Read Shackleton's Whisky: The extraordinary story of an heroic explorer and twenty-five cases of unique MacKinlay's Old Scotch by Neville Peat Online


Sir Ernest Shackleton could never have imagined his name being closely associated with whisky, certainly not in the title of a book. Rarely did he consume strong drink. On his expeditions, he tolerated a ‘mild spree’ at times of celebration. But that was all. Drinking to excess appalled him. From an early age, growing up in a teetotal home, he was wary of alcohol. How, theSir Ernest Shackleton could never have imagined his name being closely associated with whisky, certainly not in the title of a book. Rarely did he consume strong drink. On his expeditions, he tolerated a ‘mild spree’ at times of celebration. But that was all. Drinking to excess appalled him. From an early age, growing up in a teetotal home, he was wary of alcohol. How, then, must he have felt about signing an order for twenty-five cases of whisky — 300 bottles — for his 1907–09 British Antarctic Expedition?Shackleton’s Whisky follows the story of the Rare Old Highland Whisky taken south on his Nimrod expedition. It celebrates the extraordinary achievements of men exploring an extraordinary place. It dips into the human-interest stories of polar life in the ‘heroic era’ of Antarctic exploration. Shackleton once wrote of his interest in documenting ‘the little incidents that go to make up the sum of the day’s work, the humour and the weariness, the inside view of men on an expedition’. Here is one such account, based largely on what he wrote and said about the expedition and also on what the members of his expedition wrote, for most participants kept a diary or journal.Antarctic exploration and whisky, in their own way, are both steeped in history, maturity, endurance, character, and technology. Both have a worldwide following, millions of fans. Their pathways coincided on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09. With the recovery 100 years later of three cases of Scotch from icy entombment under the hut at Cape Royds and the subsequent return of three bottles to Scotland for sampling, analysis and a near-magical replication, the relationship of whisky and Antarctic exploration came sharply into focus, making a unique odyssey to the end of the Earth and back....

Title : Shackleton's Whisky: The extraordinary story of an heroic explorer and twenty-five cases of unique MacKinlay's Old Scotch
Author :
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ISBN : 9781848093904
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shackleton's Whisky: The extraordinary story of an heroic explorer and twenty-five cases of unique MacKinlay's Old Scotch Reviews

  • Penny
    2019-06-02 03:11

    It's funny, sometimes the books you most look forward to reading turn out to be so disappointing. And sometimes the ones you have no great expectations of turn out to be absolute crackers.I really loved this one - the story of 25 cases of Old Highland Malt Whisky taken to Antarctica by Shackleton and his team on the famous Nimrod expedition of 1907-1909.But it is much more than just about whisky and other supplies taken out in order for the men to survive. It's about the unbelievable bravery, sense of adventure and endurance of these early Polar explorers.Whilst their scientific discoveries are fascinating I also loved reading about their daily lives, 15 men living and working together in a tiny hut in the middle of some of the most challenging conditions in the world. What they ate, how they kept clean (a canvas bath!), etc.For their midwinter celebrations (June 1908) they even had a printed menu (with 'sledges at 12.30' written at the bottom), and Shackleton had thought to take over 200 Christmas crackers for the men to pull as they ate penguin patties and roast reindeer.I also loved the section explaining how the Polar explorer huts were conserved and protected - as Peat says 'they were unique......the only Continent where the very first buildings still stood'.Maybe the writing wasn't quite always 5 star (some repetition) but it's a fascinating book and I enjoyed every page. Excellent photographs and maps too.

  • Bruce
    2019-06-19 09:09

    Neville Peat is a journalist, naturalist, and historian, and a prolific writer about many aspects of New Zealand. He lives in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island. In Shackleton’s Whisky he weaves together several fascinating strands and stories into a narrative that is hard to put down.First, he traces Ernest Shackleon’s own history from before his journey with Scott to Antarctica in 1901 to his death on the island of South Georgia at the age of 47. The body of this history, however, focuses on his own Nimrod expedition of 1907. The preparations for that venture, the personalities of his men, and their explorations, privations, and triumphs are told with vividness and skill.Second, Peat relates the story of the Scotch malt whisky that Shackleton took with him on that journey, many cases if it. That whisky would have been forgotten if some cases of it had not been discovered within the past few years. It was located during restoration and conservation efforts under the hut that Shackleton and his men lived in on Cape Royd, Ross Island, Antarctica, frozen and apparently untouched since it was brought ashore more than a century ago. Samples of this whisky were carefully transported back to Scotland and first evaluated and then replicated, a fascinating story in itself.Third, Peat relates the history of research, restoration, and conservation at the site of Shackleton’s expedition, research that has been ongoing over the past few decades.This story is fascinating one, one likely to intrigue anyone interested in polar exploration and especially those with enduring admiration for Shackleton and his exploits. I certainly enjoyed reading this account, well-research and well-written, only two weeks after spending three weeks on an expedition in New Zealand on which Neville was a leader and valuable resource.

  • Rob Griffith
    2019-06-17 02:15

    As a lover of both history and whisky I cannot praise this book highly enough. It tells a story of heroism, stoicism and mild inebriation with quiet wit and excellent research.

  • Chris Wray
    2019-06-03 05:18

    "As the days wore on, and mountain after mountain came into view, grimly majestic, the consciousness of our insignificance seemed to grow upon us. We were but tiny specks crawling slowly and painfully across the white plain, and bending our puny strength to the task of wrestling from nature secrets preserved inviolate through all the ages." Ernest Shackleton.As someone who enjoys both the history of the heroic age of polar exploration and a glass of good whisky, this book was always going to be a hit with me. However, it really is excellent and gives some fresh and fascinating insights into one of the biggest recent stories in both Antarctic heritage and the history of whisky.The first part of the book is a thoughtful and well written summary account of Shackleton's Nimrod expedition. Peat is obviously intimately familiar with the primary sources, and his interpretation and conclusions seem about right. In particular, he neither underplays nor over emphasises the tensions between the members of the expedition, something that is very common in Antarctic histories. Woven throughout the account of the expedition is more than the usual amount of detail on one particular item of supplies: twenty five cases MacKinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky. Where the book really comes into its own is in recounting what happened after the Nimrod expedition left Antarctica and their expedition hut behind. The topic of Antarctic heritage is fascinating, and as the author points out Antarctica is the only continent on which the first buildings are still standing. After several decades of neglect and haphazard conservation, more systematic efforts saw the Nimrod hut fully restored and secured for the future. As part of that, the ice-filled hut cellar area was cleared, revealing three cases MacKinlay's whisky. The following chapters are riveting, as three bottles are repatriated to Scotland, analysed and tasted (!) before being returned to the ice. As a result, our understanding of early twentieth century scotch has increased and, more importantly, the whisky that Shackleton took south has been recreated for our enjoyment. This is a fascinating story, delightfully and engagingly written, and I enjoyed it immensely.

  • Ali Strachan
    2019-06-08 06:02

    Anyone reading this book will gain an understanding of just how unique a man Shackleton was... Loved it from start to finish... Having had the privilege to experience Antarctica for myself in 2010 I got a small taste of what life could be like in the environment and that has only enhanced my admiration for the Early Polar explorers... As a Scotsman and whisky lover...I have also just purchased a bottle of Dalmore from the distillery whilst on a flying visit ...this has a tenuous link to Mackinlay's Scotch and so will be enjoyed whilst reading my next Shackleton story Endurance...

  • Molly
    2019-06-02 05:22

    I had previously read about Shackleton's Endurance expedition and the amazing feat of survival that ensued. Reading this time about Shackleton's Nimrod expedition was equally as interesting. Being a Scotch whisky lover, the unprecedented discovery of the MacKinlay's Scotch after 100 years was riveting. Oh, to have been able to taste that whisky. Wow! I may just have to purchase a bottle of the replica bottling that they produced. Stay tuned for my review of that!

  • Simon Dobson
    2019-06-25 04:29

    Two biographies for the price of one! – of an heroic adventurer and a classic whisky.The book is in two parts. The first is the history of Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907. Peat manages to convey the emptiness of the Antarctic and the struggles and successes of the expedition. He does an excellent job of combining the adventure, the science, and the hardship that the away team underwent – and indeed those that happened on the long trip from England to Antarctica via New Zealand.The second part is the story of the whisky's temporary recovery back to the distillery to be tasted, tested, and re-created by blending modern whiskies. Anyone with any interest in whisky will find this fascinating, both the processes involved and the taste of the resulting dram. The very idea that it's possible to re-create an old Scotch so faithfully is quite remarkable, and I'm very tempted by a bottle.The link between the two parts is a little tenuous in places, not least because Shackleton, as a teetotaller, studiously avoided talking about the drinking habits of the expedition in his books, so Peat is reduced to pointing out what isn't mentioned. That's hardly his fault, and it's a limitation that doesn't really reduce the pace of the story or the centrality that century-old whisky has for Antarctic exploration's human side.

  • Jan
    2019-06-19 07:05

    An intriguing and enjoyable quick read - only took about 4 hours in total! The book also has lots of photos and illustrations which bring the story to life.Being a big fan of Ernest Shackleton I was probably more interested in the stories around his expedition than the whisky itself. Lots of extracts from the diaries of the expedition members and the Boss himself It gave a great insight into life in the hut and day to day activities were described in far more detail than any of the trecks out across the ice.Only marked down one star because I didnt enjoy the final part which was concentrated on the whisky itself and recreating the original blend which went into the detail of production and blending etc which I was less keen on!A must for any Shackleton/Antarctica fan!

  • Goodreader
    2019-06-13 07:04

    Whisky and adventure: a great combination. A good way to read this book is in front of a fire with a dram of malt Scotch. The author, an Antarctic aficionado and author of five books on the subject, knits together the story of Shackleton's 1907 expedition with the story of the three cases of whisky that were discovered under the hut in 2007. The whisky was repatriated to Scotland, sampled, and recreated in a limited edition release. The book recounts how this was achieved, linking 100 years of exploration and whisky in an easy to read text. The book also has several pages of notes and references, useful for those that want to learn more. This is an original approach to

  • Elizabeth Judd Taylor
    2019-06-03 04:02

    This book deals with a subject that could have made for a rather short study--the whisky found buried in Antarctica under Shackleton's hut--and makes it into an interesting read by combining information about the history and process of whisky making and the history of Antarctic exploration. Very well done--and as it combines one of my favorite subjects (Polar exploration) with some local history (I moved to "whisky country" several years ago), a perfect read for me! Very enjoyable.

  • Leigh
    2019-06-27 10:08

    Great story and lots of illustrations, which is always a plus. The writing style was not always smooth and the author inserted himself into the story a bit more than I expected. Still, it's a fascinating story.

  • Steve TK
    2019-06-20 06:08

    Very interesting account of a great story. The author stretches things out a little with speculation to fill the gaps, but that's inevitable. And wonderful to read the book alongside trying the whisky, which I've been lucky enough to do. Whisky and book both recommended!

  • Eric Gittins
    2019-06-19 07:09

    A good story well told