ummm, this is BA not daytime PBS. . . X,Y,A,B? #1. where did i intimate poor base beer will taste good if dumped in a premium barrel?? i did indicate a premium barrel usually has a track record that is good, and therefore probably is good for whatever else is later put in it, including ale. screw cows & dairy products. let's talk horses & riders. i'm saying put a good jockey (solid base ale) on a thoroughbred (good quality barrel), vs. put a good... or even mediocre jokey on a mule & sound foolish saying "it's irrelevant". please. home-brewed empirical proof?? what was the original source of your "Old Crow" barrel(s)? meantime, lemme' put this shit in braille for you. i did not say a premium spirit barrel automatically produces a good barrel aged ale. i implied there's reasons distillations evolve into premium spirits - one of them is EXCELLENT barrel integrity to begin with. also for the record, where the hell did you come up with premium barrels manifest premium flavor?? please define for us all scientifically (since that's the term demanded here) or otherwise exactly what "premium flavor" tastes like or consists of! for anybody actually interested in reality, distillers use specialized staff or some might say, trained 'professionals' to ascertain what barrels possess end result spirits that will be bottled for top, mid or lower shelf etc. it's pretty common that bottom shelf spirits tend to see less maturation than premium spirits. 1 reason to designate to younger, lower shelf tiers is higher yields & faster return on investment. another obvious reason is because the trained professionals have, in their professional opinion, ruled out long term viability.