Rumors Surrounding Fortaleza Tequila Añejo Lot 43-A
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Rumors of a Mistaken Mixing Process Fuel the Mystique Surrounding Fortaleza Tequila Añejo Lot 42-A

Fortaleza Tequila

Two particular batches of Fortaleza Tequila regularly sell in the $400-$1000 range. Here’s the whole story. (Photo: DrinkFortaleza/Instagram)

Tequila Fortaleza, better known as “Los Abuelos” in Mexico, has handily established itself as one of the most sought-after agave spirits in the world. Cult awareness surrounding the brand has gradually reached astronomical heights over the past few years; a great development for tequila lovers, but terrible for prices.

Of its critically acclaimed collection, two particular bottles have become coveted collector’s items following rampant speculation about their botched production.

The bottles in question are Añejos Lot 42 and 43-A. As rumor would have it, a miscommunication during the barreling process elevated these bottles to ultra-aged perfection. 

Mistaken Mixing of a Carefully-Crafted Añejo

Workers at Destileria la Fortaleza, the last distillery in Tequila that still uses a tahona, a giant lava stone, to crush the juices from the baked agave, in Mexico. (AP Photo/Tracie Cone)

Supposedly, unknown amounts of an unreleased extra añejo were accidentally mixed into these batches of Fortaleza right before bottling.

The incident is not entirely unheard of, as distillers are known to allow a certain amount of blending between different batches in order to maintain consistency in their product.

What makes Lots 42 and 43-A so special is that Tequila Fortaleza has never released a true extra añejo to market. While an añejo is aged for one to three years, extra añejos are aged at least four. During that additional time, tequila is known to pick up a rich whiskey-like character, and, more often than not, a considerably higher price tag. 

The age of Fortaleza’s alleged extra añejo is not known, nor is the number of bottles released in either of these treasured lots.

To be clear though — Tequila Fortaleza has never substantiated these rumors themselves. Of course, that hasn’t stopped word of mouth from spreading like wildfire among tequila enthusiasts, blogs, and dedicated Tik Tok accounts, driving up demand to absurd levels. 

How Difficult Is It To Find These Bottles?

Bottles of these elusive añejos are currently selling for wild prices across the Internet — while some retailers have them listed at $400, others reach all the way up to $1,000. No matter where you look, rest assured you’ll have to pay a pretty penny. 

The select few who have managed to get their hands on these expensive trophies have written nothing but praise.

Top Shelf Tequila said that its aroma brimmed with “sensational subtle notes of stewed strawberry, raspberries and cherries” and that its flavor was comparable to “a red skin lolly or fruit tingle sherbet candy” (in a good way).

A reviewer on Tequila Matchmaker remarked; “What an amazing mistake! Dried prunes, vanilla, oak, and agave… Oily, thick, and syrupy mouthfeel. This is a very special bottle that really opens my mind to the idea of barrel blending.”

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.