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Benchmark vs Evan Williams: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Benchmark vs Evan Williams in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Benchmark Bourbon No. 8

NoseMaple, vanilla, banana bread
PalateCaramel, cinnamon, oak
FinishVanilla, oak spice, caramel
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Jack Daniel’s

On the nose, Benchmark is smooth and sweet with a hint of maple syrup, along vanilla and banana bread.

On the palate, taste is super thin lacking in texture, with hints of vanilla and caramel and a touch of oak spice.

The finish is practically non existent, with vanilla and caramel hints, along oak spice.

Benchmark is the lighter and watered-down version alternative to Buffalo Trace. They are both made using the same mash bill although Benchmark is aged for 2 years while the BT for 6 to 8 years.

Another important distinction is that Benchmark is bottled at 80 proof while the Buffalo Trace at 90. This means that they basically diluted with water a young version of the Buffalo Trace.

This bourbon is super easy to drink, with almost no warmth. It’s nearly flavorless but no bad flavors either!! making it easy to drink neat.

I would not use it as a mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver juicy cocktails.

Not amazing but for the price certainly not bad as most liquors in this price range taste like nail polish.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Benchmark Bourbon:

  • Aged for 2 years.
  • Made using the same mash bill low in rye as the Buffalo Trace.
  • This bourbon’s full name is McAfee’s Benchmark Old No. 8.
  • The McAfee brothers surveyed the land now home of the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Evan Williams Black Label

NoseCaramel, vanilla, honey, ethanol
PalateHoney, spice, old leather, oak char
FinishOld leather, oak char and lingering spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toElijah Craig, Four Roses, Wild Turkey

The nose is sweet, rich in honey, caramel, vanilla and a whiff of ethanol.

On the palate, the Evan Williams has a decent body as it has some texture. Flavor is sweet at first, with a hint of old leather although it has some oak char bitterness, but nothing alarming.

The finish has more of that old leather hint, is bitey and warm with lingering spicy notes.

Adding a few drops of water make it better as you get a bit more of sweetness while making the finish smoother.

Evan Williams will never win an award, this a basic bourbon, a little rough around the edges when compared to fine bourbons.

But not a bad whiskey and it won’t break the bank. The low price point makes the EW a good choice for the person that is not picky and just wants to have nightly pour without spending much in these hard times.

The Evan Williams is a bourbon to keep at hand as it has the warmth you want to make tasty cocktails on the cheap.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Evan Williams where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Evan Williams Black Label:

  • The mash bill is made from 78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye.
  • Evan Williams carried an age statement of 7 years until the 90s when it was removed. Now is aged for just 4 years.
  • EW is crafted at Heaven Hills Distillery located in Bardstown, Kentucky along other brands such as Elijah Craig, Larceny, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville among many others.
  • Evan Williams was born in the UK and emigrated to the United States towards the end of the 18th century. Williams settled in Kentucky and began distilling in 1783, in what is now Louisville.

Benchmark vs Evan Williams: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Benchmark Bourbon No. 8$201.75 liters
Evan Williams Black Label$271.75 liters

Benchmark vs Evan Williams: Which is better?

Evan Williams is more tasty and versatile than the Benchmark Bourbon

WhiskeyBenchmarkEvan Williams
  • The Evan Williams is not the smoothest bourbon as it is kinda rough around the edges, but water makes it palatable and is a better choice than the Benchmark when looking for a mixer to make tasty cocktails.
  • Benchmark feels too thin and watered-down, lacking in body and flavor; is a dumb-version of the Buffalo Trace.
  • Drinks too easy but lacks flavor and punch to make a flavorful cocktails.

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