Fortaleza Blanco Tequila
Tequila Fortaleza is the definition of “old world” practices for making tequila the way it was made over 150 years ago. “Efficiency” is not something that Fortaleza is known for. Very old, slow, attention to detail methods are used to make a spirit worth savoring.
The process of making Fortaleza involves 7 steps to assure a quality product.
The agaves used are harvested from the heartland of Tequila Valley, in Jalisco, Mexico. They are only harvested once they reach 8 years old to ensure that they are mature and ready for production.
Agaves are cooked for 36 hours in a very old stone oven. As the agaves slowly cook the starches inside the agaves turn into sugars, and deep caramelization happens best when you slow down and use the old traditional way. Once the agaves are fully cooked, they are cooled down for 24 hours before they can be handled and removed from the oven.
Fortaleza is 100% stone crushed using a “tahona” wheel. This is a large 2 ton volcanic stone pulled by an electric tractor (which took the place of the mule after he died.) In this step the sugars are separated from the fibers of the plant so that the fermentation can fully occur. Using this method is considered, “inefficient” by most distilling standards, but like slow cooking food offers a superior product.
Fermentation is done in wood open-air tanks. Using a special yeast that has been in the family for generations, they allow it to do its job: eat sugars, and produce alcohol. No shortcuts are taken. No extra sugar is added, as well as any yeast-accelerating chemicals. This process takes about 4 days to finish.
Fortaleza is distilled twice in traditional copper pot stills. These stills have been in use for over 100 years when the distillery was first built. The first time through the still a product known as the, “ordinario” is created, which is about 20% alcohol by volume. It is then run through again to produce the tequila which comes out at about 46% alcohol by volume. Many other tequila distilleries will distill their products closer to 65% in order to make it easier to store. This again shows how Fortaleza uses methods more for flavor as opposed to efficiency. The tequila is, “closer to proof” this way allowing the distiller to not have to add more water to the final product and bring down the proof.
Fortaleza is aged in used American oak barrels. These barrels are re-chipped and re-charred to bring greater depth and complexity to the final product.
Fortaleza bottles are hand blown in Jalisco, Mexico. Each one is a tiny bit different. Not only is the tequila produced in an old fashioned way, but so are the bottles.
Aromas of citrus, and rich cooked agave fill your nose in this unique and very special Blanco tequila. Also present: butter, olive, earth, black pepper, and a deep inviting vegetal complexity.
Flavors include citrus, cooked agave, vanilla, basil, olive, and lime. The finish is long and deep, complex yet easy to drink.
Fortaleza Blanco is a true aficionado’s tequila.
Fortaleza Blanco Tequila 750ml
Retail price $59.99