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Spirit Type: Bourbon Whiskey
Bottle size: 75cl
Benchmark Old No 8 Bourbon is Buffalo Trace’s cheapest mash bill #1 bourbon, the same mash bill used for many of its very popular bourbons such as Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, EH Taylor Small Batch, and more. While it’s the cheapest one, it’s also the youngest and lowest ABV version.
At first sniff, Benchmark Bourbon doesn’t have much to offer. There’s some light honey, grain, vanilla, fennel, slightly dark apple juice, a drop of orange juice, and some dry and roasted oak. Similar to young craft bourbon, there’s a noticeable youthful graininess and pepperiness because the bourbon hasn’t had enough time to develop more sweetness.
Swirling brings some slightly floral honey and vanilla, pear, a drop of cherry, and herbal fennel upfront. Then I start to get more of that earthy and dry grain, caraway seed, oak, and dry cracker that screams young and under-developed bourbon.
Benchmark Old No 8 Bourbon starts with light honey, pear, toasted oak, vanilla, roasted and dry grain, cinnamon, and even more grain and some earthy rosemary. The youthful graininess, dry oak, and slight sweetness and fruitiness again remind me that this is young and not developed-enough bourbon. It’s pretty bland and, after a second or so, gets a little bitter too.
This whiskey has won Gold in the International Wine and Spirit Competition and Los Angeles International Wine Competition.
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