Can whisky be made in space?

Cordelia O'Neill

A distillery is carrying out experiments in space to find out how its product matures without gravity.

The Ardbeg Distillery on Islay, Scotland, blasted compounds of unmatured malt -- known as new make spirit -- to the International Space Station (ISS) in an unmanned cargo spacecraft on October 30.

It also sent up particles of charred oak and, once the spacecraft docked at the ISS, the two were mixed.


Scientists want to understand how the two sets of compounds interact at close-to-zero gravity.

The molecules are tiny parts of the two substances known as terpenes -- a set of chemicals which are often aromatic and flavour-active.

The molecules will stay on the ISS for at least two years so scientists can understand how they change in a near-zero gravity environment.

The experiment, unveiled at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, is led by US- h company NanoRacks LLC.