back to article Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth

A Scottish distillery is celebrating the return of the first ever space-matured batch of whisky. Back in 2011, the Islay-based Ardbeg distillery sent several vials of whisky to the International Space Station, where they were spun around the earth at 17,227 mph, orbiting 15 times a day for almost three years. The astronauts …

  1. Semtex451

    It'll be auctioned for charity shurly?

  2. Rosco

    Expected effects?

    Did they have any reason to suspect that something might actually happen? Seems like an expensive PR stunt if not.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Expected effects?

      Lots of weird stuff happens in microgravity, the experiment is not without precedent.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When their in house expert palettes tell us the taste is unique, awesome, unprecedented and well worth giving up the price of a small car for a thimbleful it's going to have all the credibility of a Monster cables salesman pushing their new gold plated TOSLINK.

  4. Annihilator


    How dare you sully the good name of single Islay malts with corn-based Jim Beam. All for a punning title, have you no decency?

    1. WraithCadmus

      Re: Blasphemy

      Maybe he got confused with Laphroaig 10 minutes up the road? I believe they use Jim Beam casks.

    2. erikj

      Re: Blasphemy

      "What is it?"

      "Well it's -- um -- it's green"

      1. DuncanL

        Re: "Well it's -- um -- it's green"

        Yours will be the one with the tricorder in the pocket - except that they seem to have done away with pockets in the 22nd century.

    3. intrigid

      Re: Blasphemy

      I know, right? How can you even equate scotch and bourbon? It's like injecting a baseball pun into a story about soccer.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Blasphemy


        Besides that's a bad comparison. You're comparing a sport with a wonderful, venerable tradition for the masses, with football, a sport for drunken louts.

        1. Fungus Bob

          Re: a sport for drunken louts

          What is the sport for sober louts?

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Blasphemy

        I'm thinking you have chocolate shoe laces... "Good" scotch and "Good" bourbon are much closer than Baseball and that game with goals, soccer, futbol or hooliganism.

        I agree that the Jim Beam tagline was misplaced. It insults both Jame T. Kirk, and Jim Beam.

  5. hi_robb


    I'll bet it tastes excellent, very light...

    /Gets dragged off stage left.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most worthwhile I'm sure. Whether scotch matures differently in free-fall is one of those questions that's vexed mankind since we emerged from the caves. Cant wait to see if the hard stuff, has the right stuff.

  7. ukgnome

    But what was the specific gravity?

  8. Tweetiepooh

    Shame it's Ardbeg

    A local offie used to have single malt tastings and it's the one Scottish product that I really didn't like. Still it's an interesting idea. Wonder how it liked the launch though?

    1. Oliver 7

      Re: Shame it's Ardbeg

      Peated whisky can be an acquired taste but, believe me, it can be acquired. Traditionally the sweet sherry-casked whisky of Speyside was touted to American and Japanese markets for its easy-drinking qualities but, increasingly, whisky aficionados seek out the smokiest expressions such as Laphroaig and Ardbeg from the tiny island of Islay. The island has eight distilleries and the peat there has a unique 'medicinal' character.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Shame it's Ardbeg

        Lagavulin for me, thanks. Though I am rather partial to Ardbeg. Laphroaig not as much.

        But, different types go well at different times and for different moods. The sweeter, honey-vanilla of a Balvenie or Aberlour are sometimes just what the doctor ordered, and certainly doesn't make my partner's nose turn up like the peaty-iodine onslaught of some of my other standards!

        1. Brenda McViking

          Re: Shame it's Ardbeg

          Some of you might find the Scottish Whisky Flavour Map of interest.

          Personally, I really like Ardbeg, but it's not something I'd necessarily reccommend to someone if they've never tried a proper single malt before - Glenmorangie would be my choice for the beginner just starting out.

  9. smudge

    Zero-G effects

    ...spun around the earth at 17,227 mph, orbiting 15 times a day...

    Exactly the same effect as too much usquebaugh has on me!

  10. Oliver 7
    IT Angle

    It's just a PR Stunt

    Although none of this whisky has been to space, it comes with a price tag of £124.99, which is a circa £50 mark-up on their last 'committee release'. Lumsden is a very knowledgeable distiller but a shameless marketer.

  11. Mark 85

    A new market for SpaceX?

    Turn the Dragon capsule into giant casks and fill with appropriate libation... orbit for awhile... return to earth.. PROFIT FOR ALL!!!!!!!

    1. Chris G

      Re: A new market for SpaceX?

      So SpaceXXX then?

      I have never liked Scotch so I'm unimpressed with this particular space jaunt but I would be very interested if someone would like to pay for me to go up to the ISS with a few kilos of Syrah grapes from Sicily or some Californian Merlot grapes and a couple of demijohns with micro gee air traps. It would be interesting to see how yeast deals with space and micro gee.

      Plus getting the must to settle might need a slow centrifuge.

      1. Anonymous Custard
        Black Helicopters

        Re: A new market for SpaceX?

        I'm wondering more if this might shed some light on the X-37B's secret mission?

        2 years enough for some decent maturing of product?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are Ardbeg trying for extra credit from the sky fairies for delivering the angels share to the doorstep?

  13. aregross

    Were they glass vials or miniature charred-oak barrels? It'd make a difference I think... !

    1. dan1980


      I believe they were glass vials containing both whisky and oak. As I understand it, the goal was to test interactions of turpene in micro-gravity.

      Perhaps the serious side of this has something to do with growing plants in micro-gravity.

      Perhaps it's all marketing - it's expensive to run missions to the ISS! - but there is so much we don't know that it's not unimaginable that there are genuine scientists actually interested in what comes of this.

  14. Christoph

    What about the next step?

    Now they need to investigate what happens when they do the distillation up there as well.

    Of course they will have to use a centrifugal still.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: What about the next step?

      I do believe they could use a vacuum still, there being loads of that just outside of their front door.

      1. Fungus Bob

        Re: What about the next step?

        "a vacuum still"

        That idea sucks...

  15. DagD

    Temporal Causality Loop

    Cohrane gets looped on a dram of space whiskey before first flight into space...

    me thinks I'll wait for the geiger counter reading though...

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