Out Of This World

A good malt whisky is one of life’s little luxuries. But what makes a fine malt? Well, the barley must be important, as must the malting processes, and then there is the fermentation. After all that is done comes the fermentation, but then comes the real art form – the blending and aging of the distilled spirit.

The aging takes place in oak barrels over many years with the range of molecules carried over with the distillate reacting with the wood. Over time some of the volatiles are lost by evaporation through the wood. This loss is known as the angel’s share, but the angels would have to be pretty tough as the alcohol content of what is evaporating is very high.

However, not satisfied with this traditional old and mysterious process, NanoRacks LLC are taking an Islay malt from the Ardbeg distillery to new heights by maturing it for two years in the international space station (1). Of course we can expect this sample to have a flavor that is out of this world and hope that it comes back without too much going to the angels.

With the transport to and from the space station being outsourced by NASA to private industry, perhaps we will see regular cargoes of whisky zooming off into space. Then the price may come down to earth so we can all enjoy it. Will the Russians be aging premium vodka in space soon?

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-17657804  

Leave a Reply