Monday, February 8, 2010

Treasure Found!

There are lots of 'lost treasure' stories out there -- but the best ones are those that actually have been rediscovered.

Like Ernest Shackleton's abandoned cases of whisky. His 1909 expedition was forced to leave some of their supplies, including at least two cases of whisky, behind. Those cases were accidentally rediscovered, frozen deep into the ice underneath the expedition hut, when it was being refurbished in 2006. No one could get to them, however.

Now, thanks to Whyte and Mackay, the company who now owns Mackinlay's Rare Old Scotch, they've been salvaged -- by drilling into the ice around the wooden cases. Only it's actually 5 crates! (3 of whisky, 2 of brandy)

Yes, at least some of the crates are good 'ol Mackinlay's...but company execs are especially curious, since this type of spirit is not made anymore. (The original recipe apparently was lost some time ago.) Whiskies back then were "quite heavy and peaty, as that was the style," according to Whyte and Mackay's master blender. Apparently, that's not currently a favorite taste...but I wonder if things will change. People are intrigued with anything that's 'old' --and new, at the same time.

Not everything was salveageable. According to the drillers, the ice around the cases smelled of whisky. Most probably some of the bottles inside have broken or cracked, or the corks are defective. But the cases also made sloshing sounds, suggesting there is some left. (Apparently, they were under instructions to bring the cases Home Without Looking. Wouldn't you have cracked them open to find out??) We'll have to wait for more info. In the meantime, here's another article on the whole business.

When asked what the old stuff will taste like, Richard Paterson, Whyte and Mackay's master blender, just says:

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