Melbourne has really lifted its whisky game of late. At the top bars, it's not uncommon to find four, five or even six hundred bottles in stock. Some of the rarer labels can be hard for the average consumer to acquire: they need to be bought at auction, or claimed with a deposit before they've even left the barrel.

Of course, getting the whisky (or "whiskey" if it comes from America or Ireland) is only half the job. All the bars on this list have the service, knowledge and ambience to back it up. Get sipping.

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Whisky and Alement

Melbourne's first serious whisky bar and still a contender for the best.

270 Russell Street , Melbourne

The Melbourne Whisky Room

Whisky and Alement's quieter upstairs sibling.

2F 270 Russell Street, Melbourne

Boilermaker House

Devoted to the dangerously good pairing of beer and whisky known as a Boilermaker.

209-211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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The Elysian

280 bottles, many of them rare or one-offs.

113 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

The Kilburn

A CBD-quality bar in the suburbs? Believe it.

348 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Kodiak Club

For lovers of American whiskey.

272 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
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Carwyn Cellars

Better known as a beer bar. Shouldn't be.

877 High Street, Thornbury

1806

This former theatre restaurant packs 110 whiskies, and it knows how to use them.

169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Beneath Driver Lane

Moody blues and dark spirits at this cavernous, below-ground bar.

2 12 Driver Lane, Melbourne

Buck Mulligan’s

Packed with obscure Irish whiskeys; and literature to borrow or buy.

217 High Street, Northcote