Review: Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old

Review: Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old

Frank-Lin Distillers is best known as the California-based producer behind such products as Canadian Crown whiskey and the Potter’s line of spirits (all of ’em, actually), but it actually produces some higher-end products too, including Wathen’s bourbon and Black Saddle, an under-the-radar bottling that boasts a 12 year old age statement.

The bottle doesn’t give many cues about its origin, but I’ve read at least that the whiskey inside is sourced from Kentucky. Other than that, who knows? I’ve sampled it a few times at whiskey events, but here’s our first full dive into the product.

The nose is on the light side, initially quite floral, but with a fruity component that emerges with time. The longer it spends in the glass, the more mint and barrel char aromas come to the fore. Fresh and lively on the tongue, there’s lots of fruit here, a fresh apple, citrus, and berry character mingling with notes of mint, and tobacco. The finish is a a bit muddy, almost gummy at times, but that doesn’t overly weigh down an otherwise solid experience.

You won’t find much 12 year old bourbon for sale at this price under any other label.

90 proof.


Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Adrian Brito on January 11, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Hello Christopher, very nice article. Black saddle is in fact outsourced and aged in Kentucky & then shipped out to California to be bottled. Seeing as California doesn’t have the same climate as Kentucky, it would be very hard to age in California.

    • Christopher Null on January 11, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Yes, I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

  2. Daryl Peguese on December 21, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I tried Black Saddle a couple of days ago and was very pleased with it. $50 is an excellent price for a 12 year old bourbon and it is definitely worth it. This has a permanent spot in my bar going forward.

  3. Chuck on January 16, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    I have had a lot of bourbons over the years. I have paid as little as $25.00 and as much as $500.00 for a bottle. Some names you will surely recognize and others will leave you scratching your head……

    I bought my first bottle of BLACK SADDLE BOURBON 12 YEAR and finished it in about 8 days. I searched for a month; and found it again and purchased both bottles they had.

    My take, it’s a good bourbon, an excellent daily drinker, a great intro bourbon for someone who wants to try bourbon….. and at 12YO not a terrible price here at $44.00 bucks.


  4. John Hazarc on July 12, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    I find it a very nice evening drink and although the price point here in Indiana is about $65 I will continue to have it on my bar.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.