Review: Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B523 (May 2023)

Summer is here, which can only mean that a fresh expression of Larceny Barrel Proof has arrived. Unlike Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B523, there are no big plot twists on Larceny’s latest. As always, it’s a full-strength expression of Heaven Hill’s modern classic wheated bourbon, Larceny.

B523 is right on target for the Larceny line, and as with A123, the whiskey is firing on all cylinders. A bright nose is perhaps a touch sweeter than the usual Larceny Barrel Proof bottling, evoking butterscotch alongside the usual notes of allspice, cinnamon, and ground coffee. Racy but not bruisingly boozy, I found it opened up well with a few drops of water, as is often the case with these releases, allowing the alcohol-driven heat to settle a bit and some subtle notes of eucalyptus to emerge.

It’s quite sweet on the palate, with lacings of anise, more exotic allspice, and a big burst of brown sugar. None of this is surprising — and the flavors on display won’t change any of your preconceived notions about Larceny — but again it strikes as an appealing and well-crafted wheater, slightly toasty with notes of banana bread before complementary notes of walnuts, milk chocolate sauce, and plenty of vanilla come into frame. The finish again feels a bit sweeter than the typical Larceny Barrel Proof, but that’s not a slight. Adding even more water late in the game really highlights the banana element and puts the drinker into the mindset of bourbony beach cocktails.

124.4 proof.

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