A BRIEF HISTORY
Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon has its origins in the long and colorful history of John E. Fitzgerald and the Old Fitzgerald brand. According to lore, John E. Fitzgerald built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River in the 1870s and sold his fine Bourbon to rail lines, steamships, and private clubs. The Old Fitzgerald brand was first registered in the 1880s by S.C. Herbst, and was eventually sold to Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle during Prohibition. Pappy moved production of Old Fitz to his distillery where it became the first great wheated Bourbon and eventually one of the most famous Bourbon brands in the world.
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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LEGEND
Revealed in a family biography of Pappy Van Winkle, John E. Fitzgerald was not actually the man he has always been portrayed as. He was in fact a bonded treasury agent, who at the time were the only people legally allowed to carry the keys to the barrel storage rickhouses.
Mr. Fitzgerald apparently had a particularly discerning palate for fine Bourbon, and would use his rickhouse keys to gain access to the best barrels, which eventually became known around the distillery as “Fitzgerald barrels”. Herbst, and then Pappy, immortalized the man who had both the keys and the fine taste by naming the brand Old Fitzgerald.
Now Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon honors both the superb taste of this lawless treasury agent and the legacy of the Old Fitzgerald brand.
John E. Fitzgerald?
The history of Larceny Bourbon is one full of mystery and intrigue, with folklore dating back to the 1870s and the Old Fitzgerald brand.
Watch Whiskey Professor and Larceny Ambassador, Bernie Lubbers, unlock the story of John E. Fitzgerald, the man behind the true legend.