Polar explorer bottles Port Charlotte with Arctic iceberg waterBy Annie Hayes
Scottish polar explorer Craig Mathieson has released a 12-year-old Port Charlotte single malt Islay whisky that contains drops of “millennia-old” iceberg water from the Sermilik Fjord in east Greenland.
The journey to produce the whisky, called Polar Explorer, began when a sherry cask of Port Charlotte single malt whisky from the Bruichladdich Distillery was gifted to Mathieson – who is one of just 12 polar explorers to have skied to both the south and north poles.
He collected samples of iceberg from the remote fjord, one of the largest on the south-eastern coast of Greenland, in the summer of 2016 while exploring by sea kayak.
Ten bottles of Polar Explorer are available for auction through Whisky Auctioneer, with all money raised to directly benefit the work of Mathieson’s charity, The Polar Academy. After the auction, donations can be made directly to the charity to obtain one of a further 190 bottles of the whisky.
The Polar Academy helps young people with low self-esteem to unlock their potential through expeditions to the Arctic, and has already engaged more than 50,000 young people across Scotland.
Mathieson, who is also the first Explorer in Residence of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 129 years, has signed each individually numbered bottle of Polar Explorer, which is presented in a wooden box and wrapped in a sketch map of Arctic Greenland.
The nose has notes of salted caramel with macaroons and pear drops, followed by soot and sea salt and green fruit, balanced with sweet and soft smoke.
On the palate the expression is said to offer be “chewy and juicy” with apple and pear notes combined with burnt marshmallow and charcoal BBQ smoke, followed by sea spray, waxy ropes and oily soot.
The finish is “wonderfully long” and “perfectly balances elements of sweet and smoke”.
“Supported by Trustees of The Polar Academy and private donors, I am immensely proud to announce the first release of individually numbered and signed bottles of the Polar Explorer limited edition single malt whisky ” said Mathieson.
“The Polar Explorer is truly unique, a bottle that reflects both its spiritual home in the Isle of Islay and bond with the wild Arctic landscape. Both are close to my heart.
“To support the work of The Polar Academy, I invite purveyors of this fine single malt Scotch whisky to bid at auction, or subsequently make a donation to the charity for a bottle of the whisky and share my taste for a fine malt and adventure. Slainte!”