Cleveland Whiskey’s Speed-Aged Spirits Are Gaining Favor Abroad, But Its CEO Has Learned The Hard Way

October 08, 2015

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There are millions of people in the People’s Republic of China who need a good, stiff drink right about now, and Tom Lix, chief executive officer of Cleveland Whiskey, aims to give it to them. The question is when.

With Black Monday’s rout on the Shanghai Composite Index erasing all of 2015’s gains and wiping out or severely damaging the portfolios of numerous mom-and-pop investors, Lix’s new black cherry wood-finished bourbon could help them drown their sorrows. But the market drama and a related development—the surprise devaluation of the Yuan—has the 64-year-old Cleveland entrepreneur rewriting his China playbook.

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