Okay, it's "another" one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" tasting reviews by someone not accustomed (nor talented enough) to actually submit to this group of much-more-knowledgeable-about-tasting-criteria folks who I so highly respect and quickly defer to.
This time it's Heaven Hill's "Larceny", which I finally got a chance to obain and try. Other reviewers seem to want to compare this wheated bourbon to Maker's Mark, but since it's made by Heaven Hill, using (I presume) the same wheated recipe, and aged for (per the label's omission) the same 4 years, I thought it would make a better comparison with the current Old Fitzgerald.
First, about the Old Fitzgerald...
I have several examples of Stitzel-Weller Old Fitz, both from Van Winkle times and from United Distillers times. I actually had to go out and buy an example of current Heaven Hill Old Fitz, and that was not a bad idea at all. Heaven Hill's version, while remaining true to the "Heaven Hill" trademark flavor, is a decided improvement on the version they inherited when they bought the Bernheim distillery and the remaining UD/Diageo stock. Good for them! They produce a continuation of the original Old Fitzgerald 100-proof Bottled-in-Bond which, if you reduce it to 92-proof, SHOULD be the same bourbon as Larceny.
Larceny taste older. Perhaps, since there's no age statement, that means there is bourbon in here that is older than 4 years. Old Fitz was traditionally five years old, but since they don't state that on the label anymore, we can assume that it's really four now. Since the age (which is that of the YOUNGEST whiskey in the bottle, would be 4, unless stated otherwise) doesn't appear on the Larceny label, we could assume it to be four years old; but the flavor tells me that SOME of the bourbon is older than that.
For those of us who enjoy older whiskey, Larceny is better-tasting than Old Fitz. $10.00 better-tasting? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on what you want. Larceny definitely had more of the old S/W flavor (at least UD's version) than the current Old Fitzgerald. But those who are looking for an alternative to Maker's Mark, which seems to be their target market (In the retail stores, Larceny is shelved with MM, not HH) would probably be disappointed with Larceny. It very much lacks the subtle sophistication that is MM's hallmark. An it has nowhere NEAR the flavor palette of Maker's 46, for those who prefer a little more of what the barrel has to say.
And don't even go anywhere NEAR Buffalo Trace's wheated offerings!
Bottom line: a nice try from Parker and Craig, but (1) not up to the quality I feel they're capable of producing, and (2) not up to the brands that HH is positioning Larceny to compete against. In fact, there are several micro-distiller brands that I feel surpass Larceny, including just about anyone rebottling LDI whiskey. Does LDI offer a wheated bourbon? Maybe they should. (maybe they do).