Monday 29 May 2017

Shackleton Antarctic whisky revived

Crates of whisky recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton (AP)
Crates of whisky recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton (AP)

A whisky that spent more than 100 years encased in the ice of the Antarctic has been recreated by a British whisky company.

Whyte & Mackay master blender Richard Paterson spent eight weeks blending malts to get an exact replica of the Mackinlays whisky which was dug up from underneath a hut used by Ernest Shackleton on his expedition to the South Pole in 1907.

On January 17 this year three bottles of the Mackinlays whisky, which Shackleton took on his two-year trip, were examined in Scotland at Whyte & Mackay's facilities after the frozen spirits were thawed by museum officials in New Zealand.

Mr Paterson said: "It was a real privilege getting to handle, nose and taste such a rare and beautiful bottle of whisky. The quality, purity and taste of this 100-year-old spirit was amazing.

"The biggest surprise was the light flavour and the clear, almost vibrant colour of the liquid. I hope I have done our forefathers and Ernest Shackleton proud with the replica."

In total, 50,000 bottles of the 47.3% ABV whisky will be on sale at £100 each, with 5% from every sale donated to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, the New Zealand charity which found and uncovered the original whisky.

Trust chief executive Nigel Watson said: "From start to finish it's taken almost four years to safely extract the whisky crate from site and then Antarctica, thaw it in museum conditions, secure permits and complete scientific analysis in Scotland.

"I am delighted that Whyte & Mackay recognise the hard work and value of the trust's conservation mission in Antarctica by making this very generous and welcome donation."

Mr Paterson added: "I would like to thank the trust in particular for their patience, their expertise and their hard work. They fully deserve the substantial funds this special bottle will generate."

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