Today I was looking at buying my first bottle of whiskey since I got a liquor store gift card worth of $50. I enjoy whiskey so I figured this would be nice to buy. I was looking at for example Blanton's Bourbon and after doing some research, I found out that Blanton's Bourbon is marketed by Sazerac Company and distilled at Buffalo Trace. After looking further, I found out there are only about 13 actual distilleries in the USA which most of them produce multiple brands.
Take my Blanton's example. What does it actually mean that it is done by multiple companies? Does this mean I can also just buy a bottle of Buffalo Trace whiskey for the same taste and pay less? Also, who gets to decide the taste, if it's different at all? Blanton's or the distillery itself? I'm kind of confused at this moment and before I spend my gift card I'd like to get some clarification of why things are done this way. Right now I feel like the "sub brands" like Blanton just buys from Buffalo and call it their own, I don't want to spend my gift card on a... well... sort of "fake" product that's just a marketing trick, if that makes sense! Hope someone can clear things up for me. Thanks in advance!