Skip to main content

Nant Whisky Cellar and Bar, Fortitude Valley

Whisky has only been my drink of choice a few memorable times in my life. Unfortunately the most powerful of those memories includes an almost empty bottle, an ex boyfriend and a bathroom floor - say no more.

However I now have a chance to change all that as a strange twist of fate saw me walk out with the prize of the night at the opening of Brisbane's new and only dedicated whisky bar, Nant, a 500ml bottle of their top Single Malt Whisky.

It rated 95.5 per cent in The Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2012, which has whisky lovers weak at the knees, and has been described by Jim as 'liquid gold'.

I also met the man behind Nant, Keith Batt.  Keith acquired the Nant Estate in Bothwell, Tasmania in 2004 and set about restoring the old water driven flour mill built by convicts in 1823. The mill now is used to grist malted barley for whisky.

 "Water is sourced from a one million year old glacial lake via the Clyde River as it finds its way to the Nant Mill pond," Keith says. "The temperature is perfect and Tasmania produces some of the best barley in the world."

Nant's first release malt whisky bottles sold for $1,000 each and now sell for between $125 and $295 per 500ml bottle.

Along with the new Brisbane bar, Keith has also notched up a bar opening in Salamanca, Tasmania.

After admiring his tattoos (see the top photo), I had a good chat to bartender Simon Besse who helped me start my new journey of whisky appreciation.  There's no right way to drink whisky, he told me, it's up to individual preference. So I tried some with a dash of water and felt the slow, warming burn.  I think I could get used to that.

Find the Nant bar backing onto Wickham Street in Emporium in the far corner of the complex. The bar stocks more than 150 varieties of whiskies from around the world including Scotland, India, Wales Ireland and Japan.  It seats just 46 people and showcases food from Tasmania including Cape Grim beef and Rannock Farm quail. There's also interesting art on display.

So here's my prize - an attractively packaged bottle of Nant Whisky that has been matured in a 100 litre French oak sherry cask for four years.  The tasting notes say it's rich and balanced, sweet and nutty to start with sherry, maple, complex and well balanced. The palate has a dry finish in the middle with a touch of heat and a sherried undercurrent. Lovely overtone of coffee to finish.  Evidently I am to match this whisky with smoked salmon or trout, trout liver pate, rich fatty wagyu or black angus beef. 

Bottom line: Explore something new or rejoice in your old faves, plenty of whisky for all.
Top tip:  Don't be intimidated by the experts or your friends, drink your whisky just the way you like it.

Nant Distillery

Disclaimer:  E,d+bK was a guest at the opening and won the prize in a lucky door draw.


  1. What a wonderful prize! That place reminds me of old money :) I can't wait to see what you do with it.

    1. I'm still thinking about it Maureen.

  2. Anonymous4:16 pm

    Wow! I'll have to get there and try that whisky

  3. Do go, it's worth a visit


Post a Comment

I love getting your comments - really makes my day! If you like this blog please follow by email or subscribe.

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island

Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.

I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.

1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.

Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.

2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…