New Mystic Farm & Distillery Bourbon Will Be Aged In Space

Mystic Farm & Distillery is closely tied to the land. Their 22-acre Durham County, North Carolina farm was purchased in 2015, where they grow the grain for their bourbon, vodka, and gin and use the water provided by the farm's aquifer (via Mystic). For folks so deeply rooted, it's surprising that their latest venture is quite literally out-of-this-world.

According to BEVNET, co-owner Jonathan Blitz says his distillery is "redefining what it means to make a rare spirit," and he's not kidding. Mystic Galactic will begin as five barrels of bourbon with a mash bill of 45% wheat and the rest corn that Mystic has aged for three years. It will take an unprecedented journey as it's aged for an additional full year in Low Earth Orbit. That's right. The bourbon is going to space. 

As you might imagine, sending bourbon to space is a monumental endeavor, which is why Mystic is partnering with SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, Rocketlab, Inversion Space, Firefly, and Bank of America, along with their barrel producers, West Virginia Great Barrel Co. to bring the Galactic project to fruition.

How do you get a bottle of space bourbon?

Mystic plans to pre-sell 1000 bottles of Mystic Galactic, which will be bottled at 100 proof and cost $75,000 apiece. Purchasers will place a deposit and receive a nonfungible token (NFT), which will ensure the security and authenticity of the final purchased bottle. 

Per BEVNET, included in the $75,000 price will be attendance at two lavish events to celebrate the launch and re-entry of the mission, a 50-milliliter sample bottle, a piece of one of the barrels sent into orbit, and two tasting glasses. (Aside from the full-size 750-milliliter bottle packed in an aluminum case.)

While Mystic will launch five full barrels of bourbon, they expect some evaporation to occur — typically referred to as the angel's share — making it difficult to predict exactly how many bottles will be filled after the journey to space (via The Whiskey Wash). The distillery estimates producing no more than 1500 bottles of the finished spirit, which must be picked up at the distillery.

It's unknown how space will affect bourbon

In addition to the orbitally aged Mystic Galactic, the distiller plans to age barrels of the same bourbon back here on Earth. They'll bottle it at the same 100 proof and label it appropriately as "Ground Control." According to Mystic Galactic, only a fortunate few will be able to compare the two bourbons to see what aging in space does to the spirit.

The entire undertaking is a monumental cooperative effort, not only with corporate partners but also with North Carolina State University, per Mystic Galactic. The institution's engineering and computer science departments will assist with challenges no other distiller has ever faced, namely thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and orbital mechanics. Designing a barrel that can withstand liftoff, a year-long orbit, and re-entry is quite a challenge that no cooper has ever faced.

While Beverage Dynamics declares that the motion and sea air most definitely affect the maturation of whiskeys aged at sea, we can only imagine what a trek through space will do to the whiskey with its roots in North Carolina and its future nearer the stars. Call us crazy, but we think it might make for an excellent Space-Age Old Fashioned cocktail.