A hoard of a century-old whisky has been discovered beneath the Antarctic base camp of famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Ice cracked some of the bottles that had been left there in 1909, but the restorers said Friday they are confident the five crates contain intact bottles “given liquid can be heard when the crates are moved.”
New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust team leader Al Fastier said the team thought there were two crates and were amazed to find five.
The whisky was made by MacKinlay & Co and drinks group Whyte & Mackay has asked for a sample to carry out tests with a view to possibly re-launching the defunct brand.
Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte & Mackay, whose company supplied the MacKinlay’s whisky for Shackleton, described the find as “a gift from the heavens” for whisky lovers.
Shackleton’s doomed attempt to reach the South Pole in 1907 is a part of folklore, so the significance of the collection far exceeds the actual contents.
“If the contents can be confirmed, safely extracted and analysed, the original blend may be able to be replicated.
Given the original recipe no longer exists, this may open a door into history,” he said.