Larceny 1870 92 Proof
Heaven Hill Distillery
Taste Score: 84
Category: Bourbon, NAS, Wheated
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Larceny is in the category of a wheated Bourbon, a sub-brand of the Bourbon category that's glorified by big hitters like Maker's Mark, W.L. Weller, and of course Pappy Van Winkle. Most bourbons use a combination of corn, rye, and malted barley in their starting recipe. Wheaters use wheat instead of rye. It's still a bourbon, but a different take on bourbon.
The best wheaters will take on this rich cherry flavour that borders on sweet vermouth. Rye is a punchy grain, and when wheat is used instead, those lighter but complex flavors are bound to bounce up. Many wheaters do also take on spicy notes, but instead of rye, that spice is from the oak. So where does Larceny fit in with this lineup of famous wheated bourbons?
It's a bourbon that's significantly affordable and certainly cheaper than many of the whiskies mentioned earlier. I enjoy Maker's Mark 46 a great deal, but I find regular Maker's Mark a little too rounded. I want whisky with edge. Smoothness is rarely a compliment in my reviews.
Larceny has that edge. It's unpolished. It's ideal to sipped, and it's affordable. If there's any criticism to Larceny (and how could one be too critical of a whisky this affordable), it is just at the starting point of a good wheater. It has all those characteristics you want (soaked cherries, nutty, caramel), but it won't be confused for a more expensive wheated bourbon.
In that, it meets expectations perfectly.
Nose: Faint whisky soaked cherries, nutty, burnt butter, and more nuttiness.
Palate: Nice balance of caramel and oak spice, with dark chocolate and buttery notes that hang on the palate. Brown sugar notes sweeten out through the middle, and there's a touch of burnt butter bitterness toward the end.
Conclusion: Affordable wheated bourbons are a rarity. It isn't high on wheated bourbon characteristics (lots of cherry notes, mellow spice), and definitely on the untamed flavour side of the scale. Not a high-end bourbon, but definitely has a lot to bring to its category.
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original