Operating from the late 1800’s until the mid 1960’s, Fortuna was once a prolific and known brand throughout America. After shuttering their doors during the dark days of whiskey, the brand is now being revitalized for a new generation of whiskey lovers.
Fortuna is being revived by the people behind Rare Character, an emergent brand founded in 2021 by industry veterans Pablo Moix and Peter Nevenglosky. Joining them in 2022 is Andy Shapira, an industry expert who gained invaluable experience and insight while working and growing up in his family’s three-generation legacy business Heaven Hill Distilleries.
Fortuna was originally founded by Phil Hollenbach, a German immigrant, in the late 1800’s. Hollenbach found success in Kentucky by bringing “A Taste of Good Fortune” to all with his remarkable bourbon.
Through extensive research including correspondence with members of the Hollenbach family, this iteration of the brand aims to recreate the essence of Fortuna at its peak in the 1880s, down to the branding, bottles, and bourbon itself.
“We were fortunate to have had access to a few vintage bottlings of Fortuna, as well as the Hollenbach’s original flagship brand Glencoe,” said Shapira. “This helped produce a flavor profile to shoot for and shape the way we approach meticulously selecting the six barrels that make up each batch of Fortuna. We are proud of the results.”
The whiskey is a blended Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 102 proof, aged a minimum of 6 years. “It’s so perfectly balanced it’s crushable,” explained co-founder Pablo Moix. “I come from a bar background, so I just approached it the same way I would do cocktails.”
Moix, Nevenglosky, and Shapira are no strangers to whiskey; they’re responsible for Rare Character Whiskey, one of the fastest growing whiskey brands in America. Through exclusive single barrel releases and innovative product lines such as The Finishing Series and The Native Wood Series, Rare Character has quickly become known in whiskey communities.
To learn more about Fortuna and its history, visit fortunabourbon.com. The brand plans to release new products in 2023 as well.