Shackleton

14 Feb

Shackleton is really hotting up in the news now, a year before the centenary of him setting off on his most famous expedition, the “Endurance” expedition at the very beginning of WW1

But it is the “Nimrod” expedition that is in the news recently in relation to items left in the hut when the team left their base in a hurry to pile onto the  ship. Cases of Whisky and brandy have been recovered amongst other things.

Shackleton came from a family that was teetotal and as a young man, did not drink ; later he overcame this inhibition rather easily. He noted the benefits of alcohol on the “Discovery” expedition and realised that on his  own expedition his 14 companions would need alcohol for relaxation; apart from anything else they had the terrible Antarctic winter to get through.  He needed to encourage camaraderie. He took 25 cases of  10 year malt whisky to his base. Called ‘Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky’ it was especially prepared for British Antarctic Expedition of 1907. The malt was 47 percent proof, this gave it a low freezing point and  is how a number of cases survived the 100 years since it was stored in the crawl space under the hut.

Contents from the 3 retrieved cases have been analysed by Scottish Distillers Whyte and Mackey, who took over the original firm who provided the whisky. It is said to be in perfect condition. To obtain a bottle of the original malt is impossible for mere mortals, but Whyte and Mackay’s analysis has allowed them to reproduce the 100 year old flavour at, apparently, £100 per bottle

I must buy one!

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