John E. Fitzgerald Larceny

John E. Fitzgerald was a "government man," a U.S. Treasury agent who maintained the keys to the "Old Judge" distillery on Benson Creek near Frankfort, Kentucky.  Under the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, treasury agents controlled access to distillery warehouses.  "Agent" Fitzgerald apparently had a palate for fine whiskey and often helped himself to select barrels on the Old Judge property.  Owner Charles Herbst and others discovered that Mr. Fitzgerald had a habit of sampling their finest products and began calling their best barrels "Fitzgeralds."  As an inside joke, Mr. Herbst, (a forgiving man?) named the Old Fitzgerald brand after the agent. 

In 2012, Heaven Hill introduced Larceny, with a tagline—”A taste made famous by an infamous act.”  It's a popular 92 proof winter wheater, blended from barrels aged six to twelve years pulled from floors 4-6 of Heaven Hill’s rick houses.  It is rumored that Larceny will replace the Old Fitzgerald brand altogether.

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny

Heaven Hill Distillery

Blend of bourbons aged 6-12 years
92 proof
$25 at Sam's Liquors in Columbia, SC

Color: New copper shine

Nose: Brown sugar, sweet cinnamon, toffee, and light oak. 

Tasting notes:  Brown sugar and maple sweetness up front followed by a strong, but very pleasant cinnamon mid-sip; the wheat sweetness is balanced out by the woody aroma, an oak flavor, and long finish. 

Overall: B+.  Larceny is a starting player on my varsity squad of wheated bourbons.  I like it better than Maker's Mark, W.L. Weller Special Reserve, and Old Fitz.  It's almost as good as Maker's 46 and Old Weller Antique 107.  It's brilliantly balanced, sweet but oaky, and incredibly drinkable.  Did I mention that I paid $24 for it!  No one in my house cries when I finish one bottle and go get another.

Peer reviews:

I disagree with the first two guys, but reasonable men may differ:

The Thirsty South
Bourbon & Banter
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