The International Space Station recently got a fancy new espresso machine, and the next delivery is a sample of Japanese whiskeys. However, the whiskeys are not for drinking. Japanese distiller Suntory is sending a variety of whiskeys into space to study "mellowing," or why alcohols become smoother when they are "aged properly." While mellowing has been studied in the past, no one quite fully understands exactly how it works.
Suntory's scientists think that space's "microgravity environment" will help them understand more details in the process. Unfortunately, the astronauts aboard the ISS will have to show a lot of restraint. One group of whiskeys will be aged aboard the Space Station for 13 months while the second batch will remain on board for two years or longer.