Whisky and Ice (August Scavenger Hunt)

“MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY.  SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL.  HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.”

With this classified ad, Ernest Shackleton is said to have recruited the crew for his 1907 expedition to the South Pole.  The effort took two years, and eventually, one hundred miles short of his goal, running low on supplies, Shackleton was forced to turn back.  Shackleton’s Journey

He abandoned what supplies remained, including several cases of Mackinlay’s blended scotch whisky.  Mackinlay scotch is no longer distilled, the original recipe forgotten long ago.  But, in 2007, a team of explorers from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered several crates of whisky at the site of Shackleton’s Hut.

Image(A group of explorers from Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition, 1907-09, in the Antarctic hut at Cape Royds; photo from Shackleton’s 1911 book, The Heart of the Antarctic, retrieved from wikipedia).

In 2010, Whyte and Mackay, the distillery that owns what was once Mackinlay, sent a team to the South Pole  in a successful bid to extract the scotch from the ice.  Not only did the team retrieve five cases of scotch, they discovered two cases of brandy as well.  Master blenders at Whyte and Mackay analyzed the whisky and have created a replica of the Mackinlay brand with a limited edition release of Mackinlay’s Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt.

I love a story like this.  A story that combines good scotch and ice.  In honor of the story, I plan to combine a wee dram scotch (not Mackinlay’s, but still a very nice bottle) with a bit of ice.  A toast to Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Sir-Ernest-Shackleton

(Ernest Shackleton, photo retrieved from http://www.hilobrow.com)

August Scavenger Hunt

13. ice
35. whiskey

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7 thoughts on “Whisky and Ice (August Scavenger Hunt)

  1. It is a fascinating story (and you’ve found a delightful presentation of it). And it’s a fascinating place. About 6 years ago, I was at the spot where the hut was in the Antarctic — in December, it’s chilly, but we were able to sail up to the point where he left his men to go for help. There’s a monument to the people who rescued them — and a LOT of ice and penguins there — what a dismal place it was, but how beautiful in today’s technology!

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      1. It was! We spent 10 or 11 days around the Peninsula, visiting view spots, old whaling stations, research stations both active and abandoned, and lots of ice, including one berg that was 150 feet high and several miles long. The wildlife was magnificent — several types of penguins, lots of seals, lots of birds, and a couple of big whales — even the captain of the ship was excited! This year I’ll do a shorter trip to the north to see polar bears and eskimos!

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  2. I bought a gorgeous photo book of Shackleton’s voyage. It’s a fascinating story. The photographer had been ordered to abandon his glass plates, as I recall, but couldn’t bear to part with all of them, so he saved some (fortunately for us).

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