I haven’t tried much Canadian whisky. In fact, I haven’t spent that much time in Canada, our more civilian-minded neighbor to the North. Aside from the requisite visit to the Niagara Falls area, my Canadian experience is limited to the trip my dad and I made to Brandon where he mistakenly poured me a spoonful of shampoo instead of medicine. In his defense, the bottles were possibly not labeled clearly enough. Now that I think of it, maybe that mouthful of shampoo is why Speyside malts are not my favorite.
Anyhoo, what’s done is done, I bear no grudges towards Dad, shampoo or Canada. Pendleton Blended Canadian Whisky is a bit of a mystery in that it’s apparently distilled and aged for 10 years in Canada (where, I’m not sure) but brought to bottling proof with Oregonian (Mt. Hood to be exact) spring water and bottled and distributed by Hood River Distillers. Adorned with the phrase “Let ‘er buck”, Pendleton is clearly going after the rodeo market.
The Nose: Sugary-sweet, brown sugar, vanilla and caramel…reminds me of heavily frosted vanilla cake. There’s some nice bright malt and grain along with a bit of marzipan and shortbread. Also just a touch, a slight fruitiness…plump raisins maybe.
The Palate: Syrupy mouthfeel and syrupy sweet to go along with it. No great surprise then that, initially, this was very reminiscent of simple syrup. There’s still a lot of the vanilla frosting and cake with some general nuttiness. There’s lots of grain with the rye really coming forward towards the end. Right at the end I got a bit of Brachs’ chocolate caramels.
The Finish: Kind of short but still sweet with a lot of rye sharpness.
Thoughts: Hmmmm, let’s see, where to start…how ’bout “Sweet”? This stuff is that in spades. The nose alone nearly put me in a diabetic coma…ok, not that sweet, but close. That said, it’s a very pleasant sweetness, just complex enough to be interesting with smooth balanced grain notes and a rye sharpened finish that lessens the sweetness a bit and brings you back for more. This is perhaps a little too easy drinking, smooth, clean and uh, did I mention sweet?