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- 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.