As your nose approaches the glass, tropical fruit notes strike first: pineapple, papaya, but then apricots, marshmallows, and, improbably enough, elderberry liqueur. Soon, a fantastic, lacquered grapefruit/pineapple note appears from a tropical place that has appropriated the best parts of the colonial culture imposed on it and has done away with the rest. At one point, we even thought we got a hint of something soapy, but if it is soapy, it’s that super fragrant fruit-infused soap some people reserve for their guest bathrooms.
On the mouth, briny notes play under the surface and are drying in the absence of tannins. But the dominant notes are high, sweet fruit and a lightness like cherry blossoms. The whole effect is not unlike a strawberry syrup being twisted into a salt water taffy.
It’s very briny going into the finish, not unlike Popeye’s untimely demise (you didn’t hear about that? It was on a spinach freighter taken over by pirates… “I am the Sailor Man, now!”). The finish fires on the sides of the tongue like a second set of molars growing in on the inside of your other ones: long, smooth, slow, and so low-key you have time to get used to the added chewing efficiency. The finish is so warming, it’s charming. This finish is what whisky is supposed to be all about.
So why is it called “Juveniles”? Is it overly young? If it is, it’s damn precocious, almost annoyingly so. Get off my lawn!
[Actually checks the notes] No wait, it was blended for Tim Johnston at Juveniles Bistro à Vins in the 1st Arrondissement in Paris. And the four single malts in it are all somewhere between 12 and 15 years old. So not terribly young, to be sure, but you kids can go ahead and get off my lawn nonetheless. I want to enjoy this great whisky in peace.
On the scale oftropes that disparage younger people (unfairly)–
The Compass Box Juveniles Limited Edition Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is “and I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”—It yields the kind of satisfaction most juveniles can only dream of achieving.
–Our thanks to Compass Box for the sample!