Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton’s rare Scotch returned to the frozen wilds

Jan 21, 2013
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Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a famous explorer of the frozen wilds. Shackleton had a ramshackle hut in Antarctica where he lived during his expedition. Underneath the floorboards of this shack researchers discovered bottles of a rare 19th-century Scotch whiskey.

This particular scotch recipe had been lost to its distiller over the years. Distillery Whyte & Mackay returned the three bottles of 102-year-old whiskey back to Scotland so they can re-create the recipe used in Shackleton's whiskey. Those three bottles of scotch have now been returned to the frigid hut and placed beneath the floorboards where they were discovered.

The three bottles are being returned to the hut as part of the effort to protect the legacy of what is being called the "heroic era of Antarctic exploration" that spanned 1898 to 1915. The three bottles of Scotch in question were bottled in 1898 after the whiskey was aged for 15 years. These three bottles were among three crates of scotch and two crates of brandy found buried beneath the hut Shackleton used.

The hut was used during Shackleton's 1907 Nimrod expedition to the Antarctic. This particular expedition had the goal of reaching the South Pole, but failed to reach that location. However, the expedition did set a record at the time for reaching the furthest southern latitude. The bottles of alcohol were discovered frozen in ice by conservationists in 2010. The bottles were intact and the researchers were able to hear the whiskey inside the bottles. Shackleton's scotch was Mackinlay brand, which is now owned by Whyte & Mackay. No one got to taste the whiskey according to reports and the samples will be used re-create the recipe to make a limited edition of 50,000 bottles from a sample drawn through the cork of one bottle.

[via Time] Image via Flickr user JCapeRoyds


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