Whiskey Friday: Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt

Colin Joliat Alcohol & Food Editor

Every whisky has a story, but none can equal that of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt. Three cases were frozen in time for a 100 years during the Ernest Shackleton led British Antarctic Expedition of 1907.

Master Blender Richard Paterson 174x214 Whiskey Friday: Mackinlays Rare Old Highland Malt

Whyte & Mackay

You may have heard about Shackleton’s whisky being discovered a few years back. Instead of auctioning off the bottles for a billion dollars, they chose to analyse and recreate the unique spirit. The original Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt was a single malt, which would would be impossible to recreate. Instead a small amount of malt was obtained from the now-demolished Glen Mhor distillery, which was responsible for the original Mackinlay’s, and combined it with malt from Dalmore Distillery. That served as the base of the recreation, but at least 7 more distilleries provide their own malt to perfectly match the look, aroma, and flavor of the original.

For minor time dimensional reasons I can’t tell you if what came out of my bottle today tasted the same as that which did 106 years ago, but I can tell you that it’s good. It contains malts from 8-30 years old and they blend seamlessly together. It’s soft and fruity with a little bit of wood and smoke. It’s certainly not what comes to mind when you think of your old man’s scotch. Then again, the old man in this case would be 139 years old.

Were it made without a backstory today, the $180 price point would be high. It does have a story though and an incredible one at that. This is a collectors spirit because it’s truly a party of whisky history. That and a limited release of only 50,000 bottles were made. If your dad loves scotch and you love him, you should get him this bottle for Father’s Day.

For more on the origins, discovery, and recreation of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, here’s a video. I know how you like videos on Fridays.

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