Monday, 11 February 2013

Bar review #2: The Nant Whisky Bar (Brisbane)

There are some great whisky bars in Australia, and some great distilleries, but (aside from the various cellar doors at each distillery) no-one had ever combined the two.

Until now.

I was pretty keen to visit the Nant Whisky Bar bar since hearing of its opening in October 2012, so when Steph joined me after a Brisbane work trip last weekend, it was a perfect opportunity. Located in "the Valley" (but well away from the seedy part), The Nant Whisky Bar occupies a quiet corner of the Emporium, a "luxury retail and dining precinct".

The bar is the brainchild of The Nant Distillery, and I'm told more are to follow (they already have a second bar in Hobart). Designed to show off The Nant's range of whiskies (including their highly-praised, 95.5 Jim Murray-rated cask strength 3yo), the bar also has a strong focus on local Tasmanian produce in both wine and food.

Talking to the staff (including the very friendly "Simo" and manager Ryan), it was pretty clear these guys and girls have the right idea about whisky - i.e. keep it fun, leave the BS behind, and maybe try something new and interesting. With 100+ world whiskies available (including several independent bottlings), they certainly meet that last point.

Having just come from dinner at the excellent esquire, we didn't try any of the food offerings, but dived head first into the whisky. First up was a flight of Nant's three expressions:

  • The Nant Single Malt Whisky (Port Wood) 43% 
  • The Nant Single Malt Whisky (Sherry Wood) 43% 
  • The Nant Single Malt Whisky (American Oak Bourbon Wood) - Jim Murray 95.5/100 Cask Strength 63%

After those (and plenty of whisky banter with Simo - always sit at the bar!), we moved onto Wales (Penderyn 10yo), then finally Islay - first a Dun Bheagan 14yo Ardbeg (sherry cask), then The Ileach, which I'd never heard of, but was a nice surprise (especially for the price tag). More on these in future "Tasted" posts (suffice to say the cask strength Boubon Wood Nant was excellent).

If you ever find yourself in Brisbane, I highly recommend dropping by the Nant Whisky Bar. We struggled to find nice, quiet cocktail/spirits bars (The Laneway was enjoyable, Canvas looked great, but apart from that everything else seemed to turn into an nightclub on a Saturday night), but the Nant Whisky Bar was a great find. Bring on Sydney!

- Martin.


  1. Good to see someone has made the visit. We have a club remember in Brisbane keen to go. Next time I am up in Brisbane I will be visiting it as well.

  2. I can highly recommend it! Looking forward to seeing them open more throughout Australia this year!