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Pendleton Midnight

Review: Pendleton Midnight  83.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
January 19, 2020

Pendleton Midnight is a premium Canadian Whisky produced in Oregon by Hood River Distillers brought to bottling proof (45 % alcohol by volume) using the glacial fed waters from Mt. Hood. Pendleton Whiskies are named to honour the Pendleton Round-up, which is held in Pendleton, Oregon. In fact, Pendleton Whisky sponsors numerous rodeos, including the aforementioned  the Pendleton Round-Up, the Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the Walla Walla Frontier Days.

According to the company website a portion of the Midnight whisky is aged for over six years in American brandy barrels.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Pendleton Midnight is sold in the short squat clear bottle shown to the left. It is sealed with a nice high density cork which provides that satisfying ‘pop’ when opened. It fits in the hand well, and the mid sized neck makes pouring easy. The labeling is clear and uncluttered, using fonts and a colour scheme that is easy to read.

There is nothing not to like about the presentation.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The whisky is a nice copper colour in the glass, and pretty much as soon as I pour a dram into my glencairn I notice enticing scents of dusty grain and butterscotch with almond and vanilla. Hints of chocolate and a light touch of raisin soon appear as well.

As the glass rests, dusty rye and wood spice continue to pour out with impressions of straw and chaff alongside. There is now a well defined fruitiness apparent as well with orange peel, apricot liqueur and raisin all melding together in the breezes.

In The Mouth 49.5/60

Pendleton Midnight has a light creamy mouthfeel and brings a nice bite of rye and grain spice forward to brighten the palate. I taste a nice melding of fine oak spice, vanilla, and butterscotch with bits of almond. The fruitiness I commented on earlier manifest itself as marmalade and canned apricots, and as I sip I begin to notice the almond flavour trending towards marzipan. All of this is complimented by an underlying raisin-like flavour and a bright grain and wood spiciness.

When I add an ice cube to my glass I taste a little light chocolate and some nice rum-like flavours. When I through a dollop of ginger-ale in with the ice I have a very nice highball I could enjoy all evening.

In The Throat 12.5/15

The spirit is medium bodied with a nice long spicy exit. I can taste nice rye flavours and tobacco in the finish with toffee and spice lingering on the tongue after the swallow.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Pendleton Midnight is not hugely complex, but it is very pleasant. It is an easy sipper over ice with a lingering butterscotch sweetness. It tastes even better with a splash of ginger-ale. If I tasted more maturity in the glass, I could have scored the spirit much higher.

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


Suggested Recipe

Canadian Whisky Splash

2 oz Pendleton Midnight
4 or 5  Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale
Lemon Peel

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Whisky over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale
Garnish with Lemon Peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


As usual, 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)


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