Most recently, CaskX created a cask portfolio for famed Chinese contemporary artist, Wang Xiaobo, who himself is a long-time whisky fan.After several discussions, WangXiaobo decided to delve into cask investment by starting a new portfolio with brands he’s always enjoyed and others he’s wanted to try.
Born in 1974 in Beijing, Xiaobo showed an interest in art from a young age. In 2000, he graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and his works have went on the fetch ground-breaking prices at auctions and art fairs across the globe. To date many his pieces have sold for price tags of $US40,000 to over $US300,000. Wang Xiaobo still resides in Beijing and works out of his studio there.
We decided to speak to him about his new entry into the world of whisky cask investment.
The Art In Whisky: Wang Xiaobo
Wang Xiaobo likes, first and foremost, to drink whisky. This is always the best way for fans to get into the liquid for investment purposes, as many nowadays look at the spirit purely as an investment instead of enjoying and loving whisky, while also making a profit.
Xiaobo has high value, rare bottles as well as newer, experimental releases. The ones he enjoys regularly are opened upon purchase, while some are saved for special occasions. As he puts it, “this kind of collection is called my landfill treasure, which can be opened on special days or when there’s an unexpected surprise.”
When asked what prompted him to begin investing in casks, the artist easily puts his thought process into words.
“We all know that whisky will stop ageing after being bottled, so only if you collect casks can you experience the feeling of growing older with your favorite whisky,” Xiaobo explains. “In addition, whisky casks have a certain investment value, which can also be used as a capital investment. I used to buy some older, rarer whisky bottles but this is the first time I’m experiencing spending time and growing together with the spirit. I find it very interesting.”
The artist’s statement, again, showcases why whisky is much more than an investment or a drink, it’s something people fall in love with, grow with, and delve deeper into. Being quite new to whisky collecting, Xiaobo did his own research on the category. He came by CaskX and was interested in building a larger portfolio of younger casks. Xiaobo decided to purchase his first package of casks from us, and we’re delighted he decided to do so.
“One of the distilleries that CaskX is working with was on my bucket list, so I went ahead and invested in a few casks,” says Xiaobo.
When asked if he plans to keep building his portfolio, Xiaobo mentions that drinking whisky helps with his creativity and inspiration. “After all, it’s simple and easy, to consume my favourite whiskies as I do,” says Xiaobo. “For whisky casks, it brings in more planning and management. The casks I collect may be bottled one day for the opening of my future art exhibitions, or perhaps I’ll look at a way of tying my art in with spirits.” With more art events and auctions planned in the near future, Xiaobo says his cask portfolio will keep growing as well.
We close our talk with a question on the Chinese market and whether Xiaobo sees potential there for whisky cask investment.
“I think that Chinese people have always been interested in fermented beverages, from rock tea to rice wine and liquor, and the taste brought by the accumulation of time is a big interest for the Chinese people. Another point is that with the improvement of the economic ability of the Chinese people, the demand for a high-quality experience is increasing, and there are many young generations who have extensive overseas study experience, and their palates no longer enjoy the traditional rice wine. Many of these young people are and will be the main force to change the trends in China and increase the country’s wealth in the future. Now is a good time for whisky cask investment, in my opinion.”
Cask investment is growing, and here at CaskX we aim to help the industry grow as a whole. Wang Xiaobo is a great example showingthat everyone, from any walk of life, can find pleasure, excitement, and investment opportunities in whisky.
Growing with the spirit, travelling to see it, bottling the cask for a special occasion, there is much more to whisky cask investment than meets the eye. As we move forward, we’ll report more of these stories from artists, CEOs, investors, and any client of CaskX from the many walks of life.