The second annual release of Luxco’s ultra-premium Blood Oath bourbon has just hit shelves. Like last year’s inaugural release, Blood Oath Pact No. 2 is a blend of three bourbon whiskies. First, is an 11-year-old bourbon with a traditional rye mashbill. Whiskey number two is an 11-year old “wheated” bourbon, or one with wheat in it’s mashbill instead of rye. Third, but certainly not least, is a 7-year-old bourbon that’s finished in port barrels.
You’ll notice two important changes from the first release. Pact No. 2’s average age is probably a tad older than Pact No. 1. Also of note is the port finishing for the youngest bourbon.
Like the first release, this one is bottled at 98.6 proof and comes in a fancy wooden case. The price also carries over from last year – $99.99 for a 750ml bottle. The producers (not the distillers) of this bourbon say this blend will not be duplicated. Onwards to the fun part – the tasting.
The nose here is sweet, spicy and fruity. Sweet corn mash, vanilla, ginger ale, and a summer berry medley jump out of the glass. The last bit is no doubt a result of the port finish on one of this blend’s whiskies, and that port barrel influence also carries onto the palate. Notes of cordial cherries and fresh ginger root develop into rich clover honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon. A blast of sweet and slightly tart fresh berries make for the beginning of a delightful finish, but a sudden hit of astringent oak tannins comes out of nowhere.
I think the use of port barrel finishing one of these whiskies is a brilliant move. It adds wonderful fruit notes and makes Blood Oath Pact No. 2 a more complex and enjoyable whiskey than last year’s release. My first glass of this bourbon was just okay. A couple weeks of airtime really improved things. If it wasn’t for that slightly overdrying finish, this would be an absolute knockout. Still, it’s worthy of a pour.