Maybe you’ve heard of Luxco? Maybe you haven’t. Either way, it’s pretty likely that you’ve heard of some of Luxco’s products; like Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks. The producer/importer has actually been around since the 1950s, and in the last 60 years or so they’ve amassed a significant portfolio of alcohol brands. Their latest creation is Blood Oath, a series of limited edition bourbons that was launched last year. Blood Oath Pact No. 1, the first release in the series, is a blend of three whiskeys including a 12-year high rye bourbon, a seven-year rye-forward bourbon and a 6-year wheated bourbon. The reviews were pretty good, but in all honesty, I didn’t get a chance to try it. I did, however, get to try their second release in the series, Blood Oath Pact No. 2, which just recently hit the market.
I must admit that I was intrigued from the start with Pact No. 2. As Luxco describes it, Pact No. 2 is an ultra-premium whiskey that combines rare, top-notch bourbons, blended and bottled by hand. In slightly more informational terms, it’s a blend of three bourbons ranging in age from seven to 11 years. The seven-year is a rye bourbon finished in port barrels, which is blended with an 11-year wheated bourbon and an 11-year rye. It’s bottled at 98.6 proof and retails for about $100.
If you’re into sexy alcohol bottles, Blood Oath comes in a sexy alcohol bottle. It’s sexiness is sheathed in a wooden box that is emblazoned with the Blood Oath logo. So, for those of you who are in the market for a Blood Oath-branded wooden box, here you go!
Okay, enough of this. Let’s get down to what you really care about… the juice.
The first hit on the nose is toasted oak. Lots of toasted oak. But beyond the wood there’s a dry, rich aroma that’s more earthy than sweet. There’s a nice scent of fresh tobacco leaf, along with a peppery spice, maple syrup, cocoa and dried fruit. It’s actually a really balanced nose. Has a bit of a “designer” feel to it.
The palate comes off a little hot at first, with a heaping of pepper and wood. But the heat quickly subsides into a silky smoothness followed by a very dry profile. In fact, you event get a little wood tannin to add to the dryness. There’s fruit, perhaps a dab of port, and some dirty cocoa. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded a little more of the port finish to come through, but it’s not short on flavor. I don’t personally think it needs water, but a drop or two doesn’t hurt. Kind of a preference thing on this whiskey.
The price points on these new “ultra-premium limited release” bourbons are a little hard to swallow. On one hand, I think this is an enjoyable whiskey. I’d be quite content drinking it. On the other hand, $100 is a big ask when there are so many good bourbons on the market for half that. But, if price isn’t an option, and you like rye-forward bourbons that are smooth and spicy with dirt, cocoa and wood, I think you’ll dig Pact No. 2. It’s a solid whiskey. I’d gladly put it, and its wooden box, on my shelf.
Thanks to Maggie at Common Ground PR for the sample.