So, I have embarked on my first home barrel-aging experiment. I am going to use this space to keep notes on the progress of my various fills and to seek the occasional advice as to what I should do with my new oak friend.
I utilized a heavy dose of peat in my first fill (with previously aged whisky). On my second fill, I am likely going to use unaged spirit - though I haven't decided between America or Scottish distillate. I am going to do weekly/monthly pulls from the barrel and track the progress here.
The recipe in my ~3L barrel is as follows:
1. 1.4 L McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt (42.5% - 3 y/o - September 2009)
2. 700 mL Ardbeg 10 (46% - L11)
3. 650 mL Ardbeg Corryvreckan (57.1% - L11)
4. 200 mL Highland Park 12 (43%)
5. ~200 mL Johnnie Walker Black (12 y/o - 40%)
The initial blend was as I wanted: peaty, slightly smokey, very little wood influence, and (thanks to the Corry) - it packed a very nice, but approachable, punch. I look forward to seeing how it progresses. (Also, please don't think me crazy for throwing so much good whisky into this experiment. I wanted to do it right.)