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Larceny Bourbon vs Buffalo Trace: Which is Better? (2023)

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Lydia Martin

There is plenty of controversies comparing wheated bourbon with other types of bourbon, just like wheated Larceny bourbon with Buffalo Trace.

These two most recognizable names in the bourbon industry can give unique drinking experiences both for bourbon geeks and even newbies. 

But, really, which tastes better? Let’s uncover each brand’s attributes in this wheated Larceny bourbon vs Buffalo Trace face-off.

In-Depth Comparison Between Buffalo Trace & Larceny Bourbon 

Buffalo Trace & Larceny Bourbon Bottles on the table

Larceny and Buffalo Trace are completely different. Larceny is made of wheat, while Buffalo Trae bourbon whiskey uses rye in its mash bill.

Although produced in the same state, Buffalo Trace is from Frankfort, and Larceny is from Bardstown. 

A bottle of Larceny has a lower price with its sweet, tasty, and mellow profile, while Buffalo Trace has a slightly higher bottle price and a well-rounded and balanced profile.

A Closer Look On Their Differences 

History & Origin

Bourbon Fermentation

Buffalo Trace was first introduced as the new flagship of its distillery in 1999. This flagship was a tribute to the ancient buffalo that paved the way to the Kentucky River.

Larceny was first launched in 2012. But its intriguing name came from John E. Fitzgerald, a treasury agent in the US.

Fitzgerald, who had access to the rickhouses, used the opportunity to steal the taste of some of the best bourbons.

Distillation Process

Buffalo Trace uses a combination of pot and column still, while Lacerny uses column still in distilling its bourbon.

However, both brands blend the same limestone water from the Kentucky River during distillation and before taking it into the barrels. 

Maturation Process

wooden barrels

Larceny and Buffalo Trace are Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and are matured in new oak barrels,

Both bourbons don’t carry an exact age statement. But according to the Heaven Hill website, Larceny is matured from 6 to 12 years at high storage,

Mash Bills & Alcohol Content

Larceny small batch bourbon is known for its wheated bourbon. It uses 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley on its wheated mash, the same mash content used for Old Fitzgerald.

After aging, Larceny is bottled at 92-proof with 46% ABV, while Buffalo Trace is slightly lower at 90-proof with 45% ABV.

“Bourbon making is an old art, but we are applying forward-thinking approaches…”

– Conor O’Driscoll, Master Distiller

Buffalo Trace uses rye as the secondary grain and corn and malted barley, but it isn’t exactly stated. It has its Mash Bill #1, known as ’low rye mash bourbon,’ that contains 10% or less rye.

Tasting Notes

Larceny Bourbon

Larceny Bourbon Single Barrel with glasses

Palate: Sweet and rich buttery mouthfeel, with caramel sweetness and soft oak spice notes.

Nose: Toasted wheat bread up front with lots of sweet caramel and butterscotch.

Color: It has a bright copper hue.

Finish: Medium to long warm finish with lingering nutty flavors and vanilla.

Buffalo Trace

Palate: Rich notes of vanilla, oak, and dark fruit flavors with light rye spice and toffee.

Nose: It has a complex aroma in the nose with caramel, vanilla, honey, and soft spice from the cinnamon.

Color: It has a deep amber hue.

Finish: Medium finish with lingering oak spice notes, caramel, and vanilla.

Ownership & Distillery

close up shot of buffalo trace bottle

Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey is distilled at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY. Sazerac has owned it since 1992 and also owns Maker’s Mark and Eagle Rare.

Meanwhile, Heaven Hill has owned Larceny since 1999 and is produced at Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, which also produces Henry McKenna and Elijah Craig Small Batch.

Price Point & Value

Buffalo TraceLarceny Bourbon
Average PriceAround $35/750mlAround $30/750ml

Both have reasonable prices for a great-tasting profile. But the table shows that Larceny small-batch bourbon is slightly cheaper than Buffalo Trace. 

Fun Facts

Larceny Bourbon

  • Heaven Hill Distillery is America’s largest independent, family-owned distillery. [1]
  • In 1870, Fitzgerald built a distillery in Frankfort, KY.
  • It earned 95 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge last 2020.
  • Won Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2021.

Buffalo Trace

  • Buffalo Trace Distillery is America’s oldest continuously operating distillery.
  • In 2013, Buffalo Trace was considered a National Historic Landmark. [2]
  • Buffalo Trace has used the same recipe and procedures for the last 200+ years.
  • Won Double Gold at TAG Global Spirits Awards last 2022.

FAQs 

Is Larceny an affordable option for Buffalo Trace?

Yes. Larceny is a more affordable option for Buffalo Trace, especially if you’re into sweeter and wheated bourbons.

Which is a better sipper, Buffalo Trace or Larceny bourbon?

Buffalo Trace is a better sipper. Although Larceny has a sweet, creamy texture, Buffalo Trace’s well-rounded profile makes it a better drink, with or without ice.

Final Say

Larceny vs Buffalo Trace had a tight battle. But after matching up, Buffalo Trace’s classic bourbon-tasting flavor won this round.

Larceny bourbons have a sweeter, softer taste and a higher alcohol content, but the right bourbons punch in Buffalo Trace in its well-balanced profile is what we prefer in a drink.

Even though they are both inexpensive—we have to say, moneywise, Larceny won that round.

References:

  1. https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2022/06/07/heaven-hill-breaks-ground-on-new-135m-distillery.html 
  2. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/buffalo-trace-distillery-announces-its-designation-as-a-national-historic-landmark-216003561.html 

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