Review: Blood Oath Bourbon Whiskey Pact No. 4 2018
Luxco’s Blood Oath bourbon series continues its march forward with Pact No. 4. Some details:
Pact No. 4 continues the tradition with a masterful union of three well-bred Kentucky straight bourbons that come together for a unique and complex flavor profile. The first is an extra-aged 12-year bourbon that provides a mellow finish with deep oak undertones, and the second is a rich 10-year bourbon that adds caramel and honey flavors. The third, a nine-year bourbon, rounds out the flavors as it is finished in toasted bourbon barrels – adding deep chocolate, vanilla and spice flavors.
“We finished the nine-year bourbon in a toasted barrel to add an extra layer of flavor. The gentle heating adds more caramel and chocolate accents, as well as a spicier flavor. The toasted barrels, combined with the aging in traditional charred barrels, create a uniquely complex bourbon like no other,” says John Rempe, creator of Blood Oath and head distiller and master blender at Lux Row Distillers. “This bourbon starts off with a strong oak nose and finishes with a robust spice, followed by an ultra-smooth lasting caramel, vanilla and oak.”
This year’s release will also be sold in a commemorative stained wooden box, reminiscent of the toasted barrels used during the finishing process. Like its predecessors, the bottle is topped with a custom, eco-friendly natural cork, sealed and labeled with certificate-style paper stock signed by John Rempe and bottled at 98.6 proof. Pact No. 4 is limited release, with only 12,000 cases (3-packs) created; this bourbon will never be made again.
The bourbon is surprisingly dusky on the nose, with earthy overtones that recall tobacco leaf, licorice, and mushroom. The palate instantly elevates things, however, offering an instant spice punch, with notes of allspice and cinnamon leading to a swirl of raspberry, vanilla, chocolate syrup, and a little sour cherry character. The wood takes over from there, a knotty, burly character driving the whiskey to a somewhat drying finish of raw wood notes, clove, more licorice, and a little green pepper. It’s a whiskey that showcases its strongest elements all in the middle, leaving the dusty, lumber-heavy finale a bit of a letdown.