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Review: Fortaleza 100-B, 16-B

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Fortaleza Blanco

I love knocking around liquor stores looking for dusty/treasure bottles, but there is a downside: passing up contemporary bottles that are just as good (if not better). Fortaleza is a prime example. It's crazy I don't have one open right now even though I'm likely to recommend it to someone looking for a bold, traditional blanco. That said, these two blancos aren't standard shelf grabs. Lote B-16 is highly regarded among aficionados as one of their most impressive lotes to date. B-100 sources agave from the highlands rather than los valles and is bottled at 40% still proof (no water added before bottling). I've been looking forward to this side-by-side.


Fortaleza Blanco - 100-B - NOM 1493 - 40%

Nose: Green/cocktail olives. Brine. Honey. Glue. Background tropical fruit/pineapple.

Flavor: Fruity, briny, minty. Complex sweet/savory interplay. Salted caramel. Tropical fruit. Olives of course. Drops some of the complexity in the finish, but it’s clean.

Structure: Balanced and round, unfolding in soft waves.

Alcohol Integration: These low distillation proof blancos are aces for me (Yeyo, El Tesoro Olive Oils).

Score: 8 (Stash One) Doesn't have the clarity of Calle 23 Criollo or Fuenteseca 2013, but the body/mouthfeel is bigger and more than compensates. Delicious crusher.


Fortaleza Blanco - 16-B - NOM 1493 - 40%

Nose: Bright, mineral driven. Mint. Melon. Dry earth. Honeydew. Brie after the nose opens. Not as expressive, but more defined.

Flavor: Balanced/controlled. Bright fruit, minerality. Pear. Honeydew. Blackberry (a first for me in tequila, I get this note in MGP and Four Roses V yeast bourbon). Olive/brine pops mid-palate. Earthy waves in the finish. Late spearmint.

Structure: Structure is unreal. Slow. Slow. Slow. Slight kick mid-palate. Multiple long waves in the finish. Impressive.

Alcohol Integration: Punchy mid-palate where it needs to be. Zero heat. Still long and complex.

Score: 8 (Stash One) Clarity, palate, and finish out perform 100-B which is, however, more bold and rich. Can't go wrong with either, but I'll give the slight edge to that fat palate on the 100-B.


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Hampden Estate 46%


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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