It’s all about the whiskey and whisky at Helvetica. But this is no hipster bourbon and rye joint.

Helvetica is in the perfect situation for a cosy, intimate and low-key whisky bar. It’s down a cobbled alley, round the back of a heritage listed office building in the middle of the CBD. It was once a carriage house, so it’s all red brick, heritage windows and timber floors.

It’s all about the whiskey and whisky here, but this is no hipster bourbon and rye joint. There are upwards of 500 bottles to choose from and the vast majority are Scotch or Scotch-style made in other parts of the world, including Australia.

The sheer range is impressive. If, for example, you’re a fan of the smoky, peaty wonderfulness that is an Islay single malt, you have not one or two to choose from but an incredible 23 titles, including the Ardberg Galileo at $77 a shot. All pours are 30ml and served with your choice of spirit tasting glass or a rocks glass, with ice and spring water on the side.

Whisky may be the main game, but the food menu, as slim as it is, has some fine small dishes and snacks. Who could say no to baked camembert “served hot with rosemary, honey and fresh baguette” or an Angus beef pie? 

Helvetica also offers a bottle keep service: you buy the bottle and they keep it in their lock-up for whenever you wish to pop by for a wee dram. Very civilised.