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Shackleton's whisky discovered in Antarctic

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Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. Determined never to lose a man. People still study what he taught, which might be distilled to share the whisky.
Photo: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Several crates of explorer Shackleton's whisky from the Nimrod expedition, buried under Antarctic ice for 100 years, have been recovered. The whisky is MacKinlay's.

Shackleton must have wished he had that whisky when the Endurance sank and he and his men sailed three small boats across icy seas into one of the most awful and inspiring adventures of all time.

Serendipitously, The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, is exhibiting The Heart of the Great Alone - photographs of the Scott and Shackleton expeditions now through April 11th.

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We like an occasional whisky . It can be a good companion to companions.

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The sheer agony and beauty of Antarctic expeditions and the transcendent courage of the explorers never really made an impression until we read and wrote about the extreme journeys of Shackleton, Mawson, Scott, Bill Wilson, Birdie and Cherry-Garrard. Their experiences were savage, and marked by teamwork of the first order.

When Cherry's teeth were cracking from the cold and the pus in his blisters was frozen, when he was exhausted and starving, and couldn't sleep because his whole body chattered with cold; when his head froze into position - about 15 seconds outside - and chunks of dead skin began to fall off his feet, he refused to quit, and encouraged himself by muttering a little refrain - "You've got it in the neck – stick it, stick it – you've got it in the neck – stick it, stick it, stick it."

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