Woods other than Oak could impart different flavors which could be good ...or bad. I dunno.
Bourbon is required by law to be aged in new, charred oak containers. It’s what gives the whiskey the brown color (it goes in clear) and adds some flavor notes. I live about an hour south of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Though not Bourbon, they make a big deal about saying they use new charred oak barrels for their TN Whiskey.
Other distilleries buy the used barrels when empty (i.e. for Scotch) and breweries buy them for barrel aged beer.
Therefore, I believe if you’re looking for the traditional barrel aged effects for beer you need charred oak. If you’re willing to experiment with other flavors go for it.
You can also buy the chunks or chips from the used whiskey barrels for the smoker. I prefer hickory, apple, pecan, or peach for pork and chicken, and mesquite for beef.
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