Pendleton 1910 12 year old 100% Canadian Rye Whisky

Pendleton 1910 Canadian Rye Whisky 40% alc./vol

February 9, 2012


Butterscotch and maple fudge with cleansing zesty limes. Gingery hot pepper and fresh cooling mint. Crisp charred oak. Rich, weighty, balanced, and ever so complex. Fruity & Spicy. ★★★★☆

If you happen to be in Pendleton, Oregon, any time soon, you may want to mosey on over to Pendleton Cigar & Mixer on Emigrant Avenue, a block south of Highway 30 between S.W. 2nd and 3rd Streets. Right now, this is the only place in the world where you can lay your hands on the latest release from Pendleton Whisky. Three hundred cases – that’s no more than 1,800 bottles – of Pendleton 1910™, a 12-year-old 100% Canadian rye whisky, were delivered to the store early last week. That’s enough to make sure nobody is likely to repeat what some wise-acre did a couple of years ago when Pendleton released another special edition. He walked into the store and bought the whole batch.

Pendleton 1910, the latest in the Pendleton line-up, was distilled in Canada from 100% rye grain. It then spent 12 years maturing in charred white oak barrels in a Canadian whisky maturation house. When the whisky was fully mature, Oregon’s Hood River Distillers transported it to its plant in Oregon, added some glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood, and bottled it just in time to celebrate the 101st Pendleton Round-Up.

The Round-Up runs from September 14 to 17 this year. Pendleton, widely known as “the Cowboy Whisky,” is the official spirit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and one of the fastest growing premium whisky brands in the U.S. If you can’t make it to Pendleton, have no worries. Limited allocations will be available across the U.S. later in October.

The trademarked name, 1910, pays homage to the year of the first-ever Pendleton Round-Up. The whisky comes packaged in a unique bottle intricately embossed with detailing reminiscent of the tooling on a saddle, and features the famous Pendleton Round-Up bucking horse. Incidentally, although the bucking horse symbol with its “Let’er Buck” slogan appears on most Pendleton bottles, this is actually the logo of the Round-Up event itself, and not the name of Pendleton’s most popular whisky. Pendleton donates a portion of its sales to the Round-Up and puts its logo on the bottle to show its support.

In announcing the release of Pendleton 1910, Ronald Dodge, president and CEO of Hood River Distillers said, “We are proud of this new and rare 100% Canadian rye whisky. Pendleton 1910 delivers an exceptional, fuller-bodied flavor, but maintains the smooth finish that our Pendleton Whisky drinkers have come to expect.”

Dodge and his team recommend that the whisky be served chilled or on ice for sipping and peaceful contemplation, but there is enough flavour here that you may want to try it at least once just as it comes from the bottle.

Nose: A rich and complex interplay of butterscotch and maple fudge with crème brulée, vanilla pudding, earthy rye grain, glimmering rye spices, and vaguely herbal overtones. Just slightly dusty and hard as wet slate before it begins to unfold layers of cereal mash, complex floral fragrances, raisins and prunes.

Palate: Decadent butterscotch, maple syrup, burned sugar, and French vanilla custard balance fresh tart lime juice, rosewater, and toasted grain. Zesty limes brace the palate for glowing peppery heat, spicy ginger, and the hot-cold luxury of moist menthol tobacco that soon evolves into Canada balsam, pitchy pine sawdust, and charred firewood. Elements of fragrant pipe tobacco meld with sweet dark fruits. It’s as sweet as cherry bourbon but with a spicy rye kick. Fresh, vibrant, bright, and weighty.

Finish: Finishes slowly and cleanly with navel oranges, canned pears, pink grapefruit pith and lingering pepper. Maybe just an inkling of peaches surface just as it tails off.

Empty Glass: Butterscotch and clean, crispy oak.

$39.95 in Pendleton, Oregon, and soon in liquor stores across the U.S.
Highly recommended ★★★★☆

Canadian Whisky Awards 2011 Pendleton 1910 silver medalist

News update: Pendleton 1910 was awarded a silver medal in the 2011 Canadian Whisky Awards.


25 Responses to “Pendleton 1910 Canadian Rye Whisky 40% alc./vol”

  1. thomas mckenzie:

    Sounds like this is the from the same still as whistle pig, jefferson’s and the like? I just wonder why all of this whiskey is on the market? I presume and have been told by somebody who knows that the stuff is from Alberta Distillers. I think beam owns them, are they going to liquidate everything and close it up? Something is going on.

    • Davin:

      Hi Thomas,
      Pendleton has not disclosed which distillery this is from.

      As far as Alberta Distillers goes, they have been selling whisky to independent bottlers for decades. It’s just that people are talking about it now. The distillery, though, is still in full production. I think the reason so many American bottlers look to Canada for rye is that we have several distillers that specialize in it, while for American distillers it is most often a sideline so they don’t have a lot of extra aged stock lying around. Alberta Distillers alone bottles three times as much rye whisky (100% & / or straight rye) as EVERY American rye producer combined.

      • J.D. Kimple:

        Except for MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Tremendous amount of rye distilled and aged there

  2. john koller:

    Having toured BC and the Yukon for 2 months this summer, I tried different ryes. I found with the high taxes, Alberta Premium(in plastic) was the most affordable and quite good. It is not readily available here in New Mexico so being able to buy the Pendelton makes me very warm and content.

  3. Barry (I AM CANADIAN):

    Pendleton 1910 Canadian Rye Whisky is one of the FINEST whiskeys I have EVER drank!In MY opinion it ranks with some of OUR best,if not THE…

    • Davin:

      Hi Barry,
      Glad we agree. It is really good whisky.

  4. Chris Brown:

    Sounds like some great stuff!
    I’m curious as to whether these special purchases were originally experiments by the distiller or actual blending stock that didn’t fit the profile (or simply they were offered too good of a price to refuse!).
    Guess we’ll never know unless there’s an insider with the story…

    • Davin:

      Hi Chris,
      Generally speaking, there is a good variety of different whiskies ageing in Canadian warehouses, more than is needed for the various distillers’ own brands. These whiskies are sometimes offered to independents to use in developing their own brands. To some degree there is an “if we make it someone will buy it” mindset that lets distillers put special batches away and later make them available to good customers as mature whisky.

      • portwood:

        That being the case, why don’t these Canadian distillers take pride in their products and bottle them?

        There is a demand for single distillery/single casks/cask strength/small batch/no added colour/etc/etc products and a LACK of SUPPLY of such CANADIAN whiskies. With very few exceptions (Wiser’s comes to mind), all we get is watered down mixers.

        Shame, these producers still follow the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” mentality by selling the aged whisky to Americans who then add the value (packaging), and reap the higher profits. Double shame that Canadians then have to travel to the USA to buy products made in their own country.

        Canadian whisky (i.e. watered down 40% mixers) will continue to be thought of as nothing more than coctail filler unless the high quality stuff carries a CANADIAN label. This will not happen as long as American “distilleries” continue to slap their own labels on Canadian products.

        End of rant.

        • Davin:

          I’m not sure it’s a matter of pride. The U.S. market is ten times the size of Canada’s so there is a lot more room for small producers. Still, we do pretty well up here with Canada-only bottlings from Gibson’s FInest, Alberta Springs, Century Reserve, Danfield’s, Crown Royal Limited Edition, and others, but I certainly get your point.

  5. montgomery:

    While this is perhaps a very drinkable rye, I find it a bit boring…Anyone ?

    • Davin:

      Well it is not going to whack you over the head the way some ryes do, but I find it very elegant, characterful, and complex. I prefer to drink it without any mixer and sip it slowly. You can feel it develop in your mouth. I guess it’s all a matter of taste.

  6. Chris Brown:

    Although I’ve yet to try it I just picked up a bottle in Edmonton for a fairly reasonable $55. (reasonable based on the U.S. selling price).
    This compared to a bottle of Caribou Crossing which has also made it’s way back home from the U.S. that was selling for $120. :0,way above U.S. selling price! I didn’t pick that one up.

  7. john willis:

    I recently tried the 1910 and it is by of the best.drinks that i havd had. the problem is i i cannot find it anywhere. i live in california and was wondering where i could buy some. please send an email ehere i can find it

  8. Alec:

    What is your opinion of the pendleton blended whiskey?

    • Davin:

      Like it and will eventually review it.

  9. Ray Abraham:

    This newer Canadian is the follow up from the original Pendleton. That was very interesting and smooth. Not quite the expressive profile, a little one dimensional. This is terrific stuff! I would rate it as a strong 93 out of 100.

  10. Ray Abraham:

    I forgot, both expressions explode with Butterscotch going on in a creamy fashion.

  11. Omineca Greg!:

    Hi Davin!

    I’m really enjoying this one. It is quite sweet, and that sweetness brings out a different set of spices from the rye than in more typically dry whiskies. It is an outstanding base for both Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs. I mix both of those with more sugar than the norm already, and the 1910 just explodes with a polished spiciness when in the company of sugar and bitters. I’ve tried it a few times chilled from the fridge (as is their suggestion), which is not something I normally do, and that was good as well.

  12. Rick:

    The Gentlemen’s Tasting Club of Olney certainly enjoyed our first experience with 1910. The older members quickly tasted the old Callard and Bowser butterscotch hints in this whisky and the younger ones simply said “wow”. We drank it neat but the artist among the group added a small ice cube and expressed to the group that it added another dimension. We’ll have to try that next time- MUCH work to be done.

  13. Hana:

    Does this have any corn in it???

    • Davin:


  14. Trish:

    Any updates/tips on where one can buy this Pendleton? ‘Tis the season and it’s on someone’s Christmas list. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  15. Gordon:

    I have for sale here in Ontario

  16. Gordon:

    I have one for sale here in Ontario

Leave a Reply