Every year, Heaven Hill releases three versions of their Larceny Barrel Proof bourbon whiskey. These whiskey drops have become some of the most awarded and beloved wheated bourbon releases of the year. Larceny is also a wheated bourbon that you can actually afford for day-to-day sipping and mixing — a hell of a perk in an industry where hype can cause prices to skyrocket.
Today, we’re reviewing the latest edition of Larceny’s Barrel Proof, labeled B521. That’s the “b” or second release of the year that was bottled in May (“5”) of 2021.
You should be able to find this release on shelves very soon, but you might only be able to find them in Kentucky at close to the MSRP. These are limited releases of a very popular whiskey. Prices will inch up the further away from the Ohio Valley you get.
Larceny Barrel Proof B521
Average Price: $50 MSRP, $70 retail
These barrel blends from Heaven Hill are meant to highlight the precise quality of the distillery’s prowess from grain to bottle. This small batch of wheated bourbon is derived from barrels between six and eight years old. The juice then goes right into the bottle with no cutting or filtering, allowing the masterful craft to shine through in every sip.
This has a mellow nose that ebbs and flows between soft maple syrup cut with cinnamon sticks, a light touch of brioche, new leather gloves, and bruised apples. It offers a warm rollercoaster ride through figgy puddings touched with burnt sugars, dried fruits and nuts, holiday spices, and a brandy butter silkiness. The taste has a hint of almond or walnut shell on the end that marries to a dry mouthfeel, vanilla, and a touch of tobacco chewiness.
The warmth lingers pretty long but never overpowers and almost becomes halfway between fizzy and buzzing as it fades, leaving you with a woody, bourbon vibe and a very late wet straw note.
These Larceny bottles are pretty straightforward. They’re sort of shaped like a glass lock with a keyhole label. It’s a unique bottle for sure and a great name, but not a bespoke decanter or anything like that.
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The ABVs are definitely there but feel less intrusive than the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It’s a full-fledged bourbon experience from the nose to the long finish that’s definitely worth checking out this year.
90/100 — this is a really solid barrel proof that’s very sippable (even neat) and definitely affordable.