Start the preparations for the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations by raising the bar on your collection. Here are three spirited additions we cannot get enough of, available at all major retailers, supermarkets and online at Whisky.my, Boozeat.com and staythirsty.com.my.
Hennessy has collaborated with contemporary artist Liu Wei for 2021’s Chinese New Year packaging. Coming on the heels of a particularly challenging time, the Ox is traditionally associated with openness, talent and confidence. In that spirit, the Hennessy granted Liu Wei carte blanche to herald an auspicious period that carries the promise of hope, togetherness and bright horizons in addition to a design for its special editions of the Hennessy collection.
Liu Wei conceived Spring as a sensorial invitation to experience the season of rebirth through an almost kaleidoscopic painting that imparts a feeling of joy. That quest mirrors the time-honoured savoir-faire Hennessy master blenders draw upon to craft exceptional cognacs, generation after generation.
A visual echo of the depth of Hennessy cognacs, the painting appears spontaneous and organic; its vibrant shades of fuchsia, blue, green and yellow buoy the spirit. The artist’s choice of medium — like his recurring shapes — is the fruit of reflection and resistance, a gesture of self-expression and a creative metaphor for the many directions one may choose to follow in life.
John Walker & Sons
Created to honour master blender Alexander Walker II’s knighthood from King George V, John Walker & Sons XR21 was inspired by Sir Alexander’s own handwritten notes, crafted to uphold the tradition of the Walker family that was passed down over generations. It is this same spirit that lives on today, as the XR21 invites you and your family to raise a glass to traditions while ushering in the Year of the Ox. This festive pack comes with a Chinese-influenced rock glass with metal coaster, fit for an emperor.
Assured, balanced and elegant, it has intriguing layers of intensity that are both surprising and delightful. Sweet honey and tempered spices come cloaked in warming smoke. Citrus zest, ripened tropical fruits and caramel swirl within hints of tobacco and raisins. The long, smooth, soothing finish is complex and fascinating — a myriad of influences played out over a subtle tapestry of peatiness. The layers of this exceptional whisky from Johnnie Walker’s reserve whiskies, all aged for a minimum of 21 years, are drawn from extremely rare Johnnie Walker reserves. It is the perfect gift to usher in a year of positivity and prosperity.
Great things happen when the like-minded meet, such as the collaboration between The Balvenie and Royal Selangor. In the first of what is hoped to be many joint endeavours, the Speyside whisky maker and pewter company recently launched an ultra-limited-edition collector’s box and a selection of exclusive gift packs for Malaysia and Singapore.
“The Balvenie Handcrafted By” platform aims to celebrate exquisite craftsmanship, and succeeded in spades with the Royal Selangor suffix. Just 15 individually numbered sets have been released. The walnut box encased with handcrafted pewter opens to reveal three rare The Balvenie single malts above age 30 chosen by the collector, with a minimum purchase value of £32,700. For those whose pockets do not yet run that deep, consider browsing through the selection of gift packs featuring the 12-year-old DoubleWood, 14-year-old Caribbean Cask or 17-year-old DoubleWood single malts. Each is accompanied by a whisky tumbler with a delicately handcrafted pewter base.
A better-suited partnership would be hard to find, with both the whisky and pewter house emphasising hand craftsmanship and the acceptance of, rather than a battle against, time in their pursuit of excellence — a rare attitude in the world of automation. The Balvenie is the only distillery in the Scottish Highlands that maintains the Five Rare Crafts of whisky making since its establishment in 1892, while Royal Selangor has steadfastly practised traditional techniques such as its signature hammer finish in the decades since its founding in 1979.
For more information on the ultra-limited collector’s edition, see here.
This article first appeared on Jan 11, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.