Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Heaven Hill. 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 towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Another go-round with Larceny Barrel Proof whiskey!
Larceny Barrel Proof is released three times a year: January, May, and September. Each release will have a different proof and consist of barrels ranging from six to eight years old. Larceny uses unique naming convention for this whiskey: The alpha character shows which batch of the year this bottle is from; the number that follows represents the month of the release; nd the last two digits point out the year of the release. So this one is C (the third release for the year), 9 (for September, the ninth month of the year) and 20 (because 2020, man).
I was excited when I got the bottle of C920 to review. I previously tried this style of Larceny back in March and liked it a whole lot, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5. If you missed that review (shame on you), highlights include:
- Larceny is part of the Heaven Hill brand family
- Heaven Hill started in 1935 as “Old Heavenhill Springs” distillery” with 12 employees. Since then, they have grown to be the largest independent, family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier in the country, and the second largest holder of aging bourbon whiskey in the world, with an inventory in excess of 1,600,000 barrels
- With all that whiskey, you might know some of Heaven Hill’s other brands/my favorite whiskies, including Old Fitzgerald, Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Rittenhouse.
- Like Old Fitzgerald, Larceny uses wheat instead of rye as the secondary grain in the whiskey’s mash bill: Some like that because it lends a smoother taste. The mash bill is said to be 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley.
Tasting Notes: Larceny Barrel Proof C920
Vital stats: Aged 6-8 years; reported mash bill of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley; 122.4 proof. Like its predecessor, this bottle is also about $50.
Appearance: Dark orange. The last throes of a beach sunset. The color of apple cider but with the shine of filtered juice. There’s like a flashy luster to it, like the shine of leather on a beautiful Italian leather purse.
Nose: Daaaang, this is tasty. Love at first whiff. It’s got all the bourbon-ish rich goodness that wraps around you like an elegant cape. Toasted marshmallow: Check. Butterscotch: Check. Vanilla: Check! No alcohol fumes to be found. Also it smells like it’s been sitting around for longer than 6-8 years—like there’s a surprising amount of depth.
Palate: Well, hello, there! The mouthfeel is not too thin, not too fat. There’s caramel. Candied orange peel. Butterscotch, again. Is this high-proof? Sure is—but you wouldn’t know it. It’s about what it has and what it does not have: unpleasant notes and firewater and acidic cringe. And for about $50, this is a really, really great deal. It tastes like a far more expensive whiskey. If you can find this, it’s not a terrible gift idea for this holiday season! You will not go wrong.
This whiskey is like being cornered in a phone booth (I know! I know. I’m old, who cares) with someone you like. It leans into you, daring. It wants you to know it’s into you. It doesn’t play games. It’s straightforward. It wants to get to know you better and can it take you back to its apartment and show you its etchings? Yes, please.
User Review2.94 (48 votes)
A decade ago, I traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Portland’s a great whiskey town: It fits the weather and my general mood (even improves it sometimes). I enjoy exploring the many shades of brown liquor...