Riding the fringe of Old Fitzgerald folklore is Larceny, a non-age-stated wheated mash bill bourbon produced by Heaven Hill. It’s not as talked about as its barrel-proof namesake, but to its credit, the original 92-proof iteration is affordable ($25) and widely available.
Pour: Larceny Bourbon
Age: at least 4 years
Nose: vanilla, fresh dough, maraschino cherry
Taste: silky caramel, mellow oak, honey-butter
Finish: moderately short – mild baking spice, faint leather
Overall: Entry-level wheated recipe bourbons are a mixed bag. Maker’s Mark is sweet and lively; Weller Special Reserve is sweet and buttery. As for Larceny, the sweeter notes find suitable balance with the oak. It’s just overly mild and uninspiring.
Rating: Eye-roll smooth.
When Larceny Barrel Proof was first announced, whiskey fans went nuts. A barrel-proof 6-8-year wheated bourbon? Sounds like a winner, right? In a world of Pappymania, you’d think. Unfortunately, Heaven Hill has seldom shone in the wheated department. Maybe batch B520 will.
Pour: Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon B520
Age: NAS (reportedly 6-8 years)
Color: dense copper
Nose: toasted butterscotch, oak char, brown sugar
Taste: nutty vanilla, roasted marshmallow, black licorice
Finish: moderately long – salted peanuts, English toffee, sassafras
Overall: I hate to label this as a one-trick pony, but inevitably, that’s what Larceny Barrel Proof B520 is. Not that it’s a boring bourbon. It’s just a handful of similar notes trekking and trotting within a hefty, yet easily sippable high-ABV whiskey.
Rating: Bold Fitz.