Three bottles of some of the world's oldest whisky head back to their ancestral home in Scotland today after a trip which began 104 years ago and reached the bottom of the world.
The 115-year-old bottles of Mackinlay whisky were from a cache of three crates of whisky and two of brandy British explorer Sir Earnest Shackleton took to the Antarctic in 1907.
Today they were to leave New Zealand with billionaire Indian liquor baron Dr Vijay Mallya, who owns the Scottish distillery that produced the whisky more than a century ago.
Under an agreement with the Christchurch-based Antarctic Heritage Trust, he was to take the whisky back to Scotland where it would be scientifically analysed.
The original recipe had been lost, but the trust said an attempt may be made to replicate it after the analysis.
The whisky and brandy were found in ice under the floorboards of Shackleton's hut's at Cape Royds on Ross Island near McMurdo Sound in 2006.
The crates, marked British Antarctic Expedition 1907, were frozen solid but the whisky inside the crates was still liquid.
One crate was brought back to New Zealand early last year and slowly thawed. It was opened and the bottles were lifted out at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch last August.
None of the bottles in the case had been opened and three bottles were to go back to the Whyte and Mackay distillery in Scotland which took over the Mackinlay's distillery many years ago.
The whisky was thought to have been bottled in 1896 or 1897 and last year an Australian whisky expert said the bottles could bring $90,000 each on the open market.
source: newshub archive