The Mash Tun

Broomfield Square, Aberlour

What is it? This iconic Highland pub is situated in the heart of Scotland’s malt whisky trail. Built in 1986 on the banks of the River Spey and built, the building itself was dreamed up by naval captain James Campbell, who asked for it to be designed in the form of a small ship. There are also five bedrooms here, which are themed around five local iconic distilleries: Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Macallan and Glenlivet, and also a luxury suite called the Aberlour.

Interesting fact: The name – which comes from the whisky and brewing industry – denotes the large vessel or vat in which the malted barley is mixed with water and yeast. Mash tuns are up to eight metres in diameter and six metres deep, with large, mechanical stirrers inside.

Verdict: I like it here, it doesn’t try to be more than what it is: a good Scottish pub. I know it has been up for sale but they obviously care about their offering and rely on keeping their regular clientele, as well as the whisky tourists, happy. The recent refurbishment has also gave the place a new lease of life.

Drink: You cannot have a pub in this area and not showcase the whisky and the Mash Tun is no exception. They have a great and varied range of whiskies for all over the region and beyond which the staff are more than happy to talk you through.

They are also extremely proud of their Glenfarclas Family Cask Collection, made up of 50 single cask whiskies, with one for each consecutive year from 1952

to 2001.

Food: More than just your usual pub grub is on offer here and it is good, hearty Scottish food

and perfect after a day of going round many of the distilleries in the area.

The menu is full of tempting dishes, from the cod a salmon bouillabaisse (Scottish salmon and cod cooked in a traditional tomato and vegetable broth served with sweet potato fries and crusty bread) to the Glenrinnes venison chilli served with rice, lime and coriander.

I played it safe and opted for the “big mash”, a half-pound homemade beef burger served in a bun with cheese and onion accompanied by chips and salad for a reasonable £10. If you are lucky on some nights, free hot chicken get passed around, which goes surprisingly well with a lovely single malt.

Prices: good enough to keep the locals happy.

Children: Kids welcome if dining with adults

Alfresco: There is a small but perfectly formed beer garden, but why would you want to go back outside when there is so much whisky inside?

Perfect for: This is one for the pub-lovers out there; those like the atmosphere of a busy place full of folks from every walk of life.

Avoid if: You prefer sticking to more refined eating and drinking establishments in the big cities.

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