Review: Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old (2008)

Review: Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old (2008)

pendleton whiskyGot a sweet tooth? Have I got a whiskey for you. Pendleton’s Canadian blended whisky (they spell it without the E) is aged for 10 years in barrels and bottled at 80 proof. Oddly, it is made from Oregon water and bottled in Oregon, to boot… yet it’s a Canadian whisky. Go figure.

Sip #1 indicates how overwhelmingly sweet this whisky is. It almost tastes like sugar has been added, it’s that strong. Honey, brown sugar… whatever it is, it’s sweet. Did I mention sweet? Cut through that and you’ll find some floral notes and a bit of Scotch-like smokiness. There’s no harshness at all here, this is easy to sip… if your teeth are up to it. For me, I couldn’t finish a glass of the stuff.

This would be fine in a sweet cocktail or with Coke, but on its own it’s a tough proposition.

80 proof.

B- / $22

Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old (2008)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Barry on August 1, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I had thought that it was a “Canadian Whiskey” because of it’s distilling process, even though it’s made in Oregon. Wikipedia doesn’t support that idea, though… Maybe they use Canadian grain?

    This is my favorite whisky by far – I actually surfed here looking for reccomendations. “If you like Pendelton, you’ll love….” Any suggestions for me?

  2. Christopher Null on August 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Yeah, it turns out Pendleton is not the only Canadian whiskey that’s bottled in the U.S. As for suggestions … hmmm, if you can find Four Roses, give that a shot. Failing that, what are your feelings toward Crown Royal (esp. the higher-end bottlings)?

  3. Barry on August 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I’ve never heard of Four Roses – I’ll give it a try. I’ve tried the standard Crown Royal a couple of times…thought it was inoffensive, but unmemorable? I’ll keep an eye out for the premium versions. Thanks!

  4. Christopher Null on August 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Oh yeah: Also try Basil Hayden’s bourbon.

  5. Max on February 8, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Pendelton… good stuff.. great color too.

  6. Jammer G on February 9, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Are you kidding? This whiskey is so excellanta! for the price, you can’t consume more tasty, smooth smooth smooth magic down the hatch while watching a ballgame. get a tall glass, slam it down with ice and pour three shots with a 8 oz diet pepsi and baby watch the fireworks start. A grade in my eyes and I’m a scotch drinker. This whiskey is fantastic!

  7. David on March 16, 2009 at 12:54 am

    when i turned 20 i started drinking, mostly sampling to see what I’d start buying when i became legal, so at the Christmas party i tried crown, because i heard it was good. i had to mix it with coke, then i tried the Pendleton… i couldn’t bring myself to insult such smooth malty goodness by mixing it. then i moved away from Oregon ( i lived between Pendleton and the Hoodriver distillers) to Oklahoma and after searching many liqueur stores i found it!!! and i shared it with all my friends after years spend regaling them with stories of this magical and mystical whiskey that did not require a chaser and was so malty smooth, and that only true understanding would come from experience. soon after their first small less-than-a-shot sample, not only did they believe me and more they all started handing me money to pick it up for them as well (i am the youngest of my crew, so the purchases where legal)… i have yet to find a better whiskey and fail to see the need to try

  8. Les on March 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Check it out, it is not that sweet as it is smoooooooth….
    One tast of this and you will not by anything else. Did I say it was smooooooooth!

  9. Brady on July 27, 2009 at 8:01 am

    The less mixer the better with this. So why have any mixer at all?!

  10. Jon on August 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Glad I’m able to buy it buy the half gallon in back home in Texas. Good friends, great whisky.

  11. Shmitty on November 28, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    To put simply Crown Royal OUT PENDLETON in!Nothing else as smooth

  12. Eric on January 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I guess I am not high-falootin enough to know any better, but this is a fabulous whiskey. I have bee buying scotch to try diffferent high end scotches and my friend had a bottle of this sitting around and we tried it and some Maker’s Mark. This was splendid. better than the Maker’s, but not by much. It smells as though they put it in Rum casks. It has wonderful flavor, don’t waste it by mixing it with anything, except maybe an ice cube to give it a quick chill, don’t water this down it is too good. I can’t wait to have a drink of this at the end of the day. My friend did me a solid and gave me the bottle because I liked it so much so now I am polishing it off.

  13. Eric on January 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Pendleton Facts

    * A super-premium, blended Canadian Whisky
    * Made using only the purest, glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood (Oregon’s highest peak).
    * Available in 50ml (Colt), 375ml (Pony), 750ml (Bronco) and 1.75L (Stallion)
    * 40% alc./vol. (80 proof)
    * Pendleton is a proud sponsor of numerous rodeos throughout the West, including the Pendleton Round-Up, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and more.
    * Since its launch in 2003, Pendleton has become one of the fastest-growing whisky brands in America.
    * Imported and bottled exclusively by Hood River Distillers.

    Pendleton Whisky Reviews, Awards and Accolades

    * Gold Medal, 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
    * 92 points, Patterson’s Beverage Journal, The Tasting Panel, Anthony Dias Blue Reviews (2009)
    * Silver Medal, 2009 International Review of Spirits
    * “Recommended”, P. Pacult’s 150 Finest Spirits Bargains (2008)
    * 2007 Impact “Hot Prospect,” Impact Global Newsletter
    * Silver Medal, 2008 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
    * “Recommended,” Wine Enthusiast (2006)
    * “Recommended,” Malt Advocate (2005)
    * “Highly Recommended,” Beverage Testing Institute (2004)

  14. Joey Garafano on March 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    This June marks my 39th year tending bar and I have served my share of Pendleton with about everything you can imagine. I’m a puriest so give me mine with a twist and a cube, but for the softer pallet, add a touch of Ameretto. And for the Bourbon drinkers, give Old Wheller a try, 112 Proof cask aged, smooth.

  15. Eric on June 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    This is the best whisky ever

  16. Anonymous on August 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    My brother-in-law, a genuine Montana cattle rancher cowboy, introduced me to this superb whisky after dinner one night. I was previously a Crown fan, but this smooth-n-sweet Pendleton won me over!!

  17. Anonymous on December 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I cannot find Revelstoke whisky anywhere so I am going to go buy a bottle of Pendleton and give it a try.
    I’m only recently finding out what good quality Canadian whiskys are out there.

  18. Chris on December 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    it’s canadian whisky because the whisky is made in canada. it’s bulk canadian club that’s sold off, and then is cut down to 80 proof in oregon, and part of the reason it’s so sweet is that, since it’s canadian whisky, up to 9.09% can be anything they want, including other spirits, vanilla, sugar, or caramel. that’s why most canadian whisky is so smooth and/or sweet.

  19. Tate on December 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Snake River Whisky is another rodeo inspired Canadian whisky try it I almost like it more than Pendleton…almost.

  20. MONTANA MARK F on January 3, 2011 at 6:40 am

    This is the best tasting I have found….And with my background I can assure you the quality is in its smoothness. If you mix it with other flavorings you are disturbing its full richness and might as well mix a cheaper whisky. This is the ultimate in straight up and no chasing. Get your wings ready and soar like an eagle. Pendleton is the best I have tasted.

  21. MONTANA MARK F on January 3, 2011 at 6:42 am


  22. TW Brown on January 31, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Started drinking Pendleton when I was a rodeo cowboy. Best whisky I have ever had. I am now long since retired from the rough-stock and always have a bottle or two on hand. It’s good stuff.

  23. M Wise on September 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    At recent wedding they had a “Pendleton Fountain” at the reception…Wooo Hooo! What a party!

  24. Buzzyfuzzsaw on September 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Pendleton Whisky is liquid beauty.

  25. ACN on December 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I know this review is a bit old, but I discovered it after finally tasting Pendleton, a whiskey my brother-in-law has been raving about for quite some time. I’m with the author. It’s like swigging Aunt Jemima. Great with Coke Zero, but not something to enjoy neat unless you want to hasten the onset of diabetes

  26. Tom Moorer on November 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Pendleton is not actually sweet at all. The reason people think so is that it is aged in oak and picks up a vanilla flavor that maybe subconsciously reminds you of vanilla ice cream, which is of course actually sweet.

  27. James Berline on April 14, 2014 at 5:43 am

    All my life I’ve been a ‘Black Velvet’ drinker’ where at times I will splurge and pick up a bottle of ‘Canadian Club. At my daughters wedding last year I was presented with a shot of this ‘Pendleton’ whiskey, After I took a couple sips of it, I’ve never had the pleasure of drinking such fine whiskey, superior in taste. Over the years I always budgeted my costs with whiskey, however’ now that I’m Retired, I think I’ve earned my wings’ to start buying this great Pendleton whiskey’ for this is the best I’ve ever consumed. > Bless You Pendleton!

  28. Anonymous on February 21, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Loved it. My local store had a close out at $15.99 and I bought the last 6 bottles after I’d previously paid $19.99 for a bottle.

    It’s a tad sweeter, with a hint of molasses than unflavored bourbon, but to me, far better than the overly sweet, flavored bourbons everyone is drinking now.

  29. Anonymous on May 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I enjoy Pendelton Whisky. My go to is Vo and coke. I tried a bottle of Penelton with Coke, it was great! It has a hint of cherry taste to me, even with the coke mixer. I bought a new bottle…. :)

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