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Highland Park Valhalla Collection Dinner [THIS Friday. Public Seats Available.]

We are thrilled to invite you to this Friday’s Valhalla Dinner, hosted by Highland Park’s Brand Ambassador, Martin Daraz.

Let’s just say, this is a BIG deal for scotch drinkers and foodies, alike.

For this one special night, eat like valkyries, gods and goddesses as we toast to Thor, Loki, Freya and Odin, the four rare expressions of the Highland Park Valhalla Collection. In fact, three of these expressions are no longer available for purchase, making this an extraordinary opportunity to be in the presence of greatness.

The night would not be complete without Brand Ambassador Martin Daraz leading us through each expression while we indulge on a Norse feast.

Details

When: Fri, Apr 3rd at 6:30pm
Where: Wingtip 550 Montgomery, 11th floor
Ticket: $250/person – 2 spaces available.

RSVP: jennifer@wingtip.com

Highland Park Valhalla Collection

ODIN

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: OdinHighland Park Odin represents a single malt Scotch whisky worthy of its namesake – the formidable and commanding ruler of Asgard. Its intense complexity ensures this final release is deserving of its rightful place at the head of the Valhalla Collection.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Vivid burst of sunlight
Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice; cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak and still smouldering away are the rich charred walnuts.
Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.

FREYA

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: FreyaFor the third release in the acclaimed Valhalla Collection, Highland Park has turned its attention to the mesmerising Norse Goddess of Love, Freya.
Continuing the tradition of reflecting the character and qualities of the Norse Gods in the whisky itself, Freya’s intriguing allure and feisty personality has inspired a full, rich and complex single malt with a lingering beguiling finish.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Almond and Madagascan vanilla. White chocolate followed by candied cherries makes way for a vibrant wave of mango and melon, riding upon a cloud of cream soda.
Palate: Orange peel, butterscotch and rose petals provide the sweetness along with orange blossom and ginger. Lively popping candy, lemongrass and tropical fruits are lightly shrouded in peat smoke.
Finish: Complex and beautiful, the finish gives lingering spice and soft peat smoke intertwined with soft orchard fruits, toasted coconut and a light char, providing a rounded depth and allowing this whisky to soar.

THOR

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: ThorHighland Park Thor has a natural strength like its namesake, drawing influence from the environment unique to Orkney, to create a truly elemental spirit. Distilled where sea turns to ocean, this 16 year-old single malt is a meeting point of nature’s forces, exuding a dynamic and bold character on the surface, but with an unexpected softer side at its heart.

Bottled at a robust 52.1% abv this limited edition whisky comes housed in a unique wooden frame, which echoes the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower.
Palate: Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.
Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.

LOKI

Highland Park Valhalla Collection: LokiOne of the most complex characters in Norse mythology, Loki constantly challenges the gods, questioning their order and hierarchy within Asgard. Yet with every treacherous situation he engineers, his actions ultimately create heroes amongst the other gods.

Like its namesake, this whisky is unpredictable and impulsive, echoing the formidable weather of the Orkney Islands. It is a single malt which is both dynamic and energetic, with constantly evolving flavours and a fiendish inner complexity.

Tasting Notes

Nose: A spirited lift of dried bitter orange, which quickly turns into lemon peels. Cardamom notes trick then tease the nose, before an enticing hit of gingerbread develops. With water, liquorice and aromatic smoke are both unleashed.
Palate: The true shape‐shifting ability of Loki springs to life on the palate: its waxy texture is amplified by an intense smoke that doesn’t appear on the nose, shattering the light citrusy illusion of the aroma. All is not what it seems. The smoke fades as liquorice and rich spiced apple flavours come out to play. Lemon and grapefruit are consistent throughout this elusive, yet intriguing character. With a touch of water, lingering notes of melted dark chocolate over spent embers leave a soft smoky impression.
Finish: As Loki departs, he leaves behind toasted cloves, hickory smoke and soft vanilla. It is constantly changing, from appearance to finish. Loki is an enigma and truly another whisky of the gods.

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Wrap-Up: Sundance Style

Over the past week-and-a-half, auteurs, wannabes, and looky-loos crowded into Park City, Utah, for the annual Sundance film festival. One of the largest “independent” film festivals in the nation, this yearly affair brings us the newest works and projects by Hollywood’s top talents as well as regional unknowns. We’re always excited to see which films have been bought for distribution, as well as which sartorial choices have been brought to the blistering temps, so we decided this year, Why not look at both?

The Players


James Franco: Rocking the ugly Fair Isle Christmas sweater like a baller, James Franco proves yet again that everything he touches turns to gold. Opting for the more casual and dressed down look this year, the director/actor/writer/style-icon/philanthropist/humanitarian (Are we missing anything?) shows that a crewneck sweater paired with some jeans can go a long way.


Jemaine Clement: Perfect for the conditions in Park City, where temperatures can swing from chilly to frigid, the down jacket has always been a staple in menswear, and especially snow wear. Whether you’re facing nippy wind or a couple feet of white powder, the down jacket’s got your back. Clement also does a good job of pairing it with a button down and tie, which we can always get down with.


Common and Erykah Badu: We gotta give respect to a man that wears a suit in the snow. Nice job on the proportional lapels and tie, but lackin’ a little flavor without the pocket square. Erykah Badu, on the other hand, takes the cake with that hat. Not really sure if she’s imitating Pharrell’s headwear style or if she’s just a really big Harry Potter fan. Either way it’s awesome.


Harvey Weinstein: The producer behind such hits as “Every Quentin Tarantino Flick Ever” also has a hit on his hands with that cream colored cable-knit shawl collar sweater. Keeping with the surroundings of the festival, Mr.Weinstein brings it with his fashionable and highly functional choice. He’s keeping cool, while not keeping cool, and we like that.

The Films


“Fresh Dressed” (dir. Sacha Jenkins): While we have much fondness for the classics like Sinatra and Dino, we here at Wingtip also have much love for hip-hop. “Fresh Dressed” chronicles the roots of urban style as it exploded through hip-hop culture. From Adidas tracksuits to stereo sets, this flick will take you back to a time when Charlie Sheen was working it on “Wall Street” instead of drinking tiger blood.

“Best of Enemies” (dir. Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon): In 1968, a televised debate between righty William F. Buckley and lefty Gore Vidal rocked the world during the Democratic and Republican national convention. Their policies were so polar that every topic was heated and every political stance was fierce. Because of this, ABC, whose ratings were at the bottom at the time, shot through the roof. We’re not taking sides on anyone’s political ideas, we’re just excited to see the suits these guys rock during the debates.


“Knock Knock” (dir. by Eli Roth): Keanu Reeves stars in this psychological thriller by the man who’s brought us such cinematic horrors as “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever.” Living a perfect life, Evan Webber’s (Reeves) life is turned upside down when he lets two mysterious women enter his home for one night. While this film is typically more horrific than what we would recommend, we can’t argue with the robe game.

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Noir City Lurks Tonight (and keeps creeping through 1/25)

Hey, all you readers looking for something stark to rest your retinas on better get hep tonight and dig the danger that Baghdad By The Bay has on offer. Just shuffle your wingtips down to the Castro Theatre, where Noir City is launching another festival of high-octane, high-contrast flicks about doomed dudes and thrilling dames. The series starts today and runs through the 25th. Here are the screenings we’re hoping to catch:

Woman on the Run (dir. Norman Foster, 1950) Based on the short story “Man on the Run” by Sylvia Tate, this film follows a newspaperman (Dennis O’Keefe) and a woman (Ann Sheridan) as they track her husband who’s running for his life after witnessing a gangland murder. Set in San Francisco in the mid 20th century, this film does a great job of showing the city we know and love as well as the style and aesthetics from the same era. Noir City notes that, “Anyone who was here in 2003 for the first Noir City will recall the thrill of discovering “Woman on the Run,” a fabulous film we retrieved from obscurity only to see the sole surviving print burn in a studio fire years later. Now, years of indefatigable effort culminate on Opening Night with the resurrection of this extraordinary film.” The world premiere of this 35mm print screens tonight, 1/16 at 7:30pm.

Suspicion (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1941) Directed by the man, the myth, the legend, Hitchcock’s film starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine tells the story of a recently married spinster who finds out that her husband is a broke degenerate gambler and pathological liar who might also be plotting to kill her. While not set in San Francisco, this film does a great job of highlighting the fashions of the era, especially Cary Grant in that double breasted pinstripe suit and Joan Fontaine in those dope overcoats. This film has all the elements of a classic noir film from suspense and mystery to elegant motifs. “Suspicion” screens tomorrow, 1/17 at 3:30pm

Shockproof (Dir. Douglas Sirk, 1949) Supposedly “Shockproof was so critically lambasted and financially stillborn that director Douglas Sirk got depressed and moved back to Europe. So why watch it now? Well, the film has its advocates–Two Boots Pioneer Theater and an online film enthusiast group were such enthusiasts that they planned the film’s first proper New York engagement in 2007. Plus it has a pivotal scene shot in LA’s moody Bradbury building. Plus, anything by Sirk is worth checking out once–and this one happens to be part of a Sirk double-feature, paired with restored print of “Sleep, My Love.” “Shockproof” screens 1/18 at 2pm and 7:30pm; “Sleep, My Love” follows at 4pm and 9pm.

Crime of passion (Dir. Gerd Oswald, 1957) Love knows no bounds in this crime/drama flick about a San Francisco news reporter who gives up her career to move to LA with her cop husband. Bored, with nowhere to channel her zeal, she begins to push her husband up the career ladder by any means necessary. This piece of work does a great job of showing the best of California from north to south, plus it’s actress Barbara Stanwyck’s curtain call insofar as noir is concerned. “Crime Of Passion” screens Wednesday, 1/21 at 9:15pm

The Steel Trap (Dir. Andrew Stone, 1952) We don’t know much about “The Steel Trap.” But what can we say, we have a soft spot for vintage bank vaults. After all, our vault-cum-tailorshop hosted a caper that was plotted by the Riddler and interrupted by Batman and Batkid. And we’re excited because the “Steel Trap” title makes it sound like the vault does the actual catching of the baddie in this one. “The Steel Trap” screens 1/24 at 12:30pm.

For more details, check out noircity.com

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Join Us This Saturday For a Pain-Free Shopping Day

Join us this Saturday, 12/20, at the Wingtip Flagship for:

Free coffee in the AM.
Grown-up refreshments in the PM.
Live jazz from the Klipptones (2-5pm).

And, of course, we have gift ideas for the guy who has everything, the boyfriend who needs an upgrade, even the dad who’s impossible to shop for. How about:

Seiko Watches. They’re joining us for a trunk show Friday and Saturday, and showing off their GPS Astron solar watches.
Free gift-wrapping.
Free shipping.
Free waterproofing on leather goods (boots, shoes, bags) over $200.
Gift Certificates. Not just for merch, but also for barber and shoe shine services.
Brand new seasonal arrivals from Dunhill, Eton, and Pantherella.
Midwinter cabana gear from Orlebar Brown (for the guy who spends the holidays in the southern hemisphere).

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Saturday: Party At The Pop-Up

This Saturday, 12/13, we’re throwing an all day event, from 10am to 6pm, to celebrate the opening of its holiday pop-up at 355 Sutter.

We will feature:

  • Live jazz from the Klipptones, snacks and refreshments
  • An all-day, in-store discount of 15%
  • The brand new “Centennial” bison leather boot from Wolverine
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Krug Special Event This Friday [RSVP]

Journeys With Krug

Experience four expressions of one of the greatest Champagnes in the world, paired with elegant hors d’oeuvres and unique Wingtip experiences, hosted by US Krug Ambassador, Garth Hodgdon. Featuring: Krug Grande Cuvée, Rosé, Vintage 2000 and Vintage 2003.

Fri Sept. 26th, 4-7pm. $175.

Open to public, but limited to 30 people. RSVP required. Email christina.sports@wingtip.com for RSVP and questions.

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The Country’s Most Exclusive Whisky Show

Recently I spent 24 hours in Las Vegas at the Universal Whisky Experience. I was invited down by the CEO of the event, Mahesh Patel, on an exploratory mission to check it out in the hopes that I’d be sufficiently enticed to invite our fine Wingtip members to join me at the event next year.

With that disclosure out of the way, I must say that enticed, I was.

Well, one more disclosure: I enjoyed a King Suite at the Encore hotel attached to the Wynn. All of the employees, from the croupier to the barista, offered up top flight service, knowledge, and smiles. Finally, I dabbled a wee bit at the craps table and came out ahead. But even without those rosy lenses, this whisky show easily topped the many whisky fests I’ve attend over the years.

As you enter the show, they give you a swag bag. This is standard fare, but the bag’s contents were not. First you get a cut crystal glencairn glass and three poker chips (one for a cigar, and two for premium pours). which were decided by the vendor, more on that later.

Unlike many large-scale tastings, there was no elbowing, no boot-fighting for a sip of whisky. You actually had time to talk to the experts about their brands–brand ambassadors like Johnny Mundell of Bowmore and Lorne Cousin of Balvenie. As opposed to the usual shills reading off a sales sheet, these guys know everything about their brands–go ahead and try to stump them with your toughest whisky trivia. The Dalmore booth actually featured their master distiller, the incomparable Richard Paterson. This, in itself, was worth the price of admission.

The show also maintained an exceptionally high standard in the quality of liquid gold being poured. Each booth was featuring the finest of their portfolios, including a few rare treats that were unavailable for purchase in the US.

Neyah White was pouring expressions from the Suntory portfolio that have not been state side yet, including Hibiki 17 and 21, and Hakashu 18 and 25–two of the best Japanese single malts I have had the pleasure of tasting. (Read more about Neyah White and his upcoming Wingtip visit here.)

William Grant and Sons presented a few whiskies that will be available later this year. A 12-year-old single cask and a 15-year-old sherry cask that were exceptional. (I’m looking forward to offering these gems at the club.) They also poured what many were calling the “best Glenfiddich” they’d ever had. It was a peated malt, with classic Glenfiddich characteristics overlaid with a nice bit of peat smoke throughout the entire dram.

The aforementioned Johnny Mundell, of Bowmore, also brought some standouts. The clear winner was a Bowmore 23 port wood whisky. This was big and sweet up front, with notes of raisins and dates on the finish, and the signature Bowmore peat smoke to round it out. It reminded me of smoky Christmas cake.

This show’s premium ticket offering includes a day of golf and private dinner with either a master of whisky, a brand ambassador, or a master distiller. I was not so fortunate to partake in this portion of the event, but from what I hear, there is no better time to learn from the undisputed experts of single malt whisky. When we book the event for our members next year, this will be a key component of the trip.