The Benchmark brand was created by Seagram’s in the late 1960s to be a luxury or premium-level bourbon. At that time, the whiskey was not called McAfee’s, but simply Benchmark Bourbon; and the name McAfee came much later.
The Benchmark brand name was purchased by the Sazerac Company in 1989 from Seagram’s. It is still owned by Sazerac Brands of New Orleans which also now owns the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, where Benchmark is now made. The origin of the McAfee name is that Hancock McAfee was, in 1775, one of the first European settlers at the site where Buffalo Trace stands today. The original Benchmark was made at Lawrenceburg, Kentucky at the Four Roses Distillery when Seagram owned it.