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Mackinlay's Shackleton Blended Malt

(70cl, 40%)

Mackinlay's Shackleton Blended Malt

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Shackleton Blended Malt Bottling Note

Inspired by the whisky left behind by Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton in the early 1900s and discovered frozen but intact over 100 years later, this blended malt continues in the footsteps of The Discovery and The Journey. It's created once again by Master Blender Richard Patterson based on the flavour profile of Shackleton's favourite tipple, though now more accessible than the aforementioned limited edition releases.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Golden Grahams and crunchy brown sugar. A hint of cinnamon-dusted malt.

Palate: Juicy apple and orange, with contained honey richness.

Finish: Lingering butterscotch and waxy orange.

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Mackinlay's Shackleton Blended Malt Reviews

For £20, you got yourself a good cocktail mixer

Nose: Quite heavy on the sugar notes, brown sugar with a slight hint of sour mash maybe?
Palate: pepper pinch, light and sweet in fruit notes, maybe pear or apricot hints, thin honey, slight oiliness which I always find a nice feel.
Finish: The best part, but doesn't last very long however, pepper pinch, light oil coating mouth feel, fruit comes out and a lovely little hint of peatyness comes.

When its there it's nice, but it goes quickly, meaning you will drink this fast, rather than savour it. I think this would be a great mixer for a burnt cinnamon old fashioned twist or a refreshing ginger ale and lime thirst quencher.

23rd October 2020

Great Blend

It’s a wonderful old-fashioned blend with a little bit of ‘peat’ in the mix. A very very good scotch and makes a marvellous Whisky Mac.

20th October 2020

top drink

A very smooth and pleasant drink well made I will buy more

15th October 2020

Smooth.. simple but far from dull. Very drinkable

Really odd to see poor ratings for this absolute gem.

This is a minimalist whiskey that really really works. It's just GOOD.

If this whiskey were a colour pallette then it would be pastel from start to finish. It is subtle and moorish, it is sweet but not sickly. It is pure and a really clean drink that leaves you with little to no hangover.

A real find - begone you over complicated connoisseurs.. this is gold.

6th October 2020

Give me a bottle

No idea never tasted it but might consider it if got a bottle to try

28th August 2020

Warm and comforting

This whisky has a very warm and comforting nose and palate. I bought my first bottle two years ago, on the way home from work on a rainy night. It was the perfect pick-me-upper at the end of the day. I prefer this over any Johnny Walker.

4th August 2020

Well worth buying. !

I am not a whisky snob nor am i an expert but this is a really good smooth drink, far better than some single malts i have had over the years, ever bought talisker ? i did once and would never buy again, had to blend it with another to get rid , but some will swear by it which means we all have different palates, i have bought this on many occasions as i think it is really good.

26th July 2020


I’m amazed at a few reviews! This blend is one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. I’ve had 25 year olds a lot worse. I’m going as far to say this is my favourite tipple. I

4th July 2020

Bargain whiskey £20 a bottle - what's not to lovve

Love it!

This is the best whiskey for £20 you'll ever buy. It has a gentle peatyness with lots of honey and sweetness. So much better than a mass production cheap single malt.

2nd July 2020

Appalling waste of £20

The worst whisky I tasted in a long time. Very disappointing. Shackleton left it behind in Antarctic for good reason. It should have stayed there Yuk. Even Tesco’s rank one brand gut-rot is preferable to this

13th June 2020

Fascinating story; decent blend, but not outstanding

Well it's certainly not a patch on The Journey (haven't tried The Discovery so I can't comment) and I'd agree with previous comments that for the money you could probably do better. The nose I found to be disappointing, the palate is good with oranges and a balanced sweetness. Finish had some butterscotch and the faintest hint of smoke. Overall, very drinkable and with a great story behind it.

31st May 2020

Decent whisky

Fruity, sweet and very nice tipple,
Would definitely recommend giving it a try!!

17th May 2020

Great daily dram

For a blended malt, this is outstanding, especially for $35 in the US. I like that it has a mix of sweet and subtle smoke (and I am an Islay whisky guy). Was I expecting an Ardbeg or Laphroaig? No. Was I hoping for a daily dram that doesn’t break the bank, yes. Lots of opinions here.... it’s definitely worth picking up a bottle and deciding for yourself.

9th May 2020

Excellent and easy drinking

I must admit I enjoy all sorts of Malts and the reviews put this whisky in doubt, However on offer at the co-op for 20 quid it was worth a punt. Very easy drinking and very enjoyable. I would certainly buy again over some main stream brands.

1st April 2020

Light fresh from the attic.

Hang on,this is ok for a value blend,,,wouldn't rate it as deep as copper dog or naked goose but you'll get a nutty almond nose with light apple and musty pallet with a bit of a damp bus ticket in your grandma's artic and a great light smoke to finish..

1st March 2020

Enjoyable drink

When purchased at about the £20 mark this makes for a palatable drink. Far more enjoyable than many more expensive single malts. Would definitely buy again.

13th February 2020

An excellent blended Malt

I normally stay clear of blended malts but this was a revelation. Recommended by a friend I bought a bottle for £20 at the Co-Op. it’s a lovely drink, light, fruity and releases a bit of smoke with the addition of a couple of drops of water. A lovely session whisky, will buy more for the price it sells at!

9th January 2020

A nice blend, which makes a great gift.

I found this an easy drinking blended malt. Can honestly say it's better than some of the well known aged statement whiskys. Vanilla, Apple with a subtle spice and a light hint of smoke.
Along with the history, this makes a great gift for any whisky fan.

6th January 2020

As comforting as apple pie.

Well, a whisky lover, I tried this against 'my better judgement' but what a treat over ice. A light, sweet refreshment after dinner. I'd buy it again.

31st December 2019

Best Blend Available

Shackleton is a perfect whisky for introducing someone to the delights of whisky, or for an evening where the focus is the conversation or entertainment, and not the beverage. There is a light sweetness on the tongue with the first sip, this then develops to a delicious warmth as the flavours spread around the mouth.
Neat, with ice, or a little water, it is a forgiving whisky which will delight anyone.

There are blends which ask for far more than the £20 this is in my local Coop, and which deliver far less. There are more than a few entry level single malts which offer an inferior experience.

18th December 2019

Now on my whiskey shopping list

All you haters and so-called whiskey drinkers giving this blended malt less than 3*, do me and the rest of us (whiskey drinkers) a favour...jog on. I happened on this whiskey by chance and was delighted by its ability to change its flavour with just a splash of was even better..lovely wee dram, slightly sweet and smokey but not too harsh, quite mellow after taste...very drinkable.

4th December 2019

Decent blend

Never a 5※ bottling, a bit thin but nice and sweet, smooth whisky with a hint of smoke. I picked up a bottle for around £20 and think that's about right, wouldn't pay anymore.

7th November 2019

Good value (but not at the full price!)

Bought it at a discount for £20 and it's great value at that price. Has flavour with a hit of peat and isn't as much of a brute as blends at that price


It's a bit thin and the taste doesn't last or round out to anything interesting. If I'd paid £30 I would have felt a bit cheated and in any decent supermarket there'll always be a better option on discount at any one time.

If you're promiscuous with whisky and see a cheap bottle it might be worth a look at - otherwise look elsewhere

28th October 2019

5 star quality

The best whiskey ive tried this year by far.

27th October 2019

Decent but overpriced.

An acceptable blended whisky, easily on a level with Johnnie Walker Black or Dimple Pinch. However it's more expensive than either, so don't go out of your way to get this whisky.

17th October 2019

Good depth and balance. Decent blended malt.

Pretty good for the price

12th October 2019

no rating

To expensive

2nd October 2019

Smooth but dull

Ok its smooth it's easy to drink and you can enjoy it as an easy drink. The thing that bothers me greatly is that it just lacks sooo much flavour and body and because of this I would not buy it again.

21st September 2019

lacking body

To expensive just paid £22 for a bottle in my local store. lacking body

18th September 2019

Better Value to be had elsewhere

I’ve had many many whiskies over the last few years. Shackleton’s is on par with Johnnie Walker Red Label or Dewars White Label. It is half a point up on those two for the reason it has slightly more peat and a tiny butterscotch note. But is it good value? No. At the non-discounted price of $68 in Australia this whisky is way overpriced. It is a great example of a non aged statement hoax under cover of fancy packaging and the history it seeks to trade on. The nose betrays a thin grain-like smell which carries through on to the palate. Apparently a malt blend, but it tastes cheap and grainy like a basic mixing blended whisky i.e. A blend of grain vodka-like spirit and some malt whisky. I’d wager it is only about three years old. Much better value to be had at this or even a lower price point from just about any other whisky. I seriously think it is the worst value whisky I’ve tasted. It’s drinkable but as I say, you might as well get Dewars White Label or JW Red. I have posted this review elsewhere as I feel quite annoyed at being ripped off essentially.

16th September 2019

Lightly smoked, smooth , has to be left on a few cubes of ice for a few minutes before sipping

Absolutely superb blend, better than all my single malts, and I have 34 in my collection. The best blend since BNJ. Taken with some ice, and left for a few minutes before sipping. I always wait till ASDA drops the price to £22 a bottle and buy 4 to see me through the Winter as my main tipple.So glad I found this this one, as I felt bereaved when BNJ blend was no longer available.

14th September 2019


Stunning! It is a little jaggy, just enough to add interest. Superb depth of flavour from start to finish. My favourite whisky.

30th August 2019


Great name, but Shackleton the Explorer would turn in his grave if he knew this bottle carried his name. The worst our whisky society has tasted in the last 2 years! Simply Dreadful!

29th August 2019

A real "Marmite" whisky - delicious when diluted.

A real "Marmite" whisky.
A sniff from the opened bottle reminded me of Jeyes fluid.
Undiluted I thought it tasted like the same
Diluted to almost 50:50 is a revelation.
It is amazingly subtle - smokey sweet - I love it.
My usual tipple would be Old Pultney, Scapa or Aberlour.

15th August 2019

Really not great

I really wanted to like this, I love the story and so on, but the flavors are so brittle and bland. It has what I a young whisky hotness, a slight burn in the mid palette that ruins the development of flavour. I am not a snob that demands non CF, natural colour, 46 plus 18 plus age statement for every dram but this is disappointing. It will be fine a scotch and soda but never buying again. I just hope they are giving 50 percent of purchase price to Antarctic trust to justify the cost

9th August 2019

Copy of an original mediocrity

This scotch is so bad no wonder Shackleton left it behind in Antartica. The last thing he would have needed is to carry this bottled depression around in the extreme circumstances he was facing at the time. Not knowing the original recipe could have been a golden opportunity for Mackinlay to correct their original mediocrity.

19th July 2019

Easy going with a nice bottle.

Very easy drinking with some complexity. Nicer than many single malts. Comes in a pretty bottle and must buy if you're in to the Heroic Age of exploration (like me!). Not a total gimmick: I have brought it twice now. Often on offer for £25 or so, so shop around.

16th July 2019

Does the job

Nice I found it quite smooth very drinkable bought from ASDA cheap n cheerful will buy again

16th June 2019


Very good buy it from Asd a its cheaper

10th June 2019

Any/every day blended malt. A bargain at Booths

On a par with many single malts. Good nose of vanilla and burnt sugar. Real body and smooth afterwards. Terrific value for money.

20th February 2019

Very disappointing

Bought for me as a Christmas Gift by someone who was trying to be different. Very disappointing. When I drink Malts I drink the likes of Caol Ila & Talisker. I'm not a Malt 'snob' , I do like Monkey's Shoulder & Black Bottle for example. But this has no body, very little taste, seems to be watered down cold tea. OK if you drink a couple of glasses of it, the alcohol begins to percolate through, but in order to 'force it down' I'm resorting to improving the taste with some Dry Ginger. Back to the Monkey Shoulder next week.

6th February 2019

Very disappointing

Bought for me as a Christmas Gift by someone who was trying to be different. Very disappointing. When I drink Malts I drink the likes of Caol Ila & Talisker. I'm not a Malt 'snob' , I do like Monkey's Shoulder & Black Bottle for example. But this has no body, very little taste, seems to be watered down cold tea. OK if you drink a couple of glasses of it, the alcohol begins to percolate through, but in order to 'force it down' I'm resorting to improving the taste with some Dry Ginger. Back to the Monkey Shoulder next week.

6th February 2019


hot overly sweet lacking in depth of taste
difficult to believe this was taken to the pole at the turn of the centuary

wont be buying it again anytime soon

28th January 2019

now where can I buy it

Just recieved a bottle at xmas. Been a whiskey drinker for since 1980 and tried a few different blends and single malts, and kind of settled for Grouse as my fave blend till I tried your Shackletons blend. While it's much dearer than Grouse, it has a much fuller and smooth pleasant taste. I'm def going to be a new customer.

19th January 2019


Save your money to buy real whisky

19th January 2019


Shackletons ship, The Endurancecwas trapped overwinter in the Antarctic sea ice. 30 men set off in open boats to Elephant Island. One boat then continued across the Southern Ocean, reaching South Georgia, where they crossed a mountain range to find a whaling station and rescue.
A journey of over 700 nautical miles to avoid another winter drinking this mediocre 'blended malt'?

6th January 2019


Awesome hootch

16th November 2018


Not expected what some other reviewers obviously were. I think I was approaching it the other way around...
Was expecting a gimmick: found it a nice blend; layers of interest. Drank alongside Toki and Monkey Shoulder to test the three blends: and it compares most favourably esp. if found at a good price.
My favourite of the three and heads above the Johnnie Black...

13th October 2018

Bloody Liars

I have the first edition of the Shackleton whisky that was supposed to be the ONLY release. It's a nice replica whisky at 47.3% ABV. Mackinlay's went for the money and released a second edition, again at 47.3%. (The original marketing explained that the higher alcohol content was needed so it would not freeze in the antarctic, and was fundamental to recreating the original bottling.) Now we have a cheap mass market 40% blend with a Shackleton label. This is on sale in the states as low as $19, so don't think for a second it is anything like what the Shackleton expedition enjoyed. Create some replica Antarctic ice in your freezer instead, and drop it in a better whisky.

26th September 2018

Great story, great whisky...

... check the price though. For the £25 or so I paid, I think this is outstanding, easily as good single malts at this price point. As a £35 blend you'd expect something pretty special though and it's very good but not quite there for me at that price but the competition is fierce these days. All said, sub £30 it's straight in there as one of my new found favourites.

9th September 2018

A lot of whisky for the price - good complexity, but not challenging

This is not trying to be an aged single malt for sipping, so it is important to look at it for what it is. It's a Scotch made for drinking, at a nice price, with a good depth of flavour which works well over ice, mixed or a little splash of water.

31st August 2018

The lads are spot on again.

Yep. Just as the lads say at M.O.M unmistakably golden grahams. Never quite sure I ever really liked them. Burnt bitter honey or sugar. This whisky is ok. Not great not poor. A hint of this a hint of that. Nothing note worthy. Worth a swill if its on offer.

21st August 2018

Nice complexity

For the price, this has much more complexity than a lot of other blended scotch whiskies. It has a caramelized pear aroma, with some ginger and pepper notes. On the tongue, it is smooth, sweet, leading to a slightly smoky and long finish.

1st August 2018

Excellent value and experience!

I'm on my second bottle of this delightful, and surprising blend! As noted earlier, the value is certainly there, and unless you are a single malt snob, you will definitely enjoy spending some time exploring this bottle!

7th May 2018

A ridiculous bargain, it's a belter!!

Hugely impressed by this, my expectations were neither here nor there since learning more and more about blends - knowing that there are some little belters out there and this is one. It's obviously neatly branded, and I feel it's warranted - I'm not going to write a tasting review - only to say it's up there with Campbeltown Loch and JW Double Oak. Not on flavour per say, but certainly for the complexities and layers.

10th April 2018


The first Paterson/W&McKay creation I've seen that wasn't the colour of Irn Bru (see Fettercairn, Dalmore etc). Quite impressed with this; reminds me of an old fashioned Highland blend with the earthy cocoa, fragrant Heather and hints of peat.

Amazing nose. Big on the palate. Nice praline finish. Very good blended malt.

6th March 2018

Value and taste!

A good value blend. A little youngish though and hot, very good bang for your buck.

Sweet with very little else to interfere with a big orchard fruit delivery, butterscotch, honey, a hint of rough edges.. Smoke.

21st February 2018

Excellant,well worth the price.

Excellent scotch. Recommend it highly. Well worth the purchase. can't wait to try some of the other Shackletons

16th February 2018

Don't Buy One, .....Buy Four.

After first taste went out and bought another 3 bottles, all be it at different prices varying from £3o at co op to £ 25 at Morrisons. but wanted to make sure I had a few bottles of this gorgeous blend.
One to cozy in front of the log fire with on a Winters Night. The best blend Ive tasted since they stoped BNJ, which was the best blended whisky Ive ever tasted.

9th February 2018

An excellent Blended Malt....

An execellent Blended Malt, given to me as a present and has restored my taste for Scotch.

30th January 2018

I'll be giving this one away...

Strong alcohol on nose and in mouth. Too complex and peaty. Not enjoyable and way too young for the price. A bit of a gimmick I'm afraid.

29th January 2018

A nice blend for a value.

It's definitely not refined but it's pretty tasty and straightforward. It's sweet and rich with orchard fruit and butterscotch, though. I have tried a couple bottles and will prolly choose it over monkey shoulder for my blend.

13th January 2018

Young, hot, bland

At this price there are superior blended malts and even blends. It's almost exclusively bourbon casked and suffers from its youth.

5th December 2017

Really nice

Just a very nice whisky. One for the hip-flask when out on the moors and hills.

24th November 2017


Excellent malt. Whisky like it used to be. I’ll be ‘stocking up’ on this one!

22nd November 2017

Good smoky blend.

A great first smoky scotch. I would highly recommend a second unbiased tasting to the poor reviewers here. No it's not top shelf but second shelf gladly for the low price.

17th November 2017

Satisfyingly useful

You have to realize, this is whisky based on something used for survival & medicinal purpose like a warm fire or a sharp knife.
I doubt the explorers swirled, sniffed and compared.
I feel humbled that a few coins will help preserve the Shackleton legacy.
Thank you Mister Paterson.

11th October 2017

Not great.

All I'm getting is a burnt peat aftertaste, and a weak, watery initial impression. I took it straight, btw. Johnny Walker Black is actually better.

7th October 2017

Legendary Explorer, Decent Whisky

Classy nod to a legendary explorer's personal dram. Whilst not the most exciting blend on the market, more than merits the price tag. Far better than the average Scotch available in this price class locally.

17th September 2017

Not for me

If youre expecting it to be anything like the wonderful mackinlays rare old highland malt, then youre going to be sorely disappointed. Even if youre not expecting that i didnt find it to be a decent whisky. Spend the money on benromach 10 which is a proper old fashioned beaut

8th August 2017

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