Ardbeg whisky shot heard around the world

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AN ISLAND distillery is carrying out experiments in space to find out how its product matures without gravity.

The Ardbeg Distillery on Islay blasted compounds of unmatured malt to the International Space Station in a spacecraft on 30 October.

It also sent up particles of charred oak and, once the spacecraft docked, the two sets of molecules were mixed.

Scientists want to understand how the compounds interact at close-to-zero gravity. The molecules are parts of the two substances known as terpenes. It is believed the experiment is the first time anyone has studied terpenes and other molecules in near-zero gravity. The experiment, unveiled at the Edinburgh International Science Festival yesterday, is led by US research company NanoRacks.