While unloading the Japanese Kounotori resupply ship, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were confronted with an unusual piece of cargo, five distilled spirits and a bottle of 40 percent ethanol.

Suntory Whisky
Suntory Whisky

Unfortunately, the astronauts will not get to enjoy any of those beverages, because they are a part of an experiment studying the effects of microgravity on the aging process of whisky. The project was initiated by Suntory, Japan's largest whisky producer.

Suntory promotion at Sumo match
Suntory promotion at Sumo match
Gwydion M. Williams

The six bottles are set to remain on the ISS for at least two years, after which they will be brought back to Earth and compared to identical samples aged in Japan. 

Suntory's Hibiki Whisky
Suntory's Hibiki Whisky
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