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Shackleton's Whisky - Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt

Well done, Mr Paterson!

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@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

18th Nov 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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This blend is a replica of the whisky left in Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton during his South Pole expedition between 1907 and 1909. It was recreated by Whyte and Mackay’s master blender Richard “The Nose” Paterson and contains mostly Glen Mhor (apparently of the rare 1983 kind) and Dalmore, although other Speyside malts such as Longmorn, Benriach, Glenfarclas, Mannochmore, Tamnavulin and Glen Rothes were included to add the floral flavours, combined with Highland whiskies from Balblair and Pulteney and topped with some aged Jura.

The nose has some distinct fruity notes such as citrus fruits, pears, and pineapple. I also detected biscuit, caramel and some hints of rubber. In addition to that there is a whiff of smoke that elegantly completes this many-sided nose. This is a great start to a tasting session!

The palate is medium-bodied, sweet and rather oily. The citrus fruits reappear, this time next to some delicious apple flavours. Midway the palate turns peppery and ends with a punch of earthy peat.

The finish is medium long, very warming and pleasantly lingering. There are again citrus fruits and caramel that at the end are overtaken by a sweet pepperiness and the earthy peat already observed on the palate.

This is a very good blend, and I enjoyed every dram that I got out of my bottle, especially the combination of sweetness and peatiness. Still, the 160 Euros that I had to fork out at the time were a heavy price tag that no doubt was influenced by the story of how the original whisky was recreated by “The Nose” himself. Would I buy it again? I do not think so, but I certainly enjoyed it while I had it.

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