View Full Version : A discovery of tremendous import

02-06-2010, 08:58 AM
Shackleton's Whiskey Found Buried Near South Pole.

It's probably the most sought-after scotch in history – crates of whiskey buried in Antarctica by the famed explorer Ernest Shackleton a century ago. He abandoned them on a failed attempt to reach the South Pole in 1909, and they've been on ice – literally – ever since.

Researchers from New Zealand found the crates while restoring a hut Shackleton built and used during the expedition. He and his team were forced to cut short the trip and abandon supplies, including their booze, to sail away before winter ice trapped them there.

The New Zealand team first spotted two crates underneath the hut's floorboards in 2006, but they were too deeply embedded in ice to be salvaged. Researchers returned to the site this past week, and finally extracted the crates after drilling into the ice around them. The surprise was that there were three more crates than expected – one more of whiskey and two of brandy.

The second trip was backed by the same Scottish company that distilled Shackleton's whiskey, Mackinlay's Rare Old Scotch. It could be the longest booze run in history. The Whyte and Mackay distillery hopes to replicate the whiskey, which hasn't been made in a lifetime after the original recipe was lost.

"Given the original recipe no longer exists, this may open a door into history," the company's master blender, Richard Paterson, said in a release posted on the company's Web site. He called the find "a gift from the heavens" for whiskey lovers.

"If the contents can be confirmed, safely extracted and analyzed, the original blend may be able to be replicated," Paterson said.

Experts will try to extract the historic brew delicately. Some of the crates have cracked and ice has formed inside. Icebergs surrounding the crates smelled of whiskey, and there may have been leakage, according to Al Fastier, a restoration expert with the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust who made the find.

He told the BBC he heard the slosh of liquid inside the crates when they were moved, and is confident that much of the liquor is still inside.

Shackleton's expedition ran short of supplies on a long trek to the South Pole that began in 1907. He had to turn back about 100 miles from the pole in 1909. The team had to move quickly to escape as winter ice began to form, so they were forced to abandon all but essential equipment and supplies – including their whiskey. No lives were lost.

A Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, was first to reach the South Pole two years later, in 1911.

As for what the future holds for Shackleton's whiskey, there are international treaties preventing the removal of artifacts from Antarctica, but Paterson wrote on his blog that he hopes to get his hands on at least a sample of the whiskey, if not a couple bottles.

"What you all want to know is: How will it taste?" Paterson wrote. "To which the answer is: Cold

02-06-2010, 12:03 PM

02-06-2010, 10:23 PM
TG, I'd share a crate or three of that sacred libation with you. :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

02-07-2010, 12:18 AM
I'm not a drinking man anymore, but I hate to see the good stuff go to waste. They should auction some of it off. it would fetch quite a bundle. When I did drink, I favored "Old Overholt" rye whiskey. Just a few on a Saturday night, very tasty. The Beam rye tastes oily, I dont recommend it.

02-07-2010, 03:47 AM
I was taught to look for a 12-year, single malt.

That said, I have had 25 year single malt, and found it pleasant indeed.
However, whiskey isn't my favourite, though I do at times enjoy it.

Kind Regards, TG, Uyraell.