whisky melbourne

15 Best Whisky Bars in Melbourne

Melbourne started it all for small bars down under, so it’s no surprise that they have some of the country’s best whiskey bars. Is life in a cold city getting you down? There’s an easy fix for that. At the same time, the rest of Australia sinks Milton Mangoes and Mojitos in the sun to while away their hot afternoons; our friends South have figured out how to beat the cold – with a big leather chair and a stiff glass of the finest.

Whether you’re in the mood for a sipper from Scotland or a tipple from Tassie, these Victorian venues have got their whisk(e)y game sorted, from Ireland to Islay (the long way ’round). Enjoy our list of the 15 best whisky bars in Melbourne.

1. Whisky and Aliment

whisky and dale

Whisky & Alement is a shrine to the good stuff, specialising in some of Scotland’s rarest, one of the world’s most comprehensively stocked whisky bars. The staff have an incommensurate knowledge of all things Whisky and can guide you in the right direction, or for more learning, you can attend one of their monthly masterclasses. These guys also have an off-premise license, so for a nominal fee, you can capture one of the many rare and exciting bottles on display in their handsome gold cabinet on the way out.

Address: 270 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed-Thur 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am, Sun 4-11pm

Phone: (03) 9654 1284

2. The Elysian Whisky Bar

the elysian whisky bar

Smack bang in the middle of hipster-centric Brunswick St is this elegant, simple bar offering some of the rarest unique expressions of Whisky on the planet. Owners Kelvin Low and Yao Wong wanted to break the mould set by other whiskey bars and have won lotteries and purchased the last remaining bottles from specific casks to stock their bar with some 300 examples that can’t be replaced all around the world. This is the place to go if you’ve done your dash with back bar stalwarts and want to be guaranteed a new experience.

Address: 113 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Hours: Tues – Sat 4:30 pm – 1 am

Phone: (03) 9417 7441

3. Eau de Vie Melbourne

eau de vie melbourne google search google chro

The place that kicked off what’s now become a small empire of venues for the Speakeasy Group, EDV Melbourne is still a trend-setting, bar-raising example of what you can achieve if you inject a little ingenuity into your cocktail menu. While everything shaken and stirred takes centre-stage in the cocktail lounge upfront, the whisky room (hidden behind their bookcase) is where you’ll find a raft of weird and beautiful drops, all tucked inside little lockers behind glass. You can even buy a fresh bottle and keep it in a private locker here for your next visit.

Address: 1 Malthouse Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Tues – Sat 5 pm – 1 am

Phone: (03) 8393 9367

4. Bad Frankie

bad frankie

We’ll go out on a limb and say Bad Frankie is probably the most Melbourne whisky bar in Melbourne. The quintessentially cool cocktail lounge serves up an assortment of fine whiskies and local spirits alongside a more than impressive list of jaffles. That’s right, get your late-night munchies to fix on while you sip the lord’s heart—a match made in Melbourne whisky bar heaven.

Address: 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Hours: Tues – Wed & Sun 5 pm – 11 pm, Thur – Sat 5 pm – 1 am

Phone: (03) 9078 3866

5. Carwyn Cellars

Carwyn Cellars

A Thornbury local for 11 years. Carwyn Cellars is proud to be an independent supporter of all things alcoholic. This cellar doubles as one of Melbourn’s best Whisky bars. On the wall, you’ll find small-batch producers of craft beer, wine, and spirits. Alongside the vast range of locally made beer, you’ll find it hard to find and globally renowned spirits, including gins, mezcals, and most importantly, whiskies.

Address: 877 High St, Thornbury VIC 307

Hours: Mon & Sun 12-10pm, Tues-Sat 10am-11pm

Phone: (03) 9484 1820

6. Beneath Driver Lane

beneath driver

If you are a whisky fan and a little partial to blues, good service and Reuben sandwiches, Beneath Driver Lane might be your dream whisky bar in Melbourne. Housed in an old bank vault in the CBD, Beneath Driver Lane is a bar packed full of old-world charm and more than a few colourful characters.

Located in: The Strand Melbourne

Address: Basement/3 Driver Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Tues-Thurs 5 pm-1 am, Fri-Sun 4 pm-1 am

7. Boilermaker House

boilermaker house

With over 850 malts adorning their back bar and a dozen craft beer offerings on tap, this bar does precisely what it says on the label and is devoted to the art of the boilermaker. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, a boilermaker is simply a whiskey shot followed by a beer. With this many options, it’s impossible to give all the different combinations a try in one sitting, but that’s all the more reason to return. If seats at the bar are scarce, you can grab a hi-top table and stick around for the excellent menu offerings, which are all designed to match the stars of the show, malt whisky and whacky beers.

Address: 209-211 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed-Sat 5pm-1am, Sun 5pm-12am

Phone: (03) 8393 9367

8. Buck Mulligan’s

buck mulligan melbourne bar

If there are but two things the Irish do well, it’s great literature and top-quality whiskey. Buck Mulligan‘s is a bookstore-cum-bar that boasts Melbourne’s most extensive collection of Irish whiskey. Order a Jameson or, perhaps more appropriately, a Writers Tears, grab yourself a copy of Ulysses and settle in for a long night of James Joyce and solving the world’s problems in one of Melbourne’s best whiskey bars.

Address: 217 High St, Northcote VIC 3070

Hours: Tues-Thur 4pm-12am, Fri 4pm-1am, Sat 2pm-1am, 2pm-12am

Phone: (03) 9077 7915

9. Whisky Den

whisky den

Established in 2016, this Melbourne Whisky Bar was modelled after a hybrid of the tiny ‘yokocho’ alley bars of Japan and the Hutong bars of Beijing. Except, they’ve scaled up their capacity, which is 40, rather than 3-5. The bar’s layout includes a large booth in the back and a couch-strewn mezzanine level, but the best seats in the house are at the bar. You can chat with the staff about everything from the distillation process to the effects of climate on maturation. This is one of the best bars in Melbourne for a relaxing drama with mates.

Address: 2B/27 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am

Phone: (03) 9650 1570

10. 1806full service cocktail bar in melbourne cbd – 1806

 

Named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ first appeared in print, 1806 is in no way restricted to just Whisky, though they’ve done a damn good job of building one of the best collections around. Long known as one of Melbourne’s best whisky bars, their menu is well segmented into easy-to-read sections with descriptors for each product on offer, making choosing your dram for the evening an easy affair. They also offer a mean whisky and cheese pairing, which tastes a lot better than it sounds – trusts us.

Address: 169 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed – Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri – Sat 4pm-1am, Sun 5pm-12am

Phone: (03) 9663 7722

11. The Woods

the woods melbourne bar google search google c

One iconic Chapel Street’s best-loved venues, The Woods, as it’s come to be known, is famed for its killer ambience, top-notch service and modern, exciting food offerings. While it sits somewhere between a bar and a restaurant, the whisky-heavy drinks menu doesn’t disappoint, with a considerable number of bottles in stock to sate even the pickiest of drinkers. This is one of Melbourne’s best spots to score a seat at the bar; order a double of your favourite and sip long into the night.

Address: 108 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181

Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thur 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am, Sun 4-11pm

Phone: (03) 9077 4407

12. The Noble Experiment Melbourne

the noble experiment google search google chro

Late-night prohibition-inspired whisky bar, The Noble Experiment is an exploration of the olden days. The 1920s-style bar features exposed brick walls and booth seats for cocktails and meals from across the globe. Tickle the tastebuds with some fine whisky, or perhaps even a highball or two. This Smith Street venue is a sure-fire way to start or finish a damn good night.

Address: 284 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Hours: Mon – Thurs & Sun 5 pm – 1 am, Fri-Sat 5 pm – 3 am

Phone: (03) 9416 0058

13. Lui Bar

lui bar

One of our more up-market friends, Lui Bar, is a posh cocktail lounge found on the 55th floor of the Rialto building. The sleek decor and jazzed up design should tell you everything you need to know about this Melbourne whisky bar; the price, much like the Whisky, is premium. But step up and peer out the glass wall, and you’ll understand why Lui Bar is so famous. The view of Melbourne’s most iconic city structures is on full display every evening for your enjoyment. A real anniversary night showstopper.

Located in: Rialto

Address: 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed-Thur 5:30pm-12am, Fri 11:30am-12am, Sat 11:30am-12am, Sun 3pm-12am

Phone: (03) 9691 3888

14. Hihou

hihou bar melbourne

Hihou is the Melbourne whisky bar renowned for its collection of Japanese Whisky. The bar has been collecting and storing some of the best whiskies in the world since it opened eight years ago. The bar is located on the corner of Spring Street and Flinders Lane, and the name Hihou means ‘secret treasure’ in Japanese. The bar is cozy yet dramatic with a functional and minimalist layout with its concrete walls and seating arrangement.

Located in: Collins Place

Address: 1 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon 12-1am, 5pm-12am, Tues-Sat 5pm-12am

Phone: (03) 9654 5465

15. The Kilburn

the kilburn

Housed in Hawthorn’s iconic Commercial Bank of Australia building, The Kilburn is home to over 600 whiskies, making it by far one of Melbourne’s best whiskey bars. As a larger venue that caters to more prominent groups, it’s your go-to spot for after-work drinks, significant events and corporate functions, all with the angle of drinking your way through the back bar.

Address: 348 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Hours: Mon 4pm – 12am, Tues 4pm – 2am, Wed 4pm – 12am, Thurs 4pm – 2am, Fri – Sat 2pm – 2:30am, Sun 2pm – 11pm

Phone: (03) 9913 5831

17 Best Gin Bars in Melbourne

No disrespect to our native Sydney, but Melbourne has a staggering amount of great places to get your drink on. Seriously, in putting together this list of Melbourne’s best gin bars, we started to wonder if essentially every other building in the city has a bar tucked down its laneway. Needless to say, if you’re seeking a classic martini or gimlet or just any strong botanical beverage, then Melbourne’s best gin bars will duly heed the call.

Likewise, we’re confident the true connoisseurs among you will be delighted to find some rare gin to sip neat, one that you never expected to come across in the flesh—presenting the 17 Best Gin Bars in Melbourne (and then some bars that make a damn good gin cocktail). Just like a great spirits menu or sprouting juniper plant, this is a list that seems to keep growing and growing with each passing year. Yum.

1. Clooney Kitchen & Bar

clooney

Widely regarded as the best bar in Port Melbourne, Clooney Kitchen & Bar is the best place to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat, and a great night out. Winning Time Out’s best new bar in 2019, they’re the best place to wind down after a long day at the office or go for a night out with friends. The drinks menu is sophisticated yet simplistic; this gin bar in Melbourne takes pride in sourcing the best ingredients possible. Gin & Yuzu Spider is a must-try, featuring Nosferatu Bloodorange Gin, Citrus Syrup, Lemon, Tonic Water, Yuzu Foam.

Address: 171 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207

Hours: Thur 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am

Phone: (03) 9645 1568

2. Bijou Bottle Store

bijou

Nestled in the heart of the CBD, this gin bar in Melbourne also doubles as a bottle shop. Set in a building that’s had its doors open since 1901, this is a great spot to relax on a Friday or Saturday afternoon. Bijou Bottle Store offers a heavy gin selection of house-made cocktails and spirits that rotate regularly.

Address: 194 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Thur 12:30-10pm, Fri-Sat 12:30-11pm

3. Bad Frankie

bad frankie

Devoted entirely to Australian-made spirits, think of Bad Frankie as the Australian history teacher you wish you’d always had. Named after the sod who banned the small-pot still in Australia, which, for 150 years, stifled any chance of a holistic craft liquor industry, Bad Frankie has a vast range of the excellent white and brown spirits now being produced in the land, and the friendly staff has the knowledge to back it all up. Try something you’ve never heard of and pat yourself on the back for supporting a local.

Address: 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Hours: Tues-Wed & Sun 5-11 pm, Thur-Sat 5 pm-1am

Phone: (03) 9078 3866

4. The Everleigh Melbourne

the everleigh melbourne's top classic cocktail b

From internationally acclaimed bartender (not mixologist, we’re told) Michael Madrusan, of Milk & Honey fame, comes this very grown-up cocktail lounge. With all 30 guests seated, there’s a sense of class and sophistication for you to soak up whilst getting trolleyed on the first-rate cocktails that emerge from behind the small bar top. While they make gin cocktails particularly well, everything on offer is bang-on and wank-free, especially the tip-top service.

Address: Level 1/150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Hours: Thur-Sun 5 pm-1am

Phone: (03) 9416 2229

5. Eau De Vie Melbourne

eau de vie melbourne google search google chro

Walk through the door of this underground establishment to enter a world of endless invention and epicurean delight. Eau De Vie quickly makes some of the best and most creative cocktails in town. Behind the bookcase is a secret whisky bar of jaw-dropping magnitude and their front-of-the-house gin selection is likewise nothing to scoff at. This is one of Melbourne’s best bars, period. Accordingly, the privilege of visiting will cost you.

Address: 1 Malthouse Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Tue-Sat 5 pm-1am

Phone: (03) 8393 9367

6. Four Pillars Gin Distillery

four pillars gin

Four Pillars Gin is a craft distillery based in Healesville in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. They’ve been making gin since they were founded in 2013, so they know a thing or two about botanicals. From their original multi-award-winning, Rare Dry Gin to the only gin in the world made just for a Negroni, they’ve always based their gin on the four pillars of great gin. The copper stills, pristine Yarra Valley water, traditional, exotic and native botanicals, and a massive amount of love and attention to detail at every stage of the production process. This location is primarily a gin distillery, so you can’t get up to too much trouble, but it’s certainly a nice place to try some world-class drops.

Address: 2A Lilydale Rd, Healesville VIC 3777

Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 10:30am-5:30pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-9pm

Phone: 1800 374 446

7. Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden

union electric bar & rooftop gin garden google s

Once just another secret, Melbourne bar has transformed into a well-known hotspot for some lively Latin American music and cocktails. The name Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden features some of the best gin cocktails in Melbourne. Fresh fruits and vegetables are at the menu’s heart, with raspberry malt shrub, elderflower and micro herbs for enticement. One thing to note, the bar doesn’t have a kitchen, so don’t go in expecting a feed.

Address: 13 Heffernan Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Thur 5pm-1am, Fri-Sun 12pm-1am

Phone: (03) 8609 3161

8. 1806

full service cocktail bar in melbourne cbd – 1806

Named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first recorded in use, this bar has been a favourite for many since it first opened its doors back in 2007. While the focus isn’t necessarily on just gin, they sure as hell know what they’re doing with the stuff – both house-cocktails and juniper-heavy classics are made with love and care, and the chaps behind the bar aren’t your regular paying-their-way-through-uni bartenders either. Order a Corpse Reviver #2 and stay for three.

Address: 169 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed-Thur & Sun 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am

Phone: 0466 621 446

9. Romeo Lane

romeo lane

Yet another concealed laneway gem, Romeo Lane couples masterful cocktails with a sophisticated ambience to stunning effect. Rest assured, any gin cocktail you get here might be the best you’ve ever tried. Indeed, Time Out recently declared that Romeo Lane is making “the best drinks in the city right now”. In booze-crazy Melbourne, that’s quite a feat!

Address: 1A Crossley St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Wed 5-11pm, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 3pm-1am, Sun 3-10pm

Phone: 0457 673 647

10. Hell of the North

hell of the north

Hell of the North is a hell of a name for a bar. But is it one of the best Gin Bars in Melbourne? Well, sort of, it’s more of a wine and beer joint. But you will find some gin cocktail classics here, made to perfection. If you’re a best of all worlds drinker, the gin-based Corpse Reviver No. 2 has your name written all over it.

Address: 135 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Hours: Wed-Sat 5 pm-11pm

Phone: (03) 9417 6660

11. Bar Ampere

bar ampere

Absinthe and aperitifs are the specialty at this hidden tripped-out joint but don’t think that doesn’t mean you can’t find a healthy selection of gins and other spirits. Also known for their signature cocktails, tasty small bites and late hours, Bar Ampere is the perfect place to start your day or cap off your night.

Address: 16 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Sun 6 pm-3am

Phone: (03) 9663 7557

12. The Storeroom

the store room melbourne

Here we have another elusive gem (complete with a secret door) that does Melbourne proud. The Store Room is a speakeasy-style lounge that will give you a night to remember, assuming you can find it. Expect a stellar selection of spirits and gins in particular since no prohibition-themed joint would have it any other way. Everyone loves this place, so get in on the secret as soon as you can!

Address: 2-12 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda VIC 3182

Hours: Wed-Sat 5pm-1am, Sun 5pm-12am

Phone: 0417 330 789

13. Gin Palace

gin palace

A staple for locals and tourists, Gin Palace, has now been on the scene for 20 years as the one-stop venue for gins of the world, big martinis and a Champagne list that would rival most Bottle-Os. This gin bar in Melbourne is one of those places that made locals start saying ‘the small bar scene here is excellent’ long before it was, and even longer before Sydney caught on. The best part is the fact they’re open until 3 am every day of the week. It’s called Gin Palace, for crying out loud, of course, it’s one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.

Address: 10 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Sun 4 pm-3am

Phone: (03) 9654 0533

14. Lily Blacks

lily blacks google search google chrome 2021 0

Tucked down a Chinatown laneway is the veritably awesome Lily Blacks. Picture a roaring 20s décor with minimalist undertones, joined by classic cocktails and hand-chiselled ice cubes. Naturally, that means some of the finest gin drinks ever to cross your lips. Pair those delectable beverages with a mind-blowing selection of bitters, and you won’t stop coming until you’ve tried it all. It will deliver a gin cocktail you’ll never forget.

Address: 12 Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-3am, Sat 6pm-3am, Sun 5pm-2am

Phone: (03) 9654 4887

15. Berlin Bar

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The Melbourne bar scene is nothing if not crafty. A wide variety of the best bars are hidden down laneways or tucked in the corners of heritage buildings. For a prime example, look no further than Berlin Bar. Not only is this one-of-a-kind destination thematically divided between (formerly) destitute East Germany and opulent West Germany, but you need an illustrated map to find it in the first place. It also happens to be one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.

Address: Level 2/16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Tue-Thur 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am

16. Pilgrim Bar

pilgrim bar google search google chrome 2021 0

Follow the crowd at the Federation Wharf, and you might find yourself at Pilgrim. This waterfront venue couples elevated gastro fare with a boutique selection of wines and spirits. Their gin menu is approachable and affordable, though ultimately not in and of itself able to compete with the best Melbourne gin bars. That said, they do offer up to five incredible gin cocktails and a delicious gin-based Bloody Mary, so let’s put them on the list anyway!

Located in: Birrarung Marr

Address: 15-19 Federation Wharf, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Thur 4-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm

Phone: (03) 9654 9575

17. The Lui Bar

lui bar

Nothing enhances an unforgettable juniper cocktail quite like an equally memorable high-rise view. For that, The Lui Bar has you covered to the tune of 55 stories. Engorge in their extensive selection of gin martinis (and small bites) while staring out across the epic Melbourne skyline. Sometimes the best gin bar in Melbourne isn’t just about the gin.

Located in: Rialto

Address: 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hours: Wed-Thur 5:30pm-12am, Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am, Sun 3pm-12am

Phone: (03) 9691 3888

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