International Space Station. Islay peat. 1920′s drinking den.
The lowest common denominator? Ardbeg single malt Scotch. Naturally.
Recently, I was invited to attend an Ardbeg tasting event in Fort Lauderdale at Bar Stache. Stache was the South Florida stop on their 2013 Ardbeg Rocket Tour. Regrettably, they weren’t serving up Galileo but I did partake in the 10 Year Old, Corryvreckan, and Uigeadail. Stache deserves its own recognition for its 1920′s-themed speakeasy that actually operates as, you guessed it, a speakeasy – secret password for admittance required and all. This den is headed up by Miami’s own John Lermayer so you won’t be surprised by how remarkable the cocktails are. I’ll save Stache for another post though. The real draw here is Ardbeg’s space experimentation on the maturation process.
In October 2011, Ardbeg partnered with NanoRacks, LLC to launch vials of their malts accompanied by shards of oak into space. The more time whiskey ages in the barrel means the better it tastes as it mellows and the oak imparts flavors into it. On the space station the vials have undergone scientific testing to analyze how zero-gravity affects that maturation process. What happens inside the barrels and what processes are happening which create these effects are still, by and large, unknown. In celebration, Ardbeg has released a special edition expression called Galileo that celebrates and honors this unique and pioneering endeavor.
Why am I writing to tell you about 2 year old news? Because, the experiment was scheduled for two years. If we do some math – subtract the 2, carry the 4… – and we’ve got: space results, coming soon. In the mean time, stop by your local spirits shop and try to locate the celebratory Galileo and partake in the excitement.
Although a bottle of Uigeadail wouldn’t be an awful consolation prize.
UPDATE: Galileo was, in fact, served up yet somehow I missed it. Also, rumor has it that you can find a bottle at Fine Wine Spirits & Liquor.