Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tasting: Blood Oath - Pact 3

Blood Oath Pact 3

Distillery: Luxco
Age: Blend of 12-year high-rye bourbon, 7-year high-rye bourbon plus a 7-year high-rye bourbon finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels
Proof: 98.6
Availability: Limited release
Price: $100 USD

87/100 points

Luxco’s Blood Oath Pact 3 is starting to hit stores around the U.S. now. If you’ve read anything about this release or the previous two expressions you might be wondering if you should pick up a bottle. Hopefully this review can help you in making that decision.

Like Diago’s Orphan Barrel series, the Blood Oath line has caught some flack, mostly that its gimmicky and nothing more than marketing. Okay, so maybe Blood Oath doesn’t have some of the crazy stories that the early Orphan Barrels had, but still. Either way, I’m never against trying something different and judging for myself regardless of the back-story or hype (or lack thereof). But maybe that has something to do with my marketing and design background. While I own Pact 1, I never got around to picking up Pact 2 but did try it. This year I was fortunate to have Luxco send me a sample of Pact 3 for this review.

With this release, John Rempe decided to hitch a ride on the finished whiskey wagon. He’s continuing with a blend of middle-to-older aged bourbons — opting for two different 7-year old high-ryes (one finished) and a 12-year old high-rye. Just as it has for the past two releases, the whiskey comes in a rectangular bottle (much like the Orphan Barrel bottles) with a well-designed label and an old-school cork.


The nose contains nice floral aromas with plums, cherries and oak. There are some light brown sugar notes mixing nicely with vanilla and light caramel. The vanilla tends to lead the way here.


I love the mouth feel on this whiskey. It’s really creamy with a nice blend of sweetness and spice. It has a really nice texture to it with rich dark chocolate, dark fruits and oak. Red and black pepper flavors provide the spice. The cab barrel finished high-rye isn’t over powering at all. I find it providing a good balance and a little extra complexity while allowing the bourbon flavors to lead the way.


The finish is long. My mouth and tongue are completed coated. I get more of the cab flavors on the tail end of the finish than anywhere else. Like the taste, it’s rich and creamy with black pepper spice. Vanilla and dark fruits mix well with hints of sweeter pipe tobacco.

Overall this is my favorite of the three Blood Oath releases. Is it worth $100? I’ll say this, I’ve spent close to this amount for FAR superior bourbons. If you’re hesitant at all it’s at least worth a pour at a bar or restaurant. $100 whiskies are unfortunately becoming a normal thing though. So if the price doesn’t have any effect on your wallet and you aren’t frightened off by all of the banter in the whiskey world then go for it. After all, it’s ultimately your own palate you should worry about pleasing.


Photo & Review By: Seth Brown