Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Please enjoy our Benchmark Full Proof Bourbon Review!
“Full Proof – This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is bottled at the same proof that it enters the barrel.” So what’s it like? Read on to find out!
What Is A “Full Proof” Bourbon?
So, what exactly is a “Full Proof” bourbon? Well, if you want the legal definition, you’re out of luck because there isn’t one. Buffalo Trace seems to have coined the phrase, or they are at least the ones that use it the most. First, there were 1792 Full Proof and Weller Full Proof bourbons. Then, in late 2020, Benchmark Full Proof joined the clan. So, what about the definition? Full Proof refers to a bourbon that is bottled at the same proof that it went into the barrel. More commonly, the proof at which a bourbon goes into a barrel is aptly called the “entry proof”. So this bourbon could have been called “Entry Proof”, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring. Regardless of the terminology, Benchmark Full Proof was both barreled and bottled at 125 proof.
Benchmark Full Proof Bourbon was introduced back in late 2020 along with Top Floor, Single Barrel, Small Batch and Bonded bourbons. What is great about the set is its price. I picked up all of them for less than $130 when they first came out. That’s a pretty reasonable price for a whole set of bourbons! This bourbon family is just perfect for nice tasting flight with friends. Read more about the whole set in our The New Benchmark Bourbon Collection post from back in December 2020.
Tasting Notes – Benchmark Full Proof Review
Let’s taste it:
🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉Nose: Sweet apple, rich burnt caramel; vanilla, cinnamon; rye spices, mainly cloves; thick brown sugar; noticeable fairly high alcohol
👉Taste: Rich brown sugar, oak and tannins; cinnamon; dryness and spice builds fairly rapidly; almost syrupy mouthfeel
👉Finish: Some dry oak continues into the finish with ever increasing spice. There’s white and black pepper, and hot cinnamon, too. Long finish with a lingering burn
Full rich flavors in the nose remind me of a nice apple pie; however someone must have “accidentally” dumped a bit of high proof alcohol in the filling, because there’s no hiding the proof. The taste is more centered on brown sugar and spice, with a variety of spices carrying on into the finish. The finish is long, with a deep lingering warmth.
Conclusion: Not Like All The Others
The Benchmark Full Proof is night and day different from all of the others in the Benchmark Bourbon line. First of all, there’s the proof; Full Proof Bourbon is 25 proof points higher than the next in line, the Bonded. There are similarities, of course; there’s apple, cinnamon, some rye spice and dry oak like the others; but the burnt caramel and fuller rich brown sugar are clearly unique to the Full Proof. There’s also quite bit more hot cinnamon in the Full Proof’s finish, as well. This one truly leaves me feeling like I ate a mouthful of red hots; but the other flavors are there as well. Overall, this is quite the enjoyable high proof bourbon!?
We hope you have enjoyed our Benchmark Full Proof Bourbon Review! Check out all of my Benchmark Bourbon Collection Reviews if you’re interested in learning about all the other bourbons from the Benchmark family. Cheers!🥃
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