Inside the Dragon’s Den: The Hottest Releases for Chinese New Year 2024 

January 29, 2024
By Cody Profaca

With Chinese New Year festivities kicking off on the 10th of February, liquor brands have started unveiling their limited edition products in celebration of the Year of the Dragon. 

LARK Dragon Release Single Malt Whisky:
One such product is LARK’s Dragon Release, aged in 100% first-fill sherry and port casks before being finished in Seppeltsfield tawny casks. 

“LARK’s Dragon Release Single Malt is viscous, yet has great depth and it takes the whisky drinker on a journey from the traditional to the new world,” said Master Distiller Chris Thomson. 

“This special single malt whisky has been distilled with the intention of producing a rich and confident palate structure, just like the dragon it represents.”

Inspired by LARK’s Classic Cask, expect The Dragon Release to come alive with a nose of toffee apple, custard, citrus and oak, before a fuller palate of stewed fruit and plum pudding.

LARK’s first Lunar New Year limited edition release has been made in honour of the element of wood, in doing so celebrating the complex relationship that exists between spirit and barrel. To complete the release, LARK partnered with Shenzhen artists Yao and Susu from 1983ASIA to create the tapestry-inspired label. 

“Through the use of vibrant colours and references to natural elements akin with LARK’s award-winning whisky-making, this design breaks through the traditional stereotypes,” commented the duo.

“The Wood Dragon represents new starts, great beginnings, hard work, growth and prosperity and we are honoured to bring this to life for LARK’s first Lunar New Year release.”

WIth only 4,488 bottles released across LARK’s online store, global travel website, and selected premium Australasian outlets, the $358 bottle is not expected to last long. 

The Macallan A Night on Earth – The Journey:

Also in the whisky space is Speyside’s The Macallan, a limited edition whisky created using a balance of sherry-seasoned European and American oak in conjunction with American ex-bourbon barrels. 

The whisky was created in collaboration with acclaimed Chinese mixed-media artist Nini Sum, who has created a unique unboxing experience designed to replicate the different stages of the journey to reunite with loved ones at Lunar New Year. 

“During this time of the year, people who work in big cities go through the world’s largest annual human migration to go back to their hometowns for that moment of reunion with their families and friends,” said Nini.

“When the fire is lit inside and paper lanterns hang from the roof, you know there is someone there waiting for you to come home so they can welcome you with a hot meal and a hug.”

Nini Sum also says that the whisky’s flavour profile evokes memories of her sweetest Lunar Year memories; from the burst of fireworks, to milk-candies in pocket, to the sweet aroma of steamed rice pudding, to the characteristic The Macallan nuttiness that echoes the sunflower seeds Nini’s family shared as they would discuss their wishes for the new year. 

“The collaboration with Nini Sum focuses on the idea of bringing something special back to your family when you return home: the coming together of old friends and family, with reflection on the past year, and hope for the coming one,” said Jaume Ferras, The Macallan’s Global Creative Director. 

“This is the perfect whisky to savour at special moments, best enjoyed with friends, family and loved ones while reminiscing of the year past and looking to the future.”

The Journey is the second edition of The Macallan’s A Night on Earth series, following the Scottish new years eve inspired whisky A Night on Earth in Scotland. It is available globally with an RRP of $235. 

Meijian Green Plum Wine:

A more traditional option is Jiangji Distillery’s Meijian green plum wine. Touted as this year’s top pick for Chinese New Year celebrations worldwide, this wine/liqueur blends green plums with sorghum spirits, resulting in a refreshing and natural aperitif that balances sweet and sour. 

The Meijian Green Plum Wine is bottled at an abv of 12% and can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed with water, tea, or soda. 

Other Chinese New Year products that have found their way to Australian shelves this year include The Benriach’s 12YO Chinese New Year – Dragon 2024, Johnnie Walker’s Blue Label Label Lunar New Year 2024, Lunar New Year beer cases of Asahi Super Dry and Crown Lager, and limited edition releases of Hennessy VSOP and X.O. Cognacs.

Chinese New Year 2024 will begin on February 10th and will culminate with the Lantern Festival two weeks later on February 24th.

Share the content