Enter the brand revival from Rare Character. According to the story, this is a whiskey steeped in history:
At the height of America’s original whiskey boom of the late nineteenth century, a German immigrant named Phil Hollenbach crafted a brand called Fortuna that helped define the early days of the modern bourbon industry. Hollenbach left a lasting mark on the whiskey trade, having found great success in Louisville, Kentucky. He strived to delight customers far and wide by sharing some of the “Taste of Good Fortune” provided to his family.
Over a hundred years since its inception, Fortuna Bourbon has now been revitalized for a new generation of whiskey lovers to celebrate. Aged a minimum of six years and hand-selected by the folks behind Rare Character Whiskey, the spirit of Hollenbach’s passion and dedication lives on in this remarkable Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
Pete recently shared a side by side of the old, original label next to the new one. I have to say they did a fantastic job with the recreation!
I first tasted this with Pete and Pablo and was quite impressed, despite it getting stacked up against some incredible single barrel releases we picked afterwards. I was impressed enough to grab my own bottle (or two) so I can share my thoughts with you! Let's get into a quick review of the modern whiskey.
Company on Label: Fortuna Bourbon (Rare Character)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed traditional bourbon mash bill
Age: 6 years
Further identification: This is labeled as "Batch 1B" bottled on 9/2022 on the back label; it is crafted from a blend of 6 barrels in Stanford, KY
Nose: Bready caramel notes jump out of the glass first. Diving deeper I find it to be reminiscent of flan. The nose is quite sweet with vanilla softening the sharpness of the background nutmeg and cinnamon. A strong base of oak serves as the backbone for a delicate dance of allspice, peppermint pastel party mints, and soft floral tones. As the glass warms a lovely honey sweetness forms with crystalline sugar coming as close to reality as possible under my nostrils. The cinnamon notes almost venture into some of the aromas that tend to come off of amburana oak, though it's quite soft here. That note is the only one that detracts from the nose personally, though I know many folks are crazy for those finishes. Time for a sip.
The same notes persist post-sip, but the barrel funk volume turns up slightly alongside those aromas. Overall the glass turns rather simple. The empty glass smells of Lindt excellence intense orange dark chocolate bars; the orange aromas are delectable.
Palate: My first sip is incredibly soft. Caramel leads the way as it did on the nose, though cherry skins follow close behind here. The mouth feel is on the thinner side, but it's also so incredibly sweet that I think that is a positive here. Another sip shows off vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate, date and soft plum. Soft, sweet honey persists as a cherry hots tingles the chest. The finish is short, but sweet, suggesting another sip isn't far out on the horizon. My last sip is a great balance between confectioners sweets and soft tannins.
Overall this ended up drinking a little more simple & not quite as magical as the first taste I had with Pete & Pablo. Perhaps it was the atmosphere, or the slew of other pours that followed that skewed the mind. This is still a solid, crushable pick that I'm not at all disappointed to have two bottles of. Cheers!