Whisky – or whiskey, depending on where it hails from – is revered by many as being an elixir from the Gods. With various countries producing bottles with flavours and aromas unique to their origin, searching for and sampling the liquid gold is a passion shared by many.
Australia shows a particular affinity for whisky and has distilleries dotted around the country producing some of the finest examples in the world. However, even we can admit that some of the best whiskies need to come from overseas and the best way to try them is by visiting a dedicated whisky bar.
And where can you find such wondrous whisky bars? In Brisbane of course. All of Australia’s major cities have their own take on what the classic whisky bar should be and we think Brisbane has nailed it with their selection. Naturally, you can expect to find a great selection of whisky at any of Brisbane’s coolest restaurants, bars and even cocktail bars, but for bartender knowledge and variety, only a whisky bar will do.
So, get yourself a taxi, head into town and make your way through the coolest whisky bars Brisbane has to offer.
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Naked Whisky Bar
Found inside The Morrison Hotel, Naked Whisky Bar (a space dedicated solely to whisky) serves up over 300 varieties with staff more than happy to recommend something they think you’ll love, based on the information you provide. Naturally, bottles are sourced from all around the world in order to show off just what is possible in the world of whisky, and so it’s highly likely you’ll leave with a new favourite in mind.
Address: 640 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba, 4102
Phone: 07 3391 1413
The Gresham Bar
The Gresham Bar is a jack of all trades on the Brisbane bar scene. Not only is it a fantastic cocktail bar but it also stocks an incredible range of whisky that is meticulously curated to an impeccable standard.
The bar itself is one that welcomes anyone and everyone, with no strict dress code. It’s certainly one of the best bars in Brisbane hands-down and you simply have to pay a visit.
Address: 308 Queen Street, Brisbane, 4000
Phone: 0437 360 158
Malt Bar & Dining
Malt Bar is part of Malt Dining, a venue split across three levels.The Malt Bar is on a level of its own, and while the naming may not be totally indicative of what to expect, whisky is certainly placed front and centre. Whether you want to head in for a tipple over an afternoon business meeting or need to let off steam after a day at work, the Malt Bar is the perfect whisky-tasting destination.
Address: 28 Market Street, Brisbane City, 4000
Phone: 07 3236 4855
Not exactly a bar in the strictest sense, Malt Traders is instead more of a bottle shop that has chairs and tables to allow people to visit for tastings. Although, when you consider you can also snack on meat and cheeseboards, the boundaries between what constitutes a bar and a bottle shop become somewhat blurred.
Regardless, if you’re a lover of all things single malt then you simply cannot pass on this CBD gem. Through their passion and dedication to whisky, Malt Traders has been able to strike up relationships with suppliers that enable them to procure some of the finest whiskies of the world, including limited releases from speciality suppliers. If you have a favourite and they for some reason don’t stock it, they’ll be able to get it, and staff are all whisky-mad, so will happily talk to you about your mutual love affair.
Address: 10 Market Street, Brisbane, 4000
Phone: 07 3236 4855
Old Bill's Bar
Found inside Hogans at Wellington Point, Old Bill’s is named after Bill Hogan, the first publican of the venue and is the room inside Hogan’s you need to go if you love a drop of dram. Boasting a huge selection of whisky from around the world (including 150 or so just from Scotland) you’ll find it virtually impossible to not find a new bottle to enjoy.
Address: 391 Main Road, Wellington Point, 4160
Phone: 07 3207 2511
Mrs J. Rabbits
A speakeasy bar that really does do its best to remain hidden (you have to walk through an antique wardrobe to gain entry) is also one of Brisbane’s best spots for sampling some of the best whiskies from around the world. Hiding above Electric Avenue, Mrs J. Rabbits is a 1920s-themed jazz bar that slings cocktails from the bar alongside its well-stocked range of whisky that includes bottles from Japan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, France and, of course, Scotland. Try them alongside a great selection of small food plates and you’ve got yourself a rip-roaring evening.
Address: 23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, 4102
Phone: 07 3891 2316
Death & Taxes
What is one of Brisbane’s coolest cocktail bars is also a spot to try if you just fancy a single shot of single malt. It’s owned by the same group who are responsible for Cobbler and Savile Row, both of which are also incredible cocktail and whisky bars in the city.
Death & Taxes offers punters a, and we can’t stress this enough, huge selection of whisky to try. And with the bar being designed in such a way so that it feels warm, welcoming and entirely approachable, we rekon you’ll be back for repeat visits to make your way through the lot.
Address: 36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane City, 4000
Phone: 0428 964 197
As we just mentioned, Cobbler is another whisky-lover’s paradise. If anything, more so than Death & Taxes, as it stocks well over 300 hundred whiskies. You’ll need a few hours just to make your way through the menu, as there are nine pages dedicated to dram that will undoubtedly include some you’ve never even heard of before.
Fortunately, the staff know a thing or two about their stock, so will happily guide you through the tumultuous world of whisky and recommend a few they know you’ll love.
Address: 7 Browning Street, West End, 4101
Phone: 0455 686 968