Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whiskey Wednesday: Pendleton Canadian Whisky

I've written about both Scottish and American independent whisky bottlers. Companies that buy whisky from distilleries and bottle it under their own labels. Lately, there are a number of US companies that are bottling Canadian Whisky under their own labels. Independent Whiskies include Hirsch Canadian Whisky bottled by Preiss Imports, Snake River Stampede bottled by Indio Spirits and Phillips Union, a blend of Bourbon and Canadian Whiskey.

Another popular Canadian bottled in the US in Pendleton. Bottled by Oregon based Hood River Distillers, Pendleton is Canadian blended whisky diluted down to 40% alcohol using the "purest glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood (Oregon’s highest peak)." Hey, if you're going to dilute, you might as well try to get some good advertising copy from it. It carries no age statement.

Like Snake Rive Stampede, Pendleton has a rodeo/cowboy motif; Pendleton's logo is a rodeo rider on bucking bronco with the slogan "Let 'er Buck." I'm not sure why these bottlers equate Canadian whisky and rodeo, but hey, that's marketing I guess.


Pendleton Blended Canadian Whisky (Bottled by Hood River Distillers) 40% alcohol ($25).

You can tell it's Canadian right on the nose. It's got that soft grain smell, a bit of rye but not the intensity of an American straight rye and that damp grass aroma that practically sings O Canada. It's also got a bit of plastic or styrofoam in the aroma. The immediate taste is light and very sweet, the sweetness lingering and pretty much covering up any other flavors. It's neither complex nor very substantive, a one dimensional, sweet, light whisky.

Considering that you can get the more complex and tastier Forty Creek Barrel Select for $5 cheaper, I'd reach for that if you're hankering for a whisky to watch rodeo by.

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