The big fruity nose promises massive flavour and the palate delivers it in spades from the first sip. A hefty dollop of oak caramels is soon followed by peppery rye spices. Sweet and sour oranges, zested lime peel and citrus oils meet flinty rye, mild fruits and juicy oak vanillas. Soft berry notes and mild fruits linger in the background. The overwhelming impression is of rich oak caramels and searing spices. Slowly fades in a long peppery finish.
As the Columbia River careens south, down Rocky Mountain gorges out of British Columbia and into the U.S. it turns west about 150 miles outside of Hood River Oregon. From there it surges past the town of Hood River and across the state of Oregon to the Pacific Ocean. These brisk glacial waters are ideal for making whisky. However, Hood River distillers has an even better idea. Hood River sits at the foot of the Mount Hood glacier and that is where they draw the water for their Pendleton whiskies.
Make no mistake though. This is Canadian whisky, mashed distilled and matured in Canada. So what does Mount Hood have to do with it? After the whisky is trucked south, Hood River distillers uses glacial runoff from Mount Hood, to bring it down to bottling strength. It’s a cross-border partnership that has been the delight of whisky lovers across the U.S for several decades.
Pendleton Midnight is a new, upscale version of the most-successful Rodeo Whisky ever, a whisky simply called “Pendleton.” Named for the famous Pendleton Roundup, the whisky has become the unofficial, and in some places, official whisky of the rodeo cowboy. Pendleton Midnight brings that good old Pendleton tradition to whisky made for the connoisseur. It’s a big, creamy, luscious dram with huge oak caramels and the searing peppery spices of rye grain.
Highly Recommended ★★★★☆ (Four and one half stars)
45% abv, $35 U.S.