It is strange, but while drinking it I would have described it as a below average pour, but the finish makes me think I had something really good and forgot about it. I'm also surprised it developed a good finish before it developed a good initial taste.
After almost two months, there is a definite trend of the "end" of the drinking experiencing maturing before the start. The finish is even better, and resembles something we'd pay good money for. The taste is improving, but still has a way to go. It isn't bad, but there's not a lot of complexity past a light citrus flavor with vanilla notes. The mouthfeel is improving, but still a bit on the thin side. The nose still resembles white dog more than a good finished product.
Out of curiousity, what is the source of your white dog you're using for your aging experiments? I still haven't started mine. Too much going on in my personal life right now.
Barrel #1 is the only one I've been regularly sampling from.
Sorry to hear that. I was hoping you would get something nice.
If I am not mistaken the more you re-use the barrel the easier it is to anticipate that period when it changes from interesting to bad. Probably doesn't happen as fast either.
Probably a good idea to use very inexpensive juice for the first two or three fills with the expectation that you might lose it.
I got very good results by cycling my whiskey. In the summer I placed the whiskey in a cabinet in the garage for two weeks and then a refrigerator for two weeks. Temperatures averaged in the 90's with humidity between 75% and 90%. The refridgerator was set on low humidity and 38%. during the winter I cycled the whiskey between the garage and a closet in the house. The garage temp got as low as 28 degrees with humidity below 40%. The house averaged 76 degrees with humidity around 45%. I did this for about 18 months. I started at close to 120 proof based on math calculations because i don't have anything to measure the specific gravity of the whiskey. This worked very well for me. The final product was a sweet whiskey with heavy vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, smoke oak and a buzz.
I did notice that very early on I had a full dark whiskey color but the taste was also thin and a bit of a sharp bite. I would haveoured it out except I was determined to stick it out and as a result it turned out great for me.
For evaporation, the only way to stop it is to use glass jugs with the wood placed in the jar with the whiskey. You can make your own charred oak inserts or buy them. It works great and you keep all the juice.
Another technique is to extra mature whiskey in a wood solution of your own make. Start with a handle of bottom shelf juice and jug it with some wood of your choice. After a period of time it will extract more flavor and when your happy, filter and drink.
Finally, this is like using gas to run a generator. You're converting something that may not be cost efficient. That can be discouraging especially if it doesn't turn out well. It get past that by concentrating on getting the taste I want and that takes time, attention to detail, and lots of resources.
I await tasting notes with nervous anticipation,