All around the world, we love celebrating anything and everything, so believe it or not, there is a World Whisky Day and it’s on this Saturday, May 20!
This weekend, get together with some fellow whisk(e)y* lovers and enjoy a dram or two. To help you in your mission, here’s a round up of whisky bars on the Gold Coast that reeeeally know their stuff.
*for the sake of consistency, let’s just go with whisky.
Etsu Izakaya | Mermaid Beach
If we’re going to play favourites (oh, and we totally are), Etsu Izakaya is one of our all-time top restaurants on the Gold Coast. Boasting a mad selection of Japanese whiskies was one of Mitch & Nerissa’s first goals when creating Etsu. So, three years on, and several trips to Japan later, they have a staggering 65 different bottles lining the back bar—one of the biggest ranges in the entire country, no less. Estu Izakaya is without question one of the best whisky bars on the Gold Coast, and with da man Adam Bastow at the helm—recognised by The Perfect Blend as one of the top 10 bartenders in all of AUSTRALIA (yes, in caps)—you’ve got an unbeatable combo. Ogle at exclusive pours like Etsu’s prized Yamasaki Sherry Cask ($420 per nip) or let Adam point you in the direction of any of his game-changing whisky-laced cocktails. Kanpai!
Eddie’s Grub House | Coolangatta
If you’re yet to discover the grungy and rockin’ ways of this Coolangatta dive bar, serving up some of the best, most outrageous burgers on the Gold Coast, then what have you been doing with your life? Like the true legends they are, these guys are going all out on World Whisky Day this Saturday, with live tunes from the aptly named band Hell & Whiskey, plus drink offerings like Whiskey Apples (Makers Mark with fresh-pressed apple juice), $12 Old Fashioned cocktails, and $20 whisky flights including Japanese whisky Yamazaki; Ardmore, a smoked single malt from the Scottish Highlands; and American bourbon, Makers Mark 46. Eddie’s Grub House is like a beating heart at the southern end of Griffith Street; there’s a good chance you’ll walk in stiff and leave with a distinctive swagger.
The Cambus Wallace | Nobby Beach
This intimate, moody-lit speakeasy is the perfect setting for a night looking broody and deep, whisky in hand. Named in honour of The Cambus Wallace, a fateful ship that ran aground when carrying a precious cargo of scotch, you know this team is passionate about their extensive list. Be tempted with over 60 whiskies from Scottish blends and single malts; Irish blends and single malts; a selection of American, Australian, and Japanese whiskies; plus a few rare drops from Taiwan and India. Co-owner Dave Ferry is so enthusiastic about the craft of distilling and swilling whisky, he’s been known to host workshops to share his vast knowledge. Can’t get enough of all things whisky? In honour of World Whisky Day this Saturday, May 20, they’ll be selling a range of $20 tasting “voyages” (three whiskies, 15ml each) with tasting notes and matching cheeses.
The Loose Moose | Broadbeach
With a mind-blowing 140 whiskies sourced from all over the world (70 alone from the Scottish Isles), The Loose Moose is a rocking choice for whisky connoisseurs and wannabes. Confused? Don’t be—just let the friendly and knowledgeable staffers walk you through Scotland’s regional champions, Japanese single malts, American bourbons, and Canadian ryes. We suggest you head straight for limited edition pours from That Boutique-y Whisky Company including the Auchroisk, Caol Ila, and the Blended Malt #1. Dedicated whisky drinkers are even encouraged to buy an entire bottle—that’s locked up in a glass cabinet at the front—so you know a seat and your favourite liquor is always waiting for you each time to visit. Pair your drink of choice with some finger-licking slow-cooked ribs or gourmet burgers and you’ve got a jolly night out at one of the best whisky bars on the Gold Coast.
Kiyomi | Broadbeach
While their Japanese whisky list might not be as extensive as the others, it’s the magic the Kiyomi bartenders can create with said malts and blends that makes this bar a serious contender. Recognised as one of the top 100 bartenders in Australia by The Perfect Blend, you can put your trust in Kiyomi’s star mixologist, Tom Angel. Behind the bar you’ll find a 12-year-old and 18-year-old distiller’s reserve from Yamazaki, as well as their Sherry Cask which was named the world’s best in 2014. If you can’t quite handle your whisky neat or served over meticulously hand-cut clear ice (an artform in itself!), but still wanna celebrate World Whisky Day, give Tom a nod and he’ll whip you up one of his whisky-inspired specialty cocktails. It doesn’t hurt that the sushi and sashimi is nek-level here, too.
The Verandah Bar At Intercontinental Resort | Sanctuary Cove
Northerners are well looked after on World Whisky Day, with the recent launch of Intercontinental Resort’s colonial-inspired The Verandah Bar, complete with a whisky library. Oooh, fancy! Dress up in your loafers and linens for a swanky afternoon in the sophisticated, sundrenched lounge, sipping any one of 50 whisky variants from the US of A, Scotland, Ireland, UK, Japan, and Australia. Or, come late for a nightcap (like the smoky 18-year-old Hakushu Japanese single malt), as you cosy up by the fireplace—permission to feel and act like a trendier version of your grandpa.
Photo Credit: Hayley Williamson for Metropolist