Skip to comments.Scotch Whisky Meant To Warm Antarctic Explorers Retrieved After Century Locked In Ice
Posted on 02/06/2010 9:26:13 AM PST by DogByte6RER
Scotch whisky meant to warm Antarctic explorers retrieved after century locked in ice
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - This Scotch has been on the rocks for a century.
Five crates of Scotch whisky and two of brandy have been recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Ice cracked some of the bottles that had been left there in 1909, but the restorers said Friday they are confident the five crates contain intact bottles "given liquid can be heard when the crates are moved."
New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust team leader Al Fastier said the team thought there were two crates and were amazed to find five.
Current distillery owner, drinks group Whyte & Mackay, launched the bid to recover the Scotch whisky for samples to test and decide whether to relaunch the defunct spirit made by distiller McKinlay and Co.
Fastier said restoration workers found the crates under the hut's floorboards in 2006, but they were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.
The New Zealanders agreed to drill the ice to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed to by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.
"The unexpected find of the brandy crates, one labeled Chas. Mackinlay & Co and the other labeled The Hunter Valley Distillery Limited Allandale (Australia) are a real bonus," said Fastier.
Ice has cracked some of the crates and formed inside them. Fastier said in a statement that would make extracting the contents delicate, but the trust would decide how to do so in coming weeks.
Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte and Mackay, whose company supplied the Mackinlay's whisky for Shackleton, described the find as "a gift from the heavens for whisky lovers."
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
Indeed. Maybe the most valuable whiskey in the world!
A “not quite bourbon ping”. It is whiskey..
Would any beverage that old be consumable, vodka maybe?
Absolutely...and it will taste exactly the same as it did 100 years ago. Glass is non-reactive, so the whiskey has not “aged” or “matured” in any way....what would have been fantastic is had it been in a oak cask..not that would be awesome..
With that much ethanol in it, and entombed in ice the entire time, it should taste just like it did the day it was bottled.
the name exudes balls....and willpower
I look forward to sampling Whyte and Mackay’s attempt at reproducing the taste of Mackinley’s lost recipe.
They apparently found cases of brandy, as well.
I suppose this is true with liquor but I would swear shine changes in a jar after some years...course it could be the peach breaking down
Wine of course can get stellar or go bad in glass...is it the cork contact?
this is curious
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Another news report at:
aged in bourbon casks is it not...often?
The brandy might actually be more interesting at this aged.
Am reading two books now on Shackleton’s leadership principles, one by his granddaughter. There is a ton of material on him on Amazon.
I wonder if the stuff in the crates was blended or single malt. I think Whyte and Mackay was making both at the time.
Someone’s gonna make a few bucks.
Yes, it’s the cork, allowing a small amount of air circulation over time. Note: whisky bottles a century ago were corked, too!
That yucky stuff. Yuck.
Going bad is usually a function of lack of cork contact...bottles stored upright allow the cork to dry, which cork then shrinks and allows bacteria to enter and contaminate the bottle.
But it's true, wines do change in the bottle over time even when the cork remains wet and tight. This is because wine isn't distilled; there are live microorganisms continuing to live and metabolize substances in the wine over the course of years, albeit in tiny amounts.
Because liquors are distilled, there's no microbial action. Changes in flavor over time in distilled beverages are due to strictly physical and chemical actions, not microbial ones. Whiskey changes in the barrel due to interaction with the wood. It soaks up vanilla-like flavors from good white oak. In a charred cask, the charcoal lining the container gradually soaks up trace fusel oils that ruin flavor and smoothness. Glass can't do any of those things.
I think that would make it very interesting to present-day whiskey blenders . . . a benchmark to see if tastes have changed.
I’ve also read a biography of Shackleton. Our civilization just isn’t producing MEN like him any more. He may have been the most inspiring leader of all time. His expeditions endured unimaginable hardships, but he never lost a single man.
Note to your note: Any decent single malt is corked to this day.
I find it interesting that this man’s name and fame has come up in threads yesterday and today. The thread yesterday compared Sarah Palin to Shackleton and recited his leadership in rescuing his men from Elephant Island. Maybe whoever posted it had already seen this report.
What the H*ll is the point of leaving the Scotch there ? It's a consumable. Why not auction it off to fund further scientific study of the Antartic?
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