Oh wow! Yeah, totally forgot I had this topic started.
The barrel was emptied and all the mead moved to kegs on 11/21/2020. So it was in the barrel just shy of 5 months. The flavor is almost exactly what I was hoping for. Other than honey, vanilla is probably the most dominant flavor. One of the meads that went into the Laphroaig barrel was a 1/2 barrel of vanilla mead. I think when I made that vanilla batch I used too many vanilla beans, and it had a bit of a medicine-like quality. It was getting better as it aged (I think it was about 2 years old), but it worked great in the blend.
The barrel character is coming though very nicely. You can definitely taste the peat smoke, but it's not strong enough to turn off someone who doesn't like that flavor. I have a friend that doesn't like peaty scotch at all, but he likes this mead.
The mead doesn't look any different than the other image I posted, so I'll wait until I actually have some bottled up and will post a photo of that. Here's an action shot from the rack to keg. Overall I filled up a 1/2 barrel and 4 cornys. I hope this mead holds up over time, I've got a ton of it.