Markets in everything the culture that is Scot

In 1907, Ernest Shackleton and crew set out on the ship Nimrod to visit Antarctica and, they hoped, the South Pole. The good news was, the entire party survived the trip, thanks in part to the Rare Old Highland Whisky they brought to the frozen continent. But the expedition was forced to evacuate in 1909, some 100 miles short of the Pole they sought. And, as winter ice encroached and the men hurried home, they left behind three cases of the choice whisky.

In 2007, just about a century later, the whisky was found, intact, at the expedition’s hut at Cape Royds in Antarctica.

The stuff was made by Mackinlay & Co at the Glen Mhor distillery in 1896 or thereabouts. Mackinlay hasn’t been an active brand for a while now, but the current owner of the Mackinlay name, Whyte and Mackay, obtained a few of the precious bottles and set out to do what any right-thinking Scot would do: first, taste the whisky; and second, attempt to analyze and re-create it. The result, a product called Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky, is, as of this writing, buyable in stores.

The article is here, and the pointer is from Jodi Ettenberg, who serves up her favorite longreads of 2011 here.


The Shackleton whisky was discovered in 2007 and the replica is buyable now? Did they not age whisky in 1896?

"He blended a handful of single malts from the closed-in-1983 Glen Mhor distillery, plus Speyside whiskies, island malts and The Dalmore malts to achieve the same flavor profile as the original"

Some good friends of mine and I shared a bottle during a long weekend trip to a lake house in Canada last summer. While I haven't tried the original, the replica is quite nice and certainly made the weekend more memorable.

off topic, but was Shackleton's expedition a marker for imperial decline in the same way as Apollo 13?

The "marker for imperial decline" notion is, I suspect, a rather precious application of hindsight. The fall of Singapore made British imperial decline undeniable; defeat in Vietnam, American. She did awfully well to hang on long enough for the fall of the Berlin wall.

By the way, Whyte and Mackay is owned by Indians; specifically, the same conglomerate that makes Kingfisher beer.

the culture that is Scotch.........

... is wonderful and eternal!

I can think of no other category of food or drink from which I cannot pick a favorite, or a couple of favorites, or at least perhaps a few favorites. The list of my favorite Scotches could bankrupt me (figuratively, not literally) if I tried to keep a bottle of each in my bar. For one thing, I'd have to buy a bigger home just to house the bar.

The Scots must be the smartest humans on the planet.

The scotch may have helped them to survive in the sense that it didn't help them to survive at all. The expedition left the hut well stocked with supplies and didn't return, and any bottle of scotch taken with them would represent a congealed mass of delicious, life giving lard left behind.

No charlie, R. Falcon Scott's expedition is the marker you're looking for.
Shackleton's men all lived.


We won the Vietnam War. We pushed the VietCong out of S.Vietnam and secured her cities, ports & peoples.

Vietnam was not lost until the American anti-war movement (media, hollywood, academia) and its allies in the Democratic Party (led by Senator Edward Kennedy) used the Watergate affair as political currency. That year's midterm elections resulted in catastrophic losses for Republicans.

The first act of the newly elected 1975 Democrat Congress was a vote to cut off funding for the governments of South Vietnam and Cambodia in January 1975. Meanwhile North Vietnam was still receiving fudning and military aid from USSR and China (the Soviet/China-supplied North Vietnamese Army was the fifth largest in the world). After U.S. funding was terminated, North Vietnam renigged all agreements with its neighbors, and the regimes of South Vietnam and Cambodia quickly were overrun by Communists who would go on to slaughter some 2.5 million Indochinese peasants.

That's how Democrats lost Vietnam. We won the fighting.


Thanks for a much needed History lesson!

You can only claim victory if the opposite side had surrendered or that outcome was imminent. Were there any such clear signs; at best I'd call that a stalemate.

Comments for this post are closed