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Durham distillery wants to age its bourbon in space

DURHAM, N.C. — A Durham distillery is taking bourbon where it hasn’t gone before – to space.

Mystic Farm & Distillery has announced Mystic Galactic, a bourbon whiskey aged for one year in space.

“We’re redefining what it means to make a rare spirit,” Mystic co-owner Jonathan Blitz said. “Only about 1,300 people on the planet will ever have the opportunity to taste and own this piece of whiskey history. It’s the height of luxury and exclusivity, not to mention the first commercial product manufactured in space.”

Mystic plans to work with companies like SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, Rocketlab, Inversion Space, Firefly and Bank of America, to finance, design, test and build vessels to send five barrels of its 45% wheat bourbon whiskey to low Earth orbit for one year of additional aging.

The barrels selected will have been aging for at least three years already. The barrels will be re-coopered by the West Virginia Great Barrel Company to help them survive the launch, orbit and re-entry.

Mystic is also collaborating with North Carolina State University’s aeronautical engineering, electric engineering and computer science programs. Mystic plans to maintain its own “mission control center in N.C. State Centennial Campus.”

While the barrels will be full when sent into space, Mystic expects the barrels to lose at least 7 percent of those contents to the “angel’s share,” which is when alcohol evaporates as it is being aged in barrels.

At least 1,000 bottles of Mystic Galactic will be available for purchase.

Most of the bottles are being pre-sold for a $75,000 purchase deposit. Each purchaser will receive a nonfungible token (NFT) to prove authenticity and their right to ownership. The deposits will be held in an FDIC-insured account until the bourbon returns to Earth for bottling.

The bottles not pre-sold will be available for purchase after the mission is complete.

Those who pre-purchase will have access to an app that will display real-time mission data and information about exclusive events.

Mystic Galactic will be sold in hand-crafted glass and machined aluminum bottles packed into a custom fitted aluminum flight case with a piece of the actual oak barrel that flew in space. Purchasers will also get a 50-ml sample of the bourbon, so they won’t have to break the seal on their bottle of Mystic Galactic to taste it.

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