The Scotch Malt Whisky Society x Ondine Dinner

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

I had the absolutely pleasure of being invited to a dinner hosted by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in collaboration with chef Roy Brett from Ondine, as part of the Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations this year. The SMWS events are always fun and this really was quite the treat so let me tell you a bit more about it!

The food menu of the evening.

The evening consisted of a six course tasting menu with a whisky paired to each course. The whiskies were all really interesting and different to each other, which is always a huge bonus for events like these. The pairings had been well thought-out and each contrasting or complementing flavour combination was a real treat. I sat with some lovely people who were all keen to chat about the food and whisky as we tried our way through the line up. I’m always so enthusiastic about food and whisky pairings because it’s such a fun way to experience flavour that also opens up for discussions with people.

The Whisky

70.36 A conspicuous cornucopia of fruits

A 10yo whisky matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. Fresh and fruity with floral elements which was a nice start to the tasting and one of my favourites.

149.5 Fire Festival

A 7 yo from a fairly new whisky distillery in Scotland which was Part of the New Wave releases. For a 7 year old it carries a lot of flavour and quite an oily texture. It balance up nicely against the sweeter bacon jam.

10.242 Beware the hypersonic mackerel

This is a new release for the 2023 Islay Festival. A 9yo from an Islay distillery that does both peated and unpeated spirit. I really like spirit from this distillery and this was not an exception.

80.45 A circus of oddities

This was a 10 year old whisky initially matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead and then finished in a first fill ex-cabarnet hogshead ex bourbon hogshead which gave the whisky a lovely red hue and lovely fruity tones. This was probably my favourite out of the evening as it just suited the mood I was in and also the lobster dish!

135.34 Beach Hut Bonkers 20yo

The oldest whisky of the evening came in the shape of a 20 year old whisky matured in a first fill ex-bourbon barrel. It had notes of fresh sandalwood, salt meets sand on the beach and floral tones. In contrast to the strawberry you almost felt as if you were on holiday.

53.429 Kelp is on the way

To finish of the menu we went back to smoke and a 10 year old 2023 Queen Street Exclusive Cask which held a nice ashy smoke and coastal elements alongside a hint of fresh fruits. And I do love a punny name!

The Food

The food was such a treat. Fresh seafood that’s prepared properly is hard to beat. Starting with oysters, especially when pairing with whisky, is such a strong start and these oysters were the perfect mix of fresh and salty. The orkney scallop was one of the stand outs of the dinner for me as the texture was silky and the sweetness from the bacon jam enhanced the flavour of the scallop. Last time I had scallops I had a bit of a bad experience so this really brought me back on the scallop band wagon.

The smoked mackerel really reminded me of home as it was served with dill and that combination of flavour is quite common in Sweden. They served soda bread which I could’ve eaten so much of – it was simply just so tasty and the perfect break of flavour to cleanse your palate in the middle of the meal.

I was thrilled to see lobster on the menu, as I’ve not had lobster in quite a while and alongside crayfish it’s one of my favourites in the seafood world. But I almost as excited to see the asparagus and confit potatoes alongside it. Why are confit potatoes so good? They might be the superior form of potato for me. And the freshness of asparagus alongside the rich lobster and butter potato really complemented the trio.

You know it’s good portion sizes when you’ve never felt that any dish had been lacking – and when you’re excited about seeing two desserts on the menu. Lately I’ve been really into meringue based desserts and it worked beautifully with the strawberry. Bonus points for the meringue being both crispy and chewy as it’s my preferred texture, rather than just dry and crumble-y. And then came the chocolate parfait. After one spoonful of this I was so excited. It was so rich that half the size would’ve worked just fine but I kept eating just because it was so delicious. The whisky balanced out the rich chocolate so the pairing was just sublime and the addition of creme fraiche brought a tart tone that brought out the chocolate further. Texture wise the chocolate was silky and rich which was balanced out by the crumble base which added a chewy and partially crispy element. It’s such a treat when you notice textures being considered in dishes like these.

To finish we had a tablet made with the Beware of the Hypersonic Mackerel whisky which had brought a lightly peated element. And we might’ve even got a little bonus spirit to enjoy with the tablet, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you more than that. Some things that happen at an SMWS dinner, stays at said dinner.


Pickled Cumbrae Oyster with tomato relish

Orkney Scallop with Bacon Jam and Wild Garlic Flowers

Whipped Smoked Mackerel with Honey Crowdie and Treacle Bread

Lobster Thermidor with Yorkshire Asparagus and Confit Potatoes

Strawberry Meringue with Strawberry Sorbet

Dark Chocolate Parfait with Creme Fraiche


Now I really want to visit Ondine to experience their menu. I’ve heard really good things and after this dinner I’m definitely a Roy Brett fangirl!

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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Moa Nilsson

Adventurous Swede with a fondness for castles, snow and vintagesque experiences.

Scandinavian Abroad

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