How to Date Buchanan's Black & White Scotch Whisky

Updated March 23, 2017

Buchanan's Scotch Whisky, Black & White dates to the late 1800s when John Buchanan, then 30, became a London agent for a major distillery. Recognising the opportunity in trading whisky, he set up his own business after only five years. Buchanan's whisky was immensely successful, and he soon won a contract to supply the British House of Commons, which remained in force into the 1970s. In 2010, vintage Black & White carries a high value, selling for hundreds of dollars a bottle.

Take several clear photos of the Black & White label so that all the information can be read. Capture all the text, including the small print on both the front and back labels. Also take a picture of the seal. Load all the pictures onto your computer or cellphone.

Submit your question to the experts at, some of whom have experience in dating Buchanan's whisky. Load the pictures of the bottles and provide them with all the text from the labels in your post, indicating which label, front or back. Wait for their response.

Contact a valuator or whisky auctioneer while waiting for a response from the forum. Send him the same information that you posted online. Ask him to use his expertise in dating your bottle of Buchanan's.

Read the Black & White label, which indicates the distillery where it was made. Buchanan owned at least 11 distilleries at one time; any distillery other than Glentauchers will date the bottle according to when the distillery was in operation. If the label reads "House of Commons Whisky," it was bottled in the late 1800s.

Compare the labels to catalogues and posters whose dates can be traced.

Determine the provenance (ownership history) of your bottle of Black & White. This will help you narrow in on the date. For instance, you may have a bottle that your relative may have purchased from one of the House of Commons bars because it was popularised by James Bond, who drank the blended whiskey in the movies during the Cold War era half a century ago. This dates the bottle from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, when the Buchanan's Black & White contract with the House of Commons ended after nearly a century.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle of Buchanan's Black & White Whisky
  • Digital Camera
  • Computer with Internet connections
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