There seems to be an entire religion based on the selection of appropriate woods and charring levels to make the perfect barrel. Good barrels are critical for the vintner. And, Master Distillers are keen to use barrels for their bourbon. The Scottish Distiller (ie. Laphroig) will go one step further and use spent bourbon barrels (i.e. Jim Beam) to age their Scotch whiskey.
Barrel use isn’t exclusive to alcohol
I have friends that keep their vanilla tinctures in very small oak barrels, others age soy sauce this way and of course there is Tabasco and vinegar. Of all the methods employing wood barrels, you will learn that traditional balsamic vinegar is the most complex.
Barrels aren’t cheap
A good barrel will run a few hundred dollars, or more. This is way “out of bounds” for most kitchens. For those wanting a very affordable / modern approach, I have a solution. In the video, I explain a simple method that will unlock the door.