The much-anticipated wait is over and Fortaleza Tequila, one of the world’s finest premium tequilas, is now available in South Africa. Proudly brought to you by Truman & Orange, Cape Town based premium Spirits Company, the Fortaleza Tequila collection is available at selected premium liquor stores around the country.
Fortaleza is a small-batch, hand crafted, 100% agave tequila that comes from the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. The small family owned distillery, located on the slopes of an extinct volcano amongst maturing blue agave plants, is where 5th generation tequila maker, Guillermo Erickson Sauza, makes tequila using the same production methods employed by his forefathers.
The use of old-world machinery, tradition, and practices create a unique tequila experience and – as if stepping into a time machine – Fortaleza allows you to experience what tequila tasted like 150 years ago – without the technology and processes of the modern era.
Rowan Leibbrandt from Truman & Orange explains, “We’re starting to see huge interest from South African drinkers in premium spirits, and high-quality tequila in general. South Africa is a large tequila market, but to most South Africans tequila meant low quality mixtos that gave you a nasty headache at university. That is changing as South Africans are starting to demand 100% Agave Tequilas of the same high quality of Cognacs and Single Malts that they’re enjoying. And this is being supported by a wave of exciting new up-market restaurants exposing South Africans to Mexican cuisine”.
“Fortaleza is undoubtedly a gem of tequila and, perhaps the finest in the world. And we’re thrilled to be able to bring it to South Africa. At Truman & Orange, we are very selective in the products that we decide to include in our portfolio, and we are extremely proud to add Fortaleza Tequila to our repertoire of disruptive discovery brands.”
Don Guillermo, Master Blender at Fortaleza Distillery explains, “Our goal is to make the best Tequila that we possibly can, and to this day, we have not changed a single thing. While others focus on modern day processes to speed up efficiency, we look back and use traditional and artisanal methods to produce the best tequila possible, and by doing so we honor our great-great grandfather, great grandfather, and grandfather.”
Fortaleza Tequila is loved all over the world and is the bartenders’ choice for its smoothness and exceptional quality. With its signature citrus and vanilla flavours, long rich finish, and oily mouth-feel, Fortaleza is a silky-smooth tequila. Sip it neat or on the rocks, or trust a skilful bartender to treat you to a Fortaleza Margarita or Paloma.
Fortaleza Tequila is available in three variants:
Fortaleza Blanco is double distilled in the copper pot stills and the result is a smooth, crisp tequila that is full of flavour from the blue agave. Crystal clear Fortaleza Blanco has earthy aromas of baked agave, backed with notes of dried berries and citrus. It comes in a hand-blown individually numbered bottle of 750 ml at 43% Vol. Alc. and retails at approx. R750 per bottle.
Fortaleza Reposado is aged for up to six months in American Whiskey barrels. It starts with aromas of raisins, figs, roasted nuts, caramelized agave, honey, delicate earth, and soft cinnamon. With a creamy mouth-feel, flavours of dried fruit lead to agave, toasted wood, baking spice and minerals and it leaves you with a vibrant and lively finish, with lingering spice. This light golden colour liquid comes in a 750-ml hand-blown bottle at 40% Vol. Alc. and retails at approx. R1 000 per bottle.
Fortaleza Añejo is aged for up to 1.5 to 2 years and is a mid to rich gold in colour with the nose of caramel, cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg. The signature mouth-feel of the Fortaleza tequilas is found here, as well as flavours ranging from soft agave honey to newly turned soil with wood sugars and spice throughout. The finish is of bracing minerals and hints of baked agave. Fortaleza Añejo comes in a 750-ml hand-blow bottle at 40% Vol. Alc. and retails at approx. R1 300 per bottle.
How is Fortaleza made:
After seven or eight years of growing the mature and ripe blue agave it is harvested and then cooked by steam in a traditional small brick oven for around 30 hours. A large round 2-ton volcanic stone, called a Tahona, slowly squeezes all the juices from the agave. After adding water from the volcanic mountain of Tequila and separating the fibers the ‘mosto’ is fermented in wood open-air tanks. When fermentation is complete, the distinctive taste of Fortaleza tequila is achieved by being distilled twice, in two very small copper-pot stills (that have been in place since the distillery was built more than 100 years ago) – it is these stills that bring a certain amount of “magic” to the process.
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