Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt Scotch Whisky


"The Journey"

This whisky was created to mimic the original bottle taken by Shackleton to Antarctica. Bottled at 47.3% ABV.

"Rarely has a blend caused as much excitement as this one, but with good reason. This is also known as the Shackleton whisky, and is a recreation of the whisky abandoned in the Antarctic by explorer Ernest Shackleton more than 100 years ago. It has lemon, spring blossom, and wafts of smoke on the nose. The taste is full and citrusy, with peat and pepper in attendance. Beautifully balanced and outstanding, but there are just 50,000 bottles, so snap it up."- Whisky Advocate

In June 1907, the Glen Mhor distillery in Inverness, Scotland, received an order from the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton for a total of 46 cases of Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt – one of the more indulgent items included among the provisions designed to sustain his British Antarctic Expedition of 1907.

In February 2007, after almost a century entombed in thick ice beneath Shackleton's expedition hut in Antarctica, three crates of this long lost whisky were discovered by a team from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. The team was carrying out a full programme of conservation work on the aging expedition hut at Cape Royds when they made their stunning discover

In early 2010, one crate of the whisky was removed from the ice by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and flown directly back to Canterbury Museum for careful thawing and stabilisation. A team of conservators were able to examine the contents and were eventually delighted to recover 11 bottles, 10 of which are perfectly intact, still wrapped in protective paper and straw.

With the whisky finally freed from the frozen crate, the museum conservators were able to complete their detailed analysis of the packaging, labels and bottles. Indeed, never before in the history of whisky experts had access to a century old bottle of whisky that had been stored in a natural fridge well beyond human reach. So it was arguably only a slight exaggeration when this rare and valuable malt was described as ‘a gift from heaven for whisky lovers’ by Richard Paterson, Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay, the owners of the Mackinlay brand.

Arriving home in Scotland, for the first time in more than 100 years, the whisky was transported to W&M’s Invergordon Spirit Laboratory for detailed scientific analysis. Richard Paterson, and his expert team led by Dr James Pryde, spent several weeks in the laboratory nosing, tasting and deconstructing the whisky to reveal its true heritage.

The contribution made by Whyte & Mackay of £5 per bottle for every Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky sold will aid the Trust in the ongoing care of Shackleton’s base and the legacy he and his men left behind in Antarctica. It will also fund research at the historic sites and contribute to the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project. “We are grateful for the financial support Whyte & Mackay are giving to help keep Shackleton’s Antarctic legacy alive,” said Nigel Watson, Executive Director, Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The Recreated Whisky


COLOR: Light honey, straw gold with shimmering highlights.

NOSE: Soft, elegant and refined. Delicate crushed apple, pear and fresh pineapple. Notes of oak shavings and smoke. Hints of vanilla, creamy caramel and nutmeg.

TASTE: Plenty of impact on the palate; a tantalising array of flavours,harmonious and exhilarating.


BOX: A unique, stand-out hexagonal "shipping case" with an open "see me" window on the front panel. The raffia-encasing of the product is reminiscent of the original straw-bound bottles discovered in the Antartic. A holographic badge issues authenticity.

BOTTLE: A painstaking process was followed to ensure all bubbles and imperfections in the original were replicated. In effect, the glass manufacturer turned off all the modern-day quality controls.

LABEL SET: All lettering was meticulously drawn by hand to ensure a perfect match to the original. Paperstocks were selected to perform as the original stocks of over a century ago.

Collections: Scotch, Spirits


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