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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 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 JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
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.


Thanks again Matthew!!

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark orange hue with a moderate haze and tons of little floaties. There also appears to be a moderately strong effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam. Pretty attractive!

Smell: the sweet & citrusy hops combine with the vanilla and oak character create something that's enticing but hard to categorize. At first my nose said diacetyl, but it's somehow got the same initial piercing character without the nasty fake butter character. I'm also getting notes of peppermint ... wtf? Fascinating, to be sure!

Taste: kind of like the aroma, a bizarre mélange of citrusy hops, woody vanilla and rich, sweet malt. It's muddled, but the flavors really work well together. Weird, but it actually works.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good, rich smoothness and a good level of creaminess, especially for an IPA. I like it.

Overall: while I wouldn't call this a super-drinkable beer, it is very flavorful and is a very satisfying quaff. Kind of a weird animal, it's definitely worth a try if you have a chance.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

can into a pint glass. canned Jan 3rd 2014

pours a very dark rustic tan with a nice inch thick head. an aroma of lots of vanilla and oak and hops, nice! the taste is so awesome. oak at first but very mellow and it blends so well with the base beer, just super smooth and drinkable. mild bodied with good carbonation.

overall better than regular jai alai. love this beer!

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Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.32/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Pours a clear golden amber color with an off-white head with great retention and lacing. 

S- The aroma is nothing short of amazing. There is a lot of tropical fruits and citrus notes from the hops with some of the woody/oak notes from the White Oak treatment. What a fantastic aroma, I could smell this all day long.

T- The taste like the aroma is filled with delicious hops flavors. There is some malt up front with a little oak in the background and a nice amount of bitterness from the hops in the finish. Just picked these bottles up from the brewery a couple of days ago, these taste super fresh!

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, White Oak Jai Alai is one of my favorite beers from CCB. I tried it on-tap when it was first released but I'm glad they are now bottling it.

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Photo of rudzud
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Bottle was, oddly enough, a slow gusher. Thanks to this sediment was stirred up and so the brew, while a nice hazy orange is just full of sediment and yeast on the bottom. Nice half a finger head that just doesnt quit and leaves light side lacing. Quite nice head retention.

S - Wow, very un IPA like. Lots of fruit...was this new oak? Light pear and white grape skins. Light citrus hops, musty (almost like a wild). Pretty unique smelling.

T - Again, fun. Get lots of white grape skin/tanins, light malt sweetness and a lightly bitter hop finish. Lots of lingering oak on the finish along with hints of vanilla. Faint grape and pear juice on the finish as well.

M - Mouthfeel boarders on aggressively carbonated yet somehow smooth finish.

O - So yeah, I really, REALLY like barrel aged IPAs. The fun notes they bring to the table definitely freshens up the pallet. I dig it.

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

12oz Bottle from Rollin Oats Market Tampa FL for 3$

Appearance - Hazy copper with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. It's too hazy to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel/butterscotch, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel/butterscotch, malts, and hops. There is also some grapefruit and some pineapple mixed with a hint of vanilla and oak. It ends with a malty sweet and slight bitter aftertaste.

Overall – Couldn't find a date on my bottle, but it didn't have as much of an Oak aspect as I was expecting. Still a very good beer that has a lot of interesting flavours going on. I tried their Cedar aged version as well, and the wood was very prominent with that one.

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Photo of claspada
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas begin with a nice balance of pine, citrus and grapefruit. Then you get the nice subtle woodiness from the oak, but it much lighter than you would expect from an oaked IPA, maybe white oak is lighter in char and adds a more subtle aroma, either way, it's nice. Subtle sweet maltiness throughout.
The tastes begin nice and balanced but quite complex with sweet maltiness immediately joined by a nice grapefruit and pine and citrus bitterness/flavor profile. The nice sublte woody earthy flavors join the party as well only adding to the enjoyment here. Oaked IPAs are a rare and hard style to make but Cigar City has it on lock-down.
Mouthfeel is medium to full with ample carbonation. The finish is mildly sticky from the ample dry-hopping, really way too drinkable of a beer for how complex the flavor profile is. Overall this is stupendous, just as good as I remember when I was first wowed with this beer on draft last year. Glad it made it to bottles and to luekensliquors.com so I was able to order a boat ton of this gem. Highly recommended.

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Photo of glid02
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Lee - much obliged!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth pale malts with good amounts of pine and citrus hops. Also present are mild amounts of vanilla aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Pale malts with hints of darker caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by bright citrus hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors fill out a bit with the addition of pine flavors and shortly thereafter vanilla flavors make an appearance. The vanilla flavors carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a very nice example of an oak-aged beer - the influences were subtle but undoubtedly there. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.74/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle drank from my Darkness glass, given to me by Mike...Pours a medium copper with an orange tint. An off white head rises about a finger, settles quickly to a decent soapy head with good retention...The aroma is sweet caramel on the front with tons of fresh oak that is also pretty sweet, its lots of wood but I'm liking it, shockingly...The taste sadly doesn't translate as well. Its all wood and in a bad way, might as well be licking a fresh piece of wood, way to similar to cigar series ipa which was all cedar closet...The feel is good, sticky pine and tannic, a very interesting sensation.

Another failed Cigar City wood beer. Skip this.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: hazy copper orange with 1 finger off white head

smell: oak, vanilla, citrus, hops, malts

taste: sweet malts, some wood, hops,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: interesting beer. definitely unique and glad I got to try it.

the CPJ

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to sendsilk

Pours a hazed dark burnt orange color with some bright ruby hues. A layer of white head slowly dissipates into a solid layer of filmy retention, leaving plenty of spotty lacing behind.

Seems pretty malt forward in the nose, with caramel, bread crust, and sweetness. Some oak and earthyness, hints of dark fruit and citrus hops.

Juicy and citrusy up front with bitterness and fruit flavor. A decent hop profile, but plenty of malty base to balance it out with a hint of sweetness. Earthy oak and slight tannins, caramel and bread with some burnt sugar. Grapefruit pith towards the finish, which is lingering and dry.

Medium body, mild carbonation, creamy and silky smooth on the tongue, especially for the style. A nice oak aged IPA which adds something to the original base beer, which I'm a huge fan of.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Review #300. Seeing as how much the original Jai Alai took me by surprise, I was pretty stoked to try this one. Pours the color of copper pennies (as if there were other kinds of pennies) with a hazy, light-brown colored center. The eggshell-beige head lasts for a substantial amount of time and leaves some nice lacing along the glass. Aroma has a HUGE oak profile; woody, wet, dense, tiny hints of vanilla and tannin. I am actually picking up a whiskey aroma, much akin to Jack Daniels, possibly due to the heavy white oak. Some hop aromas are present; mild citrus, orange, pineapple - unfortunately pushed to the background by the heavy oak. I mean, I know it's a "white oak aged" beer, but it's almost a little TOO much.

The taste falls right in line, heavy white oak, whiskey, touches of vanilla, wet cardboard, and some light spice. The citrus from the hop is there in flavor, but certainly not in bitterness - but what do you expect from an aged IPA? Citrus peel, orange zest, pineapple, mango - the fruit jubilee is extremely mellow compared to the original Jai Alai, which was one of the things that made me so crazy about the original. This is partially due to the fact that the IPA has been aged and the hops therefore will lose some of their "oomph", but it's also not helping that the white oak is a little too overshadowing. It still has that bright and sweet flavor, and the malts add a little bit of bready sweetness, but overall it's pretty dull compared to the original. Medium bodied, carbonation is medium, a touch slick on the palate.

Not a bad beer - definitely interesting and unlink anything else, but honestly I'm kind of disappointed and was let down just a bit. Maybe it's because I was so emphatic about the original Jai Alai and I was expecting too much. The white oak would be a nice addition if it were toned down just a bit, but it's a little too strong, distracting from most of the other flavors in the beer.

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Photo of dar482
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer offers tons of dill on the aroma, earthy hops, grapefruit, bready malt.

The flavor follows with some grapefruit, lots of dill, oak, green qualities, slightly spicy, lots of bready sweet malt, and a spicy dry bitter finish.

The beer is interesting and solid, but a slight novelty compared the fresh flavors of the original.

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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 AgentMunky
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Hazy-clear with some carbonation, short-lived head, and sticky lace.

S: Fruit. Pear? White grapes? Very interesting. Hints of what smells suspiciously like wild yeast. Very soft. No hops (maybe a musky earthiness?).

T: Initially quite sweet. The (white) grape juice still is most evident. Too sweet, with very little hops. Almost certainly not an IPA, unless it's very old (no date stamp). Especially on the aftertaste, the oak aging becomes apparent. Obvious vanilla, subtle tannins, and funky yeast.

M: Very smooth and understated.

O: Weird but good. Really good. Recommended, but probably would not have again over the normal Jai Alai.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a four finger bone white fluffy head that subsided to two fingers very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and massive citrus hop. The flavor was of slightly sweet malt and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall a nice IPA. To be honest there really isn't a whole lot missing in this one as far as flavor and aroma. I definitely enjoyed this one more than the regular version I had a few weeks ago. This one is a definite must try for any IPA fan.

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Photo of maximum12
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, that will teach me to send an unsolicited box to moose3285. I sent him a little box a couple months ago &, lo & behold, he ships a mammoth box full of Cigar City treats that I've never tried before. I know where you live, man.

Popped open & de-virginizes an excellent Great Lakes glass sent recently by bb189 (thanks!). Marshmallow head leans over a cloudy beer of light orange character & naked carbonation. Smell is a lovely blend of subdued wood & tropical hops, but less prominent than the base beer.

White Oak Jai Alai brings the oak in the form of a gentle clubbing. The oak doesn't dominate the front end, but the entire second half & locker room belong to the wood. Jai Alai's floral, tropical fruits duck & weave into view immediately, but slink away under the weight of the oak.

Let's be honest, I'd love to try every version of Jai Alai CC can dream up. This is the third version I've tasted & it's *only* very good. The oak bludgeoned some of Jai Alai's best qualities into the second tier. Don't get the idea I'd ever turn one down, though.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a big, rocky off white head. In the aroma, oaky and orange citrus hops. In the taste, quite oaky, big orange citrus hops, remarkably fresh tasting and almost a hint of fresh bourbon. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oak and orange citrus in the aftertaste. Big fresh flavors, tastes bigger than it is, but really nice.

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