Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Lydia Martin
With its distilling and aging done in Canada and the distribution done in the United States, you could say that Pendleton Whisky has just as much America in it as it does Canada.
We could say it has more America to it, as it was named after one of the biggest rodeos in the country.
Let’s take a look at Pendleton Whisky’s price, flavor notes, and origin story, so you can decide if you’d like to try this cowboy-inspired spirit.
All About Pendleton Canadian Whisky
Pendleton Whisky was created to celebrate the American cowboy culture, known for living boldly and drinking well.
It is also the official whisky of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The whisky is housed in a squat, clear bottle with a high-density cork stopper.
To be honest, Pendleton wasn’t bad but wasn’t remarkable, either. It had a thick, creamy mouthfeel and a vanilla vodka flavor that we weren’t fond of. You can also learn more about this expression in this Pendleton whisky review.
History & Origin
Pendleton was first released in 2003 to pay homage to the American cowboy or cowgirl.
It was named after the Pendleton Round-up Rodeo, the biggest annual rodeo in the Northwestern United States.
This rodeo has been held every second week of September since 1910, and brings about 50,000 people to the state for the week-long events.
How It’s Made
Pendleton is equal parts made in Canada and the United States — the finest northern grains are first distilled and aged up north, but the spirits are imported, bottled, and distributed by the Hood River Distillers based in Oregon.
Before bottling, the distillery adds glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood , Oregon’s highest peak, to bring it down to 80 proof.
Aging Process & Age Statement
The spirits are aged for ten years inside American oak barrels.
Palate: We find that the whisky kicks (pun intended) you in the face with many sweet notes. It’s rife with notes of butterscotch, burnt caramel, and raw honey.
Color/Hue: The spirit has a dark caramel hue.
Nose: Swirling the liquid allows the bouquet to open up light aromas of corn and caramel.
Finish: Strong alcohol not consistent with its 80-proof kicks you in its medium-length finish. If you can move past that, you’ll get a bit of molasses and some caramel.
Ownership & Distillery
Pendleton Canadian Whisky is distilled in Canada and bottled by Hood River Distillers in Oregon. The distillery is owned by Becle, S.A.B. de C.V.
Price & Value
Pendleton costs roughly $25 per 750ml bottle. Personally, we think you can get better spirits, like American bourbon, with the same pricing, which says something about its quality.
Common Price of Pendleton Whisky
|Type||Size||Alcohol By Volume||Average Price|
|Pendleton Canadian Whisky||750ml||40||Around $25|
Compared to Other Canadian Whiskies
Canadian Club Whisky
With its price point of less than $20 per liter, we have to say that the Canadian Club Whisky is great value for the money.
This has a sweet and gentle palate, perfect for those just starting to get into Canadian whiskies. It has rye spice, a bit of grassy fennel, and aniseed notes.
Crown Royal Fine Deluxe Blended Canadian Whisky
Crown Royal Fine Deluxe Blended Whisky is Canada’s number one selling whisky and definitely lives up to the hype. Everyone will surely enjoy its light vanilla and ginger notes.
Crown Royal costs around $22 for 750ml, just slightly cheaper than Pendleton. More about Pendleton Whisky vs Crown Royal here.
Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky
Seagram’s V.O. Whisky is probably the first you’ve seen whisky described as V.O., as opposed to cognac. This whisky has a wine-like and juicy nose and is well-complemented by a smooth, buttery mouthfeel.
Seagram’s V.O. Whisky costs roughly less than $20 per 750ml, slightly cheaper than Pendleton.
Popular Pendleton Whisky Cocktail Recipe
The Original Cowboy
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
- 1.5 oz Pendleton Whisky
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz simple syrup
- Club soda
- Lemon wheel
Pour the whisky, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well combined. Strain and pour into a highball glass filled halfway with fresh ice. Top off with club soda, and garnish with a cherry and lemon wheel.
What mixes well with Pendleton whisky?
We find that Pendleton’s overly-sweet palate works well with tart mixers for better balance. It is especially good with lemon juice and soda water (The Original Cowboy).
Why do cowboys drink Pendleton?
We don’t think cowboys necessarily choose Pendleton as their go-to whisky. Pendleton Whisky is simply the Pendleton Round-up Rodeo’s official spirit.
As far as we know, cowboys tend to favor scotch or bourbon.
What whisky tastes like Pendleton whisky?
We find that Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey tastes like Pendleton. It has similar sweet syrup and honey notes without much depth, which may be off-putting for those looking for a more well-balanced dram.
In A Nutshell
If you’re looking for a sign to try Pendleton Canadian Whisky, we’re sorry to say that this isn’t it.
Personally, we have yet to find good whisky from the Great White North that we consider a fool-proof option.
While Pendleton is okay, it did not wow us, nor were we huge fans of its overt sweetness and vodka-like quality.
Of course, if you have a sweet tooth, you might consider this your next favorite bottle. If you ask us, we’re better off popping open a bottle of Fireball any day.