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Raise your glass to the Antarctic Scotch Drillers…

In: News

Posted By: Doc Holliday at 10:45 am

18 Nov 2009

Wellington, New Zealand – A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica’s ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whiskey that has been on the rocks since a century ago.  The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.  Al Fastier, who will lead the expedition in January, said restoration workers found the crates of whiskey under the hut’s floorboards in 2006. At the time, the crates and bottles were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.

Whyte & Mackay, the drinks group that now owns McKinlay and Co., has asked for a sample of the 100-year-old scotch for a series of tests that could decide whether to relaunch the now-defunct Scotch.  The New Zealanders have agreed to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.  Fastier said he did not want to sample the contents.  ”It’s better to imagine it than to taste it,” he said. “That way it keeps its mystery.”

Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, said the Shackleton expedition’s whiskey could still be drinkable and taste exactly as it did 100 years ago.  If he can get a sample, he intends to replicate the old Scotch and put McKinlay whiskey back on sale.  “I really hope we can get some back here,” he was quoted as telling London’s Telegraph newspaper. “It’s been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.”

Can we get a slow clap going for these poor bastards?  All the way to fucking Antartica for a crate of 100-year-old scotch?  That takes some serious devotion to aged alcohol.  But if any website should be praising their efforts, it should be this one.  Maybe we can even get Fastier to share a few pulls of his bottle with us, because it doesn’t look like he’ll be needing it.  I don’t know what the hell his deal is.  Not tasting the whiskey is like taking Miranda Kerr home from a bar but just playing cribbage with her all night.


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