Whiskey went to space for the first time in 2011. Since prohibition is still the policy in space, the booze was purely for the purpose of a scientific experiment rather than a space rager, but the results were intriguing nonetheless.

The whiskey samples came from Ardbeg Distillery, a Scottish company that celebrated its 200th anniversary this year. Earlier this week, Ardbeg showed that whiskey doesn't have to remain bound to ancient practices when they published their findings on the "noticeably different" flavor of the whiskey aged in the low-gravity environment of outer space.

Ardbeg kept a sample of the same unmatured malt whiskey on the ground in an identical container for comparison. In particular, they were looking for differences in the behavior of flavor molecules known as terpenes. Found in everything from wine to weed, these organic molecules often contribute significantly to the smell of a substance, which is strongly linked to taste.

The experts at Ardbeg described the Earth sample as "woody, balsamic flavors shone through, along with a distant fruitiness, some charcoal and antiseptic notes, leading to a long, lingering aftertaste, with flavors of gentle smoke, tar and creamy fudge." The space sample, on the other hand, tasted, "very focused, with smoked fruits such as prunes, raisins, sugared plums and cherries, earthy peat smoke, peppermint, aniseed, cinnamon and smoked bacon or hickory-smoked ham" with an aftertaste that is, "intense and long, with hints of wood, antiseptic lozenges and rubbery smoke."

This is a unique combination of characters, according to Ardberg's experts, and it could help distillers on Earth tap into a different side of whiskey. The experiment was made possible by a partnership with Texas-based spaced research company NanoRacks that Ardbeg plans to maintain. The result could be a very new twist on future old-fashioneds.

Via: BBC News

Photo: Patrik Nygren | Flickr

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