And so it begins: December’s annual weeping, wailing and gnashing of tequila fanatics’ teeth when they see pictures of Fortaleza Winter Blend 2023 bottles online. Some of the howling stems from knowing they can’t get a bottle now, or perhaps ever, and some of it’s aimed at the fortunate few who find it and hoard multiple bottles. (Sound familiar, bourbon fans?)
Since Fortaleza’s baseline of blanco, reposado, anejo and still-strength blanco are hard enough to get, this year’s 1,100 9-liter case release of Winter Blend reinforces the scarcity of these bottles. This tiny distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, produces only 36,000 9-liter cases of spirits yearly for North American markets and, increasingly, Europe. Despite working round the clock six days a week, its twin 250-gallon stills don’t make enough tequila to quench the public thirst for it.