Showing posts with label Blood Oath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blood Oath. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2022

Blood Oath Pact 8 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

A handful of annual-release whiskeys out there have me longing to see what the next one brings. I don’t mean the standard-bearers out there that’s pretty much the same whiskey year after year, just offered at varying proofs. Instead, I’m talking about the ones you never know what to expect because something different is done each time.


One such whiskey is Blood Oath Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Lux Row Distillers produces the whiskey under the creative mind of master distiller John Rempe. Each release is called a Pact. The 2022 incarnation is Pact 8. I’ve reviewed most of the Pacts, and no two are even close to alike.


“I’ve once again sourced three great Bourbons for Blood Oath Pact 8, and I’m particularly excited to include a Bourbon finished in Calvados casks. The Calvados cask will bring additional tasting notes characterized by slight apple on the nose, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon, as well as flavor notes of ripe apples, juicy pears, butterscotch, and even subtle hints of chocolate. Blood Oath Pact 8 is a Bourbon I’m proud to share with Bourbon lovers, but the recipe is a secret I’ll be keeping to myself.” – John Rempe


If you’re unfamiliar with Calvados, that’s a brandy made from apples or pears from France’s Normandy region. The fruits are made into a cider, then distilled and aged for at least two years in oak.


While it carries no age statement, Rempe does disclose its components are 14-year, 11-year, and 8-year rye Bourbons. The latter is the one finished in Calvados casks. After blending, the concoction is bottled at 98.6°. Every Pact is packaged at that particular proof – that’s the temperature of human blood!


There are a total of 51,000 bottles available. In the seven-year history of Blood Oath, each 750ml package was $99.99. Like everything else in 2022, inflation reared its ugly head, and Pact 8 will set you back $119.99.  That’s a 20% increase; however, Pacts 5, 6, and 7 could easily have been valued above their stated MSRPs, and no one would complain.


We’re left with two questions:  Is Pact 8 any good?; and, Is Pact 8 worth the premium? The only way to answer either is to #DrinkCurious. But, before I do, I must thank Lux Row Distillers for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this Bourbon was a brilliant copper. A thinner rim offered wide tears that crawled back to the pool.


Nose: Apple and pear presented as promised. Milk chocolate, like a Hershey bar, came next. Nutmeg, vanilla, and toasted oak followed. As I drew the air into my mouth, cinnamon apple rolled across my tongue.


Palate:  Blood Oath greeted me with a cool, buttery texture. I’ve had Calvados before, and everything I’ve ever tasted was in the mix. The front featured dry pear, bittersweet apple, and green apple. Vanilla and a massive punch of very dark chocolate formed the middle. The back was a spice bomb with dry oak, clove, and cinnamon Red Hots.  


Finish:  Dry, French oak, cinnamon apple, and likely the most prominent clove note I’ve had made for a long-lasting, warm finish. Blood Oath Pact 8 doesn’t drink hotter than its stated proof, but the spice could trick you into believing otherwise. When I thought all was said and done, the bittersweet apple came for an encore.  


With Water:  Pact 8 made me curious about what two drops of distilled water would do. The apple and pear on the nose became sweeter. Cinnamon remained, but the chocolate notes vanished. The apple went from bittersweet to bitter on the palate, with oak and clove spice. The Red Hots were gone, as was the dark chocolate. The French oak became more prominent on the finish, but the apple and pear sweetened. I wouldn't recommend dropping the proof. Things were not complex; they were confusing.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  If you’re into sweeter Bourbons, then Blood Oath Pact 8 is one you should frankly avoid because you’re not going to find anything here that caters to your palate. However, if you appreciate spicy, high-rye Bourbons, Pact 8 may be your Holy Grail. Thankfully, I am happy with either direction. A bonus is that you’ll nurse this year’s release, making that $119.99 investment last longer than usual. In the 2022 Bourbon world, I am not turned off by the higher price. At $99.99, it would have been an absolute steal. At MSRP, I believe you’ll walk away happy, and for that, Pact 8 snags my Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.



Monday, April 26, 2021

Blood Oath Pact 7 Review & Tasting Notes


I don't know if kids do this anymore, but back in the day (wow does that make me sound old!), if you made a solemn promise, you committed a blood oath. You even called yourselves blood brothers. A blood oath is a pact committed by each person involved by cutting themselves, then shaking hands, and "blending" the blood between the two (or more).

Truth be told, I'm pretty squeamish and never participated in a blood oath. I'm fairly confident there's not enough whiskey that would convince me a blood oath was a good idea. Well, not a traditional blood oath.

What is a good idea, or at least has been in the past (I've reviewed Pacts 3, 4, 5, and 6), is Lux Row's annual Blood Oath release. For 2021, this would be Pact 7. Blood Oath is an experimental line from the brain of Master Distiller John Rempe. He takes Bourbons and does interesting things with them to create something special. In this case (as with the six previous incarnations), Rempe is the Master Blender, because the Bourbon used in Pact 7 is sourced, most likely from Heaven Hill, but that's unconfirmed. 

"Creating an extraordinary and unique blend of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys is at the heart of the Blood Oath series. Pact 7 continues this tradition, and the result is a secret I can't wait to share with bourbon lovers." - John Rempe

Pact 7 is blended from three different Bourbons:  A 14-year high-rye Bourbon, an 8-year high-rye Bourbon, and another 8-year high-rye Bourbon, but the latter was finished in Sauternes (pronounced saw-turns) casks. If you're unfamiliar with the term, that's a sweet white wine from France's Bordeaux region. Once blended, it is proofed down to 98.6° which is very purposeful. Why? Well, because that's the average temperature of human blood! 

You can expect to pay $99.99 for one of the 51,000 bottles available. One interesting aspect is that Lux Row has not raised the price of Blood Oath in its seven-year history. 

Is Pact 7 any good? Is it worth a c-note? The only way to tell for sure is to #DrinkCurious. Before I do, I'd like to thank Lux Row for providing a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.

Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, Pact 7 presented as chestnut in color, and, strangely enough, an oily, iridescent sheen. I can't say that I've ever come across that before in a whiskey. It created a medium-thick rim and husky legs that slowly fell back to the pool of liquid sunshine.

Nose:  A sweet, fruity aroma consisted of apricot, brown sugar, toasted coconut, oak, and nutmeg. When I drew the vapor into my mouth, blueberry rolled across my palate.

Palate:  Thick and oily in texture, the front tasted of vanilla, toasted coconut, apricot, and nuts. On the middle, flavors of stewed peaches and maple syrup took over, and the back offered oak, cinnamon, rye, cereal, and cocoa powder.

Finish:  Cinnamon and cocoa powder continued, and the oak suddenly became bone-dry and gave a pucker power sensation. After a few sips, that went away, and was replaced by creamy vanilla and nuts. My hard palate numbed quickly and the finish was long-lasting.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  All the Blood Oath Pacts are unique from one another and of the (now) four I've reviewed, I've yet to find a cadaver. While Rempe won't ever pony up his recipes, he knows what he's doing. The more I sip this one, the more I enjoy it. I give props to Lux Row for keeping the price the same over the years, and am happy to have this one in my library. Pick up a Bottle, you won't be disappointed. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System:

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blood Oath Pact IV Review & Tasting Notes


I’ve come into this review completely blind. I’ve not had any of the previous Pacts, so I had no preconceived notions. The appearance in the glass is a deep, rich amber. Swirling it around creates a very thin rim, leading to medium legs that drop quickly into the pool...

You can read the review in its entirety at Bourbon & Banter. Cheers!