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Shackleton's whisky heads to Scotland

(VIDEO) A famous crate returns home from Antarctica. Can you drink it?

He hopes that because the whisky was kept in the cold, it will have retained much of its flavor, which he suspects is heavier and peatier than today’s blends. Analysis will examine the malt, peat, toxins and metals in the whisky, as well as seek to determine the source and quality of its barley. This “fingerprint” of the drink will help Paterson learn about the distillation process of the late 19th century, when it was made.

Once testing is done, the bottles and remaining whisky will be sent back to New Zealand. By international law, all artifacts from the early explorers discovered in Antarctica must remain on the continent in their respective huts, which are maintained as museums for tourists lucky — and wealthy — enough to stop by, and for online sightseers who can view the huts on the Antarctic Heritage Trust website.

There is an exemption if it is safer for the artifacts to be removed from the huts. Executive Director Nigel Watson explained that the group will determine if it’s better for the bottles to stay in more temperate climes now that they’ve been thawed or if there’s a security risk in returning them to the hut.