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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.

377 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 377
Hads: 1,729
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 344
Gots: 222 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 06-13-2010

This is an American White Oak-aged version of Jai Alai India Pale Ale. The white oak adds smoothing notes of vanilla and slight hints of dill to the aroma and flavor profile. The finish is elegantly dry due to the light tannin notes from oak aging and though still loaded with hop flavor, hop bitterness is more restrained.

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 377 | Hads: 1,729
Photo of peabody
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out slightly cloudy with two fingers of white foamy suds.
Smell is very citrusy with mango and grapefruit at the front. Sugar and malt/yeast are in the back.
Taste is a watery mix of bitterness and barely sweet caramel. The grapefruit rind is here then you get a slight fruityness. The white oak must be the bitterness at the end because it makes the mouth really dry.
Mouthfeel is clean for the most part. Somewhat sticky at first but the bitterness takes all that away.
I could see sessioning this beer if I live in TAMPA.
Thanks Haver, you are a gem!

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Photo of bheilman
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice light golden color. The smell is great with strong oak; rich bourbon scents. The citrus scent I was expecting is fairly well muted by the oak. I usually like the hops scent, but I don't miss it too much here becuase it comes through strong in the taste. Tastes like an orange given a couple pin pricks, soaked in whiskey and then squeezed into a pale ale. It's definitely good. The tastes lingers with a bit of the hops and still some oak notes. It is fairly drinkable, but a bit strong to drink too many of these in a sitting.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndrewNations and kkipple for this one.

A pasty white fluffy head of 1 finger, fades slowly iwith a bit of lacing, over orangeish golden color with a bit of haze.

Nose has lots of oak, a fresh white oak like aroma, the oak brings some vanilla as well, some earthy hops, light pine and citrus, has a bit of a gumball aroma, tangerine and peach as well.

Taste brings citrus hops, light pine and grapefruit, plenty of oak again with the white fresh oak and light vanilla, some bitterness, spicy earthy hops start to dominate as it goes, light fruits again with tangerine and peach, long bitter citrus hop finish, light spice and oak, also a very light buttery oak, and light astringency.

Mouth is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Drink is good, the oak smooths out the astringency and heavy bitterness, but it still gets fairly bitter, nice balance.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 5 Aug 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy orange color topped with a half-finger of bubbly white head, good retention and lacing.

S- Wow, the first thing I get is a ton of vanilla and some coconut. It's like smelling a dessert, definitely not what I was expecting from an IPA. Layered beneath the prominent vanilla is some tropical citrus aroma. It smells delicious, I also don't know if I've ever had a beer aged on oak that produced such a powerful vanilla aroma without also producing a whole lot of whiskey and oak, this is interesting.

T- Similar to the nose, albeit a bit toned down. After an initial rush of vanilla and coconut some tropical, juicy hops take over mid-palate and dominate the finish with piney bitterness and lingering juice flavors. Some caramel and toffee malt is beneath. I really wasn't sure how well vanilla was going to work with the hops on this beer but they actually play very nicely together.

M- Medium-bodied, moderate to high carbonation, has a smooth, slightly prickly feel.

O- A really cool IPA, the vanilla adds a really interesting new dimension to this beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 3.30.11

12oz bottle poured in a pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy dark orange with a thick creamy head. Good lacing left on the glass.

S - The wood is very strong here, boozy, citrus, and slightly floral.

T - A burnt-like citrus, wood flavor.

D - Very smooth and silky.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date listed. Big thanks to Cheesemoose for this extra.

Appearance: Cloudy orange in color with a fluffy, three finger white head and good retention. Definitely a lively pour.

Aroma: Orange zest, citrus, tropical fruit, and mango notes are all in there. A nice rounded backing of caramel and more than a little toasted oak.

Taste: Bitter pine notes are dominant upfront. Oak and herbal notes round out the hop flavors in front. The tropical fruit and mango notes are far less noticable here. A slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp. Ample carbonation keeps the feel light and a little dryness sets in on the finish.

Overall, a welcome twist on Jai Alai. I enjoyed this variation but I almost feel there was not enough to distinguish it from the original. The most noticable improvement (from what I remember) was in the balanced and complex hop aroma.

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Photo of grover37
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up at Connecticut Ave Wine & Spirit for $5. Poured into a New Belgium snifter. Bottle dated September 20th, 2011 so not super fresh at almost 3 months.

Appearance (4): Pours a cloudy dark orange with a finger and a half of thick off-white head. A thick layer of foam remains nearly until the end and leaves some lacing around the glass, especially at the top.

Aroma (4.5): The oak is extremely dominant which says a lot since Jai Alai is typically an aromatic and floral IPA. This is a nice contrast to the cedar version which I've tried previously and loved; much more straightforward with the wood characteristics however. Your typical lumber and chalkdust comes from the light (in feel not intensity) wood aroma from the oak. There is a touch of vanilla of course but more of a bourbon note. This mixes nicely, but also overpowers, the citrus flavors lying underneath; just a touch of grapefruit and lemon comes through. Almost turns it into a piney nose. I love the complexity here although I wish the oak was a little more subtle or the hops stood up better.

Taste (4): Caramel up front with some white wine and oak of course. More vinuous through the middle with maybe a touch of tequila; could just be the oak though. Lots of the vanilla and bourbon through the middle and a touch of sweetness. Some bitterness too through the finish, though not that harsh. The finish is dominated by that same white wine and is pretty dry from the wood. A bit of the fruity mango and orange comes through at the end. Too much oak throughout though this gets better as it warms up (but the alcohol is more noticeable at the same time).

Mouthfeel (4): Medium to full bodied and medium carbonation. Smooth just short of creamy with just a bit of roughness on the finish from the oak. A bit coating as well. The oak really dried out the finish which is nice; Jai Alai can be a little sweet for my tastes (which strongly prefer dry IPAs).

Overall (3.5): I like the nose a lot but only because the oak is interesting. It really overpowers the taste. Not sure if I would prefer regular Jai Alai side by side, but I definitely would not ever drink a ton of this. A solid beer worth trying once or twice, but I wouldn't pick up a case. I would call it a B+ even though my scores say otherwise.

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Photo of wchollif
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks jcartamdg for the surprise box including this gem.

Pours a hazy amber/copper with a finger of head that drops quick. Much darker than expected, probably not the most attractive beer.

The smell is a fantastic ipa citrus hops with loads of oak.

Taste is very good. Oak comes through mostly on the front, it hides the hops a bit but it's very well balanced. Great bitter aftertaste that shows the hop flavor.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both fine, it's a bit heavy for a 7% IPA and the dominant oak probably wouldn't have me reaching for another right away.

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Photo of d5001986
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into tulip.

A: Pours cloudy amber-red with large off-white head.

S: Resinous pine, lots of honey, berries, and some alcohol.

T: I pick up the oak right away. A mostly piney hop profile, though there is some tropical fruit. Some malt sweetness to balance. Slight post bitterness. Different, but I definitely like.

M: Medium body, crisp and quite smooth.

O: A bit different than anything I've tried before, but I find it very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of tpd975
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Brass Tap.

A: Pours a nice copper orange with a tall off white head. Nice retention and lace.

S: Nice sweet malt aroma with loads of citrus and pine. The oak is there for sure, smells fresh cut.

T: Oak, oak, and more oak. Damn this beer is woody. That being said it is not the spent oak that you usually see in beer. This is fresh and sappy oak. The base Jai Alai stands strong in the background, but the oak rules this one.

M: Medium in body, smooth, sweet, and woody.

D: Not the most drinkable to be honest, but it is one of the better pints I have had in awhile.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark yellow, almost amber, color. Small head drops to a very thin film island rather quickly.
Smell is full of oak and malt with a touch of sweet orange or tangerine and some caramel?
Taste is more of an IPA with a definite hop presence, some grapefruit, malt, oak. Good balance here.
Fullish body with a tangy, almost biting, effervescence. Not harsh but sharp. Dry finish with a warming in the back of the throat and down. As a malt lover, IPAs aren't often on my list but this is a good one.

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Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, tangerine color, with a very large head that had good retention. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Unique aroma in the the IPA world. Plenty of oak, pine, and citrus. A little banana as well as the result of oak combining with the citrus. The flavor is likewise unique. The oak really went to work in flavoring this beer with plenty of vanilla coming through. More citrus and tropical fruit hop flavor. A little sweetness from the malt peeks through. Bitterness is moderate. Medium body with low carbonation. Has a really smooth, soft mouthfeel. A good beer but not one I would want to drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottom of can says Canned Feb/11/15.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a full inch of off-white head that retains very well before slowly shrinking to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of fluffy surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Hoppy tropical fruit nose brings to mind peach and green apple. The white oak adds a touch of grainy wood character.

T- Light fruit notes such as melon plus more peach and apple. Bitterness is medium-high. Hint of tartness in the aftertaste. Contrary to the darker color of the beer, there's not much malt presence. The oak is also quite subtle and doesn't add much to the flavor.

M- Somewhat sharp with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Though it's almost two months old, this is drinking quite nicely. Probably my least favorite of the Jai Alai variants but it's still quite good.

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Photo of rel
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out the bottle.

Poured a dark, cloudy orange with a large white head. No vibrant colors, but beautiful lacing and retention.

This beer has a very woody smell. Its like being in a damp forest, but not particularly an oak forest. I live in one, I know the smell. Very comforting. Some of the usual IPA characteristics, flowery hops, citrus notes.

On the front the beer is bitter, with citrus notes that mellow out into flowery hops. In the finish, the oak really comes through. Definitely oak. Works very well with the IPA. Perfect carbonation.

I really, really enjoyed this beer. Flowers and woods come together!

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Photo of kirok1999
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A real pretty looking beer. Hazy copper/bronze with tons of sticky lace. The whole glass is laced with each sip.
Smells slightly woody with a backbone of sweet malt. The hops are a nice mix of grass and pine with a slight citrus note.
Taste is much like the smell on steroids. The wood dominates but not in an unpleasant or overpowering way. The whole thing plays well together. The sweetness of the malts lingers on the tongue and there is just enough wood there to make it interesting.
Feels dense and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever brought this one to our IPA day party.

A - Pours murky orange with a small one finger tall white head leaving very light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel malt, vanilla, slightly dulled citric hops, oranges, and lots of dry oak tannins. All things considered this is very well done and has good balance.

T - Starts off with some light citric hop bitterness quickly giving way to a mix of dry oak tannins, vanilla, and dulled citric fruit. The finish is a mix of dryness and light hop bitterness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Mix of dry oak tannins and light hop bitterness that lingers on the pallet for some time.

O - Pretty good. I like the regular version of this beer quite a bit and this one is no different. I thought the addition of the oak might be a bit too overpowering but it really worked.

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Photo of Greels
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is unique with the combined oak and hops. Slight aftertaste that bothers me a little. Astringent almost. However, overall very impressed. Didn't think I would like it

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to tpd975 for the bottle of this one. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with two fingers of creamy off-white foam that slowly dissipates to a thick cap and leaves behind intricate patterns of lace. Body is murky and evokes peach nectar.

S - Massive amounts of oaky vanilla, toasted coconut, and dill mixed with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. It's reminiscent of the humidor IPA, but not as brash or in-your-face. There's some toffee malt in the periphery but it's obscured by the vanilla for the most part. Surprisingly well-integrated.

T - Taste is surprisingly muted, but has a good amount of toffee malt, vanilla, and citrus flavors. Bitterness is quite low, which is a bit of a surprise - there's a bit of bite mid-palate, but it doesn't linger for very long.

M - Too much carbonation - left me feeling a little bloated after 6oz. Otherwise it was pretty solid, with a surprisingly hefty medium body that's juicy and viscous. Definite enamel-coating resin at the end.

D - In some ways, I liked this more than José Martí, but due to the egregious over-weighting of score, it's going to come out behind. Nice variant on a solid IPA, although I think I'd prefer fresh Jai Alai nine times out of ten.

One of the best oak/barrel-aged IPAs I've had, not that it means much seeing as I haven't had very many.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to billyshears (Jon) for this one. Sampled at a tasting 1/5/11. 6oz. pour from a 12oz. bottle into a DFH pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1 finger frothy, white head with decent retention. Beer is a deep, clear orange. Lacing is sparse and with little stick.

S: Nose is super aromatic and the regular Jai Alai we had side-by-side was muted by comparison. Sweet vanilla, oak, intense citrus, and cane sugar along with some coconut and other tropical flavors. Almost like a pina colada mixed with IPA.

T: Opens sugar cane, vanilla, and citrus hop bitterness. Sweet alcohol lingers and mellows in the background. Piney hops toward the middle and end with a big, citrus hop finish and aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied. Amply carbonated and coarse in the mouth all the way. Lively and bubbly going down. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: Having the regular Jai Alai next to this beer really opened my eyes to this offering. A very solid IPA, the White Oak barrel-aging seems to complement the citrus and tropical hop bitterness in this offering perfectly. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the color of pink grapefruit, this IPA was already working it's way into unorthodox. The head was light and fizzy, sprite and alive.

The aroma held more surprises as an intense cocoa butter fills the nose. Shaved coconut can be found amongst the creamy sweetness along with a fragrant orange.

The sweetness is as unorthodox as the look as its like a grapefruit without the bitterness. Mid palate holds a stripe of orange flavor an then it ends with cocoa butter and apricot.

The feel is dry and smooth but never bitter.

White oak has really changed the personality of Jai Alai, and though it may not be better it definitely changes the norm and tastes good doing it.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice opaque golden/copper color with a white head.

S: Pear, grape, what I imagine wine must smells like, earthy/funky Belgian yeast and just a touch of oak in the nose.

T: In a word, odd. Caramel, citrus, brettanomyces, somewhat earthy. Sweet and nectary.

M: Very smooth for an IPA and medium bodied.

O: Dear Cigar City, aging Jai Alai on white oak is trying to fix something that's not broken, and ending up breaking it. Is it good? Yes, but it's nowhere near as good as the regular jai alai. Still recommended, but between this and the regular Jai Alai, I'd always choose regular.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Semi cloudy orange, some carbonation, one finger head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Oak, pine, grass, slight vanilla, not as tropical as the regular.

T-Nice grassy and oak notes, slight vanilla and some citrus notes, mild bitterness.

M-Medium boded, nice carbonation, some hop resins.

O-A good beer, but both aged Jai Alai were not as good as the regular.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Having had Jai Alai and the humidors variant the last two nights, it's time to tick the white oak version thanks to extras from dipaguy. Appearance is more cloudy than the regular Jai Alai with sparse white head and a deeper honey color. The nose starts with plenty of citrus hops and quite a unique character from the white oak. The white oak almost lends a spicy component to the base beer and almost hints towards notes of cinnamon. The taste starts sweeter than its counterparts, but that sweetness is quickly taken over by heavy oak and hop bitterness. This tastes like an entirely different beer than the other. The white oak seems to accentuate the hop bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is a tad heavy for style with moderate carbonation. Overall, the white oak makes for a very unique and flavorful IPA. This would be fun to experiment with different hop profiles. Quite enjoyable indeed.

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Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received two bottles on 10-3-13 from Lets Pour for $6.50 each. Bottled on 9/3/13.

Beer poured orange with chunks of yeast. Head was OK but dissipated quickly.

Nose is wonderful, tropical hops dominate.

Taste was initially was big on vanilla notes with tropical hops dominating in the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly lively from the carbonation.

Overall this is good. I am not crazy about oaking an IPA so i recommend hanging with the regular Jai Alai.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to smokinoak for the bottle!

A: Cloudy burnt orange color with a very sticky white head that loses fluffiness quickly but laces the glass for an extended period of time.

S: The overwhelming oak smell creates a pleasant faux coconut whiff. The end of the smell finishes a hoppy and citrus oak-centric smell.

T: Starts really sweet, but the oakiness balances out the sweetness towards the finish. Not a lot of hoppiness, but there is enough hidden in between the oak and smoke that it creates a special taste. This is very unique.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation level. Naturally carbonation dissipates a little as it warms, which only brings more flavor out. Very good balance.

O: The smell says it all with this one. Take a whiff and expect to taste what you're smelling. The oak and smokey flavors tone down the natural sweetness to create a very different experience. Best after sitting for just a few minutes so the flavors can open up and expand. I could drink a whole sixer of this on a summer day. I will actually try to trade for more. THANK YOU SMOKINOAK!

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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 377 ratings.