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Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Larceny Kentucky
Straight Bourbon


By Robert Plotkin

Everyone deserves some larceny in his or her life. It helps break up the week. Of course I'm talking about Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a character-laden whiskey made by Heaven Hill, the country's largest independent family-owned and -operated distillery.

Super-premium Larceny Bourbon continues the Old Fitzgerald tradition of using wheat in place of rye as the third or "small" grain in the whiskey's grain recipe, or mash bill as it is commonly known. The use of winter wheat replaces the spicier, fruitier flavor notes that rye provides with a softer, rounder character that is the hallmark of Old Fitzgerald and other "wheated" bourbons—such as Maker's Mark and the Van Winkle line.

Larceny is a small batch bourbon produced from dumps of 100 or fewer barrels that have been selected from the 4th, 5th and 6th floors of Heaven Hill's open rick warehouses in Nelson County, Kentucky. Larceny is drawn from barrels that have aged from 6 to 12 years at this high storage, and is bottled at a full-bodied 92 proof (46% alcohol by volume).

If Larceny is a crime, sign us up. The whiskey has a deep amber/golden hue, a full, velvety textured body and an engaging nose of cherries, vanilla and caramel. Its wafting aromatics alone distinguish the whiskey as top-notch. The entry is extraordinarily smooth and devoid of anything resembling excess heat. It has a soft, silky entry and a palate brimming with the bakery-fresh flavors of cinnamon, black cherries, toffee, vanilla and dark chocolate. The finish is long, warm and flavorful.

As the adage goes, everyone has a little larceny in his or her heart. Certainly the backstory behind the whiskey bears this out. According to John E. Fitzgerald, he founded his distillery in Frankfort, KY shortly after the Civil War ended, making his bourbon available only to steamship lines, rail lines and private clubs. However, John E. Fitzgerald was not a distiller at all. He was, in reality, a treasury agent who used his keys to the bonded warehouses to pilfer bourbon from the finest barrels. His discerning palate led those barrels to which he chose to help himself being referred to as "Fitzgerald barrels."

The statute of limitations must apply here. So go ahead, enjoy the bourbon and leave the call to the bail bondsman for another occasion.