'Space Whisky' Returning to Earth After Three Years Aboard the International Space Station

by The Drink Nation on Sep 4, 2014 in Liquor
'Space Whisky' Returning to Earth After Three Years Aboard the International Space Station

Does whisky mature any differently when aged aboard a spacecraft?

Right now, no one knows for sure. But just days from now, Discovery reports, scientists from Texas-based space research company NanoRacks may have a definitive answer.

They sent samples of unaged, single malt Scotch provided by Islay producer Ardbeg Distillery up to the International Space Station back in 2011. Since then the whisky has been orbiting Earth at 17,227 miles per hour, 15 times a day.

The purpose of the experiment is to determine whether a microgravity environment has any impact on chemical processes. Though similar experiments have been conducted in space before, this is the first time the focus has been on the maturation process in whisky.

According to Ardbeg, a team here on Earth will attempt to “unlock the mysteries of maturation, through the study of the interaction between Ardbeg-crafted molecules and charred oak, both in microgravity (Low Earth Orbit) and normal gravity in Ardbeg’s Warehouse 3.

Ardbeg's director of distilling and whisky creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, will be among the panel of scientists and researchers who will assess the whisky upon its return.

The whisky is set to return on board a Russian Soyuz space capsule on September 12. You can keep track of the whisky’s re-entry with Ardbeg’s own countdown clock. Check it out here.  

Photo: Ardbeg


Tags: News, Scotch, Whiskey
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