View Full Version : Ancient Whisky And Feats of Derring-Do

07-27-2011, 09:45 AM
An interesting article about Shackleton's Antarctic expedition and a case of 100 year old whisky that was found hidden in an old hut used by him and the crew.

Also interesting to note is the image of Shackelton and some of the men seen at the top of the article.

They look quite grizzled and appear to be men perhaps in their 50's or 60's ... but they are only in their 20's to 30's ! It seems all that hard living and hard drinking took it's toll.

Shackelton died at 47, perhaps the epitome of someone who ' Rode it hard and hung it up wet '


07-27-2011, 10:33 AM
Well Shackleton was born in 1874, so he is in his early 40s in the photo.
The other men look about that too IMHO.
Black and White photos also do not help to show age very accurately, plus the men are all bearded, and obviously not "sprused up" for a photo showing them in their "sunday best". :wink:

But yes, obviously hard living and drinking will take its toll.
Take a look at the average age that people who travelled out to your "old west", died at.
Likewise other areas of exploration and colonisation/settlement in a frontier.

Many people were 'gone' by their 40s.

As to drinkng and smoking, it has only really been over the last few decades, that we have been under a constant barrage of "only in moderation" etc, from the medical industry and governments.

Not THAT long ago, drinking and smoking was not really criticised at all.
Obviously some people knew the effects, but even in the 1960s, soccer players would light up a cigarette during the half time break, and then drink the night through after a game.

Life is too short to worry too much about anything IMHO.
All in moderation is a good idea.
If somebody likes his whiskey and cigarettes/cigars.................so what!


07-27-2011, 10:58 AM
Well Shackleton was born in 1874, so he is in his early 40s in the photo.
The other men look about that too IMHO. ...

Well, between you, me and the Royal Geographical Society we can probably get his age correct.

The caption under the photo says the image was taken aboard the Nimrod. The Nimrod Expedition was from 1907 to 1909.

So, if the caption is correct and the image was taken at the time of the expedition and not later - that would make him somewhere between 33 and 35 years old and not his early 40's.

07-27-2011, 11:11 AM
I've got to vote with Anthony. I started my time in the Brown Boot Army where drinking, smoking and chewing werenot mortal sins. By the time I finished I was becoming a squarer peg in a rounder hole and I would not fit in todays Army. When the QM ruled beer was no longer a breakfast item, well nough said. I look at the young grunts loaded worse than we ever were and I'm amazed they even get out of their trucks. Humans make piss poor mules if you expect them to fight at the end of the portage. Guessing back to my early days I think the trail of discarded gear should have endeared us to surplus dealers everywhere as we pared down to esentials.

07-27-2011, 11:15 AM
To be quite honest, I didn't really bother looking at the date.

I have the book "South" by Shackleton, and the photos from then (later than this expedition,) all show men looking the equal as in this photo.

And some photos of us bearded and having lived in the field in the Falklands for some weeks, all show men in their early 20s, looking a decade or two older.

After having left my beard to grow for a couple of weeks, then shaving it, my wife will say "you look much younger now!" :veryhappy:


07-27-2011, 01:08 PM
From the article:

“Do that again and I’ll kill you,” Richard Paterson said after pouring me a glass of whisky. I had grabbed the glass by the bowl, and not the stem, thereby adding unwanted hand heat to the whisky’s breathing process. Paterson, a third-generation whisky man, is sometimes called the Nose, and indeed, his very formidable beak was once insured at Lloyd’s for $2.4 million. He likes to plunge it into a whiskey glass, take a long sniff and say things like “Hello!” and “How are you?”