Whiskey Review: Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

By Carin Moonin / September 19, 2019

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Luxco. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Luxco calls itself a consumer products company. Although the name sounds like it was developed using some kind of posh brand generator, the company formerly known as the David Sherman Corporation houses a wealth of brands of lower-shelf luxury, including Everclear, Old Colony Gin, and Rebel Yell.

As we’ve also mentioned previously, Luxco, based in St. Louis, Missouri, expanded its whiskey portfolio back in 2013 when it acquired several Beam brands, followed by purchasing a 50 percent stake in Limestone Branch Distillery in 2014.

Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the latest in what seems to be a popular sourced whiskey blending experiment put forth annually by Lux Row Distillers’ (the physical presence of Luxco in Kentucky) Head Distiller and Master Blender John Rempe. No. 5 has eight year old, high-rye sourced bourbon that’s been finished for half a year in ex-dark Caribbean rum barrels. It is then combined with an 11-year old, high wheat bourbon and a 13-year-old, high rye bourbon for the final blend.

Luxco has been swearing Blood Oaths since 2015; we’ve reviewed them all here; generally, they get high praise. A bottle of No. 5 will set you back about $100. Being a fan of oddly finished whiskies, and seeing these positive views encouraged me. Is it smartly finished? Or a weird, jangly mix? Let’s find out.

Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon (image via Luxco)

Tasting Notes: Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Vital stats: 98.6 proof; blend of eight-, 11-, and 13-year-old bourbons; undisclosed mash bill; partially finished in Caribbean rum casks; about $100.

Appearance: Light gold in the glass, though shiny copper in the bottle. It carries over a slight orange hue, like oak floors lit by evening sunbeams.

Nose: Quite sharp, actually. Pungent. I know this is aged in rum barrels but I don’t get that at all at first. There’s no sweetness or mellow, but mainly ethanol. After it sits for a bit, a hint of sweetness emerges: over-grilled peaches, over-ripe nectarines. Brown sugar. The caramel comes through, if you give it patience.

Palate: Spice. I know this is a straight bourbon but this makes me think of a spicy rye, instead. It’s very late fall-like: cinnamon, cardamom. I could see adding this to a hot cider, actually you wouldn’t have to spice it up at all. And yet, for something so proudly combined, it’s not complex.

The Takeaway

Summary

I want to like it because my colleagues liked their other Blood Oaths…but I don’t. This whiskey gave me the same sort of initial hope followed by reality, like bringing in a picture of a haircut you wanted and leaving the salon looking nothing like the model.

3
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