Whyte & Mackay launched Shackleton blended Scotch malt whisky and Fundador Supremo Sherry Cask Collection into travel retail at last week’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition.

Blended Scotch malt whisky Shackleton, inspired by Anglo/Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, is launching this month in global travel retail and will be rolled out in on-trade specialist retail in the UK and France, followed by the USA and key Asian markets in September.

“A whisky for those who aren’t afraid to go their own way”: Shackleton is inspired by the voyages of Anglo/Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

Whyte & Mackay Head of Whisky Development Brands Stuart Bertram said: “This momentous launch for Whyte & Mackay represents an exciting, emerging direction for Scotch whisky. With the accessibility of a blend and the craft credentials of a malt, this storied brand is set to bring modern spirits drinkers into Scotch as well as providing a new, premium alternative for the blended whisky occasion.”

[Click on the YouTube icon to discover the fascinating story of Mackinlay’s Shackleton Whisky]

“In a personal and deeply felt project during his 50th year in the industry, Master Blender Richard Paterson has created something unique in Scotch whisky a masterclass in the fine art of whisky blending.

“Richard has expertly built upon the original Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, using a handpicked selection of the best Highland malt whiskies, allowing them to marry over a long period to create a contemporary and enigmatic blended malt which is rich, robust, with a whisper of smoke.”

Paterson commented: “It has been a great honour to create this whisky as a testament to Sir Ernest Shackleton. His character and his story remain a true inspiration, and I wanted to capture the essence of Sir Ernest within this whisky.”

Asia Pacific debut: Whyte & Mackay Travel Retail Director Richard Trimby (left), Regional Director, Asia Travel Retail Micheline Wong (centre) and Chief Commercial Officer Nick Garland celebrate the travel retail launch of Fundador and Shackleton

The whisky bottle is presented in multi-textured ‘Antarctic blue’ packaging. Whyte & Mackay said this “celebrates the expeditions of one of the greatest Antarctic leaders and champions the authentic link the whisky has with the story”. A quote from Shackleton appears on the ice-blue glass bottle, which is based on the original MacKinlay’s whisky bottle found under the ice beneath Shackleton’s Antarctic base camp at Cape Royds*.

A contribution from all sales of Shackleton whisky will be made to the Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ). This will go towards the ongoing preservation of Shackleton’s 1907 base camp in Antarctica and supporting projects that build on the legacy of Shackleton and his men.

Whyte & Mackay Travel Retail Director Richard Trimby said the company is confident the product will perform well in Asia because the story of Shackleton has been widely broadcast in the region and on National Geographic. Shackleton promotions will be held at selected airports, where customers will be offered a scratch map gift-with-purchase. In-store promotions will leverage the journey theme, Trimby said.

*Background 

In 2007, while carrying out conservation work on the Shackleton’s expedition hut, members of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered several crates of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt. The conservation team recovered ten bottles intact, and in 2011 three were flown to Scotland for scientific analysis. In 2013 Whyte & Mackay launched Mackinlay’s Shackleton Scotch, designed by Paterson to be a  replica of the century-old whisky.

Statements of intent

Fundador Supremo Sherry Cask Collection comprises 12yo, 15yo and 18yo age statements.

The collection was created by combining Palomino and Airen grapes to create white wine, which was then distilled in pot stills known as ‘Alquitaras’ and aged with the traditional solera system. The Fundador collection uses sherry oak casks within their solera, previously holding 12yo, 15yo and 18yo Pedro Ximenez, Amontillados and Oloroso sherry.

Global travel retail debut: Fundador Supremo Sherry Cask Collection comprises Fundador 12, 15 and 18yo age statements