Friday, August 20, 2010

For mikey

I was led to believe that the website would feature real-time webcams of the whisky crates defrosting, but sadly, no. Nor were there cookies.

UPDATE: The backstory is that Shackleton's 1907 expedition to Antarctica took three crates or 36 bottles of whiskery (distilled in 1896 or 1897), then drank part of one of them. Evidently it wasn't any good.

The original company was purchased by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries in 1960; then in 1985 acquired by Invergordon Distillers. Invergordon Distillers was in turn bought by Whyte & Mackay Group in 1995. Such was the regard held for the 1896 'Shackleton' recipe, it had been long forgotten by then, which is why the benevolent and non-commercially-motivated people at Whyte & Mackay are working to rediscover it now.

The Whyte & Mackay Group was subsequently swallowed up by Jim Beam Brands World-Wide, Inc., who in turn sold it in 2007 to United Brewing Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Bangalore.

I am not entirely convinced that "integrity to the values of malt whiskery" is high on these people's agenda, but there could be Docudrama potential.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The whisky itself is from a time when Scotch was on the rise and fast becoming the world renowned tipple we know it today. Its convoluted origins go back thousands of years to the dawn of civilisation and this 100 year old stash has given us an opportunity to tell the story of this remarkable drink; from its production to the highs and lows of a drink we simply take for granted.

You left out tag, "Satan worshiping Sciency types."

M. Bouffant said...

the crew contemplated drinking the ice melt but were deterred at the last minute by evidence of penguin excrement!

Goddam penguins. No wonder you guys can't have nice things down there!

mikey said...

See, the thing is I'm not interested in it for the recipe, or even, ultimately for a taste of what they considered commercial scotch a hundred years ago. I'm interested in those few specific bottles. It'd be deeply fascinating in "living history" sense to savor a wee dram of Shackleton's actual whisky. It's the fact that he lugged it around with the expedition, and actually reached into the stores for a little something to hold back the long darkness. THATS cool.

In this theme, salvagers are beginning to make a business out of recovering brandy, wine and champagne from shipwrecks. Apparently at the bottom of the Black Sea, for example, temperatures and conditions are just right for long-term preservation, and those little old winemakers of the 17th and 18th centuries appear to have had the corking skills to keep the seawater out, even at depth. I'd enjoy a bit of the brandy - I'm just not much for Champagne...

Substance McGravitas said...

Rusty Shackleford is THAT OLD???

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I wonder how this Scotch would stand up to a good Snake Year Sherry.