RIP Joe Brandie

This Sunday (Sept 24th) we received the sad news that the longtime barman and gentleman of the Fiddichside Inn, Speyside has passed away, aged 88.

We were lucky enough to have met the man in March last year, and had received a tip-off from a friend that no trip to Speyside was complete without having visited the Fiddichside Inn and having a chat with the quaint publican who served fine whiskies, in the heart of scotch whisky country but with the name Brandie! Sure enough, we set off down the old railway line from Aberlour and ended up at a bridge over a rolling stream and saw a little cloud of smoke coming from the chimney of an old whitewashed pub. When we got to the door, we noticed that the pub was not due to open for another 30 minutes or so, but as we started to ponder knocking on the door anyway, Joe opened the door and beckoned our rain-soaked troop into the warm, tiny bar. There we sat in front of a freshly lit fire and chatted with him about his time behind the bar, the history of the area from his perspective and his love of fishing, before the regulars streamed in at the standard opening hour, all happy to be in the company of Mr Brandie.

If you search #fiddichsideinn on twitter, you will find numerous people with similar stories to ours and lots of lovely tweets and dedications to the gentle, spirited man, who reportedly had only taken 4 days off in his 57 years behind the bar.

I won’t gush anymore, but here is a video that we have put together of our short visit and warm meeting (in many senses of the word) with Scotland’s longest serving innkeeper.

Rest in peace, Joe Brandie

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