Dave Withers knows a thing or two about whisky (and whiskey for that matter). He’s the resident expert at independent bottle shop, The Oak Barrel on Elizabeth Street. Withers once told us his love of whisky began when he met a girl who liked a dram, and not his preferred drink at the time, wine.

He also has a pretty cool haircut. So it happened that while getting his coiffeur styled at Cleveland’s Salon & Café, our whisky man had a brainwave – after hours tastings in the shop. Known to enjoy a drink themselves, the affable boys who run Cleveland’s, Patrick Casey and Harry Levy, jumped at the idea.

The Cleveland’s whisky nights have been running for a little while now. They are held once a month on a Tuesday night, once Casey has swept the floors. The nights usually sell out, and have developed a small following of whisky enthusiasts and avid boozers alike. For $30 you’ll get to try five different whiskies, with Withers covering topics such as single malts from around the globe or a focus on a single region, such as Speyside or Islay.

The nights are meant to be educational, but are informal and great fun. Once you have been you’ll agree that it’s a good thing Withers met that girl.

The next Cleveland’s whisky night is on Tuesday October 28. Bookings are recommended. Tickets $30 pre sale, $35 on the night (if available).

Cleveland’s Salon & Café
311 Cleveland Street, Redfern
(02) 9698 8449