Vital Spark 5 Years (Batch #0003)

Vital Spark 5 Years (Batch #0003)

Vital Spark is a brand from Meadowside Blending, an independent bottling business founded in 2010. You might know them from The Maltman single malts.

The name Vital Spark is used for sherry finished single malt whisky. There have been five batches so far, but the age fluctuates between 5 and 12 years. While the first two batches were supposedly sourced from Loch Lomond, this third batch is an Islay malt. Rumours say this could be Caol Ila, but I’m not sure.


Vital Spark 5 yo (54,9%, Meadowside Blending 2019, Oloroso Sherry butt, 50cl, 1119 btl.)

Nose: quite forthcoming, but the peaty side is heavier than the sherried side, I’d say. A rich and clean Islay profile, showing tarry ropes, TCP, bandages and herbal syrup. Some briney notes and a slightly pickle, giving it a sharp edge. Some raisin sweetness and leather underneath to balance it out.

Mouth: quite rich again. There’s still this punchy, briney character, with lots of ashes, peppery peat and a hint of charred lemon. Also milk chocolate, stewed plums and just hint of herbal dryness. The integration of the spirit and the wood is not perfect yet, but already impressive for a five year-old.

Finish: long and warming, with a good dose of oak spice and some nutty notes.

I think this might be too medicinal for Caol Ila, but in the end the provenance doesn’t really matter. It’s a nice dram that definitely exceeds its age expectations. Very good value for money. Thanks for the sample, Wim.