Japanese firm to send whiskey to space to test the effect of zero gravity on aging.
Suntory Holdings, LTD., a Japanese beverage company, is conducting an experiment on aging whiskey in space, according to a New York City News report.
The experiment is designed to determine how zero gravity aging impacts the taste of the beverage. Six samples of whiskey that have been aged for 10, 18, and 21 years, will be transferred to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s transfer vehicle, Kounotori.
The whiskey will be kept on ISS for at least a year, with some of the samples staying longer. After the time in space, company whiskey blenders will compare the taste of the beverages to control samples left aging on Earth. The samples will be stored in glass flasks for the experiment.
When whiskey is stored in a stable environment, it becomes more mellow and smoother. The zero gravity test will determine if lack of movement while weightless will add to the effect.
Through the years, researchers have tried a number of ways to improve the taste of whiskey through aging, and to improve understanding of how it works, but still do not have a full picture of the process.
The company has said it has no current plans to market space-aged whiskey to the public at this time. Studies will meed to be done to determine if the process is beneficial and practical.
The company plans to include the samples on the Kounotori transfer vehicle launch on August 16.