Sunday, March 04, 2007
Shackleton's Whisky Stash Discovered in Antarctica
Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) was an Irish-born British explorer who tried to conquer Antarctica on several expeditions. During one failed attempt to reach the South Pole in 1908, Shakleton and his team built a hut on Ross Island and waited for nine months as temperatures dipped to -58 degrees.
Part of what helped the crew pass the time was a stash of 12 cases of MacKinlay's Scotch, an Edinburgh distiller that had agreed a year earlier to serve as the expedition's official whisky supplier. After coming within 98 miles of reach their goal, the Shakleton expedition had to rush to leave Antarctica before the winter trapped them. The group left behind excess supplies in their haste to leave.
Now a conservation team excavating ice from beneath Shackleton's hut has found two cases of the Scotch fully intact. The New Zealand-lead team decided to leave the whisky in the hut. One could only imagine what two cases of 100 year old Scotch might fetch at auction, especially with the historical significance of this find and the fact the whisky has literally been kept on ice for all of this time.
That's all we are likely to be able to do, since the conservation team is says it has no plans to remove the whisky from the hut.