Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 903 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev -5.2%
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.
07-05-2010 20:27:39 | More by Phyl21ca
4.2/5 rDev +3.4%
The Humidor Series India Pale Ale certainly lives up to it's name. The same appreciation I get from allowing a fresh and mature cigar to rest in the mouth manifests itself into the flavor of this beer.
The pour brings a serious creamy pour that settles soon enough into a hazy copper beverage, releasing an egg-shell white head, laces extremely well, and very well retained. This is an IPA, albeit with quite the haze.
Quickly, the expected aromas of crisp graham cracker malts and citrus sharpness hits the nose. But very soon after comes the complexity of woody/floral cedar, cashew nuttiness, and mild tobacco notes. Though this is expected, the blend is a perfumy balanced earthiness that is both unmistakable and undeniable. Still, the aromas remain balanced and complex.
Flavors do much the same: The malty-rich flavors of the base beer give the caramels, graham crackers, and sun-kissed barley malt taste while the hops give a firm and bright grapefruit and orange zest contrasat to the sweetness, or even dominates it at times. But this beer is all about what the wood aging does to its transformation. The woodsy, oaky, cashew flavor comes across nicely but with a spicy and nutty taste that gives a great complexity to the beer without over doing it. The balance is complex, vinous, and very lively.
Sure the wood aging gives a feel of astringency and extra bite, but the tanic character of the woods gives a sharp and spirited bitterness/astringent element to the mouth feel that adds to what IPA's do.
Ultimately, this beer is the great IPA but the cedar aging gives the impressions of fresh tobacco, buttery nuts, and fragrant woods. The cedar begins to resemble ginger and sasafrass in its spiciness and brightness which only add to the beer's complexity and roundness. The Humidor Series IPA is truely a pleasure to drink. I would love to to pair this with a great Monte Cristo standard Chirchill.
06-10-2010 05:08:36 | More by BEERchitect
4.15/5 rDev +2.2%
Fresh growler sent straight up from Florida, I cracked this puppy open on Saturday afternoon and watched Avatar and ate Pizza while I enjoyed it. Consumed on 04/24/2010.
Nice pour here, mellow amber in color with a nice head of white that caps it off quite well leaving some nice lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma is citrus, mango, lots of cedar and tobacco notes. Very nice and complex. Smooth, very rich creamy feel really lets the flavor settle in very nicely. Rich notes of cedar dominate here but letting them breathe lets the hops come through and leave the mark. Rich follow though with hints of pine, light herbs, touch of grassy notes, but the wood and tobacco dominate here for sure. Really easy to drink, I would not have even guessed this was 7.5 percent to be honest. Easily polishd off the growler and was looking for more.
Overall I really liked this, it worked well for me, then again I really liked wood aged IPAs.
04-25-2010 01:32:37 | More by mikesgroove
1.5/5 rDev -63.1%
I've had this one a couple occasions now. Both out of the growler and out of the bottle. Both have been the same...
A: The pour is a nice looking hazy golden orange color with a white foam on top.
S: The nose is not a good start to the beer. Cedar and spicy mothballs. The hops try to peak through with just a bit of citrus, but the attempt is futile.
T: Just when I thought the nose couldn't get worse, I drank the beer. Incredibly astringent and spicy notes from the cedar with tobacco and a flavor that I would assume is how mothballs taste (judging from the smell).
M: A medium body with a moderate carbonation. Unfortunately, that spiciness sits on the tongue and is only tolerable for a period of time.
D: I really don't get this beer or the raves about it. I suppose the cedar aging might work for other styles of beer, but get it out of the IPAs.
04-21-2010 17:46:29 | More by womencantsail
4.1/5 rDev +1%
A: crimson amber, very slightly hazy with a two finger head.
S: musty and pungent aroma with hop and floral notes. Cedar is more evident in the aroma than taste for me.
T: nice grassy and pine flavor which remains only mildly bitter through the flavor. Cedar notes but not to the extent I was hoping.
M: medium body and dry finish. moderate carbonation.
Overall: Easy to drink IPA. I was hoping for more cedar in the taste but its a nice addition to the aroma.
08-30-2011 00:36:00 | More by kylehay2004
4.3/5 rDev +5.9%
Appearance: Pours a hazed, deep copper body with an inch of long-lasting, whitish foam.
Smell: Pale maltiness with a sweet-scented brushing of light caramel coupled with a spicy, peppery cedar aroma and peppy hop notes of tangy citrus and grass.
Taste: Pale malts with a touch of fresh grains and a sweet mingling of light caramel and toffee. Brightly hoppy with a bold hit of juicy citrus fruits and a slight grassy overtone. Moderate bitterness. Ah, then there's the cedar wood delivering a distinct taste of finely-ground white pepper for a nice layer of spiciness. Sure, it finishes dry and fairly bitter, but it's that lingering zesty cedar wood that really sends you back for another and another sip.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight hefty, chewiness to the mouthfeel though.
Drinkability: Very enjoyable. While it would be a fine, balanced India Pale Ale in its own right, it's the addition of cedar wood that really sells it for me.
08-15-2009 03:49:47 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.22/5 rDev +3.9%
This beer poured out as a nice looking orangey yellow color with a strong fluffy white head on it. The lacing was chunky and thick down the glass. The smell of the beer was hoppy much like the regular Jai Alai. The smell didn't really have much of the cedar on the nose. The taste of the beer was very good, lots and lots of hoppy flavors mixed with a light taste of fresh wood in there. The cedar gives off a little spice in the beer I think. The mouthfeel was very drinkable and very easy to gulp it down. Overall I really enjoyed this one, Haven't had anything from Cigar City so far that was a disappointment.
06-28-2011 17:01:14 | More by Knapp85
3.98/5 rDev -2%
My first Cigar City beer....about damn time.Poured into an imperial nonic a slightly hazed brilliant burnt orange with a well defined frothy white head,old school ipa looks here.Toasty cedar wood and herbal hops in the nose,not alot of sweetness detected.Toasty and smooth on the palate with leafy,herbal hops in the finish.This a smooth mix of light toasted wood and herbal,and lightly citric hops,I really like the dryness on the palate as well.This a nice beer,it wont blow you away with its hop profile but the smoothness and drinkibility is its strong suit.
04-06-2011 01:15:28 | More by oberon
4.15/5 rDev +2.2%
Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.
Got a couple o' these guys in trades with some righteous Floridians. Thanks go out to HeyOhhh for this particular bottle!
Heading into this brew, I've come to learn (and assume for the future) that wood-aging makes beers good, great, even excellent. Never before, though, has the wood been cedar. And, starting off, it hasn't affected the look much: still a clear amber-orange with more than enough sudsy foam toward the top (I'm told this position is normal, but I have no way to prove it). The cedar does come through in the nose. I've gotta admit, I'm surprised; normally the wood isn't this pronounced this quickly. Not content to live alone (wuss) the cedar is joined by a horde of piney hops, citrus peels, and some mild menthol. It's clear that the wood pays most of the bills, but the hops spend the most time in the taste, constantly gabbin' away on the phone, eatin' up all the chips (and chewing so damn loudly!), and always usin' up all the hot water. This means there's a helluva lotta piney bitterness, with some minor orange rind aftershocks, an intimation of buttery caramel, and, of course, the mild nag of the cedar, always hanging in the background. Luckily for these "Real World" rejects, they get along smoothly (after all, why do you think they were rejected?), even if they're not all that bubbly. This is probably the most drinkable wood-aged brew yet, especially considering the lack of alcoholic burn. Bring on more cedar, baby!
05-15-2010 10:42:48 | More by TMoney2591
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
Into a Duvel tulip, this IPA has an ample head of foam, with spotty lacing and good retention. It's a murky, opaque orange that glows in the sunlight. An island of larger bubbles cluster together on the surface.
Sweet caramel malt aromas, toffee, mild citrus rind, without much noticeable cedar presence to me (in the nose anyway).
Dry and bitter, an initial flash of toffee sweetness gives way to bitter grapefruit pith, lemon zest, and a dry woody finish. The combination of flavors is nice, though the dryness is dominating, and it's moderately bitter and resiny. Pretty smooth and fairly full bodied. We split the 750 a few ways, I probably wouldn't tackle one myself, though it probably could be done.
05-30-2010 16:15:55 | More by emerge077
3.58/5 rDev -11.8%
A - Poured out a clear, orange color with golden highlights. It had a small, white head of foam that left some nice rings of lace.
S - It smelled of cedar and citrus - mostly orange. There are some hidden notes of caramel, too.
T - Lots of spicy flavor and lots of cedar flavor, maybe too much cedar. The caramel and malt is mild and sweet.
M - Very crisp and sharp. A smooth finishing ale that is medium bodied.
D - I've only had a handful of cedar aged beers, but this one was a little too strong on the cedar.
08-01-2010 03:37:47 | More by zeff80
2/5 rDev -50.7%
Appearance: Murky amber with a sticky white head. Good lacing, good retention, clarity could be much improved.
Smell: Intensely woody with a bit of citrusy hops beneath. Some oxidation as well. A cedar overload.
Taste/mouthfeel: Woody, tannic, borderline astringent cedar overpowers the hops and malts both. I get a bit of citrusy hops mid-palate, and no malt to speak of. Bitter tannic finish, it seems like the astringency comes from the wood more than the hops, and there's a noticeable lingering wet paper flavor. Decent, not great.
09-14-2009 03:25:57 | More by largadeer
4.3/5 rDev +5.9%
I wasn't sure what this was when I bought it as there's really no marking on the bottle. It just has the Humidor series label. Luckily BA had all of the information I needed!
It poured a golden-amber body with a slight haze beneath a creamy head of off-white foam. The head retention was excellent, and it displayed some very good lacing.
The aroma was initially malty with a bit of caramel, and then leafy and slightly herbal hops (or does it appear herbal because of the cedar?). Then the nose adjusted and the cedar became quite clear. It was kind of perfumey, and I guess a little bit like cedarwood as well.
In the mouth it was full-bodied, creamy, and smooth with a very fine-bubbled median carbonation due to bottle conditioning.
The flavor was malty and gently caramelish with a toasty edge, and minty and spicy hops (or, again, is that the cedar peeking through?). A rock-solid bitterness anchored it, leading into a dry finish. The cedar came on at the swallow, and then lingered nicely, but faded before the hop flavors and bitterness did.
Not having had the Jai Alai before, I'm not sure how different this beer really is. My guess is that the standard Jai is a fairly basic and drinkable English-style IPA. The cedar was interesting, however, and I found it quite intriguing, and a bit charming. I didn't find it to be a quaffer though, I found myself treating it more like a sipping beer. I would enjoy a taste or two and then put it down for a bit. Again, not having ever tasted the Jai Alai, I have no point of reference, but I will say this: I'd gladly buy another couple bottles to enjoy, and possibly age a bit.
09-18-2009 22:19:14 | More by NeroFiddled
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
Barrel aging IPAs can be a very dangerous thing in my opinion. So much risk of obliterating character and just wrecking the ship. This one works for me. There are the IPA tones that area clear and evident with the barrel influences that combine to provide a nice drinking experience. It's a little boozy at times, but it works for me. P.S. Mild gusher here and a whole lotta head too.
08-17-2012 03:49:21 | More by RblWthACoz
4.35/5 rDev +7.1%
Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep murky amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, grassy hops, caramelized malts and earthy notes that come from the cedar aging.
T: The taste starts out with a burst of mint-like spice that is quickly followed by a strong hops bitterness. Then some caramel and citrus sweetness comes in along with a hearty malt character to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. As compared to the regular Jai Alai IPA, the cedar aging seems to add spiciness, mellow out the hops and bring out the sweetness.
M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, although this is a nice beer and the cedar aging adds some complexity I feel like if it ain't broke don't fix it. I loved the regular Jai Alai IPA and think that it's better without the cedar aging.
08-07-2010 23:29:05 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.28/5 rDev +5.4%
A - One and a half fingers of off-white head on a moderately hazy, copper-brown body. The thick, creamy head settles slowly and the lace is appropriately dense on the walls of the glass.
S - Lots of hop aroma, very fruity with pineapple notes and a hint of orange. Malty background, toast and a bit of caramel. Can't say I am getting any cedar yet, though it could easily hide within this hop character.
T - Pungent hops up front with some spicy, woody character up front. Pine and grapefruit with toasty, toffee like malt. Bitterness begins to kick in the middle and notes of pepper and grapefruit come out. The wood begins to assert itself in the finish, there is a subtle, incense like cedar note and quite a bit of spicy tobacco flavor. A strong, grapefruit-like astringency lingers on the palate.
M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet, somewhat astringent finish.
D - Pretty drinkable with a huge hop character. The cedar seems to be very subtle, and may have contributed to a slightly medicinal aftertaste, but it does seem to augment the hops. Clearly the base beer is a very nice, robust IPA and while I haven't had a chance to try it yet, it is on my list.
07-19-2009 03:37:04 | More by nickfl
4.25/5 rDev +4.7%
750 ml capped bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.
Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of foamy slightly off-white colored head that has a bit of a shine on it! This retains with about a 1/3 of a finger or so of rich froth, which coats the sides of the glass with a creamy cascade that settles into thick patches of lace. That Spanish cedar jumps out immediately, with a woody spiciness that mingles effortlessly with the floral, piney, and slightly herbal smelling tones of the hops. Bright citric hops sits underneath, both bitter and more sweet with fruit, while the malts give this a toasted biscuit presence underneath that props the hops up nicely.
The taste is bitter with grapefruit and light sticky resins, along with some juicy tropical fruit that is all backed up by caramel sweetness and the bready grains of the malts. The cedar is felt throughout and actually helps mellow the overall profile while coming out strongly in the finish with a satisfying spiciness that lingers with some bitter leafiness and pine. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a REALLY smooth and mellow feel that has just enough sharpness to it to stay crisp. Some very light warmth hangs in the throat but the alcohol is hid very well here and really keeps this drinking nicely.
I enjoyed this. The cedar was prominent but not overpowering, while that well balanced lush hop character still shined brightly and it was all wrapped up in a smooth and very easy drinking body. I liked this much more than the regular Jai Alai.
12-07-2010 18:14:40 | More by Kegatron
4.58/5 rDev +12.8%
Picked up a 750 ml bottle in Brandon FL, had some at the tap room too, liked it a lot...
Pours a chill hazed amber with 2 fingers of rocky cream colored head. Superior head retention & average lacing
S: Much woodyness & some grapefruiit & peppery notes. I LOVE the nose on this!
T: Follows the nose, some honey malt & breadyness as well. Grapefruit, honey malt & cedar woodyness are the main players as this warms, some pineyness too at the back of the throat. Finishes woody, dry, grapefruiity & wth some honey sweetness, plus just a hint of booze warmth
MF: Medium biodied creamy, nice balance & warming sensation
I like the way this is drinking, have had some cedar aged beers like Boulevard's Seeyoulater dopplebock, where I wasn't thrilled with the results. This is a nice variant on the straight up jai lai, which is also top notch in my book as well. I think this presented much better as a bottled beer for that's worth... This one really worked for me
06-22-2010 03:58:55 | More by russpowell
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.