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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 punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by FlandersNed at the June '10 Metro Detroit tasting. Gold colored pour with a loose white head. The aroma is white pine, oak and toffee. Amazingly fragrant. Like smelling an evergreen forest. The flavor is big citrus with lots of juniper, pine and faint honey. Creamy, medium body with low carbonation.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass (Sept. 2011 bottling).

Appearance: Amber, slightly darker than the regular Jai Alai. It has the same thick off white head that fades slowly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Lots of oak, vanilla, sweet, hardly any hops.

Taste: Lots of oak, vanilla, leather, subtle hoppiness and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A good, very drinkable beer. The IPA is almost completely overwhelmed by the oak. Not what I was expecting, but pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Trystero
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of xpdrinker. Thank you!

Back-logged circa 12/28/2011

Appearance: Golden flecked orange hue with residuale white froth lace.

Smell: Smoke, oak, open flame. Faint light malts and an appealing combination of grass and citrus hops.

Taste: Citrus, resin pine, hop nectar laced with vanilla and smoked oak. A slight malt sweetness plays host.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and deceptivly drinkable.

Overall: I've never had the pleasure of sampling the original Jai Alai but this wood version is exceptional.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Allow the flirtation to commence. The tease that Cigar City has with wood leads us to the footsteps of the famed Jai Alai IPA as it embarks upon a spicy white oak slumber. Though the wood alters the classic flavors of IPA, their added complexity gives unique and curious taste.

Its moderate haze and bright golden-orange glow precedes the buildup of a tall column of white foam. The bright perfume of freshly shaven oak weaves into the juicy tropical and citrus hop tones. And as that juicy elixir greets the tongue, it does so with caramel, biscuit and honey sweetness.

And as the hoppy middle palate quickly snatches the balance from the fleeting caramelized malts, the bright and tangy taste of tangerine, apricot and mango lead the way in a hoppy and estery melange. Somewhat jammy to taste, the malts linger with just enough sweetness for support. But as the taste turns the corner, heading toward finish, the bitterness of herb, leaf and citrus peel builds and the oak spices begin to dry the palate with its powdery textures.

And as the medium-bodied beer closes, it does so with ample dextrin richness and biscuity resolve. Resisting the classic fade of malt and the utter dominance from hops, the finish is more evenly balanced as the oak assists the alcohol and hops with its own tannic spice and dryness. While complex and interesting, the oak character proves overwhelming and interferes with the more desirable aspects of the original Jai Alai.

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Photo of jhawth
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into tulip. Pours a mostly clear dirty orange with lace-y, off-white two-finger head.

Aroma: Interesting and intense aroma. I don't think I've encountered anything quite like this before. Tropical fruit hop notes are noticeable but are enveloped by a very potent woodiness, which, as the can says, presents a dill-like (or even, buttered popcorn?) aroma.

Taste: Follows nose but balance of hops to woodiness is reversed--tropical fruit hop flavors and bitterness shine through pleasant, spicy woodiness, transitioning to pleasantly sweet malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, light carbonation, smooth.

Overall: Very interesting take on an already superlative IPA. I can't say that I would pick this over regular Jai Alai, but it is a well-made and intriguing beer nonetheless.

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Photo of billab914
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Cigar City pint glass. It poured a murky, orange/amber color with a dense and rocky head overflowing from the glass. Fantastic head retention to it, as a thick foam was there throughout drinking it. Very nice lacing as well. Pretty much a perfect looking beer of the style for me.

The aroma has a very nice and juicy hoppiness to it. I get a lot of grapefruit flavor out of it, wit ha little mango and peach as well. The oak is also there and adds some vanilla and moderate woody flavors. The oak is very well done and enhances the flavors instead of overpowering them.

The taste shows more of the oak than the nose did. I get a little vanilla mixed wit ha pretty big earthy, woody flavor. The juicy, grapefruit like hop flavors are also there. The finish mixes some moderate bitterness with some of the sweeter, juicy, and woody flavors. Very nice hoppiness to it and the wood flavors really enhanced the flavors for me without being too overbearing.

The mouthfeel is a bit heavy for an IPA, with carbonation being moderate. The heavy mouthfeel makes it seem even juicier and almost pulpy. It actually fit the beer pretty nicely. Overall, I really liked this beer. I liked it a lot better then the cedar one as well. The oak was very nice in it, but still allowed the hops to shine. I'm not usually one for wood treatments to IPA's so this one surprised me a bit. Very solid beer overall.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Jared, for this one!

A. A dense, cloudy, deep gold color. Good two fingers of off-white head that settles down to a half finger but lingers there on. Very thick and consistent lacing that leaves sticky, sudsy gobs on the sides of the glass. Quite a few floaties but that could be chill haze from the back of the fridge.

S. Citrus-forward with some pungent dank notes on the back-end. Lots of tropical fruit, particularly pineapple and mango. Some spicy sweetness from the wood...very interesting, adds some nice earthy quality and a pretty neat undertone to the hops.

T. Nectarine, tangerine, pineapple juice. This quickly gives way to waves of oakiness, which presents with tannic and spicy qualities. The wood and bittering hops combine for an assertive and slightly drying finish. However, the tropical fruit balances this dry finish fairly well, leaving a finish that, while woody, is pretty close to standard Jai Alai.

M. Very nicely balanced and a good use of the wood.

O. I'm not the biggest wood-aged IPA fan, but this is better than most. The White Oak compliments Jai Alai well, and there is a very interesting interplay of tropical and earthy flavors. While not a personal style preference of mine, I must say CCB has a nice beer here.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on date of 05/13/14

Appearance- Pours a clear golden amber with bits of yeast(?) sediment floating around and a big, off-white 2 finger head. great retention, resulting in a thin layer of surface suds and a thick film of lacing around the glass that holds quite nicely.

Smell - Sharp on the nose, hitting on tropical notes of pineapple, tangerine and mango offset by some oak and grape character. Vanilla creeps in as the brew warms.

Taste - Tropical notes as found in the aroma, mellowed by the woody oak character. Touches of coconut and red grape. Hints of vanilla. Finishes with more oak and coconut and a light citrus pith.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with fair, tingly carbonation. Super smooth, with a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Good, really good, but I prefer the original. If it ain't broke, don't fix it or, in this case, if it's one of the best IPAs in the World, don't touch it! Okay, maybe that's being too dramatic, but as good as this is, I'd never choose it over the OG Classic!

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks GEOGRANDE. Spicey IPA. Medium golden coloured body with enormous head that leaves a half inch of white head. The aroma is unuual as it has the cooked oak, interesting. Medium plus mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, but I could not drink a second bottle of this too soon.

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Photo of fear025
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:Sweet cotton candy, subtle fruit, oak in the nose.

Appearance:A deep shade of amber, nice white fluffy head, good retention.

Taste:Lots of oak on the first sip, along with some great candylike sweetness. A fair amount of bittering hops, but the specific hop flavors are hidden with all of that oak. There is a very slight tart flavor on the foretaste too. The oak lingers long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:This beer has a refreshing bite to it, great carbonation.

Drinkability:This is a great alternative to your average IPA, very unique in flavor.

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Photo of dtivp
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange bronze with a two finger frothy white head, good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma of oak, malt and citrus hops.

Taste followed the nose with a nice balance between the bitter oak, hops and sweet malts along with hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel was Medium body and carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Enjoyed poolside in Naples, Florida, a very nice refreshing beer on a warm day by the water.

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Photo of fields336
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: light brown, orange

S: light vanilla, oak wood, dill, tropical fruits, and earthy hops

T: vanilla, dill, pepper, peach, pineapple, mango, oak wood, herbal

M: creamy mouthfeel, not rough at all, almost a nitro mouthfeel

O: this beer tastes very different from jai alai, but in a good way. I like the flavors and the best parts of jai alai shine through

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Dark copper. Thick white head. Very sticky lacing.

S: Lots of oak. In fact, it's hard for me to pick out any hop aroma at all. If I almost get my nose wet, I can begin to pick out some tropical, citrus notes. Nice nose...has a bite to it. Can certainly tell this has been aged on oak. Harkens back to my grandparent's wood burning stove during the wicked Florida winters...50 degrees? Better bundle up.

T: Hops make themselves known and blend in well with the oak flavors. Bitter and spicy. More tropical than citrus in the taste. I like it...different for sure.

M: Medium with good carbonation. Nothing too special.

D: Good, but I can't see myself drinking more than one in a sitting.

Nice warming beer which isn't something that I would normally say about an IPA. I like it. Thanks again goes to Jesse for including this along with some other cool and interesting extras. Koala bear..how the hell did it know that? Amazing.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy gold in color with a half-finger white head that laces decently well. Moderate visible carbonation.

S: Aromas of spicy wood, caramel, vanilla, sweet grassy with pine & citrus in the background.

T: Sweet and oaky up front, than comes some caramel, toffee, vanilla, buttery sweet, with pine, grassiness and citrus pith. Hang is buttery, bitter & sweet.

M: A smooth, medium to slightly heavy mouthfeel, still with a good amount of carbonation sensation, and minimal alcohol presence.

O: Look, this is a good beer, and I do like it. And this year's batch seems a little better than previous years. But for me, the bottom line is that it's not as enjoyable to drink as the base beer, and still doesn't hold a candle to Humidor Jai Alai.

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Photo of lazjuarez
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Bottle dated: AUG1011

A: Poured fairly vigorously which created about 2 fingers worth of an off white, almost buttery colored head. Pours a deep orange, burnt amber color. Head stuck around for a few minutes, but reduces to some spotty patches of foam, leaving behind some small lacing.

S: Nose is filled immediately by oak, but compliments the tropical notes that follow. I'm getting grapefruit, pineapple, and some small citrus as well. Astringency is present, but is balanced by some sweet malts.

T: Taste is oak forward, just as in the nose. Then, pine notes follow and just as they started retreat to the dominant oak. Good caramel malts play a nice role as well.

M: Medium bodied; The oak really coats the palate, light malty breadiness also helps. Carbonation was a bit low for me, it would have helped in refreshing my palate. Overall a great beer, but the only down point was the mouth feel for me.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Ommegang chalice glass

Appearance- A murky reddish yellow with lots of carbonation and yeast particles floating. There was a finger or so of off white head that dissipates about half way and leaves nice streaky lacing.

Smell- Lots of fruit including mango and lime. Also an underlying vanilla sweetness.

Taste- Up front has sweet ripe fruit that is swept away and finished with a long woodsy and earthy finish.

Mouthfeel- Pretty heavy mouthfeel that could use a little more carbonation to help create a crisper finish.

Overall- I like the complexity that the oak aging bring to the smell, but it kinds of hinders the juicy fruit that you get from the original version. The oak brings more of a woodyness rather then a sweet vanilla. That being said, it is an excellent beer that I wouod definitly drink again.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours deep orange. It was pretty clear until the last of the bottle was poured, then lots of sediment clouded my glass. Kind of wish I left the last bit in the bottle.

Smells very woody almost like a freshly cut piece of timber, I am also getting subdued hops and honey sweetness.

Tastes of waxy honey comb, vanilla tannins, slight mango. An interesting combo of flavors for sure, but I find my self missing the fresh tropical and guava notes on the original.

Medium mouthfeel and carb.

Overall, not as fruity and tropical as the regular Jai Alai which as it turns out I prefer to this. An enjoyable offering from CCB, but would not got to great lengths to seek out again.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish-orange with a towering stack of meringue like foam on top. Beer is rather hazy with bright golden yellow edges. Foamy is a dirty white color with ridiculous staying power. Leaves big chunks of lace on the glass.

S - Lots of oak comes through initially with hints of pine forest as well. Just a hint of citrus fruits linger underneath. As the beer warms the hops actually come through a bit more and traces of caramel sweetness become noticeable as well.

T - Very oaky up front with hints of wood and even a touch of vanilla bean. Citrusy hops come quickly through and leave an excellent bitterness behind. There are also tastes of pine and tree sap. The beer finishes surprisingly sweet.

M/D - Medium bodied with a very active carbonation. Tastes are a little strong for the beer to be real high in the drinkability scale, but it is still an excellent sipper.

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Photo of JulioH
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had it previously on tap, and most recently in a can, which is what I use for this review.

Pours a nice foamy yellow beer. Heads is tall and stays for a while. Smell is a bit subdued. Not very hoppy, not very oaky. Taste is bitter, not extremely bitter. Hard to separate the oak from the hops. Mouthfeel was a bit thick. This beer was creamy, or thick.

The type of bitterness used was strange. I felt the bitterness rising to my nose, instead of going down my throat. Maybe too much oak? idk.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/tan and somewhat cloudy appearance. Fine rising bubbles on the sides of the glass. One finger head that dissipates into a nice sheen. Good lacing.

Fruity and sweet smelling, with a woody earthiness.

Oranges, apricots, mangoes all come to mind in the flavors. Definitely sweet, but also quite hoppy, with an interesting blend of spicy, bitter, and sweet. Woody background crosses all areas of flavor.

Pretty rich and thick indeed. Smooth and lingering medium bitter aftertaste. Silky carbonation.

A tasty treat, but wouldn't want to drink it every day. Very good beer tho.

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Photo of biglobo8971
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pub glass. The color is incredible, vibrant golden orange. Very little head with slight lacing present.
The first smell is of sticky sweet fruit, want to say papaya or mango, though not tasted. Dug my nose into the glass the whole drink, kept picking up different smells. Very enjoyable. Taste is different, not a bad different, just different. There is a taste that I cant describe well, I am assming its the white oak. Very well done specialty IPA, the mouthfeel is easy to drink, making it easy to drink again while trying to figure out the different nuances in the taste.
Overall, interesting beer. Will want to try again fo sho.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks merc for sharing a bottle of this

The beer pours a clear, dark amber with a thin white head that laces. For an IPA this is quite dark and provides great head retention. The smell is absolutely intense. The hops fight tooth and nail against the intense oakiness, sweet orange marmalade, coconut, and slight biting alcohol. The taste doesn't impress nearly as much as the nose and I find myself wishing I could just have the IPA without the intense oakiness. The mouthfeel is a smooth and drinkable with a moderate hoppy bitterness. I would really like to try the jai alai by itself after trying this beer!

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Photo of KAP1356
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MhopeTC for throwing in this extra in a recent trade. Reviewed from notes (wanted to have it as fresh as possible). Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass...

A - Pours a really nice hazy, dark orange color with some light amber highlights. An eggshell white head forms about 1 finger thick and slowly recedes to a pretty sturdy cap. Nice spotty lacing.

S - The oak really stands out on the nose and adds some nice nuances to the beer - mainly earthy notes. Hops aren't as forward as I would've expected here. Some citrus is detected, but the oak really takes the nose by storm.

T - Here come the hops. Nice juicy, citrus hops up front with some nice bitterness as well. Really strong malt backbone in this one alogn with a nice earthiness from the wood. Slightly bready with a nice fruity aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied beer with moderate carbination. Slightly creamy, which is nice.

O - I enjoyed this one, although the nose did suffer a bit. Overall a nice beer that added some interesting nuances to the original beer.

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Photo of Duff27
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half inch off white head on a small sediment filled light ruby red body. Great lacing and head retention.

Earthy hops, wood.

Well balanced hops and malt profile. Does have a oaky essence to it. Wouldn't peg this at 7.5%abv as it drinks smaller than that.

Medium mouthfeel, lower end of carbonation for an ipa.

A good not great ipa. Unique with drinkability. Oak adds another layer onto an already above average ipa. Thanks egrace84.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Filled Last night; Sampled January 2011
A big pour into my CCB snifter produces a two finger thick, light, almost pale, tan colored head that leaves some sticky lacing as it slowly subsides.. The beer is a red-amber-copper color that shows a barely hazed, pale amber / copper hue when held up to the light. For a half second the aroma smells only of herbal hops, but then a buttery oak character kicks in as well as a light woody spiciness and an almost fruity, fresh cut wood character (this last must be influenced by the hop fruitiness). The oak influences the hop character to lean more towards the herbal side than the regular version does, and it also brings out a surprising note of floral pear. It is weird, the huge hop fruit character somehow lurks furtively in the background, but at the same time is on the verge of seeming huge here in the nose; it definitely suggests at tropical fruit and when you really dig the finish is quite dominated by a uniquely singular grapefruit zest aroma (this last is not a suggestion of such an aroma as in every other IPA I have had, but instead smells exactly like grapefruit zest).

A nice biting bitterness closely followed by grapefruit and tangelo citrus notes greets my tongue up front. A bright tropical fruit character is found towards the middle in finish (much more apparent than in the nose) and the oak brings out some pear notes here as well. The finish is quite smooth, with an initial bitterness sort of morphing into a lightly spicy oak character and then just melting into a mix of buttery oak and pear / tropical fruit character with really no lingering bitterness at all; it is as if the oak neutralizes the bitterness in the finish somehow. There is quite a bit of green, sort of fruity (this last is clearly influenced by the hops), fresh woodiness towards the finish of this beer and this also accentuates herbal hop notes that lean towards mint, rosemary and perhaps a hint of sage. This has a fullness to it that is not heavy, and it suggests at the caramel malt character that is here; this last really melds into the buttery oak character such that it isn't as noticeable as it was in the regular Jai Alai.

This beer is quite interesting, the oak definitely adds complexity and the notes it brings to the game are nice, but actually negatively impacts the overall balance and composition of the beer (especially since the straight Jai Alai is so fresh in my mind). Still, this is quite enjoyable, I would almost always choose the regular version over this, or even the Cedar version is better, but I truly am quite happy to be drinking this right now (I am perhaps a bit overly disappointed only because I am making a mental comparison to the regular version I had last night).

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