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A lot has already been written about the original whisky Ernest Shackleton left on the South Pole in 1909, which was then found in 2007. Whyte & Mackay’s Richard Paterson – aka The Nose – created a replica, including Glen Mhor from 1983 (the year the distillery closed). No less than 50.000 bottles were produced and are being sold for £100 each (of which £5 goes to the Antartic Heritage Trust). The original bottles have been returned to their final resting place under Shackleton’s cabin in the snow.
The nose is elegant and soft with green apples and pineapple, softly spiced with ginger and maybe even some cinnamon. It has a ‘dirty’ side too, but that disappears from the glass fairly quickly. Fresh oak shavings bring sweet vanilla and caramel to the mix. There is a hint of smoke that adds a certain beauty to the nose.
It’s a bit drying and picquant on the palate. The pineapple from the nose returns, together with some orange zest. Pepper and nutmeg. Reminds me even of rice gruel with brown sugar… The smokiness is a constant presence in the background. Quite nice, actually. I’m not sure why that should come as a surprise. Maybe I was prejudiced because the release of this blend has been so hyped by the marketing boys. But this is really good.
The finish on oranges, spices and smoke lasts quite a bit.
A very good blend, but I think the pricetag was decided by the luxurious packaging and the nice story, not the quality of the whisky. Is it worth the money? Well, you’ll have to make up your own mind when you taste it. But it’s good, no doubt about it.