Possibly the rarest and most precious Scotch has been revealed. No it was not unveiled at a fancy party in Edinburgh or sold at Sotheby’s. It was in fact recently unthawed, yes unthawed. In 2006 it was found under the floorboards of Shackleton’s hut on Ross Island in Antarctica. The infamous expeditions of Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration more than a century ago left behind much more than a deserted hut. The Mackinlay’s Scotch whiskey brought on his 1907 Nimrod expedition is the last of its kind, the recipe being lost to history.
The cold of Antarctica and their well-prepared packaging have ensured that the eleven whiskey bottles are in remarkable condition, and has led to their slow unthawing to retrieve samples. The 1896 or 1897 liquor will be returned to its place in history once enough assessment has been completed. It’s unbelievable that such a historical event in exploration was preserved as much as it was, offering glimpses at not only Shackleton’s expeditions but also at timeless examples of Scottish distillers’ work.