Is it a steal?

Posted 05 July 2017 by Matt / In Heaven Hill
The Dramble's tasting notes for John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Bottle Name: John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

ABV: 46%
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Region: USA

Larceny is not the first of Heaven Hill's whiskey's to band about the Fitzgerald name. Old Fitzgerald was originally produced in 1870 by John E. Fitzgerald in Frankfort, Kentucky. Passing into ownership by Pappy van Winkle and production at the famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery, the brand was sold (along with Bernheim) to Heaven Hill in 1999. 

All bottles need a story right, and Larceny takes the folkstory of 'Old Fitz' and makes even more hay about John E. Fitzgerald's use of his keys (as a treasury agent) to gain access to the bonded warehouse for person requisition of casks of fine bourbon. Larceny is now produced at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and is a wheated bourbon with a mashbill of 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, 12% Malted Barley. 

Nose: Toffee with plantains/sweet potatoes makes for a interesting sweet and savoury opener. Dark cherries and tanned leather reaffirm that we're not heading in either direction too heavily. Fresh tobacco leaves, allspice and some rich bakery notes interplay nicely for a nose that is both interesting and welcoming.

Taste: Solid oily mouthfeel. Brown sugars – some of which have caramelised, vanilla and oak spicing again. Rather bready and yeasty. Water softens the edges dramatically taking out the astringency and bringing in a much sweeter, more floral aspect.

Finish: Medium long, but without water very astringent and drying. Both ginger and cinnamon zing along the tongue towards the end.

Interesting flavours from the wheat component of this whisky, bringing in savoury potatoes and bread baking notes. Both of these are worth exploring. However, I personally found the bitterness a bit overbearing and was reaching for my pipette. Whilst a few drops of water reduced the astringency, in no surprise to anyone, it also took something away from overall impact of slighty delicate wheat tones. A touch more balance here and we'd be onto a real winner.


Score: 83/100

Master of Malt
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