1. The Woods
A Chapel Street institution, The Woods stands out from Windsor’s traditional grunge-bar aesthetic. Where the rest of the strip is loud, The Woods is quite. Where others are brash and cool, it’s warm, sophisticated and old-school, just like a good whisky bar should be. It’s hard to think of a classier date night location south of the river.
2. The Elysian Whisky Bar
Brunswick and a hip whisky bar. Is there anything more Melbourne? If you have a whisky-obsessed friend flying in from out of town, it’s probably best to take them here. The Elysian popped up in 2016, and bats very, very deep when it comes to scotch. Some of their 300+ bottles are literally the last of their kind.
3. Beneath Driver Lane
Blink and you’ll miss this subterranean hole in the wall. In the best Melbourne tradition, Beneath Driver Lane is literally beneath Driver Lane, tucked down a forgotten laneway and set inside an old bank vault. At the bottom of some nondescript stairs you’ll find an incredible whisky bar, with blues on the jukebox and giant Reuben sandwiches flying off the pass.
4. Boilermaker House
Partial to beer? Enjoy the odd whisky? Boilermaker House in the CBD has got you covered. A boilermaker, if you weren’t aware, is a shot of whisky paired with a pint, and nobody does them better than this particular bar (the clue’s in the name). There are 850+ bottles on the wall here, and the staff know how to match each and every one.
5. Whisky and Alement
Whisky and Alement is closer to a whisky shrine than a whisky bar. There are actually two venues here: the eponymous one downstairs, and its quieter sibling, The Melbourne Whisky Room, up on the first floor. This is where you come for hard-to-find Scottish casks, or even something to take away (the venue has a rare, off-premise licence). One for the true whisky lovers.