Well, I finally dumped my Very Old Barton that had been sitting in a 5 liter barrel since November of 2009. On July 30th I poured what was left in the barrel into two 750ml bottles. If you look back at the original post, I pumped a little over 4.5L into that barrel and managed to pull out 1.5L. Now, some of the loss was sampling over those 8 months, sharing with family and friends as it matured and then lost distillate in the barrel itself during the hot summer. The remaining loss was in fact due to evaporation. Even so, that's a whole lot of loss over 8 months.
To say the end product changed over the original bourbon would be an understatement. Because of the size of the barrel, there was a lot of contact with new charred oak and that really had a heavy influence on the bourbon early on. In fact, I thought maybe it was ruined because it was so overly woody but alas, my patience and warmer weather balanced out the oak (which is still there but not overly dominant), reduced sweetness, added a smokiness and char influence and because of the evaporation, the proof definitely increased.
The color is moderately dark; almost like weak coffee. Nosing the bourbon produces some wood notes, slight smoke and has a finish that is reminiscent of a bold barrel proof bourbon taken down in proof that lingers with a slight tannic oak aftertaste. I'm pleased with the outcome and have enjoyed a number of pours from this bottle. I've got family and friends asking for samples but I'm having to beat them off with a stick since what's left over is pretty minimal.
The day after I emptied the barrel, I refilled it with Evan Williams Bottled in Bond which is a pretty decent bourbon all by itself.