Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Nimrod Sails Again - Shackleton Whisky

Snow casts itself about with lawless abandon, lodging itself in the beard, clinging to the eyelashes and surging up the nostrils. Feet scream in frostbitten pain and the huskies are all but drowned out by the roar of the Yeti. Sharp, icy, penetrating, gale force winds cut to the bone and the sleds are lost in the blanketing lonely whiteout.

There is something undeniably British about romanticising the trials and tribulations of great explorers such as Captain Scott, Sir Edmund Hilary and Ernest Shackleton. In films and books we seek out a taste of that adventure and foolhardy daring. So what if we could physically taste that in the comfort of our armchairs? Thanks to the efforts of the New Zealand Antarctic Trust and the good people at Whyte and Mackay, we can.

In 2006 several cases of 1907 Mackinlay Scotch whisky were found in Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic hut and in 2010 three bottles were carefully removed and thawed for master blender Robert Paterson to taste and then recreate as a blend. He produced a whisky that was as close as he could get to the original. So although we may not be able to throw ourselves to the mercy of the arctic wastes to follow in these great, snowshoe clad footsteps, we can at least taste what got him through that doomed Antarctic expedition.

Shackleton Whisky
47.3% - No Age Statement - Bottled by Whyte & Mackay
Nose: Strawberry and liquorish give way to toast and fragrant smoke and icing sugar.
Palate: Light body with lots of citrus fruit and strawberry.
Finish: Creamy and long.
Overall: A superb blend coupled with a fascinating story. Gimmicks aside this is a great whisky! To cap it off it comes in replica packaging to enhance the sense of adventure.

Get it here.