In trying to make sense out of some threads I find several postings recently about Benchmark. I've cut and pasted two in here. If Jim has the time to do this the official way and get my name out of it, he's welcome to. I just was having trouble finding the relevant posts since they were under different headings

this one is from Ken in response to Linn calling Benchmark "Dumpstermark.

Linn, Linn, Linn,
I don't want you to think that I am somewhat prejudiced toward Benchmark, since I am the brand manager, but really now. I must admit that if you drank some Benchmark in the early 90s, I would be hard pressed to disagree with you. It seems that when we bought the brand from Seagram in 1989, they refused to sell us any bourbon. We bought bourbon from Heaven Hill for a few years and decided that it did not meet the taste profile we wanted. In 1992, we bought The Buffalo Trace Distillery (Leestown) and have since had complete control over the product. All I can say is that this product just won a gold medal and Best of Show at the International Spirits Challenge 2000 in London. So, while the taste was not up to our standards early on, it has been nurtured by Gary Gayheart until it has garnered international acclaim.