Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Whiskey, the liquid gold, has long been a symbol of craftsmanship and tradition. It’s not just a beverage; it’s an experience that evolves with every sip.
And in the tens of thousands of whisky brands, Pendleton Whisky stands as a testament to the art of distillation.
But if you have yet to try this bottled spirit, let me share my thoughts and what you need to know about this Canadian whisky in this Pendleton whisky review.
Pendleton Whisky In-Depth Review
Pendleton Whisky is a Canadian whisky distilled by Hood River Distillers in Oregon. It’s a commendable expression with 40% ABV, which I find approachable and versatile.
The nose greets with inviting hints of vanilla and oak, while the palate unfolds with sweet caramel and a touch of spice, making it an easy sipper. Its medium-length, sweet finish leaves a pleasant warmth.
“Sip the West: Pendleton Whisky is where rugged meets refined elegance.” – Liquor Laboratory
Pendleton Canadian Whisky doesn’t aim for complexity but excels in balance. It’s a reliable choice for newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts, ideal for sipping or crafting classic cocktails.
While not a top-shelf rarity, it embodies the spirit of the American West and tradition.
Pendleton Whisky Quick Facts
|Alcohol Content||40% ABV (80 Proof)|
|Ingredients||100% Rye Grain|
|Aging Process||10 years|
|Popular in Cocktails||Yes|
|Distillery Location||Hood River, Oregon|
|Famous Whiskey Varieties||Pendleton Canadian Whisky, Pendleton Midnight, Pendleton Rye|
|How To Drink||Neat, On the Rocks, in Cocktails, with a Splash of Water|
|Similar To||Bulleit Rye|
What’s Pendleton Whisky?
Pendleton Canadian Whisky is crafted with a touch of the Western spirit. It pays homage to the iconic Pendleton Round-Up, a rodeo event in Oregon, making it an official spirit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association .
This Canadian whisky is aged in American oak barrels for ten years in Canada but bottled by Hood River Distillers in Hood River, Oregon, and distributed by Proximo Spirits.
To achieve the bottling proof, they import the whisky at its full cask strength and dilute it with glacier-fed spring water from Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon’s highest peak.
Pendleton Whisky Tasting Notes
Pendleton takes an aromatic embrace. It greets with subtle hints of vanilla, molasses, dark honey, and a touch of brown sugar and oak. The scent is inviting, giving a harmonious blend of flavors, which I like.
But the dominating factor here is the caramel and sweetness, giving caramel-flavored coffee syrup and maple syrup vibes.
As I took that initial sip, I immediately noticed the delightful wheel of flavors. The balance is commendable and unbelievably light, making it an easy drinker.
Sweet caramel, maple syrup, and allspice-infused corn syrup notes intertwine with the warmth of cinnamon and a hint of citrus.
The finish is where Pendleton Whisky truly shines. It provides a smooth, medium-length finish with a gentle, lingering warmth.
The presence of rye grain alcohol is there, but the pleasant cinnamon and burnt caramel sweetness beckons taking another sip.
On the First Sip
It’s approachable and warm on my first sip, which I see fit for an average American drinker. The initial sweetness gives way to a mild spice, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.
With the last drop in my glass, Pendleton Whisky leaves a lasting impression. It’s not overly complex, but that’s its charm. It’s a whisky that anyone can enjoy (particularly an American cowboy, I must say).
It has molasses and allspice hints on top of the chemical aftertaste, but trust me – it’s versatile and ideal for sipping or mixing. But do you know what’s the worst Canadian whisky?
My Rating on Pendleton Whisky: ★★★☆☆ (Mid-Shelf)
Pendleton Whisky sits comfortably on the mid-shelf of my rating scale. It’s a commendable whisky that offers a well-balanced flavor profile.
While it may not be the most exceptional whisky I’ve ever tasted with the finest ingredients, it’s far from disappointing.
It’s a reliable choice for casual sipping and crafting classic cocktails, particularly the Pendleton Midnight Whisky.
To Sip or Skip?
Pendleton is a SIP, and it’s worth savoring. If you appreciate smooth, easy-drinking whisky with a touch of rye spice, this one’s for you.
“We are very pleased with how the Pendleton Whisky brand has grown over the past fifteen years.” – Ronald R. Dodge, CEO of Hood River Distillers
It’s a good bargain if you’re seeking a better brand that’s aged and approachable than most Canadian whisky expressions.
However, if Pendleton Whisky is not your style, you might be interested in these alternatives:
- Buffalo Trace Bourbon: A classic bourbon with a rich and complex flavor profile.
- Crown Royal Canadian Whisky: Another Canadian whisky with a smooth and approachable taste.
- Bulleit Rye Whiskey: If you enjoy rye whiskey, Bulleit offers a spicy and flavorful experience.
How Do You Drink Pendleton Whisky?
Pendleton whisky is a versatile spirit that you can drink in various ways:
- Neat: Sip it slowly and savor the flavors on their own.
- On the Rocks: Pour it over ice on your glass to balance the rye spice.
- With a Splash of Water: Water makes rye spices clearer, balancing the sweet tones.
- In Cocktails: Use it to craft classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour.
Is Pendleton whisky a good whiskey?
Pendleton Canadian Whisky is a good, solid choice if you appreciate a well-balanced and approachable aged whiskey. It’s not the most exceptional whiskey on the market, but it offers a pleasant drinking experience.
Which Pendleton whisky is smoothest?
The smoothest among Pendleton’s varieties is the Blended Canadian Whisky. It’s an oak barrel-aged whisky distilled in Canada and bottled by Hood River Distillers in Oregon. The mild and sweet profile makes it an easy sipper.
Is Pendleton sipping whisky?
Yes, Pendleton can be enjoyed as a sipping whiskey. Its approachable flavor profile makes it suitable for both sipping and mixing in cocktails .
Pendleton carves out its own space in the industry. While it can’t impress us with its complexity, it offers a comforting and familiar experience that both enthusiasts and connoisseurs will enjoy.
Inspired by the Pendleton Round-up, carrying tradition and craftsmanship, Pendleton is a reliable choice for those seeking a taste of the American spirit (especially if you have a sweet tooth!)
Whether sipping it neat, on the rocks, or crafting cocktails, it delivers a well-rounded and enjoyable experience.
So, should you give it a try? Absolutely. It may not be a five-star rarity, but it’s a whisky that embodies the spirit of the West and the heart of whiskey-making tradition.