We may be tools during the work day, but when the weekend rolls around, you can find us enjoying outdoor activities, quality food and drink, or better yet, both. We have several whiskey drinkers on our team and you may have noticed our recommendation of Pendleton Midnight Whisky in our Father’s Day Gift Guide for 2023. We’ve been sipping on a few bottles and decided to share what we discovered so you can decide if you’d like to add it to your shelf.
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Pendleton Mightnight Whisky: What They Said
If you’re not familiar with Pendleton Whisky, it’s a Canadian style (don’t you dare say they spell whisky wrong, either!). The brand gets its name from the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon which began in 1910. The 90-proof Midnight variety is in the middle of the range as far as price goes, sitting in between Pendleton’s classic Original and the 12-year aged 1910 Rye. It’s made using glacier-fed spring water from Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
Behind the black label, you find a whisky blend that includes a portion that has been aged in brandy barrels for at least 6 years.
On the nose, look for leather with warm cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and just a touch of ginger.
The flavor profile includes full, well-balanced oak paired with notes of coffee cake, nuts, caramelized bananas, and candied figs.
On the back end, expect a full-bodied, satiating finish with a smolder of spices, pecans, and walnuts lingering on your tongue.
Overall, it’s weighty and balanced while remaining complex.
Pendleton Midnight Whisky: What We Say
Not every whiskey (or whisky) is equal. That’s obvious from the wide range of prices you see in the store. But how you enjoy them also makes a difference. Some are best neat, others open up with a few drops of water. We like some varieties on the rocks while others are best in a cocktail. When I try a new whiskey for the first time, I start with it neat, then on the rocks, and finally in a simple Old Fashioned.
Pendleton says that Midnight is best enjoyed neat, and I agree. Poured into your favorite whiskey glass, it’s smooth and rich, and the complexity of the flavor profile is fully identifiable through the taste experience. There’s little burn on the back end, so your tongue isn’t begging for ice or mixers to dilute it away.
On the rocks, the flavor profile gets a bit muted. It’s still a good flavor, but certainly not as full as it is neat. If you’re new to whiskey drinking, it’s a good way to ease into Midnight’s multi-faceted flavor profile. Try to ease back on the amount of ice you’re using as you learn to enjoy it more, then shift to an ice block or sphere. By the time you’re ready to sip this one neat, trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Finishing off my tasting with a basic Old Fashioned (recipe below), the cocktail opened up a new chapter for this bottle. It’s easy to drink—almost too easy. I like my Old Fashioned to have enough bite left to it that I still naturally sip it rather than look down after 10 minutes and realize it’s gone.
Midnight makes an Old Fashioned so smooth and sweet (though not umbrella drink sweet) that it’s an excellent cocktail to finish your meal rather than starting it. If you like the taste of whiskey but don’t want your drink to be super whiskey-forward, this Old Fashioned is a great one to order. If you do prefer a heavier whiskey presence, either step up the whisky to 3 ounces or step back the simple sugar to one spoonful.
Pendleton Midnight Whisky Price
Pendleton offers Midnight Whisky in a 750ml bottle with a retail price that is a good value for the quality. Most of the online retailers we checked had it for $39.99 to $45.99.
The Bottom Line
Smooth and rich with a complex flavor profile and low to no-burn finish, enjoy Pendleton Midnight Whisky neat to experience it at its best. It’s good on the rocks but doesn’t reveal its full character once diluted from the ice. It’s also a good bet in cocktails when you want to bring the overall quality higher, though you may want to bring the whisky ratio higher to draw it more out into the open.
Kenny’s Old Fashioned
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 2 bar spoons simple sugar
- 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
- 1 ice block or sphere