Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 900 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -3.2%
750 ml bottle that I shared with some folks at a beer tasting this past weekend.
A - Hazy golden / orange color. Not much of a head as didn't pour a lot into the tasting glass. What head there was dissipated quickly and left a small white cap.
S - Holy cedar, Batman! Lots and lots of wood / earthy tones. Kinda peppery as well. A little bit of citrus (grapefruit) comes through, but this is definitely a cedar aged beer, and it comes through big time.
T & M - Again, lots of cedar. Decent carbonation. Some earthy hops / malt backbone, but again, dominated by the woodsy cedar aging.
Overall - I liked it. I thought it was interesting. Other people that tried it thought it was disgusting and dumped it. It's definitely not for everyone. I love a nice bitter IPA, and this one was that and then some. If you don't like cedar, earthy, woodsy scents / tastes - then avoid this... you'll hate it. If you do - then it's worth a try.
06-27-2011 16:28:48 | More by StLThrash
4.47/5 rDev +10.1%
Quite a few reviews for this beer from, aparently, the same firkin. All bad. Too bad for them. I found this beer to be pretty good looking kinda orangey-gold with a nice medium length lasting creamy head. I wasn't provided with any lace, and not great retention, but I am at work, and I know that the sanitizer probably has an effect. I really enjoy the woody fruity earthy grapefruity aroma. the ceder seems to me to be REALLY well integrated. I often think that beers that have seen wood would have been better without...like it's an extra un-needed ingredient, tossed in because someone thought that we would think it's cool...even though the beer was great already. I don't think that more is always better. I think the ceder is great, it works. I find balance in the bitter, wood, fruit, and earth...with a bare touch of malt sweetness. Nice smooth creaminess on my palate with carbonation that really seems appropriate. I like it. I would gladly drink it again. CHEERS
06-23-2011 02:19:18 | More by Sanford
District of Columbia
3.38/5 rDev -16.7%
Overall, I'm not sure the Cedar really works with this as it's so much cedar and grapefruit all around, but this grew on me as I drank it. Opened this last night with friends thanks to aepb1 for this as an extra in a recent trade.
A: Dark orange with gold highlights, this beer has a nice bubbly ring of white head with good retention and ok lacing.
S: For me, I think the cedar just makes this smell almost like fresh grapefruit juice and grapefruit rinds, but not in a hop way, in the pure bitter fruit way. Lots of cedar pulp, with some smoked malts in there as well. Kind of a weak aroma in terms of how much springs from the glass to me and friends drinking it, definitely unique.
T: Bigger palate and complexity here, again with an abundance of grapefruit pulp and rinds and sweet savory spicy cedar notes, both of those certainly dominating the flavor. Nice citrus and tropical fruit hops behind the grapefruit though and the woodsy smoked malt notes are pleasant. Seems dry and tobaccoish in ways, I can see how this would be good with a cigar as the label states.
M: Very biting grapefruit, it's a little astringent. Smoky charred feel somehow without the RIS like malt or porter char. Bitter finish. Ok.
Overall this is an interesting beer but not one I would ever buy myself, as it seems like a beer to only have with a cigar, by itself it is kind of bizarre and a little off-putting.
06-19-2011 13:43:16 | More by Dreadnaught33
1.35/5 rDev -66.7%
Cedar aged IPA my ass! Insert sarcasm button here. The cedar hits you in the face when you open the bottle. You would've thought you were taking batting practice during spring training and your nostrils were being thrown at 85mph into this monstrosity. It pours a nice bright copper in color with moderate cloudiness. The aroma is of pure cedar. I expected some but it is in your face and out of control. You don't even get this much cedar from being surrounded by a room of cedar. Dear god it is strong! The flavor too is of wood, wood, wood. If you imagine hard enough I suppose you might pick up some malt, maybe. It drinks like a Jai Alai but is dry and sticky and this one is hard to down. Beavers would even have issues with this one. It just doesn't resemble Jai Alai at all. I know they've done several versions of this but cedar was a huge mistake. It was unfortunately a drain pour.
06-19-2011 02:52:35 | More by aasher
4.38/5 rDev +7.9%
Great beer. I got this from the only store in Alabama that sells beer in bottles greater than 16oz...weird huh? Poured a cloudy copper color. Had a huge creamy white head with spotty lacing. Cedar is all over the place, and is accompanied by citrus and earthy aromas. Great mouthfeel with a wonderful balance of sweet malty flavor up front followed by crisp hops. Nice beer, I will definitely be buying another if I'm lucky enough to come across it again.
06-18-2011 00:09:55 | More by byrdman16
4.45/5 rDev +9.6%
750ml poured into frosted pint glass. No freshness date on bottle unfortunately.
Unfortunate to see the bad ratings from the cask up in PA, had to be infected or something. I really think you guys should make a trade for a 750ml because (un-infected) it really is a solid IPA.
Pours a light moderately transluscent woody amber color. Head is 3 finger widths and simmers down to a thin layer within a few minutes. Lacing layers the glass all the way down, sexy shit.
Smells of piney citric hops, hops are really the most dominant aromatic. In the background you can pick up woody cedar notes and fruity (orange citrus) scents.
Tasting it corresponds very well with the nose. Piney hop bitterness bite up front that dances with a fruity malty goodness midway through. Also, a peppery spice note peaks it head out and says "hello" real quick before the cedar comes in. The cedar aging really shines through in the aftertaste & the sweet malt accumulates on the back of my tongue.
Picked this 750ml up for $9.99 at Total Wine & More. Good buy, well worth the investment.
Overall, I think this is a really solid IPA - probably the best I have had to date. The cedar wood aftertaste is a superb compliment to the bittering bite upfront! Excellent!
I have to say, I actually prefer this bottle sample vs. the pint I had at the brewery. The pint at the brewery taproom seemed to be dominated by cedar, where this IPA out of the bottle is more balanced.
06-16-2011 00:19:48 | More by hoptualBrew
1.33/5 rDev -67.2%
Served on cask at Capone's in Norristown on 06/08/2011 during their Deschutes event.
Appearance - Looks like grapefruit juice mixed with protein powder. A mudish, orangish brown. No head what so ever with a bit of lacing. Honestly doesn't look like anything that I have ever seen before.
Smell - Like a lumber yard. I actually had a flash back of walking through a lumber yard with my father when I was a kid. There is some citrus mixed in there, but the cedar masks it almost entirely.
Taste - OMG. Cedar. It just kicks you in the teeth, hard. I almost spit it back in my glass. There is some grapefruit and black pepper notes, but yikes, the cedar just simply wrecked my palate. And not in a good way. The aftertaste is pure cedar, which compounds with each additional sip. One word comes to mind, gross. I couldn't get halfway through it before I sent it back.
Mouthfeel - Like it should be consumed with a spoon. I like my Stouts thick, but not my IPAs. Almost no carbonation.
Notes - When I looked at the taplist, I said, "Hmm, never had a cedar aged beer before." Now I know why. Oak or Bourbon barrels compliment or enhance the beer it is aging. Based on this initial encounter, cedar completely changes a beer into cedar juice. Perhaps this would have tasted better ice cold as opposed to from a cask. Maybe a little chill on it would have helped mellow out that hash cedar taste.
I found this video review AFTER I penned mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Ypfid_5dM , their faces are priceless
06-10-2011 18:04:47 | More by shizzyraw
1.5/5 rDev -63.1%
First had: firkin from Capone's, Norristown, PA
I hate to do this really, but I'm going to review this beer, even though I'm very sure it was a bad pour, and/or infected, and/or most likely the very bottom of the barrel, so to speak. It was so bad, I actually showed it to the waitress and got my money back for it. Hopefully I can try this one again, and actually have a good sampling.
Poured an ugly, murky chocolate milk color, almost looked like tea with milk in it. I knew something was wrong right away. No carbonation, no head; ugly stains on the sides of the glass. The smell was very hoppy, with tones of guava and grapefruit, but mostly, it smelled like old paint cans. Yikes. Actually the first thought that came to my mind was: this smells like the homes I used to do maintenance on in Camden when I was working with my grandfather during my high school years. Ah, memories...bad ones.
A cautious sip yielded an extremely intense hoppy taste, thick and very bitter, heavy with cedar. My wife looked at me with loving disgust as I ventured another sip, but that was it for this one. After a while, it started to settle as it sat, with most of the murk sinking to the bottom half, and something that could have been an IPA rising to the top, but again, I wasn't going for it again. Well, now at least I know what the bottom of a firkin tastes like. Either that, or cedar is not something beer should be aged in. Still better than Budweiser.
06-10-2011 13:44:38 | More by Rifugium
3.75/5 rDev -7.6%
Third person in a row reviewing this beer from the firkin at Capones in Norristown PA during PBW. Poured from firkin into a regular pint glass.
A: Immediately I looked and thought of apple cider. Exact same color as fresh apple cider. A real murky, chunky brownish orange color with very minimal head. Not much glass lacing.
S: Cedar aged? You bet it is. Huge (I mean huge) smell of cedar coupled with the citric hops and sweet caramel malt. Still, the cedar seems to overpower the other smells.
T: First sip brings cedar (shocking) but it does get mixed with the classic Jai Alai citrus hops and heavy caramel sweetness. Pineapple, orange and slight grapefruit rind give some woody bitterness that quickly gives way to the heavy caramel sweetness. Cedar flavors stick throughout. Finish for me turned sweet, especially as it warmed. At the end of the glass the beer got very sweet upon finish. I'm not getting a drying finish at all as someone else mentioned. Woody sweetness here.
M: Sweet, full, woody, alcohol well hidden slight bitterness.
O: Ok, I'm going to be different here and say I enjoyed this a bit. I like the cedar idea, but it for sure needs toning down to allow the Jai Alai flavors to come out more. I will disagree with the 2 other reviews and say I had no problem finishing the glass, but I can say I didn't want another one.
Overall this was a very interesting beer that I was still very glad to try. As I said, tone down the cedar a bit and see how that turns out. A rare beer (via cask no less) that I'm super happy Matt at Capones was able to secure. Nicely done whether you like the beer or not.
06-09-2011 16:46:50 | More by Kadonny
1.58/5 rDev -61.1%
Appearance - really??? is this the bottom of my latest primary fermenter or a finished beer? Murky like grapefruit juice mixed 50/50 with half and half.
Smell - cedar closet, cedar chest, fresh cut cedar.
Taste - ughh, cedar again? Did I just lick my cedar closet? maybe some hops but the cedar kills them quick.
Mouthfeel - unfiltered, medium bodied, but thick. Like the last pour of a 1/2 keg of a rich heffeweizen. Again a big "Ughhhh".
Overall - based on this beer, cedar is the last species of wood I would choose to age my beer in, regardless of style, go lick some cedar and see if you want your beer infused with the flavor.
Just read the review below and wondering if cigar city sent us some bottom of the barrel crap jai alai for beer week? Calling all old Jai alai bottles, you are wanted to join a special cask of recycled "humidor series" I would love to post a picture of this murky mess!
I recall telling the bartender "that was the hardest beer to get through in a long time!" If that is not saying something then i don't know what will.
06-07-2011 05:21:08 | More by Centennial
2.1/5 rDev -48.3%
Had this beer out of a firkin at Capone's during Philly Beer Week.
Overheard someone at another table say "my first sip was horrible, but I guess I'm warming up to it." I guess I had the opposite experience, and so did my friend who ordered the same beer. Not sure if this beer is the same out of the bottle as it was on cask, but what we had was major league woodsy. And not woodsy in a good way. The beer was an appealingly cloudy orange, suggesting a Jai Alai with a dark secret. Some secrets are best left hidden. Upon sniffing this beer, the cedar that we'd been so charged up about was evident, but the wonderful tropical fruit notes that make Jai Alai so unique were still peeking through admirably. I was very excited to take a sip. Until I took one. I convinced myself that I needed another to truly appreciate this brew. And another. And another. It was just dreadful. Majorly medicinal wood character combined with a bone dry finish that left a minty herbal note in my breath, and I don't mean that in a good way. I wanted this gone. I haven't chugged a beer like I did Jai Alai Cedar Aged IPA since I needed to dispose of a warm Natural Light in college.
06-07-2011 05:20:23 | More by mfunk9786
4.08/5 rDev +0.5%
Bottle brought out by Jason, 750ml into some stemmed glasses. Thanks dude!
Poured an orange/brown, with a big fluffy white head. Great retention. Nose has some grapefruit zest, some woodieness that I'll guess is cedar (not that I knew what it smelled like in the first place!), light spiciness. Taste is more 'cedar-forward' than a regular IPA, spicy, some more citrus and grapefruit again. Lots of sweet toffee and malt body. Solid bitterness in the finish, an almost full feel imparted by the weight of the body. Good drinkability and a nice variant on what is already a badass IPA.
06-05-2011 21:37:10 | More by liamt07
4.33/5 rDev +6.7%
A. Pours orange with a thin white foamy head.
S. Holy shit! Humidor like crazy. I've had a few of these and this one plays up the humidor to 11. Incredible.
T. The jai alai flavor is played down a bit to the predominate cedar flavor. The grassy and citrus hops are very nice with a good malt.
M. Medium body with fairly high carbonation. Matches the flavor well.
D. I would truly like all of the humidor series to smell like this.
06-05-2011 02:20:19 | More by BeerAndBourbon
4.05/5 rDev -0.2%
Big thanks to my father for bringing this one back from Florida with him
Poured from a bomber into a snifter
A- pours a hazy burnt orange color, very large 2 finger off white head emerges, a good amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass
S- get hit with hops from the start, somewhat grassy, nice citrus notes of grapefruit and orange rind, nice woody cedar notes as well, slightly sweet caramel notes bring up the rear, pretty nice smell
T- starts with the sweet caramel flavors, is quickly followed by bready malt, the hops are interesting, they bring about a slight bitterness with maintaining nice citrus flavor, the cedar adds an interesting touch, nice woodiness without being as prominent as oak, not as bitter as most American IPA's i've had
M- nice medium body, somewhat high carbonation that pairs well with the body and flavor, very smooth, finishes somewhat dry and refreshing
D- very easy to drink, I like this beer a lot, I would have liked to have seen more bitterness in this but it was tasty nonetheless, if I ever get an opportunity to grab this one again I will for sure
06-03-2011 00:10:42 | More by nova009
3.4/5 rDev -16.3%
Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.
A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.
S: A sharp-edged combination carbon dioxide and fresh-cut wood largely masks the presence of malt. Esters are also present, providing a suggestion of sweetness and becoming more pronounced as the beer warms.
T: Begins nearly dry, with volatile wood and robust toasted malt, with a lively coppery taste just under the surface. Carbonic acid soon surges to an aggressive level and stays there, tapering off well into the finish. Hop aromatics are earthy and spicy early, then developing a faint dark citrus quality as the middle elapses. Grainy toasted malt becomes resurgent in the middle, where estery fruit and black pepper may also play a small role. The finish sees the various flavor threads approaching the end like runners whose endurance is flagging--diminished by their journey, but still in it. The cedar, nuanced even at the beginning when it was at its strongest, is relatively unrepresented here, although it may be responsible for the mellowing effect had over the bitterness, which stays mild but with a medicinal quality.
M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidity builds on the palate to the point of distraction, with brisk carbonation.
D/O: Complexity is a quality that cannot usually be attributed to the function of any single ingredient, and neither is it something that is always desired in a beer. Here complexity reigns, and it is probably this beer's best quality. While it struggles with some acidity issues, it produces some very intense and resonant flavors that are challenging to put into words. It is definitely not a typical IPA-drinking experience, and that is irrespective of coasts. This is eminently sippable, with the ability to hold its own against tripels and strong ales.
05-31-2011 02:16:44 | More by beagle75
3.75/5 rDev -7.6%
Served in a La Chouffe Tulip
A- Very cloudy, burnt orange.
S- Pick up on the cedar nicely, get some pine and citrus hops as well.
T- Similar to the nose. Lots of cedar from the barrel aging is noticeable at first. Then the pine and some citrus hops hit you with a big bitterness. Followed by a dry bitter aftertaste.
M- Chewy and has a creaminess to it.
O- The cedar is a nice change up to a barrel aged IPA. Liked it but I will not seek it out the next time I am in Florida.
05-30-2011 21:34:02 | More by kawilliams81
4.08/5 rDev +0.5%
Big 25.4oz bottle poured into a tulip.
Appearance - A cloudy orange with a one finger yellow-cream head. Decent retention, mild lacing.
Smell - oaky, citrus, very woody.
Taste - Oak, citrus, more wood.
Drinkabilty - Strong carbonation.
Overall - Nice IPA.
05-22-2011 06:11:52 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.35/5 rDev +7.1%
A - pours an orangish copper with a really creamy head
S - smells of sweet grapefruit and citrus hops and sweet cedar
T - starts off with some sweet citrusy and grapefruit hops. Buried beneath the hops are some caramel malts. Ends with a spicy, woodsy, cedary flavor from the cedar aging. Tastes how a cigar box smells. Really nice.
M - good body that finishes extremely dry.
D - after this guy warmed up it became a really delicious beer. The cedar helped compliment the hops and added a new dimension to an already delicious beer. Worth the price tag, maybe; worth trying, definitely.
05-21-2011 18:17:27 | More by LiquidBread219
3.6/5 rDev -11.3%
A- Some lacing, pours a nice amber color.
S- Strong cedar, but not overpowering. Slight alcohol burn, but not much and it is pleasing with the wood character.
T- Hops up front, citrus and sweet fruit. Then caramel malts, blending into a nice smooth hop bitterness.
M- Medium body with tiny bubbles makes for a great mouth feel in this experimental beer.
O- This is my favorite cigar city beer. The base IPA is great, but aged on cedar makes it a nice occasional treat.
05-20-2011 02:06:01 | More by Paulcom11
4.22/5 rDev +3.9%
Big thanks to Beandip for this bottler. Cheers Adam!
A heavy handed pour leaves a rather imposing head. The oatmeal colored head works its way back very slowly, leaving heavy lacing clinging to the glass. The body is a hazy apricot color.
The aroma puts the cedar on display leaving the hops behind. Fragrant and fresh cedar plank smell. Soft citrusy hop present is noticed but would be easy to miss. Normally I would wish the hops were more up front but I find the aroma rather pleasant.
The flavor brings the hop characteristics back into focus. While the cedar is very noticeable, there is much more balance. Light bready malt base, rather clean allowing the hops and cedar to shine. Orange, grapefruit and pineapple flavors deliver a sweet hop flavor without much bitterness. The cedar delivers a much different flavor than the oak I have use to. The flavor is more resinous and much less earthy and woody.
Medium bodied IPA. The carbonation is medium, the beer is very soft on the tongue. The finish is fairly dry, a bit of sweetness and cedar resinous flavor do drag it out slightly.
I like this beer. I like the cedar and what it brings to Jai Alai. The balance is phenomenal, far too easy to drink. This may be the best wood aged IPA on the market. I have a feeling this will have a permanent spot on my wants list.
05-20-2011 00:20:45 | More by kzoobrew
3.93/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
05-17-2011 20:46:16 | More by katan
4.63/5 rDev +14%
Poured from a 32oz growler into a CCB snifter. My experience with this fresh from the source is substantially different from my bottled experience, thus the re-review (I tend not to review the same beer bottled and tap unless there's a noticeable difference between the two).
Pours a great hazy red color crested with a good two fingers of head that retains nicely. Absolutely huge chunks of lace make their way down the glass. There's quite a bit of apparent carbonation. The aroma is awesome, fresh zesty hops pair perfectly with the Spanish cedar. This has a lot more hop presence than the bottles I've had. The pungent hop strike sticks around for quite a bit until the second dimension comes into play - the Spanish cedar. This is a highly aromatic wood, and keeping my nose in the snifter after sipping brings the cedar much more forward. The cedar completely covers up the malts, which almost pushes the hops even more forward than in the base Jai Alai, with a very interesting backend. The cedar is much more prominent in the bottled brew I've had, this is surely more hop-forward. The aftertaste is a great spicy hop with just an bit of cedar.
The mouthfeel is nice, it's nice and sticky with a medium body and a fairly high amount of carbonation. The drinkability is absolutely exceptional. Overall, this is just a great beer. It's a great twist on the traditional IPA that any hop head should adore. I enjoyed this a lot more fresh from the source than bottled.
05-17-2011 01:33:54 | More by shand
3.8/5 rDev -6.4%
Just commenting on the differences from the original Jai Alai since these were tasted side-by-side.
A - Same color, slight chill haze, etc. Just a little less head retention and lacing.
S - Woody aroma not as strong as the oak aged version, but the sour cedar can be detected kind of easy through the bitter hops. Overall the aroma isn't as pungent as the base.
T - More on the mellow side compared to the base brew, the wood aging sure does help smooth the beer out and tip the scales more toward the neutral side. The aftertaste is dry with a nice cedar taste but the hop resins are toned down.
M - Pretty much exactly the same. Nicely carbonated even with the wood aging. Not as "fun" to drink IMO after having the original.
Overall the base Jai Alai and oak aged are much better to me. I don't know if the humidor series is aged longer so maybe that's why the flavors have mellow and blended a little more. If you want more brash hop flavor go with the original.
04-28-2011 02:21:27 | More by VaTechHopHead
4.38/5 rDev +7.9%
Thanks to Gabor the primo Penn Station beer man for this nugget which I can't find around here. Poured cold from a capped 750 into a pint glass.
A-Mostly clear bright copper with a thick creamy eggshell head. Enticing looking brew.
S-Wow...the cedar really packs a punch in the nose, think of raw cut cedar and you get the idea. Caramel malts and some earthy hops are also present in the nose.
T-Intitial sweet caramel malts immediately give way to robust citrus hops that are utterly infused with cedar. Now I have no idea what cedar tastes like, but I'm tasting the smell for sure. The cedar seems to flatten the citric nature of the hops and adds its own unique lingering finish, with the bittering hops lasting well through the end of the tongue numbing palate. Some fellow BA's have tried this and say the cedar is overpowering, and I can sort of get that, but to me, it adds a refreshing level of complexity to an IPA (and admittedly, I've never tried the regular Jai Alai) that I find both refreshing and delicious.
M-Well balanced carbonation, and creamy for the style. Spot on.
D-A standout in a field where it is really hard to produce something wonderful and unique. I will buy this again any time I can find it.
04-24-2011 23:45:55 | More by caddybuyer
4/5 rDev -1.5%
Pours clear and brassy with an amber hue and two-plus inches of dense bone head. A partial skim coat remained for the duration along with some webbed lacing.
Aromatics lead off with plump malt, piney hops, spicy cedar, and a hint of potpourie-rubbed soap.
A hint of tropical nature steps forward but the peppery cedar is fairly dominant.
On the fuller side of medium bodied with a chewy, tacky mouthfeel. Slickish and gummy.
Ripe, sweet malt and pine resin start the palate, with a woody spiciness quickly stepping forward. Solidly bitter and balances the juicy malt well. Crisp and resinous with a peppery, woody bite.
Finishes with a lingering bitterness, sweet malt, and a woodsy, peppery cedar dryness.
Interesting beer. I like the idea of spanish cedar and it adds some nice complexity. I think it would be a better fit with a Saison or even a Triple though.
04-20-2011 23:35:22 | More by brewandbbq
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 900 ratings.