Ardbeg - GalileoIslay Whisky
Ardbeg Galileo has been specially bottled to celebrate the most audacious adventure ever undertaken by Ardbeg, this dram fires up your taste buds with spectacular aromas and tastes. Smokin'...
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 flavour 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 espresso.
Ardbeg Galileo is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999, all married together to give a sweet, smoky texture. The heart of this limited edition Ardbeg is spirit matured in ex-Marsala wine casks from Sicily that is combined with hallmark Ardbeg matured in first and second fill ex-Bourbon casks. The ex-Marsala casks add fruity aromas and textures to Ardbeg's famed peaty, smoky house style. Bottled at 49% and non chill-filtered it is being made available on allocation to Ardbeg's focus markets.
The whisky, named after Galileo, the father of modern astronomy, celebrates the first ever experiment undertaken by Ardbeg Distillery (or any other distillery for that matter) when Ardbeg was invited in late 2011 by US based space research company NanoRacks LLC, based in Houston Texas, to take part in a two year experiment to test micro-organic compounds drawn from the distillery's production on Islay. This maturation experiment (the inter-action of these compounds with charred oak) between normal gravity on Earth and micro-gravity in space, is currently taking place far up in space on the International Space Station.
The vials that were launched by Soyuz rocket from Baikanor in Kazakhstan in late 2011 contain a class of compounds known as "terpenes," a set of chemicals which are very widespread in nature and often very aromatic and flavour active. The experiment could explain the workings of these large, complex molecules as they will remain on the International Space Station for at least two years and help uncover new truths about the change that these molecules undergo in this near 'zero gravity' environment. It also should help Ardbeg find new chemical building blocks in their own flavour spectrum.
The experiment will have applications for a variety of commercial and research products, including, one day maybe, future generations of Ardbeg.
Working in close collaboration with the Ardbeg Distillery team in Scotland, NanoRacks will closely monitor the experiment against control samples here on earth; both in Houston, Texas at the NanoRacks' facility and more familiarly, in Warehouse 3 at Ardbeg Distillery on Islay!
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks at The Glenmorangie Company said: "So far so good - the experiment went live in January when the scientists broke the separating wall between the two components; Ardbeg new make spirit straight from our still on Islay and shards of charred oak cut out of some of our barrels from the warehouse. We will not know the results for another year or so but in the meantime we thought we would celebrate the experiment by the introduction of Ardbeg Galileo - our own earthly tribute to the scientific experiment taking place far up in space!"