About Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
In August 1907, Ernest Shackleton set sail aboard the Nimrod on an expedition to become the first person ever to reach the South Pole. While his voyage was almost immediately beset with calamity, Shackleton and his small crew continued to voyage southward, and eventually set up camp at Cape Royds in the winter of 1908. There, Shackleton inventoried his supplies, which included crates of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Scotch Whisky in case their journey was successful (apparently, the team took no fruits or vegetables with them). Running dangerously low on supplies, Shackleton and his team were forced to turn around before reaching the South Pole. "We are so thin that our bones ache as we lie on the hard snow," wrote Shackleton in his diary.
Nearly a century later, the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered several crates of whisky while carrying out conservation work on Shackleton's hut in Cape Royds. The team was able to chisel the frozen whisky from the snow, and recovered ten bottles that had been preserved in sub-zero temperatures and were completely intact. “The whisky-obsessed likened the find to Howard Carter’s stumbling into the tomb of Tutankhamen,” wrote the The New York Times. Ultimately, three of the bottles were placed into red briefcases that were handcuffed to the wrists of Robert Patterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, and taken to Scotland for dissection. “When I saw how clear it was, that gave me a lot of confidence,” says Paterson of the whisky. “That was a good sign it hadn’t spoiled.” Patterson, a gray-haired and mustachioed gentleman who has been in the Scotch whisky industry for nearly five decades, is affectionately referred to as The Nose (his nose was once insured by Lloyd’s for $2.4 million).
Analysis of the original Shackleton Whisky determined that the whisky was made exclusively from malted barley, which had been lightly peated with peat sourced from the Orkney Islands (the home to Highland Park Distillery).
After tasting a small sample of the century-old whisky, Patterson set about to create a malt whisky that replicated the aroma and flavor profile of the original Shackleton Whisky. This Shackleton blend is comprised of a rare Glen Mhor cask, and some heavily peated Dalmore in addition to Glenfarclas, Mannochmore, Tamnavulin, Ben Nevis, Aultmore, Fettercairn, Pulteney and Jura whiskies. You can expect notes of smoke, rich sweetness
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Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.
Check out our impressive selection of scotch whiskies, find your new favorite in the Top 10 scotch whiskies, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find scotch whiskies.