15 remarkable drinks-related discoveries

Whisky found stashed on warship after 35 years

In 2017, a small bottle of Canadian whisky that was hidden on an Australian warship for 35 years, was discovered inside the ship’s mast.

The miniature of six-year-old MacNaughton Canadian Whisky, wrapped in insulation tape, was apparently hidden inside the forward starboard leg of the main mast of HMAS Sydney by the team that built her at the Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle in 1982. The date, 10 April 1982 was also scribbled on the label.

The little bottle then went undiscovered for 35 years while Sydney sailed the seas, completing two round-the-world voyages in addition to other operations.

The Adelaide-class frigate was decommissioned in 2015 and towed to Henderson near Perth in May of this year to be scrapped.

Earlier this month however, a former employee of Todd who had built Sydney got in touch with Birdon – the company that has been charged with breaking up the vessel – to tell them the secret. Cutting away a section of the mast soon revealed the hidden spirit and it was brought out of its metal cocoon.

Despite the lure of sampling the whisky themselves, the disposal team, Birdon, resisted temptation and, as suggested by the drinks business, presented the bottle and an American silver dollar coin, also found on board, to the Australian Navy Heritage Museum in Sydney.

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