John E. Fitzgerald Larceny

Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Very Special Small Batch

92 proof

Larceny, a new bourbon from Heaven Hill’s Parker and Craig Beam, is being marketed under the tagline, “A taste made famous by an infamous act.” As I reported previously, that’s a reference to the revelation that John E. Fitzgerald, the distiller for whom Old Fitzgerald is named, was more likely a Treasury agent who used his keys to bonded warehouses to “sample” bourbon from the best barrels. Like Old Fitzgerald, Larceny is a wheated bourbon. The story on the label is a good one, but what about what’s inside the bottle?

Aroma: Caramel, syrup, almost butterscotch. Sweet, with a little tingle from the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet on the very front, with notes of caramel and buttery toffee, this bourbon fires up a little mid-palate, then smooths out at the finish, leaving a warm glow with some cinnamon and toasted wood – almost spruce.

Verdict: This is a very nice bourbon, which I enjoyed sipping neat. Heaven Hill is positioning it with other “introductory upscale” bourbons such as Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace and Knob Creek, and I think it holds its own. One knock against wheated bourbons that you’ll sometimes hear is that they are too sweet or mellow; while Larceny is sweet and very smooth, it also has enough spice, and a high enough proof at 92, to give it a little kick. In that way it compares more with Maker’s 46 (94 proof) than with Maker’s Mark (90 proof), in my opinion. And at $25 for the 750ml, it’s quite reasonable – almost a steal, you might say.

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