Travel

Rick's Garage Has A Flash New Whisky Bar

By Claire Plush - 19 Jul 2016

This could possibly break the internet. So save your Pokémon, or whatever it is you need to do, before you read on.

We hinted about this late last week, but we know that, you, like us, don’t always listen. So, we thought we’d dedicate to a whole article to this news because when stuff this good happens on the Coast, we get really, really excited about it.

So, what are we dyyyying to tell you about this time around? Well, hold onto your hipflasks… because everybody’s favourite diner-slash-garage-slash-whatever-you-want-to-call-it just got a flash new whisky bar.

Yep, the joint that put Palmwoods on the map, Rick’s Garage is now home to an epic whisky bar that you totally want to know about. And although we said “just”, we actually mean about six weeks ago. But hey, if you haven’t been yet, it’s still technically new to you, yeah? Yeah!

Tucked upstairs, above where all the beers and burgers are a-flowin’, is where you’ll find this American-style bar. Renovated at Superman speed, the open-plan is complete with a sofa for loungin’, old bar tables made out of barrels, walls packed with memorabilia, a sprawling new deck that overlooks the beer garden, and an epic new rib pit (more on this later).

We stopped by on a Thursday, and got to chat to co-owner Ben Jamieson and the two amigos manning the bar—Jase and Drew—about all things whisky.

With a giant collection of bottles, literally stacked to the ceiling, you’ll find over 70 Irish, Scottish, Canadian, American, Australian, and Japanese varieties looking pretty on the shelves. For now, if you’re wanting top-shelf stuff, they’ve got a Dalmore King Alexander (single malt) which goes for $35 a nip. But with a whisky selection that’s pretty much changing weekly, the boys tell us to expect even classier drops as time ticks on.

At the base of the glorious tower of spirits sits what could be our fave part of Rick’s whisky bar—the barrel-aged Old Fashioned range. Curious? So were we, which is why we had to get busy drinking asking questions to the peeps that know.

Basically, three small Oak barrels house delicious concoctions of whisky that have been infused with carefully-selected ingredients, which in turn take on the char, port, and Oak flavours from aging in the barrel.

Eventually there’ll be six barrels filled with six different flavours, but for now we’re feeling super satisfied with what’s on offer. We try the Makers Mark with banana, cinnamon, honey, and bitters, and the Makers Mark with coffee beans, vanilla beans, and chocolate bitters—both served as a double, over ice. We’re already big whisky fans, but these tastings push us head over heels. Neither are over-powering, and yet we can taste every addition.

If a whisky on ice is at one end of the spectrum, and infused whiskies sit on the next seat over, then whisky cocktails must be the stop beyond that. And Rick’s Whisky Bar is a master of ‘em all.

Longing for a Manhattan? We dare you to try the sweet version AKA a Maple Manhattan. Made with Crown Royal Whiskey, sweet vermouth, walnut bitters, and Canadian syrup from a family friend’s farm, you’ll be pushing it to stop at one.

If you’re not tough enough to be a whisky drinker (#jokes), never fear—this lot, as true barmen do, also serve top-notch gins, rums, and vodkas, plus a “gimme more” range of boutique wines and non-whisky cocktails including the epically named Peanut Butter Jelly Moustache.

And because sometimes you’ve just got to eat, you can order anything off Rick’s menu and it’ll come straight from the kitchen to your posi at the whisky bar. Bypass some of the best burgers on the Sunshine Coast, and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious selection of tapas ands mains. Or, eat like a real King (or Queen) and order Rick’s Pork Ribs and Slaw, delivered fresh from the outdoor rib bar (put in around the same time as the whisky bar—so they’re kind of a match made in renovation heaven). Bam!

Is that drool sliding down your chin? No need to hide it, we felt the same. Great food, cool atmosphere, and whisky, what more could anyone ask for?

So, if it’s been a while since you’ve stopped into Rick’s Garage, consider this your lure. It’s still the same people, same values, same humongous burgers, except now they’ve got a legit whisky bar. You have been told.

Open: Rick’s Whisky Bar is open Thursday to Sunday
Where: 14-16 Margaret Street, Palmwoods

Image Credit: Claire Plush

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