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Rutter
09-08-2010, 06:07
I've seen this around quite a lot recently and was wondering if its something you guys have come across or if it is export only? Its cheap here at around £15 a bottle.

Josh
09-08-2010, 06:19
I've seen this around quite a lot recently and was wondering if its something you guys have come across or if it is export only? Its cheap here at around £15 a bottle.

It's available in the states. It's the low end offering from the BT mashbill no. 1, the higher corn one. That's the same one used for Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Old Charter, & George T. Stagg.

At one time it was owned by Seagram's and, along with Eagle Rare, was made at what is now the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

BourbonJoe
09-08-2010, 14:26
Is it any good??
Joe :usflag:

jburlowski
09-08-2010, 16:37
I've seen it but have never tried it... a future BOTM?

MJL
09-09-2010, 05:42
I have been playing with bottom shelf bargains for the last few years and have intended to try this out. I cannot recall seeing this in SoFla until recently so this may be why I had not tried this out before.

harshest
09-09-2010, 07:43
For less than $10 here, I think it holds it's own with bourbon twice the price.

cowdery
09-09-2010, 15:33
It's decent, certainly worth a try. The very low rye content makes whiskey from that mash bill pretty palatable even at a young age.

BourbonJoe
09-09-2010, 18:50
The very low rye content makes whiskey from that mash bill pretty palatable even at a young age.

I take it then that the "8" on the neck label does not signify age. Correct?
Joe :usflag:

cowdery
09-09-2010, 23:23
I take it then that the "8" on the neck label does not signify age. Correct?
Joe :usflag:

Right, but funny you would think it might. You don't think they do that on purpose, do you? :)

matthew0715
09-10-2010, 03:41
I take it then that the "8" on the neck label does not signify age. Correct?
Joe :usflag:

It's possible, even likely, that once upon a time it was 8 years old, but now it's just "old no. 8" much like EW 1783 used to be 10 years old and is now just No. 10 Brand.

fishnbowljoe
09-10-2010, 05:28
It's decent, certainly worth a try. The very low rye content makes whiskey from that mash bill pretty palatable even at a young age.

What he said. :grin: This is a decent bourbon, especially considering the price. Nothing fancy that'll knock your socks off or anything, but very drinkable. Buy one or two and enjoy. Joe

Rutter
09-13-2010, 04:42
Bought a bottle at the weekend, as above its not a bad drop at a good price. I found it very smooth and mellow, as did the girlfriend who commented it was one of my better whiskies due to it being lower abv! :rolleyes:

Dr. François
09-13-2010, 18:43
I enjoyed my bottle. For low price-points, this and Evan Williams will get you through most situations.

boss302
09-13-2010, 19:39
I've had McAfee's No. 8-- it's a decent pour. I'm curious, however, to find out how it stacks up against Ancient Age (AA, not AAA), which is also a lower-end BT product, for about the same price...

Dr. François
09-14-2010, 06:19
I'm curious, however, to find out how it stacks up against Ancient Age (AA, not AAA), which is also a lower-end BT product, for about the same price...

I do not like Ancient Age (standard) at all. I put it up with Jim Beam Rye and Old Crow in the category of "Whiskey I Will Never Buy Again." If it's being served, sure. But no more cash into those clunkers.

I believe I read in another thread that BT went through some significant brand management with Benchmark (label changes, marketing strategy, etc). It's a HUGE seller in Kentucky (if shelf space is any indication). Whenever a product is much loved, you can't change the formula or recipe too much without losing followers. Benchmark still has followers in a land with many bourbon selections. My guess is that it still has some close-to-8-year juice in it to keep the profile consistent.

cowdery
09-14-2010, 07:41
Does anyone know which mashbill Benchmark is?

Which also makes me wonder how much resemblance there is between both Benchmark and Eagle Rare now and their Seagram's originals.

T Comp
09-14-2010, 08:16
Does anyone know which mashbill Benchmark is?

Which also makes me wonder how much resemblance there is between both Benchmark and Eagle Rare now and their Seagram's originals.

I don't have Seagram's originals but did recently compare early Sazerac bottled Eagle Rare 101-10 year (label says bottled by Old Prentice Company-Frankfort) against a Benchmark Premium Bourbon (label says bottled by Old Benchmark Company-New Orleans-no Mcaffee's or age stated). Diluted the Eagle Rare to the 80 proof of the Benchmark and they sure nosed and tasted awfully close enough to be the same bourbon to me. I don't have current Eagle Rare or Benchmark to compare these with though.

Josh
09-14-2010, 10:33
Does anyone know which mashbill Benchmark is?

Which also makes me wonder how much resemblance there is between both Benchmark and Eagle Rare now and their Seagram's originals.

It's the higher corn one, #1, aka the ER/OC/GTS one.

The notoriuos M.O.Z. broke it down here: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=135324#post135324

ggilbertva
09-14-2010, 11:48
I'll have to go pick up a bottle of the current Benchmark. I have bottles from the 70's and like it very much; a very velvety smooth bourbon.

cowdery
09-14-2010, 14:09
Since they were originally products of the Seagram's 10 distilleries-10 recipes system, I doubt they were the same 'recipe' originally. That probably happened when Sazerac bought them. At that time, Saz was getting all of its bourbon from Heaven Hill and Heaven Hill only made one bourbon recipe in those days.

kickert
09-14-2010, 14:17
I like the high corn mashbill so much from BT that I bought a handle of BM (double entendre intentional). I was very disappointed. I don't know if it was the plastic container or the juice in it, but it was the worst BT stuff I had ever had. It took a good part of year to finish the handle and even then I had to put it in the freezer and mix it to mask the taste.

cowdery
09-14-2010, 20:26
We know that some barrels just don't turn out that well so you always have to ask yourself about these distilleries; what do they do with their worst stuff?

Dr. François
09-15-2010, 06:06
We know that some barrels just don't turn out that well so you always have to ask yourself about these distilleries; what do they do with their worst stuff?

http://images.meredith.com/fitness/images/2008/04/ss_72JimBeam.jpg
http://www.greatergourmet.com/snacks/400313.jpg

????????

PaulO
09-18-2010, 06:59
As to the bad plastic handle, I would blame the container. I believe the same for carbonated beverages. They go flat if they sit for a couple months. I have had Benchmark from a glass 750ml bottle and thought it was a decent low price bourbon.
-and to the previous post :slappin: add JB white label too, and Crow

squire
12-18-2010, 00:39
The current Benchmark is not what I remember from the early 70s but is a decent entry level Bourbon at a very attractive price.

Enoch
12-18-2010, 08:39
How is the McAfee's Benchmark in the round squatty bottle with a different label different and is it better/worse?

squire
12-18-2010, 11:34
Enoch my impressions are for the round bottle. If the square one is available locally I haven't noticed but then I haven't looked.

kc outdoorsman
07-08-2011, 05:32
I get Benchmark for $9.99 at Price Chopper in KC. I like it, although if I had my wish I would buy Buffalo Trace but that is twice the price

ODaniel
07-09-2011, 22:54
I had a little bit my friend had in a cup, on ice. It was from a glass bottle. Not terrible (like KY Tavern) but not even decent. For the price I guess you can't complain too much, but I'd probably get VOB 86 6yr instead. Pretty much the same price. Maybe $1 difference.

tmckenzie
07-10-2011, 04:28
Ky tavern bad? That is as close to very old barton you can get around here. I enjoy it. Mcafee is good too. I like the high priced stuff, but like I always say, you do not have to spend a lot to get a good bourbon.

ebo
07-10-2011, 06:55
I always have a bottle of Benchmark around. It's a very easy sipper when I just want something on the sweeter side. It's a good "sitting on the deck with my dogs" whiskey. :grin:

Enoch
07-10-2011, 11:37
I do not know what modern Benchmark taste like but I have several bottles from around 1980, 86 proof, Louisville and find it quite nice straight or over ice. It has a very sweet, caramel-like taste. It does not have McAfee on it. I may break down and get a new bottle to try.

kc outdoorsman
07-11-2011, 05:37
I would love to try OVB but we can't get it here. I am told its only available in Kentucky.

StraightBoston
07-11-2011, 12:46
I do not know what modern Benchmark taste like but I have several bottles from around 1980, 86 proof, Louisville and find it quite nice straight or over ice. It has a very sweet, caramel-like taste. It does not have McAfee on it. I may break down and get a new bottle to try.

Beware! Modern McAfee's Benchmark has no relationship whatsoever with the deliciousness of the "original" Benchmark -- different distillery, different mashbill, different positioning, etc.

I picked up a handle this weekend for $12 (!! -- after rebate). I got my money's worth -- the high-corn recipe and youth make it very sweet; the low proof makes it smooth. Much better than the 3-year-old Ancient Age (too harsh) and current Rebel Yell (too bland) but in general not something to seek out, and doesn't replace Four Roses Yellow as my summer sipper.

I'm going to do a couple blind tests later against Old Charter (same mashbill) and Ten High (same ilk) to decide where it lands on the QPR map.

Dr. François
07-12-2011, 06:49
When I go to Trader Joe's to buy wine (not 2BC), I look to see what reds have a lot of shelf space (more than three bottles wide) and are picked back at least three rows. Those wines tend to move, and, generally, people buying lots of one particular wine tend to have better taste than those people who buy wine based on the cute animal on the label. The wines don't always appeal to my tastes, but I can always see why people like them. Generally, though, they are very good.

Same thing goes for coffee sales, fish markets, and produce: turning over inventory is a good sign of a quality (or at least desirable) product.

When I was in Kentucky in the mega-stores, Benchmark was stacked deep and sold cheap. It reminded me of the canned bean section at ASDA, a British Wal-Mart subsidiary, where beans were stacked to the ceiling every day, only to disappear by closing time.

I won't say that Benchmark is a diamond-in-the-rough bourbon. Nor will I say that it necessarily appeals to my tastes. But Kentuckians seem to like it, and it's tough to argue with the French about wine, the Russians about caviar, the Swedes about meatballs, and Kentucky folk about bourbon. In the land where every imaginable bourbon is available, it seems to serve as the "table" bourbon for many.

T Comp
07-12-2011, 08:16
When I was in Kentucky in the mega-stores, Benchmark was stacked deep and sold cheap. It reminded me of the canned bean section at ASDA, a British Wal-Mart subsidiary, where beans were stacked to the ceiling every day, only to disappear by closing time.

I won't say that Benchmark is a diamond-in-the-rough bourbon. Nor will I say that it necessarily appeals to my tastes. But Kentuckians seem to like it, and it's tough to argue with the French about wine, the Russians about caviar, the Swedes about meatballs, and Kentucky folk about bourbon. In the land where every imaginable bourbon is available, it seems to serve as the "table" bourbon for many.

Well said Dr. Francois.