Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

449 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 449
Hads: 924
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 192
Gots: 87 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 05-26-2009

Our flagship beer in the Humidor Series is Humidor Series India Pale Ale. We start with Jai Alai IPA as a base beer and add the cedar during secondary fermentation. The cedar provides a perfect balance with the assertive hops of Jai Alai to create an entirely new experience.

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 449 | Hads: 924
Photo of tdm168
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - bright orangish amber with a huge, frothy, thick, off white head that has great retention

S - citrusy, malty, a bit sugary, cedar chips come through, some cake batter

T - woody, very piney, bitter, some underlying sweetness, faint cake batter, cedar is very present

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a solid beer. The cedar comes through in a big way which for me is overpowering at times. The IPA itself is extremely piney, bitter, and resinous with some underlying citrus. The malt backbone is present and a bit sugary, but in my opinion a fuller, perhaps sweeter, maltiness would help balance the bold hop presence. Overall, this is a solid IPA that is definitely worth a try by any true IPA fan. (716 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a off white two finger head that falls to a cap and laces well.

Aroma is wow earthy, deep fruits almost dark like, maybe more like tobacco kept in an old cedar chest. Cedar is noted along with a nice dose of spiciness lightly peppery.

Taste is unusual also, carbonation seems to push fruit bitter grapefruit hops, but not normal bitter grapefruit. Grapefruit infused with cedar, tobacco and lots of spicy earth notes. Very worth trying but not sure I would want this on a regular basis.

Mouthfeel is medium with fairly lively carbonation that seems to push all the flavors to you.

Overall enjoyable experience aroma is very nice but for me the flavor might be just tad too much for me to enjoy this one on a regular basis. But damn sure worth a try glad I had the chance. (814 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty solid brew for Raul. It definitely doesn't make you want to say "uh!" but it's aite like. Smell kinda like an ex-girl; it's inviting, but not intoxicating. Taste is all beautiful n kind of smooth; the cedar is slight, but it's a nice enough curve (not Kershaw nice) but nice enough to change thangs up.

Good offering, but Raulsky wouldn't hunt this thing down like the o'possum that has been waking him up every night at 2 AM.

Peace! (442 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep golden color, quite hazy, very large ivory head with good retention and lacing

s - huge cedar aroma overwhelms the nose, some grapefruit notes cut through the wood, but not much

t - big sweet grapefruit flavor up front quickly followed by a deluge of cedar and bitterness, very mild malt profile, finish is incredibly dry with the cedar lingering on the palate, alcohol is muted

m - medium-bodied, moderate to high carbonation, very dry finish, not much alcohol warming

d - while I find the Jai Alai to be a very drinkable IPA, the cedar aging, while an interesting variation on the base beer, greatly limits the beers drinkability, both bottles I've had had been shares with 1 or 2 others, which was a good choice

Overall, a very interesting and unique variation on a great base beer. Well worth seeking out a bottle. (840 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 3-25-11

A - medium cloudy burnt orange body, medium white head with great retention and good lacing.

S - wood and earthy hops

T - earthy vegetal hops, dry wood.

M - medium body, quite smooth. a bit dry.

O (D) - an interesting beer for sure, pretty tasty. It's ok, I would drink this more. (305 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: This pours a very interesting color - a murky brownish orange color in the middle of the glass with a bright tangerine color at the edges. A very lively off-white head forms on top and leaves a lot of lace.

Smell: Lots of woody cedar up front, very interesting. Grapefruit, other citrus, and some pine hops provide the hop presence, with some sweet bready malt in the back.

Taste: Up front there is a quick sweet biscuity malt up front. Caramel covered grapefruit, some spicy pine, spicy wood notes from the cedar, and a bit of general citrus. A good amount of wood remains from the barrel aging, and a bit of mint and general spiciness oversees the whole sip.

Mouthfeel: This is medium bodied, but actually a little dry toward the end, mostly from the cedar I think. Smooth creamy carbonation.

Overall: This is solid, although the cedar makes this a little bit tough to drink that much. (947 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is dominating with a lightly sweet malt presence also noticeable. Taste was also dominated by some citrus and floral hops notes with a solid malt backbone that doesn't take too much from the hops and some subtle notes of cedar which seems to round thing out. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Well brewed though cedar is not that apparent. (486 characters)

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried at Sexual Chocolate 2011. Pours a slightly orange yellow color with a thick yellowish white head and tons of lacing. Smells of strong hops and a little malts. Tastes of piny hops and plenty of citrus. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is high. Has a very nice flavor. (276 characters)

Photo of vande
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brownish-amber with 1 finger of head floating... Active beer as the lacing is left behind as one watches patiently, waiting for their first sip.

S: Cedar on top of grapefruit/citrus hops...but the cedar is definitely present, not overwhelming, but very pleasantly there.

T: Much the same as the smell. Cedar bitterness w/ a bit of bready-biscuit note. Spicyness blends nicely with the hoppiness in this beer. Very interesting cedar aging going on here.

M: Medium bodied IPA with an active mouthfeel.

O: Very approachable. It'd be interesting to do a blind tasting with a bottle of this. Worth getting a bottle or two, that's for sure! (649 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can(!); canned March 2014; served in a lager glass.

A: Excellent semi-creamy head over a deep amber liquid full of suspended particles.

Very hoppy aroma of the piney/citrus persuasion. Mild bitterness for style, with some nice cedar wood aging effects.

Feel: smooth and full for style.

O: tamer, more interesting, and easier to drink than the very fine Jai Alai Ale that serves as the base. (403 characters)

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my last of a 4-pack I bought while in Florida in April this year.
So I'm coming back to it after my first impressions and after reading some threads on BA's forum about ugliest beers and Jai Alai was mentioned because of chunks and floaties.

Well, this one poured Hazy amber with suspended particles, lots of them. It has a fluffy light tan head with excellent retention and lacing. I don't remember the particles from the other pours. Not very appealing to me other wise it looks great. i would rate higher without the floaters

Grapefruit and spicy cedar dominate the nose. Cigar like too. This really smells great and different for a standout. Lasting smell and changing as it warms. More citrus, some overripe banana.

Taste is all grapefruit and cedar. Not balanced for me, too bitter like chewing on the peel of grapefruit. Don't like the lingering after taste.

I wish the taste went with the mouthfeel. It's smooth and creamy but dry at the end. A bit too dry and astringent by the bottom of the glass. i want something else to clean my palette.

Overall this is not one I would prefer but it has merit. I'll give them credit for a good try.
I would like to try the regular Jai Alai, since others are saying they like it better. (1,246 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: sweet orange and pineapple citrus at first followed by surprising bubblegum aromas. There are some woody cedar notes throughout, though they're relatively faint.

T: grapefruit, rind, and some pine diminate the flavor at first. Faint wood and citrus notes follow, which blend nicely with the hop bitterness. There are also some faint peppercorn flavors.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a bit oily feeling and could benefit from some more carbonation.

O: a good beer overall, and better than regular Jai Alai. I would like a bit more cedar presence and carbonation, though. (705 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mix of pine and citrus hops and a hint of wood. In the taste, starts with pine hops and leads into orange citrus hops at the end, a bit woody and nice malt backing. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry orange citrus hop in the aftertaste. Nice citrus hop and just a hint of wood. (381 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy golden orange/amber color with a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy off-white head. Good retention with soapy chunks of lacing.

Citrus earthy hop aroma. Floral and citrusy with an excellent biscuity malt backbone with a subtle cedar smokey tobacco presence.

Creamy medium body with soft carbonation. Citrus hops, light fruit up front followed by a nice citrus hop bitterness and a nice roasty cedary wooden tobacco presence that leads into a very bitter hop finish. Burnt wood tobacco aftertaste is present with a little too much of a mat backbone for my liking but otherwise very unique, complex and drinkable. (623 characters)

Photo of nerdrocker101
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly hazy, yellowed orange with a fair amount of white foamy head that lingers.

The nose is very faint, consisting mostly of peppery spice with a little bit of citrus.

I have never had the Jai Alai to compare, but I can definitely get a good idea from drinking the one. The wood seems to mellow out the hop profile which doesn't hit you up front, but the grapefruit notes definitely linger on the backside of the brew. Loads of pepper in this brew. The cedar certainly makes for one interesting brew.

Medium body and a somewhat bubbly feel. This beer is very drinkable, but I don't know if I could drink them back to back. (635 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I forgot who sent this to me as an extra, but to whomever it was: thanks! Wasn't a huge fan of the White Oak Jai Alai, contrary to much of the community, so I was excited to see how this one faired. It pours a rustic copper color; mostly opaque with little, tiny floaters hanging all around like the inside of a shop window. Chunky, fluffy, and lasting is the creamy, eggshell colored head; nice, splotchy lacing is left all over the glass.

Walk into your local cigar shop and head to the back of the room where the keep the "best" cigars. You know, inside of the special, sealed room with specific insulation, walls and shelves of cedar, and an expensive environmental control system to keep the temperature and humidity at a perfect and constant level. Stand in the middle of this room. Inhale. That's the aroma of Cedar Aged Jai Alai, more or less.

Smells like a cigar shop, no joke. Polished cedar, wood, and even spicy hints of tobacco. There's an underlying touch of finishing citric hops, but much like the White Oak Jai Alai, the wood asserts its dominance and obliterates almost any trace of hops on the nose. Luckily though (at least, in my opinion) the cedar is a much more enjoyable smell than white oak. I love the way cigar shops smell, and I love how closely this beer resembles it.

The taste is also reminiscent of a cigar shop; very, very woody and cedar-y with mild phenol and ashy hints. It's like sucking on a splinter of cedar. Very light orange and pineapple are there, buried deep under the floorboards made of cedar - the only remnants left of what was once a bright, fruity, Floridian IPA. This beer is actually quite sweet and spicy, with not much hop bitterness at all. It's kind of boozy, but I think some of that is feigned by the intense woodiness.

It feels nice on the palate, too. Medium bodied, kind of creamy, with moderate carbonation. Overall, it's definitely one of the more unique beers I've had. I mean, really, it smells like you're sticking your head inside of a humidifier. It's actually quite nice to smell, though the taste doesn't translate the same awesomeness to the palate 100%. Much better than the White Oak Aged Jai Ali, but I still prefer the original. Nevertheless - try this at least once for its originality. (2,267 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this from DosBeerigos in a great trade-- thanks bud!
Reviewed from dictated notes during my "Clean out my cellar weekend."

Pours a cloudy amber/copper color-- a little like the sky at dusk. Hints of orange and pink hiding there too. Head is slightly off white, but frothy and thick. Great lacing clings for a while and then slowly settles into the body.

Smell is intense pine and cedar up front. The regular Jai alai really rocked my world with big tropical fruit smells... This one is mostly the pine and cedar.
Taste starts off sweet... then turns dry and bitter with definite wood and earthiness-- like dry earth. Not quite musty, but some dried firewood notes. Now I'm starting to pick up some citrus flavors too-- hard to pick out exactly what it is-- it's like an indiscriminate citrus. It adds nicely to the overall flavor profile.

The body is spot on. The carbonation level is great for being aged on wood-- a nice medium body helps to translate the flavor and add to the overall experience. This slides effortlessly down the mouth, but leaves a nice lingering oily feel. I honestly didn't want to open this one up until I had people over to split it with... and now I regret that choice--- I could have easily drank this entire wine bottle myself with no problem. This is highly enjoyable.

I could see this pairing well with a light cigar-- maybe a macanudo/claro. This would be a great beer to sit on the porch watching the sun go down on another glorious day... in a suit of white linens... at your South Carolina plantation.

EDIT: after having several bottles, I'll just say that the beer is MUCH better when fresh. After a few months the hops fade out fast and you're left with a beer tgat literally tastes like a cigar box. (1,765 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to Schmittymack for another great tasting, and for giving me the opportunity to try this unique and interesting beer. Good aromas here: citrus, floral hops, black pepper, cedar. Huge cedar on the palate as well, but the floral hoppy IPA flavor is complemented nicely by it. Really enjoyable, but the whole 750 would have been tough. (345 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from Thryn, thanks! I've been wanting to try the Cigar City beer that won a gold medal at GABF.

It's an orange-copper in color with a big foamy head that reduces to a dollop of foam in my tulip glass.

You can really smell the cedar in this beer. Its almost-medicinal aroma is mixed with the big hop aromas that Jai Alai has.

The cedar brings all kinds of new flavors to this beer, while keeping it hoppy and bitter. I'm tasting perfume (!), flowers, rosewater, wood and more in this beer. The cedar tones down the flavors from the hops that are so strong in regular Jai Alai.

At first I thought the taste was too strong, but after more sips my palate has adjusted.

The body is just as good as regular Jai Alai: light but not watery.

The cigar cedar really transforms the beer from a juicy hop bomb to a fragrant perfume-like sipping beer. (860 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden honey color with reddish hightlights. A nice frothy and dense off white head that settles into a big puffy cap. The aroma is malty sweet with tropical fruit hop scents. Smells like a DIPA, which I'm not that big of a fan. The taste starts off with a big citrusy and tropical fruit hop flavor. This is cut by an earthy, woody and slightly sour flavor from the cedar aging. The wood flavor helps keep the malty sweetness in check. There is a grassy pepper hop flavor towards the back end. The cedar flavor seems to fade or my palate seems numb to it, though the IPA still seems to be in good balance. Moderate body with fizzy carbonation, which helps breakup the hoppy bitterness. A good amount of grassy bitterness in the finish but doesn't totally wreck your taste buds. A good AIPA. I prefer that the hops have more of a floral or fresh flavor. It seems that the aging wouldn't allow for this. Other than that good brew. (950 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle a cloudy honey amber to a dogfish head signature glass with an off white finger and a half head and an incredible amount of lace retention.

aroma of citrus, primarily orange and a bit of piney hops in the rear.

very sweet malt forward, with a mildly bitter bite following up. tastes of orange, pine, and pepper. not much hint of cedar, but i'm guessing its the cedar that has muted the bitterness.

smooth, almost creamy, only slightly bitter.

very drinkable. (486 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL champagne style bomber poured into a pint

Pours a pretty orange amber with a good amount of bubbles pushing their way north. A huge, firm bone white cap rises 2+ fingers and recedes in classic raindrop pattern, leaving huge chunks of lace all over the glass.

This is a unique aroma. Cedar, vanilla, tropical fruit and a clean malt backbone. This is not an aroma that jumps out of the glass, it really makes you work to get a good whiff.

Lightly sweet tropical fruit off the bat with the cedar coming in smooth through the middle with a swoop of tropical fruit in the finish. A moderate business grabs hold and lingers along with a residual sweetness. The cedar really takes the edges off of this beer.

A medium body that is smooth with a bit of a chewy hop presence. A nice lingering bitterness and good carbonation

I found this to be relatively easy to drink. The booze in this one caught up with me a little quicker than expected, and I am not drinking it very fast. A bit of warming too. (1,001 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barely blurry apricot with polished gold edges and an outstanding looking crown of bone colored mousse. These guys nail appearance much more often than not. The foam is finely pitting, softly rocky and impressively sticky. We're off to a great start.

With each sniff, I'm instantly transported back to my childhood and the cedar chest in my mom's sewing room. The nose is incredibly aromatic with respect to that pungent, almost incense-like wood, not so much in terms of hops. While it's pleasant enough, a lack of lupulins is a liability in an American IPA.

Thankfully, the flavor is less cedar-centric, because this would have been a long 750 ml if JACAIPA tasted like it smells. There's still wall-to-wall wood. However, the base beer is incredibly fresh and bitingly bitter. Well... at least as fresh and bitingly bitter as an ale that has been aged can be.

Specifics include multiple planks of perfumy cedar, lightly toasted bread, and loads of white grapefruit and orange. A hop bill that supposedly includes Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial makes sense as soon as one lets beer wash over taste buds. Something is giving this offering an almost cardamom and white pepper spiciness that is different, interesting and enjoyable. The next highest taste score was a serious consideration.

No second thoughts about appearance... it's out of this world on subsequent pours and after. The mouthfeel is classic AIPA. It's light-medium for the breed and the bubbles are both fine and dandy. Great for ease of drinkability.

While I wouldn't want to drink cedar-aged IPAs every day, this Cigar City Humidor Series ale is different enough (and hoppy enough) to hold my interest. Thanks to ktrillionaire for yet another delicious Sunshine State brew. (1,748 characters)

Photo of katan
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown color. Bright white head, lots of lacing. Certainly opaque.

Lots of caramel and toffee. A light fresh cut wood scent. Hops are fairly hidden.

Starts with those malts married to a little woody note. Mid stream gains some caramel toffee and even vanilla. Smooth finish. Malt forward version of the IPA.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Somewhat sticky at times. Restrained carbonation.

Very complex ale. Hard to imagine it based on their IPA. Abv seems high but workable. (497 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Humidor Series Cedar-Aged Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Score: 88

Bottle is from November 2011. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 06/23/12 at the inaugural Chicago craft beer lovers meeting.

Appearance: Hazy/murky golden orange color with minimal head and lacing. It is a little hard to discern much "appearance" from my pour size on this one, but nothing really stood out to me about the color. 3.5/5

Smell: Huge waves of cigar box cedar hit upfront. I love the smell of cedar, so this was quite awesome. Behind the cedar is malty orange, pepper and a little onion. Pineapple with a hint of hops too. 4/5

Taste: Bring on the cigars! This beer tastes like you are standing inside a humidor! Though the hops are almost entirely faded here, left behind is a residual bitterness and oily blend of peppery cedar flavor and malty orange citrus. Easy drinking. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, medium carbonation. Nice peppery-cedar kick on the tongue. Quite malty. 3.75/5

Overall: I was not going to review this when I saw the bottle date, but then I found that I surprisingly enjoyed this stale IPA. I will be seeking out a fresh bottle of this upon its next release in a couple of weeks. Yum!

Recommendation: If you like cedar and cigars, seek this one out.

Pairings: Big, fat Cuban cigars.

Cost: $10.99 for a 750 ml bottle. (1,388 characters)

Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.