Jai Alai IPA - White Oak - Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

359 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 359
Hads: 1,651
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 4.6%
Wants: 328
Gots: 206 | FT: 11
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
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Reviews: 359 | Hads: 1,651
Photo of beertunes
3.24/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to BA Dopplebockukus for this one. Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a clean, clear golden amber color with under a half-inch of just off-white head that had low retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was solidly oak. Dominatingly so. Some mild citrus hops showed through, but no malt. On the tongue, the beer was even more woody. This must be what Labrador Retrievers taste on their tongues during a vigorous session of fetch. There was just a bit of malt in the flavors, some citrus hops at the back of the tongue, but a whole lumber yard of Oak all across the tastebuds.

The body was fairly typical for the style, but did have a nicely dry finish. Drinkability suffered from the overt timber flavor, I had a hard time finishing one 12oz bottle (my tongue got bored), and I couldn't see having multiples at a time. Overall, an interesting beer, one that's probably worth a shot if you're interested, but I'd like to see the wood dialed back a bit. (965 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing this beer NOT from notes. Finally have a bit of time to sit down with a new one. Direct from Florida and received today.

Bottles makes a nice hiss as I pry off the top. A bit of oak scent wafts from the bottle. Poured into my tulip.

Initial pour is quite hazy. The beer itself is a copper color that is on the lighter side. It looks like it has been infused with a bit of peach coloring. The head starts out about 1.5 fingers high and slowly fades down to half a finger. Very nice lace circles around the edge of the glass and some bigger carbonation bubbles in the middle.

Nose is a bit muted and not nearly as hoppy as I would expect given the base beer. A bit of oak makes its way through alongside some dull toffee notes and hints of cardboard. Not necessarily in an off way; more like fresh, non-soggy cardboard. Also a bit of a light nutty character. Three scents and not a single one deriving from hops. Interesting.

Initial sip reveals a good amount of fresh oak, although there isn't much tannic character present. Soft notes of caramel and toffee along with some fresh-baked bread. Slightly bitter mouthfeel. Slightly dry and tannic in the finish, as my cheeks and the roof of my mouth are somewhat dried out.

All in all, I'm definitely quite perplexed by this beer. The oak character has completely taken over the hops, and all that is left of them is a bit of bitter dryness in the finish. While the oak certainly isn't bad, it takes over what are some really great, fresh hoppy characteristics in the original formulation. While it is a decent enough beer in its own right, I believe it's a fairly signifiant step down from regular Jai Alai, as well as from some of the fruit-aged versions. (1,721 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a FFF Anniversary party pint glass.

A: Exact same the regular Jai Alai that was sampled before this. Golden straw body with amber hues mixed in, a white head that leaves some nice sticky lace.

S: This white oak did some crazy things to this beer. I'm getting something crazy, almost like banana liqueur with a peppery oak like taste and some subtle hoppiness.

T: Same as the nose. The white oak gave it a peppery zing with a very sweet fruitiness. It's almost spicy in nature. Quite interesting.

M: Medium bodied with a long lingering taste of white oak left on the palate.

O: This was way different from the original Jai Alai that was sampled right before, but it is still about the same type of beer. I'd be interested to try other beers that have been aged with white oak. (803 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow hard to imagine this is the same Jai Alai I just had a couple of months ago. The non oaked version is more of an IPA this oak version is just out of hand unlike any offering I've had from an IPA. I get a nice oak and spicey aroma but the flavor just oozes out with vanilla and a hot boozey bite of spiciness. There is a bit heavier diacetyl in the mouth. A decent beer but not really my type. (396 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.31/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I think this is another from the BIF package from djmichaelk. The gift that keeps on giving.

Fairly gentle pour ends up with half of glass of foam. Nice cloudy gold/orange color with mentioned massive head.

Slight citrus smell, but really the oak dominates the nose.

Starts off with a slightly pleasant citrus. Again almost immediately the oak overpowers everything else. Finishes with a huge woody flavor. A little more complexity came out as it warmed a bit. The oak was still heavily presence, but allowed more other flavors to come through as well.

Good mouthfeel and carb.

I'm beginning to think IPA's don't lend themselves very well to oak. The oak overpowers most of the good IPA flavors in this one although as noted it became a much better beer as it warmed. (772 characters)

Photo of OddNotion
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with brewpaab. Thank you! I have had regular Jai Alai which I think is amazing and the Humidor series which I also really enjoy. Poured into my Fantome Tulip.

50th Review for me!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful orange color with a light tan uncontrollable tow and a half finger head. Extremely active carbonation and the head keeps building, over three fingers now. This is one of the most active beers I have ever poured, and definitely the most active in this style. Starting to get a little bit annoying, maybe I should have used a more open glass.

Smell: The smell of cut oak hits me immediately. I love that smell. Some nice citrusy fruity notes follow.

Taste: Going to be a while before I get the chance to taste this beer. Everything is blended very well in the taste, most things are not too distinguishable from one another. The bitterness shows up a little bit on the back end. I feel the oaking of this beer has made it too smooth, no bite that I like in my IPAs and the fruity bouquet of flavors present in the original is almost lost to the oak in this version.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy for an IPA, carbonation has calmed down after the head dissipated, I wouldnt call it flat but would appreciate more carbonation.

Overall: Not a huge fan of this one. I feel that oak is a very hard flavor to successfully incorporate into an IPA, I do not Jai Alai is very well suited for the overbearing flavor of oak. I love the original, just not the oakiness. (1,500 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of PALMEJ1. Thanks again Jacob!

Pours a hazy dark golden orange/copper color with burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy two finger yellowish beige head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

The aroma of this beer is kind of odd with a blend of toasted oak, earthy hops and a buttery malt backbone. I'm not picking up much of the citrus and pine hop presence f the base beer. Those notes are only faint under the barrel character and the nose s dominated by oak and malt. Hints of caramel, wood, toffee, biscuit and butter.

Medium bodied with more of a hop forward presence than the aroma suggests. Dry and bitter with lots of resinous, earthy pine flavor. The white oak presence is very prominent adding more dryness and a toasted wood flavor that takes away from the sweeter tropical/citrus notes of the base beer. As a result, the malt backbone is stronger with hints of toffee, caramel and biscuit. The ABV is well masked making this beer pretty quaffable but t could use some more balance.

Overall, this was an interesting beer and the white oak barrel really changes the base beer, but it could use a bit of sweetness to balance things out. (1,254 characters)

Photo of dmgallag
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - light IPA in appearance. Looks light and refreshing in glass.

S - Hop city here with a dash of sweaty old gym sock. Funk Town, USA.

T - kind of disappointing. This is a workout. Albeit, I am not a serious hophead, I do appreciate a good IPA. This thing is a workout. Seriously bitter, I don't see that the oak age mellowed this guy out too much. Lots of bite, I can't see doing more than two of these in a day. If bitter hop taste is your thing, go for it.

M - nothing to see here. Not very memorable.

O - picked this up because I am visiting family in the Tampa area and I had heard positive buzz about cigar city and this beer. I'll pass on this one if I see it again. (678 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.42/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you jcartamdg for this, along with the wonderful vessel I'm drinking it out of!

A: Small white head rests on a hazy orange pour, but lacks the retention Jai Alai IPA obtains. A nice ring forms along the rims of my brand new Cigar City snifter.

S: Big vanilla smell on this one, lots of oak mixed in. Missing a bit of the piney hops.

T: As with the smell, missing the hops here. Grapefruit, and some maltiness, mix with an oakiness and some vanilla towards the end. Really way more malt forward than I expected.

MF: Finish is dry, carbonation is low.

D: Not on the level of Jai Alai, good experiment, but I'd take the original any day. (645 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 14JUL11

A: pours an apricot ale with a full finger of maple foam which falls slowly to a quilt of the same. Sheets of lace. Slightly hazy.

S: So, I've heard there are coconut/pina colada notes in this beer. Never believed it....Turns out, they were right. Nice woody character with pineapple and a slight follow through of dry coconut shavings. Pretty cool.

T: Sweet and dry. Some citrus and more sharp pineapple with a resiny midsection and a dry biscuity malt profile lends itself well to the dominant bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with hi carbonation and a dry finish. Would like a bit of a slick on the palate to work with here.

O: A good beer, but the more I drink this, the more I think I prefer the O.G. in this unit. I like how the oak has added the unusual suspect of coconut and dry woodiness (which I found less so in the original). The mouthfeel is off on this for me: needs lower carb and something to resonate the finish off. (952 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-hazy orange with white head that sticks around for awhile.
S-almost smells like white cheddar cheese its. Must be the white oak
T-get a lot of the wood compared to the hops. Wood really over powers it.
M-medium body and very dry
O-OK at best. Oo much wood (259 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2012 bottle served in a pint glass.
The aroma is dominated by fruity hops, with notes of tangerine and orange, as well as oak. The oak becomes even more prominent in the flavor. Too much oak IMO. At least the oak aging has the benefit of creating a very smooth feel in this medium-bodied IPA. Moderately bitter but has an overly earthy/woody aftertaste.

O: quite woody IPA. I much prefer the regular Jai Alai. (411 characters)

Photo of IrishTed122
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into pint glass

Appearance: Orange-like gold, not perfectly clear but just a tiny bit cloudy, good amount of an off-white head.

Smell: Very unique. I get like a coconut somehow. It smells tropical but there is something there that gives it a bit of funk too. Can't tell what it is. Not too much of a traditional hop smell. Maybe a bit of a buttery smell in there? To be honest, it's not very appealing.

Taste: It tastes better than the smell, but you are overwhelmed a bit by the tropical flavors. You get hit with the hops at first but the fade away as the other flavors take over. Honestly, I think this is one of those IPAs where the aging on wood didn't help. The normal IPA couldn't hold up to the additional flavors added from the wood. It's not bad, but it's just not something I would seek out.

Overall: I know some people rave about this. To each his own. It's not for me. I'd rather have a good normal IPA. (941 characters)

Photo of olfolxholme
3.47/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip

A - Strange looking sediment in the bottle - way more than expected or than I've ever seen. Was a really distracting image in the back of my mind while I watched a small amount of sediment settle in my glass even though I poured carefully. The beer is a burning orange color with white head. Quite a bit of lacing, some patches of head retention.

S - Sharp oaky vanilla dominates classic citrusy American hop aromas. Behind that, earthy aroma.

T - Some pale malt mixed with a smoother version of the aroma. The woody oak really dominates, and the IPA allows for this nicely.

M - Crisp and dry. Not harsh, but not a thirst quencher. Puckering.

O - I rinsed out the bottle right after pouring the beer and was really disturbed by the sediment that came out of it. I know that this is not always a sign of deathbeer. I like pouring all the yeast into my weissbiers and witbiers. But. Still, I approached the beer with some trepidation. It was interesting and not bad at all. Not sure it is one that I would go out of my way to have again, but i wouldn't turn it down. It was nice to drink a lighter beer with the oak flavors present. Most of the oak aged beers I've had are DARK. If you have a chance, give it a shot. I'm grateful I was able to try it. (1,291 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Received this "new to me" bottle from a fantastic trade with ohsaycanyoubeer. Big props Matthew!!

Poured into my HotD goblet.. hazed orange with a nice white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Nose is oak, light toasty malt and lighter caramel, and a big sorta tangerine hoppiness.

Big and oaky.. pithy citrus zest.. a bit of vanilla for sure.. malts come out swinging but get carried away by the other flavors.. finishes with a fermented out toasty maltiness and a dry oak quality.

Body is big for a standard IPA.. but I generally get that from CC IPA's.

Nicely done... I would buy this pretty regularly if I had it available.

3.5/3.5/3.5/3.25/3.5

Thanks again Matthew!! (678 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a very hazy orange/peach color with a small white head on top. Decent retention and some lacing, but nothing really special.

S: Slightly hoppy, but not as much as regular jai alai. There is a little bit of apple and a little bit of wood. There is some toffee on the back end.

T: Kind of muted, a decent amount of woody oak, some caramel and toffee. A bit of citrus/orange and vanilla round it out, but the citrus level is relatively low.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Not bad, but I prefer the unoaked version more. The oak seemed to mute some of the hops a bit. (614 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a much darker color compared with the regular Jai Alai. It's a very deep, burnt, hazy orange with ruby hints.

The aroma is overpowered by the wood. Huge oak notes that are complimented by vanilla, some grassy and slightly citrus hop notes and a bit of caramel as well.

The taste is also extremely dominated by the white oak. Up front there is a ton of oak which is followed by a huge amount of vanilla and coconut as well. Definitely more on the sweeter side. There are some grassy (almost piney) hop notes along with some citrus, but the tropical fruit seems to be hidden from the original. It finishes very dry.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

The white oak totally dominates this beer, which is good and bad. The big vanilla and coconut notes are welcome, but the fact that the IPA base gets a bit hidden is disappointing. No bottling date so I'm not sure if this was fresh or not. Not bad, but not amazing. (954 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks Kimmy for hooking me up with this.

A- For the purpose of the review, poured from the 12oz can to a small tumbler glass. The body is a orange-dark gold and pretty much clear of any haze. Small white cap forms to about one finger with decent retention. Thick lace sheets at the top and it seemingly coats a majority of the whole glass.

S- Tropical and citrus hops off the top but not quite as pungent as I remember Jai Alai being, just a bit restrained aromatically. Tangerine, mango, oranges and floral notes come to mind. Hints of oak wood, light caramel sweets and some yeast fruits.

T- Oak really comes out in the taste. It is hard to describe as anything other than lightly toasted, fresh woody oak flavor. Slight vanilla but mostly the woody earthy oak feel. Hops are still the main flavor component with notes of tangerines, stone fruits, citrus zest, grapefruit, floral and slight pine. Slight tannins. Malts are here in a light strength with caramel and some sweetness.

MF- Light bodied and crisp IPA feel. Carbonation at a moderately high level helping those hop flavors pop on the taste buds. Finishes with a medium bitterness lingering on the palate.

I am not sure how much the oak flavor and slight vanilla sweetness does for me here. I think I prefer the normal Jai Alai to this one but that is not to say this is much worse. I think the oak is a bit abrasive at times and maybe a bit too much is used. Still a solid beer I would have again. (1,465 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark honey hue in coor, with lots of head, medium retention.

S- Oak with some citrus qualities of Jai Alai. Grapefruit, lemon other tropical fruits.

T- The oak thing throws me off. I like reg better.

M- Best part of the brew. Has a creamy texture. Medium carb

O- I would take reg any day over this (307 characters)

Photo of ninaturner
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Burnt caramel. Two finger head. Lace on the glass.

Aroma: Bitter, citrus, and smoky. Hints of spice and you can pick up on the cedar right away. I prefer the aromas of the original Jai Alai.

Taste: Again, bitter taste but also a good balance with the cirtus flavors and spices. Nutty and burnt aftertaste really compliments the orange flavors I pick up.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Not as much carbonation for this IPA--which I enjoy.

Drinkability: I'm partial to a beer with low carbonation; so for me this beer is very drinkable. If you find yourself liking increased carbonation, you might not enjoy it as much. Altogether, I have to agree with other reviewers--very smooth.

Overall, this is a great IPA. I prefer the traditional CCB Jai Alai, but this isn't a bad spin on the original and may be worth a try if you are partial to nuttier/woody flavors. (874 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle in yet another incredible box from Palmej1. Thanks Jacob! 12oz bottle into my Brugges Zot chalice.

The beer pours an appealing copper color with a finger of white foam. The head recedes leaving a thin white coaster and some very nice lacing. I can smell the wood in this beer immediately, sweet biscuity malt and citrus hops round out the nose. The taste is an initial blast of bitter citrus. Orange, pineapple and mango dominate. The malt profile provides a nice sugar cookie backbone, but the hops are showcased here. The oak persists throughout, however, and while it is initially interesting, I think that after awhile it takes away from the experience. Feel is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. As the beer warms it becomes creamier. Overall this was pretty good. I think I prefer my IPA without the wood though, as I like the regular version of Jai Alai better than this iteration. If you like your IPA with oak seek this out. (969 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is hoppy, bitter, some oak and citrus, not bad, but I prefer the traditional Jai Alai. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, but I was just a bit underwhelmed. (351 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to BPRESTON for sending this my way. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Gamboge and tenné gradient, somewhat cloudy and topped by a fist of rocky beige merengue. Huge soapy lacing.

Oak pervades the nose - coconut and vanilla overwhelm the caramel malt and citrus of the base beer. Lightly spicy perhaps as well.

Toasted coconut, grapefruit rind, and a touch of apricot and earth from hops on the palate. Palm sugar notes offset the moderate bitterness - citrus is strong but comes across as muted compared to the regular Jai Alai - leading into the finish which has a distinctive coconut/vanilla/very-lightly-tannic white oak flavor (which I only recall being this forward in White Oak from The Bruery).

Creamy, medium-light bodied, well carbonated, and faintly slick.

While this is an interesting idea, the execution leaves me missing the potent citrus and gentle balance of the base beer; particularly in terms of drinkability. (980 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Meadme, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a fairly cloudy deep golden orange color with a heck of a frothy white head that leaves lots of lace on the way down. Smells of earthy fresh cut wood, woody hops and a hint of cardboard. There's a malty bready component deep underneath, but its subtle at best. Really it smells like fresh cut wet wood. Taste is spicy and woody with bits of bread and caramel. The hops are faint or maybe my palette has trouble tasting through the wood. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a light almost watery mouthfeel. I love the out of the box thinking, but this is not my favorite result of that thinking. The fresh wood flavor and aroma is a bit intense and seems to overpower rather than enhance a great ipa like Jai Alai. (804 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnished, dark gold color, smallish head with nicely clinging lacing. Very boozy in the nose..that continues in the mouth. The taste is a powerful mix of booziness and hop bitterness. Full, creamy mouthfeel that's one of the beer's best assets. Not very drinkable, just too boozy and rich. Interesting beer but not a favorite, certainly very untypical for an IPA. Reminded me more of an American barleywine than anything else.

I'm not digging the CC beers very much so far..maybe because, while they ARE available in the NE, I keep drinking them in the sweltering Florida heat. Maduro Brown and this one: not very satisfying when its 90 out and super humid. (660 characters)

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.