• November 2009
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Whisky News

Both today’s postings are courtesy of TBLFP readers which is great. I really appreciate you taking time to forward stuff. John the lensman in Bonhill contacted me yesterday about the story of whisky from the Shackleton polar expedition being searched for in ice (where it has lain since 1909) and how it is regarded as drinkable (if relocated and retrieved).

This coincided with two other whisky news items so here they are in logical order:

Scotch whisky protected against ‘inferior’ copies

New guidelines to protect whisky from foreign imitation, including new rules on labelling and bottling, are coming into force in Scotland on Monday.

There will be a new requirement to only bottle Single Malts in Scotland, and tighter rules on the use of distillery names on bottle labels.

There will also be better protection of traditional regional names such as “Highland” and “Lowland”.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) described it as “landmark legislation”.

The regulations have been drawn up by the UK government.
The full article on the BBC is here

Something had to be done. Some of the Indian and Chinese whiskies aren’t great but it will only of course be a matter of time. Remember how we laughed at Japanese cars?

Scotch whisky accounts for 20% of Scotland’s exports (!)

The term “single malt” (which means a malt whisky or malt whiskies using product from one distillery) will now only apply to whisky distilled and bottled in Scotland and the term “pure malt” is to be banned.

Story two from Kathryn Hopkins in Sunday’s Observer:

Dalmore Oculus whisky fetches a record £27,000 at auction

Britain may still be in recession, but the appetite for the finer things in life, it appears, lives on. Topping all expectations, Bonhams, the upmarket auction house, last week sold a decanter of whisky to a bashful buyer for a record-breaking £27,600.

Richard Paterson and The Dalmore Oculus

The unique Dalmore Oculus, blended from some of the most exceptional whiskies of the past 140 years, had been expected to reach up to £20,000. Instead, it raised the largest amount of money ever paid for a Dalmore whisky. The buyer asked to remain anonymous.

Dalmore Oculus was created on 15 October by Glasgow based distillers Whyte & Mackay. The oldest whisky in the blend was distilled in 1868, with others from 1878, 1922, 1926, 1939 and 1951. Whyte & Mackay’s master distiller, Richard Paterson, said: “I am confident it will appeal to epicureans, investors and collectors.”

The sale in Edinburgh raised of £211,518 – the best on record.

And finally…..

Again a story concerning Richard Paterson:

The search for Shackleton’s spirit

(Simon Johnson – The Telegraph)

Two crates of the now extinct “Rare Old” brand of McKinlay and Co whisky have been buried in the Antarctic ice since Shackleton was forced to abandon his polar mission in 1909.

Sir Ernest Shackleton - Liked a dram apparently

But Whyte & Mackay, the whisky giant that owns McKinlay and Co, has asked a team of New Zealand explorers heading out on a January expedition to return a sample of the drink for a series of experiments.

The team intends to utilise special drills to free the trapped crates and rescue a bottle from the wreckage, which is believed to have been discarded 97 miles from the pole.

If they cannot retrieve a full bottle, they are hoping to use a syringe to extract some of the contents.

The sample will then be brought home to Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, who intends to replicate the famous old whisky.

If the experiment is successful, original McKinlay whisky could be put back on sale.

Mr Paterson said: “I really hope we can get some back here. It’s been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.

“Even if most of the bottles have to remain in Antarctica for historic reasons, it would be good if we could get a couple.”

McKinlay's Whisky

Mr Paterson said Shackleton’s whisky could still be drinkable and taste exactly how it did 100 years ago, but conceded that the bottles could have been damaged due to the changing conditions in the Antarctic.

“When that whisky was made it would have been quite heavy and peaty as that was the style in the early 1900s,” he added.

“It may taste the same as it did back then if the cork has stayed in the bottle and kept it airtight. However, if the whisky is on its side, the cork may have been eroded.”


5 Responses

  1. Whisky news in portuguese? http://jornaldowhisky.wordpress.com/

  2. […] (images via: Luxury Insider and Whisky News) […]

  3. […] (images via: Luxury Insider and Whisky News) […]

  4. Mr paterson states thet if the McKinley whisky in the Antartic has been on its side then the cork may have disintegrated but the general opinion is that we should store wine bottles on their side to preserve the cork. Comments please?-)

  5. […] Sir Ernest Shackleton – Liked bigrab.wordpress.com […]

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