Scotch on the Rocks

Shackleton 2nd from left
This blog post has a connection to one of our products which was awarded a 2-star Gold Medal at the Great Taste Awards in 2010 – our Organic Cold Smoked Salmon with Honey, Whiskey & Fennel!

Over a century ago, in 1909, explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton who was born in 1874 in County Kildare, Ireland, had to leave behind some cases of alcohol at Hut Point in the Antarctic. They had failed to reached the South Pole as they had to turn back in a race against starvation. They just about made it back to the ship. But their achievement was that they were the first humans (we know of) to get this far south. Two years later, Roald Amundsen reached the southernmost point of the earth.

In 2006, five crates of Scotch whisky and two of brandy were recovered from under the floor boards by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew.

Only this year, current distillery owner, drinks group Whyte & Mackay, launched the bid to recover the Scotch whisky for samples to test and decide whether to relaunch the defunct spirit made by distiller McKinlay and Co.

Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte and Mackay, described the find as “a gift from the heavens for whisky lovers.”

“If the contents can be confirmed, safely extracted and analysed, the original blend may be able to be replicated. Given the original recipe no longer exists, this may open a door into history,” he said in a statement.

On 5 January 1922, Shackleton suffered a fatal heart attack on his last expedition to the South Pole, on board his ship QUEST in South Georgia. Just before he died, his doctor who was with him on the ship told him to lead a more regular life and to give up alcohol…

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