John E. Fitzgerald Larceny is a wheated Kentucky bourbon coming from Bernheim Distillery owned by Heaven Hill Distilleries. Wheated bourbon means that the secondary grain used in the mash bill is wheat rather than the more conventional choice of rye. Wheat makes the bourbon smoother.
The Old Fitzgerald brand gets its name after John E. Fitzgerald, a bonded treasury agent, who built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River in the 1870’s. He held the key to the bonded rickhouses stored with bourbon because those days he was one of the only people legally allowed to carry those keys. That’s where the Larceny logo gets its idea.
The brand was registered in the 1880’s by S.C. Herbst. Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle bought the rights during Prohibition and moved the production to his distillery.
The rest is history as Old Fitzgerald became one of the greatest wheated bourbon brands in the world.
Larceny is a small batch bourbon made out of 100 barrels or less, but yet it’s very cheap. It’s not the most known Old Fitzgerald bourbon and I’m not surprised. At least I wasn’t impressed with it at all.
Larceny has bourbons ranging from 6 to 12 years of age. To my surprise, it isn’t as smooth as one would think because of the wheat majority. Larceny left me a bit cold, being quite one-sided and harsh. Like Dolph Lundgren, who by the way, has a starring role in a movie called Larceny.
John E. Fitzgerald Larceny bourbon has gotten some great reviews: Double Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Whiskey Magazine’s “Best Buy” bourbon for example. Somehow it just wasn’t my “cup of tea”.