- In talking with Richard Paterson (I still have to pinch myself and look at the pics to know that this actually happened), I learned that the Mackinlay blend that was sent to Antarctica with Shackleton was specially designed to handle the cold. The usual recipe of the Mackinlay blend from that time, apparently, would have separated and turned cloudy in the extreme cold.
Richard didn’t provide much in the way of details on what’s going on re: reproducing the archaeological spirit, other than confirming that it’s going to happen. Don’t ask me when — he didn’t say. One component of the blend is Glen Mhor, and I asked him about that because it’s one of the distilleries that is no longer with us. Apparently, Whyte & Mackay has adequate stock of that single malt so they can re-create the Shackleton version of the Mackinlay blend. I am eagerly anticipating this chance to taste history.
- I also learned that Jura and The Dalmore have another connection (besides the fact that they are both owned by Whyte & Mackay): Jura means Island of Deer (stag) and the Stag is the symbol of The Dalmore. Also: There is a whole new range of expressions coming from Jura this year, including a 21-year-old, and some older ones, too. I shared a bottle of Jura 10 with my whole company at our Christmas party and it was a big hit. Jura is the best whisky you haven’t tried.
- The 21-year-old (but no-age-statement) “1263 King Alexander III“expression that we tasted is “finished” in 6 types of wood. This is apparently a record for single-malts. The whisky is aged for a time in ex-Bourbon barrels, Methusalem Sherry butts, Port pipes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Madeira and Marsala barrels. I asked if these have to be done in a specific order, and the answer was no. Richard said that the only thing that matters is the amount of time the spirit spends in each type of wood, and when it’s done that stage, it moves to the next type. They can go in any order. I bet Bourbon is first, though. 🙂 The result is sublime. This is a many-layered dram, with fruit (peaches, citrus, dried fruits), nuts and tobacco/leather notes. I could spend an hour with it, and then want more time. I will be looking for a bottle at a good price.