More random thoughts on barrel aged cocktails. (Sorry)
It's kinda interesting that gin is only occasionally aged in barrels---and I have to admit, I don't like the majority of those barrel aged gins I tried---but gin-based drinks are often used in barrel aged cocktails.
See, I don't associate gin with barrels. And I haven't had it proven to me as yet that gin aged in barrels is a good thing or not, or that the components that barrels add to gin are overall a good thing.
So, along those lines, I might do a barrel aged cocktail with something like a Tequila Negroni, rather than gin. I HAVE had it proven to me that tequila can take on a reposado style short-aging quite nicely, and even a good solid anejo aging, although that's not my favorite style of tequila as I think it suppresses the essential nature of the tequila too much for my taste (and if I want whisky, I'll drink whisky).
But then I think I'd like to go one step further in experimentation: try to ascertain the difference between simple oxidative aging---spirit not in wood, but in a container exposed to air---as opposed to wood effect and oxidative aging combined. Then you could try to pinpoint exactly what oxidative aging brings, as well as what the barrel brings.
Might like to try evaporative/concentrative aging effects as well, but I'm hesitant to give so much of my good spirit away to the angels, greedy creatures that they are. And finally, put one barrel in a basement and just let it sit there, while taking another barrel filled the same on long car trip, then try them side by side.
Of course, I'll never do that, because that's way too many cocktails to drink in a short period of time, and I like variety.