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Black Saddle 12 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Black Saddle 12 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey

In the modern whiskey climate where consumers are more savvy than ever, and more demanding than ever that producers meet at least a minimum transparency requirement, Black Saddle stands out as a black hole completely void of pretty much any information other than the fact that it is Kentucky straight bourbon and at least 12 years old.  The only hint the bottle gives is in small print on the back label, stating that it was “bottled by Frank-Lin Distillers Products in Farfield, CA”.  A further search for Frank-Lin Distillers Products reveals that they are a California-based bottler of a variety of spirits and wines. In Scotland, you would commonly refer to such a company as an independent bottler.  In the bourbon industry we call it a non-distilling producer, or NDP.

So in a nutshell, Black saddle is a 12 year old bourbon distilled somewhere in Kentucky, aged somewhere, containing a mash bill of at least 51% corn and who knows what other grains, and bottled by a relatively obscure company in California.  Alrighty then!  The only other information you can easily find on Black Saddle is that it won a couple of awards at the San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2014.  

Tasting Notes

Nose:  Little besides ethanol comes out of the glass before this bourbon has had a good rest.  After some air time, aromas of buttered popcorn, vanilla, and a bit of nougat emerge.

Palate:  Simple and lacking much heft or depth.  The arrival is buttery and the development is filled with vanilla, before a bit of pepper shows up on the back end.  Nothing is offensive or off putting, but it’s devoid of any real complexity.

Finish:  Slightly warming.  Spicier than the nose or palate with some light pepper, vanilla, and a touch of citrus to round things out.  Medium length.

PRODUCT NAME Black Saddle 12 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey


  1. Michael Elliott

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