Fortaleza Blanco Tequila Review [In Depth]

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila

Alex author
Founder, writer
fortaleza blanco tequila header

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila Details

Distillery: Fortaleza (NOM 1493)

Type & Region: Blanco Tequila, Mexico

Alcohol: 40%

Composition: 100% blue agave

Aged: None

Color: 0.0/2.0 on the color scale (clear)

Price: $60

From the company website:

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 overview

Fortaleza Blanco is Fortaleza’s purest expression of agave – no additives and no barrel aging. While I don’t understand the hype, desirability, and insane markups (because it’s all prevalent), I certainly appreciate the purity and transparency. To be fair, I don’t really understand the hype of any spirit.
Anyway, Fortaleza keeps it old school, using traditional methods to cook and break down the agave into wonderful liquid, using stone/ brick ovens to cook and roller mills to crush the agave. On top of that, the tequila is housed in hand blown glass bottles. That’s next level artisanship, and I appreciate it because they don’t do hand blown glass bottles with whiskey or rum…to my knowledge at least.
Here are the specs provided by Fortaleza
  • NOM: 1493
  • Agave Source: Tequila Valley
  • Cooking Method: Stone/brick oven
  • Crushing Method: 100% stone crushed
  • Distillation: Double Distilled
  • Pot Style: Copper pots
  • Proof: 80 (40% abv)
  • Fermentation: Open-air wood tanks
  • Sugars: 100% agave
  • Water Source: Natural Spring (Tequila Valley)

    Bottles: Hand-blown in Mexico

Fortaleza uses agave grown in the lowlands (I personally don’t care if it’s highland or lowlands, although admittedly I don’t necessarily know enough to have an educated opinion)
Let’s find out if this delivers a memorable experience in this Fortaleza Blanco Tequila review.
fortaleza blanco tequila back

As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for everything (they’re the best): Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass Set of 6, Set of 4Set of 2, or just one. Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila smell

The scents have sweet lime juice and zest, lightly vegetal spring greens, simple syrup, hint of black pepper and oak, cooked veggies, and grapefruit. Fortaleza Blanco is clean, vibrant, and refreshing with sweet, fruity, vegetal, and lightly earthy scents.
I admit it, it smells great.
After swirling and rest, I get freshly squeezed lime and grated lime zest, simple syrup, vegetal spring greens, black pepper, and hints of smoke and starfruit with little to no bite.
Fortaleza Blanco is a well rounded blanco that’s fresh, vibrant, fruity, and a little vegetal and smoky. It’s very approachable and enjoyable, but I wish it were heftier and bolder. I know that it’s probably not the point, but I can’t help but wish that anyway.
fortaleza blanco tequila neck

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila taste and aftertaste

The flavors start with peppery lime and simple syrup, lime zest, black pepper, lightly roasted spring greens, and smoke. Fortaleza Blanco is sweet and peppery up front, and has a bit more pepper and smokiness in the back. There’s a really nice and subtle smoky vegetalness that I didn’t expect.
I’d like a little more viscosity, but I guess it is what it is at 40%. The still strength, at 45% ABV, I guess improves that.
With intense “chewing” I taste lime and lime zest that’s peppery and slightly woody and vegetal, simple syrup, black pepper, starfruit, spring greens (the vegetal flavor), and a little smoke.
“Chewing” brings out more of the smoky and woody vegetalness of the agave + the ovens, making this a fairly even balance of sweetness, fruitiness, and vegetalness. The flavors have good body and are delicious, I just wish it was more viscous. I have a feeling that Fortaleza Still Strength is going to be so good.
The aftertaste has smoked limes, black pepper, lightly drying vegetables, simple syrup, and smoke. And after “chewing”, there’s smoky lime and lime rind, black pepper, white sugar, smoky spring greens, and starfruit.
Until I get my hands on that, Fortaleza Blanco is a delicious, albeit not mind-blowing, tequila that’s a lot of fun to drink.
fortaleza blanco tequila front
I’ve unfortunately lost some Glencairn’s while in transit, and that made me very sad. So, I wised up and bought this Glencairn Travel Case that comes also comes with 2 glasses so I don’t need to worry so much about them breaking. I think it’s great, and I think you’ll love it too. Seriously, if you already have glasses, protect them.

Fortaleza Blanco Tequila Rating

Mid shelf+
Fortaleza Blanco is bright, vibrant, clean, a little earthy, and overall very pleasant to drink. It’s one that I’m very happy to drink it at any time (and believe me I have), but I’m not sold that it’s all that it’s hyped up to be.
At MSRP and not hard to find, yeah it’s absolutely worth it. The marked up price is an easy pass, and an unfortunate symptom of greed and stupidity. As much as I enjoy it, it’s not so outstanding or mind blowing so it’s not worth much more than MSRP.
I’m looking for a bit more pop and density. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but the ABV holds this back so much. There’s incredible potential lurking underneath all that water, which dulls what’s already such a good tequila. If Fortaleza does in fact come off the still at 45% ABV, which seems extremely low, then there isn’t much room to fill it out. It is what it is then.
I know I’m never going to get my way, but thankfully other brands carry 100+ proof stuff that’ll quench my thirst for something bolder and richer.
At minimum, Fortaleza Blanco is a great benchmark for what great Blanco tequila can be. I’m going to keep looking for things that I enjoy even more and are easier to find.
Alex author
Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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Shattered glass really sucks, so if you’re on the move, this Glencairn-like stainless steel snifter glass should survive your travels. Full transparency, this is an Amazon affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)