Southern Stories
Apr 10/13

Bourbon of the Month: John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Posted by: Jason Pyle | 0 Comments

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Bourbon is a newcomer to the Bourbon marketplace over the last 6 to 8 months, and a good one at that. Made by Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Ky., Larceny is a small-batch wheated bourbon consisting of 100 barrels “or less.” It has been aged in the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of Heaven Hill’s whiskey aging warehouses.

The term “wheated” refers to bourbon where the distillery has replaced rye with wheat as the small flavoring grain in the recipe. You’ve probably heard of other wheated bourbons such as Maker’s Mark, Pappy Van Winkle, and W.L. Weller to name a few.

The namesake pays homage to Heaven Hill’s well renowned brand called Old Fitzgerald, and in particular John E. Fitzgerald. As the story goes, Mr. Fitzgerald’s was a treasury agent with keys to the many rickhouses, where bourbon is aged for years and years. He became well known for the propensity to use his access to “procure” (or rather steal) bourbon from the distillery’s finest barrels. These barrels eventually became known as the “Fitzgerald barrels.”

Larceny is an impressive release from Heaven Hill, especially at this price point. First off, the proof is right on for an easy sipping and inexpensive wheated bourbon. Heaven Hill has retained the flavor here without compromising drinkability. Because of the price, the natural comparison is against Maker’s Mark, but I feel it aligns more closely to Maker’s Mark 46 at a considerably reduced price.

Where can you find it? Availability is becoming increasingly strong for Larceny. A quick stop by four area stores in Nashville, Tenn., came up with bottles at each location. In addition, four major online retailers also show Larceny in stock. Be sure to give this a try. You may just find it a replacement to your favorite red head.

Image from Thirsty South

Tasting Notes

  • Color: Medium Amber
  • Nose: Brown sugar, caramelized banana, honeysuckle, corn, and a healthy dose of ground cinnamon. There is a bit of oaky resin as well.
  • Palate: Velvety on the tongue and surprisingly well spiced. Brown sugar syrup, vanilla, and notes of sweet corn are livened up big time with a cinnamon and wood spice punch.
  • Finish: Falls off quickly, but with even warmth, never too hot, and a hint of honeyed sweetness.

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Bourbon
46% abv (92 Proof), $24.99/bottle

Jason Pyle is an American Whiskey writer. Born and raised in the South, Jason is passionate about southern culture and, of course, Bourbon. You can find more from Jason at



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