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Benchmark Bourbon Bottle Price, Size & Guide (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Benchmark Bourbon is among Buffalo Trace’s popular expressions, along with Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor Small Batch, and more. 

While they’re all equally well-known among bourbon drinkers, there’s something about Benchmark expressions that make them advantageous among others– its low price. 

So, in this article, let’s take a look at the updated Benchmark bourbon price and some interesting facts about this desirable brand of spirit. 

All About Benchmark Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Benchmark Bourbon on a cabinet with liquor bottles

The Benchmark Bourbon recipe is a blend of rye whiskey that was created by the McAfee brothers (James, Robert, and George). This label is another example of how the distillery has honored its history. 

Benchmark Kentucky Straight Bourbon expressions are a good start to any meal or drink, more like an aperitif. 

With almost the same mash as other Buffalo Trace spirits, expect a leathery yet fruity and sugary tasting note with a lingering finish. 

Interesting Facts

History

During the 1960s, Seagram’s created the Benchmark brand, a premium or luxury whiskey.

It was initially called Benchmark Bourbon, but the brand’s name was later changed to McAfee. 

Then, in 1989, the Benchmark brand was purchased by Sazerac Company– owned by Sazerac Brands of New Orleans, which also owns the Buffalo Trace facility in Franklin, Kentucky. 

How It’s Made 

distillery copper still

Benchmark bourbon is a blend made from the mash bill of the Staggs, Buffalo Trace, and Eagle Rare. 

“Some truths taste better with bourbon.”

— Alexandra Heather Foss, Author

Although it has the number 8 on the label, this is not an eight-year-old product. It’s aged for three years and is bottled at 40% with a plastic cap and bottle.

Benchmark is a good example of a spirit that doesn’t taste like a lot of bourbons. Instead, it has a fruity flavor.

Mash Bill & Alcohol Content

Benchmark Bourbon is made from 75% corn, 15% barley (for enzymes), and 10% rye. Like any other bourbon expression, Benchmark is bottled at 40% ABV. 

Ownership & Distillery

Benchmark Old Number 8 Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottle

As mentioned above, Benchmark Bourbon is owned by the Sazerac Company and distilled at their Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

Tasting Notes

  • Palate: Leather tones with hints of tobacco, oak, sweet corn, and dried cherries
  • Nose: Sweet-smelling aroma with notes of floral, pineapple, pudding, and cotton candy
  • Color: Light caramel hue 
  • Finish: long-lasting spices of oak with hints of leather and caramelized sugar

Benchmark Bourbon Collection 

Benchmark Bourbon Line up

Benchmark Single Barrel

This special blend of Kentucky [1] Straight whiskey is made with only the finest barrels and is individually bottled at 95-proof–reflecting the highest standards of flavor and smooth finish. 

The complex flavors of citrus and caramel complement the notes of baking spice and oak.

Benchmark Top Floor

Benchmark Top-Floor, bottled at 86-proof, is well-rounded and smooth to drink straight with hints of baking spice, sweet citrus, and oak and butterscotch.

It’s made with bourbon matured on top warehouse floors, which tend to age faster as the temperature rises. 

Benchmark Bonded

This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey [2] is made to meet the strict requirements of the Bottled-in-Bond Act, which was passed in 1897. 

Its flavor notes include honey, citrus, and hints of caramel and vanilla.

Benchmark Full Proof

This robust and bold bourbon is bottled at 125-proof. It has a deep chocolate and brown sugar smell that’s followed by a taste of baking spice and caramel.

Benchmark Small Batch

Benchmark small-batch bourbon [3] showcases the craftsmanship and quality of its maker. Only a select few barrels are used for this expression, making it a one-of-a-kind spirit. 

Common Benchmark Bourbon Prices

TypeSizeAlcohol ProofAverage Price
Benchmark Kentucky Straight Bourbon750ml80-proof Approx. $9.99
Benchmark Single Barrel750ml80-proofApprox. $25
Benchmark Top Floor750ml86-proofApprox. $17
Benchmark Bonded750ml100-proofApprox. $15.99
Benchmark Full Proof750ml125-proofApprox. $22
Benchmark Small Batch750ml90-proofApprox. $24.99

Compared to Other Bourbons 

Buffalo Trace

man holding bottle of Buffalo Trace Bottle

Benchmark bourbon is more affordable than Buffalo Trace bourbon.

The cheapest Benchmark bourbon bottle is priced at around $9.99, while the Buffalo Trace bourbon is around $13.  

E.H. Taylor, Jr.

2 bottle of E.H. Taylor, Jr.

E.H. Taylor’s expressions are more expensive than Benchmark bourbon bottles. 

The average price of E.H. Taylor is around $79 to $129 (depending on the liquor store), while Benchmark bourbons are only around $9 to $24.99. 

Eagle Rare

close up shot of Eagle Rare Bottle

In comparison with Eagle Rare, Benchmark bourbon is more affordable.

While Eagle Rare expressions are priced at approximately $49 to $2,000, Benchmark bourbons are priced under $25. 

Popular Benchmark Bourbon Cocktail Recipe 

Mango Margarita

Prep Time: 5 mins. 

Total Time: 5 mins. 

Ingredients: 

  • 50ml Benchmark Bourbon
  • 15ml agave syrup
  • 50g fresh mango sliced
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 25ml Triple Sec
  • Basil sprig 
  • Ice

Instructions: In your blender, pour all the ingredients except the basil sprig.

Blend until the consistency smoothens, then pour the mixture into your margarita glass. Garnish it with additional slices of fresh mango and a basil sprig. 

Serving: 1

FAQs 

Why is Benchmark bourbon called old number 8?

Benchmark bourbon is called old number 8 after its 1922 sale, in which the new owner changed its name to honor the McAfee brothers. 

What bourbon is similar to Benchmark?

The bourbons similar to Benchmark are Heaven Hill’s Henry McKenna or Jim Beam White.

Benchmark is the basic entry from Buffalo Trace Distillery, with similar characteristics to Jim Beam and Henry McKenna bourbons–all of which are affordable with great value.  

Wrapping Up 

Benchmark bourbon, from the Sazerac Company and Buffalo Trace Distillery [4], is a great bourbon at a great price point. 

It is a great alternative for those looking to try something different without breaking the bank.

However, Benchmark bourbon might not be for you if you’re looking for complexity and depth of character. 

Given its affordable price (compared to other bourbons), some drinkers may find its tasting notes lacking. But, if price matters most, this is a great deal of spirit. 

References:

  1. https://www.history.com/news/how-kentucky-became-the-worlds-bourbon-capital 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/bourbon-whiskey 
  3. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hillbilly-heaven-the-history-of-small-batch-bourbon 
  4. https://savingplaces.org/distinctive-destinations/buffalo-trace-distillery 

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