From American-style rockabilly oak bars to Art Deco lounges and hip beachfront restaurants, we’ve got it all.
And, in honour of World Whisky Day on May 20, we’ve rounded up the best spots on the Sunshine Coast to order up a dram and try some of the top whiskies the world has to offer.
Rick’s Whisky Bar
Whisky drinkers let out a collective cheer last year when Rick’s Garage launched their adults-only upstairs whisky bar. And the team hasn’t let us down. Their whisky menu is truly epic, with about 200 varieties from around the world, including a seriously top-shelf Laphroiag 30yr. You want exclusive? Well this baby is only available in 15 venues across Australia and only 2000 bottles were released. Ever. It goes for an eye-watering $99 a nip, but we’ve heard it’s worth every cent. If your wallet is a bit slimmer, the crew at Rick’s also infuse their own whisky blends in aged port barrels. We’re lining up for the Smoked Bacon Old Fashioned—bacon-infused maple whisky, smoked rum, Canadian maple syrup, and walnut bitters. If you want to learn a bit more about your favourite drop, they hold regular whisky dinners, with experts to talk you through the matched food and whiskies. Or if you’re not up for something quite so educational, they’ve got live music Thursday to Sunday, so dig out your pomade, grab your best girl, rev up the Chevy, and head down.
If you prefer your whisky bar with an Aussie-slash-French flavour, head to Whisky Boy on the Noosa River. Whisky Boy has a modern Australian, beachy feel, but their comprehensive whisky list is pure tradition. For those nights when you can’t make up your mind, or for newcomers to the whisky game, the whisky flights give you a taste of three different whiskies (served neat, of course) so you can work out exactly what works for you. It wouldn’t be Noosa without coffee, so try the Kentucky Coldpress–coffee-infused Bourbon, with sweet syrup and a bitter kick. If you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, the Whisky Boy Tomahawk steak–a grain fed rib fillet on the bone, served with colcannon, bacon jam, and whisky jus–is pretty much mandatory.
For an evening oozing pure old-school class, you can’t go past Bison Bar in Nambour.
They’re serious about their whisky and their top shelf bottles are literally housed in a sexy art deco display cabinet. Their whisky menu is all single malts, mainly Scotch, and heavy on the Speyside. You can also find some Irish and Japanese offerings, if that’s your thang. While you can’t beat the ceremony of serving a perfect single malt, Bison Bar is famous for its mixologists, and it would be rude not to try some of their whisky cocktails. While we love a good classic, like a Whisky Sour or an Old Fashioned, we can’t go past the quirky Mr Bellamy, a smooth whisky, butterscotch, and milk sipper, inspired by the owners’ legendary dachshund. There’s a cool story behind all their signature cocktails so make sure you ask for the story when you order!
You can’t skip Lot 104 for a great cocktail on a big night out in Mooloolaba, and we’re totally digging their whisky cocktails. Alongside all the epic faves on their cocktail list, their winter whisky cocktail, The Highlander, warms your belly with whisky, red wine syrup, a clove-infused ice cube, and a pot of English Breakfast tea on the side to pour over everything. It’s warm and spicy and makes you feel like you’re in a chalet in the alps… until you hear the ocean and realise it’s still about 22C outside.
If you’re a bit more of a whisky purist, there’s a respectable whisky list with a great range of top shelf drops, including Dalmore Cigar Malt, Hakushu, Laphroaig 10yr, and Nikka Single Malt Yoichi. Hell to the yes.
After an exhausting evening watching the sun set, making agonizing choices between your favourite food trucks, and jostling amongst the gorgeous people of Nights on Ocean, you deserve a break.
Settle in at Old Soul for a super-chilled experience. Kick back with some funky beats in their sexy lounge with a top-shelf single malt, or we dare you to try and choose just one of their whisky cocktails.
Given our notorious obsession with espresso martinis, we’re partial to a Highland Coffee–a twist on the classic with triple malt whisky and spiced molasses. We can’t even.