Skip to main content

Budget Whiskey Options from Buffalo Trace

budget whiskey buffalo trace stock
Image used with permission by copyright holder
In a world hyping expensive whiskies, sometimes a budget whiskey is just as tasty.

Frankfort, Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery makes two superb budget whiskey options, both retailing for less than $13 a fifth. Each of the two, Benchmark and Ancient Age, can be easily placed against many craft whiskies that retail for more than $40 a piece.

Despite the low price tag, the whiskies are meant to be enjoyed however a consumer likes them, just as the late Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee said, “Drink them how you like them. There’s no wrong or right way.”

Buffalo Trace has five mash bills it works with to release the variety of whiskies it releases. Benchmark and Ancient Age start from two of those mash bills, said Amy Preske, public relations and events manager at Buffalo Trace.

McAfee’s Benchmark Old No. 8 Brand uses Buffalo Trace’s Rye Mash Bourbon #1, which has less than 10 percent rye, and is the base bill for brands such as Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and George T. Stagg. Benchmark, first produced by Seagram’s in the 1960s, with its rye recipe, results in caramel and fruit notes with leather and tobacco mixed in.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ancient Age, meanwhile, uses Rye Mash Bourbon #2, with 12-15 percent rye, and the same as Blanton’s and Elmer T. Lee. Ancient Age has been in production since 1946 and its production results in notes of corn, caramel, toffee and vanilla, with a bit of lingering spice on the back end.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Despite the different mash bills, each bourbon is aged at least three years and blended together. The other, much more renowned, brands from the mash bills are aged longer.

Ancient Age comes in a higher MSRP, $12.99 compared to Benchmark’s $11.99, but both are provide a viable option for those pinching pennies — and those looking for a budget whiskey.

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
This is how to make the perfect dirty martini
Making a flavorful dirty martini is surprisingly easy
Dirty Martini

In the pantheon of classic cocktails, there are few more beloved than the Martini. Sure, the Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Manhattan get a lot of love, but only the Martini is the fictional secret agent James Bond’s favorite cocktail.

Although he preferred his shaken, most bartenders will tell you that to make a Martini is better when stirred. The classic Martini is made with gin, vermouth, and an olive or lemon peel garnish. Some drinkers mistakenly believe the cocktail is made with vodka, but that would technically make it a “Vodka Martini” as opposed to a classic Martini.
A murky history

Read more
Upgrade your next barbecue with elk, the healthy red meat you should be eating
First Light Farms is raising high-quality pasture-raised elk deliverable to your front door.
cooked elk with cup

First Light Farms elk backstrap. Marilynne Bell / First Light Farms

If you're looking for a red meat alternative to beef that's delicious and packed with nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, protein-packed elk might be the answer. A great place to get pasture-raised elk delivered is First Light Farms. This New Zealand-based company raises 100% grass-fed wagyu, venison, and, most recently, elk, all deliverable to your front door. First Light Farms sent us several of their items to try, and we interviewed them to learn all about this must-try red meat.

Read more
These are the wine regions in jeopardy due to climate change, study says
How climate change is affecting the wine world
A vineyard in the Russian River Valley between Guerneville and Healdsburg, California.

Photo by Andrew Davey Photo by Andrew Davey / Andrew Davey

Climate change is altering every aspect of the world we live in, and that's especially the case for agriculture. The wine industry continues to adapt, from making English sparkling wine to treating smoke impact from increased wildfires.

Read more