Blood Oath Review


May 19, 2015

Blood Oath (media sample)

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

About: Pact No. 1, 2/20/15. This is a limited-edition series that labels releases as “pacts.” According to a press release, this pact includes three mashbills. Two use rye in the mash bill and the other adds wheat as the secondary grain. (Note: This was not tasted blind.)

Color: Medium amber. It looks like 8-year-old bourbon, and the company says this is batch is a mingling of 6-year-old and 12-year-old bourbons. 7.5 out of 10.

Aroma: This is a very attractive nose, vibrant and filled with floral notes, more on the wildflower side than the fresh-picked versions. Fruits and sweet hints of caramel and vanilla jump out of the glass. Very good to great nose. 36 out of 40.

Palate and Finish:  At 98.6 proof, I hoped for a mouthfeel that dripped down the palate, drenching my mouth’s every inch with a velvety feel and the notes found on the aroma. Instead, I’m treated with an unwanted heat typically found in much higher-proofed bourbons. Given the nose was so beautiful, my first instinct is disappointment, but I taste again and then again two days later to ensure the alcohol texture is consistent. When the heat eventually dissipates, I’m treated with the fruits found on the nose opening up as banana and pineapple and a caramel covered apple. The finish is short with a hint of cinnamon. 35 out of 50.

Total: 78.5

After scoring, I added water and that general heat felt in the palate was gone. Perhaps this was bottled at the wrong proof? I don’t know. But at $89.99, I do not want to add water or ice. That’s the sipping whiskey price point.

I applaud its parent company, St. Louis-based Luxco, for entering more bourbon into the market. Luxco has a long history of working with Heaven Hill to bottle Ezra Brooks, Rebel Yell, among others, and now has an interest in Steve Beam’s Limestone Branch. Now that they’re bottling more premium expressions, I expect we’ll see great things from a company that the former Stitzel-Weller president Norm Hayden said was the best non-Kentucky bourbon company. Of course back in Hayden’s time, Luxco was the David Sherman Corporation.


Fred Minnick is the author of Bourbon Curious.