One of my favorite releases of this bourbon to date !
Notes: I am going to skip most of my usual intros for this line of Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey, as most of you have read the past intros for both the whiskey and the company in past reviews. If you have not, please consult the earlier release reviews for more background.
This is the 2nd release of 2023 of the new Larceny Barrel Proof series, a barrel-proof product for this year. We expect another batch to be released in September of this year. At 124.4, it is at the higher end of the proof range (114.8 – 125.8) to date. As usual, this is a blend of six to eight-year-old straight bourbons. and each one is subtly ( or sometimes not so subtly but still within the house style) different from the other to maintain interest and to differentiate each other.
Past Releases : (We have reviewed eight so far).
The first release this year was Lot A123 at 125.8 in January. That was one of the better ones in a while.
Last year’s releases (2022) were as follows. The first release/batch was in January of 2022, Labeled “A 1 22” at 124.4 proof, and the second was B521 at 123.8 Proof. Hence, the Batch Code of “A” ( first release of the year) and 122 (Month 1, January) and year (2022).
The previous years’ releases (2021) are as follows: the first batch we reviewed was the A121 at 114.8 proof, the second one was B521 at 121 proof, and the third and final one was (C921) which weighed a touch heavier in proof at 122.6.
Previous releases of 2020 we have reviewed were the A120, the B520 122.2, and the final batch for that year, the C920 122.4. These were the debut and first examples of the Larceny Barrel Proof line.
Standard proof for Larceny is 92 proof, so you are getting ( roughly) about 1/3 more alcohol and a more flavor-concentrated profile than the standard. There are going to be three releases of this whiskey each year: January (Done), May (This One), and September – so look out for them! The proofs have and will vary slightly, and so will the taste to a limited degree. They will want to preserve the brand profile, but that does not mean no variation to keep it interesting – just not a huge departure from batch to batch. Some other side note on this: Finally, someone has defined what they call a small batch – a previously very slippery and elastic term in the whiskey industry – in this case, 200 barrels or less. In case you were interested, that translates into roughly 7-8,000 bottles depending on the Angels’ share and assorted spillage and shrinkage factors. They also have specified that the Heaven Hill wheated bourbon mashbill ( of course, since it is an outgrowth of the Fitzgerald line) is being used. The mashbill is 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12 % malted barley. The age range of the barrels used in the blend is from 6 to 8 years, with the profile striving to be that of a 6-year-old bourbon but a very mature 6-year-old.
Appearance: Corn and oak gold color that is brilliantly clear to the eye in the glass. On swirling, it leaves a light, even coat on the glass, with a few legs forming at very even intervals as it slowly retreats back into the glass. The color in the bottle is a deep golden amber, like a fine grade of maple syrup.
First Impression: Highly aromatic and flavorful on the nose as soon as you pour, but nicely integrated, especially given the moderately high proof. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and corn backed by wheat and barley. Other notes are saddle leather, light Virginia tobacco, a touch of oak charcoal, dark fruits, and spices.
Taste: Delicious and quite in line with what you pick up on the nose. Slightly sweet and lightly oily entry with a nice drying and tingling of the tongue as it goes down.Extremely and seductively smooth and easy on the palette.
Drinks: Makes a great Manhattan playing well with the other ingredients, also great Horses Neck, Old Fashioned, and a very delightful Whiskey Sour. The sweeter nature of this batch makes for a more plush and rounded ) not to say Rubenesque) cocktail – think more of a sweet corn bourbon than a dry one in mixing characteristics.
Bottle: We did not receive a production bottle, so we are unable to comment.
Other: It goes nicely with a lighter shade of cigar- a Maduro would be too much – probably a Connecticut shade wrapper, Ashton or Davidoff?
Final Thoughts: It’s definitely a favorite for this year so far; I Highly recommend a nine-olive release. Price to Value is excellent for it delivers a lot for the money – much more so than a number of (IMHO ) overpriced “Craft” brands right now. They may not have a smaller company’s cachet, but they do it right!
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