Compass Box Juveniles
After the excellent Stranger & Stranger, we come to review yet another new-ish release from Compass Box. This time it’s a blended malt whisky, without any grain or younger spirit…If the name Juveniles does not ring a bell here’s some background info:
Juveniles Bistrot à Vins has long been regarded as one of the most influential wine bars in Paris. It’s a place that has inspired Compass Box whiskymaker John Glaser since the early days of his business.
Compass Box and Juveniles have worked on several whisky collaborations over the years, but this is the first one to overtly look to the world of French design for inspiration. Tim set out a vision for the style of the whisky, which John brought to life. And Stranger & Stranger, the long-time label designers for Compass Box, created packaging that pays homage to classic French wine and spirits design from the early 20th century. Front and centre, they featured the image of the jovial jester that has adorned the label of every Compass Box Juveniles collaboration, this time taking it so far as to the mimic the bells on the jester’s feet with a real bell inserted into the punt of the bottle. The bell actually rings when the bottle is picked up, which brings to life the whimsy at the heart of Juveniles every time you pour. For the whisky Tim was looking for something “bright, smooth, not smoky…”, something that would work equally well as an aperitif as it would after dinner with cheese. John chose single malt whiskies from four distilleries, each bringing a distinctiveness to the whole. The assemblage (as Tim likes to call the blend, using a wine word here) has notes of barley sugar, pear drop and vanilla, complemented by an ethereal underlying herbal character.
As with all other CB whiskies, info about the composition of the blend is presented, of course without ages, as SWA does not allow that:
This time around we’re speaking 34% Strathmill, 34% Balmenach, 20% Clynelish (not surprised, are you?), another 10% from Clynelish but from a re-fill Sherry Butt, and the remaining 2% from Glendullan, from yet another Sherry Butt.
Compass Box Juveniles, 46% abv , NCF, 14,894 btls , £94
Nose: Quite light with classic apple / pear, vanilla and malty goodness, a dusty note maybe as well, but all over quite nice.
Palate: The Clynelish kicks in with a hint of waxiness, vanilla and toasted oak, with nice sweetness from the sherry casks, a bit herbal at times as well.
Finish: medium length, with toasted wood, apple peel, wood spice and more herbal notes.
All in all this is a nice daily sipping whisky, although it’s not a bad whisky it’s not very special as well. Pricing is another issue here, for 100 Euro and more one can score a couple of very nice single malts. Nice, but low VFM this time , i’m afraid. Mainly for die-hard CB fans. Serving suggestion is chilled (yes, that’s right), with cheeses before a meal.