Whisky space experiment tribute launched

Soyuz rocket blasts off from Kazakhstan in late 2011 The vials were launched by Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan in late 2011

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.

Ardbeg has now released "Ardbeg Galileo" to celebrate the event.

The experiment is believed to be the first of its kind.

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 on terra firma 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.

'Earthly tribute'

"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 Galileo bottle Ardbeg said the limited edition whisky was "an earthly tribute"

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.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland business stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • TravelAround the world

    BBC Travel takes a look at the most striking images from the past seven days


  • A bicycle with a Copenhagen WheelClick Watch

    The wheel giving push bikes an extra boost by turning them into smart electric hybrids

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.