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Hood River Distillers Pendleton Let'er Buck

Countdown to Canada Day Part II

0 785

@talexanderReview by @talexander

29th Jun 2014

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    85

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Hood River Distillers
  • ABV: 40%

This one is yet another example of a Canadian whisky bottled and marketed back to us by a US bottler; in this case, "Hood River Distillers". Now, is this actually a distillery? They are based in Oregon, yet their only product seems to be Pendleton, which is proudly marketed as - a Canadian whisky. Does this make any sense to anyone? Even more misleading, how can they say that the whisky is made "using only glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood (Oregon's highest peak)" when it also clearly states that this is CANADIAN whisky?? Can ANYONE shed light on this nonsense?? In any event - no known Canadian distiller is attributed to this spirit. Misleading chicanery of the highest order. BTW I purchased it in the Yukon (it is not available in Ontario, but is in Western Canada).

The colour is light gold. On the nose, lots of caramel and vanilla with a firm rye background- classically Canadian. Creme caramel, marzipan and eucalyptus. Quite floral. There is a terrific balance here between the sweet vanilla and the firm rye grain. A little water brings out a smoky element. However, more complexity would be appreciated.

On the palate, sourdough, buckets of vanilla and light caramel. Not complex but well balanced and quite tasty. Water dilutes things a little, but adds some firmness to the background. Again - a classically sweet Canadian whisky.

The finish is sweet almost to the point of cloying (but doesn't quite get there), with icing sugar, Earl Grey tea and butterscotch. There are some Canadian whiskies - Lot 40, Wiser's Legacy - that appeal to those who do not otherwise enjoy Canadian whiskies. This is not one of them. You get the rye, but this is obviously a corn forward whisky, sweet right to the edge but not crossing over. I quite enjoy it - and Jim Murray scores this a 91.5 - but it is not for everyone. And I wish there was more info on the genuine provenance of this spirit (presumably from the West and I'm guessing from Highwood), as opposed to the misleading and contradictory marketing on display - which, quite frankly, should be illegal.

7 comments

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@talexander, believe it or not my sister in law lives in Hood River and works at the distillery. I think they do some distilling but are mainly a bottler They import a variety of spirits, vodka, gin, rye, liqueurs etc. and bottle and label them for a variety of customers. They may use the term "Canadian" to indicate a style of whisky and it may not necessarily be from Canada. I'm not sure if that is the case with the Let 'er Buck or whether it is imported from a Canadian distillery, comes at full strength and is diluted and bottled there perhaps using the Mount Hood water. I'll get some more info next time I talk to her. Last time we were down there I got a taste and a bottle of Pendleton 1910, a 12 yr. old Canadian rye whisky which is really exceptional. It says on the bottle" 100% Canadian rye whisky imported and bottled by Hood River Distillers." Cheers.

5 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

BTW, it's not available in BC either.

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Yes, I am with you that it is BS for a bottler to pretend that they distilled the product, and even bigger BS to pretend that an imported product was distilled in the country of the bottler.

Is this Pendleton Let'er Buck similar to Pike Creek?

5 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@BlueNote - re: your comment on importing the whisky and then diluting it with Hood River water makes sense - I hadn't thought of that (of course, they could have just written that clearly on the bottle, but then that might be too much clarity for the marketing). It's very clearly labelled as Canadian whisky, so I am sure it is imported into the US and diluted and bottled. I've tried the Pendleton 1910 before and it is excellent. Also, I'm surprised you can't get it in BC as the Yukon shares their inventory and pricing. Perhaps it's sold out?

@Victor - it tastes nothing like Pike Creek, which has that port-finished flavour. If I had to compare it to other Canadian whiskies, I'd put it somewhere between Century Reserve 21 Year Old (which is from Highwood) and Crown Royal Limited Edition, if that makes any sense.

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, yes that comparison makes perfect sense. Other than Pike Creek, I had pictured something sweeter but similar to Crown Royal LE and Royal Canadian Small Batch.

5 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

My mistake @talexander both the Let'er Buck and the 1910 are available in BC at $50 and $60 respectively.

5 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Right - I had forgotten what I paid for the Let'er Buck - but that does seem expensive.

5 years ago 0

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