Five crates of whisky and brandy belonging to polar explorer Ernest Shackleton have been recovered after being buried for more than 100 years under the Antarctic ice, explorers said Friday.
The spirits were excavated from beneath Shackleton's Antarctic hut which was built in 1908.
"To our amazement we found five crates, three labelled as containing whisky and two labelled as containing brandy," said Al Fastier of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, who previously believed there were only two crates.
"The unexpected find of the brandy crates, one labelled Chas Mackinlay & Co and the other labelled The Hunter Valley Distillery Limited Allandale are a real bonus."
Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte and Mackay, whose company supplied the Mackinlay's whisky for Shackleton, described the find as "a gift from the heavens" for whisky lovers.
"If the contents can be confirmed, safely extracted and analysed, the original blend may be able to be replicated," he said.
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"Given the original recipe no longer exists this may open a door into history."
Fastier said the Trust would determine in the coming weeks how best to handle the "delicate conservation task".