Case in point: Laphroaig Quarter Cask.
The story of this delicious whisky is well known. I've just read that Quarter Cask now accounts for 25% of all of Laphroaig's sales.
So here's my question: Where is Beam (now Suntory) getting all of those small barrels? Chuck has said in his blog that all of the major American distilleries are using standard 53 gallon barrels (apart from the Buffalo Trace experiment). Presumably Laphroaig would need a steady supply of small ex-bourbon barrels in order to keep up with demand. Surely none of the micros have enough volume to supply a brand the size of Laphroaig. On top of this, their sister distillery Ardmore also uses a quarter cask process. Are they just re-using them over and over again?
I'm not trying to start a conspiracy theory or anything like that. But I feel like I might not be understanding a key part of this story. Does anyone know?