Whether you like your whisky straight up, on ice, or in a cocktail - here's where to find the best whisky watering holes in Brisbane.
Whether you’re a seasoned local or just passing through, Brisbane’s whisky scene is definitely worth checking out. With a good bar in every major nightlife area now, this list is a mix of both old and new places around town. Some are serious, some not so much, and most of them do great food as well.
1. Malt Bar
28 Market Street, Brisbane CBD 4000 | Facebook
Malt Bar is one part of the Malt Traders and Malt Restaurant group – all excellent – and it’s definitely on the fancy end of this list. Their Market Street address makes them a perfect post-work pit stop, and they’ve put a lot of thought into a matched bar food menu so you can feel civilised while enjoying buttermilk-fried chicken.
7 Browning Street, West End QLD 4101 | Website
Go to Cobbler once and you’ll be hooked. They’ve got 400+ whiskies and, more importantly, knowledgeable bartenders. The best bit about Cobbler is how relaxed and friendly it is. They have monthly whisky tasting nights, BYO food, and a “zero pretentiousness” attitude.
3. The secret bar through Tomcat - ‘The Boiler Room’
210 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 | Website
The Boiler Room takes a little effort to find (go into Tomcat and ask staff for directions to the unmarked door) but you’ll be rewarded. If you like the bar’s namesake – 'boilermaker': the pairing of whisky shots with beer chasers – then you’ll probably also like the wood panelling and jazz music. The venue (allegedly) used to be an illegal Chinese gambling den, but now it’s known for great wood-fired pizzas and generous charcuterie boards.
4. The Gresham
308 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000 | Facebook
The Gresham is the absolute go-to for Brisbane spirits, especially whisky. Winner of Gourmet Traveller’s National Bar of the Year and Queensland’s only Heritage Bar License, the whole place smells of books and old leather. They say they’ve got the “right attitude” rather than a “right attire” policy, but the place is definitely a bit upscale.
5. Kwan Brothers
43 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 | Facebook
In the last few decades (since people got serious about blind testing) Japanese whiskies have been winning a lot of awards. It's created with a process similar to original Scottish whisky, rather than American or Irish whisky. Kwan Brothers is known for their excellent Asian (think: Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and more) menu, but they also have several great Japanese whiskies available. It’s the perfect place to take friends who don’t necessarily want to go to a “whisky bar”.
6. Electric Avenue: Jack Rabbit’s Whisky Bar
23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba QLD 4102 | Facebook
This is probably Brisbane’s newest whisky bar, and it’s getting consistently high customer reviews. People refer to it as “Jack Rabbit’s” but it’s listed as Electric Avenue online, and like The Boiler Room, it’s not easy to find. The speakeasy vibes run strong at this venue, and it’s a high quality of whisky bar you won’t often find out of a CBD. Consider this place Woollongabba’s hidden gem.