Whisky Magazine Issue 81
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Whisky Mag's bar fly heads to Speyside to check out a watering hole almost in the round.
The suggestion of stopping off at a pub for a refreshing beverage to wind down at the end of a busy day during the Speyside festival sounded like just the ticket… although I was less sure about the prospect of ordering a pint of Sheepshagger. A local distillery manager assured me with a chuckle that this really was the name of the tasty local beer but I remained sceptical and so it was with weariness, thirst and curious disbelief that I headed to The Mash Tun in Aberlour.
Dropped off at the bus stop in the heart of this picturesque Speyside town,we wandered alongside the petite and well manicured square towards the parish church and the banks of the River Spey,where the pub is tucked away to the left.
Approaching the establishment, I did wonder that I might have already consumed too much whisky during the day's activities before even stepping inside as I was greeted by an unusual curved wall at the main entrance.
Although this rotund-looking structure fits well with the current name, it was originally constructed in 1896 by a sea captain called Thomas Campbell,who commissioned a marine architect to design the building in the shape of a small ship. However, the pub's previous name was not related to ships at all but instead referred to another form of transport – the trains that used to pull up at the nearby Aberlour station – hence it was called the Station Bar.
However, this name became redundant when this train stop was closed down by Dr Beeching in the 1960s. The...