Liquor Laboratory

Pendleton Whiskey vs Crown Royal: Which is Better? (2024)

Pendleton Whisky vs Crown Royal

Crown Royal has been around since 1939 and is known as the whisky fit for the royals. On the other hand, Pendleton whisky may have started in 2003, but there is more to this whisky than meets the eye.

If the Crown Royal is made to honor the royals, the Pendleton commemorates the spirit of the American cowboys. 

We are curious about which one is better, so here’s our honest review of Pendleton Whisky vs Crown Royal. 

Pendleton Whiskey vs Crown Royal

bottles of Pendleton Whisky and Crown Royal with glasses

Crown Royal has been in the market since 1939, while Pendleton is new to the spirits world and has only entered the spirits business in 2003.

Both whiskies contain 40% ABV (80 Proof); however, when it comes to price point, Pendleton is cheaper than Crown Royal. 

Crown Royal is owned by Diageo, a multinational alcoholic beverage company, while the owner of Jose Cuervo acquires Pendleton.

Crown Royal Deluxe is a blend of fifty different whiskies made from five mash bill recipes, while Pendleton did not disclose its mash bill recipe.

Read: Is Crown Royal Bourbon or Not?

How They Differ 

History & Origin

Crown Royal was originally made as a gift for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, and it was in the 1960s when it was released in the USA.

The Master Distiller meticulously tried the generous gift for the royalty more than 600 times before ending up with the final product. 

On the other hand, Pendleton was made in 2003 to celebrate the annual rodeo in Pendleton, Oregon (Pendleton Round-Up) and to honor the spirit of the American cowboy.

The brand may be new to the market, but in 2020, the volume reached 390,000 cases. 

Production Process 

dillery copper pot still

Crown Royal uses the finest Canadian ingredients, and roughly 80% of its grain (corn, rye, and barley) is sourced from Manitoba and nearby provinces.

The mash bill ratio is undisclosed, but the brand uses five different mash bills. The Crown Royal Deluxe boasts 40% ABV (80 Proof). 

Pendleton is distilled in Canada using the finest ingredients and glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood.

Unfortunately, the brand does not disclose its mash bill, but it has 40% ABV (80 Proof). 

Maturation & Age Statement

Both Canadian whiskies do not bear an age statement, but Crown Royal is matured in either new or re-used charred oak barrels.

The brand matures barrels under extreme temperature swings to develop character and color. 

On the other hand, Pendleton whiskey is aged using oak barrels for undisclosed years, but since it is a Canadian whisky, it should be for at least three years in Canada.

The result is an uncommonly smooth taste with a complex and rich flavor profile.

Check out these Salted Caramel Crown Royal recipes here.

Tasting Notes of Pendleton Whisky vs Crown Royal

Pendleton Whisky bottle

Pendleton Canadian Whisky

Palate: Warm fall fruits, honey with a balanced of spices, vanilla, maple, and oak

Nose: Butterscotch, honey, vanilla, custard, rye, with grated cinnamon bark

Color: Light amber

Finish: Smooth, medium balance, with notes of spice and maple

Crown Royal Blended Canadian Whisky

Palate: Smooth, creamy with hints of vanilla, clove, ripe fruit, and oak

Nose: Robust, rich with hints of fruit, spice, and vanilla

Color: Light to golden amber

Finish: Long with notes of oak spice and caramel

Ownership & Distillery 

Crown Royal is distilled in Gimli Distillery, located on the edge of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba.

It is owned by Diageo, an alcoholic beverage giant with over 200 brands, including the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker.

Becle acquired Pendleton, S.A.B in 2017 [1], the famous Mexican Tequila Jose Cuervo Tequila parent company.

The Hood River Distillers bottles the whisky, and while the brand does not disclose the distillery, it is long believed to be the Alberta Distillers in Calgary, Alberta. 

Read: Crown Royal XR Red Whisky vs Blue

Price Point & Value

bottle of crown royal whisky and a glass

Crown Royal is more expensive than Pendleton, but you don’t need a King’s budget to indulge in the premium Canadian whisky.

Crown Royal costs around $40.67 per 1L in Drizly, while Pendleton is roughly $25.99 per 750ml. 

Both Canadian whiskies are good value for money; however, since Crown Royal has established a great reputation, it is highly prized.

The packaging of the Crown Royal given to the Royals as the gift remains the same today. 

Read: Crown Royal Whisky vs Jack Daniel’s

FAQs Related to Pendleton Whiskey vs Crown Royal

Which is a better sipping whisky, Crown Royal or Pendleton?

Crown Royal is a better sipping whisky than Pendleton. It is a smooth and easy sipper Canadian whisky that you will enjoy neat.
On the palate, it has a fair amount of spice with no harsh and complicated notes. 

What Crown Royal whisky is comparable to Pendleton whisky?

The Crown Royal Deluxe is comparable to Pendleton Whisky Original. Both whiskies contain 40% ABV, have amazing tasting notes, and are slightly close in the price range. 

Is Crown Royal smoother than Pendleton whisky?

Yes, Crown Royal is smoother than Pendleton whisky. It has a rich flavor profile that is pleasing to the nose and palate.
It has sweeter notes and does not have complicated notes, so it goes down easily and smoothly. 

What is Crown Royal? 

Crown Royal is a Canadian whiskey renowned for its rich and velvety texture, offering flavors of ripe fruit, vanilla, and spice, with a signature smooth finish.

How do Pendleton Whiskey and Crown Royal differ in taste? 

Pendleton Whiskey tends to be lighter and sweeter, while Crown Royal offers a fuller-bodied experience with more pronounced fruit and spice notes.

Can I use Pendleton Whiskey and Crown Royal interchangeably in cocktails?  

Yes, both Pendleton Whiskey and Crown Royal can be used in a variety of cocktails, such as Old Fashioneds or Whiskey Sours, depending on your preference for flavor and style.

Which one is better for sipping neat, Pendleton Whiskey or Crown Royal? 

The choice between Pendleton Whiskey and Crown Royal for sipping neat depends on individual taste preferences. Some may prefer the lighter, sweeter profile of Pendleton Whiskey, while others may favor the bolder, spicier character of Crown Royal.

Final Thoughts Related to Pendleton Whisky vs Crown Royal

Crown Royal is better than Pendleton whisky. While both Canadian whiskies contain similar ABV, the tasting notes and production process of Crown Royal get the upper hand.

The whisky is fit for a King, but you don’t need to have the budget of a King to try a bottle. 

Pendleton is a nice Canadian whisky but has weird notes similar to glue that we don’t find appealing. 


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