I wandered into Varnish the other day, following some meetings in town. This little bar, recently awarded the Best Small Bar in Australia award, is well worth a visit. I have been many a time, to eat (I can recommend the Cajun prawns) or just for a drink. This day was for the latter.
Varnish has an astounding array of American whiskey and if that is your preferred tipple you should get along there, if you haven’t already – and if you want an introduction to the pleasures of whiskey then this is surely the spot – they are also I understand running Master Classes to improve your knowledge of the drop.
The menu is small but interesting, and geared towards small share plates; the wine list is good with a nice range but the whiskey is the thing really. The whiskey flights and the pickle/whiskey combos are worth a look.
But on this day I simply tried a Woodford Reserve, a Kentucky Bourbon. It has a pronounced vanilla and toffee or butterscotch nose with a smooth, rounded, buttery palate with notes of coffee, oak, even almonds. Quite an impressive mid range whiskey – easy to sip neat, but will take a little water without diminishing its flavours.