Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
McAfee Brothers Benchmark
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distilled, Aged & Bottled at Buffalo Trace Distillery
MSRP: ~$15 (often priced a couple of bucks higher)
This is an update of our Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon review originally posted in December 2020. Please enjoy our updated review!
Benchmark Top Floor, is aged on the top warehouse floor. Does that matter? Read on to find out!
Five Bourbons Were Added To The Benchmark Line In 2020
Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon is one of the five bourbons that make up the new (as of 2020) additions to the Benchmark line. The others are Small Batch, Single Barrel, Bonded and Full Proof. I had written about the Benchmark Bourbon Collection a while back after driving to Indiana to pick up the set back in the Fall of 2020. It is unclear why they were initially only available in Indiana. However, as of 2023 they seem to be pretty much everywhere now. The Benchmark bourbons are produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery. (Read more about the Benchmark Bourbon Collection in my related post.)
Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon Is Aged On The Top Floor
Top Floor is quite simply, bourbon that has aged on the top floor of the warehouse. The label eloquently states: “Bourbon that matures on the top warehouse floors tends to age faster as heat rises. This top floor Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is smooth and well-rounded to be enjoyed straight, with ice or in your favorite cocktail”. So there you have it. Apparently the marketing folks at Buffalo Trace aren’t aware of the ire that the word “smooth” arouses in some bourbon enthusiasts….
Let’s taste it:
🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉Nose: Cherry candy is dominant, then apple, light cinnamon and vanilla, light butterscotch, mild rye spices, very light oak; subtle alcohol
👉Taste: Caramel, cherry, apple, light oak, light brown sugar sweetness; touch of cookie dough
👉Finish: White pepper spice builds, with some hot cinnamon, too; however, the spices stay relatively mild; fairly long; mild warmth and burn
So what’s Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon like? For starters, it was priced under $20. So there’s that. It’s not an overly complex bourbon, and it certainly tastes on the younger side. There is no age statement, so we have to assume that it is at least 4 years old, but I wouldn’t guess much more. But it is smooth….
Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon is relatively light, but with pleasant flavors. Some light butterscotch differentiates it from most of the others, except the Bonded. In addition, the cherry candy is the dominant fruit flavor in the Top Floor, whereas it is secondary to the apples in the other variants. Top Floor is a very pleasant and easy bourbon to drink. If I had to describe it in one word, I would have to go with apple-butterscotch-cookiedough, but I have to admit, it’s a little difficult to describe in one word…?
Overall, this is a fun set of bourbons. When combined with the bottom shelf Benchmark Old No. 8, you get 6 bourbons which all are a bit different. I paid about $130 for all 5, and bought the Old No. 8 for less than $10. Have you tried any of the Benchmark Bourbons? What did you think? Cheers!🥃
We hope you have enjoyed our Benchmark Top Floor Bourbon Review! Would you like to learn about the other Benchmark bourbons in this collection? Then check out all of my Benchmark Bourbon Collection Reviews! Cheers!🥃
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