This whisky is exported from Canada to Oregon, where it is produced by Hood River Distillers. It is dedicated to those involved in the rodeo, and the name itself, Pendleton, comes from the name of a well-known rodeo. The whisky, it turns out, is also the official spirit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in the States (I didn’t even know such an association existed!). It was launched in 2003, and there is also an older version (Pendleton 1910) which is 100% rye.
Nose: Citrusy – marmelade, with some dense and slightly earthy rye coming out quite prominently. It’s also creamy, and has some prominent buttery vanilla notes. Pine notes are also present, and grow, alongside some cinnamon and nutmeg. The nose feels quite sweet, and some nuttiness and vanilla come through as it sits. 26.5/30 (88%)
Taste: Based on the nose, I did hope for a bit more. Starts with some cinnamon and oak, before some sweetness kicks in with some vanilla before closing off with some pine and then some tannin and nuttiness, almonds particularly. The sweetness is needed to balance off the dry woodiness in the whisky, and it does its job pretty well. There’s a bit of oaky bitterness that is treads close to being too much in this one – I would say it’s a bit more than it should be – but it’s close enough to that boundary line that it’s not too bad. 26/30 (87%)
Finish: It’s a bit light, and it is fairly dry and a bit woody – but it shows flashes of creamy, citrusy brilliance with a few roasted nuts thrown in. I would like a bit more length and body, but it does its job surprisingly well following the taste and the finish does grow as you drink. Eventually you are left with a bit of peppery cinnamon. 17.5/20 (88%)
Conclusion: This is very nice value, and the blending job was very well done. In some senses they’ve done an interesting thing as it fits something of a Blanded Canadian profile, but it has a lot more creaminess than you usually find in Canadian whisky. A very nice buy. 17.5/20 (88%)