For nearly a decade, the name Larceny has not only served as a tribute to a lawless treasury agent who allegedly stole some of the finest quality bourbon from rick houses under the auspices of his title, but it has also represented one of the best value wheated bourbons that is regularly available in the current market. At the $30 price point, Larceny has always been a go-to bourbon for me when I am looking for something that is rich, flavorful, and very easy-drinking.
In late 2019, Heaven Hill announced that they would be releasing a barrel proof version of the Larceny brand, similar to its Elijah Craig counterpart. This allocated bottle is set to be released three times throughout the year. The first release of this new expression came in January 2020 with Batch A120.
Larceny Barrel Proof is made from a mash bill of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley. This bottle does not include an age statement but the distillery has stated that batches will be made from bourbon that has been aged for 6 to 8 years. This batch comes in at 123.3 proof (61.6% abv) and retails for around $50.
Appearance – dark amber. Slow, medium legs formed in the glass.
Nose – This barrel proof expression delivers a quick dose of ethanol up front, but this quickly tapers off and reveals plenty of dark brown sugar, some dark fruit, and plenty of oak char. I also found hints of the classic Larceny profile that is full of roasted peanut and some soft grain, reminding you that this is a wheated bourbon.
Palate – Despite the proof, this bourbon has a very sweet presentation that is full of rich, salted caramel, sweet vanilla cake, and oak. However, a slight burn does develop along with a bouquet of baking spice (including heavy cinnamon) and some tobacco leaf, which really helps to balance the sweetness. A few drops of water really emphasized the sweetness of the profile and brought out more of that sweet vanilla cake and caramel syrup.
Finish – The finish is medium-long with a very pleasant mouthfeel. There is some lingering burn and spice mid-palate, but the finish is characterized by a slight nuttiness, heavy oak, and more of those caramel syrup and vanilla cake notes. The finish was slightly tannic toward the end, but overall the oak lingers and really works well with the predominantly sweet profile.
Overall – There is no doubt that the Larceny barrel proof expression is a great addition to the Heaven Hill lineup and one that comes in at a very favorable price point! This wheated bourbon delivers plenty of rich, sweet flavors that really work well at the higher proof and it is surprisingly easy-drinking at 61.6% alcohol. I also really enjoyed tasting this bourbon and a few drops of water to experience the progression of the overall sweetness. Personally, I don’t think this bottle has the depth or complexity of its Elijah Craig counterpart, but nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed this pour and will aim to keep a bottle in stock! Cheers!