Candied apple | Green Apple Jolly Rancher | Rye spice | Touch of lemon | Seasoned oak
Caramel | Orange | Milk chocolate | Baking spice | Milky mouthfeel
Rye spice | Spicy oak | Tobacco | Faint ethanol | Rye spice aftertaste
Fortuna Kentucky Straight Bourbon resurrection from modern obscurity with the help from a Heaven Hill family member is a blast from the past.
Fortuna is a brand that dates back to the 1800s, but has been mothballed since the 1960s. The brand was founded by Phil Hollenbach, a German immigrant, and originally carried the tagline, “A Taste of Good Fortune.” The brand’s fortune unfortunately ran out during whiskey’s downturn in the 1960s. Rare Character Whiskey Co. known for their single barrel releases which allow customer's artwork incorporated into their labels, resurrected the brand in 2022. Sporting Fortuna’s traditional straightforward labeling, the new iteration is sourced just like Rare Characters single barrels and carries an 6+ year age statement. Rare Character's Pablo Moix and Peter Nevenglosky brought on Andy Shapira for Fortuna, who is well known for his time with his family’s distillery, Heaven Hill.
Out of the gate, Fortuna is a straight shooter. Lacking any major frills throughout, Fortuna does well to exhibit the styling of a classic rye bourbon. Heavy apple on the nose, gives way to a rye spice forward palate and finish. The palate packs a gentle ramp-up of rye spice and baking spices with orange and milk chocolate adding some useful intrigue. The finish is also a to-the-point affair, with rye spice giving way to a spicy oak note. With a slightly milky mouthfeel midpalate quickly transitioning to a lingering rye spice aftertaste. The whiskey rewards those who stick with it as it's hard to shake its quintessential old-style character. At times is even tastes like a modern day dusty (if that is a thing). Its price is a bit higher than I’d like, but the olde tyme trip it takes one down is a fun one.