LARK’s ‘Wood Dragon’ Single Malt Will Fire Up Your Lunar New Year Festivities

LARK’s ‘Wood Dragon’ Single Malt Will Fire Up Your Lunar New Year Festivities

Randy Lai
Randy Lai


In the mythos of the Chinese zodiac – a 2000-year-old system of astrological classification, that’s especially relevant at the start of Lunar New Year – dragons are arguably the most revered of creatures: powerful, industrious, boundless in charm and wisdom. 

Notwithstanding those lucky enough to have been born during a Dragon Year (i.e. most recently in 1988; 2000; or 2012) the rest of us will have to settle for a nip, or eight, of the latest LARK limited edition – the ‘Wood Dragon’ Single Malt Whisky.

Fiery, rich, and redoubtable – in the manner of the celestial zodiac that inspired its creation – this marks the first time that LARK has ever crafted a whisky to celebrate Lunar New Year.

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Appropriately, considering that 2024 is the year of the ‘Wood Dragon’ (each Chinese zodiac always has 1 of 5 earthly elements associated with it), LARK chose to craft this limited release using multiple cask influences – an ode to the fact that wood is as vital to whisky-making as it is East Asian culture. 

Aged in first-fill port & sherry casks, before being transferred to prestigious Seppeltsfield wine barrels to achieve a long, lush finish; this release, which LARK has only made 4,488 bottles of worldwide, is a fitting ode to all of us would-be Sons of Heaven. 

It is also, incidentally, a versatile companion to any number of gatherings you’re likely to attend at Lunar New Year. Spring Festival lion dancing; marathon Mahjong games; the reunion dinners that go on longer than Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut.

“This special single malt has been distilled with the intention of producing a rich and confident palate structure,” says Chris Thomson, LARK’s Master Distiller.

“[It’s] viscous, yet has great depth, and it takes the whisky drinker on a journey from the traditional to the new world.”

Lark Lunar New Year

To really drive home that deliciously transcendental quality (and kickstart 2024’s Lunar New Year festivities) LARK put together a top-tier tasting for several lucky media representative and VIPs earlier this week: utilising a prix fixe menu, penned by the illustrious Peter Gilmore, to showcase the muscular pairing potential of this 46.8% ABV release.

Beloved by Aussie gourmands as the mastermind behind award-winning fine dining establishments Quay and Bennelong, Chef Gilmore’s Lunar New Year menu represents the first outpouring of creativity in his new role as LARK Brand Ambassador. 

LARK Lunar New Year
Pictured: Not content to simply serve LARK’s fiery new release neat, Gilmore also reimagined the ‘Wood Dragon’ as a classic whisky highball – delicious alongside a first course of raw scallops, young Tasmanian abalone, oyster cream, bamboo shoots and seaweed.

“We’re delighted to welcome Australia’s most celebrated and innovative culinary force to the LARK family in 2024”, says Jason Whalley, the distillery’s Head of Marketing. “[His] commitment to creating ‘out of this world’ experiences is a perfect match for us, as well as his true passion for a dram.” 

Those dishes that Gilmore opted to serve – smoked pig jowl with roasted maitake, or a fiendishly savoury concoction of Tassie rock lobster on top of sea urchin enriched koshihikari rice – show how well LARK’s latest drop takes to East Asian cooking techniques and Australia’s plenitude of premium ingredients. 

A bouquet of custard and citrus zest awakens the senses; while the palate, silky and full of treacle fruit, adds depth to a range of seafood and animal proteins. The addition of Seppeltsfield tawny oak is also genius: lending this whisky a finish that turns it to dessert, once the lazy susan’s cleared.

Of course, if your generosity this Lunar New Year extends beyond the customary handful of red pockets, you’ll be delighted to hear how highly we rate these new ‘Wood Dragon’ limited editions as gifts.

A breath of fresh air in a sea of tacky, crimson-hued cash grabs (most of which we’d hesitate to even describe as “presents”), LARK’s latest is beautifully presented – clothed in packaging full of contemporary Chinese art references, created by Shenzhen-based design practice 1983Asia.

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Ideal though they are as gifts, or the fire which fuels your Lunar New Year celebrations, we’re not above saving this limited edition bottle – yet another home run from Tasmania’s leading whisky distillery –  for our own personal enjoyment.

Lunisolar cycles be damned: some drams are just too delicious to share – no matter what time of year it is. 

This article is sponsored by LARK Distillery. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Boss Hunting.

Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].



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