Benchmark Bourbon vs Jim Beam: Which is Better? (2023)

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Complexity, taste, and finish make a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey stand out compared to other regular whiskeys in the US.

Bourbons like Benchmark and Jim Beam take pride in their different rich history, distinct flavor, and price point.

Let’s discover the remarkable differences between Benchmark Bourbon vs Jim Beam. Read on.

Jim Beam & Benchmark Bourbon In-Depth Comparison

Jim Beam & Benchmark Bourbon on Table

Jim Beam and Benchmark bourbon are two different bourbons made in the same state of Kentucky, but Jim Beam is distilled and bottled at Clermont, while Benchmark is in Frankfort.

Jim Beam’s tasting profile has more body with balanced classic notes of oak spice and vanilla, while Benchmark has a lighter profile with more fruit and caramel notes ideal for neat drinking.

Both bourbons are affordable, but a bottle of Benchmark bourbon is cheaper than a bottle of Jim Beam.

Notable Differences

Jim Beam Bourbon

Palate Medium-bodied with toasted oak, vanilla, oak spice, and caramel
Color Burnt amber hue
Nose Sweet aroma, oaky vanilla, caramel, and spicy backdrop
Finish Short to medium warm finish, vanilla, oak spice
How To Serve Highball cocktails
Comparable To Jack Daniel’s, Evan Williams, Wild Turkey, Bulleit Bourbon

Jim Beam is a budget bourbon with classic oak, vanilla, and spice notes.

It is a straight bourbon with no additives [1], resulting in a “not complex but all-balanced” bourbon.

You can savor it neat, but we recommend it as a base for making concoctions.

The spice and oaky notes are perfect for mixing highball cocktails with sodas such as Cola and ginger ale.

Alcohol Content: 40%

Fun Facts:

  • It has a mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley.
  • Jim Beam uses a more than 220-year-old traditional recipe.
  • It is distilled twice before aging in a level-4 new char oak barrel.
  • Aged at least four years.
  • Beam Suntory, an American Japanese multinational company, owns Jim Beam. [2]
  • The top best-selling bourbon around the globe.

Read: Jim Beam vs Maker’s Mark

Benchmark Bourbon

Benchmark Bourbon Bottle
Palate Light-bodied, vanilla, caramel, fruit notes, and roasted oak
Color Medium amber hue
Nose Lots of caramel notes and vanilla, with subtle fruit notes backdrop
Finish Short, smooth finish with lingering sweet notes 
How To Serve Neat, cocktails
Comparable To Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniel’s, Evan Williams

Benchmark is ideal for those who want to try bourbon for the first time. For its price, Benchmark bourbon sets a good standard for an inexpensive, entry-level bourbon. 

“…we’re not really surprised by the results of this taste test, which proves that bourbon can be really special and affordable at the same time.”

– Fred Noe, Master Distiller

You can make cocktails with it, but Benchmark bourbons’ light, sweet and easy-to-sip profile is great to enjoy neatly in a rocks glass. 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Fun Facts:

  • It uses Mash Bill #1 of BuffaloTrace, known as the “low rye mash bill.”
  • Its flagship is named after the McAfee Brothers, James, George, and Robert.
  • Distilled and bottled at the world’s oldest working distillery, the Buffalo Trace distillery.
  • Aged at least 36 months.
  • It is owned by the Sazerac Company, which also owns the famous Van Winkle, Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, and Eagle Rare.

Benchmark vs Jim Beam Price

Benchmark bourbon is cheaper at around $11(Drizly) per bottle, while Jim Beam costs roughly $17 (Drizly) at 750ml, 80-proof bottle.

But even though Jim Beam is pricier, it is more popular than Benchmark bourbons. Jim Beam is one of the best-selling bourbons in the US and worldwide.

Both still have affordable prices and are good selections for bourbons under $50.


Which is a better mixer, Jim Beam or Benchmark bourbon?

Jim Beam is a better mixer than Benchmark because it has a more rounded tasting profile having oakier and spicier notes than Benchmark bourbon.

Is Jim Beam harder to find than Benchmark bourbon?

Yes, Jim Beam is harder to find than Benchmark. Both bourbons have regular production releases, and Jim Beam’s popularity has a higher demand making its bottles harder to find.

Which is aged longer, Benchmark or Jim Beam bourbon?

Jim Beam is aged longer than Benchmark. Jim Beam is aged for four years, while Benchmark doesn’t carry an age statement.

Although it doesn’t have an exact age statement, Benchmark bourbon is aged at least 36 months according to its bottle packaging.

Final Verdict

Benchmark and Jim Beam Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey showed product excellency in each different way. 

Jim Beam bourbon is commendable for having a bolder tasting profile which can give a better kick and the solid punch you need in making cocktails.

But budget-wise, we’re giving it to Benchmark bourbon. This smooth, easy sipper bourbon makes an affordable entry-level for those who want to try bourbon for the first time.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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