We have reserved a limited number of seats for public, non-members, at this month’s Whiskies Of The World tasting. Beam Suntory hosts this international extravaganza Friday, March 27th, from 6-8pm, on the 11th Floor at Wingtip. To save your spot, RSVP to jennifer@wingtip.com. Tickets are only $40 and there are only five seats available, so you may want to email Jennifer, and then read the pour list. (It’s a long list.)

Simon Brooking, Laphroaig Brand Ambassador
Laphroaig 18 Year Old
Laphroaig Triplewood
Laphraoig Select
Laphraoig 25 Year Old

Iain McCallum, Global Master of Malts/Scotch Whisky Ambassador
Bowmore 15 YEARS OLD ‘DARKEST’
Bowmore 18 Years Old
Auchentoshan Three wood
Auchentoshan 18
Glen Garioch 1994
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak

Dan Tullio, Godfather of Whisky/Brand Ambassador Canadian Club
Canadian Club Reserve
Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12 Year Old

Gardner Dunn, Suntory Brand Ambassador
Hakushu 18 Yr
Yamazaki 18 Yr
Hibiki 12 Yr

Michael Egan, Irish Whiskey Ambassador
Greenore Single Grain
Tyrconnell Port
Tyrconnell Sherry
Tyrconnell Madeira
Connemara 12 Year Old

Chuck Hwang/Jennifer Sobb, Beam Suntory Gurus
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
Distiller’s Masterpiece
JB Single Barrel

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Whether you need to pick up some libations for the festivities, or if you find yourself in a swarm of green and need a quiet nip, or if you’re feeling the affects of said festivities and need a warm meal, we have what cures your ailments this Saint Paddy’s Day:

1. We are putting Murphy’s Irish Stout on tap this year! It was the tried-and-true Guinness last year, but in an attempt to always make the Wingtip Experience unique I choose to tap the other black stout from the Irish Isles, and boy is it tasty. Dark Toffee and coffee notes waft out of the glass, and of course the color of this fine brew is darker than a black hole; no light escapes once it enters. The first taste of Murphy’s is close to perfection. Low notes of bitter chocolate and a malty back bone guarantee a perfect sipping experience from start to finish. Come get this pint while you can, because once the month is over we will be moving on to another dark beer.

2. Chef Matt will be making corned beef and cabbage for the week, as a one-time special. We will have reubens for lunch and corned beef entrees at night. I personally love corned beef. My family always served it the week of Saint Paddy’s, and always with Irish stout. The spicyness and juiciness of the beef always puts a smile on my face, and Chef Matt is making this year’s corned beef extra special with the debut of his new sous vide machine. Corned beef a great start to a party, and a great aid to your recovery the next day.

3. We offer a quiet reprieve from the Saint Paddy’s revelry that takes place through out San Francisco’s FiDi. While most places are throwing their alley parties, and have bathroom lines around the block, our members can come and have a quiet pint and a wee nip in between bar-hopping.

4. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey.

5. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey. We have so many different types of Irish Whisky it warrants mentioning twice. We have whiskies from Jameson, Connemera, single grain Irish whiskies like Greenore, single malt Irish whiskies like the Redbreast, Kilbegan, and…

6. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey, plus one: Mosswood is a brand new, locally-imported, barrel-aged Irish Whiskey “crafted from a four-year-old Irish whiskey distilled at Cooley.”

Jake Chevedden of Mosswood Distillers, elaborates, “The finishing for this batch was a blend of two barrels, one of which spent 7 months in Amontillado and the other which spent 13 months in Amontillado. The sherry we used to treat the barrels was Valedespino’s Contrabandista. The barrel finish lends a dry, nutty characteristic in the whiskey, with notes of marzipan, cinnamon and cardamom, and a rich, creamy texture. A complex Irish whiskey with a long finish. This whiskey is brought to proof and bottled by hand.

Mosswood is available now at Wingtip’s Bank Of Wine And Spirits for 15% Off its regular price of $60 (or $51) when you mention the code ERIN GO BRAGH. Offer good now through Saint Paddy’s Day, in store only.

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We here at Wingtip love whisky. Nay, love is not a strong enough word. We obsess over it, we read about it and drink it every day, and as soon as we can grow gills, we will breathe it. We drink it young, old, neat, and over ice; and whether its lineage is Scottish, American, Japanese, or some other whisky-loving nation, we will give it a fair shake. I think you get the point. We love the Golden Elixir that is the nectar of life–and we want to share it with you.

To that end, Wingtip Bank Of Wine And Spirits manager Kyle Nadeau and myself have worked diligently putting together whisky bundles that will allow you to explore whisky regions from around the world. Each month will feature a three-bottle bundle of whisky for around $200, which will give you the chance to build an amazing whisky library. At the end of the year, if you choose to purchase each month (and if you still have some elixir left in each bottle), your home bar will be better stocked with whiskies than many bars in SF.

The first month only costs $185 (down from a combined retail value of $220), and will feature three whiskies from the Speyside region. There are more distilleries per square mile in the Speyside region than anywhere else in the world, and we chose these to highlight the diversity of the region.

First up, the lovely Glenrothes 2001, owned by the good people at Berry Brothers and Rudd. Ronnie Cox, Global Brand Ambassador for the distillery, describes it thus, “It was selected from a variety of casks to deliver soft but stimulating and conversational properties. It combines the maturity of oaky vanilla, with the fullness of ripe black cherries and has a lingering, typically Glenrothes finish of soft spices.

“It has wonderful length and depth, hugely satisfying and an excellent demonstration of the Malt Master’s skill and dedication to the art of wood management.”

The second whisky comes from a distillery that laid silent for many years, but has seen a revival as of late. So welcome back, the Tamdhu 10 Year, a real beauty. From its enticing hue of golden brown (cue the classic Stranglers song), to its elegantly redesigned bottle, it will satisfy the most picky of whisky drinkers. Fully matured in second-fill sherry casks, it shows notes of dark fruit and baking spice. The finish lingers and leaves you wanting more.

The third whisky is very near and dear to me. When we built our collection at the Wingtip club, BenRiach is one of the distilleries that really jumped out at me. We stock many of their whiskies, and this, the BenRiach 16 Year, is one of my favorites. It is finished in Sauternes Casks that lend it a beautiful straw-blond color, as well as a great mouth feel and a full palate experience. With a slight note of passion fruit, this warm and inviting whisky is truly seductive.

This is my last rambling whisky note for today. But it’s a biggie. We are getting ready to launch (Wait for it) (Do you see it coming?) (Okay, well here it is) The Wingtip Whisky Club!

Kyle will be selecting the bottles for this club, and I can tell you with complete confidence that he has an amazing palate and sources the finest whisky this side of the Atlantic.

We are going to offer two different clubs. The first will cost no more than $200 a bottle, and you will receive a bottle every two months. If you fall in love with a bottle, you can always buy more.

The second club is going to cost $500 a bottle and will be available 2-3 times a year. This is a club reserved for those special bottles Kyle finds, the ones that can’t be passed up.

If you are interested in either club (or both clubs!), please email Kyle at kyle@Wingtip.com. We will launch the first club as soon as we get 100 people signed up–both WIngtip members and non-members are welcome to join. The sooner we reach that number the sooner we all get our whisky. So what are you waiting for?

Stay tuned for next month’s bundle offering and more ramblings from this whisky lover.

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It’s the new year, and we have some new exciting and fun things available to drink in the club. We are working on a new cocktail list, as well as a truncated version that will change monthly, but will always include variants of the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

Apparently our members love to drinks these two drinks more than any other, and I am here to give our members what they want. So the newest addition to the Old Fashioned category is the Fireside Chat. We take Bowmore 15, add some honey syrup, a dash of Angostura (because it is not a Wingtip cocktail without a little bitters), a dash of all spice dram, and, of course, double citrus peel. This lovely peaty Scotch cocktail will make you want to sit by the fire and chat with your friends for hours upon hours. We have tested it out on plenty of our members, and the word is it’s a hit.

As far as beer goes, we have two real doozies on tap right now. My all-time favorite beer, Well’s Bombardier is available, while supplies last. I bought the last six kegs in all of california, and rumor is it shall not ever return. This is a classic English bitter beer; but don’t let the name fool you. It is rich and malty and has only a note of bitters at the finish, and the body of this beer is light enough you can enjoy a few (and the good lord knows that I do every chance I get). The other beer I am totally stoked on is Hitachino Red Rice Ale. As far as I know we are the one of a very few accounts in SF selling this beer on draft. It comes from our friends in Japan who make the popular and delicious Hitachino Nest Ale. This beer is red in color and malty in texture, with beautiful notes of incense and sandalwood on the finish.

As far as whisky goes, man, there are too many to name, as always, but I’ll try to pick just a few to feature. We just got a bunch of independent bottlings in from Signatory, and they are rad to say the least. (If you are not familiar with what independent bottlers do, see my post on the topic). We also got in a Highland Park 15 that has been aged its entire life in a bourbon barrel. The reason this is so badass is simple: Most HPs are aged in sherry casks of some sort, so to be able to taste an HP that is 100% bourbon cask is very unique indeed. The color is of straw and almost reminiscent of chardonnay wine. The flavor is unmistakably Highland Park, but with more vanilla and baking spice coming from the bourbon barrel. Also from Highland Park, we have their newest release, Dark Origins. This is aged exclusively in new sherry casks, so it makes for a great juxtaposition with the HP 15 bourbon-cask release. Dark Origins is all dark fruit and richness that can’t be beat. For one more whisky, I’ll go with the Angel’s Envy Cask Strength. Last year’s edition was named one of the best spirits of the year, and this year is sure to please. It comes off as a beautiful vanilla bomb of whisky. It is dark, it is sexy, and it is amazing, and it is available at the club right now.

Come by, say “Hi” to the gang on the 10th floor, and have any of the drinks mentioned above.

Oh, Happy New Year!

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This Thursday, 10am-6pm, we follow up last year’s exceptionally popular Bourbon & Boots event with Wolverines & Whiskey.

The event will feature the Wingtip debut of Wolverine’s new Centennial Bison Leather boot, which they released to celebrate the 100th birthday of the original 1000-Mile Boot. The stunning pebbled bison leather boot is available in tan and brown.

Lending support is a limited offering from Anchor Distilling: White Christmas. This white whiskey is actually the 2013 release, which is the 2012 Christmas Ale distilled. It is also the last whiskey from this annual release to be named White Christmas. And we will be giving away a bottle with each purchase of a pair of Centennial Boots (limited to available stock on-hand, applies to purchases in-store on 12/11 only). We will also be offering a 15% discount on all current stock from Anchor’s spirits portfolio in the Bank Of Wine & Spirits for the occasion!

The event will run from 10am-6pm. Stop by around lunch time, when Wolverine will be offering complimentary bison burgers, cooked to perfection by Wingtip’s Chef Matt.

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So you’ve got your man cave turned into a turn-of-the-century saloon, replete with spittoons and period-specific American flags. But the only booze in the place is drips and dregs of parties bygone, you know, some oxidized vermouth, triple sec, and a full-bottle of grenadine. Well, have no fear, I am here to lend a hand in the stocking of your liquor cabinet–before your holiday guests arrive. And, yes, any of these spirits can be picked up at Wingtip’s Bank Of Wine & Spirits.

These are the basics of stocking a bar with spirits only (we’ll have to deal with tools and accoutrements another time). These are the essentials in each category:

VODKA

One bottle. I feel as if you should alway drink local when you drink vodka, to help reduce that carbon footprint a little. Just choose one local vodka from whichever region you live in. With the massive amount of micro-distilleries that exist out there this should not prove to be very challenging. For San Francisco, our current fix is Spirit Works ($29.99).

GIN

Unless you live in the great state of Wisconsin and drink Death’s Door Gin, which only contains ingredients from Washington Island, you’ll be emitting a few more carbon particles in this category. The gin will likely come from the UK, and, in my opinion you need three or four. Before I continue, I have to say I am a classicist; I was raised in a house hold that drank Tanqueray and that is still my gin of choice. I think every home bar should have a bottle of Tanqueray, at least Tanqueray 10 ($25), if not also the London Dry. You have to have Plymouth gin ($34.99), no question about it. I have been to the distillery, met Sean Harrington (the man who makes it), and drank from their water source, the town’s reservoir, which lends the gin a unique minerality. Third: Beefeater ($18.99). In all of our blind taste tests we have done here at Wingtip, Beefeater comes out ahead more often than not.

RUM

Rum is a conundrum of spirits, a real noodler. Do you want rum just to make cocktails with? If so, what kind of cocktails? If you want to make tiki drinks, you’ll need a few just to get started, as most tiki drinks call for at least two types of rum, and are so nuanced that there is no a blanket combination that works across the board. We’re going to call in the master of all things tiki, Martin Cate, creator of Smuggler’s Cove, for a further exploration of this topic. For now, keep these three on hand for a mixture of styles that will start to line up your coverage: Smith and Cross Jamaican Rum ($34.99), Diplomatico Exclusiva ($38.99), Barbancourt 8 Year Rum ($27.99). And for a rum that you can sip neat and smoke a cigar with, I love Brugal 1888 ($55.99); it’s aged in bourbon cask and sherry casks, a real stunner.

WHISKEY (AMERICAN)

Ah, my not-so-secret lover. Where do we start? You need one bourbon for cocktails: Elijah Craig 12 ($27.99) is a no brainer. It makes great Manhattans and boothbys, makes great sour drinks, and it won’t break the bank. You need one bourbon for sipping. Four Roses Single barrel ($38.99) is the way to go. If you can find the 2014 Limited Edition ($99.99), even better. You need one rye for cocktails, and for this I love the High West Double Rye ($36.99), a blend of 2 year old and 6 year old rye. It makes for great sazeracs and old fashioneds. For a sipping rye, check out Whistle Pig ($65.99). It is a 10 year old rye that has 100 percent rye mashbill and comes in at 100 proof. It’s worth every penny.

WHISKY (JAPANESE)

For every whisky and soda you will ever make for the rest of your life, get Hibiki 12 ($69.99) blended whisky. You will never need another whisky ever for this drink, that is it. As far as the rest of the category goes, everything from the two major distillers, Nikka and Suntory, is spectacular. But if you have to choose one, I have to give it up to Yamazaki 12 ($66.99). Easy on the pocket-book, but highly complex, with notes of sandalwood and incense.

WHISKY (IRISH)

Redbreast 15 ($79.99) takes the cake for the storied Emerald Isle. It is a single malt whisky that comes off of a pot still and is bold yet refined at the same time. If you want to make Irish Coffees for people this winter, trust the source, the Buena Vista here in SF. They use Tullamore Dew ($24.99), and so do we.

BRANDY

I have a special place in my heart for brandy, being from the great state of Wisconsin and all. [Editor's Note: There is actually something to this dubious-sounding statement.] I must say there are two that stand out to me for two different reasons. The Lepanto brandy line is amazing and is some of the best price-performing brandy out there. I am especially partial to the PX line ($64.99). It is aged 10 years in used bourbon casks, and then finished in Pedro Jimenez casks. It is dry and dusty with a touch of fruit. Love this bottling. For making cocktails, like the sidecar or vieux carre, reach for Marie Duffau Napoleon ($34.99).

TEQUILA

For your everyday margarita, do as Julio does at Tommy’s and go with Arette Blanco [Editor's Note: Currently out-of-stock, but on order]. I know this may be a cop-out, but, hey, the man is an icon and knows more about tequila than anyone I have ever met, so I think we can all trust him on this.

WHISKY (SCOTLAND)

I’m saving the best for last here. The problem I encounter is that I want to grab them all, like a kid in the Video Power velcro-suit maze. But if you want a well-rounded collection for your home you should look to buy one bottle from each region. It can get pricy, not going to lie, but here are the ones I have to have around.

Speyside: Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask ($69.99). Highlands: Glenmorangie Lasanta ($49.99), finished off in both PX and Olorosso sherry. At first I was bummed that they were changing the process on this, but after trying out, I love it. The Island: Highland Park 18 ($104.99), or anything they make, they can do no wrong in my book. Lowlands: Auchentoshan Three Wood ($73.99), one of the most diverse single malts out there and on of the most unique in that every drop of the whisky is distilled three times. Campbeltown: Springbank 15 ($119.99), a perfect blend of peat and malt. Isay: All of them. Or if that’s not an option, and this is really like choosing your favorite Star Wars Toy, there are so many that I love and keep near and dear to my heart, but if I could only have just one readily-available Islay single malt whisky, it would have to be Laphraoig 10 ($49.99). The peaty green pepper and spice of this malt is emblematic of the region. Takes me back every time.

Now that the bar’s stocked, we need to talk more about what to do with these fine elixirs. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on a few easy-to-make holiday drinks.

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As epic as a World Cup final pitting the U.S. vs. Scotland, this is round table discussion lead by Robin Coupar, Gruppo Campari’s Whisky Ambassador will involve tasting through multiple expressions of Glen Grant Single Malt Whisky and Russell’s Reserve Bourbon/Rye Whiskey. Notice a difference already? Includes a lot of whiskey and light snacks. Space is limited, RSVP to brian@wingtip.com ASAP!

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Seven Stills Distillery, who poured their mysterious Chocosmoke Whiskey earlier this year, returns with a new enticing spirit:

“Whipnose is a collaboration project we took on with Pacific Brewing Laboratory of San Francisco in which we distilled their double IPA into a whiskey and aged it in new charred American oak. The batch yielded 165 gallons of whiskey and is a one-off project.”

ABOUT WHIPNOSE

Distilled from an Imperial IPA, Whipnose is true to its roots as a beer. Opening up with a whip of hop aroma, rolling into rich malt, dried fruits, light vanilla-toasted oak, and finishing with a smooth, lingering maple syrup.

ABOUT SEVEN STILLS

Whiskey distilled from beer. Seven Stills is leading the craft beer-inspired whiskey movement. While traditional whiskies are distilled from a low quality beer, Seven Stills distills finished beers, resulting in whiskies with innovative flavor profiles.

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First there was the Chocasmoke, a whiskey that began its life as a chocolate-oatmeal stout before undergoing an experimental, chemical-altering metamorphosis that resulted in the cocoa dust elixir with a vellum sheen that was released in strictly limited quantities this past spring.

Now, Seven Stills (who were featured in this past week’s SF Weekly cover article “Beer Before Liquor“) return with Whipnose, a new alchemical experiment that may have resulted in the true expression of what Cali whiskey should be. Yes, you guessed it–IPA whiskey.

Seven Stills describes Whipnose as “a collaboration project we took on with Pacific Brewing Laboratory of San Francisco in which we distilled their double IPA into a whiskey and aged it in new charred American oak. The batch yielded 165 gallons of whiskey and is a one-off project.” We’re more than a little intrigued.

Don’t miss it. Thursday, Aug 7th, 4-7pm. Free and open to the public.

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Join Macallan’s west coast brand ambassador, Kieron Elliot, as we open the Maccallan M! This is a majestic, rare, and precious whisky. Space is limited; RSVP to brian@wingtip.com.

About Macallan M

Colour: Rosewood

ABV:44.7%

Nose: Dried fruits ripen, then soften showing off velvet sateen. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand, neither taking the lead. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with polished oak offering to overstate, yet never does, but plays with a depth of resinous, juicy oranges.

Palate: The palate opens rich in wood spices, slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out.

Finish:The heavier raisin and sultana flavours take over, meandering to a long full finish.

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