Century-old whisky from Shackleton's Antarctica expedition is finally tasted


2015-06-26 12:13:43


Century-old whisky from Shackleton's Antarctica expedition is finally tasted

After its recovery from the ice, the McKinlay & Co whisky is sampled for the first time in years

It's well over a year since we first reported on the intention of researchers in New Zealand to free a crate of whisky from the ice of Antarctica.

Ice to see you - the long lost whisky is greeted

The intention - and there had to be clear reasons under conservation laws - for disturbing the crate was to try to extract some samples of the precious liquor to determine its character, and in the hope that it could be made again.

The dram in question was McKinlay and Co's Rare Old whisky, which long since went out of production, and the crates in the ice which were abandoned by Shackleton almost exactly a century before their extraction may be the only source remaining.

Whyte and MacKay, which absorbed McKinlay and Co, have been hopeful of re-making some. Now, following the thaw of the extracted crate which we wrote about in July, some samples have been tasted.

Three bottles were taken back to the Scottish Highlands on a jet for local distillers to get their minds and tongues around. So far they've been impressed and intrigued.

Chemical and other analysis will take place under laboratory conditions until March. Whyte & MacKay's master blender Richard Paterson may then begin the process of trying to re-create the rich, heavy, peaty whisky which Shackleton would have enjoyed as a taste of fire amidst all that ice.

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