Hurtigruten single malt whisky experiment

Expedition ship loaded with two barrels of single malt

MS Fram, an expedition ship in the fleet of the Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten, has been loaded up with two barrels of 21-year-old and 25-year-old single malt whisky in an experiment to improve the whisky’s quality with continuous wave movements over the period of almost a year.

The MS Fram Whisky Project takes the ship across the Antarctic Circle and then north to Greenland and Spitsbergen, with en-route stops scheduled in the country where whisky was first produced.

The two 150-litre barrels filled with fine Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, firmly anchored on deck 9, will cross four seafaring lines – the northern and southern polar circles, the zero meridian and the equator.

“We hope that the continuous rolling wave movements, temperature changes and sea air will further improve the excellent quality of our single malt and have a positive effect on it,” says MS Fram’s captain, Arild Harvik.

“As this is the first time that we have undertaken such a project, we filled a test bottle prior to each journey to check for changes in colour, strength and taste before and after the voyage.”

The whisky will be bottled in a limited edition of no more than 200 bottles per barrel. The whisky is cask strength, meaning that after maturing in the barrel it will not be diluted with water but will be filled directly from the barrel into the bottles as it is, labelled as “MS Fram Expedition Whisky”.

Passengers will be able to buy it from the MS Fram on-board shop starting in summer and autumn 2014. It comes with a whisky diary and certificate. It will also be available to sample in the expedition ship’s bar.

The topic of whisky and its origin are also the focus of two MS Fram voyages in April and May, starting in Bergen and sailing to Scotland and Ireland, among other countries.

TTG Nordic

[photo courtesy Hurtigruten]