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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

912 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 912
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 184
Gots: 88 | 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:
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 added by: tpd975 on 05-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 912 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrownNut
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tulip from a 750

How do you rate a beer that is very interesting, but not necessarily in a gustatively pleasing or coherent way? In a nutshell I feel like this was a bold try that didn't quite work. I'm glad they tried it and I'm glad I tried it but having noted and appreciated its unique impact, I would not buy it again. It's a thinker.

A - Cloudy dark orange with a bright white head that dies down but keeps replenishing itself for a while. Tons of lacing. I kind of don't care how a beer looks and don't really care about style guidelines, but in trying to be a team player I was about to rate this down because it was cloudy and I didn't feel like it should be. But I just read the BJCP guidelines for the style, which said in part, "Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy." As this is unfiltered and bottle fermented, let's don't rate down its appearance for that. Nice color, nice head, nice bubble action.

S - Sharp cedar mixed with fresh citrus mixed with malty caramel sweet. The cedar comes across initially spicy, which is welcome until the cedarness of it kicks in. I can't help but be reminded of the cedar shavings in my elementary school gerbil cage, which was usually mixed with gerbil pee smell, which is an (admittedly subjective) association I don't want to get from a beer. Yet at the same time there is something sort of refined about it, reminding me of a cigar humidor as the series name implies. These three aroma notes aren't bad but don't quite come together harmoniously for me. I bet a different wood would do better here. I'd like to try oak, maybe in the form of a cognac barrel. Citrus + caramel + oak-aged cognac would be like a cognac long drink. You're welcome.

T - The cedar dominates the taste and the aftertaste. Everything else is happening beneath that. It's hard to consider those things without the cedar note because it refuses to yield center stage even for a moment. Late in the 750 I'm getting substantial booze breath, like when you wake up the next day after a college keg party for an 8-o'clock class and are still exhaling straight alcohol and people are like damn, what did you get up to last night? The guy two reviews ago mentions grapefruit. Interesting, I can kind of see what he means now. The combination of processed grain alcohol breath with cedar does kind of combine to form a grapefruit effect. Feels a little like gin and tonic breath, which is on the border between maturely refined and Oh No I'm An Alcoholic.

M - Smooth and soft. At first it was ending a little sticky, but towards the end, I guess having stripped all the native mucus away, it was ending with a hint of that dry tongue abrasion, sort of like you'd licked a block of cedar. The last reviewer mentioned that his foamed over when he opened it. While mine was well carbonated and had lots of action in the glass to keep replenishing the head for a while (then dying out), mine did not foam over upon opening like his, so maybe that was an anomaly.

O - My whole goal of beer exploring is to find interesting beers, and in that respect this one really delivers. I've never had anything like this and I say it's worth your while to try it. Yet while interesting and different and memorable, this beer tells me I don't want beer aged on cedar. It still manages to be pretty decent aside from the cedar, so I'll want to track down their un-aged Jai Alai. I bet it's nice. I feel like if I hadn't had that gerbil cage for all those years, cedar would make a different and better impression on me, because its spice notes add a really interesting layer of complexity and exciting flavor. It kind of makes you want food or a sauce flavored with those initial spicy notes, like maybe a curry. Hop on that, India, and call me when you've got something. Cedar-smoked lamb korma curry. There it is.

My smell, taste, and overall scores represent the average between how much I appreciate the originality of the attempt and how not-quite-right I perceive the result. If there were an originality category I'd give them a 5.

BrownNut, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of KevieJames
5/5  rDev +23.2%

KevieJames, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of yergermeister
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

yergermeister, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of steelerguy
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy amber, absolutely huge head, tons of carbonation, almost scary!

S - Cedar and spice with a touch of sweet malt.

T - Smooth delivery of hops throughout, a bit of spiciness, the cedar is there but not overpowering. The aging and perhaps wood have rounded this beer out very well.

M - Light bodied, carbonation is a bit overwhelming, I have a feeling that some bacteria was introduced as it foamed up as soon as I popped the cap and I can't believe they carbonated it to this level intentionally. No off flavors though...

O - Good beer, definitely interesting, would honestly rather just have the Jai Alai straight up.

steelerguy, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of Evan
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Evan, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of BillHem
4/5  rDev -1.5%

BillHem, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of blmar311
4.75/5  rDev +17%

blmar311, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of laxer8811
4/5  rDev -1.5%

laxer8811, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Bilco for surprising me with a bottle.

Appearance: Orange leaning toward copper. Head is bright-white and clings to the glass. Head drops to a thin ring with wisps of foam covering the top of the beer. Slight haze from the sediment. Otherwise the beer is perfectly clear.

Smell: Cedar like whoa. It has a weird nostalgic aroma, which has to be true for anyone with a grandmother from a certain generation. Juicy citrus hops play under the spicy cedar notes. A touch of sweetness and a solid bready malt backbone. The cedar really ramps things up. Great complimentary aroma.

Taste: Spicy cedar dominates. After a few sips and the tongue gets used to the crazy cedar flavor, a nice grapefruit-forward hop bite sneaks through. Some pithy bitterness. Malts are a touch sweet. Bread dough and toasted crust. A touch of caramel to keep things interesting. The spicy components of the cedar enhance the bright citrus notes.

Mouthfeel: A little more body than the non-aged version. Smooth and oh so drinkable. Carbonation is low, but works incredibly well with treatment. So smooth and almost creamy at times.

Overall: I'd take this over the standard version any day. The cedar is a great touch if a bit unorthodox. The spicy woody flavors are a perfect compliment. This is my first encounter with bottled nostalgia and it works.

Goblinmunkey7, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of Gatordaddy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Gatordaddy, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Bilco, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

2378GCGTG, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -26.1%

nmann08, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of jisak74
4.75/5  rDev +17%

jisak74, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of zekeman17
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

zekeman17, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of bentonquest
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

bentonquest, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of DCon
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a 750mL bottle of this w/ BigDoug @ the Royale in St. Louis, MO. Poured from the Red/Green/Yellow Labeled bottle w/ a Giant "H" in the middle into a Shaker Glass. Has no sign of a freshness date.

Aroma- Malt, hop, and a mild blend of oak come around here. Nothing distinct in this aroma and very shy attributes.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that dies quickly. Has a dark orange/copper body with good clarity. Leaves tons of suds behind.

Flavor- Very sweet flavor including American hops but stay as a light-medium flavor in here. A bit of cedar/oak come around towards the end. Medium Bitterness at most.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and a nice barrel attribute with hops are left on the palate.

Overall Impression- Not one of my favorites from Cigar City. Since I thought the Jai Alai was an A+ IPA, you rarely see a beer this profound and world-class to be changed for the better. Glad I got to enjoy but wouldn't grab this as my first choice if around an isle with other C.C. beers.

DCon, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

bsuedekum, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of RonnieRotten
5/5  rDev +23.2%

RonnieRotten, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Tyrawlings, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by afdempse. Thanks Adam!

The beer is transparent and orange colored, sporting a half inch of white head. Lasting retention and ample lacing.

The aroma is unique and wonderful. A bold scent of freshly lit cigars and cigar smoke take center stage, followed by floral hops.

The taste is not quite as delectable and intriguing as the aroma, but well balanced and enjoyable nonetheless. I can understand why some may dislike this beer, as it is certainly not for everyone. When viewed solely as an IPA or DIPA, this will not hold its own when matched against the upper tier brews of this ilk. That said, Humidor IPA is a complex, unique, and creative brew to be sipped and savored. I applaud Cigar City for this "outside the box" beer. While I was not expecting to enjoy this nearly as much as I did, I would certainly have this again. Recommended.

Huhzubendah, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Cstromberg57
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Cstromberg57, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of wo87810
4.75/5  rDev +17%

wo87810, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
1.9/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottle

Thanks for opening this with me, DarthKostrizer!

Dark, hazy copper and auburn with a moderately sized very light khaki colored head that leaves small smears of lace down the glass. This is a very pretty beer, and the appearance is its best aspect, unfortunately.

I knew this would be an unpleasant drinking experience from the first moment I shoved my nose into the glass. The aroma is of boiled cabbage, old, crusted Heinz Ketchup, some salt, and a bit of cedar. This doesn't smell like anything I want to put in my mouth.

The flavor isn't quite as horrific as the aroma, as the damp cedar dominates the flavor. There's still significant vegetable (cabbage, earth, and old tomato) flavors as well, but the cedar flavor lingers on and on.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Decent enough.

I will decline a pour of this beer the next time it is offered. This was perhaps the worst IPA I've ever had.

ehammond1, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Tumble
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Tumble, Feb 28, 2012
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.