The Details

Rating 88
Style
American Whiskey
Whiskey
Produced In Kentucky
United States
ABV 49.3%
Availability Limited
Price $129.99 
Reviewed By
Review Updated 2024-05-06

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Review

For 10 years, Lux Row master distiller and master blender John Rempe has been sourcing, finishing, and blending bourbons into his annual Blood Oath release. Each batch features a unique blend of whiskeys from undisclosed sources, and the marketing language makes clear that each “rare Pact shall never again be made.”

Astute bourbon fans will note that each “Pact” is bottled at 98.6 proof, roughly the average human body temperature. (Though science has recently debunked that exact heat as truly average or ideal.)

Well before Lux Row began releasing its own distillate, Rempe’s Blood Oath built a reputation for bold and complex flavors; early Pacts are highly regarded by bourbon enthusiasts, with auction and secondary prices to match.

To commemorate the 10th Blood Oath release, Rempe blended a variety of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys, “including two well-bred ryed bourbons and one finished bourbon each complementing the others.” The batch features a double finish of various components: one in Cabernet Franc barrels, another in Merlot.

Let’s see how Blood Oath Pact 10 stacks up!

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon review.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon: Stats and Availability

Kudos to Lux Row for transparency, especially when it comes to bottle count. The Blood Oath Pact 10 release comprises 51,000 bottles, and the MSRP is $129.99. Blood Oath sometimes commands a retail markup, and I’ve seen these yearly releases go for as much as $220 shortly after hitting shelves. However, with this relatively large release — coupled with a public bottle count — I don’t expect Pact 10 to shoot far above $129.99 very quickly.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Rempe has gone on record saying he wanted this Blood Oath release to be fruit-forward, and he’s certainly accomplished that on the nose. Dried strawberries, blackcurrants, and fatty cashews are the first noticeable aromas. The fruit becomes progressively more tart with time in the glass, eventually transitioning to raspberry and tart cherry skins. Damp moss floats in for a tiny floral component that continues through the rest of the nosing experience.

Peppery spice forms a secondary set of aromas that build and gradually come to dominate the fruit-forward scents. After the fruit has subsided somewhat, there’s a spice rub quality to the nose, akin to seasoning for sweet-and-spicy beef jerky. A small amount of sulfur and iodine-forward minerality comes through from the wine. It’s not enough to thrust things into medicinal territory, however.

The nose is overall rich in peppery spice and red fruit, with enough complexity to keep me engaged for quite some time. Where it potentially falls short is in the depth of wood that well-aged bourbon often conveys; the corresponding scents are closer to resin than oak. Frankly, I would welcome more dark wood — and leather, and tobacco — to pair with the ample fruit and spice!

Taste

While it played third-fiddle on the nose, nuttiness hits early on the palate. It’s surprisingly close to creamy peanut butter, creating a foundation of fattiness for other flavors to lay atop. Strawberry jam and a pronounced cereal note follow immediately after, with an elegant handoff from peanuts to fruit and grain. It’s similar to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on heavily toasted bread.

Fruit dials back past the tip of the tongue. The midpalate is quite sweet, with traditional bourbon caramel flavors taking center stage, alongside more aged oak elements than I could suss out on the nose. That caramel is paired with white pepper and star anise as the whiskey migrates toward the back of the tongue. There’s a perceptible narrative across the first couple stages of the palate, and while I wouldn’t call any flavor groups superlative, they do tell a cohesive story thus far.

That said, the back of the palate stumbles slightly. While the first couple sips bring nut-forward creaminess, the mouthfeel itself is slightly thin. Rempe has leaned in on the 98.6 proof point as a standard novelty for Blood Oath, and with some previous Pacts, it felt about right. Here, the gimmick may be getting in the way of the dram, and I can’t help but think this particular batch would have thrived at over 100 proof.

Finish

The finish is difficult to nail down. At first, it’s a nice interplay of earlier flavors: nuts, fruit, caramel, and spice. But — perhaps due to the thinner-than-ideal viscosity — there’s never a true build across additional sips and swallows. There’s a pronounced return of peanuts (very good!) but fruit doesn’t linger to the same degree, contributing to a final experience that veers the smallest amount toward bitter instead of full-bodied.

I’m probably being a bit persnickety here. Rempe’s Blood Oath has set a high bar for itself over the past decade. Pact 10 isn’t a bad whiskey by any means; it’s far superior to most of what’s available on the average liquor store shelf. But for me, it doesn’t quite hit the premium-release highs of other recent Pacts.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Rating

88/100

Recap

Each Blood Oath release is unique; that’s very much the point! And Blood Oath Pact 10 continues that lineage, with an unexpected burst of nuts and tart fruit. While some previous releases take drinkers on a thrilling tightrope walk among different bourbons, finishes, and flavors, to me, the 2024 version falls firmly into “just pretty good” territory. It’s a pour I wish we could try just five or so proof points higher.

Doing anything great for a decade is a herculean task. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see if Pact 11 can hoist things back up to historic heights.

*Image retrieved from Lux Row Distillers

88
POINTS
Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon
For 10 years, Lux Row master distiller and master blender John Rempe has been sourcing, finishing, and blending bourbons into his annual Blood Oath release. Each batch features a unique blend of whiskeys from undisclosed sources, and the marketing language makes clear that each “rare Pact shall never again be made.” Astute bourbon fans will note that each “Pact” is bottled at 98.6 proof, roughly the average human body temperature. (Though science has recently debunked that exact heat as truly average or ideal.) Well before Lux Row began releasing its own distillate, Rempe’s Blood Oath built a reputation for bold and complex flavors; early Pacts are highly regarded by bourbon enthusiasts, with auction and secondary prices to match. To commemorate the 10th Blood Oath release, Rempe blended a variety of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys, “including two well-bred ryed bourbons and one finished bourbon each complementing the others.” The batch features a double finish of various components: one in Cabernet Franc barrels, another in Merlot. Let’s see how Blood Oath Pact 10 stacks up! Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon review.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon: Stats and Availability

Kudos to Lux Row for transparency, especially when it comes to bottle count. The Blood Oath Pact 10 release comprises 51,000 bottles, and the MSRP is $129.99. Blood Oath sometimes commands a retail markup, and I’ve seen these yearly releases go for as much as $220 shortly after hitting shelves. However, with this relatively large release — coupled with a public bottle count — I don’t expect Pact 10 to shoot far above $129.99 very quickly.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Rempe has gone on record saying he wanted this Blood Oath release to be fruit-forward, and he’s certainly accomplished that on the nose. Dried strawberries, blackcurrants, and fatty cashews are the first noticeable aromas. The fruit becomes progressively more tart with time in the glass, eventually transitioning to raspberry and tart cherry skins. Damp moss floats in for a tiny floral component that continues through the rest of the nosing experience. Peppery spice forms a secondary set of aromas that build and gradually come to dominate the fruit-forward scents. After the fruit has subsided somewhat, there’s a spice rub quality to the nose, akin to seasoning for sweet-and-spicy beef jerky. A small amount of sulfur and iodine-forward minerality comes through from the wine. It’s not enough to thrust things into medicinal territory, however. The nose is overall rich in peppery spice and red fruit, with enough complexity to keep me engaged for quite some time. Where it potentially falls short is in the depth of wood that well-aged bourbon often conveys; the corresponding scents are closer to resin than oak. Frankly, I would welcome more dark wood — and leather, and tobacco — to pair with the ample fruit and spice!

Taste

While it played third-fiddle on the nose, nuttiness hits early on the palate. It’s surprisingly close to creamy peanut butter, creating a foundation of fattiness for other flavors to lay atop. Strawberry jam and a pronounced cereal note follow immediately after, with an elegant handoff from peanuts to fruit and grain. It’s similar to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on heavily toasted bread. Fruit dials back past the tip of the tongue. The midpalate is quite sweet, with traditional bourbon caramel flavors taking center stage, alongside more aged oak elements than I could suss out on the nose. That caramel is paired with white pepper and star anise as the whiskey migrates toward the back of the tongue. There’s a perceptible narrative across the first couple stages of the palate, and while I wouldn’t call any flavor groups superlative, they do tell a cohesive story thus far. That said, the back of the palate stumbles slightly. While the first couple sips bring nut-forward creaminess, the mouthfeel itself is slightly thin. Rempe has leaned in on the 98.6 proof point as a standard novelty for Blood Oath, and with some previous Pacts, it felt about right. Here, the gimmick may be getting in the way of the dram, and I can’t help but think this particular batch would have thrived at over 100 proof.

Finish

The finish is difficult to nail down. At first, it’s a nice interplay of earlier flavors: nuts, fruit, caramel, and spice. But — perhaps due to the thinner-than-ideal viscosity — there’s never a true build across additional sips and swallows. There’s a pronounced return of peanuts (very good!) but fruit doesn’t linger to the same degree, contributing to a final experience that veers the smallest amount toward bitter instead of full-bodied. I’m probably being a bit persnickety here. Rempe’s Blood Oath has set a high bar for itself over the past decade. Pact 10 isn’t a bad whiskey by any means; it’s far superior to most of what’s available on the average liquor store shelf. But for me, it doesn’t quite hit the premium-release highs of other recent Pacts.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Rating

88/100

Recap

Each Blood Oath release is unique; that’s very much the point! And Blood Oath Pact 10 continues that lineage, with an unexpected burst of nuts and tart fruit. While some previous releases take drinkers on a thrilling tightrope walk among different bourbons, finishes, and flavors, to me, the 2024 version falls firmly into “just pretty good” territory. It’s a pour I wish we could try just five or so proof points higher. Doing anything great for a decade is a herculean task. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see if Pact 11 can hoist things back up to historic heights. *Image retrieved from Lux Row Distillers

Reviewed On: 05-07-2024
88
POINTS
Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon
For 10 years, Lux Row master distiller and master blender John Rempe has been sourcing, finishing, and blending bourbons into his annual Blood Oath release. Each batch features a unique blend of whiskeys from undisclosed sources, and the marketing language makes clear that each “rare Pact shall never again be made.” Astute bourbon fans will note that each “Pact” is bottled at 98.6 proof, roughly the average human body temperature. (Though science has recently debunked that exact heat as truly average or ideal.) Well before Lux Row began releasing its own distillate, Rempe’s Blood Oath built a reputation for bold and complex flavors; early Pacts are highly regarded by bourbon enthusiasts, with auction and secondary prices to match. To commemorate the 10th Blood Oath release, Rempe blended a variety of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys, “including two well-bred ryed bourbons and one finished bourbon each complementing the others.” The batch features a double finish of various components: one in Cabernet Franc barrels, another in Merlot. Let’s see how Blood Oath Pact 10 stacks up! Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon review.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon: Stats and Availability

Kudos to Lux Row for transparency, especially when it comes to bottle count. The Blood Oath Pact 10 release comprises 51,000 bottles, and the MSRP is $129.99. Blood Oath sometimes commands a retail markup, and I’ve seen these yearly releases go for as much as $220 shortly after hitting shelves. However, with this relatively large release — coupled with a public bottle count — I don’t expect Pact 10 to shoot far above $129.99 very quickly.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Rempe has gone on record saying he wanted this Blood Oath release to be fruit-forward, and he’s certainly accomplished that on the nose. Dried strawberries, blackcurrants, and fatty cashews are the first noticeable aromas. The fruit becomes progressively more tart with time in the glass, eventually transitioning to raspberry and tart cherry skins. Damp moss floats in for a tiny floral component that continues through the rest of the nosing experience. Peppery spice forms a secondary set of aromas that build and gradually come to dominate the fruit-forward scents. After the fruit has subsided somewhat, there’s a spice rub quality to the nose, akin to seasoning for sweet-and-spicy beef jerky. A small amount of sulfur and iodine-forward minerality comes through from the wine. It’s not enough to thrust things into medicinal territory, however. The nose is overall rich in peppery spice and red fruit, with enough complexity to keep me engaged for quite some time. Where it potentially falls short is in the depth of wood that well-aged bourbon often conveys; the corresponding scents are closer to resin than oak. Frankly, I would welcome more dark wood — and leather, and tobacco — to pair with the ample fruit and spice!

Taste

While it played third-fiddle on the nose, nuttiness hits early on the palate. It’s surprisingly close to creamy peanut butter, creating a foundation of fattiness for other flavors to lay atop. Strawberry jam and a pronounced cereal note follow immediately after, with an elegant handoff from peanuts to fruit and grain. It’s similar to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on heavily toasted bread. Fruit dials back past the tip of the tongue. The midpalate is quite sweet, with traditional bourbon caramel flavors taking center stage, alongside more aged oak elements than I could suss out on the nose. That caramel is paired with white pepper and star anise as the whiskey migrates toward the back of the tongue. There’s a perceptible narrative across the first couple stages of the palate, and while I wouldn’t call any flavor groups superlative, they do tell a cohesive story thus far. That said, the back of the palate stumbles slightly. While the first couple sips bring nut-forward creaminess, the mouthfeel itself is slightly thin. Rempe has leaned in on the 98.6 proof point as a standard novelty for Blood Oath, and with some previous Pacts, it felt about right. Here, the gimmick may be getting in the way of the dram, and I can’t help but think this particular batch would have thrived at over 100 proof.

Finish

The finish is difficult to nail down. At first, it’s a nice interplay of earlier flavors: nuts, fruit, caramel, and spice. But — perhaps due to the thinner-than-ideal viscosity — there’s never a true build across additional sips and swallows. There’s a pronounced return of peanuts (very good!) but fruit doesn’t linger to the same degree, contributing to a final experience that veers the smallest amount toward bitter instead of full-bodied. I’m probably being a bit persnickety here. Rempe’s Blood Oath has set a high bar for itself over the past decade. Pact 10 isn’t a bad whiskey by any means; it’s far superior to most of what’s available on the average liquor store shelf. But for me, it doesn’t quite hit the premium-release highs of other recent Pacts.

Blood Oath Pact 10 Bourbon Rating

88/100

Recap

Each Blood Oath release is unique; that’s very much the point! And Blood Oath Pact 10 continues that lineage, with an unexpected burst of nuts and tart fruit. While some previous releases take drinkers on a thrilling tightrope walk among different bourbons, finishes, and flavors, to me, the 2024 version falls firmly into “just pretty good” territory. It’s a pour I wish we could try just five or so proof points higher. Doing anything great for a decade is a herculean task. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see if Pact 11 can hoist things back up to historic heights. *Image retrieved from Lux Row Distillers

Reviewed On: 05-07-2024