Best Review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon

Best Review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon
Reader Rating4595 Votes

Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon: A Delightful Sip

Benchmark Small Batch is the third entry in terms of proof in the Benchmark Bourbon line. According to Buffalo Trace, the brand is “named after the McAfee brothers who surveyed a site just north of Frankfort in the late 1700s. The rye recipe bourbon is yet another label that honors the storied history of the Distillery and the land it sits on.” The distillery states that for Benchmark Small Batch, “select barrels are chosen for this small batch bourbon by our Master Distiller.”


A noticeable vanilla-oak scent kicks off the sip with spice and light caramel layered underneath. A swirl of the glass and inhaling deeper brings about scents of nougat, pie crust, and cinnamon apples. The nose plays it on the safer side, delivering inoffensive scents that are just complex enough to provide a pleasing opening to the sip.


The palate continues down the path of playing it safe with classic notes of vanilla, lightly charred oak, and a drizzle of caramel. Searching deeper pulls out notes of bright cinnamon, green peppercorn spice, and light crisp apples. It’s a nice combination of flavors that isn’t overly complex, but pleasing and easy enough to enjoy.


A quick pop of white peppercorn and cinnamon spice appears before quickly fading away. Left in their place are light vanilla and oak notes that are joined with subtle heat. As the vanilla and oak fade, a faint note of cinnamon apple rides out the heat, concluding in an overall short finish.


Benchmark Old No. 8 Brand Bourbon is the bourbon that initially kicked off the Benchmark brand. Simple in nature, I found that while its flavors may be light, they’re more than tolerable, especially if you’re trying to not chase after proof. It won’t wow you, but for its low price of $10, it’s hard to hate it.  

Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon shares many similarities with the standard Benchmark Bourbon, but also expands on it nicely. The brand never states how many barrels are used in the small batch blend, which for all we know could be the exact same amount used in the standard version. That said, the proof increase to 90 helps to provide a more defined sip overall. The end result is that this version of Benchmark holds its own against other average pours that consumers can choose from. Sometimes blending into the crowd and being just average is OK too.


The nice part about the entire Benchmark line is that the six expressions in the line range in price from $10-$25. There’s something to be said about being extremely consumer friendly when it comes to pricing, especially in today’s market where it feels like it’s a race to the top of who can charge the most. Coming in at only $2 more but four proof points higher than Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon, Benchmark Small Batch continues to represent a really great value to consumers. It competes well against others in the same price range such as Evan Williams “Black Label” Bourbon, and it slots nicely in the Benchmark lineup. I like the fact that for just a few dollars more, consumers can hone in the proof that they prefer for the Benchmark line, and $17 for a 90 proof bourbon that actually tastes good, is a rarity in today’s marketplace.


A bourbon that won’t break the bank, Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon is the perfect bourbon to stock up on if you like lower proof whiskey, are just getting into bourbon, or have always wondered if a sub-$20 bourbon could actually taste good.

Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon’s sip starts off on a high note and ends on a lower one. However, as a whole, it’s a perfectly acceptable sip, which shows that the brand responds well to increases in proof. Factor in that it’s a 90 proof small batch bourbon from a major Kentucky distillery that will only set you back $17, and it’s hard to find fault with what it is. Seasoned bourbon drinkers won’t be blown away, but they also won’t hate it either. It also provides a nice path for individuals who are curious about drinking bourbon neat, but don’t want to spend a ton. Bourbons like these have a place and time and in today’s current marketplace, they need to be acknowledged as an unfortunately dying breed. And that’s a shame since consumers deserve to have more access to whiskeys like Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon for under $20.

Best Review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon
Best Review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon
Bottle Info

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Sazerac Company Inc.

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 90

Age: NAS (Aged at least 4 years per TTB regulations)

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Light Gold

MSRP: $17 (2023)

Official Website

Reader Rating4595 Votes

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  1. All Batch offers a pleasant and easy sip with its notes of vanilla, oak, caramel, and spices. While it may not be the most complex or unique bourbon out there, it stands out with its strong value and affordability. A great option for those looking for a solid daily sipper without breaking the bank.

    “Great review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon! It’s refreshing to see a brand prioritizing affordability without sacrificing quality. The notes of vanilla, oak, and spices sound like a delightful combination. Overall, this seems like a great option for a daily sip without breaking the bank.”

  2. Previous

    I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about the Benchmark line because of their low price points. However, after trying Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon, I was pleasantly surprised. For only $17, this bourbon delivers in terms of flavor and value. It may not be the most complex or unique bourbon out there, but it’s definitely a satisfying sip.

  3. 54356
    This seems like a well-written and informative review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon. The author provides detailed descriptions of the nose, palate, finish, and overall uniqueness and value of the bourbon. They also compare it to other bourbons in the same price range, which is helpful for readers. The comment gives a clear idea of what to expect from the bourbon and offers a positive recommendation.

  4. Ll Batch delivers a solid sip for a great value. It may not be the most unique or complex bourbon on the market, but its pleasant flavors make it an easy go-to for everyday drinking. Plus, with six different expressions in the Benchmark line, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Give it a try and see how it stacks up against other budget-friendly bourbon options!

    I enjoyed reading this review of Benchmark Small Batch Bourbon. It provided helpful information about the brand’s history and the specific flavors and notes found in this particular expression. The reviewer’s opinion on value and comparison to other similarly priced options was also insightful. It definitely makes me want to give this bourbon a try for myself!

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Written by Emma Jones

Emma Jones has been writing about the spirits industry for the past five years. She has a degree in journalism and has written for several publications. Emma is passionate about the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon, and loves to share her knowledge with her readers. She is an active member of the Bourbon Women Association and the Kentucky Distillers Association. Emma is also a frequent speaker at whiskey and bourbon events, and has been featured in several publications and podcasts. She is dedicated to educating her readers on the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon, and is always looking for new ways to share her knowledge.

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