Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Larceny is the illegal taking of the property of another with intent to deprive the owner thereof. The crime of larceny that is. In the world of whiskey, it is a bourbon from Heaven Hill distillery. Larceny bourbon was started in 2012 as a no-age statement small batch bourbon. The distillery claims the whiskey is a blend of 6-12 year whiskeys which are blended together into “small batches” and released.
Personally, I’m a fan of Larceny. In February of 2021 a massive ice storm hit my city and knocked power out to my home for 11-days. When the power crew was finally able to restore power to my street, I gave the foreman a bottle of Larceny to say thank you to him and his crew. It’s a solid wheat bourbon with a good profile, easy to sip or mix.
The barrel proof edition was introduced in 2020 and is released on an allocated (what isn’t these days) basis three times a year. Batch A is January, Batch B is in May, and Batch C is in September. These times may vary depending on where you live. Besides being released at barrel proof the whiskey is a mixture of bourbon aged only 6 to 8 years, unlike the small batch. This review will look to the May 2023 release or Batch B523.
If you are unfamiliar with Heaven Hill and the Larceny brand, there is an excellent article by Ryan O’Doherty of the Whiskey Wash, reviewing Batch A123. Scott Bernard Nelson reviewed Batch B522 in August of 2022. They both have terrific articles which really explore the composition of Larceny and history of Heaven Hill.
With their reviews a click away, and I do recommend reading their reviews, I think it would be fun to provide the “marketing” behind the bottle. Larceny is part of the John E. Fitzgerald lineage with Heaven Hill. Mr. Fitzgerald had quite the legend to his name from the 1880’s to the present era. Very little was truly known about him until his relationship with the Van Winkle family finally revealed the truth about who he was. The truth, or at least as relative a truth as we want to admit, he was a U.S. Treasury Agent for bonded rickhouses. As the individual with one of the only two sets of keys to enter the rickhouses, Mr. Fitzgerald had nearly unfettered access to bonded aging bourbon.
The story goes his palate was rather discerning, and he would pull whiskey from favorite barrels. Accordingly, the lighter barrels were known as “Fitzgerald Barrels” and ultimately, he was immortalized with the brand “Old Fitzgerald.” Some jobs have better perks than others.
Now the times have changed, and Stitzel-Weller is owned by Diageo, Van Winkle is part of Buffalo Trace who is owned by Sazerac, and Old Fitzgerald is part of Heaven Hill. However, the legend of Mr. Fitzgerald has a newer chapter by releasing Larceny bourbon in homage to his illegal taking of the property of another with intent to deprive the owner thereof.
With that, we turn to the glass.
Tasting Notes: Larceny Barrel Proof Batch B523
Vital Stats: 124.4 proof or 62.3 abv; wheated Bourbon mashbill (68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley); SRP $59.99
Appearance: straw tending towards gold.
Nose: As with any high proof bourbon, nostrils be forewarned. This pops with a bright almond/nutty nose enveloped in rich oak. You find caramel, honey, clove, flowers, and a touch of vanilla bean. The abv is going to hit but if you’re careful it won’t fry your nose. It really opens as it warms up.
Taste: There is a pop of cinnamon with a rich mouthfeel. It is warm across the mouth and settles nicely. You can find corn sweetness with the mellowness of the wheat. As you mull the whiskey you find rich dessert smoothness, baking spices, vanilla, and toffee. The finish feels elevated and smoother than it should be. Like drinking a cinnamon candy cookie. There is plenty of oak throughout the profile as well, you are never mistaken that you’re drinking a whiskey.