We may be tool guys and gals, but when it’s quittin’ time, Josh McGaffigan and I head to our respective homes and get to our other passion: food and drink. We have several whiskey drinkers in the shop and you may have noticed our recommendation of the Pendleton Whisky 1910 12-Year Rye in our Christmas Gift Guide for 2022. After opening a bottle, we thought it would be good to give you a deeper dive into what is becoming a standard on our shelf.
Pendleton Whisky 1910 12-Year Rye: What They Said
If you’re not familiar with Pendleton Whisky, it’s a Canadian style (hence the “missing” e in whisky). The brand gets its name from the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon which began in 1910. That also gives this rye its name in honor of the first year.
Inside what’s a very attractive bottle design, you find a 100% rare rye whisky that has aged in oak barrels for at least 12 years.
On the nose, look for nutmeg, cloves, and a hint of dried pineapple.
The flavor profile includes rich notes of charred oak, tobacco, and butterscotch. It has a classic rye kick with smooth maple and sweet cherry to round it out.
For the finish, expect it to be medium-dry with a lingering tart cherry on your tongue.
Overall, it’s weighty and balanced while remaining complex.
Pendleton Whisky 1910 12-Year Rye: What We Say
When I say I like whiskey, I don’t mean that I like whiskey cocktails. I like whiskey to taste like whiskey and an Old Fashioned is about as crazy as I get. Heck, even my Old Fashioned recipe isn’t that complex.
Neat, the Pendleton 1910 produces a smooth sip from start to finish thanks to its 12-year age. There’s very little burn on the back end. The complexity doesn’t come completely out, though, and it’s a little flat.
On the rocks, the profile begins to open up, with some of the sweeter notes making a more noticeable appearance and the oak and tobacco holding up the bottom nicely. For a rye in this price range, it’s a very enjoyable whisky to sip with an ice block or sphere.
I wrapped up my evening of tasting with an Old Fashioned (recipe below). While I wouldn’t recommend using this rye in most cocktails, it’s a superstar in an Old Fashioned. The smoothness of the whisky combined with its complex flavor profile and the added sweetness of simple sugar plus two types of bitters was absolute bliss.
Pendleton Whisky 1910 12-Year Rye Price
Pendleton offers its 1910 rye in a 750ml bottle with a retail price that’s pretty reasonable for its quality. Most of the online retailers we checked had it for $39.99 to $49.99. The best deal we found was on Reserve Bar where they also had a code for free shipping.
The Bottom Line
Smooth with a complex profile and low to no-burn finish, enjoy Pendleton Whisky 1910 12-Year Rye on the rocks or in an Old Fashioned to experience its fullest characteristics. It’s good neat, but doesn’t reveal its full character without a little help from ice. While I’m certain it will taste good in cocktails, save your cheaper whiskeys for those and enjoy 1910 without changing its flavor by using overpowering mixers.
Like the glass in our photo? It’s from Ben Shot. Check out their full line of glasses here.
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