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Thursday 22 November 2018

Discover a spirited new destination in Hobart

Fancy a Tasmanian Buck (Poltergeist gin, gentian, Fuji apple, Dubonnet, lemon and ginger ale), or perhaps a Dare to Be Different (Monkey Shoulder whisky, mezcal, dark cacao, falernum, lime and mint)?

If so, you've come to the right spot at Evolve, the new upmarket spirits bar in the MACcq 01 Hotel on the Hobart waterfront.

Not only have ace bartender Dan Gregory and his team crafted some enticing cocktails, there is also the city's largest collect of fine spirits, from Tasmanian gins, to Scotch singe malts and curiosities from Japan.

The list includes over 400 rare and speciality spirits, showcasing Tasmania in a global context - and the mood is relaxed with an eye-catch collection of 37 fossils in an intimate Victorian-inspired lounge setting.

I was lucky enough to attend an opening function and was hugely impressed jot only by the drinks, but also the professional bar team overseen by Gregory (below).

The fossils on display including an 2.5-metre Russian Cave Bear, a Saltasaurus egg, Mammoth tusk, and Triceratops nose horn.

“The fossils date from 550 million years old to 50,000 years old and it is very special to be up close with these incredible creatures from millions of years ago – it's actually quite difficult to comprehend,” said Federal Group GM Greg Farrell.

Fortunately, your fellow drinkers are not at all fossilised and there is a welcoming and inclusive vibe with a glass of Provencal rosé costing just $11 a glass, and you can also check out the stellar new Bay of Fires 2017 Pinot Noir by the glass.

Good work from F&B manager Liz Thomas and her team.

The new bar is not a museum but it does serve up a museum-worthy spirit collection from Tasmania and around the world including one-off bottlings of Glenfiddich and Balvenie whiskies, Glen Grant single malts from 1950, pre-phylloxera cognac dating over 100 years old, and often-unattainable Tasmanian releases from Tim Duckett's Heartwood whisky and Sullivan's Cove.

This is your chance to check out Hartshorn Sheep's Whey Vodka and Nonesuch Hemp Gin, along with other boutique Tassie spirits. 

Guests who purchase from the list of rare spirits will be able to store the bottle securely in one of the bar's 48 x Spirit Keeps.

“Nowhere in the world have I witnessed a bar with so much charisma and style – we're all incredibly excited”, says award-winning barman Gregory.

“We'll focus on built and stirred spirit beverages and fine spirit tastings, but we also offer a smaller selection of wines, beers, ciders and food accompaniments." 

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