Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker has introduced a limited edition Blue Label Year of the Dog bottle in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The release is part of the brand’s Pioneering Spirit Series and Johnnie Walker’s way of paying homage to Asian culture, particularly to the Chinese Zodiac.

This annual limited edition series is the fifth instalment and honours each Lunar New Year with a commemorative bottle inspired from the Chinese Zodiac.

The bottle artwork was created in collaboration with Taiwanese artise Page Tsou and follows the Johnnie Walker Striding Man as he celebrates the Lunar New Year alongside the design's proudly displayed Shar Pei.

The Shar Pei is known for its rarity and is claimed to have been originally bred for Chinese nobility. The rarity of Shar Pei has been taken as a characteristic of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, as only 1 in 10,000 whiskies distilled by Johnnie Walker is claimed to possess the required calibre to craft the Blue Label blend.

Artist Page Tsou said: "It is an honor to have been commissioned to create the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog bottle. The precious design consists of a total of four dogs all chosen for their special meaning in Asia.

“This unique design tells the story of the Johnnie Walker Striding Man and a loyal companion as they journey around the world bringing prosperity and rejoicing in the arrival of the New Year. The design also contains various symbols of wealth and prosperity making this bottle extremely unique and the perfect gift to give this Chinese New Year."

The bottle is decorated with precious metals and a lacquered, ink-jet finish, it depicts an ancient Chinese triptych design of lanterns, fireworks, and dancing dragons, that embody the emotions felt while ringing in the New Year.

The bottle comes in a collectible packaging that features a front-and-back view of the bottle and is a good keepsake for any home bar or tablescape.

Johnnie Walker North America senior brand manager Sandhya Padmanabhan said: "The Lunar New Year is one of the most recognized Chinese traditions around the globe, and Johnnie Walker is thrilled to continue celebrating this iconic cultural moment with a limited-edition bottling of the rarest and most exclusive blend in our portfolio.

"As we look forward to the many special moments to toast with Johnnie Walker in this new year, we remind you to always enjoy responsibly."

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog is a collector’s item and a good gift for celebrating the Lunar New Year with loved ones and friends.

It is available across the nation with a suggested retail price of $258.00 (750 ml/bottle, 43% ABV).

Image: All the four sides of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle. Photo: Courtesy of PR Newswire.