If and when you do find the security guard that gives you some vague hope that you're in the right place, and once you get past the confusion of descending fire stairs into a basement; take a breath and push back that door.
|The wall of some whisky options at The Baxter Inn, Clarence Street, Sydney|
The poison of choice at The Baxter Inn is most definitely whisky, and the gold lettered board featuring approximately 200 varieties of whisky is only two-thirds of what's available. That's right, they have 300 whiskies on offer.
The hipster quotient is toned down in this suit-and-shirt-heavy area and rather than the laughably fun decor at the first venture, The Baxter Inn has a more refined look with walls decked out in vintage sports memorabilia and clippings, while blues music still plays over the clearly appreciative crowd.
And as per Shady Pines (last comparison, I promise), the service is second to none with iced water dispensed from gorgeous vessels from another era as soon as we're seated. I doubt you'll find more friendly and knowledgeable guys behind a bar than these; for whisky in particular.
|South Side cocktail|
My South Side cocktail is served in an enamel mug filled to the rim with crushed ice, and is just the thing for sticky evenings and non-whisky drinkers. Gin, lime, sugar syrup and mint - simple, effective and not whisky.
|Ardbeg Alligator on the rocks|
It blows the mind to think that anyone knows about the finer details of each and every whisky, but at a pick, we're casually informed that the Ardbeg Alligator variety of Islay scotch whisky is particularly peaty and smoky.
The Alligator refers to the state of the heavily charred white oak cask that the booze is aged within. Customers can have their whisky served however they please; in this case, with a hand-chipped block of ice.
|Just some of the back shelf at The Baxter Inn|
With their all booze and no food formula down pat, The Baxter Inn is noisily welcoming, warm and friendly, and pretty much heaven for whisky drinkers - now where was that entrance again?