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Whyte and Mackay Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky

The Thing of a tasting journey

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@RantavahtiReview by @Rantavahti

6th Aug 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The skeptic in me says that a limited release of 50 000 bottles of blended malt from Whyte and Mackay will be an overpriced whisky in a good looking package. The dreamer in me says that it will be a treat to taste the replica whisky left in Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton during his South Pole expedition early 1900's.

This final replica has whiskies from Speyside, the Island, and the Highlands with an recipe that even includes some very rare 1983 Glen Mhor. Being honest, I didn't know what to expect. "Coming from Antarctica", I felt like taking on the The Thing. Excited, but a bit terrified.

The one I got to taste was Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky – JOURNEY edition. It was the second edition of this famous replica whisky. According to Whyte and Mackay, it's been created with the same single malts used in the original, DISCOVERY Edition.

Mackinlay's Shackleton replica was surprisingly good for a blended malt. I have to admit that my subconscious must have made it a lot better. It's hard not glorify this blend because of it's roots.

Nose: Very sharp and remains that way quite a long time. Delicately fruity and vibrantly oaky, feels very dry on the nose with a touch of ginger. At some point the fruitfulness turns into a bit more like berries.

Taste: The dryness remains in the taste with some sugary notes. Like chewing on lingonberries and marmalade with cinnamon. All of my 3 tasting friends detected some smoke but I didn't, so let's say there's hints of wee smoke...

Finish: Remains dry and sweet and bit spicy, yet way too quick.

Balance: A bit on the complex side with lack of an aftertaste. Surprisingly good and grabs you into a whisky journey by force, even though you try to be as skeptic as you can.

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