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Buchanan’s 12 vs Chivas Regal 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Buchanan’s 12 vs Chivas Regal 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

Buchanan’s 12

buchanans-12
  • Nose: Citrus, vanilla, peat
  • Palate: Vanilla, fruity notes and a bit of black pepper
  • Finish: Vanilla, pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks cocktails
  • Similar to: Johnnie Walker Red Label

Taste:

The nose brings citrus and vanilla at first, followed by faint peat note and a bit of alcohol.

On the palate, Buchanan’s feels a bit thin, with not much body. First sip brings vanilla and a subtle fruity note, although it becomes peppery as you keep drinking it.

The finish has a short length, with some sweetness, but overwhelmed by notes of pepper and some warmth.

Is it good?

Buchanan’s does not make a good sipper due to its alcoholic and peppery notes although it gets better if you add a splash of water or mixed with mineral water in a highball.

Just a few drops of waters will tame the peppery and alcoholic notes making this whisky more drinkable.

The Buchanan’s 12 can also serve as a mixer in a highball but I can think of several better whiskies for mixing such as the Monkey Shoulder.

This whisky is incredibly successful in Latin America where it is regarded as a sign of status.

In Mexico it is quite famous for being the favorite dram of Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, the country’s most renowned drug dealer.

This might come as a surprise but whisky sells as many bottles as tequila south of the border.

Buchanan’s 12 facts:

  • Buchanan’s does not have its own distillery. This is a blend of whiskies aged at a minimum of 12 years and crafted at diverse distilleries across Scotland.
  • This brand was created by Canadian-born James Buchanan in the 19th century.
  • Buchanan´s is owned by Diageo, based in London, along Johnnie Walker and 200 other brands!

Chivas Regal 12

chivas-regal-12
  • Nose: Apple, vanilla, lemon curd
  • Palate: Apple, malt, oak, caramel, pepper
  • Finish: Short, pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Highball
  • Similar to: Johnnie Walker Black Label

Taste:

The nose is full of apple juice aroma, along notes of vanilla and lemon curd.

On the palate Chivas Regal is quite light with not much body, it has oak notes with a touch of caramel and hints of green apple, cinnamon and black pepper.

Finish is short and light with peppery notes and a bit of heat to it, but not harsh.

Is it good?

Nothing special or remarkable about the Chivas 12 but nothing terrible.

I would not drink it neat as I feel it somewhat peppery and bitter but it makes a decent dram to mix with soda making an enjoyable highball.

The taste is not bright, but everything that is needed from a Scotch whisky is present and its price makes it appealing.

Not the easiest whisky but in a high ball it becomes quite competent.

Chivas 12 facts:

  • This whisky is a blend of grain and malt whiskies crafted in an undisclosed number of distilleries across Scotland. 
  • Each one of the whiskies in the blend was aged for at least 12 years before bottling.
  • The Chivas Regal brand belongs to Pernod Ricard from France, who also owns a zillion brands including Glenlivet.

Buchanan’s vs Chivas Regal: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Buchanan’s 12$40
Chivas Regal 12$36

Buchanan’s 12 vs Chivas Regal 12: Which is better?

Buchanan’s is slightly better than the Chivas

WhiskeyBuchanan’sChivas Regal
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Buchanan’s 12 is a bit better than the Chivas Regal 12 but not by much. Neither one nor the other make good sippers although they get better with a splash of water, or in a cocktail.
  • If you are new to Scotch I suggest to look elsewhere. There are several more enjoyable options at this price point that you should consider before these whiskies.

These whiskies are considered alternatives to the Johnnie Walker Black Label, although I consider the latter to be better as it feels more robust with a bit of smoke that serves as an introductory bottle to smoky whisky.

Buchanan’s vs Chivas: Similarities

  • Both the Buchanan’s and Chivas Regal are blends of grain and malt whiskies crafted in several distilleries across Scotland aged for at least 12 years.
  • They are blends and do not have their own distillery.
  • These whiskies are still popular among senior citizens but I suspect will have a hard time gaining any traction in younger generations.

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