Where Melbourne’s whisky masters lead, we will happily follow
The thing about always being ahead of the game is that sometimes it takes a while for people to see what you were doing. In 2016, all anyone wanted to do was drink amazing whisky while looking at the dumpster fire that was the year in review, but Whisky and Alement have been paving Melbourne nights with precious amber distills since 2010 – they knew that we would grow into that rare Finlaggan that tastes like salt water and fishing nets and, oddly, banana lollies.
These guys were also the first to have access to the limited edition and crazy expensive Scotch Malt Whisky Society single cask bottlings – look for the dark green bottles with white labels and number codes in place of distilleries. Previously you had to shell out north of $200 for a bottle, but at Whisky and Alement suddenly you could buy it by the nip and get a taste of the high life for fewer dollars than your weekly rent. When the Japanese whisky trend hit with full force, these guys were prepped and ready. They had been hoarding them for years, and then when the time was right hosted a pop-up bar-within-a-bar and called it “a consumable exhibition of Australia’s largest collection of Japanese whisky”.
What sets this bar apart isn’t just their warm service that’s as happy to guide a novice as it is to talk serious shop with a firewater devotee; and it isn’t the fact that they also go so far as to import hard-to-find gems and sell them both by the shot and by the bottle. It’s that they’re always looking ahead. There are plans to open upstairs as a tasting and education room and bar next year, and they’re expanding their bottle shop so that you never need to worry about kickass presents again. They’re still leading the pack, and that’s what makes them our Bar of the Year for 2017.
|Venue name:||Whisky & Alement|
270 Russell St
|Opening hours:||Sun, Mon 4-11pm; Tue-Fri 4pm-1am; Sat 7pm-1am|
|Transport:||Nearby stations: Melbourne Central; Parliament|