The famous Whisky brand Suntory, the principal Japanese manufacturer of this drink, launches studies to age the distillate in conditions of weightlessness. The goal is to gain a milder drink.
Suntory considers it possible, that the weightless conditions in space could have an effect on the movement of the liquids, in a way that the water and alcohol molecules unite more easily, resulting in a whisky with a milder taste.
So, the outstanding Japanese brand last August sent 5 kinds of whisky to the International Space Station (ISS), to study how they age in a weightless surrounding.
The launch took place at Tanegashima space center, located in the southwest of the country. The samples arrived aboard the unmanned Japanese freighter HTV 5, also called "Konotori 5" (white stork), together with 4,5 tons of various other supplies.
This experiment is carried out jointly with the Japanese space agency (JAXA) in the Japanese experiment module of the International Space Station, nicknamed Kibo.
Suntory tests two experimental groups of distilled spirits in this weightless conditions for different periods of time. The first group will return to earth in September 2016, the other one will stay at least 2 years in space, according to the specialised publication of The Spirits Business.
In each group, the selection of various samples of the different alcoholic drinks will be stored in the space station, while another identical sample will be stored in Japan during the same period of time. Like this, the effects of the environments on the aging process can be studied. "Even though the researchers have taken into account a variety of scientific approaches to elucidate the underlying mechanism of this process, we still don't have the full picture of how it happens", says the group.
Among the whiskys sent do the ISS, there are samples of 10, 18 and 20-year-old ones, as well as distilled spirits that have not yet been submitted to the process of aging.
Suntory has stated that the space aged beverages will not be sold to the public because the objective is experimental.
The Yamazaki 18 Years: a Single Malt whisky native of Japan with an alcohol content of 43º.
Hibiki 12 Year Old: a Single Malt whisky made in Japan that presents an alcohol content of 43º.
The Yamazaki 12 Years: a Single Malt whisky from Japan with an alcohol proof of 43º.