Photos: Glenfiddich, Johnnie Walker

The conviviality of Chinese New Year isn’t quite complete without a celebratory toast to cap off a magnificent reunion feast, regardless of whether you’re ringing in the auspicious Year of the Dragon from your home or a restaurant.

We highlight four limited-edition spirits and gift sets from luxury purveyors who’ve continued a proud tradition of curating themed bottles draped in liveries befitting of the year’s zodiac animal. Read on for four of the best festive spirits you’ll want to have in your liquor cabinet this Chinese New Year 2024.

1. Glenfiddich’s stag unites with the Wood Dragon for a nature-forward Lunar New Year festive livery

Photo: Glenfiddich

Another Speyside legend, Glenfiddich, approaches the Year of the Dragon with a festive collaboration inspired by the power of nature, synonymous with the growth and renewal that come with the advent of Chinese New Year.

Acclaimed Japan-born artist Raku Inoue, working in tandem with the historic distillery, applied his signature nature-forward artistic sensibilities in the creation of its Chinese New Year limited-edition bottles, all bearing the iconic Glenfiddich stag reimagined in the form of a magnificent Wood Dragon.

The series is anchored by the exquisite Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old gift pack — comprising the bottle and its award-winning spirits within, along with Glenfiddich-branded whisky glasses to imbibe it with — with the 12-, 15- and 18-year variants also available.

Available from Glenfiddich’s Chinese New Year pop-up at Suntec City and authorised retailers. Find out more here.

2. Have an auspicious Chinese New Year with a limited-edition Hennessy collection draped in liquid gold

Photo: Hennessy

French maison Hennessy presents a dragon’s hoard of a limited-edition collection for the Year of the Dragon, draping its treasured cognac in a sea of liquid gold and dancing metallic dragons — both apt motifs for the auspicious year ahead.

The designs were spawned from the mind of Chinese mixed-media artist Yang Yongliang, who created an artwork dubbed Dragon’s Odyssey exclusively for his collaboration with the maison.

Bottles in the collection include the timeless Hennessy X.O sheathed entirely in a prosperous coat of gold, hidden in a box bearing dragons writhing in a sea of golden waves, as well as the singular Hennessy Paradis, an exquisite cognac underpinned by its silky character and sheer exclusivity, with only a dozen of the 485 bottles available worldwide committed for sale in Singapore.

The lucky 12 that do get their hands on it can expect a delicate porcelain decanter adorned with luminous golden dragon motifs, all painstakingly painted by hand.

Available from Henessey’s pop-ups at Changi Airport Terminal 1 and ION Orchard, as well as Hennessy retailers and iShopChangi. Find out more here.

3. Johnnie Walker commemorates the advent of the Wood Dragon with a limited-edition Blue Label dram

Photo: Johnnie Walker

The Chinese zodiac calendar cycles through the elements of earth, wood, metal, fire, and water after each 12-year sequence of animals — meaning this Lunar New Year marks the arrival of the Wood Dragon, representing energy, drive and vivacity above all else.

These values are embodied by the longstanding legacy of Scottish distillers Johnnie Walker and their ever-defiant motto, Keep Walking. This is why the brand decided to dedicate one of its exclusive Blue Label limited-edition bottles to the year of the Wood Dragon.

Illustrated by Taiwan-born visual artist James Jean, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition Design’s livery features a beautifully detailed tableau of the mythical beast springing to life. It also features other auspicious motifs — like a hummingbird sipping on golden nectar from chrysanthemums — in the artwork’s background, encasing a treasured dram within.

Available from The Liquor Shop Singapore and Paneco. Find out more here.

4. Celebrate the warmth of reunion with The Macallan’s festive single-malt whisky

Photo: The Macallan

Distinguished whisky house The Macallan unveils the second edition of its celebration-themed A Night On Earth series, shifting focus from the Scottish New Year’s Eve tradition of Hogmanay to the joyous reunions of the Lunar New Year.

Titled “The Journey”, their new single malt whisky — blended from spirits aged in a combination of sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks, plus American ex-bourbon barrels — comes in a multi-layered box created in collaboration with Chinese artist Nini Sum.

Beyond beautiful packaging, the box presents an experiential, well, journey evocative of people travelling home to loved ones. Expect a visual odyssey as you peel back the layers, moving from the empty vastness of a night sky dotted with stars to a crowded urbanscape and, finally, the warmth of home.

It’s a feeling replicated in the whisky’s toasted oak aroma, reminiscent of the rice popcorn vendors thronging the artist’s hometown of Shanghai.

Available from The Macallan’s website and The Macallan House Singapore. Find out more here. 

5. The Glen Grant offers a trio of whisky gift sets that pay homage to the iconic Garden of Splendour

Photo: The Glen Grant

The Glen Grant in the windswept town of Rothes in Speyside, Scotland, wouldn’t be what it is today without its iconic 11-ha distillery garden, dubbed the Garden of Splendour by second-generation owner James Grant.

That distinct heritage is honoured in the distillery’s latest Chinese New Year-themed gift sets, sharing pride of place with the year’s auspicious zodiac beast, here represented by an unconventional azure dragon. 

This seasonal theme is applied across its 10-, 12-, 15- and 18-year bottles, which take on a festive look and feel while retaining the colour schemes from their original packaging. To sweeten the deal, each gift box includes an auspice stopper as a geometric dragon head — just in case you forget what year it is.

Available from Cellarbration and other major retailers. Find out more here.

6. Fire up the festive season with fiery red Lunar New Year wine gift boxes from Penfolds

Penfolds Garage wine

Australian winery Penfolds welcomes the Year of the Dragon with an exclusive limited-edition collection that pays homage to the zodiac that is often associated with good luck. Festive offerings include the iconic Grange, alongside premium selections such as the Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz Magnum 1.5L, RWT Bin 798 Barossa Valley Shiraz, and Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, all elegantly presented in gift boxes. 

The dragon-themed packaging features intricate golden dragon patterns and scales set against a bold red backdrop. 

Highlights include the Grange 2019 Lunar New Year Gift Box, which marks the first commercial wine release that coincides with the Year of the Dragon. This full-bodied, and impeccably balanced Shiraz pays tribute to the winemaking style of Max Schubert, who is best known for creating the Penfolds Grange Hermitage. The Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Lunar New Year Gift Box also distills Schubert’s vision of a great Australian red wine with greatl aging potential. This full-bodied cabernet, has  notes of blackcurrant, cassis, and mulberry, showcasing a balanced palate with firm, glossy tannins.