Veteran Bourbon Review: Benchmark Small Batch


Buffalo Trace Distillery

Mash bill





90 Proof


$7 Purchased, MSRP $22 (2023)

Official Product Website

History – Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon is a brand of whiskey that has a rich history rooted in the traditions of Kentucky bourbon production. The story begins with the founding of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which has been producing bourbon since 1787. The distillery, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, has a long-standing reputation for crafting exceptional spirits.

The specific origins of Benchmark Bourbon can be traced back to the mid-19th century when a distillery called the Benchmark Distillery was established. It was founded by the Stitzel family, who were prominent in the bourbon industry at the time. The Stitzels were known for their expertise in whiskey production and had a strong commitment to quality.

The Benchmark Distillery gained recognition for its bourbon, which was considered to be of superior quality. The brand grew in popularity, and its reputation continued to flourish. However, like many distilleries during this period, the Benchmark Distillery faced challenges brought about by Prohibition in the United States, which lasted from 1920 to 1933. 

During Prohibition, the production and sale of alcoholic beverages were prohibited, leading to the closure of many distilleries. Despite the setback, the Benchmark brand managed to survive by obtaining a license to produce medicinal whiskey, which was allowed under the law at the time. This helped the brand to maintain its operations and continue producing bourbon, albeit on a limited scale.

After the repeal of Prohibition, the Benchmark Distillery experienced a period of growth and expansion. The Stitzel family maintained their commitment to quality and continued to refine their bourbon-making techniques. The distillery’s bourbons gained a loyal following, with enthusiasts appreciating the smoothness and complexity of the whiskey.

In 1987, the Sazerac Company, an American family-owned company with a deep history in the spirits industry, acquired the Benchmark brand. The Sazerac Company recognized the value of the Benchmark name and its reputation for quality. Under their ownership, the brand continued to thrive and evolve.

One significant development in the history of Benchmark Bourbon occurred in 2002 when the decision was made to rebrand the product. The distillery aimed to modernize the packaging and create a more cohesive image for the Benchmark line of bourbons. The new design showcased a classic bottle shape with a clean and elegant label, reflecting the brand’s heritage and commitment to craftsmanship.

Today, Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon remains a beloved and respected brand within the bourbon community. The whiskey is crafted using a traditional recipe and aging process, with careful attention to detail at every stage of production. The small batch nature of the bourbon ensures consistency and allows the master distillers to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Benchmark Bourbon has garnered numerous accolades and awards over the years, further cementing its reputation as a premium bourbon. Lets dig in!

Value – Exceptional value for the price that I bought it for. It was on sale for  $7 when the regular price was $22. It’s the cheapest bourbon that I have ever purchased.

Appearance – Caramel. Cheap looking bottle that has a standard twist top.

Nose – Charcoal / Grassy / Spearmint / Definitive Oak

Palate – Fresh Wood / Thin / Classic Oak / Maple Syrup

Finish –  Chocolate / Not Smooth / Lingering Heat / Port Wine

Summary – This bourbon for the price is not a bad one especially from a Buffalo Trace Distillery. In conclusion, the history of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon is one deeply rooted in the rich traditions of Kentucky bourbon production. From its humble beginnings in the 19th century to its current status as a highly regarded brand, Benchmark Bourbon exemplifies the craftsmanship and dedication to quality that defines the bourbon industry.

“Overall, not too bad for the price but needs work on the finish.”

Andrew Workman

Uniqueness- 1-10 – 1

Appearance- 1-10 – 3

Nose- 1-20 – 15

Palate- 1-20 – 12

Finish- 1-20 – 10

Value- 1-20 – 20



Reviewed by:

Andrew Workman on 07/13/2023

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