I'd be interested to know what the distillers pay for new barrels. As I understand it, they tend to use barrels once as they are after the fresh char and oak characteristics. Us brewers on the other hand want the barrels used from distillers so that we also get the characteristics from the aged spirit. Our use potential is generally less finite than the distillers from a volume production perspective, especially if we get them soon after they're dumped at the distillery. We've got a barrel at the pub on its 5th batch of barrel aged beer and its still yielding good character.