Lots of people think Suntory whiskies are out of this world and it looks like they were right. The Japanese distilling company will be sending six samples of its spirits into outer space aboard the International Space Station. There, the amber liquid will tempt orbiting astronauts for more than a year in a study on the effect that zero gravity has on product aging and human taste buds.
The samples include a 21-year-old single malt and a brand new one that has just been distilled. Booze-ology researchers have found that whiskey aged in an environment with little jarring or temperature change has a tendency to become more relaxed. Having departed last month to the space station via Kounotori (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s transfer vehicle), some of samples will return to Earth after a year, while the rest will remain in space for at least two years.
We know what you’re thinking, but no, you will not be able to purchase the space-aged whisky when it returns to Earth. The samples will be studied via tastings in laboratories (not bars) by whiskey blenders who will compare them with spirits that were aged on terra firma. All of this is really just a long lead-in to a short (and terrible) joke:
Why did the astronauts keep staring at the Space Station computer keyboard? Because that’s where the space bar is.