Bourbon Review: Black Saddle 12 Yr Old Straight Kentucky Bourbon

I first read about Black Saddle on Caskers’s website. Aged for 12 years, this bourbon was named the “Best Small Batch Bourbon” at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition winning a Double Gold Medal. It’s spring horse racing season. And, even though it has a western saddle on the label, I felt it follows my spring racing theme.

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I love Black Saddle’s label and bottle graphics. The seal over the cork is also very well done with an embossed saddle on it. Open the bottle and you immediately smell the spice. – it’s a wonderful aroma. Upon tasting it, I immediately got vanilla and a lot of other spices. The distiller’s notes say crème brulee, pepper, and toasted cinnamon. You can taste and sense all of those.

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At 90 proof it grabs your attention in a good way. It definitely says I am going to impress you and hold my intensity and your attention. You get a lot of flavors for the whole experience from first taste to finish. For dinner tonight we had kielbasa simmered in onions and beer served over extra wide egg noodles. I tasted the bourbon prior to dinner, during dinner, and after dinner. It was a “trifecta” and worked all evening.

This is definitely a bourbon I would suggest giving a try. It is a very good bourbon worth you attention and the $50 price tag.

BTW – If you aren’t subscribed to Caskers, you should (you can register here).  They get some very good, unique, hard to find bourbons.

Aged: 12 years
Proof: 90
Color: Dark Amber
Aroma: SPICES, lots of spices!
Taste: Vanilla
Price: $55.99 at BevMo

Guest Post: Valentine’s Day Bourbon Ideas

Hey there! It’s Bill’s daughter, Taylor, here with my first guest post.  I’ve been helping my dad in the background with technical support. Today I’m sharing some Valentine’s Day ideas. And tomorrow I’ll be back with a post about decking out your home bar!

Valentine’s Day is right around corner (on Sunday!). I have yet to get my husband a gift, and fortunately he enjoys bourbon as much as Bourbon Bill.  Bourbon is a super easy, yet thoughtful and fun gift, to pick up for your Valentine, guy or girl. You can really tailor it to your someone special. You can easily find a bourbon with a cool bottle, a top rated bourbon, or just something new, for under $50 at your local liquor store.

Below are three bourbons great for any Valentine, and all for under $50 for a 750mL bottle.

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  1. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon – This is a favorite of ours right now. I’m not the biggest bourbon drinker and it is smooth enough for me to drink. I love the style of the bottle. The paper label ads a little something unique to it. This would definitely impress a Valentine. BevMo has Basil Hayden’s for $41.99 right now.
  2. Larceny Very Special Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – This is another favorite right now. Really easy to drink and really tasty.  Also, the bottle styling is really cool (are you seeing a trend in how I chose these bourbons??). This one is a great price point at $29.99 on Caskers.
  3. Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey – It’s Valentine’s Day. The Bottle has wings. It was an obvious choice. But in all honesty, it’s another great bourbon, getting all sorts of praise in the bourbon world. Any Valentine would be excited to get this. BevMo has it for $45.99 right now. You can read Bourbon Bill’s review of Angel’s Envy here.

Whiskey, Taxes, and a Little History

Whiskey is woven throughout the history of America, whether it was the Whiskey Rebellion, prohibition, the roaring 20’s and speakeasies, or today with the renaissance of the Bourbon Trail, mixology, and classic cocktails.  Caskers in New York City posted a new Bourbon for sale yesterday that I had never heard of, with an ironic historical name, “Bower Hill.” What grabbed my attention, being a bit of history buff, was the name. Bower Hill was the home of Tax Inspector John Neville — a central figure of the Whiskey Rebellion.

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Here is the story from Caskers’s website:

In 1794 a group of approximately 600 Mingo Creek militiamen surrounded Federal Tax Inspector John Neville’s fortified home, rebelling against the Excise Whiskey Tax of 1791. The farmers and militiamen taking part in this “Whiskey Rebellion” were fighting for the very same principles which fueled the American Revolution, and during the attack on Neville’s home — Bower Hill — two rebel leaders were killed, including Revolutionary War Major James McFarlane. Upon completion of the two-day battle, Neville’s home was razed by fire, and now, Bower Hill and the Whiskey Rebellion are commemorated with a new rebellious spirit, Bower Hill Single Barrel Bourbon.

Distilled and aged in Louisville, Kentucky, Bower Hill Barrel Reserve Bourbon has a warm amber appearance and an aroma of vanilla spice and rich, charred oak. On the palate, there are more spicy oak tannins complemented by lush fruits and wheat toast, leading to a long, smooth finish defined by caramel and popcorn.

Bower Hill Barrel Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon just hit the market in 2015 — be the first to pick up a bottle today!

Isn’t that a great story, and what a good looking bottle! It’s a relatively new bourbon – released in 2015. I need to spend a little more time researching who makes this and what the story is behind the bourbon.

There are so many whiskeys and bourbons with historic names. George Washington is the first to come to mind. I have a bottle of Rye Whiskey from George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon, Virginia (that’s a neat tour btw, we visited the distillery last spring when we were in Virginia visiting our daughter).

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Jefferson’s is the another. Some of their bottles even have Thomas Jefferson’s image on them.

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Booker Noe named Knob Creek after the small stream that flows through Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home in Kentucky.

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Another one that comes to mind is 1792 — the year Kentucky became a state (did you know prior to becoming a state it was part of Virginia?).

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And, Calumet is named for the horse farm that bred many Derby and Triple Crown Winners.

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Reviews on many of these are to come.  There are many more stories behind the names of today’s whiskey brands. Next time you pick up a bottle look into its history, then sip in the sweet success of years of the distiller’s craftsmanship. I, personally, can’t wait to try Bower Hill!

All of these bourbons are available on Caskers’s website. I’ve included links to them below:

George Washington Estate Rye Whiskey (Sold out, they usually release in December)

Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon

1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Calumet Farm Bourbon Whiskey

(This post was not sponsored by Caskers. I am just a big fan! It’s a great website to go to learn about bourbons and buy online.)