Ardbeg space-aged whisky returns to earth

2nd September, 2014 by Lauren Eads

The results of a space-ageing whisky experiment will soon be revealed when a vial of Ardbeg malt whisky returns to earth after three years in orbit.

Proton_Zvezda_crop

A vial of Ardbeg whisky was blasted to the International Space Station in 2011.

The vial of un-matured malt whisky with particles of charred oak from the Ardbeg Distillery was blasted up to the International Space Station in 2011 as part of an experiment to uncover the differences, if any, of space-aged whisky compared to its earth-based counterpart.

Scientists’ key consideration will be what the effect of a close-to-zero gravity environment might have had on the whisky following 1,045 days circling the earth’s orbit.

An identical bottle has been housed at the distillery on Islay to act as a control sample against which scientists will compare.

As reported by the BBC, Ardbeg’s director of distilling, Bill Lumsden, has said the the experiment could revolutionise whisky making.

He said: “This is one small step for man but one giant leap for whisky.

“The team hope to uncover how flavours develop in different gravitational conditions – findings which could revolutionise the whisky-making process.

“We hope to shine new light on the effect of gravity on the maturation process but who knows where it will lead us? It could be to infinity and beyond.”

The whisky is set to return to earth on 12 September landing in Kazakhstan.

The trial is being carried out in partnership with Texas-based space research company NanoRacks LLC.

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