By Father John Rayls
Luxco is at bat in the premium leagues again with their latest release of Blood Oath Pact No. 3. In the annual limited editions set, the Blood Oath series seems the most prone to create two camps: lovers and haters. I find very few bourbon drinkers somewhere in the middle.
Once again this is a blend of high rye sourced whiskey aged in Kentucky. It involves a 12 year old and 7 year old Bourbons and a 7 year Bourbon finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels partnered with Swanson Vineyards located in the Oakville region of Napa Valley. This winery is highly respected and is known for limited small batch wines.
It’s bottled (to correspond with a typical body temperature) at 98.6. Luxco is highly secretive about mash bill, sources and percentages. The emphasis here is clearly on marketing and packaging. It is sold as a premium bourbon whiskey, but everyone has a different understanding of that term. You know it’s going to cost “mucho dinero”, but does it match the rest of the expectations?
The coloring is highly polished copper with golden highlights, and the legs are easily observed. They appear thin and quickly run to the bottom of the glass.
My experience ran against the published tasting guide, as I found the nose was light with typical notes of vanilla, caramel, oak over some very light sweet fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon exerts great influence.
The mouthfeel is a light-yet-creamy experience. On the palate, the wine-influenced bourbon exerts a very present, lightly sweet and very smooth experience. All of this takes place at mid-mouth.
However, the best part of this tasting is in the finish and very enjoyable. It is a spicy, peppery finish that is experienced at the back of the mouth and then transports itself briefly to the tip of the tongue as it continues in full force at the back of the throat.
When you consider what Pact No. 3 costs (see below) and that there are many excellent bourbons priced under the $60.00 mark that will deliver at least an equal experience for a fraction of the cost, it’s very difficult to justify paying the price for Blood Oath Pact 3. For some, the wine-driven side of the whiskey will make the price tag worthwhile, but I doubt that would be the case for the enthusiast crowd as a whole.
Blood Oath Pact No. 3 retails at a hefty $99.99.