An employee holds a bottle of Suntory Holdings Ltd.'s Yamazaki whisky at the company's Yamazaki distillery in Shimamoto, Osaka, Japan, on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Akio Kon—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Sarah Begley
July 31, 2015

Japanese distillery Suntory is undertaking an alcoholic science experiment to find out how its whiskeys age in space.

The company announced in a release that it would send five different types of whiskey up to the International Space Station on Aug. 16, as well as a bottle of 40% ethanol, to study the “development of mellowness” in a microgravity environment. Identical samples will stay on Earth for comparison when the space whiskey returns. Some of the samples will remain in orbit for one year, some for a period of two years or more (the final number is still to be determined).

Pouched whisky, from Japanese company Suntory, which will be sent up to space at JAXA's space center in Tsukuba, Ibraraki prefecture, outside Tokyo on July 22, 2015.
Suntory/AFP/Getty Images

If project is successful, it will help the folks at Suntory pin down the “mechanism that makes alcohol mellow.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the space whisky will not be for sale, meaning customers are going to have to put their dreams of drinking a truly out-of-this-world spirit on hold. But who knows? If the experiment is a hit, an astro aged bottle might one day appear in liquor store right here on Earth.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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