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Earlier this year, scientists fired molecules of unaged malt into outer space in order to explore how whisky ages in a micro-gravity environment. While we wait for the results of that experiment back on Earth, I thought it would be a fitting moment to sip a dram of “Ardbeg Galileo,” a delightfully fruity new bottling from Islay, and ponder the wonder of wood ageing.

Up to 70 per cent of a whisky’s flavour comes from the cask it’s aged in. You can distil the finest spirit in Christendom, but if you age it in a lousy cask you’ll end up…

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