So at KBF I talked myself into a 5 liter barrel from Independent Stave (had been thinking of buying one on-line, and the avoidance of shipping plus having one from folks who know how to make a good barrel - stars aligned!) I've been refilling with water for it to swell per the instructions, and am preparing to fill it in the next day or two.
There are a couple of different aspects I'm considering, but wanted to see what everyone else thinks on the topic.
AGE: I want to throw in young bourbon (sub 4 yrs), and avoid bourbon that is older (definitely avoiding 10 yr+). Unfortunately, most of the young bourbon I have is only 90 proof, which brings me to . . .
PROOF: I wanted to try to use some higher proof bourbon to offset the lower proof. Based on what I have on hand, I probably can't hit 115 proof, but my goal is to try for that.
MASHBILL: The only wheated mashbill I have that is higher proof is WLW, which isn't going into this experiment. While I have a handle of Larceny, in trying to keep the proof up - I'm leaning towards using traditional rye to high-rye bourbons (like OGD 114).
DISTILLERY: I don't know that this will be a consideration, or if it is - perhaps a tie breaker.
COST: I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a consideration (I'm not using BTAC, ECBP, etc), but I'm also not limiting it to value bourbon (as I don't think I could hit the proof I'd like with that).
Lastly - I'm looking to use what I have on-hand, rather than going out and purchasing for this. I expect this first fill to be a learning experience, and honestly - am not getting my hopes up. Long term I'd like to have a "living mingle" in the barrel after perhaps the 2nd or 3rd fill, so that it is evolving, although that may still be too long in the barrel unless I consumed/added pretty regularly.
How would you approach it?