Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Part of the Canberra community
for over 30 years

Hippo Co raising the tone in Civic. A review

By johnboy - 9 August 2013 14

hippo

Hippo Co is the revamped Hippo of long Civic infamy.

They’re having the public opening tomorrow night but I was in there tonight for a sneak preview because that sort of thing happens to me.

If you’re not the sort to enjoy hanging out in a licensed club, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, maybe a lot more, for excellence, it might be the bar for you.

Come the summer months the balcony over Garema Place is going to be a very special thing indeed.

balcony

They bill themselves as a cocktail and whiskey bar and as luck would have it I gave cocktail, whiskey, and beer a go in your interests dear reader.

whiskey sour

First up was a whiskey sour.

If you like a cocktail where you can’t taste the alcohol this is not the one for you.

If you like a cocktail where the fire of the liquor (rye whiskey in this case) is balanced by other flavours but endures, then this is really really good.

The whiskeys range from the merely expensive to the astronomical.

Here’s a look at a bit of the whiskey price board.

price board

Yes that’s a Glenglassaugh 36 year old going for $92 a glass with a cheeky yolo.

I went for an unpeated Islay malt (simply for novelty having enjoyed so very much iodine brown heavily peated malt from the Isle of Islay in the past).

At a mere $16 a shot what could make it that special?

Well, huge hand carved gobs of ice were a good start:

ice

Do not believe what some say. Good whiskey should have water added and cooling has some real value too. (here’s some science on it)

The big ice block also makes sips smaller which helps when trying to enjoy something somewhat expensive.

For the curious an un-peated Islay is certainly unusual, and pleasant, but next time I’ll get a real Lagavulin thank you very much, because I like firey iodine water.

A word on the whiskey list. I’ve been to a fair few bars in Scotland, and some Tokyo bars very proud of their selections (and the Japanese are mad for Scotch). The revamped Hippo Co has a more interesting group of scotches than I’ve seen anywhere. A bonus is there’s no Scottish snobbishness, they’ve got great whiskeys from all over the world.

A bottle of Coopers Pale comes in at a mere $7.50 if you’re after simple fare.

So what is Hippo Co?

hippo co

To me it felt like being in Humphrey Bogart’s hunting lodge.

It’s the place you want to go after dinner for a relaxed yet impressive drink.

And the rules. The Rules are good. I can get behind them:

the rules

If you’re after Carlton Draught or a breezer go somewhere else.

If you’re after a classy drink at the prices that come with class then give it a go.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
14 Responses to
Hippo Co raising the tone in Civic. A review
Mysteryman 10:45 am 12 Aug 13

Those are probably the best rules I’ve ever seen at a bar/lounge.

caf 10:43 pm 10 Aug 13

Looks like a good way to try a wide variety without getting locked into a serious whisky collection of your own.

Deref 7:49 pm 10 Aug 13

poetix said :

Looks exactly the right place to ejacate myself on whiskey while writing a mournful little poem.

😀 What better way to spend a few hours?

Postalgeek 6:14 pm 10 Aug 13

poetix said :

Looks exactly the right place to ejacate myself on whiskey while writing a mournful little poem.

I did a double take with your ‘ejacate’. I thought it said something else. The problem is with me, not you.

poetix 5:35 pm 10 Aug 13

Looks exactly the right place to ejacate myself on whiskey while writing a mournful little poem.

johnboy 5:14 pm 10 Aug 13

Bourbon and coke I’m sure they can do for you

MERC600 5:11 pm 10 Aug 13

johnboy said :

The knockers might want to bear in mind that this is a bar aiming for a niche market that just isn’t them.

Deref pretty sure there aren’t any blended whiskies there, but who knows, maybe a sneaky Chivas has made the cut.

Wot you means is if I ask for a jack with coke, like ,,, I get shown the door.

Duffbowl 4:34 pm 10 Aug 13

Johnboy, other than the Coopers Pale, what did their beer list look like?

johnboy 4:04 pm 10 Aug 13

The knockers might want to bear in mind that this is a bar aiming for a niche market that just isn’t them.

Deref pretty sure there aren’t any blended whiskies there, but who knows, maybe a sneaky Chivas has made the cut.

grunge_hippy 4:01 pm 10 Aug 13

smacks of bohipsterdom*. (bogans trying to be hipsters)

I’ll give it a miss.

Then again, I give civic a miss most of the time anyway. So do most people it would seem these days from the photos.

*trademark GH.

Deref 3:54 pm 10 Aug 13

Looks good. One infallible measure of quality: did they have any Johny Walker-branded whisky? If so, it’s a wank; if not they probably know their whiskies. The place for paint stripper is a hardware store.

As you say, a splash of water’s essential but the problem with ice is that, as it melts, it waters down what’s left of the whisky.

And och aye to those peaty Islay malts. I’ll have a Laphroig, Cheers. 🙂

nazasaurus 12:54 pm 10 Aug 13

We have coffee wank and now its whisky wank. Looks contrived, and the low-rent sign telling your patrons how to behave….*sigh* Do these guys having anything to do with the Foreshore lot? the no-dickheads policy clearly doesn’t apply universally.

MERC600 9:28 am 10 Aug 13

Looks very swish . Will call in one of these days.

Digga 7:30 am 10 Aug 13

Mmm, should’ve let me know you were going and I would’ve bought you one. 😉

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site