A couple things to consider, the barrels are coated with a
varnish, this will cut down on the evaporation rate of these
barrles. Now that may sound good, but in reality we depend on the
evaporation/oxygen exchange to help age the spirit. As well if you
go with this type of barrel the preperations for a barrel for use
are diffrent then what they state. You want to first soak the
barrel as they suggest to get it "liquid tight" once this is done
you need to use a solution such as "Barolkleen" 1# per 5 gallons of
water. Fill the barrel with this solution for about 3 days then
flush well several times. This will help do two things, #1 remove
the excess tannins that will be present as well as sterilize/kill
off any bacteria that may be in the barrel. *As I understand it*
If you have the barrel water tight then leave it empty for a while
you will want to burn a sulfur stick in it first then rinse before
filling it with your spirits. This will help fight off any molds or
bacterias that can grow in a wet sealed empty barrel. it's not a
good idea to leave a wet barrel sealed for more then a few weeks.
Here is a link for a company that I have used for barrels. Note:
they almost always say back ordered on the barrels, but they seem to
always have them in stock.
Hope this helps you...