Tasting Notes: Blood Oath – Pact No. 5


In March of this year, Lux Row Distillers released the fifth rendition of its Blood Oath series, this time introducing a rum cask finish to their premium line of blended bourbon.

I am a big fan of Lux Row, mainly because of the Blood oath series. Although I am not a fan of the $100 price tag, I have always found these releases to be very complex, flavorful, and just all-around interesting, so I knew I would be adding a bottle of Pact No. 5 to my collection as soon as I saw it on the shelf. You can find out more about the Blood Oath series or read my review of Pact No. 4 here.

Pact No. 5 is a blend of three bourbons:  the first, an 8 year-old bourbon finished in Caribbean rum casks for an additional 6 months; the second, an 11 year-old wheated bourbon; and the third, a 13 year-old, high-rye bourbon. The exact mashbills and blend details have not been disclosed. Once again, this limited release resulted in 36,000 bottles and comes in at 98.6 proof (49.3% abv). This bottle retails for $99.99.


Appearance – golden amber.

Nose – there is a rich and inviting nose full of vanilla, oak, milk chocolate, and a touch of ethanol. The rum finish also stands out on the nose, providing a nice bouquet of spice and molasses on the back end, much like a dark spiced rum.

Palate – initially this bourbon presents with the same rich sweetness that is found on the nose (mainly molasses) but rye spice develops quickly, creating a sharp, peppery spice. There is also plenty of sweet vanilla, oak, and a few muted notes of stone fruit.

Finish – this bourbon leaves a buttery mouthfeel with a warm, medium-long finish full of brown sugar and oak. I also found notes of dark fruit and more of that sharp peppery spice, much like a pepper/fruit jam.

88(1)Overall – this is another great blend from Lux Row Distillers that demonstrates how well a rum finish can work with a bourbon. The rum finish really stands out on the nose and on the palate, but the older wheated and high-rye bourbons are blended in the right proportions, resulting in a nice balance of flavor. This bottle does not provide the most complex profile, but the flavors that are there work well together to create a very unique flavor profile. Again, I am not thrilled about the $100 price tag on this bottle but this is definitely a great discussion piece to share with friends and other bourbon aficionados.





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