16 Nov 2009

Antarctic expedition to drill for Shackleton's whisky

1:29 pm on 16 November 2009

A New Zealand expedition to Antarctica plans to drill for whisky left behind on the continent 100 years ago.

Supplies left by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton during an expedition in 1909 included two crates of a now extinct Scottish brand of McKinlay and Co whisky.

The crates were discovered in 2006 in thick ice under a hut used in the unsuccessful expedition, but a sample bottle could not be retrieved.

The original distillery has asked for a sample so it can try to reproduce the blend.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust expedition to Cape Royds will attempt to excavate the crates in January and special drills will be required to safeguard the whisky.

However, expedition leader Al Fastier says the main purpose of the trip is to carry out restoration work on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova hut.