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Top quality food and unique whisky collection

By Paul Breen

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The Mash Tun, Aberlour
The Mash Tun, Aberlour

The Mash Tun, Aberlour

A LITTLE gem in the crown of the hospitality industry on Speyside is the Mash Tun bar and bistro in Aberlour.

Word of mouth is often the best way to guage if an establishment is worth a try – and praise was high for this pub and eaterie from numerous local people we spoke to over the weekend.

Situated just off the main street in Aberlour, the Mash Tun has been owned and run by convivial hosts Mark and Karen Braidwood since 2004 who have created a comfortable bar area and reasonably priced restaurant which is so popular at weekends that booking is almost essential.

The emphasis is on value and quality locally sourced food and our visit coincided with a steak night which brought us two large 10oz sirloins, expertly cooked to our specifications, with all the trimmings for £14.95 a head. Perhaps it was the large bowl of homemade soup for a starter, but unusually the main course defeated me – well, just the final two mouthfuls.

The restaurant area was full on our visit but with plenty of space between tables and the service was friendly and efficient. The bar area was also busy, but not boisterous or bothersome, with a mix of locals and visitors.

The Mash Tun offers a wide range of beers and spirits with wine from £10,95 a bottle and three Cairngorm Brewery real ales on tap.

But the star attraction is the exclusive Glenfarclas Family Cask Collection of malts available – a unique collection of 44 single cask whiskies, with one for each consecutive year from 1952 to 1995. The collection is unique as there is no other known one of rare and old whiskies that covers 44 consecutive years from the same distillery on display and available to drink by the dram.

A nip could set you back up to £224 – but there is plenty of variety in the bar to suit other budgets from £2.50.

Mark and Karen are enthusiastic supporters of the whisky festoval and its diversity of events to cater for all tastes are they are running special steak nights, a Glenfarclas tasting and traditional music night over the course of the event.

Testament to its popularity is that nearly all of its five rooms over the festival have been booked by return visitors.

This is a bar well worth seeking out if you’re in the area.

• For futher details, contact 1340 881771 or visit www.mashtun-aberlour.com

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