Fortaleza selects and harvests only the ripest agave for their Tequila. Using 150-year-old methods and traditional equipment, the agaves are slowly cooked in a brick oven over 2 days. Once cooled, the sweet juice is extracted with a 2-ton tahona wheel (large round volcanic stone) that crushes the cooked agave under its weight. Fermentation of the agave juice takes 4 days and occurs in open-air wooden tanks, using both natural and a special yeast strain that has been in the family for generations. Fortaleza is distilled twice in two 100-year-old copper pot stills and the Añejo is rested in American oak barrels for 18 months. Bottled in hand-blown bottles, Fortaleza is as close as you’re going to get to what Tequila tasted like 100 years ago.
Appearance: Deep amber.
Nose: Orange blossom, tropical fruits and cooked agave.
Taste: Candied orange peel and butterscotch with notes of hazelnut.
Finish: Almost sherried with notes of raisins and oak.
Overall: A Tequila that resembles that of a fine Cognac.
Although the brand its self is relatively young, Fortaleza is steeped in Tequila distilling expertise and history. Held in high regard among Tequila aficionados, getting a bottle of this for anyone should be a special occasion. Take your time when enjoying Fortaleza Tequila because they certainly put a lot of time and love into making it.
If the person you’re buying for is a fan of the Fortaleza Añejo you could also try Arette Gran Clase Extra Añejo, Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva or Siete Leguas Añejo.
Tequila can be seen as an appillation (A.O.C), as Mexican Law states that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. The production of tequila is regulated by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) with many rigid, strict laws that producers must abide by in order to ensure authenticity. In a similar way to Scotch Whisky the terrain, area and soil all shape the character and taste of the tequila, as a result of how it affects the agave plant.
ABOUT THE DISTILLERY
In 1999, Don Guillermo began the process of restoring his family’s old distillery, Destileria La Fortaleza, which was retired in 1968 in favor of more ‘efficient’ facilities. After several years of renovations and hard work, Don Guillermo got the distillery up and running again, making Tequila in the same way it was made over 100 years ago. With a small brick oven to cook the agave, a tahona to squeeze out the juices, wood tanks for fermentation, and the 2 original copper pots for distillation. Their goal is to make the best Tequila they can, and to this day, we have not changed a single thing.