Pendleton

Review: Pendleton Director's Reserve Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Pendleton DR.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
20 Years
Recipe
N/A
Distiller N/A (Canada)

This whisky is probably has my favorite presentation, of all the whiskies I've discovered. When you open the magnetized box, you are met with a whiff of the smell of leather - a terrific smell, coming from the leather "saddle" made for the bottle - designed by Randy Sever who made saddles for nearly 70 years, and who, at one time, was the Pendleton round-up director. There was an earlier version, released around 2010, also 20 years old. Some say that Pendleton whisky is sourced from Alberta (perhaps because of the 100% rye Pendleton 1910), however, they don't disclose where it is from and a few Canadian distilleries make 100% rye whisky.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: 2017

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2016

Rich business here! Oaky, and exceedingly rich – maple, spice, dried berries – more drawn out and slower than the other pendletons. Rich, almost in a rum sort of way. The oak is there, adding a brilliant firm oaky backbone to the whisky. Sharp orange peel, leather, clove, cinnamon, root-rich earth, dried corn husks, light mint, and a rich oily quality that comes with good oxidation and age.

The palate is oaky and rich, with lots of oak, spice and orange zest. Good mouthfeel, with some terrific buttery grain at the core. The finish is enduring, with the standard Canadian whisky spices and corn husks. The spices and body grow as you drink more of it, and the dryness develops and corn shines through. Quite nice. The finish is unmistakeably Pendleton. Definitely better and more complex than 1910, which I also quite like – more subtle, less bold, and less sweet.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. Cool bottle, and good whisky, but pricy (around $200)


Review: Pendleton 1910 Aged 12 Years Canadian Rye Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
12 yrs
Recipe
100% Unmalted Rye
Distiller N/A (Canada)

This whisky is sourced by Hood River distillers, a company in Oregon who source this 100% rye whisky from Alberta. They bottle a few other items, of which one is Pendleton “Let er’ Buck” and another new release is Pendleton Midnight.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 120716715

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

Nose: Dark rye bread and spice, maple, orange peel, and quite dry in feel. With time, vanilla emerges in greater magnitude. The nose has a lightly creamy feel, with butterscotch notes as well. The spice is quite woody, and complex – clove, nutmeg, dried ginger, and anise.

Taste: Maple, along with some rum notes and the same flurry of spices as before – clove, though, are at the forefront. Lightly, and ,perhaps oddly, sweet. At first glance, it might seem a bit plain – but there is a lot of complex subtlety- vanilla, earthy oak, citrus, cacao – with a continued dry feel to it.

Finish: Orange, brown sugar, and oak with a unexpected creaminess which seems to evolve and build which, combined with the orange, reminds me of creamsicles which is interesting when contrasted with the dry spice feel also present in the finish, and the finish lingers well with good feel and flavour.

Rich, dry, and spicy. The creaminess along with the dry spice takes this whisky to another level, from mediocre to quite good and intriguing. As I’ve had more of this, it has grown on me – but I had to take time with it, a brief rendering may not supply the whole picture. Also no stray bitterness, for good effect. This is a different showing of Alberta rye – creamy and subtle – compared to whiskies sourced by companies like Masterson’s and Whistlepig. Better than their other offering that I have tried, and well worth the price, I think. A very nice example of a dry and spicy Canadian style of whisky.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. Quite decent for sub-50$! A 12 year old 100% rye, no-less. Light, but complex.


Review: Pendleton Midnight Blended Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
45%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
N/A
Distiller N/A (Canada)

Pendleton Midnight is a recent release from Hood River Distillers in Oregon, sourced and aged in Canada as with their other whiskies. This one comes in at higher proof than the rest of the range, which includes the standard Pendleton and the Pendleton 1910.


Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Light sherry, toasted oak, oaky earthiness, candied orange peel, and some really dry oak underlying rich grain notes. On the palate, full bodied and complex with a bit of tannin and a grainy and enduring finish with some almonds, chili, and vanilla which is a touch bitter.  The grain in this seems to do good work, but the wood doesn’t…

Value: Average, but when a relatively cheap whisky is in the average category, it’s far easier to upgrade for the same price since most cheaper whisky is easier to consistently find.