Spirits of the dragon: Limited edition spirits and drinks to celebrate CNY with


As the Year Of The Dragon is almost upon us, wine, beer and spirits producers go all out to celebrate the most auspicious of the Chinese zodiac. — Photos: HAndout

The Year Of The Dragon is only a few days away, and it’s time to get into the spirit of the festive season. If you like some spirits (or wines and beers) to go with that festive... spirit, then here’s a round-up of some of the unique drinks-related Chinese New Year editions that have been released in conjunction with the Year Of The Dragon.

This year, a number of brands have been working with renowned artists to create limited edition versions of their products, with some dazzling results. Here are some of the most unique ones.

Carlsberg

Carlsberg’s CNY campaign, titled “Brewing Prosperity Together”, features festive packaging created by award-winning artist Ofen Hu.

The designs reflect the vibrant energy of the Year of the Dragon, with the mythical beast gracefully flying through clouds while chasing the dragon pearl, a symbol of cosmic harmony, even as its scales turns into flowers, representing an abundance of luck.

To make this an even more unique design, a special ink turns the colour of the dragon pearl from yellow to orange at the perfect drinking temperature of 6°C (a number that is considered lucky).

Find out more from @CarlsbergMY on Instagram.

The ‘dragon pearl’ on the Carlsberg artist edition changes colour when it is chilled to 6°C.The ‘dragon pearl’ on the Carlsberg artist edition changes colour when it is chilled to 6°C.

Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artist Raku Inoue to create a collection of Chinese New Year limited editions called A Gift For Blossoming Futures.

Raku’s art unites the iconic Glenfiddich stag with the magnificent Wood Dragon – the 2024 Chinese zodiac animal. The limited-edition series is led by the Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old pack and spans the core range of 12, 15 and 18 Year Old variants, which come as gift packs containing a bottle and whisky-nosing glasses.

The limited-edition series is led by the Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old pack.The limited-edition series is led by the Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old pack.

Hennessy

Hennessy has launched a limited-edition collection inspired by a digital art piece created by Chinese artist Yang Yongliang, called “Dragon’s Odyssey”. Yang has combined traditional drawings with striking digital art that breathes life, movement, energy, and fire into a collective of metallic dragons dancing in and out of waves.

Yang’s art adorns the Hennessy VSOP, XO, and Paradis bottles, the latter also coming in an exquisite and rare collectable decanter with a beautiful oak giftbox.

Yang has combined traditional drawings with striking digital art that features a collective of metallic dragons dancing in and out of waves.Yang has combined traditional drawings with striking digital art that features a collective of metallic dragons dancing in and out of waves.

Each bottle features a colour which embodies the aspirations of the new year – red for joy and luck and gold for prosperity.

Hennessy launched the limited editions with a unique takeover event at W Kuala Lumpur, with themed popups and rooms at Woobar, and Chinese Zodiac-themed Hennessy cocktails at Wet Deck. The takeover is happening now, and will continue for a period of four weeks starting Jan 18.

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker has collaborated with influential Asian-American visual artist James Jean to craft unique limited edition 2024 CNY designs for its Johnnie Walker Blue Label and John Walker & Sons XR 21expressions.

Both designs feature an innovative and dynamic interpretation of 2024’s Zodiac animal, the Wood Dragon, with Jean’s layered visuals depicting the noble creature springing from bountiful flora and fauna, and bursting to life with auspicious ambition.

Jean’s design for the Johnnie Walker Blue Label depicts the dragon springing from bountiful flora and fauna, and bursting to life with auspicious ambition. — Photos: HandoutJean’s design for the Johnnie Walker Blue Label depicts the dragon springing from bountiful flora and fauna, and bursting to life with auspicious ambition. — Photos: Handout

Similar to how Chinese Malaysians have always managed to uphold tradition while assimilating local culture, Jean has blended respect for the past with an optimistic look towards the future, creating a unique and harmonious packaging that honours the intricate layers and flavours of the whiskies.

The Johnnie Walker CNY limited edition designs are available at Diageo Malaysia’s Official Shopee store.

Macallan

This festive season, most of us will be undertaking that annual trip back to see our family and friends. Macallan’s latest limited edition, A Night On Earth – The Journey, celebrates that journey home.

This is the second release in the annual A Night On Earth limited edition gifting series, and this time around Macallan has worked with artist Nini Sum to produce an innovative, multi-layered pack for The Journey.

Artist Nini Sum worked with Macallan to produce an innovative, multi-layered pack for The Journey.Artist Nini Sum worked with Macallan to produce an innovative, multi-layered pack for The Journey.

The whisky itself is a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks. On the nose, it’s light and citrusy, with the ex-bourbon giving it a more vanilla note, cereally almost. It’s fruity and creamy on the palate, with vanilla and toasted oak, a hint of toasted coconut, and rice pudding.

The Journey was launched at a pop-up event at Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, which includes a consumer experience event where guests will get to go through a curated tasting of the new whisky.

The A Night On Earth – The Journey event is open to the public from now until Feb 4, from 10am to 9pm daily.

Martell

One of the most anticipated releases for cognac lovers during the CNY season is Martell’s L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition, a limited edition cognac that is created in collaboration with Baccarat and pays tribute to the Chinese zodiac character of the year.

This year is no exception – in fact, the Assemblage du Dragon might just be the most intricate one yet. The decanter features a neck engraved in 19-carat gold that is crowned by a detailed sculpture of a dragon’s head, and signed Martell x Baccarat.

 L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition – Assemblage du Dragon L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition – Assemblage du Dragon

The cognac itself is made of a selection of very old eaux-de-vie from different Dragon years – over 1,400 eaux-de-vie to be exact, all sourced from the finest terroirs in the Cognac region.

Fewer than 750 of this rare and prestigious edition have been released globally.

If you’re looking for something that is a bit more, well, accessible, then check out Martell’s CNY limited edition bottles for the Cordon Bleu, Noblige, and VSOP expressions, all of which are available on Pernod Ricad Malaysia’s flagship store on Lazada.

Royal Salute

Royal Salute celebrates Chinese New Year with a limited edition bottling designed by renowned Chinese illustrator and visual designer Yunshu Li.

Based on the concept of “Ignite The New Year”, Li came up with a design that features a “gun salute” – a swirl of brightly illustrated New Year elements fired from Royal Salute’s home, The Tower of London.

Renowned Chinese illustrator and visual designer Yunshu Li designed Royal Salute’s latest CNY edition.Renowned Chinese illustrator and visual designer Yunshu Li designed Royal Salute’s latest CNY edition.

This represents the momentous time for families ringing in the new year, as the world is filled with light and sound, akin to a “cultural explosion”.

This special edition also features an array of symbolic elements including drums, lanterns and celebratory streamers, to bring you and your family fortune and prosperity in the coming year.

Penfolds

To celebrate the most revered zodiac, the Dragon, Penfolds has released a limited-edition collection featuring its iconic Grange, the Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz Magnum, and Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, in a special CNY gift boxes.

The exclusive collection features intricate golden dragon patterns and scales against a bold red backdrop, making it an ideal gift for commemorating gatherings with loved ones, and a statement gift to be treasured for years to come.

The 2019 Grange featured in the CNY edition, in particular, is full-bodied, powerful, and perfectly balanced.The 2019 Grange featured in the CNY edition, in particular, is full-bodied, powerful, and perfectly balanced.

The first commercial release of Grange coincided with the Year of the Dragon, bringing a unique sentiment to this release. The 2019 Grange featured in the CNY edition, in particular, is full-bodied, powerful, and perfectly balanced, and has been likened by the Penfolds winemaking team to those originally crafted by founder Max Schubert.

There are also limited editions for the Bin 707, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon wine with proven cellaring potential; as well as the Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, often referred to as “Baby Grange”, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange.

Tiger Beer

Tiger recently launched its “Cheers to a Bolder Tomorrow” campaign at Sunway Velocity Mall in Kuala Lumpur, inviting fans to greet the Year Of The Dragon with some Tiger Beer.

Tiger took over the concourse area with a “Tower Of Huat” at Sunway Velocity Mall in January, and will be at Gurney Plaza (Penang) from now until Feb 12, and Ipoh Parade (Ipoh, Perak) from now until Feb 9.

Tiger took over the concourse area at Sunway Velocity Mall recently. — FilepicTiger took over the concourse area at Sunway Velocity Mall recently. — Filepic

At these events, you can take part in a variety of on-ground games to win prizes, purchase exclusive merchandise and more. There’s also a collaboration with Against Lab on a fashion collection of five pieces, to be sold exclusively at in-mall experiences and online on againstlab.com.

For more information, visit tigercny.tigerbeer.com or follow @tigerbeermy.

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