Review: Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old - Drinkhacker

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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.


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Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old



Christopher Null

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

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  1. Adrian Brito January 11, 2019

    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.

    1. Christopher Null January 11, 2019

      Yes, I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

  2. Daryl Peguese December 21, 2020

    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.


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