A quiet dram after a meal or movie, catching up with mates, celebrating a special occasion or sampling bottles for your next purchase… there are plenty of reasons to get to know your local whisky bar. When it comes to venues these days, you could say we’re a bit spoilt for choice, so how do you know which should be your new haunt?
Well worry no more, your friends at The Whisky Club have done the hard work for you and rounded up the best whisky bars from around Australia for your dramming pleasure, and as if you’d need any more reason to give them a visit, make sure you read through to the end for a special deal just for Club Members.
Eau-de-Vie: Resembling a bar from 1920s prohibition era America, Eau-de-Vie is going to take you back to a different time. Sidle up at the bar, at a shared high table, relax in the low banquette and coffee table seating, or maybe choose a booth. But whatever you do, don’t forget to check out the book case. Why? Because it’s the hidden entrance to the Whisky Room, containing a huge collection of rare and exclusive whiskies. It is also home to their Bottle Lockers, purchase a bottle from Eau-de- Vie and safely store it there for your next visit. Not only that, the Whisky Room can be booked for private events, catering for groups of 15 – 40 of your nearest and dearest whisky loving friends.
Mjølner: Another venue that breaks the mould is Mjølner, where sophistication and opulence meet historic Viking features and contemporary Scandinavian design across two expansive levels. That’s right. Viking. Dine on decadent dishes of bird, beast and fish, in the 80-seat restaurant on the first floor, then head down to the fully seated basement speakeasy bar below. With over 400 whiskies, you’ll be there a while!
Boilermaker House: Boilermaker House is a blues filled temple devoted to malt whisky, craft beer and delicious cocktails. That’s our kind of temple. Of course, a Boilermaker is a pairing of beer and whisky, and with over 900 (yes, 900!) whiskies and an always changing tap list, you’re not going to run out of combinations in a hurry.
Starward Distillery and Bar: When in Melbourne, it would be rude not to visit the local distillery. Starward is one of Australia’s most popular whiskies, and for good reason too. Drop by the distillery and take a tour, take a masterclass or just relax at their bar and sample their work.
Nick and Nora’s: Nick & Nora’s is best known as a cocktail and Champagne bar that brings the golden era of glamourous and decadent post prohibition soirees to the modern day in their incredible rooftop location on the 26th floor of V by Crown. If we lost you at cocktails and Champagne, fear not dear whisky lover, as you’re sure to be impressed with the whisky collection in the back bar.
The Roosevelt: The Roosevelt first opened at the end of World War 2 and by 1947 it became Abe Saffron’s first nightclub, helping him earn the title “The King of the Cross”. Abe brought New York and Las Vegas to Sydney, flying in the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr to perform there. Today, the bar staff are some proper whisky nerds and love nothing more than sharing that knowledge over a few drams. Why not get some friends together and join them for a whisky class! Check out their whisky menu on their website too but be prepared to do a lot of scrolling!
Eau-de-Vie: Eau-de-Vie Sydney is “an intimate, dimly lit, jazz infused speakeasy created for the discerning bon vivant. They’ll transport you back to a much forgotten era where great service, cocktails, tommy guns and good times were king”. Sounds good to us. Join them for a masterclass in their Whisksy Room or just pick a few drams from their huge list.
Mjølner: Not wanting Melbourne to have all the fun, you can find Mjølner in Sydney too. The same Viking and Scandinavian blend, the decadent dishes of bird, beast and fish, and of course, over 400 whiskies behind the bar. Good times indeed.
Cobbler: With over 400 whiskeys from all over the world on the shelf, the hardest thing about visiting Cobbler will be deciding what to have. With whisky from Scotland, America, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Australia, the choice is huge. And they know their whisky too, because the staff don’t need to worry about food – Cobbler is a drinks only, walk in venue – that’s right, it’s BYO food! So don’t forget to grab a kebab on the way in. Down to earth service, good chat, zero pretentiousness and a great bar experience, perfect!
The Scottish Prince: The home of whisky on the Gold Coast, The Scottish Prince offers a relaxing atmosphere, great food and music, and an extensive list of whiskies. With regular whisky tastings and music events, it’s the place to be on the Coast.
Bar Lafayette: If you’re in the Perth CBD and feeling thirsty, head to Bar Lafayette. There’s plenty to quench your thirst with artisan cocktails, a huge wine list and boutique beers, and of course, whisky. The food menu is well matched to the drinks, there’s intimate spaces to relax and unwind, and it’s easy to get to on the ground floor of the beautifully restored Perth Technical School at Brookfield Place.
Helvetica Bar: We’re curious to know the crossover between font nerds and whisky nerds outside of Whisky Club HQ, but the name of this bar has this whisky writer frothing. Hidden amongst the office towers of Perth’s Central Business District, Helvetica Bar offers free wifi and water, and has a whisky list 22 pages long. We’re wondering if they’d mind if we set up there to work for the day?
Lark Distillery Bar: Located between Hobart’s CBD and the waterfront, the Lark Distillery Bar & Cellar Door is the place to go to celebrate the rebirth of the Australian whisky industry, while sampling the best of Tasmanian whisky, and whiskies from all around the world. It’s not only whisky either, with a great range of Tasmania’s best beer, wine, cider and cheese available.
Now, at the start of the article we did promise something special for Club Members. All of these bars are in our Clubhouse Network, and just by showing your Whisky Club Member Card (available to download to your phone from your My Club Account now) you’ll get 20% off the price of whisky over the bar. Starward are also offering 10% off bottle sales from their distillery door.
So there you have it, the best whisky bars in the country, with several more to be added in the coming weeks. Which one will you be visiting this summer? Do you have a favourite whisky bar that should be on the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Not yet a Member? Join now for free to get your Whisky Club Member Card.