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
94
outstanding

1,483 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,483
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 268
Gots: 158 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: tpd975 on 06-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,483 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierJager89
4.05/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of SolarMikey
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although I'm visiting Cigar City for a tasting later this week, I couldn't wait to try this brew. The bottle (purchased from ABC Liquors near Orlando) was dated September 2011, and so I look forward to trying it fresh soon.

The beer is golden amber with a good deal of carbonation, and the head is nice and fluffy. A sweet woodsy quality dominates the aroma, though there are tinges of scotch or bourbon.

The white oak does wonders to this IPA. It imparts a unique oaky sweetness to the beer, though there is a nice hop finish. The medium body makes for a smooth drinking experience.

This version is by far more interesting than the regular Jai Alai IPA, and you should definitely check it out if you're within reach of Cigar City's offerings!

Photo of buffs9
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: . Dark orange and a bit cloudy. Small head that reduced rather quickly to a thin layer on top.

S: Smells very sweet, almost like a combo between a sweeter quad and a fruity ipa on the nose. Picking up brown sugar, light citrus smell at first. A bit of spice as well - love the nose on this.

T: Much like the nose. Starts with a nice citrus hop profile, then comes some sweetness, sugar/vanilla combo and then finishes w/ some wood.

M: Medium bodied. Decent carbonation.

D: Definitely want to drink this one again, too bad I don't have any more and would need to trade for it. Will have to get more Wooden Elephant from Odell instead.

Photo of jsanford
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a CC snifter.

A - Pours a hazy copper with a luscious white head that recedes to a chunky haze while leaving streaky lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Spicy grapefruit hops, sweet coconut, and fresh-cut oak exist in a very nice balance. Usually I find Cigar City's IPAs to be too sweet, but I feel the oak-aging may tone it down a bit. Here's hoping...
T - Yeah, really nice and balanced, despite the big flavors. Notes of pungent grapefruit, pine resin, coconut, and pineapple mix well with the sweet caramel malt backbone and the subtle vanilla from the oak. Very well done, surprisingly complex.
M - Slightly oily, with a medium-full body and lowish carbonation. This is definitely meant to be a slow sipper, and as it warms more of the coconut and vanilla start to come out.
O - A great take on Jai Alai, one that stands head and shoulders over the base beer. This is a beer that requires a bit of time to understand, really make sure you let it open up a bit.

Photo of peabody
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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!

Photo of bheilman
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of grover37
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Cburcky
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of d5001986
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

A coppery orange and a relatively large off-white head that sticks around. Spotted and consistent lacing down the glass. There are hazy ribbons of sediment running through the body of the beer.

The white oak is dominant in the nose and it adds a peppery, spicy, earthy element. It's tough for me to actually find the IPA aromas behind the white oak, which is just a touch unfortunate, but the wood smells nice enough.

The white oak is again dominant in flavor. The wood has imparted a nice, warm vanilla undercurrent, along with the white pepper spice and earthy elements. If i was to try this blindfolded, I'd never guess it was an IPA; I'd probably guess that it was a strong ale or a mild barleywine aged in oak.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

A really incredible oak-aged IPA, which is typically not one of my favorite styles. It's interesting to see how much the wood has really imparted on the flavor of the beer and turned it in to something quite complex and delicious. I prefer this significantly over the standard Jai Alai.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served to me in a standard Pint Glass from my local gastropub of choice, Kickbacks.

Lighting is poor. But to say that this one is on the amber side would imply that in better lighting it would better to be called a few shades lighter. Found a better light source. A deep yellow, near red. Nice clarity. A solid finger of head on the pour. Lacing is rather nice, with distinguishable lines from sip to sip.

This is not my first attempt at this beer, so each time I am greeted by the same aroma. Apricots. There is a dominant sweetness off played by the hopped up oak body that creates a pleasant and quite fruity IPA. Very nicely done. Perhaps a bit on the sweet side.

Clean and crisp is how I would describe the regular Jai Alai. This one has a bit more sticky sweetness, followed by a residual lingering after-bite that distracts from the hoppy base of the beer. The foreflavor is rather weak, though the finish is pure white oak apricot essence. Very fruity, light and semi refreshing. Suprising, yet defined. Quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky from the oak resins, though it has a clean "presence" to it. I find the mouthfeel to be remiscent of a sipping belgian triple. A bit on the sweet side, but a solid hop base that provides a nice balance. This one comes off a bit on the sweet side though.

Overall, I find it to be an excellent example of taking a rather straightforward style (American IPA) and having a bit of fun. Well executed.

Photo of Amalak
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had at Torst in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

A. A dark caramel color with a haziness, but light where you can see through it. It has a thick white foamy head with lots of lacing.

S. Very lovely honey and hop and grassy scent.

T/M. It has a dry taste, but there's also a nice grape and sugar smoothness to it. It has a nice grassy taste underneath. A bit more malty than hoppy. Full bodied. Noticed some butterscotch after drinking for a bit.

O. Very flavorful and smooth for a dry IPA.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/17/11
*From notes

-- A BIG thanks goes out to my CCB connect for this one. Cheers, Dave! --

A: An unfiltered golden amber that makes my jaw drop. An easy pour yields a Biblical three finger head and that epic CCB lacing.

S: Tannic, musty. Sweet wood and some authentic smoke. A good amount of juicy hop oil is there too, lingering on the backside.

T: Crisp wood. The hops play gracefully with the smokiness. At the same time, you've got the fresh hops pounding away on the tastebuds. It's extremely unique. It comes off quite like a splinter-laden California chard.

M: Masterful. Again, there's a wine-like tannin profile here that dries out from the start. The carbonation adds a lovely complexity to it, and the weight is spot-on.

O: Cigar City's White Oak Jai Alai is yet another home run in their Jai Alai series. It's got a lot going on from start to finish, and is one of the most interesting beers I've had in a while.

To those looking for a white wine-like hybrid, or simply a one of a kind AIPA, I highly recommend searching this one out.

Photo of Benish
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I opened bottle cap I took a deep sniff from the bottle. I smelled subtle oak and orange juice.

Poured into snifter glass. No head present, moderate lacings. It had that dark orange or copper color. Specks of hops were dispersed throughout the beer (I'm told they do not filter the beer). I think it's cool to see the hops.

Tasted interesting, kind of funky in a way. I get some peaches and orange juice (kind of the Sunny D type). It has that detectable sweetness that doesn't follow in a traditional IPA, possibly from the type of malt. The beer is not so aggressive on the hops. It has a light-medium bodied mouthfeel.

I never had a beer with White Oak and the sweetness is kind of perplexing. While its good, I'll probably stick with plain Jai Alai IPA. It still is worth it to try.

Photo of wchollif
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled dated July 14, 2011 courtesy of Dave. A big thank you for sending me some fresh bottles!

Dumped intermittently into a GABF tasting glass. White Oak Jai Alai pours a nice peach color with a healthy bubble laden egg white topping and oodles of stick.

Smells of sweet sugared mango and fresh cut oak.

Like the other incantations of this beer, she bends towards the sweeter side. Steady yet moderate dose of bitterness from from to back. Sugared mango presents midway through and the "green" woodiness of the fresh oak lays down a drying smack at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky. Carbonation is low-medium providing a full and rounded feel.

Without consulting my past reviews, I'd place this as slightly better than the regular version, but not quite as good as the cedar version, which I adore.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled July 11, 2011. Served at around 45F.

Pours hazy orange/amber with a two finger off-white head that leaves a lot of nice looking lacing and holds a good creamy cap. Quite attractive.

Aroma is very floral with a bit of tropical fruit and citrus, notes of pine, grass, oak and vanilla, decent caramel malt as well. Very good strength and a rather complex nose.

Flavor is floral hops, tropical fruits, some grapefruit and orange citrus, only a hint of oak, some resinous hops, fair caramel malt backbone offering some sweetness, finishes with good bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little oily and creamy with good carbonation.

Good stuff. Enjoying this more than the regular Jai Alai but that could also be a factor of freshness/batch variations. While it is somewhat caramel heavy for an IPA there are more fresh hops here for balance. The oak is subtle but welcome.

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,483 ratings.