A week and a half into further experimentation, on a raining Monday afternoon, I thought I might as well document my new rebarrel experiment.
On Roger's suggestion, I brought my emptied barrel (the one with the disastrous Monterey C & C Shine in it, pictured below--see other thread) to see Homer at Oak Barrel in Berkeley. My main concern is whether or not the next whiskey to go into the barrel will be tainted. Homer told me what's in there stays in there. How much of the "vinegar" taste will affect any further spirits is up in the air. He advised me to dissolve sodium percobonate in hot water and let the barrel sit for a day or so, and then rinse with water and a small amount of citric acid. I had to keep tasting the water to make sure any citrus flavor was gone--not a horrible thing!
Now for the next experiment:
My original intention was to age the Monterey spirits further and then follow up with a rebarreling of some vintage Cabin Still I picked up in a 1.75L. I know there were inherent risks, also in mixing rye and then wheat, but I never thought the C & C Shine would be so off-centered.
To make a long thought shorter, I decided to put some new Rebel Yell in the barrel. First to see if any off notes are passed on and second, to pull out more tanins from the oak (again, thanks Rughi!). Hopefully then, this will lead the way for a nice and long aging process of the Cabin Still. While it's "good wicky," I hope to make this wheater even better with further time in wood. When it comes to wheated bourbons, my personal preference is toward older, but not woodier.
I put the two bottles of Rebel Yell inside the 5L barrel, and will be rotating it weekly so the whole bottom half will contact the whiskey. Now that the weather is cooler, I'm keeping it inside--although perhaps not permanently. I still wish to expose it to both cool and warm temperatures.
Sic transit gloria mundi or the barrel!!