No, it’s not the sequel to that Crystal Skull debacle. It’s a very real “adventure” being undertaken by beverage company Whyte & Mackay to rescue two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey lost to the icy Antarctic back in 1909.
The booze was the property of British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who had been on an expedition, subsequently abandoned. My guess is that he gave up when he lost the sauce. ‘Tis the only reasonable course of action.
So what’s the big deal about this well-aged whiskey? If you have to ask, you clearly don’t understand the appeal of drinking something that tastes like it came from an ancient Irish crypt. And of course, there’s a marketing angle:
Whyte & Mackay, the drinks group that now owns McKinlay and Co., has asked for a sample of the 100-year-old scotch for a series of tests that could decide whether to relaunch the now-defunct Scotch.
Workers from New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust will use special drills to reach the crates, frozen in Antarctic ice under the Nimrod Expedition hut near Cape Royds.
Al Fastier, who will lead the expedition in January, said restoration workers found the crates of whisky under the hut’s floorboards in 2006. At the time, the crates and bottles were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.
The New Zealanders have agreed to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.
Fastier said he did not want to sample the contents.
“It’s better to imagine it than to taste it,” he said. “That way it keeps its mystery.”
Mystery or no, if you need taste-testers, Mr. Fastier, I would like to humbly offer my services.