Elemental Spirits 5S Selection from Oaxaca
This batch of jabaí comes from just outside of San Luis Amatlan. This is one of the first batches of pure Jabalí that Camílo Garcia, brother of Nicolás Garcia, has attempted to distill and the first time it’s been exported by Cinco Sentidos.
60 wild agaves were harvested and roasted in an underground oven along with other varieties. Fired with mesquite and left to cook for approximately 2 weeks. After cooking, the agaves were separated and then milled with a mechanical shredder. Fermented naturally with well water in sabino wood tanks. Three “refresh” runs in a refrescadera still with a second distillation pass with “xixe” added. The final proof adjustment made with hearts, heads, and tails and bottled at 49.4%.
Botanical, floral, potpourri mezcal. The other dominant trait can only be described as a medicine cabinet. Diluted hydrogen peroxide and new cotton gauze bandages. Fresh plastic packaging right when you open a bag. Eucalyptus scented moisturizer and aloe vera. Lavender scented dryer sheets, laundry detergent. Green wood, conifer trees, pinecones, juniper, and lemongrass. Citric acid, stainless steel, iron, clean antiseptic. With some air time, some mandarin orange aromas come out and floral butterfly pea tea.
The aromas ring true on the palate as well. Detergent and “clean”. It’s sweet but with an aspartame flavor. Clean linens, dandilion, soap, pine sap and needles. Cleaning agent. Salt and iron. Burnt green tree limbs and leaves, woody and ash flavors. Fruit salad made exclusively with just fruit peels. Kiwi rind or the less flavorful white center.
The finish is more of the same burnt and floral notes. There is another odd sweet flavor like packing tape adhesive and cardboard. Bee pollen and more potpurri. Dry smoke. Burning tobacco leaves, kindling, and matches. Smoldering birch wood embers. Lastly, a stainless steel like metalic flavor.
I know jabalí is a difficult agave to distill and produces soapy flavors at times. I went through my collection and tried a couple of other bottles of pure jabalí. The best comparison I can make is actually with a sotol, La Higuera Cucharilla specifically.
It’s dry and floral but it’s the cleaning agent notes that take me away from this bottle. I typically enjoy refrescador mezcal but this one is not for me.