Johnnie Walker Blue Label leaps into Chinese New Year with furry blessings, featuring designs by Angel Chen
The Shanghai-based fashion designer lends her touch to the luxury whisky, ushering in the Year of the Rabbit with auspicious positivity.
In Western circles, the bunny is often associated with luck and fertility. In Eastern mythologies, the rabbit – just as loved – is commonly linked with mercy, wit and beauty. With the creature coming into reign in the Chinese zodiac, those celebrating the new year would surely wish for some of those traits to rub off on them.
If there’s one way to find yourself in the good company of the rabbit, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition would be worth a consideration. Created from rare casks, the Blue Label bottles are dressed up suitably this season, courtesy of Angel Chen, celebrated fashion designer from Netflix’s Next in Fashion.
A MEETING OF ALL THAT’S GOOD
With her strong sense of colour and merged aesthetics from Eastern and Western influences, Chen made quite the impression on the first season of Next in Fashion, winning third place in the reality show. Throughout the episodes, her positive outlook and bold, progressive designs made an indelible impression on the judges and audience.
It is with this same vivacious energy that made Chen so apt for the collaboration with Johnnie Walker Blue Label, where she renders the rabbit onto the bottle and box through her unique lens.
“There’s a defiant energy to my illustrations that bring to life the vibrant spirit of the rabbit as it leaps across the design, symbolising how we need to keep moving forward, spreading goodness throughout the year to come,” the designer said.
Indeed, the resulting presentation is an energetic one – the long-eared creature prancing through mountains and clouds with vigour is a kinetic tribute to the Johnnie Walker motto, ‘Keep Walking’. The rabbit and mountains also symbolise longevity, while the clouds represent an ascension to greater heights.
Inspiration for Chen came from learning about the depth of craft that Johnnie Walker master blender Emma Walker and her team bring to Blue Label. “My work is often inspired by different generations, genders and cultures coming together to create something fresh and new,” she said. “These ideals echo the craft of Emma Walker, who takes different types of whisky from different distilleries and with differing ages of maturation, and blends them together perfectly to create a masterpiece – that is something I can relate to.”
AN EXCEPTIONAL BLEND
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is created from some of the rarest whiskies in the maker’s reserves. Only one in 10,000 casks – some from long-closed ghost distilleries – is deemed to have that elusive quality that gives it that exceptional character and flavour.
Chen’s sprightly illustrations echo the rich and complex profile within the bottle. A mellow nose of dry smoke accompanies the sweetness of raisins, and a sip brings to the palate a velvety greeting of vanilla, honey and rose petals. Wait a while and a zesty orange flavour emerges, tagged with hints of hazelnut, sherry and dark chocolate. The finish is languorous, a long signature smokiness that is elegantly wispy like the clouds on the label.
“The energy and layers of colour that Angel brings to her designs are a visual interpretation of the incredible blending expertise that Emma Walker and her team use to create those perfectly balanced layers of flavour in Johnnie Walker Blue Label,” said Johnnie Walker global brand director Julie Bramham. “We hope that the positivity symbolised by the rabbit will inspire people who receive this gift to greet the new year with the same optimism embodied in Angel’s designs.”
Welcome auspicious tidings with Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition – now available at all major specialist retail and online partners, as well as at 1855 The Bottle Shop.
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