The barrel held water overnight, so I decided to put the whiskey in today. Instead of hunting down a funnel (which I always make a mess with, anyway) I used one of those little pour spouts. These are great to have on hand, especially when you have guests over tasting your whiskeys. They make a neat and controllable pour.
Once you get the aim right and can upend the bottle, it goes quickly.
After both bottles were in, I pulled off about a half ounce through the spigot for two reasons. First, to make sure every part was wet with spirits - no trapped air bubbles. And second, to taste it before it ages.
You can see it's crystal clear, not having picked up any color from the barrel yet. At 124 proof and recently-distilled, I was expecting it to taste like rocket fuel. Sticking my nose in the glass, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, my nose was immediately assaulted by hot alcohol, but after that came the unmistakable aroma of rye whiskey. A taste confirmed it - smooth, with an almost sweet rye finish. Some water tamed the alcohol bite and is making for a lovely drink.
I put the barrel on top of my cookbook cabinet where I can keep an eye on it while it ages. I'll be taking samples and making tasting notes about once a month.