Water of life – Fortaleza Tequila
Let’s take the highway to Mexico to shed light on some premium tequila, shall we?
Disclaimer: When I talk of drinking tequila, naturally I do not mean the emission that you have to shoot and frame with salt and lemon to get it down your hatch. We are talking sippin’ and enjoying the finer nuances and flavours that unfold after it has been produced in a manner that honours traditions, i.e. using brick ovens, crushing agaves with large stone wheels and allowing for fermentation to happen in an open-air environment. Tequilas that are of a quality where mixing them for Margheritas would be blasphemy.
You do not “like tequila”? Well, you might have not tried good one yet then.
Enter Fortaleza Distillery.
Fortaleza’s unaged Blanco Tequila was the first of their range I have had the fortune to be exposed to. Its earthiness won me over straight away, which is flanked by sweeter blue Weber agave notes and a delightfully warm and finish. The fact that it is serenaded by an intriguing scent does not hurt either.
What meets the eye are Fortaleza’s hand-blown glass bottles, which not unlike the idiosyncratic unique bottle tops are made by artisans. The attention to detail is immense and the packaging is a natural extension of what the flavours promise.
Now, good start but let’s take it up a notch:
Fortaleza Añejo Tequila.
The main difference to the expression is the fact that it is being aged in wood oak barrels for up to three years.
It proves to be difficult to find something about this small batch drop from Guillermo Erickson Sauza’s Fortaleza Distillery: Aged for eighteen months, it comes with a complex melange of flavours that are expertly calibrated at the sweet spot between sweetness and profound light oak. Once it hits your tongue it feels velvety and the spicy caramel notes that meet fruity undertones makes it a near ideal sipping tequila, whose rewarding butterscotch finish leaves one lusting for more.
The Fortaleza family quartet is completed with a Blanco that hits a bit harder as it clocks in at Still strength and a silky, deliciously balanced Reposado variant, which follows the maxim of the Fortaleza Distillery, i.e. no additives, traditional artisanal production and resulting flavours that unfold their depths in every sip.
No matter if you are a Tequila aficionado or if you want to step up your game from the one with the plastic bottle top sombrero one, you’d be hard-pressed to find one of Fortaleza’s range of smooth and natural tequilas that will let you down.
Read more Water of Life entries here.
Photo by T