MacKinlay’s Shackleton Whisky

MacKinlay’s Shackleton Whisky

By Spirits Contributor Neal Kotlarek

Looking for a good story to tell your house guests over an after-dinner drink? MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malts are re-creations of the original malt whisky shipped to Antarctica in 1907 by explorer Ernest Shackleton on his “Nimrod” expedition.

In 2007, a century after the expedition, three cases of the perfectly preserved whisky were discovered, frozen into the ice beneath Shackleton’s base camp at Cape Royds.

In 2011, three of the discovered bottles were excavated and flown to New Zealand where they were carefully thawed by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust in a purpose-built environment and public gallery at Canterbury Museum.  Following scientific analysis and replication, malts from Glen Mhor and Dalmore distilleries were selected and combined with others to create a blend that is, according to the MacKinlay website “light honey in colour with an aroma that is soft, elegant and refined, and a taste that is both harmonious and exhilarating.”

My personal view is that the whisky is as fabulous as the tale behind its presentation. The bottle is raffia-encased, reminiscent of the straw-bound bottles found in the Antarctic. The label graphics are meticulously hand drawn to ensure a perfect match to the original.

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