Friday, February 05, 2010
Shackleton's Whisky Recovered!
Way back in November I posted a story about how the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust had discovered a case of whisky under the ice in Antarctica. The booze had been left behind by Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition back in 1908, and the trust planned on recovering it as part of their on going process of restoring a hut that had been built by polar explorer Earnest Shackleton more than a century ago.
According to this story from the Associated Press, the delicate process of recovering the whisky is now complete, and much to the surprise of the team that went to get it, they found not two crates of alcohol, but five. Three of them contained the whiskey, as was previously reported, while two others were full of bottles of brandy. The particular brand of whisky has not been available for decades, and it is expected to be studied and possibly reproduced for sale in the future.
Recovering the alcohol was no small feat. The crates had been cracked by years of sitting under the ice, and the bottles were found in precarious positions. It was a delicate operation that took a great deal of time and skill to complete. Removing it from the ice was just part of the process however, and the Trust will continue to explore ways to preserve and restore the historic booze moving forward as well.
It is believed that the five crates were left behind when Shackleton's expedition was abandoning the shack after they turned back from the Pole and were scrambling to get off the continent. They were low on supplies and no doubt weak from their journey and likely took just the things that they needed when they left.
Thanks to the Wend Blog for posting the update on this story.