Review: MacKinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt - The Discovery / by Jason Hambrey

100% Malt Whisky
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This is quite the whisky. Yes, this is it – a replica of the whisky left in Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton during his Antarctic expedition between 1907 and 1909 - this whisky was later found and brought to Whyte and MacKay to be recreated. The whisky was recreated down to the very last detail by blender extraordinaire Richard Paterson. About 40 different samples of trial and error were developed in the process. If you want to see what it would be like to taste this with him, check out this video.

The final replica bottle of Mackinlay’s blend contains whiskies from Speyside, the Island, and the Highlands, and the recipe even includes some very rare 1980 Glen Mhor - a distillery which shut down in 1983! There is a good bit of 8-10 year old Dalmore as well in this.

This was the first version to be recreated. Since then, another release has come out - "The Journey" - which is made to be similar but is a different whisky.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2011

A rich, complex nose with smoke, dried pear, mineral notes, peach, and yet quite fresh. Creamy, smoky, toffee, honey...

The palate has brilliant feel with coal, dark roasted coffee, tingly spices, creamy fruit, and lingering smoke. It’s brilliant! Toffee, pear, raisin, currant, spicecake, apple, pear, creamy peach, even a bit of candycane on the finish.

The finish is mostly carrying forward with that smoke and some light fruit and a bit of a mineral character. And some tea, and a bit creamy. Really great stuff; this.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, at $202.