The Buffalo Trace Distillery makes several Bourbon Whiskey brands, but only has ten mash bill “formulas.” Each brand is one, or a combination of these mash bills.
In the late 1960s, Seagrams launched a premium line of spirits named "Benchmark Bourbon" — made at their Four Roses Distillery. Sazerac bought the brand during the Seagrams breakup in 1989 and moved production to their Buffalo Trace Distillery, where they used their No. 8 mash bill to make it.
To further differentiate the product, they added the moniker “McAfee” to the front — the McAfee’s were the original owners of some of the land where the Buffalo Trace Distillery now sits. Thus the new name is “McAfee’s Benchmark Old No. 8 Brand Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.”
The No. 8 mash bill is a high-rye Bourbon, with a little more spice than other Bourbons. It’s a solid mainline Bourbon aged a minimum of three years in new oak.
The difference between Benchmark and its pricier brothers is simply a few more restful years aging in the barrel. It has nice flavors of vanilla and orange zest and a long spicy finish.