Explorer Shackleton's rare whisky returns from the polar ice

Explorer Ernest Shackleton had to cope with many hardships whilst trekking across the Antarctic ice a century ago in 1909 - so much so that he eventually abandoned the mission.

However, he did have one luxury - a luxury so good that some are hoping to resuscitate it - bring it back from an icey grave. That is: some crates of a whisky, made by McKinlay and Co, which would certainly have made the explorers feel a little warmer.

We reported on the intentions of New Zealanders to thaw some of the whisky back in February, and last week, it finally came to pass: a crate is currently sitting in a museum, thawing, with many visitors coming to see it - though even Lizzie Meek, of the Antarctic Heritage Trust is doubtful that watching a crate thaw is much of a spectacle.

Waiting for gentle thaw is the best way of preserving the whisky, however, and there are hopes that it may be possible to analyse the Scotch with an eye to recreating it, as no modern version exists aside from the cryogenetically preserved tipple.

It's been an extraordinary couple of weeks for preserved fine spirits as the thawing follows last week's discovery of the oldest bottles of Champagne in existence, barely warmer than the whisky, at the bottom of the sea.


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