Different Occasions Call for Different Whiskies. Top San Francisco Bar Manager Shares his Perfect Pairings

Different Occasions Call for Different Whiskies. Top San Francisco Bar Manager Shares his Perfect Pairings

Brian MacGregor is Bar Manager at Wingtip, private club and a one-stop-shop for the modern gentleman in San Francisco.

He runs a bar with over 300 Whiskies and he loves them all: I don't have a favorite. I have many!
Brian MacGregorVariety is the spice of life, and there are different Whiskies for different occasions. There are times when you’re looking for a nice sweet and baking spice warmth of a good Bourbon, other times the slap in the face of a good Rye, or the smoky peaty goodness of an Islay Single Malt. Either way, there’s a Whisky for every occasion.”

Listening to thisman talking about Whisky is poetry – let it inspire you!

On a warm summer night

When sitting out on the deck and breathing in mountain air, I love to be accompanied by some Balvenie 14 year Carribean Cask. The cotton candy notes that waif out of the glass bring me back to days of running around the state fair back in Wisconsin. The light notes of peat bind together in an extremely complex and enjoyable dram. Add a drop of water and watch this gem of a bottling sing.

After a long day of working with customers

After slinging drinks all day and getting your ass handed to you on a platter, the quick hit of shot of Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage is fantastic.

The light honey notes and baking spices that come off the nose just warm the soul, and the white pepper as it goes down and tickles the throat is truly a pleasant sensation.

It’s a classic American Bourbon, and it never breaks the bank. Chase this down with a great German Pilsner and you will forget all your woes.

Sitting at the oceanfront

After celebrating our anniversary this past year, we sat out on a patio of the seaside hotel, and listened to the waves crash against the shores, while sipping on Talisker Storm. There were few more perfect moments to be drinking a briny, slightly aggressive, yet in control dram of whisky.

Unwinding after a day at the office

Yamazaki 18. This Whisky is one for the ages. With the exception of Highland Park 18 this may be my all time favorite dram.

I know what I said earlier contradicts this, but this is a top 5 of all time Whisky.

It has the classic sandal wood notes one would come to expect from Yamazaki, accompanied by a peaty back bone, without being too in your face. This helps mellow the back and ease the eyes after they are worn out from the hours of staring at a computer screen.

The end of the night whisky

This is when you have found yourself enjoying a great meal accompanied by wine, friends, and if you are lucky, a great martini before it all happened. You’ve been laughing, you’ve been crying (in a good way), the conversation has been fantastic and it’s time to sit back and contemplate what just happened. Your palate has been tickled and teased and enjoyed the greatest ride of its life...

Finish it off with some Bowmore 15 Darkest. A rich, peaty beast of a dram. It starts with a touch of brine up front a slight roasted campfire finish. And a mellow caramelized marshmallow to satisfy the needs for a dessert.

Too good to say no, no matter what the occasion

Highland Park 25 is one of those Whiskies you should just drink every chance you can. It’s not the most affordable of drams, but if you see it, you must drink it, it’s that good.

Uncle Flaviar's comment? "Excellent pairings by a true aficionado! Now listen to your taste buds and create your own perfect Whisky moments."

Back to blog