Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 903 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
3.56/5 rDev -12.3%
Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a teku; bottling date of November 7, 2013 printed in some sort of dark-ish ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Bottled on 11/07/13”), making this bottle a week old on the date of consumption. Yep, one week. Huzzah for freshness.
Appearance (4.25): Sure is an attractive beer: a good two fingers milk-white foam rises off of the pour, capping a rich orange-amber body with a moderate chill haze. The head shows decent retention, dying down relatively slowly and leaving a thick collar and thin film at the surface. A few nice splotches and thick legs here and there.
Smell (3.25): This is quiiite a unique aroma—honestly not sure what to make of it at first. Must be the cedar? There’s an herbal-spicy scent that’s almost sulfurous, but a little woody and spicy like mustard, almost (though that side of it is lighter). Some fruity, slightly resinous hops underneath it, but the aroma really is dominated by what must be the cedar. To be fair, the fruity hops come in to balance out the cedar a bit more as it warms.
Taste (3.5): Following the aroma at first, with that funky, at turns sulfurous cedar, but the hops character is much clearer and more prominent here: that weird, woody-botanical tang accompanied by a bit of spiciness, sitting next to a juicy citrus component with sweet red grapefruit, some of the melony richness of papaya, and then a moderately sharp red grapefruit bitterness in the close, as the beer finishes crisp and dry. Some of the slightly spicy, woody-botanical cedar character (which I recognize now is unmistakeable) permeates every aspect of the flavor, from start to finish. Is there malt in here? Yeah, I suppose so. A little rich peasant bread and toasted wheat bread underneath the hops and melding with the cedar. Certainly is unique.
Mouthfeel (4.25): Smooth bodied, a slightly oily just-under-medium-weight, with a moderately velvety carbonation that foams easily but subtly, dies out before too long, and washes down cleanly with a dry, but not parching or astringent, finish. No booze at all.
Overall (3.5): So, the base beer here is killer—Jai Alai is always on point and an absolute joy to drink. The cedar aging adds a very unique dimension to it, though, which is impossible to ignore because it is front and center. It also mutes/covers up some of the hoppiness that makes Jai Alai so damn good, too, but not entirely. So, basically, in the end what you have here is a very solid IPA with an extremely unique treatment that has the potential to be very polarizing. I’m on the fence about how I feel about it, in the end, but I’m glad I’ve tried it. In the future, though, I’ll probably just stick to Jai Alai.
11-15-2013 02:21:17 | More by fmccormi
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.