Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oldest Whisky Found in Antarctica - Sir Franklin's Arctic Expedition ?

Three bottles of whisky, thought to have been left behind by an Antarctic expedition by Sir Ernest Shackleton more than a century ago, will be sent to Scotland for scientific analysis.
Sir Ernest Shackleton at Ocean Camp, Weddell S...
Image via Wikipedia
The whisky, of the Mackinlay’s brand, was found in 2010 in a wooden crate market British Antarctic Expedition 1907, under Shackleton’s hut, believed to have been built around 1908 as he tried, but failed, to reach the South Pole.
It is likely that the whisky was bottled in Scotland in or around 1896-97, which would make it the oldest whisky in the world.
The 2010 expedition also found two more crates of whisky along with two crates of brandy; however they were left where they were found under the floorboards of the hut.
The wooden crate was frozen solid after having spent more than one hundred years in the -30 degree temperature range. However, the whisky was still liquid.
The crate was thawed by historians at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Three out of the 11 bottles found in the crate will now be sent to the new owners of the Mackinlay’s brand, the Whyte & Mackay distillery in Scotland, where it will be analysed, and the original recipe hopefully recreated.
The value of one bottle of the whisky has been estimated by an Australian whisky expert to be in the region of NZ$90,000 (US$70,000).
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'Honoured' distillers taste century-old whisky

Updated Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:55pm AEDT
The whisky is believed to have been bottled in Scotland in 1896 or 1897
The whisky is believed to have been bottled in Scotland in 1896 or 1897 (
Whisky that was buried in the ice of the Antarctic for more than 100 years has been sampled for the first time.
The scotch was left beneath a hut used by explorer Ernest Shackleton during an unsuccessful expedition to the South Pole in 1907.
Three of the bottles were returned to the Scottish Highlands on a private jet for analysis by local distillers.
The distillers have used syringes to extract small samples of the precious liquid, in the hope of recreating the recipe.
Master blender Richard Paterson is testing the whisky in the hopes of recreating the recipe.
"My initial reaction is very, very interesting but I must wait and see," he said.
"It's a beautiful colour. It's that lovely rich golden colour. This is a whisky that's been kept stable for these number of years.
"I think when Sir Ernest Shackleton tasted this it was a great honour for him as it is an honour for me too."
Mr Paterson says the analysis would be "for the benefit of the whisky industry".
"Never in the history of our industry have we had a century-old bottle of whisky stored in a natural fridge and subjected to some of the harshest conditions on this planet," he said.
For the next six weeks, the whisky will be analysed, nosed, and tasted in full laboratory conditions.

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