Fortaleza Tequila: All You Need to know


In this article, we will let you know the history of Fortaleza tequila, talk about the three types of tequila they produce, and not forget some of the two recipes you can get from the tequilas.

And if you are unsure of how to drink each of the three tequilas, we guide you on the right way to do it. 


Tequila Fortaleza is relatively new to the market because it was introduced in 2005. It is another great tequila with over 140 years of history behind it.

The great great grandfather of the Sauza family, Don Cenobio, is the one that marked the start of Fortaleza tequila.

Let us take a look at what Fortaleza tequila is all about.

The History of Tequila Fortaleza

1860, Don Cenobio

Don Cenobio was the great great grandfather of the Sauza family and paved the way for Fortaleza tequila. He started his first distillery naked la Persevarancia in 1873, in tequila town, Jalisco.

Don Cenobio Sauza's Portrait

Don Cenobio was not just the first person to export mezcal tequila to the U.S but also shortened the name to just Tequila, and employed the use of steam when cooking agave rather than using an earthen pit. He also stated that the best rich cooked agave fill to use for production was Blue agave.

Later on, his son, Eladio, continued to run the family business from 1909 after Don Cenobio passed away. At this time, Don Eladio presented this nectar of the gods to the world using different names like Mexican brandy, tequila, Mexican whiskey, and even as an aperitif. Eladio helped during the Mexican Revolution to make tequila a national drink of Mexico. He also founded the La Constancia distillery.

Dona Eladio passed away in 1946 and gave the family business to Fransisco Javier, his son. Javier brought a lot of changes to the industry and made Fortaleza tequila a very well-known brand in the world. One of the most important things that Don Javier contributed to was establishing the denomination of Origin for tequila.

1890, Don Eladio

While in Japan on a business trip in the late 1960s, Javier came across a Japanese tequila bottle that angered him. He stated that tequila could only be made in Mexico, in the area around Tequila (Tequila Valley). 

Don Eladio Sauza's Picture

Don Javier led a group of tequila producers in 1973 to apply to appeal the origin. However, it was not until 1996 that the world recognized the Denomination of Origin for Tequila.

Don Javier acquired a piece of land in Tequila town to create a hacienda in the town's highest point, facing his rival distillery. He set a distillery on the land and named it La Fortaleza.

He had a tahona pit, oven brick, two small copper pot stills, and a little wood fermentation vats.  He and his family went on to produce tequila in this place until 1968. The distillery was not very efficient and produced insufficient tequila.

The family shut it down because of this and converted it to a museum to show the people the ways that tequila was made in the ‘old days. In 1976, Don Javier sold the family business. Still, the family kept the land containing the distillery and hacienda. In 1999, Guillermo, Don Javier’s grandson, started the process of getting the old distillery up and running. Doña Sylvia’s son thought he would grow up to fly around the world while promoting their tequila.

1968, Guillermo and Don Javier

After doing several renovations and working hard over a couple of years, Don Guillermo finally got Distileria La Fortaleza active again, making tequila using the same methods it used hundreds of years ago. They used a small brick oven to cook the agave, wood tanks for fermentation, a tahona to squeeze the juices from the agave, and the two original copper pots to distill tequila.

Guillermo Erickson Sauza's Picture

The family's goal was and still is to make the best tequila they can, and they haven't changed a thing. As much as some of their families tried to push tequila forward, the current members of the family are looking back. They are using artisanal and traditional methods to make the best tequila possible. In Mexico, the product is available under the label name "Los Abuelos."

Guillermo and Don Javier sharing the frame

The Three Tequilas Produced by Fortaleza

Fortaleza currently makes three types of tequila, namely Añejo, Reposado, and Blanco. Let's take a look at each of them.

The Three Types Fortaleza Tequila

Fortaleza Blanco

Blanco is a tequila that is not aged and never gets in contact with an oak barrel. It is bottled as soon as it is distilled. On the nose, this special Blanco tequila  will give you a citrus aroma and a roasted blue agave together with peppery or buttery flavors with little notes of olive that make it very inviting.

Fortaleza Blanco

On the palate, you'll realize just how fantastic Blanco is as a dram with intense agave flavors assorted with delicious citrus, vanilla, and lime notes.

Fortaleza Blanco’s flavor is complex but easy to drink without a bad bite. You can eat or drink it either on the rocks or neat. You should not mix it in a margarita, it will be too freaking good.

Fortaleza Reposado

Reposado tequila is a product of aged Blanco tequila in a wooden barrel between 2 months and a year. The time it spends in the barrel gives it an amber hue together with sweet oaky notes. Fortaleza Reposado takes nine months to age in American Oak barrels before it's bottled.

Fortaleza Reposado

It gives aromas of toffee, citrus, roasted agave, and butter. The flavor is amazing, which is contributed by the time it spends in the barrels, making it very sweet. This is one of the best reposados in its category. You can drink it neat or on the rocks.

Fortaleza Anejo

Añejo is tequila aged between one and three years in a barrel and becomes sweeter with marked oaky notes. The well-made Añejos do not lose their roasted agave flavor, and the bad ones have a sweet wood taste.


Fortaleza Anejo


You will get to experience a nice and sweet aroma from the bottle: Vanilla, cooked agave, toffee, and butterscotch.

The flavor gives a perfect balance between the sweet oaky notes from the time spent in the barrel and blue agave. It is oily, thick, and damn good with a deep, inviting vegetal complexity.

Drink it on the rocks or neat but make sure you use a set of whiskey notes to chill. You do not want to water down this amazing dram.

How Good is Fortaleza Tequila?

Fortaleza is a very terrific and highly rated tequila for the true connoisseurs who can have a good time taking some old-school dram. It is a top-shelf spirit that is a favorite for many. It may end up as yours too.

If you are wondering Fortaleza Tequila is a sipping tequila, then yes. It is a fine sipping tequila for experienced drinkers that appreciate an excellent old-fashioned tequila.

Tequila and Beer Cocktail Recipe with Fortaleza Añejo

Here is one of the best tequila and beer cocktail recipes that you can make with Fortaleza Añejo. It offers a citrusy and refreshing taste suitable for a warm day.

Tequila and beer cocktail with Fortaleza Añejo


In a shaker tin, mix:

  1. 0.75 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  2. 0.75 ounce of honey syrup, make sure to dilute the honey syrup with water on a 1:1 ratio.
  3. 2 ounces of Fortaleza Añejo tequila
  4. 1.5 ounces of Pyramid Weiss Cream beer(nitrogen-based beer)
  5. 2 dashes of Barkeep Fennel Bitters
  6. Put ice and shake, then double fine strain into a cocktail glass.
  7. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and put in a few drops of Angostura Bitters


A sweet Tequila Sazerac Recipe with Fortaleza Añejo

Sazerac recipe with Fortaleza Anejo


  1. Begin with a pint glass
  2. Put 2 ounces of Fortaleza tequila
  3. Put in 0.5 ounces of agave nectar (cocktail-ready from Tres agaves)
  4. Put in  2 to 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  5. Put in ice and stir, do not shake
  6. Use Absinthe to spritz the inside of a glass
  7. Strain the cocktail into the glass
  8. Top of the glass with some orange peel


How to Drink Fortaleza tequila

  • Blanco - Rocks or neat.
  • Reposado - Neat or Rocks.
  • Añejo - Neat or rocks with whiskey stones.
Neat Fortaleza Anejo


Though new to the market, Fortaleza tequilas are still some very good tequilas.

In case you have never heard or given them a try, then you should. They are spirits for experienced drinkers that love old-fashioned drinks.

Give it a go soon!

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