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Pendleton (Let’er Buck) Canadian Whisky

Review: Pendleton (Let’er Buck) Canadian Whisky  84.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Re-Scored and Re-Published on February 28, 2018

Pendleton (Let’er Buck) Canadian Whisky is distilled and aged in Canada. The spirit is then transported to Oregon where it is brought to bottling proof by Hood River Distillers using the glacial fed waters from Mt. Hood. The whisky is named to honour The Pendleton Round-up, a well-respected rodeo in Pendleton, Oregon, and in fact, Pendleton Whisky sponsors numerous rodeos, including the aforementioned  the Pendleton Round-Up, the Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the Walla Walla Frontier Days.

This is a non age stated whisky bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The Pendleton Whisky arrives in a in a short squat clear bottle. It is sealed with a nice high density cork which provides that satisfying ‘pop’ when opened. The labeling is clear and uncluttered, and each bottle bears a copy of the approving signature of  R.R. Dodge. The presentation features a rodeo’s bucking horse symbol and the Let’er Buck® slogan both of which were created to celebrate the spirit of independence and hard-work ethic of the American cowboy and cowgirl.

In the Glass  8/10

In the glass the whisky is a nice amber colour with tinges of orange apparent in the light. When I gave my glass the customary tilt and slow swirl and a thin layer of whisky was imparted to the sides of the glass which released long, fast-moving slender legs.

The aroma is clean and spicy with ginger and oak accenting a honeyed toffee. As the glass breathes, the oak spice gains steam, hints of cardamom and cinnamon appear, and a light caramel toffee builds. I would not consider this to be an extremely complex whisky, rather it is crisp and clean.

In the Mouth  51/60

The Pendleton Whisky has a crisp delivery with rye and clean oak spices. Light flavours of honey and toffee follow which are complemented by ginger and a touch of vanilla. I also taste impressions of grain and straw, and a gentle reminder of corn (probably from the re-used oak barrel). However the focus of the flavour is fruit-filled rye accented by oak spice.

The whisky tastes fine as I sip it neat although it is perhaps just a touch harsh. It tastes even better with an ice-cube, but it is with a bit of ginger-ale that the spirit is truly at home. I acquiesce to temptation, and in my opinion, this is the way a good old-fashioned Canadian Whisky ought to taste!

In the Throat  12.5/15

The finale includes a gentle kick in the tonsils. There is a very mild mild dry burn which stays just long enough to make an impression, but not so long that I am overly distracted. A burst of rye and fruit heat up the back of the palate, and everything fades in a relatively short but crisp dry finish.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Pendleton (Let’er Buck) is not filled with layers upon layer of  complexity; but neither is it without its charm. It is a good old-fashioned dusty Canadian Whisky with rye and oak flavour as the centerpiece and just enough honey and toffee to make everything taste nice. It is a decent sipper; but, when I mixed my first dram with a little ginger-ale, I found myself enjoying this highball style drink immensely. And that is kind of the point of this whisky I think. You can sip it, or you can mix it with no regrets at either decision.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipe:

The Pendleton Let’er Buck Canadian Whisky mixes with ginger-ale so beautifully that I thought I had better stick to a sure thing with respect to my suggested recipe. However, I wanted to make the recipe just a little more than the traditional rye and ginger highball, so I added citrus juice and turned the recipe into a Mammy.

The Pendleton Mammy

2 Oz Pendleton Whisky
1 Oz Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
dash of Sugar Syrup
1/2 cup cracked ice
Ginger Ale
Threads of Lemon or Lime Peel

Remove thin strips of citrus peel from a fresh lemon or lime
Fill a tall highball glass half full of chipped ice
Add the lime juice and the Pendleton Whisky
Top with ginger ale
Add a few threads of citrus peel and stir gently.

As Always I want to remind everyone that my aim is not to help you drink more…it is to help you drink better!


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


2 Responses to “Pendleton (Let’er Buck) Canadian Whisky”

  1. Robert Jordan said

    I quite enjoy this whisky. I like to drink it as a simple rye and coke.

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