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Mackinlay's Whisky

Perhaps the most endearing tale of Mackinlay is one some of you may remember from February 2007. Workers from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, trying to restore Sir Ernest Shackleton’s hut in Antarctica happened upon three cases of Scotch, labelled: ‘Rare old Highland malt whisky, blended and bottled by Chas. Mackinlay & Co’. They were preserved in the permafrost, having been intended for what Shackleton was planning to call the Endurance expedition but ended up being known as the Nimrod expedition of 1907. In 2011, Richard Paterson secured three of the bottles for analysis, which lead to the recreation of the original whisky as a blended malt. Mackinlay’s Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt - The Journey and Mackinlay's Shackleton Blended Malt are the fascinating, and delicious result. Mackinlay's is currently owned by Whyte & Mackay, after Scottish Newcastle Breweries Ltd, Waverley Vintners Ltd and Invergordon Distillers all previously held going back to 1961. But the brand is 140 years old than this, and until this point was a family owned enterprise. Charles Mackinlay, initially an agent for Macfarlane’s whisky, established himself in 1815 as a wine merchant in Leith, before in 1847 he registered ‘The Original Mackinlay’, the backbone of the burgeoning brand. In 1892, Mackinlay's adopted ‘Leith & Inverness’ on its labelling after it was involved in building Glen Mhor distillery in Inverness. By the early 1980s the brand was the 11th best-selling Scotch in the UK, led by Mackinlay’s Legacy, and Mackinlay's Original Blended Scotch Whisky. The same recipes are still adhered to today by Whyte & Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson, across the single malt, blended Scotch and vatted malt editions that are bottled under the brand.

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