American Whiskey - Bourbon

McAfee's Benchmark Old #8 Brand Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From: Kentucky, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2010
  • 2014

Wine Enthusiast

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Proof66 Notes

McAfee's Benchmark #8 bourbon is one of the many releases from the Buffalo Trace Distillery. This particular expression they call their "rye recipe," which indicates that in addition to the 50%+ corn in the grain bill (required to be called a bourbon), there is a healthy dose of rye as opposed to wheat or barley. This is generally considered to make a sharper, spicier flavor profile in the whiskey, beloved by many who desire strength in their Manhattans or similar cocktails.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 14 ratings and 14 reviews.
Cranecreek Cranecreek (50) (2016-08-09)
WARNING: If you are not of an analytical type please skip this review. I have been watching for this bottom shelf bourbon based on reviews, finally found it in a 1.75 bottle. A nearby liquor rep told me there was nothing smaller in our market. At $16.99 I thought "oh well if its horrible, I will mix it with something" So in time I tried an ounce and WOW now I know why the great reviews ! All of the flavors associated with bourbon are present in this, (caramel, butterscotch, vanilla ,etc.) and if you take a sip and close your eyes there is the faint budding flavors of everything else that bourbon can reflect: the raisin and pecan pie and dark fruit, plus the rye is perfect. I imagined a dram of 'Buffalo Trace" with a cube of ice allowed to melt, and I don't know if I could tell the difference from this Benchmark. Which brings me to the name Benchmark 8. Not the kind of name you would normally see in a bourbon. Definition="A standard or point of reference" ? Could it be that this name has connotations and meaning within the walls of Buffalo Trace (Sazerac) unbeknown to us? I think it does and will go as far as to say that every bottle of Buffalo Trace or Eagle Rare or Elmer T Lee or the E.H. Taylor line or the Stagg line and Blanton's have a common ancestor in this Benchmark8. Now that does not mean that Benchmark8 can take their place, absolutely not, they have different cooperage and storage and aging to turn them into what they are, but I believe this Benchmark8 is their Daddy!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
BDanner (2016-08-10):
Glad you found it. I need to pick up another bottle of this. I've been so enamored with EW BIB as my mixer/everyday sipper I haven't bought this one in a while. There is definitely a lot to like here.

Kinaner Kinaner (22) (2015-12-02)
This is by a huge margin the best cheap bourbon. Nothing comes close, you can drink this on the rocks or mixed and it's always smooth. Great overall for the price.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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flintquatch flintquatch (196) (2015-08-31)
Shocked at how smooth it was. Definitely worth the price tag. Nice flavors that can come out very well with a bit of water. Try it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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jaketaz jaketaz (163) (2015-07-09)
Works straight or in cocktails with the tiniest amounts of mixers such as a mint julep, best for bourbon beginners or those that don't want to really taste the booze. It's mild and approachable, and its main flavor is that of toasted oak. Other bourbons at this level of mildness (Four Roses, Evan 1783, Woodford) tend to prioritize vanilla or fruit flavors, whereas this one is mega light but a toasted oak flavored mega light. It is a worthwhile experiment and demonstrates the superiority of bourbon to other spirits... amazing to see how good a spirit can be even at a single-digits price point! I could drink this all day in a julep, but it completely disappears when used in a Manhattan, the flavor of the vermouth overshadows it. Shy, but well made. I'd personally rather spend a bit more on some attitude, such as Old Grand Dad 114.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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PeterYousko PeterYousko (2) (2015-03-12)
I get it for $9.00 per 750 ml. I saw it reviewed on aanother web site as being ccomparable to bourbon costing twice as much and I had to try it. Just as good as they said and all of the flavors specified in the other reviews. Well worth the money for a sipper or on the rocks.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Mellowoak Mellowoak (4) (2014-12-31)
Smooth and sweet. Not at all harsh like others in its price range. Rated lower by others due to 80 proof strength? Grain bill noted as rye added for sharpness. Surprising as this is not sharp to me. Always on my shelf.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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BDanner BDanner (105) (2014-08-29)
I've been searching for a bourbon in the under $20 price range that I like. I'd steered away from this one since I thought there was no way that an $11 bourbon would be worth drinking (had I realized it came out of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, I would've tried it much sooner). Boy was I wrong. Not quite as refined as it's big brother, but I've definitely had bourbons at three times this price that I didn't enjoy as much. Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon with a dry finish. Perfect amount of char. Good neat or on the rocks. Great with a splash of ginger ale. Looking forward to trying it in a Manhattan. This blows the doors of any $10-$20 bourbon I've had, and is equal to some in the $30-$40 range. Try it...You'll like it!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2016-08-09):
Okay BD I tried it-review is there.

gmish gmish (14) (2013-10-21)
Are you kidding me? Why doesnt this stuff cost more?! Forget about the price, this bourbon is great!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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predsfan89 predsfan89 (5) (2013-06-24)
I really like this stuff. Im sure a lot of people see the price and immediately pass over it, but it really is pretty good. Good mixer or for shots
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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jarod jarod (3) (2013-02-03)
Solid bourbon that hits a home-run in the mouth. Hints of vanilla, caramel, and orange peel effortlessly gloss the palate. Truly a high-quality drink you can savour without forking over an arm & leg.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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ProfessorCocktail ProfessorCocktail (48) (2012-10-01)
A pleasing vanilla aroma, followed by the taste of caramel. Medium smooth and dry. Middle of the road, but with a nice flavor. A very solid bourbon for the price. For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Storcke Storcke (24) (2012-01-02)
In Alabama this costs $19.99 for a 1.75, which comes out to $8.56 per fifth, and it has ten times the flavor and complexity of JD Old #7 at $23/fifth! Frankly, as a party mixer this can't be beat. It comes from the Buffalo Trace distillery, and aspires to the subtlety and complexity of flavor of its older cousin, and almost makes it as a cheaper version of BT.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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aslezak aslezak (27) (2011-09-26)
This is a very good bourbon for the price.  The taste is similar to Buffalo Trace, with a cinnamon sweetness.  You can easily drink it neat or on the rocks.  However, it does lack some of the refinement of its cousin.  Overall, it would be difficult to beat this bourbon in this price segment.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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wolverine2211 wolverine2211 (5) (2011-05-18)
Humm?.. well what can I say? Benchmark has a taste and smoothness belonging to bourbons 4 times this price. A wonderfull additin to your cabinet and a great fall-back. Sir. Yancey
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Barcodes

Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 088004021047
  • 088004020842
  • 088004018894
  • 088004020828
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