In 2010, researchers and conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust of New Zealand made quite the interesting discovery. Hidden beneath the hut legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton used during his 1908 Antarctica expedition (known as the Nimrod) were five crates covered in ice: three containing Scotch-blended whisky and two containing brandy! This wasn’t the only discovery made by the Trust either; they also found a notebook and photos from similar expeditions on the continent.
After the whisky was discovered, one crate was sent to New Zealand where it was thawed and displayed for the public at Canterbury Museum. Three of the bottles from the crate were given to the owner of Whyte & Mackay, the maker of the brand of whisky found in Shackleton’s hut. There, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender was able to create an exact replica of the whisky, giving whisky connoisseurs a chance to taste the historic booze and helping to fund the Trust’s work (a share of the proceeds from the whisky were donated to the Trust).
Shackleton’s hut where the whisky was found is quite historic. It was the home base during Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition from 1907-1909, where a party of five was the first to climb the world’s southernmost volcano (Mt Erebus). Shackleton also lead a group of four on a trek to reach the South Pole, making it further than any explorers had previously.
It’s understandable that, when you’re making history in the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration,” you need a way to unwind every now and then! Find out more about this incredible discovery here, and get a closer look at the whisky in the video below.