Grub’s still working on figuring out what’s behind this sudden alcohol-in-space trend, but the newest exciting milestone is that the first space whiskey to return safely to Earth has finally been quaffed — neat, of course. To see how a gravity-less environment affects compounds, Ardbeg blasted a test vial up three years ago, and researchers have now popped open the bottle and given it an inaugural swig.
Distilling director Bill Lumsden did the taste-testing honors, and, at least per his description, space whiskey sounds pretty … weird. He says: “Its intense aroma had hints of antiseptic smoke, rubber and smoked fish, along with a curious, perfumed note, like violet or cassis, and powerful woody tones, leading to a meaty aroma.”
While space whiskey that has notes of latex gloves and a Jewish deli may sound like a ripoff, the distillery feels it got its money’s worth. As Lumsden explains: “Ardbeg already has a complex character, but the results of our experiment show that there is potentially even more complexity that we can uncover, to reveal a different side to the whisky.”