What Is Buchanan’s Scotch Whisky? Answered (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on July 30, 2023 by Lydia Martin

If there’s one specific brand that intermixes friendships and simply brings people together – that would be Buchanan’s.

If you’ve given the bottle a good look over, you might have noticed the Latin inscription on its back, a conveying friendship-inspired message. 

But aside from that, how well do you know this spirit? What is Buchanan’s? Read on to find out.

All About Buchanan’s Scotch Whisky

bottle of Buchanan's Deluxe on a wooden table

Buchanan’s is a type of blended whisky, and it’s known for its exceptional smoothness. It’s got the best qualities of a blended whisky in one bottle, including low alcohol content, nuanced flavor, and just the right amount of time in oak barrels. 

The Buchanan Blend was the original 19th-century James Buchanan & Co. whisky.

It has a strong following in the US and Latin America, claiming it to be the fastest-growing blended Scotch (2010-2015).

Interesting Facts  

History & Origin

The late James Buchanan launched this brand in 1884, aiming to produce a smoother, sweeter blend that would fascinate the English palate. The Buchanan Blend, his first creation, quickly became a hit in music halls in London. 

Meanwhile, the Buchanan Blend was renamed Buchanan’s Special Red Seal. Red Seal, considered too hard to trademark, was canned by 1922.

However, the Buchanan portfolio had expanded to include Royal Household, Black & White, Rare Old Liqueur (25 years old), and Buchanan Special Liqueur (15 years old). 

Buchanan’s Finest Old Liqueur (shortened to Buchanan’s Liqueur) eventually replaced the latter two and became the predecessor to today’s Buchanan’s Deluxe and Special Reserve.

How It’s Made 

Since Buchanan’s is a blended whisky, its mash bill contains malted barley with unmalted cereals like wheat and maize.

It is finished by combining whiskies of varying types, strengths, and ages and is distilled in Scotland using Scottish water-aged in Scotch casks. But how many calories are in Scotch whisky?

Aging Process & Age Statement

barrel cask

Buchanan’s introduces several excellent whisky bottles of different ages – from 12 to 21 years old. After the mash has been distilled, the spirit will proceed in the barrels, aged for several years in Scotland. 

One of the most popular spirits from Buchanan’s is the Read Seal Blended Scotch Whisky, with an age statement of 21 years. 

Tasting Notes 

Palate: It tastes sweet with consistent complexity of different flavors, including green apple, spicy black pepper, tangerine and orange, cocoa, and toffee with subtle smoke of peat and tobacco. 

Color/Hue: Buchanan’s color is light, yellow-gold to bronze. 

Nose: Expect a round and complex aroma with hints of tangerine, caramel, honey notes, orange, and lemon, followed by cereal grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and peat smoke.   

Finish: It has a spicy lingering finish with sweet and salty chocolate caramel notes and campfire wisps.  

Ownership & Distillery

bottle of Buchanan's Deluxe and glass full of ice

James Buchanan & Company currently owns Buchanan’s. But from 1925 to 1986 and 1986 to 1997, it was owned by Distiller Company Limited and United Distillers, respectively. 

And in 1997 up to the present, the parent company Diageo has been managing the brand, which they are producing in Scotland. 

Read: Single Malt & Double Malt Whiskies Compared

Alcohol Type & ABV

As mentioned earlier, Buchanan’s is a type of Scotch whisky. Most of Buchanan’s spirits contain 40% ABV (alcohol by volume) or 80 proof, except the Red Seal, with 43% ABV or 86 proof. 

Price & Value

Buchanan’s produces affordable and premium whisky bottles. The price ranges from around $30 to $199.99 per 750 ml, depending on the spirit. 

Common Buchanan’s Whisky Prices

Type Size Alcohol By Volume Average Price
Buchanan’s Two Souls 750ml 40% ABV Around $38
Buchanan’s DeLuxe Aged 12 Years 750ml 40% ABV Around $38
Buchanan’s Special Reserve Aged 18 Years  750ml 43% ABV Around $84.99
Buchanan’s Select 15 Years Old  750ml 40% ABV Around $56.99
Buchanan’s Red Seal 750ml 40% ABV Around $199.99
Buchanan’s Master 750ml 40 % ABV Around $49.99

Compared to Other Whiskies 

Johnnie Walker

bottle of Johnnie Walker and 2 glasses on a serving tray

If you want to experience a whole lot of flavors, Johnnie Walker is for you. Though Buchanon’s not far behind when it comes to the palate, it never outdoes Johnnie Walker so far. But the edge of Buchanan’s is its more affordable price point compared to Johnnie Walker

Jack Daniel’s

bottle of Jack Daniels with fire background

Jack Daniel’s is a lot more popular than Buchanan’s. And when it comes to the price range, Jack Daniel’s is slightly cheaper than Buchanan’s spirits.

You can get a bottle of Jack Daniel’s at roughly $25 (Old No. 7). Also, Buchanan’s is a Scotch whisky, while Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey

Chivas Regal

bottle of chivas regal, ice bucket and glass on a countertop

Chivas Regal can be an expensive substitute for Buchanan’s. While both are excellent, Buchanan’s 12 is a slight step up from Chivas Regal’s 12.

Neither is ideal for sipping on its own, but both are much more enjoyable when mixed with water or in a cocktail.

Popular Buchanan’s Whisky Cocktail Recipe

The Scotsman

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes


  • Orange bitters (1 dash)
  • Basil leaf
  • 10ml Aperol
  • 60ml Buchanan’s DeLuxe Aged 12 Years Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 15ml Simple syrup
  • 60ml Pink grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed) 

Instructions: Put all the ingredients into a highball glass [1] full of ice and stir until well combined. Shake well, strain over cube ice, and serve in a crystal glass with a basil leaf for garnish.

Serving: 1


Can you drink Buchanan’s straight?

Yes, you can drink Buchanan’s straight. Or, you can enjoy Buchanan’s by mixing it to make Scotch cocktails or simple whiskies. Here are some popular Scotch mixers to try.

How many shots does it take to get drunk with Buchanan’s?

Four shots of Buchanan’s will get you drunk. Buchanan’s has 40% ABV, which means it contains high alcohol proof. One shot glass equals 30-45ml of serving and is the average daily intake. So, if you drink four shots, it can get you drunk.

Can you mix Buchanan’s with Coke?

Yes, Buchanan’s mix with Coke tastes terrific. Add them together and serve them over ice. 

In Conclusion 

Now you know why Buchanan’s is popular in Mexico, Latin America, and some parts of the world. Its distinct tasting notes, as well as its colorful history, add up to create an impressive impression.

And while there are budget-friendly bottles of Buchanan’s like the Two Souls and Deluxe, you can also choose to opt for something expensive like the Red Seal and Special Reserve. 

Compared to other whiskies, Buchanan’s is a competitive spirit. You can enjoy it straight or mix it to make cocktails. Whichever you prefer, you could never go wrong with Buchanan’s. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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