Vital Spark is a release from the Meadowside Blending Co which we know from releases under the labels ‘The Maltman’ and ‘The Grainman’. While it is not stated as such on the label, it’s a public secret that this third batch is a single oloroso sherry butt with my beloved Caol Ila (which cannot be said of batch 2 and 2!). Oh, will you look at that color…
Dark and sweet nose on raisins and plums, but with a magnificent medicinal note, kelp, salted caramel and bacon on the barbecue. Raw steak! Scent of the sea. Rocky coast. Bitter chocolate, sea breeze, brackish water and ship’s ropes. This is impressive for such a young malt. A lot of influence from the oloroso cask, it’s true, but what a nose!
Good body, almost syrupy in fact. The ABV leaves little to the imagination, but no water is need. Lovely interplay of sweet and salt, still allowing the distillery character to shine through. It easily overcomes the sweetness of the sherry. It’s the opposite of the nose, in fact, and simply stunning.
The finish lasts forever and besides what we already got offers op clear notes of nut liqueur and toasted oak. Ashes at the death.
A bottle of 500ml will set you back some 45 EUR. It is well worth it. Thanks, Manny, fort his veritable bomb!