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Ratings: 9 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SmashPants:
4.94/5 rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I grew up in the Blue Mountains but never knew that this gem was there. One of my mates is well into the beer and brewing scene and took me up one time, and damn. I have never been in a bottle shop with more beers than Leura Cellars (for people's reference it now has 'Down Under Cellars' out the front, but it is still the same Leura Cellars - they use the DUC frontage for better prices to pass to customers).
Having started beer reviewing only 1.5 - 2 years ago, I quickly found that once I passed the 500 beer mark, it was virtually impossible to find many new beers to try in a bottle shop. I stepped into Leura Cellars and it just about blew my mind - would have to be at least 300 different beers (I would think more than that though), which they cycle. I bought a stack worth last year, and when I came through this year I figured I could try the other half of the beers, only to find out that they have cycled almost their entire selection, so I had the opportunity to buy a whole stack of new beers. My only problem when I head there is that I don't have enough to buy and try the whole lot.
While I am stoked about the selection - and I head to Leura Cellars each time I am down in Sydney seeing the family - the best thing about it is the service. I have dealt with Rob each time I head in there, and his knowledge and passion are second-to-none. Rob will talk you through which beers he suggests for your tastes as well as which beers they are getting in, which are limited edition and which you simply must have.
I have recently bought some (during Christmas) which was delivered to Queensland quickly - even during the holiday period. For anyone looking to get a stack of beers delivered, I received the 3 cases packaged as such - each beer was individually wrapped in a catalogue and fitted into a 4pack (I bought singles of each type of beer I bought), then wrapped in bubble wrap and extra cardboard. I have never bought anything that was packed with as much care.
To top it off, Rob (and some of the other guys that work there, I believe) will also help out with beer tasting events. My mate had a tasting night for his birthday, and Rob brought all the beers with him and mixed with us and explained the beers to everyone. Very professional and personable.
Sorry if I sound like a bit of a fanboy, but there is so much about which to be a fan. For the standard beers they can't compete quite as well as the big guns, but for the fancy / interesting stuff (the vast majority of their stock) I would place it around the same as most. This place is a must.
01-08-2014 10:29:33 | More by SmashPants
More User Reviews:
4.97/5 rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This bottle shop is a true delight. It seems to me that they have three guys working there who are, in turn, totally passionate about whiskey, wine and beer. Their passion shows through in the selection they offer and in their knowledge.
Last visit they had around 600 beers, so I spent many happy hours planning my selection. That said, it's a very wise idea to leave a couple of blank spots on your wish list for an on-the-spot recommendation.
The prices are mostly the best I have seen anywhere and the selection has been very carefully thought through ... With a slight emphasis on Mikkeller (how can that be a bad thing!?)
The service is the icing on the cake. Robert will spend some time walking you through the selection and getting a feel for what you prefer and will then leave you to browse for a while. No pressure, no stress.
07-27-2013 08:31:30 | More by Rwalford74
4.14/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Made the trip up to the Blue Mountains with mulder1010 and danieelol after a pretty full on day. Sydney to Canberra, to Leura and back home!
Well worth going up to Leura Cellars.
Nice shop, well presented as you'd expect in one of the pick of the suburbs in the Blue Mountains. Plenty of refrigeration for stock, especially the beer range. Some is kept ambient, but almost all craft beer for sale is available in the fridge.
Friendly service, the staff were happy to put stuff aside for us over the phone to pick up hours later. Also good to talk beer to and made some suggestions of new arrivals.
Selection is vast. One of the best in New South Wales behind Warners at the Bay. More of an import focus than Warners which seems to have a 50/50 or so split. However, the stuff on sale is craft that you'd want to drink, not stuff that people tick.
Prices were slightly high on some items, but its Leura, its New South Wales, so that comes a bit with the territory. Certainly the odd bargain to be found and with the stock they get there can be the hidden gem too at a cheap price...think magnums of Mikkeller.
Well worth going to if you live in Sydney or are visiting. About a 90 min drive from the centre of Sydney. Pick your timing right for traffic on the M4, but certainly one of the top 3 bottleshops in the State.
08-29-2012 06:09:12 | More by MrKennedy
4.14/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Interesting shop in Leura. Fits in well with the area and the shops that are there. Very solid selection and one of the best two or three shops in NSW in my opinion.
Easy to find shop in Leura, as in the Mall. Can be a bit crowded on weekends as the throngs of people from Sydney invade the Blue Mountains. Good artist vibe there but very down to earth.
Staff were attentive and willing to ask questions and talk. Talked to store owner the day before and was very cool and helpful.
Nice shop. Very nice. Very modern and well kept. Excellent wine and whisky selection. 80% of the beer was in refrigeration. Something you do not see that much of in Sydney. Very nice change. Well designed store.
Very good selection, though slanted to imports more than locals. That is Ok. What was there was well priced. Lots of US craft, Mikkeller, Nogne, etc. Limited Murray's, Mountain Goat, Ekim, and macro. Prices were very good. Bought a 1.5 L Mikkeller for $28. Yes on that.
Worth the trip to the Blue Mountains and a good low key atmosphere. highly suggested
04-23-2012 11:49:17 | More by mulder1010
4.22/5 rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Wow, what a gem this place was! I was not expecting to find a bottle shop, especially of this caliber, out in the mountains while we were visiting family friends. It is mostly a wine shop, but they had about a half dozen refrigerators dedicated to beer, and four especially for craft brews. They also had a shelf off to the side that is room temperature.
This place had a lot of Australian beers (not many from New Zealand), and the best, so far, being Murray's- I picked up a double IPA and oak aged imperial stout. They had quite the variety of Haandbryggeriet and Mikkeller- varieties we can't really get in the states. I was talking to one of the employees, and he showed me his order book where he was expecting a shipment of Cantillon and Sierra Nevada. He was very nice and even gave me discounted sixer prices!
Naturally, everything in Australia is more expensive than the States, and from what I hear alcohol tax is super high. Still, I was able to get 6-8 quality brews without completely breaking the bank.
The only downside was during one of my two trips to the shop, one of the employees (not the guy that discounted me), instead of telling me he did not know too much about beer, tried steering me towards the watered down muck that most Australian beer is. When I asked specifically for recommendations for Australian craft beer, he tried selling me on some lager or another. But his employed counterpart made up for this inconsistency of service.
Overall, to notch, and this shop really make my vacation that much more enjoyable.
12-22-2011 22:49:27 | More by kiki3drt292
4.2/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I had previously been to Leura Cellars on one hugely bitterly freezing cold windy (get the picture?) day last winter, and thought well worth a look again.
I recalled it as one of the joys of the Blue Mountains, and it is set on Leura Mall, which itself rates as an attraction well worthy of 2 or 3 hours on a Sunday. In terms of size, it's a double-fronted shop, with the 'Down Under Cellars' sign out the front. (Not sure why).Wooden floors and a wall of fridges to the LHS greet you as you walk in, full of The Grape Stuff. To be fair, the floor space covered by The Barley and Hop Stuff is not great as a percentage, but then again, I have yet to find a bottle-o that really steers that way.
There are, I recall, four or five main fridge compartments full of beer, and three of four metres of shelf space dedicated to it. One of the fridges has the Label 'Uninspired and Blandness Selection' and the others are we we step in.
Good ranges of Murrays (tho not their full range), Little Brewers (including all their Mad Abbott), Happy Goblin / EKIM, (Some of the Happy Goblin range I had never seen before anywhere.) Matilda Bay, James Squire, etc etc etc...
Belgian beers were well represented, and even widely available beers such as Chimay Blue were to be grabbed in 330, 750, and also 1500ml sizes. Many of the Trappist ales also in stock. A Sierra Nevada Stout jumped into my hand.
Shelves and shelves of English Ales were also to be be found. Also a whole heap of real oddities in cans - an Indonesian 12% ale for 5 bucks anyone? hmmm, maybe not.
Brewdog really well stocked, as well, tho not to TNP and STB levels.
Their web site does not do them justice.
Upon checkout, the guys were happy to talk beer, and even more pleasant was the discount which was applied without asking. Apparently, Robert is the Beer Guy, and he wasn't there, but even the non-beer guys were polite, helpful, even if not 100% knowledgeable. They were able to tell me tho, that stock rotates, and their ideas are not to stick with the same stock, but to rotate (ARE YOU LISTENING DANNO M, MY MAN????)
Side note - the wine cellar downstairs has to be seen to be believed. The best in Aus? Take a perfect climate for wine, dig a cellar, and then hold back some of the Premium wine cases each year and then allow for sale 5, 10, 15 years later. Treasure indeed, lets take Penfolds or Wynns as an example, and for many of their wines there would be 10 differing vintages available, at varying prices, of course.
Well worth a visit.
03-29-2011 22:09:09 | More by heygeebee
4.5/5 rDev +2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This is a truly exceptional bottle shop and definitely worth the trip out to the Mountains. From what I can ascertain it beats the hell out of every Sydney bottlo, at least in terms of beer selection.
From their website it's obvious they have an enormous range, although a large number of these seem to be stocked on a rotational or even random basis. The first time I visited I picked up a bottle of 'San Marino Queen', a beer I had never seen before and have not seen since. We also found a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which at the time was liquid gold - although I've since found this in two Sydney bottle shops.
But there is an enormous selection of local craft beers from Murray's, Redoak, Little Brewing Company and Matilda Bay and then a huge shelf full of imported. They have more Samuel Smith's beers than I realised existed and a very impressive range of Unibroue.
The service is casual, but friendly, and when I put through 8 beers of varying quality and esoteric appeal the guy was very willing to chat, particularly about the bottle of Unibroue 17 that I was purchasing.
It's actually only been twice that I have visited but each time I go the shelves are stocked with dozens of new surprises. I would have to say the only Australian shop that rivals this is Acland cellars in St Kilda, but to have this little gem on Sydney's doorstep is very reassuring.
04-06-2009 03:57:22 | More by laituegonflable
3.85/5 rDev -12.7%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This is arguably one of the finest bottle-o's in Australia. Back when I was more interested in grape juice than barley & hop juice, I would spend hours down in the cellar, where they have a fantastic selection of aged wines.
But upstairs, the range of beers is quite something. This is the first place in Australia where I've found Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Cost me $7 AU, but it was worth it. You can also get the usual swag of Interbrew/Inbev Belgians plus a few others, and a good array of British 500ml bottles. Unibrou is well represented also.
I found a tasty Kolsch I'd never heard of before (Reissdorf). There is a good range of Aussie craftbrews, including the interesting MooBrew range from Hobart.
I think the young blokes behind the counter seem a bit stand-offish; maybe more wine-focused than beer-focused...quite understandable when you consider the niche of this business... For instance, their website is 100% wine.
All up, really worth the visit. If you also like wine, then this place is mecca, and would score even higher.
08-21-2006 02:45:18 | More by vancurly
4.7/5 rDev +6.6%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This is a really classy place up in the Blue Mountains. I was walking by with Dana when I saw some shelves of bottles that I instantly placed as Belgian-made. We had to eat lunch first (since we walked there from Katoomba via the Giant Staircase) but when we did get back, whoa mamma.
The selection is comparable to that of Camperdown Cellars in Sydney. They have many different bottles in the fridge and out. I was most impressed by the eight different Unibroue beers. They had two American beers, which is a lot for a bottle shop, but it was Sam Adams and Rolling Rock. Rolling Rock. Why?
But heaps of great Belgians, some hard to find Aussie brews - like Holgate's Winter Ale, and many British bottles as well. The staff is very friendly, and if you're into wine, this place it absolutely outstanding.
Beer prices were high to average. Some of the Belgians were moderately priced, but the Aventinus was 9.50/bottle. Yowzah.
If you're in the area, swing by. It's one train station from Katoomba, $8 taxi ride, and the town has a lot of other things to offer, too.
06-26-2005 13:04:56 | More by dwarbi
Leura Cellars in Leura, Australia
- out of 100 based on 9 ratings.