Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 902 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
4.35/5 rDev +7.1%
750 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.
Pours a hazy orangy amber with a white sticky head that isn't moving anyime soon.
Smell starts like sweet citrus, then a spicy woody finish.
Taste is cedary. Starts with a mellow cedar then a hoppy middle finishing with a deeper woody finish.
Mouthfeel is very full and the cedar keeps the hoppy bitterness from being too strong.
An excellent beer that I was very surprised to find.
07-21-2009 00:09:22 | More by aubuc1
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
3.53/5 rDev -13.1%
Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a clear golden color with 1 inch bubbly white head. Decent retention. Faint lace.
S: Nice cedar and hops. Pine and pineapple notes. Hint of guava and black pepper. Fresh and pleasant.
T: Holy hops! Cedar is still present, but not as nicely balanced as in the aroma. I'm sure there's more there, but the hop bomb obliterates everything else.
M: Very bitter from the overpowering hops. Light body. Slightly oily feel.
D: I'm a little over half-way through a pint of this one and having difficulty continuing. This started out promising, but took a nose-dive. Although I'd still say this is above average overall, I wouldn't recommend it. Don't go out of your way for this one.
05-30-2010 04:40:02 | More by mwilbur
4.5/5 rDev +10.8%
750 ml bottle from the Rare Beer of the Month Club; poured into a goblet.
A - Beer is orange-amber and slightly cloudy but not opaque. It has a thin, incomplete layer of off white foam and lots of lacing on the glass.
S - The aroma is amazingly complex and inviting. Its base is the super-hoppy, grapefruit smell of a classic West Coast IPA. On top of that is the spicy wood aroma of a fine cigar box and a whiff of alcohol.
T - The taste is first dominated by hop bitterness and grapefruit notes, then the cedar wood flows in. The wood both mellows and adds complexity to the taste. There are also some malt notes and alcohol.
M - The mouthfeel is light enough to be drinkable but has enough body to be suitable for the style. The alcohol is warming.
D - This beer is definitely for sipping and contemplating, not chugging. American IPAs are not my thing and I'm not a hophead, but I am a huge fan of this beer. The flavor and aroma are among the most complex and interesting I've ever had. The cedar character is incredible and very similar to the effect Dogfish Head gets with Palo Santo wood.
09-11-2010 03:33:47 | More by Radome
4.05/5 rDev -0.2%
Bottle doesn't say "Jai Alai" but whatever. It's the Humidor IPA.
Thin tracing of white bubbles. Yellow-amber, cloudy.
Smell is mellow hops and a trace of cedar.
Quite cedary. Interesting complement to the hop content. It's a wood aging that doesn't cut into hop character, which should be appreciated by hop lovers. I'm not one, but still good. Grapefruit aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is mixed, not great.
It's pretty good; I didn't know what to expect. Definitely an IPA but a complex one.
12-11-2011 01:47:43 | More by zaphodchak
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 902 ratings.