The tumbler is made from special plastic with no opening as such. Instead it has a reservoir in the magnetic base into which the whisky is loaded via a nozzle. The whisky is drawn up through spiral capillaries to a special mouthpiece, which is said to allow the aromas of scotch whisky to emanate.
Chivas says the initiative is part of a campaign to appeal to the next generation of whisky drinkers. It 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 tested at the ZARM Zero-G Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany, to prove its functionality in conditions similar to that of space.
Master blender Sandy Hyslop created a special batch of Ballantine’s Space whisky, a blend that the company says seeks to ‘Stay True’ to the Ballantine’s whisky style while enhancing the signature flavour profile.
Hyslop said: “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.”
James Parr, founder of the Open Space Agency, said: “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.”
Ballantine’s global brand director Peter Moore said: "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.”