You might already know about bourbon aged on ships, within railway carriages, or even under the pounding influence of heavy metal music. Mystic Galactic bourbon, a celestial spirit with a £60,000 price tag, defies gravity and expectations by maturing in outer space for four years. You might already know about bourbon aged on ships, within railway carriages, or even under the pounding influence of heavy metal music.
This celestial spirit, christened Mystic Galactic, is a product of Mystic Farm & Distillery, a quaint establishment tucked away in the heart of Durham, North Carolina. Its distinctive mash bill consists of 55 percent corn and 45 percent wheat, locally grown on a farm merely 15 miles away in the picturesque town of Hillsborough. These meticulously selected grains are farmed exclusively for the distillery, ensuring impeccable quality and genuineness in each production.
Currently, the bourbon is resting peacefully in its sanctuary, 53-gallon barrels of new charred oak. Before embarking on their stellar journey, these barrels will be reinforced with sturdy titanium hoops to withstand the extreme conditions of space voyage. Additionally, the whiskey will be cautiously decanted and then re-filled into these very same barrels, preserving its wholeness and consistency, before being greenlit for lift-off. This extraordinary process of maturing bourbon not only represents a courageous and experimental approach but also promises an exhilarating wait for its eventual return to Earth.
In an illuminating exchange with Jonathan Blitz, the founder of Mystic Farm, further complexities of the process were unveiled. Stability, it seems, is maintained by the addition of baffles within the barrels. This modification is essential as any disturbance of the barrels during re-entry could provoke a problematic inversion of the spacecraft, a contingency the team is eager to avoid.
This celestial endeavour is made possible by The Exploration Company, a firm based in Berlin. Their spacecraft, aptly named Nyx, has the unique responsibility of transporting the bourbon barrels into space, where they’ll complete a yearly orbit around Earth. Upon concluding its mission, the service module will detach and self-incinerate upon re-entry, while the orbiter will softly descend into the ocean. The ultimate hope is for this journey to result in the return of an extraordinary whiskey, distinctively refined by its cosmic expedition.
Minds might wonder, can bourbon genuinely be matured in outer space? According to the TTB, bourbon must be produced in the U.S. Generally, this phrase is assumed to include the maturation process. However, perhaps there’s enough vagueness in the wording to permit the idea of aging in orbit. Blitz clarified that as soon as the spirit is housed in a new charred oak container, it earns the title of bourbon. Consequently, the product bound for space is, indeed, bourbon upon departure.
Blitz initially applied for a COLA (Certificate of Label Approval/Exemption), but later retracted the application. The TTB expressed concerns regarding the whiskey’s temporary removal from the barrels, which might reclassify it as a “distilled spirit specialty” rather than bourbon. Regardless of these concerns, Blitz affirmed that the final label will still identify the spirit as ‘bourbon whiskey’. It may include unique descriptions like ‘aged in orbit’ or ‘stowed in an orbital barrel for a year’, but at its core, the product remains bourbon whiskey.
So, that covers the what, who, when, and how of Mystic Galactic. But what about the why? As per Blitz, the main motivation lies in the unparalleled prestige of possessing such a unique item. Owning a bottle of Mystic Galactic grants the privilege of offering an experience few others on the planet will ever have – the taste of bourbon matured in space. Furthermore, the allure of being the pioneers in this endeavour is a compelling challenge. Finally, Blitz conceded a personal curiosity; he’s excited to discover how it tastes. To ensure a balanced comparison, barrels from the same batch will be matured on Earth, aptly named Ground Control, serving as a unique benchmark for evaluating the impact of this celestial maturation process.
In keeping with current trends, it’s no surprise that the idea of an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) features in this ambitious project. Around 1,000 bottles are anticipated to be available once this cosmic maturation process concludes. The company suggests that using NFTs offers the most effective way of tracking these bottles and ensuring they reach their rightful owners.
For those prepared to invest a cool £75,000 into this unique experience, an easy next step awaits. Simply visit the company’s website to register. And in the unlikely event of the project disintegrating into cosmic dust, rest assured, refunds are indeed an option. Therefore, this venture not only provides a unique opportunity to own a piece of cosmic history but also peace of mind knowing your investment is secure.
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