So the issue was the library I was using was compiled with JDK 8 and everything else is JDK 7. There was no issue listed, JUnit and local Java applications ran fine. When I manually uploaded the JAR, it gave me the dreaded "Unsupported major.minor version 52.0"
With a properly compiled library, we will be fine.
So make sure you compile in JDK 7 if your Hadoop / Hive platform is JDK 7