye pepper notes and sweet oaks flavors take center stage and then leave without ever delivering a full flavor experience. In other words, the juice misses the strong delivery that you’d like from a whiskey made of these component parts.

I really wanted those rum notes to pop and play a leading role in the finish as well, but it was not to be. In summary, I love the approach to this blend, but in execution, it falls short of something that I would strongly recommend you grab a bottle of for your summer enjoyment. It’s a solid, perfectly drinkable bourbon but it’s not quite what I’m looking for at the Benjamin price point.

PS – For those that care, I prefer Pact 4 from last year over Pact 5.

Learn more about Pops’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Blood Oath Collection

Learn more about the origin of the Blood Oath bourbon line and read our reviews of Pacts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Launches This Spring

Fifth expression in ultra-premium series is finished in Caribbean rum casks

(St. Louis) March 18, 2019 – Blood Oath Pact No. 5 – the fifth installment of the acclaimed Blood Oath ultra-premium bourbon series – launches in April. The Blood Oath series, the creation of Lux Row Distillers’ Head Distiller and Master Blender John Rempe, combines unique bourbons, expertly blended for a distinctively exclusive whiskey.

Not to be missed, Pact No. 5 starts with an eight-year-old ryed bourbon rested in used dark Caribbean rum barrels for six months to add a touch of warm island spice. Once this bourbon picked up some of the rum notes, Rempe combined it with an 11-year-old silky wheated bourbon and an extra-aged, peppery 13-year-old rye bourbon. The result is a well-balanced, spicy, sweet, lingering bourbon with complex flavor notes.

“When selecting these bourbons, I knew the dark rum sweet notes would be a perfect complement for these well-aged bourbons, and the result is extremely satisfying,” says Rempe. “On the nose, Pact No. 5 comes right off with dark fruit notes, brown sugar and a touch of orange zest, followed by sugar cane and dark chocolate notes and a little heat once you sip it. This one offers a lingering finish, accented by notes of honey.”

This year’s release returns to its original fire-branded wooden display box. Like its predecessors, the bottle is topped with a custom, eco-friendly natural cork, sealed and hand-labeled with certificate-style paper stock, including Rempe’s signature, and bottled at 98.6 proof. Pact No. 5 is available globally in 750ml bottles, with a suggested retail price of $99.99.

Pact No. 5 is a limited release, with only 15,000 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.

“This series, and the creativity it allows, is something I am passionate about and always looking for new combinations and ideas,” says Rempe.

Disclaimer: Lux Row Distillers provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.


  1. Steve Coomes

    I’m with you, Patrick, thinking it was nice but so balanced that nothing stood out and led the way, i.e. rum or age or grain or spice, etc. I’d never turn down a pour (in fact, I have my press samples waiting to be tasted. I did get to taste it at Luxco during a distillery event for the media), but I’d also not spend $99 on it. My palate is but one of billions, so hopefully someone out there will love it.

  2. Avatar

    My two bottles just arrived last week. One to save with the other Pacts and one to drink. I’m not sure what Pops is talking about with the rum. I’m a rookie and I could certainly taste it. If I wanted more, I would drink rum. I’m thinking this is the best Blood Oath Pact to date. Pops is correct, however, on the price. I’m not tasting something that says “Pay me $100 a bottle.”

    Roswell, NM

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