In the headlong rush of science, in the late autumn of 2011, a rocket ship blasted off this earth at 25,000 mph. Deep within the cargo area of the ship was no ordinary cargo. For the spaceship carried with it a bottle of precious Ardbeg crafted molecules - the beginning of a fascinating first: a research experiment by the chaps at Ardbeg...in space!
This was the most audacious adventure ever undertaken the the distillery (or any other whisky distillery, for that matter).
The goal of the experiment was to measure the difference in aging (the interaction of young spirit with charred oak) between normal gravity here on earth and the micro-gravity environment found on the International Space Station...the outcome would hopefully lead to a greater understanding of of the mysteries of maturation...oh, and of the entire universe as well.
The spirit will remain hidden in the hold of the Space Station for a period of up to three years (unless of course the astronauts living there find it!) during which time the development of the whiskey will be monitored against “control samples” here on earth - in Houston Texas and, more familiarly in a cask of new make spirit resting in Warehouse #3 at the Ardbeg distillery.
To celebrate this research initiative, Ardbeg created a very unusual and very very limited whisky, aptly called Ardbeg Galileo. At its heart, Galileo is hallmark Ardbeg whiskey produced in 1999 that has been matured in classic ex-bourbon barrels and finished in ex-Marsala sherry casks. The result is a deep golden, smoky Ardbeg balanced with rich flavors from Sicily. The whiskey is non-chill-filtered for extra texture and mouthfeel, and bottled at a strength of 49% abv.
Distillers Tasting Notes:
Nose/Aroma: A burst of intense smoky fruit escapes into the atmosphere. Add water and breathe in toasted vanilla, sizzling cinnamon and warm hazelnut.
Taste: An explosion of crackling peat ignites flavor explosions. Tangy lemon and lime juice, spiced toffee, followed by smooth buttermilk, bananas and currants. Smoke brims with creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows.
Finish: Long and smoky with tarry expresso