Scotland-based producer of single Islay malt Scotch whisky Ardbeg distillery has revealed the results of its experiment on whisky maturation process in space.

The experiment was conducted to see how outer space exposure impacts taste quality.

A vial of unmatured malt from the Ardbeg distillery along with shards of Ardbeg casks was sent to the International Space Station in a cargo spacecraft in October 2011, with another vial of the same whisky preserved as a sample for comparisons.

The research was proposed to investigate the ways in which micro-gravity would affect the behaviour of terpenes, the building blocks of flavour for many foods and wines as well as whisky spirits.

The results of the experiment are expected to pave the way for unprecedented flavour profiles, said the company.

Ardbeg director of distilling and whisky creation Bill Lumsden said: "The space samples were noticeably different.

"When I nosed and tasted the space samples, it became clear that much more of Ardbeg’s smoky, phenolic character shone through – to reveal a different set of smoky flavours which I have not encountered here on earth before."

"Our findings may also one day have significant implications for the whisky industry as a whole.

"In the future, the altered range of wood extractions could lead scientists to be able to detail the ratios of compounds expected in whiskies of a certain age."