Before we get into what this whiskey is, let’s go ahead and start with the packaging on this bad boy. This stuff arrived in a cool box with slidey things and a door, and when you open it, the bottle is super classy with script writing and a little wax stamp. I wish we still used wax stamps for things. Beautiful.
Alright, so on to what’s IN the packaging. Blood Oath is produced by Luxco, and NDP out of St. Louis, and is a blend of 3 Bourbons: a 7-year rye-based Bourbon finished in Port barrels, an 11-year rye-based Bourbon, and an 11-year wheat-based Bourbon. Given that Luxco owns Rebel Yell (a wheated Bourbon) and Ezra Brooks (a rye-based Bourbon) there’s a good chance that the blend is made of up extra aged versions of these expressions.
This’ll be a somewhat limited releases it looks like Luxco will be releasing around 7,500 3-pack cases (so 22,500 bottles)
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.
Mash bill: Blend of 3 bourbons. Read that intro.
Age: 7 – 11 years
ABV: 49.3% (98.6 proof)
Released: Spring 2016
Color: Golden amber
Nose: Fresh out of the newly-opened bottle, the nose is pretty hot on this one, so let it hang for a few minutes…ok, there we go. The aroma is complex with sweet grape (notes from that port finished component), some funky barrel fruit punch from those 11-year-olds in the mix, great rye spice, and light dry oak to round things out. As it continues to open up, those fruity things get more pronounced and bring out some cherry, red apple, and some light caramel. The oak also ramps up quite a bit over time.
Taste: The first things that jumped out at me was the smooth mouthfeel and, like the nose, the complexity. Sweetness jumps out front with that funky barrel fruit punch, cherry candy, and a little bit of a bitterness kind of like eating a pomegranate (I’m guessing this is from the port barrel vibes). Behind the fruit some rye heat creeps in with black pepper, then some rich caramel and dry oak and a soft, smooth thing from that wheat towards the end. It’s interesting how each second I taste a different component of the blend, moving from sweet to spicy to soft and smooth.
Finish: The fruit fades fairly quickly here leaving a pretty darn dry finish full of oak, rich caramel, and spicy black pepper. The oak lingers the longest and results in a dry ending making me want to take another sip to get that fruit jamming again.
Overall: It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of finished whiskeys, so when I saw that a Port finished Bourbon was a component here I wasn’t super excited BUT I ended up very pleasantly surprised. I guess all you need to do with that finished stuff is mix it with some old juice and we’re in business! I was really impressed by the complexity of this blend and how you can really pick out the components and the way they balance each other out is really nice.