The Ardbeg whisky was blasted into space as part of an (awesome) experiment looking at the impact of gravity on how it matures.
And now it’s coming back to Earth. Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden in a fun space suit (Sadahisa Yokouchi/Ardbeg/PA)
But don’t expect to sample the drink just yet as it’s got to be “tested” by scientists in Houston. They will compare it to boring Earth whisky which was forced to stay behind as a control sample.
So where’s the space whisky been exactly?
The Ardbeg Distillery on Islay blasted compounds of unmatured malt to the ISS in an unmanned cargo spacecraft in October 2011, along with particles of charred oak. Mmmm.
The vial – specially designed for the mission – has been orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere at 17,227mph, 15 times a day for 1,045 days on the ISS. One of Ardbeg’s bottles of whisky – Earth whisky for now (Ardbeg/PA)
Now it’s homecoming time. The single malt is expected to land on solid ground in Kazakhstan aboard a rocket on September 12 before making its way to Houston.
Scientists will compare them to examine the interaction of the Ardbeg-crafted molecules with charred oak to see what differences occur between Earth whisky and space whisky.
Could this genuinely be a contender for a drink that’s ‘out-of-this-world’?
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, said: “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 distillery ever in space. We are now close to the end, close to finding answers to something previously unknown which is truly exciting.” Lumsden looking scientific (Paul Dodds/Ardbeg/PA)
“This is one small step for man but one giant leap for whisky, and 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.”