Feb 11 2010

My famous relative left the booze behind

Category: history,societyharmonicminer @ 9:23 am

Ernest Shackleton’s Whiskey Found Buried Near South Pole

It’s probably the most sought-after scotch in history – crates of whiskey buried in Antarctica by the famed explorer Ernest Shackleton a century ago. He abandoned them on a failed attempt to reach the South Pole in 1909, and they’ve been on ice – literally – ever since.

Researchers from New Zealand found the crates while restoring a hut Shackleton built and used during the expedition. He and his team were forced to cut short the trip and abandon supplies, including their booze, to sail away before winter ice trapped them there.

Shackleton’s expedition ran short of supplies on a long trek to the South Pole that began in 1907. He had to turn back about 100 miles from the pole in 1909. The team had to move quickly to escape as winter ice began to form, so they were forced to abandon all but essential equipment and supplies – including their whiskey. No lives were lost.


As for what the future holds for Shackleton’s whiskey, there are international treaties preventing the removal of artifacts from Antarctica, but Paterson wrote on his blog that he hopes to get his hands on at least a sample of the whiskey, if not a couple bottles.

“What you all want to know is: How will it taste?” Paterson wrote. “To which the answer is: Cold.”

It was said of Sir Ernest that he wasn’t really trustworthy with other people’s money, or other people’s women, but you could trust him with your life when circumstances were about as bad as they could get.