What do you think a whisky matured in space would taste like? Well, your thoughts can now become a reality thanks to an innovative Scottish distillery.
In 2011, a groundbreaking study blasted off into space. Ardbeg teamed up with US based research company NanoRacks LLC to take part in testing a class of chemical compounds known as ‘terpenes’. These compounds were launched up to the International Space Station in a unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft to test the effects of micro organic compounds on the maturation process (the interaction of these compounds with charred oak) between micro-gravity in space and normal gravity on Earth. The vials of Ardbeg orbited the earth’s atmosphere at 17,227 mph, 15 times a day for 1,045 days. On the other hand, identical vials of Ardbeg were being held in Scotland to act as a control sample.
Heads of the Ardbeg Distillery described the whisky experiment as “the whisky vials have been insured 1 million dollars.”
After orbiting the earth for three years, the Ardbeg whisky compounds return home
Now that the space vials are back on earth, all samples will be taken to a laboratory in Houston, Texas to allow scientists to understand the impact gravity has on the whisky maturation process. The space vials will be compared to the earth vials, examining the interaction of Ardbeg-crafted molecules with charred oak to analyze what differences occur between earth whisky and space whisky. Ardbeg will lead the research, working alongside US-based space research company NanoRacks. The final brief with the full research findings will be published in 2015 once all testing is complete.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation explains : “ Ardbeg is known for taking risks in its development of some of the most coveted whiskies in the world, so it is fitting that it is the first whisky ever in space. We are now close to the end, close to finding answers to something previously unknown which is truly exciting.”
Original article appeared on psfk. Read the original article here.
Photo Credit: Ardbeg