Whether you’re a seasoned whisky connoisseur or just starting your whisky journey, Whisky & Alement is a hidden gem with something for every whisky-lover, including some of the rarest whiskies in the World. Despite being the Best Whisky Bar in Asia-Pacific, and despite having a Bar Manger who’s been awarded the industry’s highest accolade, the vibe at Whisky & Alement is simple and unpretentious.
“The only luxury experience (here) is what you put in your mouth. It’s very utilitarian here.” says co-founder Julian.
“I have a T-shirt that’s got holes in it now, that says ‘this is not a luxury whisky’, and I’m going to wear it until it falls off me,” says Julian.
What really sets Whisky & Alement apart is their incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff, who are always happy to help customers navigate the extensive whisky list and offer recommendations. They’re always up for a chat about all things whisky-related, from the history of the spirit to the latest distillery releases. For the team at Whisky and Alement, whisky is not just a drink – it’s a passion they’re keen to share.
“I think we also get a lot of people that have powerful memories of drinking whisky at important moments in their life,” says Lachlan. “It reminds them of their father or their grandfather, and at certain times of the year when it’s the anniversary of someone’s death, birth or something like that, they think ‘, I’m going to have a whisky at a bar’. And they usually bring someone with them.”
When people that don’t usually drink whisky ask, ‘Well, what am I going to have’, Whisky & Alement’s Whisky Sour is always the first recommendation. “For many people, it’s been the first time they’ve tried peated whisky and enjoyed it. Many people who came here on their first date return every anniversary and have a Whisky Sour.” Whisky & Alement attracts a diverse and exciting crowd with its laidback vibe, friendly staff, and great drinks.
“We’ve got a fascinating mix,” says Lachie, “Dedicated whisky nerds, passionate whisky consumers, and a large cocktail following as well. And people who work in the area – this is their local pub, and they come in for a few beers after work.” Post-Covid, many new people are coming in, too – with more and more younger drinkers interested in whisky. “People are more interested in trying new things. Many people have become more dedicated to understanding what they’re drinking and more inquisitive,” says Lachlan.
For Whisky & Alement, Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich Classic Laddie are prime examples of products from a distillery that is determined to do things differently. Over 50% of Bruichladdich’s grain requirements are grown locally on 21 different Islay farms, preserving heritage barley varieties and protecting agricultural ecosystems. “The traceability and sustainability story appeals to the real whisky obsessives. It’s a bit of a cult following. A lot of people understand that transparency and traceability aspect and really appreciate that.” “One of the other things we love about Bruichladdich is that you don’t have to get all their tins and plastic packaging. A year ago, we asked the guys at Spirits Platform if we could get a whole pallet sent over with no packaging, and thankfully they had already thought of that, which is fantastic.”
Whisky and Alement’s commitment to quality and passion for whisky are evident in every pour. Visit Whisky & Alement, the Best Whisky Bar in the Asia Pacific, and have your drink made by the Bar Manager of the Year 2023. Whisky & Alement is located at 270 Russell St Melbourne.
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