Do you ever dream of finding a rare, old bottle of whiskey frozen in a giant block of ice?
Okay, maybe that dream is a bit of a stretch, but it would still be awesome, right? Well, it actually happened recently and we just read a really cool story about it on Australia’s Food Magazine website.
Back in 2007, Richard Paterson (the master blender for Whyte & Mackay’s) got a call from the Antarctic Heritage Trust telling him that they had just found bottles of whiskey that had been frozen under the Cape Royds, Antarctica hut of 19th century Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Three years later, after very careful excavation, Paterson picked up three bottles of the whiskey from the Antarctic Heritage Trust in New Zealand (they had given him permission to analyze the whiskey) and brought them back to Scotland with him via private jet. The best part? Paterson handcuffed the high tech insulated containers to himself to make sure no one could take them from him.
Once the whiskey was at Paterson’s lab, he worked with his chief scientist to analyze it. They couldn’t open the bottles, so they carefully extracted it using a special syringe. He was able to identify the composite whiskies that went into making the blended malt, which meant he was also able to recreate the whiskey to the best of his knowledge and ability. Four months and 50 samples later, he felt that he found one that was a perfect match to the original.
Paterson said he was actually quite surprised by the taste, noting “…I certainly underestimated the talent of our whiskey forefathers. The blend was much lighter in style than I had anticipated and it was a really smooth whisky, which showed us that distilling methods were much more advanced than we had previously thought. The palate of the whisky has notes of pineapple, exotic fruits and just a whisper of peat smoke, so it’s also perfect for today’s tastes.”
There have been fifty thousand units of the Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky replica created, but it’s not cheap and it’s not easy to find. It looks like you can grab it online, but it’s shipped from overseas, so it includes customs charges and a delivery charge as well. We still think it’s worth it to taste a whiskey that was literally frozen in time and brought back from the dead. Do you?