Since its inception in 2020, Larceny Barrel Proof has been a shooting star in the bourbon world. The wheated bourbon (made by Heaven Hill) had been around for a long time and has its roots in the old-school wheated bourbons of Stitzel-Weller (Pappy and Old Fitzgerald). From that legacy, Heaven Hill created standard Larceny Small Batch as an everyday version of Old Fitzgerald — or, more specifically, a version people could afford/find.
Fast-forward to 2022, and the Larceny Barrel Proof expressions are being released three times a year to almost universal acclaim (and are getting harder and harder to find).
Recently, I snagged a bottle of the latest release, Batch No. A122 (A = first release of the year, 1 = month of release, 22 = year of release) for review. It’s always a bit of a question mark as to whether these are going to be the same ol’, same ol’ or take everything up a notch. As soon as I opened this edition, I knew I was in for a wild and fun ride just from the nose off the bottle. So let’s just get right into it!
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Larceny Barrel Proof Batch No. A122
Average Price: $86
The juice in the barrel is made from a mash bill of 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of six to eight-year-old barrels that are vatted and bottled at cask strength as-is. It’s as easy as that, folks.
The nose opens with full-tree cedar beams that are exactly like a seaside lodge near my hometown. I can almost sense the fire cracking away in the huge river rock fireplace at the center of that room as I nose this one. That woody note is supported by touches of warm brown butter and maple syrup waiting for a stack of pancakes that haven’t been cooked yet with a hint of sticky buns and orange pith lurking in the background.
The palate starts off sweet and nutty, kind of like almonds dipped in that maple syrup and then rolled in holiday spices with an echo of warmth. The mid-palate leans into ripe figs and spiced prunes before a vanilla husk woodiness arrives with whispers of hazelnuts, dry sweetgrass, and woody spice with a hint of cedar-infused tobacco leaves. On the very backend, there’s a bit of a sweet straw with a touch of that spicy warmth.
Larceny’s bottles have this key-hole vibe that certainly helps them stand out on a bar cart. Otherwise, this is a classic feeling bottle that leans into that old lock-and-key vibe from Stitzel-Weller.
This is fantastic. While drinking it neat from a Glencairn, you can barely feel those gargantuan ABVs on the palate. Instead, you’re treated to layers of whiskey goodness. This is a great sipper that I’m looking forward to trying more of as the year winds on.
97/100: This is damn near perfect in every way. Had there been a “Woah…” moment (or something outside of a pure classic profile from top to bottom), it would have been a 100/100.