Despite all the shiny promises and prognostications offered by futurists and vintage sci-fi, the 21st century has so far been something of a letdown. Sure, we all carry around tiny computers at all times, useful for reading articles like this one and for absently scrolling our way through the day. But the flying cars, personal jet-packs, and tourist excursions to other galaxies have yet to happen. However, here’s a new sign of progress akin to the development of a time machine: Fortuna Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This bottle offers the opportunity to explore the style and flavor of bourbons from previous eras.
Created by the team behind Rare Character Whiskey—Pablo Moix, Peter Nevenglosky, and Andy Shapira, three of our Imbibe 75 People to Watch for 2023—Fortuna resurrects a brand that existed from the late 1800s until the 1960s. Originally created by German immigrant Phil Hollenbach, Fortuna was a dominant whiskey in bourbon-centric Louisville in the late 1880s. Rare Character aims to revitalize Fortuna’s fortunes by selecting barrels of Kentucky straight bourbon, all aged a minimum of six years, then batching them into six-barrel blends. The goal is to reflect the character of classic bourbons otherwise only available as “dusties” and to offer this experience to contemporary whiskey drinkers. These vintage bottles from years or generations past typically fetch high prices among collectors.
Bottled at 102 proof, Fortuna has a vivid fragrance of candied fruit, baking spice, and lemon zest. In the glass, it comes across as rich and sultry, with aspects of milk chocolate, marmalade, and crème caramel. A lingering finish offers touches of honey, dried fruit, and tobacco.
It may not be a flying car or a round-trip excursion across the Milky Way. But if the type of time travel offered by Fortuna is any indication, the 21st century is making progress toward a happy future. $84.99, fortunabourbon.com