Larceny’s New Barrel Proof Bourbon Should Be Your First Purchase of 2020

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Larceny Bourbon is adding a new bottle to its ranks, and the new barrel-proof member of the family looks to be next year’s first must-try bourbon.

The bottling claims to offer richer, deeper flavors, and a more authentic drinking experience “to taste Larceny as Heaven Hill’s Master Distiller does, straight out of the barrel,” as the press release explains.

This marks just the second release in the Larceny line of bourbons since the brand launched in 2012, which is somewhat staggering, considering even the spartan Maker’s Mark brand has released a half-dozen new products in the last decade.

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Larceny’s parent company Heaven Hill has been rolling out a surprising number of mid-range-priced products in the last year, reissuing Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond and also adding a premium extension of Old Fitzgerald to the portfolio. Its Henry McKenna 10-Year—which has garnered too many awards in the last few years to count—remains untouched for now.

Heaven Hill’s Larceny brand has quite a few claims to fame, despite it being fairly new to the market, including the fact that the liquid comes from the same lineage as Pappy Van Winkle. Julian Van Winkle was once a part owner of the Fitzgerald brand, which was at one time distilled at Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

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Eventually, the distillery was closed by another owner. It then moved to the Bernheim distillery, which was eventually purchased by Heaven Hill, along with the recipe and name of Old Fitzgerald. Of course, changing distilleries likely made significant changes to the whiskey, so it’s hard to compare modern productions to old stock from 50 years ago.

What’s not hard to do is compare Larceny Barrel Proof with the original Larceny. Unlike the 92-proof original, Barrel Proof will have varying proofs batch to batch, much list Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It will also be bottled without chill filtration, a process that prevents the whiskey from clouding at the expense of filtering out flavorful components of the liquid. It’s also more expensive than the original, at a price of about $50.

Heaven Hill is providing a significant amount of information about its plans for this release, including an annual calendar that highlights January, May, and September as the months for rolling out new batches. The first one will be labeled A120—a code that breaks down the release of the year (A means first), the month (1 means January), and the year (20 for 2020).

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