I'm now considering the purchase of a much smaller cask (2 liters or so) to try this out for myself, research suggests that the process will go much quicker due to the cask being smaller, I'll keep you guys posted.
I visited a fairly well-known Scottish Whisky producer and had a chance to chat with the guy responsible for the aging. He thought that the aging process (manner and duration) was among the most important (and expensive) parts of the trade. 2% loss of liquid per year, if I remember correctly (added to the capital expense and storage costs).
Needless to say, my suggestions to speed up the process (add fine oak chips instead of using wooden barrels, some gentle heating to increase evaporation etc) were not taken all to seriously.
Where I live, some of the fine local brewery products are shipped in oak barrels on a boat, crossing the equator line twice. "The constant movement, high humidity and fluctuating temperature cause the spirit to extract more flavour and contributes to accelerated maturation." (wikipedia)