Brew and Booze News

Booze On TV: National Geographic Documentary About The Recreation of the Shackleton Whisky

Whyte & Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson aka The Nose

I have been fascinated by Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition ever since I saw the IMAX documentary called Shackleton’s Antartctic Adventure. As if this story wasn’t fascinating enough on its own, in January of 2007, a case of Shackleton’s whisky was discovered by a group of New Zealand researchers while working for the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

In January of this year, three of the eleven bottles were sent back to  Scotland so that Whyte & Mackay, owners of the Mackinlay brand, could analyze and recreate Shackleton’s whisky. Whyte & Mackay’s recreation, which was headed by Master Blender Richard Paterson, was released in the UK this past April, and made its way to the US this past summer (you can buy a bottle from Bayway World of Liquor if you have $150 to spare).

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from a publicist working for the National Geographic Channel. This Thursday night at 8PM, they will be airing a documentary called Expedition Whisky. Here is what National Georgraphic has to say about this program (click here if you’d like to see a quick preview of the show):

Battling subzero temperatures and using only rudimentary navigational tools, explorer Ernest Shackleton set the record for reaching the furthest south in 1908, just 97 miles from the South Pole.  The expedition was cut short by a lack of food, and Shackleton returned home to a hero’s welcome in England and was knighted by King Edward VII.  But apparently, Shackleton left behind a few “necessities” from his epic journey to the South Pole.  In 2006, Shackleton’s stash of Scotch was re-discovered beneath the hut he used as his base camp.  With rare archival material and the last remaining film footage of Shackleton and his crew, “Expedition Whisky” not only tells the amazing story of Shackleton’s most successful adventure and his secret stash of whisky, but also shows a world’s top taster on a mission to sniff out and remake the vintage.

I will definitely be tuning in! Pity I won’t have a dram of this whisky to enjoy while I watch it.

11 replies »

  1. This is when I wish I were still in North America. Heard all about this story when I met the Whyte and Mackay chaps here in London, but would love to see that! Hopefully there will be a way to stream it here!


  2. $150/bottle …. should I be alarmed that my first reaction to the price was to reach for my AMEX card? Probably a bit high considering what the blend actually is but the story is worth the premium for this replica.

    I think you just added the first item to the Booze Dancing Christmas gift suggestion list. The 2nd item would be the DVD from Nat Geo. Add in some Glencairn glasses and you got a nice gift set.


      • I smell a blog post … The Booze Dancers Holiday Shopping Gift Guide:

        – Mackinlay Shackelton
        – Expedition Whisky Director’s Cut DVD
        – Monogrammed Glencairn Noising Glass Set
        – Canadian Breakfast Stout
        – The Johnny Walker Collection Gift Set
        – The Bacon Explosion
        – Northern Brewer Deluxe Homebrew Starter Kit

        ….. I’m sure we can develop an extensive list


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