Larceny Barrel Proof Batch A120 Bourbon Review
This is everything that's good about wheated bourbon, with a barrel proof kick.
Type: Straight bourbon
Distillery: Old Fitzgerald Distillery (Heaven Hill)
Proof: 123.2 proof
Age: Blend of 6 to 8 years
Charred sugar, vanilla creme brulee, even a little honey. This is a wonderfully sweet nose, but there's also oak and leather to keep things well rounded. I get a bit of citrus and even a little nutmeg. I have to say I'm a fan of this so far.
Even at 123 proof, this pour brings the sugar from all angles. Vanilla, caramel and even maple syrup can all be found. While this does have plenty of kick, it comes in the form of cinnamon rather than pure heat, which makes it much more approachable than your average barrel proof bourbon. I do get oak, but it's not the star of the show by any means. Most of us have read about wheated bourbons and all the smooth, sweet flavors they can bring, and this bottle is a classic example of the benefits of that mash bill.
This is a long, bold finish. It leaves a tingle even after the flavors have dissipated. Throughout the nose and palate, this was super sweet and syrupy smooth, but the finish brings some spice and a lingering heat.
Let me start by saying that I think the standard Larceny is perfectly fine at its price point, but it's not necessarily my favorite wheated bourbon. I was excited to try this, but my expectations were held somewhat in check. Well, this stuff blew my expectations away. To me, this is everything that is good about wheated bourbons. It's heavy on all of the sweet notes, but the high proof gives it a dose of some bolder flavors and more than enough kick to appease the hardcore barrel proof crowd. In my opinion, the only thing preventing this from being in the top tier of barrel proof pours is that it doesn't have that extra layer of complexity that truly exceptional bourbons have. Then again, very few bourbons do. As is, this is a great bourbon and one that I will always have on-hand. It has seemingly gotten better every time I've gone back for another pour.
This is a general guide of what I consider each score range
4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.
4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.
3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.
3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.
2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase, but may not buy another.
2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.
1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.
0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away.