Sampled the RIS a few days ago. Figgy, oaky, with a very slight chocolate aftertaste. Pretty much what I was going for, but a little strong on the oak, and this was the blended bottle, mind you. I'm not sure what'll happen when I open the barrel-only bottle. For those who don't know, I made three separate bottle groups. No-oak, all-oak, and some no-oak/all-oak blend. Very roughly blended on a one-to-one ratio. Honestly, not something I would drink more than two of in a night. It's also around 8% ABW, so it's not like I could drink much more anyway. I've been a bit of a lightweight recently.
Had a barrel scare when I opened up the barrel recently. Smelled strongly of sulfur(from the storage solution), but had a weird white, moldy-looking film on top. Rinsed multiple times, and scrubbed as best I could. Currently, it's soaking with a star san solution. Will run a test batch to see if there are any spoilage type flavors in there.
Finally, planning a winter ale and some ciders. Winter ale will be chocolaty and spicy, from the spices (duh). Ciders will be dry and sweet. One gallon with cider yeast, another gallon with ale yeast. I'm thinking of lightly spicing them with cloves and cinnamon. Had a two year old cider I made the other night, the cinnamon and cloves really mellow out over time and provide a very pleasant aroma. Yay me! I made something good!
Cheers brothers, and happy drinking!