It’s billed as the world’s best whisky. And now it’s heading into space.
Japanese distillery Suntory is sending samples of whisky and other alcoholic fare into space to see if the effects of a microgravity environment alter the aging process, change the taste and progress the “mellowness” of the alcohol.
Receiving the intoxicating payload on August 16, the Japanese Experiment Module, named “Kibo,” on the International Space Station will be the site of the unusual experiment.
There will be six different samples in glass flasks sent into space, a Suntory spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal, ranging from a freshly distilled whisky to a 21-year-old single malt. The samples will remain in space for a maximum of two years before being sent back to Earth for testing and analysis.
You won’t be able to get your hands on a snifter of these space-mixed spirits as Suntory do not intend to sell to the public.
“With the exception of some items like beer, alcoholic beverages are widely known to develop a mellow flavor when aged for a long time,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “Although researchers have taken a variety of scientific approaches to elucidating the underlying mechanism, we still do not have a full picture of how this occurs.”
This isn’t the first time that whisky has been sent into space to see how the flavor may change. U.S. researchers launched a sample of Ardbeg Scotch Whisky into space for over 1,000 days between 2011 and 2014. The results of that research still have not yet been published. Maybe it just tasted too damn good.