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Larceny: A Lawless Bourbon

Let us travel back in time to the year 1870, shortly after the Civil War. John F. Fitzgerald, a simple man, built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River, where he sold his bourbon to passengers on rail lines and steamships and to members of private clubs. Fitzgerald then made the decision to sell his brand to the one and only Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle for a small fortune of $10,000.

But more to this story has been uncovered in recent years. In 1999, a member of the Pappy Van Winkle family revealed a different side to Fitzgerald. It seems he wasn’t the man or the distiller he claimed to be — he was actually a bonded treasury agent, which meant that as a member of the Treasury Department, he was one of the only people allowed to carry keys to the barrel storage warehouses. As a man with a taste for fine bourbon, he used this luxury as an advantage to swipe the best barrels from all around as they aged and add them to his own “Fitzgerald barrels.”

Thus, the Old Fitzgerald Bourbons were a combination all the best barrels around. With the pick-up from Van Winkle’s, Old Fitzgerald was immortalized. What made it unique was the mash bill that contained wheat, rather than the other grains which were used in recipes at the time. This provided a softer, rounder profile to the bourbon.

Today we recognize Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon as a tribute to the lawless John E. Fitzgerald and his impeccable taste in bourbon. Larceny is made of corn, wheat malted barley and rye mash. Once the grains are milled, they are cooked in the Kentucky limestone water. After fermentation, the bourbon is aged in honey barrels for six to twelve years. Once the aging process is complete, the bourbon is bottled at 92 proof. Below you will find color, aroma, tasting and finishing notes.


Bright copper coloring.

The Nose

The aroma is a blend of buttery bread, honey, vanilla and toffee. You may also notice hints of butterscotch and honeysuckle.

On The Palate

Enjoy a velvety taste on the tongue with a pleasant hint of spice. The taste also includes a rich mouthful of caramel and cinnamon.

The Finish

A tad short, but the finish embodies an even warmth and notes of honey sweetness.

Larceny has received high ratings from the following:

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2013: 93 points
  • Wine Enthusiast: 93 points
  • Named in Top 20 Spirits by Spirit Journal
  • Best Buy by Whiskey Magazine

Have you had a chance to try the unruly Larceny? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!