Straight, shaken or stirred. We’ve got something for you.
Whisky’s in. But when has it not been? It’s the distilled beverage that can pair graciously with almost any occasion in any way you desire. Some like it mixed in an eclectic cocktail, others prefer it doubled in a flight with bacon, some followed by a glass of beer and there’s the true at heart who know to enjoy a drop of whisky on its own.
Thanks to Australian Bartender, we’ve listed the top 10 finalists for 2019’s Whisky Bars of the Year. So regardless of whether you classify yourself as a lover, sommelier or simply just a casual whisky drinker, you’ll be spoiled with choice.
Boilermaker House, VIC
With its name fitting to the art of pairing beer and whisky, there’s no doubt that Melbourne’s Boilermaker House is no stranger to the whisky world. With over 900 bottles of whisky in their notable collection, Boilermaker also specialises in beer. With endless possibilities, if you’re a whisky fiend, head over to Boilermaker House to also try out one of their four masterclasses available.
Tucked along Brisbane’s Browning Street, guests will find the renowned Cobber in West End. Boasting whiskies sourced from Scotland, America, Canada, Ireland, Japan and even Australia, with over 400 bottles tucked on their shelves – you’ll be amazed with variety. Despite it’s vintage feel and staff with an extensive knowledge behind everything whisky, here at Queensland’s Cobbler, your visit is more than relaxed. The real star is your drink – you can even BYO food.
Death & Taxes, QLD
Stumbling along Brisbane’s oldest laneway, guests will find Death & Taxes. And no, you won’t find a cloaked man with a bunch of receipts. Instead, guests will find one of the city’s renowned whisky bars. With the team at Death & Taxes also behind Cobbler (featured on this list), one thing is for sure, death AND taxes combined surely must be melancholic because it tastes so sweet here. Straight or shaken – the choice is yours.
Evolve Spirits Bar, TAS
If you’re looking for a good time, look no further than Hobart’s Evolve Spirits Bar – we can assure you, that your spirits WILL be lifted. Or should we say fossilised? That’s right. Sitting along Kings Pier Marina, visitors will find a bar certainly like no other. The team can shake, stir, and concoct. But the real treat (apart from the whisky of course) is the displayed fossils part of Evolve’s artefact collection – some even date back to 550 million years ago. Say no more.
Deep in Adelaide’s bustling streets, almost a touch away from Rymill Park Rose Garden, guests will be transported to a venue heavy in New Orleans culture. From the atmosphere, the food and of course, the drinks. Not to mention, they stock over 200 whiskies on their walls for every type of enthusiast. This eatery and whisky haven will definitely warm the soul especially with their Pulled Pork Po’Boy – 12 hour smoked pork shoulder.
The Baxter Inn, NSW
It may be featured in Bartender’s top 10 list of Australia’s best whisky bars, but Sydney’s Baxter Inn is much more than that. Renowned on an international level, upon entry into The Baxter Inn, you’ll soon understand why. With an impressive list of international whiskies bottled and displayed behind the bar, Baxter definitely shows Sydneysiders how it’s done. The choice of a serving is up to you. Straight or shaken – it can be done here.
The Elysian Whisky Bar, VIC
Victorians, if you’re searching for a bar that specialises in whisky, look no further than Fitzroy’s The Elysian Whisky Bar. Scoring a place in the top 10 two years in a row, Elysian is perfect for casual drinkers, sommeliers and even whisky geeks with their boasting range of rare drops and unique bottlings from around the world. With over 350 bottles on their shelves; all you need to do is make your pick and The Elysian Whisky Bar will do the rest whether that’s straight or in a cocktail.
The Gresham, QLD
Opening its doors to Brisbanites in late 2013, today, The Gresham is one of Australia’s finest whisky bars. Winning Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards Bar of the Year in both 2015 and 2016, The Gresham focuses on American whiskey which is evident from their impressive list of selections. On top of that, they also take the title as the only Heritage Bar License in Queensland. Extensive in drops but rich in history, The Gresham is definitely a unique experience.
Varnish on King, WA
Our personal favourite, Perth’s Varnish on King must do the job well especially after appearing on Bartenders finalist lists regularly. Opening in 2013, today, Varnish is of the city’s most notable bars especially with their impressive menu from food to wine, whiskey and even beer. Not to mention, Varnish on King also hosts a bacon flight where four styles of bacon are paired to four different styles of American whiskey – now that’s a good time.
Whisky & Alement, VIC
Melbournians, we’ve saved you a treat for last. We present you with Whisky & Alement, stocking one of the largest collections of whisky on this list. With over 1000 (you read that right) whiskies under their belt, Whisky & Alement is more of a haven than anything else. As for the bartenders? Think of them as walking whisky encyclopedias who love whisky just as much as you do. At Whisky & Alement, whatever your whisky-heart desires, they can deliver.
Feature image Death & Taxes. Image via Death & Taxes Facebook
Images via Boilermaker House Instagram, Cobbler Instagram, Death & Taxes Facebook, Evolve Spirits Bar Instagram, NOLA Instagram, The Baxter Inn supplied, The Elysian Whisky Bar website, The Gresham Instagram, Varnish on King Instagram and Whisky & Alement Facebook.