DHL returns century-old Antarctic whisky back to New Zealand

Press Release – DHL

• Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky was left behind in Antarctica after failed Shackleton expedition DHL returns century-old Antarctic whisky back to New Zealand

• DHL Global Forwarding transports temperature sensitive high value cargo

• Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky was left behind in Antarctica after failed Shackleton expedition

Christchurch, 8 December, 2012: DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL, has returned three bottles of rare 1896 Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky, almost 120 years old, by air and road from Scotland to New Zealand. The whisky was left behind in Antarctica by British explorer Ernest Shackleton after a failed expedition in 1909.


Nigel Watson Antarctic Heritage Trust inspects the whisky on arrival in NZ_
“We spent weeks planning this operation, investigating various different travels options and routes to get it from Scotland to New Zealand. Having been buried in the Antarctic ice for more than 100 years, the whisky is extremely precious and delicate, which gave us the opportunity to show our expertise in shipping valuable and delicate cargo”, said Alan Davis, Regional Director, Air Freight Scotland, DHL Global Forwarding.

The whisky had to be specially packed for the entire journey. It then traveled in a secure container via Dubai on to Christchurch, New Zealand, where DHL transported the whisky back to a secure facility in Christchurch before its return to Antarctica.

“We chose DHL for this shipment because we’ve had excellent service from them to date and we trust them with our high value shipments. This is a unique project, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s important we got it right,” said Hazel Clark, Customer Operations International Team Leader, Whyte & Mackay.

Explorer Ernest Shackleton had taken several cases of the whisky on his expedition to Antarctica in 1907, then left them behind when his expedition failed to reach the South Pole.

In 2010, three cases were excavated by conservators working for the Antarctic Heritage Trust (New Zealand). Afterwards one crate of whisky was flown to New Zealand and carefully thawed at Canterbury Museum. Three bottles of the historic whisky were then flown to Scotland where the distillery Whyte & Mackay, who now own the Mackinlay brand, analyzed it scientifically. Whyte & Mackay have since recreated the century-old whisky.

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