Early readers of this blog may remember the post Ancient Whisky, which mused on the discovery of the Shackleton whisky.
The whisky has now been analysed and replicated by Whyte & Mackay master blender Richard Paterson, who seems to have done a fine job of it. A representative from Whisky Magazine was at the unveiling and wrote this report.
Paterson had been quoted – when the whisky was first delivered to him for analysis – as saying: “It is an absolute honour to be able to use my experience to analyse this amazing spirit for the benefit of the Trust and the whisky industry”. There’s no doubt that he deserves plaudits for this remarkable achievement. I can only imagine the intricacies involved. However I’m struggling at this stage to see the benefits for the wider industry, and I can’t help but feel that W&M’s donation to the Trust doesn’t seem so generous. The discovery of the whisky, its loan to W&M (which allowed Paterson to do his work), and the massive resultant publicity, from which the imminent sales will benefit to no small measure I’m sure, all derive from the Trust. 5% seems rather measly. I can’t confess any insight into the accounting but at £100 a pop, I reckon I’m being conservative in assuming that W&M’s unit GP must be about £30. Why should the Trust’s share be only 16% odd?
Am I being unfair? Maybe…but the outcome of this whole saga that is most clear to me is that if they sell the 50 000 bottles W&M will haul in a pot load of sterling. Good luck to them – I’m guess I’m just jealous.