The Larceny brand of bourbon by Heaven Hill is a nod to the legend of John Fitzgerald…
Max Shapiro’s daughter, Kate Shapiro Latts, is the business savvy designer of the marketing behind Larceny. Who doesn’t love a good story? (Not to mention a great label)
During the Civil War, the Internal Revenue Act of 1862 authorized the Federal government to impose a temporary excise tax on distilled spirits. This act was intended “to provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay Interest on the Public Debt.” The act created the positions of storekeeper and gaugers. Storekeepers oversaw the administrative operations, including records and tax filings. They oversaw physical operations and controlled access to the grains, still, raw whiskey and bonded warehouses. Gaugers were responsible for measurements of productions and collections of excise taxes. The act allowed the distiller to construct a bonded warehouse, contiguous to the distillery, of iron, stone or brick. Two sets of padlocks were used – one for the government and one for the distiller. This kept both honest. These padlocks were sealed with special seals or stamps to prevent tampering.
John E. Fitzgerald was a bonded treasury agent that apparently had keys to the bonded warehouses where bourbon was stored during this time. He had a very discerning palette and only stole whiskey from the best barrels (the honey barrels) in the warehouses. Seems that S.C.Herbst, the founder of the Old Fitzgerald brand was aware of J.E. Fitzgerald’s selective preferences and named his bourbon brand after the thief:)
The keyhole in the label design and the key behind it on the back of the bottle is impressive. The wheated bourbon (just like the mashbill of Old Fitzgerald) inside the beautiful bottle is good stuff, too:)