Larceny Bourbon Mashbill

Larceny Bourbon Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a glass of Larceny Bourbon, despite what the pictures show… Someone in my house (*cough Zach cough*), likes to drink all of my whiskey before I get the chance to review it. I remember Larceny being pretty solid, but I’ve also never been too huge of a fan of wheated bourbon.

In this Larceny Bourbon Review, we’re going to cover some of the history, production, mashbill, price, taste and more of Larceny.

It made a spot on my list of Top 5 Bourbons for $25, but today we’re going to corroborate that with a full review.

Larceny Bourbon Review

Larceny Bourbon History

Larceny is a relatively new bourbon, just over a decade old, started by Heaven Hill. Heaven Hill is one of the largest distilleries in the world and produces whiskeys such as Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, and many others.

Larceny Bourbon is actually inspired by John E. Fitzgerald. In the late 1800’s, Fitzgerald was a U.S Treasury agent who held the keys to a rickhouse where bourbon was being aged. He would sneak in and steal whiskey from his favorite, and some of the best, barrels in the warehouse.

Soon, people began to notice that some barrels were a little light. The barrels became known around the distillery as Fitzgerald barrels. Herbst, the owner of the distillery at the time, went on to name his whiskey Old Fitzgerald.

“Pappy” Van Winkle went on to purchase the brand and turned it into a wheated bourbon.

Eventually, in 2011, Larceny was released in honor of… or at least inspired by, John E. Fitzgerald. The name Larceny also means theft, of course.

Larceny Bourbon Overview

  • Spirit: Small Batch Wheated Bourbon
  • Owned By: Heaven Hill Distillery
  • Distilled By: Heaven Hill Distillery
  • Aged: NAS
  • ABV: 46%, 92 proof
  • Mashbill: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley
  • Price: $25

Larceny is a NAS bourbon, or No Age Statement. In accordance with laws and regulations, the age of bourbon must be printed on the label unless said bourbon is aged a minimum of 4 years. Larceny does not have an age statement, so we know it’s aged 4+ years. Per Heaven Hill, they use barrels aged 6-12 years.

Larceny is bottled at 92 proof, a fairly low proof but still a significant uptick from the required minimum of 80 proof.

What is Wheated Bourbon?

All whiskey is made from grain, but there are four grains that are used most frequently – barley, corn, rye, and wheat.

Bourbon will always have corn as the dominant grain as it is required. Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn or else it’s not bourbon. Most bourbon will be made from 3 grains. Obviously, corn is the first.

Bourbon will also typically use a small amount of malt (malted barley) for its enzymes during the fermentation process.

Now that we have a lot of corn and a little bit of malt, there’s some room left over for a “secondary” or “accent” grain. This is usually either rye or wheat, and it’s the second most prominent grain in the mash.

Most bourbon will use rye, but wheated bourbon has it’s place in the market. Some wheated bourbons besides Larceny include Maker’s Mark, Wyoming Whiskey, Pappy Van Winkle, Weller, Old-Fitzgerald BiB.

Wheat is most prominently known to soften a whiskey, to tune down the sharpness.

What is Small Batch Bourbon?

Every whiskey is a bit different. Large distilleries have hundreds of thousands, even millions, of barrels being stored in rickhouses. All of the whiskey inside those barrels will be a little bit different.

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There are many factors that contribute to those differences – climate, the time it’s spent in the barrel, the barrel itself, the location of the barrel, the distillation season, the grain used… you get the point. A lot of things change, and it can have an impact upon the whiskey that comes out of the barrel.

Yet, every time you buy a bottle of Beam or Jack, it always tastes the same. That’s because they blend hundreds of barrels together in order to create a consistent profile.

Small Batch Bourbon, or small batch whiskey, means that a small number of barrels are blended together instead of hundreds. Most small batch bourbon will consist of ~10 barrels, but there isn’t a real limit on the number.

Larceny, for example, is a small batch bourbon that is produced from 100 or fewer barrels. Perhaps that can be a bit deceiving, calling yourself a small batch bourbon but using 100 barrels, but this is a $25 bottle.

Larceny Bourbon Tasting Notes

Alright, is Larceny good? What does Larceny taste like? Now, that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to answer these important questions. Let’s get to it.

Nose: The initial aromas I got were slightly floral and medicinal. After a second of letting it breathe, it opens up into peanut, banana, chocolate, dark cherries, plum, and sweet bread. Peanuts were the strongest and most prominent aroma for me.

Palate: A little thin and sharp, but not overly so by any means. More cinnamon and pepper on the palate. A nice toasted sugar with cherry. Roasted peanut, caramel and honey. Definitely a little more buttery and oily than expected.

Finish: That toasted sugar carries into the finish for a brief second before honey and pepper come in. After settling for a second it leaves the taste of peanuts and peanut shells in my mouth. Coats my mouth nicely, too.

Is Larceny Bourbon good?

Taste Summary

I think I underestimated Larceny a little bit. The nose was fairly pleasant, but it’s the palate-finish that caught me most off-guard.

When the whiskey first hit my lips and tongue, there was a little sharpness and it felt a little thin. Nothing too off-putting, especially for a $25 bottle, but noticeable nonetheless. Because of this, I didn’t expect Larceny Bourbon to coat my mouth as well as it did.

There was also more going on than anticipated. Peanut flavors were prominent and reminded me of baseball games and stadiums, but notes of dark fruits, toasted sugar, caramel, and honey were all present as well. There was just enough cinnamon and pepper to add a kick of spice.

I think the wheat mashbill really helps this bourbon out. The initial sharpness was certainly rounded out by the wheat.

All in all, Larceny Bourbon 100% belongs on my list of Top Bourbons for $25.

Best Bourbon under $25

The Top 5 Bourbons for $25

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Recently, I’ve reviewed a lot of good whiskey. However, a lot of that has been small batch, single barrel, and cask strength options. While that’s going to be your best whiskey, it’s also your more expensive whiskey. So, today we’re going to discuss the top 5 bourbons you can buy for $25,…

Larceny Bourbon Summary

As I mentioned, it had been quite awhile since I’d had Larceny, or at least since I’d had it neat. I remembered it being decent, but nothing to write home about. I was wrong – to a degree.

Larceny Bourbon may not be the smallest of small batch bourbons, but it’s hard to complain about much with the value you’re getting. For $25 you get bourbon made from a “small batch” of 6-12 year barrels. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Now, it’s a $25 bottle. Don’t read this review and pour yourself a glass thinking it’s going to be life changing. There are MANY bourbons I like more, just not many at all in the same price range. It’s the taste/price combo that I, and many people, love about Larceny Bourbon.

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