How to progress a whisky bar that already ranks among the world's best? You go next level, of course. Or, in Whisky & Alement's case, upstairs.
Julian White and Brooke Hayman's Melbourne Whisky Room is, as its name suggests, a definitive statement. Laden with cabinets and shelves of vintage, collectable and independent whisky and whiskey to try or buy, the quaint space boasts around 300 on-pour bottles – bringing the venues' combined collection to well over 1000.
Included are 70-odd offerings from Highlands distilleries made available through partnership with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society; a swag of rare-as-hen's-teeth independent Scottish single malts from the 1950s through to the 1980s, and some super-smooth Japanese labels from the owners' private collection.
While some pours aren't exactly wallet-friendly – you'll shell out $145 for a nip of "extremely rare" Lagavulin 12 Year Old – there's plenty for the thrifty.
"We want to give our customers a chance to taste the development of the whisky industry over the last six decades," Hayman says.
The whisky list is capped by a decent range of craft beers, by-the-glass wines and cocktails – try the Clapping Hands Highball ($18), with Hakushu Distillers Reserve and Speyside Glenlivet water – and European-style bar snacks include mixed olives, pork lomo (cured tenderloin) and cheese.
The venue will also host private tastings, classes and guest speakers. Time to don your tweed jacket and hunker in for winter.
Open Thu-Fri 5pm-1am; Sat 7pm-1am.
Level 1, 270 Russell Street, Melbourne, whiskyandale.com.au