Wednesday Whisky Club - Mackinlay's

Wednesday Whisky Club - Mackinlay's

August 22, 2018

Once upon a time, some plucky Brits were bent upon exploring the Antarctic, but not to be denied some of the comforts of home, sent an order to Mackinlay's, then an independent company, to see them right with a few bottles (43 cases to be exact) of their Rare Old Highland Malt. 

They got through 40 cases of the stuff, so it must have been quite palatable, and then, for reasons that need not concern us, they buried the remaining bottles under their hut and shipped out. The whisky lay there undisturbed for close to a century, at a constant -20 C, until a conservation team from New Zealand dug it up.

Their cunning plan was to put it straight back, but they were prevailed upon to ship three bottles to Scotland, where Richard Paterson and a team from Whyte & Mackay set about analysing the contents and attempting to replicate them (you'll appreciate that I'm condensing the story more than a little - it's well worth visiting the excellent website and reading the whole thing at leisure).

Mackinlay's The Journey | Scotch and Rich

That wasn't easy because the Glen Mhor distillery which made the original whisky had long since been demolished - depressingly, there is a Co-op shop on the site. However, showing an appropriate measure of gritty perseverance, they persisted and released a version they called Discovery. The fortunate few able to taste the whisky recovered from the Antarctic and the 'new' blended malt hailed its remarkable resemblance to the original.

All 50,000 bottles sold out so rapidly that they created a second edition, The Journey, donating £5 from each to the Antarctic Heritage Trust. 

Colour: Preseved amber

Nose: Pears in valilla custard, slightly singed (a poetic reference to hints of smoke).

Taste: Deliciously mouth-coating, with liquorice root, caramel, peat and mint all vying for attention.

Finish: Back comes the fruit, dries at the end.