100 YO Antarctic whisky undergoes tests

20 January, 2011

One hundred-year old whiskies that belonged to Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton have been sent to a Whyte & Mackay distillery for testing.

The whiskies were among five boxes marked Mackinlay and Co – a Whyte & Mackay distillery - found last year entombed in ice in a hut on Antarctica.

Three bottles have been flown by private jet to Whyte & Mackay’s Invergordon distillery where they will be analysed by master blender Richard Paterson.

For six weeks under laboratory conditions Paterson will nose, taste and ‘deconstruct’ the whiskies, before reporting back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Paterson will measure the malt content, peat levels, toxins, metals, along with establishing the source and quality of the barley and determining the strength and age.

He said: “Whiskies back then - a harder age - were all quite heavy and peaty as that was the style.”

Once the analysis is complete, the bottles will be transported back to New Zealand in readiness for their eventual return to Shackleton’s hut on Antarctica.

Responding to calls for the whisky to be replicated and brought to market, Whyte & Mackay said: “We have no plans to do so at the moment and if we did it would be in partnership with the trust.

“We need to understand what’s in the bottles first before deciding on any course of action, and that course of action will be determined by all the relevant stakeholders."





Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.

Comment

Nick Strangeway

Could bars be no-phone zones?

For about six hours in early October the world was brought to a standstill. However, it wasn’t the outbreak of a global pandemic that spread panic, but the simultaneous crash of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Instagram

Facebook