Pendleton and Hunter Candadian Whiskeys

So, finally easing back into this blog after my sabbatical, I'm going to begin by taste testing two Canadian blended whiskeys, one a premium blend, and the other a get you where you want to go blend.

The premium blend is Pendleton, distilled in Canada, bottled by Hood River Distillers in Hood River, Oregon. Hood River ( also distributes Broker's London dry gin, Yazi ginger-flavored vodka, and Cockspur rum.

The whiskey is 80 proof and aged for 10 years, selling for roughly $25 a bottle, with part of that going to support the Pendleton Roundup Rodeo.  They also bottle a 20 year, which sells for about $75 a bottle.  It's distilled from rye in Canada, but Hood River adds glacier water before they bottle it.  Better buy your bottle now before the glaciers are all melted.

I'm not big on using ice when doing a tasting, though I know the water opens up the flavors, etc., for mixologists.  I'd rather taste the primal flavor.  I chill my glass for a few minutes, and of course some water does condense and freeze on the inside of the glass, so I am getting a little H2O.

I like Pendleton a lot.  One taster described it as having a caramel taste, but every time I drink it, the word I think of is maple, like maple syrup or maple sugar.  It has a very Canadian maple taste to it.  I haven't played around with it in cocktails yet, but I'm betting it will be be great.

Canadian Hunter is a budget brand, aged 3 years, and made exclusively for export to the United States by Sazerac.  On first taste, it's smooth but with no really distinctive flavors on my taste buds.  I bet it would work well as a mixer in a cocktail, or even with Ginger Ale.  Just because a whiskey is bland alone in a glass doesn't mean it won't make a good mixer.

In my next post I'll try both of these in a cocktail and tell you if they play well in a team situation.

Please check out my other blog,, this week if you're into baking.