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Thread: Brand

  1. #1
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    Brand

    A number of years ago I was given a bourbon in my cousin's home in Louisville.
    I always thought the brand was "WaterMark". I don't find this anywhere, and he has now passed on. Does anyone know if there is (or was)a brand by this name made by any distiller? Thank you.


  2. #2
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    Re: Brand

    > I always thought the brand was "WaterMark".

    My best guess would be Benchmark, which is still available in "regular" and single barrel expressions. Good, reasonably priced bourbon in both versions.

    Stotz


  3. #3
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    WaterMark/Benchmark?

    While I've never heard of WaterMark not only am I aware of Benchmark but I have rather old memorabilia (tavern signage) to indicate it's been around awhile. I'm hoping Chuck, John, or someone more knowledgeable than me will respond to you.

    However, I added to this thread because I was about to buy Benchmark 2 weeks ago for my collection when I found it under the "worst" category in one of the discussion. Granted we all have different tastes. If you feel it is fair whiskey perhaps I should go ahead and spend the $10.

    Greg


  4. #4
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    Re: WaterMark/Benchmark?

    Greg,

    I was one of the negetive posters concerning Benchmark. But feel free to experiment like I did, purchase a 200 ml bottle for less than $ 3 and if you do not like it, it will seem more like an experiment rather than a bad investiment.

    Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: WaterMark/Benchmark?

    I think the brand is question probably is Benchmark. I have never heard of Watermark bourbon. The other "mark," of course, is Maker's Mark.

    The Benchmark story, as I recall it, is that it was originally a Seagram's product, or perhaps a brand of one of the distilleries Seagrams acquired that it decided to build into a national brand. It debuted in 1967 and was the last new bourbon brand introduced by a major distiller until the whole super premium "small batch" thing kicked up in the late 1980s.

    More recently it has been a Sazerac product and a respectable, if not exceptional, one. On my most recent visit to Sam's I noticed a prefix on the name. I don't recall what it was, but now the name is something like "O'Brien's Benchmark." It wasn't O'Brien, but some kind of name.

    Of course, that's not "WaterMark," but there it is.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  6. #6
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    McAfees Benchmark

    Chuck is (of course, as always, I say while bowing lowly to the master) correct. Benchmark is a Sazerac product and it carries the name McAfee's Benchmark. They have a story on the label that the McAfee brothers first surveyed the territory and they've created a bourbon that is, "McAfee's Benchmark Bourbon - An 8-year-old bourbon that sets the standard by which all other bourbons are measured." Well, I'm not sure I'd go that far but there go my marketing brethren, again.

    I'm aware of their 8 yr.-old and their single barrel. While some in this forum have called this product "awful" and "swill" I've determined to get a bottle and form my own opinion.





  7. #7
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    Re: Brand

    Thank you all. I guess my recollection is slipping with age.
    I'll try the other "Marks" and perhaps I'll strike gold.


  8. #8
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    Strike Gold?

    Keep in mind you may not strike any gold. Many brands have passed from one firm to another over the years and the Benchmark of today is not guaranteed to be like the Benchmark of yesterday. Some think it is a very good value bourbon while others have posted that it is swill. Yet, for about $10 in KY or IND you can buy a bottle and see for yourself! And just maybe that's the same style bourbon you recall from Louisville.


  9. #9
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    Re: McAfee\'s Benchmark

    I see so many threads that refer to "Benchmark" or "McAfee's Benchmark" that I don't quite know where to post my meager comments. {Linn, I am beginning to appreciate the merits of searching for a preceding, relevant thread before posting a new one.}

    I picked up my bottle at the Hi-Times Wines and Spirits store in Costa Mesa, CA about a month ago for under ten bucks. This afternoon I was in the mood for what a French-Kentuckian might call "bourbon ordinaire". Based on comments in this and other threads I decided that McAfee's Benchmark might fill the bill.

    The label on my bottle tells the surveyor story, but it makes no reference to the age of the bourbon; nor does any other part of the label.

    My first reaction upon nosing it was to check to see that I had actually filled the glass, or that I hadn't already emptied it, leaving behind just a wisp of bourbon-like aroma. Folks, this is one light-flavored bourbon. However, those light flavors do include hints of oak, vanilla, and just a whisper of caramel -- almost like real bourbon.

    After I adjusted to that reality, I found that there was not much to like or to dislike, and not much else to talk about, either. I'm now about to finish my second glass, and I still can't think of anything else to say about it.

    OK, I just thought of something. If you're ever in the hospital for an extended period, and you need to, well, sort of ease back into real life, then McAfee's Benchmark would be a good stepping stone on the way back to what I would consider a real bourbon (e.g., Russell's Reserve or WT101). It's absolutely not bad tasting stuff, it's just, in a word, lacking. You might also want to offer it to friends who prefer lighter spirits from other countries. They might just love it.

    In a thread about light bourbon someone mentioned Basil Hayden's as a quality example of the genre. I think I'll get me a 50 ml. of BH and do a comparative tasting with Benchmark one of these days. That should stir up a few comments, even in the dog days of summer.

    Hey, this stuff isn't bad. I think I'll have another glass. I know it has alcohol in it; my cheeks are starting to go numb; maybe there's some more flavor hidden in there, too.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  10. #10
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    Re: McAfee\'s Benchmark

    Dave, Benchmark is a very old brand name that Sazerac now owns. They put the surveyors story on the label to give it some interest. It is basically a well bourbon. I failed to pick up their single barrel before it was discontinued a couple of years ago but insiders tell me that was a good product.

    The current Benchmark a better well bourbon than many. And it is at a good price.

 

 

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