The initial launch is into 12 markets during September 2012. Heaven Hill tells us this is a super-premium 92 proof Bourbon and the heir to the wheated Bourbons that make up the historic Old Fitzgerald franchise that Heaven Hill acquired in 1999.
For 2012, Larceny will be available in the 1.75 liter, 1 liter, 750ml and 50ml sizes in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. At an average national retail price of $24.99 for the 750ml size, Larceny is a true small batch Bourbon produced from dumps of 100 or fewer barrels that have been selected from the 4th, 5th and 6th floors of Heaven Hill’s open rick warehouses in Nelson County, Kentucky. Larceny is drawn from barrels that have aged from 6 to 12 years at this high storage, and is bottled at a full-bodied 92 proof, or 46% alcohol by volume.
There is a controversial history of John E. Fitzgerald and his eponymous Bourbon brand that provides the story, and name, to Larceny Bourbon, the latest new label from the venerated distillery that produces Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Bourbons and Rittenhouse Rye.
Larceny Bourbon continues the Old Fitzgerald tradition of using wheat in place of rye as the third or “small” grain in the whiskey’s grain recipe, or mashbill as it is commonly known. The use of winter wheat replaces the spicier, fruitier flavor notes that rye provides with a softer, rounder character that is the hallmark of Old Fitzgerald and other “wheated” Bourbons such as Maker’s Mark and the Van Winkle line.
It is actually the story of the Old Fitzgerald brand, made famous by the late Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr., that forms the historical basis for Larceny Bourbon.
According to industry lore, John E. Fitzgerald had founded his distillery in Frankfort , KY shortly after the Civil War ended, making his Bourbon available only to steamship lines, rail lines and private clubs. This story was furthered by S.C Herbst, who owned the “Old Fitz” brand from the 1880’s through Prohibition, and “Pappy” Van Winkle, who purchased the brand during Prohibition and made it his signature label.
However, it was revealed by Pappy’s granddaughter, Sally Van Winkle Campbell, in her 1999 book But Always Fine Bourbon—Pappy Van Winkle and the Story of Old Fitzgerald, that in fact John E. Fitzgerald was not a famous distiller at all. He was in reality a treasury agent who used his keys to the warehouses to pilfer Bourbon from the finest barrels. His discerning palate led those barrels to which he chose to help himself being referred to as “Fitzgerald barrels”.
Now Heaven Hill has launched Larceny, whose tagline—“A taste made famous by an infamous act”—sets history straight.
All barrels of Larceny, just like all other barrels of Bourbon, rye, wheat and corn whiskey from Heaven Hill, are produced under the skilled hand and watchful eye of 6th and 7th generation father and son Master Distillers Parker and Craig Beam. The last special release of wheated Bourbon from Heaven Hill, the sold out 2010 edition of the ultra-premium Parker’s Heritage Collection, is one of the most highly regarded and sought out bottlings in Heaven Hill’s 75 years of distilling.
Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon will be introduced in a striking and attractive package, featuring a proprietary pinched waist flask shaped bottle and a contemporary but classic label. Utilizing a skeleton key as its symbolic logo element, which supports not only the brand story but also pays homage to the iconic key logo and tagline of Old Fitzgerald (“Your Key to Hospitality”), the face label of Larceny features a die cut keyhole through which a skeleton key printed on the back label can be seen, as well as prominent emphasis on the brand name, the Fitzgerald legacy and history, the 92 proof designation and the small batch statement.
The cork closure has a shrink wrapped tamper-evident seal which also carries the skeleton key icon.
Larceny’s high quality brand attributes and edgy design will appeal to the brand’s primary target audience, 30-50 year old male consumers with refined taste and an appreciation for heritage and tradition.
Larceny will be available at both fine retail spirits accounts and at on-premise establishments that cater to the Bourbon and whiskey connoisseur. The branding will be “A taste made famous by an infamous act”.
For Heaven Hill, the launch of Larceny “gives the company a new, viable volume entrant in the growing premium price segment, and gives us a go-to on premise brand,” according Senior Brand Manager Susan Wahl tells BourbonBlog.com. “Larceny combines an authentic brand history and intriguing story with outstanding, extra aged wheated Bourbon, making for a very attractive alternative for the more sophisticated American Whiskey consumer.”
Here’s a recipe that was served at Tales of the Cocktail using Larceny at the Larceny tasting room event!
The Inside Job by Ted Kilgore
Simple syrup .5oz
Angostura bitters 1 dash
Luxardo Maraschino .25oz
Build in mixing glass and stir all ingredients, pour into and old fashion glass with no ice, garnish with a lemon twist