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Whiskey Review: Blood Oath Pact No. 3

Blood Oath, the nation’s most elaborately-marketed independent bottling, is back for a third round with Blood Oath Pact No. 3.

Blood Oath is a series of high-end bourbon bottlings by spirits giant Luxco that blend distinctive, well-aged sourced whiskeys. Each bottling is given a “pact number,” a naming scheme that pairs well with the commemorative packaging and overwrought ad copy that set these whiskeys apart. Other than the elaborate presentation, the big talking point here is Blood Oath’s high price tag. All of these whiskeys retail at around $95 and can sell on the secondary market for north of $100.

Blood Oath Pact No. 3

Gimmicks and price tags aside, though, the first two releases have been solid blends. Pact No. 1 was two high-rye bourbons and a wheated bourbon; Pact No. 2, which I got the chance to review last June, was a rye-heavy bourbon, a wheated bourbon, and a port-finished rye.

Pact No. 3 continues the wine-finished trend, blending a seven-year-old rye finished in California cabernet sauvignon barrels with seven- and 12-year-old bourbon. It’s bottled at 98.6 proof, like the previous two releases. The company labels it “a fateful affair between Kentucky and California,” and gives the following tasting notes:

APPEARANCE: Deep dark amber with long legs.

AROMA: Caramel, vanilla, stone fruit, cocoa, oak.

PALATE: Caramel, vanilla, creamy smooth from the barrel finish, toasted oak, apricots, higher spice than the previous pacts but still ultra-smooth for the proof.

FINISH: Long lingering spice, balanced and surprisingly-smooth at this high proof, with lasting caramel and oak.

Unfortunately, this time around, I was given this whiskey in a nondescript plastic sample bottle with no commemorative box. I’ll try not to let that impact my review:

Tasting Notes: Blood Oath Pact No. 3

Appearance: Deep copper

Nose: I get a big hit of fresh apricot and cherry at first, followed by caramel and vanilla, then dusty wood and cardboard. I see an image of fruity red wine in a stale cardboard box.

Palate: Vanilla and caramel open the palate, with major juicy red fruit and burnt sugar on the back of the tongue. There’s quite a lot of warm allspice, especially with a few drops of water added, and some heat. Fruit and wood close it out, with oak lingering in the mouth. Tongue-coating, but not quite drying.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. While appreciative of this, The Whiskey Wash retains full editorial control of this article.

The Takeaway

As much as I roll my eyes at the gimmicky packaging and hype around this brand—not to mention its price tag—the whiskey remains pretty solid. The heavy fruitiness of this iteration adds a new element to last year's bottling, and all the elements are well-balanced.

All in all, it's quite a drinkable bourbon.

4
User Rating 4 (3 votes)
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About the author

Katelyn Best

Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She's a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.

  • Dennis

    I was at the release party for Pact #1 and agree that it was an enjoyable bourbon, but not at ~$95 a bottle. At that time I would have paid $45-50 for a bottle. A lot of marketing went into the packaging that made it look great, but was still overpriced for me. I tasted Pact #2 and the good thing was that the MSRP was not much more than #1, but still not worth it to me. I liked your review, but think I will still pass on this one. If I get a shot and like it, I may break down and get a bottle since prices have just kept going up for the bourbons I like.