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Whisky

Expedition: British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod)
Materials: wood, glass, paper
Dimensions: 145mm (width), 400mm (height), 122mm (depth)
Date: 1907-1909
Ref no: Y: 2012/8

An empty bottle (a) of 'Rare Old Highland malt whisky', blended and bottled by Charles Mackinlay and Co. (blenders and distillers Leith and Inverness), in a wooden case (b), with cork in holder (c-d) and information booklet (e). The whisky commemorates the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod), led by Ernest Shackleton.

Physical description:

An empty bottle (a) of Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky blended and bottled by Charles Mackinlay & Co. (blenders and distillers Leith and Inverness), in a wooden case (b) with a spare cork in a hessian bag (c-d) and a leaflet and information booklet (e-f) commemorating Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod). The wooden case has two brass hinges along the long side, and is filled with wooden shavings. The lid bears the words 'Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky' and 'The Enduring Spirit // Mackinlay's rare old highland malt whisky was the spirit that fortified Shackleton's 'Nimrod' expedition to Antarctica in 1907. // This commemorative re-creation celebrates the enduring hearth and character of both man and whisky.' One end of the case is marked 'British Antarctic Expedition 1907' and the other 'M.L.'. The front of the case is also marked 'Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky'. All text is in red. The bottle is of green-brown glass, with a cork bung. The base of the bottle has various markings, including: '82mm', '8693', '100ml', '4' and '℮'. Black text on a brown label around the neck of the bottle reads: 'Specially Prepared for the British Antarctic Expedition // 1907 // Ship "Endurance" [sic]'. Black text on a brown label on the back of the bottle reads: 'The Enduring Spirit // There is a lot of story to be told in this one bottle of Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt. A meticulous re-creation of the original whisky shipped to Antarctica in 1907 by Shackleton to fortify his 'Nimrod' expedition. This rare spirit has been a long time in the making. Abandoned to the Antarctic winter in 1909, five wooden crates of Shackleton's malt were buried deep in the ice beneath the expedition hut. Unearthed almost a century later by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, a single crate was flown from Canterbury Museum in New Zealand for careful preservation. Heralded as 'a gift from heaven for whisky lovers', the long-lost malt provided the inspiration for this faithful re-creation of both the whisky using contemporary aged stocks and its distinctive packaging presentation. The result celebrates the character of both man and malt. It commemorates the enduring spirit of another time.' Other labels give details of the manufacture, the size of the bottle (70cl) and the proof of the whisky (47.3% volume). The 28-page information booklet contains information and photographs about the expedition and the making of the whisky, along with a link to the website www.enduring-spirit.com.

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