Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 902 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +1.7%
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: Pours a hazy medium caramel brown with a 2-3 finger frothy off-white head. Excellent head retention. Excellent lacing throughout.
Smell: Sweet floral hops, caramel, warm spices and cedar.
Taste: Sweet citrus up front followed by black pepper and cedar in the middle and ending with grapefruit bitterness. The aftertaste is a mix of cedar and bitter grapefruit.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: Very high drinkability. Goes down quite smooth.
Overall: Great variation of Jai Alai. I'm not sure that I would want to drink the cedar aged version all the time but I'm glad I bought it. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
09-07-2010 20:23:55 | More by adam42381
4/5 rDev -1.5%
750ml bottle into Captain Lawrence tulip--which, by the way, is a pretty nice beer glass. This was my first time using it.
Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch white head that dissipates slowly leaving an elaborate web of lacing. Pours a hazy orange brown. Good lacing.
Smell: Cedar and piny hops. Very woody. Like "Whoa, they're not kidding about the cedar," woody. Probably not hard to convince someone that the beer contains liquefied cedar. Also some herbal and peppery notes. Overbearing as the wood notes are, it smells like a nice hoppy Belgian pale ale or saison.
Taste: First sip: this tastes exactly like the smell, with some booziness at the end. So much white pepper and cedar. The hops are mainly expressed as pine flavors, which augments the dominant pepper and cedar. There's a nice sweetness near the end that really ties the whole thing together. Beautiful grassy aftertaste.
I could definitely buy a criticism along the lines of "this beer is (way the hell) too woody," but that's not my criticism; I think the beer is balanced enough to pull it off. My main criticism is just that there's a bit too much booze in the flavor, especially for a 7.5% ABV beer (tastes like 10% at least to me).
Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium bodied. Ample carbonation. Very mild dryness at the end.
Drinkability: While I immediately recognized that this was a well put together beer, I had doubts about being able to enjoy the whole bottle. However, it got very pleasant after just a short time. I'd almost call the beer "educational", as it shows nicely how the similarities between IPAs and saisons can be played up, and how such a strong smell as cedar can work in such a seemingly unlikely place as an IPA.
"Learning something" while drinking the beer was enjoyable, and the overall balance of the beer came more clearly into focus as I got further into the bottle, leaving me with the impressions that, no, it was not hard to enjoy the whole thing at all, and yes, I would drink it again.
I would say that most of these scores could easily be 4 or 4.5 (none really approaching 5), with only drinkability being a realistic < 4 score. An impressive first beer to try from Cigar City. I'll definitely seek out more offerings by them.
01-17-2011 07:34:47 | More by Pahn
3.43/5 rDev -15.5%
750mL bottle served into a tulip glass
Pours a darkish, burnt orange color. Plenty of murkiness to the body, though you can see some carbonation when you hold the beer to direct light. The carbonation gushes out, forming a two-finger-plus sized head, but it reduces down to a very tight one finger. Plenty of thick-ringed lace is left in its wake.
The dominant aroma I'm getting is caramel malt. Which isn't what I personally want to get as the dominant aroma in an IPA, but I can roll with it. There's green hop notes here, a splash of fruit juice too. There's a different sort of astringency here too which I am attributing to the cedar chips. Slight vanilla comes along with the wood. I've had cedar in beer before (namely Boulevard's discontinued Seeyoulator Dopplebock), and this doesn't at all smell like what I thought it would. The unique character of cedar is diminished on the nose of this bottle. Is it old? I have no reason to think so, but it could be the case.
Tasting the beer leads me to believe that it isn't blindingly fresh but isn't over the hill either. There's a fair amount of peach and orange hop flavor to this bottle. The caramel malt IS stronger than I'd prefer, but it maybe needs to be. The cedar flavor isn't dominant or even particularly strong, and I think the malt is helping a lot to keep the wood in balance. That wood is green and yes, tastes like cedar. Very trace vanilla; mostly green wood.
This beer is on the thicker side of medium-bodied. I typically don't like that attribute, but it works for this beer. There's something pleasing about the textural heft in relation to wood flavor. Usually, wood-aged beers are so thinned-out, so the contrast is unexpected and enjoyable.
Overall, this is an above-average IPA. It is unique and enjoyable, though nothing that I would turn to regularly (or ever again, even). It isn't what I'm looking for in an IPA, but it does succeed in what it wants to do.
12-07-2011 03:57:18 | More by Reaper16
3.58/5 rDev -11.8%
750ml into tulip. Thanks to TheSevenDuffs.
A- Cloudy burnt orange/peach colored pour. Two finger eggshell head that quickly disappears leaving a thin cap. Lacing is spotty.
S- Very first thing is the cedar. Humidor, ceder chest or even those cedar pucks people put in their sock drawer. Floral hops with a sweet citrus note fall short. As per Marcus this isn't a very fresh bottle.
T- Floral hop bite with aromatic cedar following close behind. There is a sweet malt and juicy citrus before the cedar comes back and dries your mouth out.
M- Medium bodied, juicy up front long dry finish.
O- Cedar while wonderful to smell isnt my first thought for a wood aged beer. It's different to say the least. Not for the good or bad. Just different.
11-19-2011 01:11:36 | More by korguy123
4.58/5 rDev +12.8%
Happy to pick this one up along with some 110K+OT batch #3, also happy to receive my Sierra Nevada XXX glass in the mail today (unfortunately I wont be cracking another one of those open for a little while).
A: Poured into my new SNXXX bubble glass, this beer pours an opaque golden rod yellow with a fluffy tan head that is quick to dissipate. I would rate this brew higher on appearance, but the head is a little too weak for another .5 points.
S: The aroma on this brew is amazing. I'm giving it a 5 for uniqueness. This is my first cedar aged beer, and I can see why they call this the Humidor Series. It literally has notes of fresh cigars in a humidor. Very earthy, woody, peppery. The aroma is just fresh, one of the freshest smelling beers I have. Behind all that is a slight layer of citrus.
T:The hop bite is present, but tamed by the cedar aging. The flavor follows suit with the tobacco notes in the aroma. Nutty, woody and smokey. For an IPA this brew is well balanced with a strong, but relaxed malt character. I sense a light sweetness, but the malt significantly adds to the body.
M: The mouthfeel is well carbonated and full. Chewy at times.
D: Drinkability....I'm gonna rate this beer on how satisfied I am after one, and that is very satisfied. This brew has the complexity of a big beer that I want, with a fairly moderate ABV. I am a fan of cigars. There are a lot of topics in the forums about pairing beers and cigars, and my personal opinion is that it should never be done. Both of them cancel out the flavor experience that is unique to them both. Humidor Series IPA is the ticket if you want to experience a cigar and beer all in one without sacrificing either's quality of the experience.
06-30-2010 22:10:19 | More by TKEbeerman
3.83/5 rDev -5.7%
Another CCB hook up from Alieniloquium - Cheers Bro!
*notes from 06/25/11 tasting
A: Pours an awesome golden pale ale that really hazes towards the center of the glass. A nice big fluffy 2+ finger of head formed and left gobs of lacing to the glass.
S: Nose is full of florals and spice with a rather dominant breadiness. Some notes of tropical fruits but nothing worth a boast. Aroma seems to have mellowed a bit.
T: Good flavor! Nice and hoppy. I was skeptical as most wood aged IPA's I have experienced really tend to lose their hop character but not this brew. It is light, juicy, and has this interesting sour orange fruit character to it. Especially in the aftertaste. Good caramel body. I don't get much wood flavs at all really. Not like that of oak aged beers. The cedar is really subtle and gives this sort of spicey rum-like finish that really works here. Slight ABV warmness.
M: Very smooth mf overall with a nice creamy body and slight stickiness to the palate.
D: Great drinkability and a pleasant experience. Really lends itself to spicey foods. In fact I am gonna go bust out the chips n salsa!
I can't say I have ever have experienced a cedar aged brew before this one however I think CCB did a great job at keeping the hop characters in tact while adding an enjoyable element to their IPA.
06-27-2011 22:25:45 | More by Nugganooch
4.35/5 rDev +7.1%
I've had this a number of times, but have not reviewed, and never out of the 750ml bottle. Think that means it's time for a proper review.
Poured into a tulip glass. Nice appearance...rousing head above a sinister, sparkling reddish-gold. Excellent lacing. A shade darker than I'd expect.
Smell is all IPA to begin with, mostly Pine-Sol with a bit of lemon zest and grapefruit. Some slightly funky overripe strawberry as it warms, I think this is the cedar coming through - I pulled a similar note from the Japanese Classic Ale from Hitachino Nest, also cedar-aged.
The wood doesn't come through quite as much here as in previous batches I'd had, but it's still there. It seems to really serve to dry out any residual sweetness left here; it has that flinty, woody dry finish. Before that, it's the grapefruit and pine you get from the standard Jai-Alai, with some overarching flavor of strawberry-and-whiskey for which I'm crediting the cedar. Still, not as much obvious wood as in earlier batches, I think. The earlier batches were "like licking the floor at Home Depot," lot of wood-shaving taste. This seems to have more balance, with the hops coming through a lot more; it's closer to what you'd typically think of as a beefy IPA.
Feel is rather soft and agreeable, while maintaining plenty of active carbonation. Outstanding. It seems to have the lush feel of a bigger beer, not that 7.5% is exactly small.
At this strength, probably more drinkable than it should be. Yet, I'll stop at 4.0, as it feels like a big beer, and has big-beer flavor.
06-23-2010 22:41:39 | More by Patrick999
4.25/5 rDev +4.7%
A-hazy gold with white head and lacing through out
S-the cedar comes through predominately. I feel like I'm at a lumber store
T-wow very complex. The wood comes through and almost adds a sour taste to it. Nice balance with the hops
M-medium bodied, crisp and dry
O-decent brew. Cedar is overpowering...
03-26-2011 00:41:13 | More by brew3crew
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 902 ratings.