In Antarctica, Drilling for… 100-Year-Old Whiskey?

By Brett Israel | November 17, 2009 12:02 pm

antartica-webNew Zealand explorers are Antarctica-bound to rescue a cache of rare whiskey left on the continent by British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton during his journey in 1909.

Buried under the floorboards of a hut where his crew spent a long, dark winter are two crates of an extinct brand of McKinlay and Co. whiskey. Experts say the historic booze has been preserved in ice, according to Stuff.co.az:

The New Zealanders will use special drills to free the trapped crates and rescue a bottle from the crates, discarded near the Cape Royds hut used by the Nimrod expedition, or at least draw off a sample using a syringe.

However, they won’t be sipping the whiskey if they can remove it. International protocols say the crates can be removed from Antarctica for conservation only. Whyte & Mackay, the distillery that owns McKinlay and Co., says if they can draw a sample, the blend could be replicated and put back into production. So one day soon, you too could be sipping on Shackleton’s preferred hooch.

Let’s hope their drilling adventure goes more smoothly than other recent trips to Antarctica

Related content:
Discoblog: Antarctic Glaciers Melt and Spill Their Secret: DDT
Discoblog: Antarctica and the American Southwest: Former Neighbors?
Discoblog: Using Nuclear Tests on “Aged” Whiskey Could Save You $30,000

Image: flickr / individuo

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
  • http://drvitelli.typepad.com Romeo Vitelli

    Shouldn’t they be using a medium if they want to raise spirits?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2009/11/17/in-antarctica-drilling-for-100-year-old-whiskey/ TheMuthaF***inPresident

    This is very interesting, personally i think they should drink a little bit of it. Hey if you found it you have to enjoy your spoils.

    [Moderator's note: edited out the cuss word in commenter's name.]

  • Argent

    If they’re only able to fit a syringe down there, they must be using a medium-small.

  • http://oscarvalles.com Oscar V

    As tempting as taking a sip sounds, I’m glad they are not allowed to consume what they drilled. That would provide too much liberty for people to mess up the antarctic in search for trivial things. I hope this is some good whiskey.

  • Joel

    Your comment just raised mine, Romeo :)

  • WhiteBoy

    Fingee Trap!

  • mike easterling

    VERY COOL, OR SHOULD I SAY COLD ORDEAL. BUT, IF U REALLY WANT 100 YR OLD WHISKY, GO TO AN OLD BREWERY, GET A 100 YR OLD WHISKY BARREL, FILL IT HALF FULL OF WATER, AND ROLL IT FROM TIME TO TIME FOR 3 MOS. WHAMMO, 100 YR OLD WHISKY

  • http://www.thebarrelsource.com/ whiskey barrels

    If i could only get my hands on the whiskey treasure… I would place it my oak barrel and let it sit. I would personalize it “Richard’s Hooch”. Cool post.
    Cheers,
    Richard A. Weisberg

  • http://whiskeybrands.net whiskey

    very very cool. pour me some!

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