Beer of the Week – Fyne Ales Vital Spark

After last week’s two-for-one edition, this time it’s back to just a single beer recommendation on which to end the week. With less than ten to go, you’d think I might be struggling to still find unsung Scottish beers to feature in this series – but the opposite is true.* There are so many amazing beers being created by the brewers of this country that this is a selection you could continue well into another year I think. Although I am not for one minute going to do that.

*The real struggle has been getting them in time to write one per week…

Anyway – here’s this week’s unsung hero of Scottish brewing, and this is a beer I had to feature, as it’s the single individual that prompted this entire exercise. The most under-rated beer this collection of windy islands and wind-scoured mainland can produce – Fyne Ales Vital Spark. Whether discovered on cask or bottle, this is a fantastic beer and one that is worthy of any and all exploration of exactly what Scottish brewing is and where it is currently at.

44. Vital Spark (4.4%)
Fyne Ales, Argyll
Style: Dark Mild
500ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At at Fyne Ales’ online shop (as 12x500ml bottles or 5 litre mini-cask)

Let’s begin with that style note – this is my pigeon-holing as Fyne themselves say it’s hard to categorise; floating between stouts porters and milds. It’s got the roastiness in there but with that deep ruby colour and balanced finish I’m going to call it a dark mild. Not that it matters in any way, Vital Spark is delicious and a perfect beer for the start of winter. It’s the best room-temperature beer in the country, too – don’t let this one anywhere near your fridge. Chocolate, a slight hint of liqourice and a whack of blackcurrant fruit – this is a masterpiece and one of the best beers to have emerged from Scotland.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island
19. Williams Bros Seven Giraffes
20. Cairngorm Black Gold
21. Strathaven Craigmill Mild
22. Black Isle Red Kite
23. Spey Valley Spey Stout
24. Top Out Schmankerl
25. Cross Borders Braw
26. Williams Bros Midnight Sun
27. BrewDog Kingpin
28. Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack
29. Deeside MacBeth
30. Drygate Ax Man Red Rye IPA
31. Swannay Orkney Session
32. Fallen Platform C
33. Black Isle Porter
34. Top Out Altbier
35. Black Metal Gates of Valhalla
36. Fierce Beer Cranachan Killer
37. Loch Lomond Southern Summit
38. Tempest Old Parochial
39. Williams Bros Profanity Stout
40. Windswept Tornado
41. Campervan Pacific Zest
42. Swannay Sneaky Wee Orkney Stout
43. Cromarty Ghost Town

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