Ballantine’s has created the Ballantine’s Space Glass and a Special Batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky designed for a zero gravity environment as the brand continues to innovate, making a genuine contribution to the space programme.
As part of a bold campaign to appeal to the next generation of whisky drinkers, Ballantine’s has commissioned the Open Space Agency, a collective of astropreneurs, to design the Space Glass and overcome the challenge of drinking whisky in a zero gravity environment. The Space Glass was rigorously tested at the ZARM Zero-G Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany, to prove its functionality in conditions similar to that of space.
To complete the launch, Master Blender Sandy Hyslop has created a special batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky, a blend that seeks to ‘Stay True’ to the Ballantine’s whisky style while enhancing the signature flavour profile. Ballantine’s Space Whisky has been crafted by introducing first fill sherry matured malt to a bespoke Ballantine’s blend with the intention of addressing the impact that microgravity has on taste-buds, resulting in a more concentrated whisky with enhanced spice and honey notes.
The Ballantine’s Space Glass is built around the whisky drinking experience. The warming element from hand to glass is important to me because the whisky warms up while you are drinking it, unlocking aromas that ensure a multi-sensory experience. It’s fantastic that this has been achieved, so Ballantine’s inaugural space blend has a fitting vessel specifically built for zero gravity.
In space you are unable to pick up on the same smell and taste intensity as on earth. That was my key consideration when designing Ballantine’s Space Whisky. I had to make the blend more robust, heightened in flavour, and more concentrated so one could emulate the experience of drinking Ballantine’s on earth. Astronauts miss the taste of home and by crafting a fruitier, stronger, more floral blend I think Ballantine’s has designed a home comfort for space.
– Sandy Hyslop: Master Blender
Our brief was to develop a whisky glass that worked under the conditions of microgravity, the scientific term for zero gravity. It was important that we focused on creating a ritual around how you drink from the Ballantine’s Space Glass to give a familiarity of what we are used to here on earth – the end result is one that incorporates several elements of that ritual, from the liquid entering the glass through to sipping from it.
– James Parr: founder of the Open Space Agency
We believe that when individuals stay true to themselves they leave their mark on this planet. As Ballantine’s drinkers have re-invented the world all around us, we’ve been right there with them. We are delighted to be the first whisky brand to support astropreneurship with the development of the Ballantine’s Space Glass and the Special Batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky. Not only is the glass innovative – solving fundamental scientific questions of how liquid moves in zero gravity – but it is also beautifully designed, with the ritual of the whisky drinking experience at its heart.
– Peter Moore: Ballantine’s Global Brand Director
Ballantine’s will be publishing articles, photography, imagery, audio, illustrations and GIFs throughout the project. Consumers are invited to follow the journey at ballantinesspaceglass.com
Ballantine’s Space Glass Product Information: How it works
In order to get the whisky from bottle to glass there is a loading mechanism which inserts a nozzle into the base of the glass. Held together by a strong magnetic connection the base of the glass releases a quick draw down allowing the slow release of the whisky into the base of the glass through a one-way valve.
There is a cold touch mouth clip, ergonomically shaped to give the user a quality drinking experience on the top of the glass. To capture the ritual of drinking whisky you rest your lips here, while hidden ‘scent slots’ let you smell the blend. The capillary design needs a spiral CNC machined rose gold plated dome base to provide the surface tension angle to feed the whisky into the capillaries. The base encourages the user to hold the glass and contains a magnet for practical Zero-G applications while in space, e.g. sticking the glass to the side of a space ship. The 2mm capillary dimension in the glass supplies a good amount of whisky while retaining good surface tension for ease of suction.
Tasting notes for the Special Batch Ballantine’s Space Whisky
Nose: Notes of sweet honey and creamy vanilla intermingled with fragrant clementine oranges, old fashioned barley sugar sweets with a hint of liquorice spice.
Taste: Fills the mouth with Honey flavours echoing the nose, crunchy sweet toffee apple and soft cinnamon Edinburgh rock sweets. Rich and complex.
Finish: Balanced sweet and incredibly smooth.