05 September 2012

Scotch: The Final Frontier

The BBC reports that A limited edition whisky has been launched to mark a unique experiment in space.

A rocket carrying vials of chemical compounds from Ardbeg's Islay distillery was blasted up to the International Space Station last year to test the effects of near zero gravity on the maturation process.
The micro-organic compounds will spend up to two years in space interacting with charred oak in near zero gravity conditions.The results will be compared with a control sample currently maturing at Ardbeg's Islay distillery.

Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling and whisky creation at Ardbeg, said: "So far so good. The experiment went live in January when the scientists broke the separating wall between the two components. "We will not know the results for another year or so but in the meantime we thought we would celebrate the experiment by the introduction of Ardbeg Galileo - our own earthly tribute to the scientific experiment taking place far up in space."


Ardbeg has now released "Ardbeg Galileo" to celebrate the event. The limited edition 12-year-old single malt whisky is a vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999.

Ardbeg was invited in late 2011 by Texas-based space research company NanoRacks to take part in the two-year space experiment. The vials that were launched by Soyuz rocket from Baikanur in Kazakhstan in late 2011 contain a class of chemical compounds known as "terpenes".

Ardbeg said the experiment could explain the workings of these large, complex molecules and help uncover new information about the change they undergo in a near zero gravity environment.
The test should also help Ardbeg find new chemical building blocks in their own flavour spectrum and could have applications for a variety of commercial and research products.

The space programme helping the wisky industry. That's what science is for! I wonder how a single malt will rank against Romulan ale and Klingon blood wine.... time will tell!

14 comments:

susan said...

A successful result might be the convincing factor for space industry in general.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I hope they will call for volunteers to taste the resulting product. I am in.

jams o donnell said...

It is what al te money spent on space research is for Susan.

After me Snoopy!

James Higham said...

Don't know if a bottle of the precious fluid should be wasted this way.

Steve Bates said...

"A rocket carrying vials of chemical compounds from Ardbeg's Islay distillery..."

In my youth I used to say that Scotch was a vial concoction, but with age (mine and the Scotch's) I've acquired the taste...

jams o donnell said...

Science requires the odd sacrifice James!

You and me both Steve!

Sean Jeating said...

Watch the astronauts!!

jams o donnell said...

Definitely or the best that they don't tipple!

Don QuiScottie said...

Whisky is over-rated, says this Scotsman. I quite like a Scotch and Soda on occasion though.

jams o donnell said...

Isn't that verging on heresy my dear Don

Don QuiScottie said...

I risk being hung, drawn and quartered if anyone can see through my masterful disguise. Don't much like Irn-Bru either, but I am a diligent consumer of oats, and sometimes haggis, and I am frequently dour, miserable and mean, so I think I'll be OK on balance, just so long as they never catch me supporting England at football... or at anything.

jams o donnell said...

Supporting England? It would be a visit to Lord Summerisle and his wicker man for you then!

Don QuiScottie said...

And yet, I confess, it has been known... But then they have always let me down in the penalty shoot-outs.

jams o donnell said...

That's true. Perhaps one day the England team will practice penalty shoot outs