Whisky Magazine Issue 15
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David Stirk is 'entertained in a truly Scottish manner' during his five-day whistle stop tour of Speyside allowing him to bring you the definitive guide to Speyside's best bars
The Mash Tun
The sun is shining far too brightly today, its rays force their way through the curtains and hit the floor with a bump that's only audible to people who have heavily overindulged the night before. People like me, for example.
It's 9.30am and my body aches as I lay prostrate in my bed. The reason for this is that I have once again been entertained in a truly
Scottish manner. I have just experienced the first night of a five-night stay in Speyside and I have already eaten heavily into my energy reserves. I'm not complaining though. The reason for my lethargy is a lengthy visit to The Mash Tun.
The bar is, without doubt, one of Speyside's wonders: the good times and the water of life flow in equal amounts. There are many treasures behind its peculiar exterior, which looks like the hull of a brick ship – possibly one of the reasons Scottish shipbuilding was confined to the
opposite side of the country. Originally called The Station Bar, the establishment has been given the kiss of life and a face-lift by the new
proprietor, Neil MacDonnell.
Previously manager of an Oddbins in Glasgow for 10 years, Neil decided that it was time for a move. He searched the Highlands for a decent pub and decided upon The Station Bar, which had gone into receivership a year earlier. Neil saw its potential: it was located in an area with a distinct lack of good beer and whisky pubs. Showing me the map in the CAMRA Good Pub Guide he says:
“As you can see there is about a thirty...