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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 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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Photo of AgentZero
2.87/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm trying to figure out if these beers are just so progressive I don't understand them, or if they just taste bad. Based on my review, I guess you see where I went with it.

A - Nice Orange colored beer, opaque, with a great two finger foam head that had amazing retention but dissipated unevenly.

S - An herbal/woodey/almost cedar type smell wraps the malts up and kind of mixes with some citrusy hops. It's a bit fruity smelling, almost some pineapple, not bad.

T - Wow, if there's such a thing as an oak bomb, this is it. Seems a lot more like cedar in some respects, but I feel like I'm straining my beer through a stick or chewing on when when drinking this. There is a nice pineapple fruit precense, and some very citrusy hops, not very bitter, but this weird wood is too much for me, don't like it.

M - It's creamy, medium bodied, decent carbonation.

D - Hard for me to drink due to the taste. I don't like this beer.

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Photo of cbutova
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter the beer was a hazy amber color with a small white head. A small amount of lace.
Great aroma. Lots of citrus, some pale malt. Definite vanilla/oak aroma.
Similarly great taste. Grapefruit, tangerine, tropical fruit. Biscuit. Oak lingering in the background the whole time.
The oak really tempered the IPA. Very smooth.
Will have to get more of these while in Florida.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a few bottles with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to billyshears for sharing!!!

Opened this one side-by-side with regular jai alai to see what the white oak did to the brew and hot dog! does that white oak add a LOT! Visually, was the same, but when it comes to the nose I can sniff that beer all night. The white oak adds a huge amount of vanilla and oak. Taste also gets a wallop from the white oak...this one was WAY sweeter than the un-white oaked and obviously the oak flavors are pretty dominant. Aside from the smell, I would rather have the original Jai Alai, but this was a welcome treat and the side-by-side sampling was fun.

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Photo of FLima
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber orange color with lots of aired head with good retention.
Nice aroma of passion fruits, grapefruit and spicy and earthy hops.
Flavor of spiced and earthy hops, grapefruit, passion fruit, vanilla, charred wood, peaches, oranges, white grapes, pine and spices. Good malt complexity with toasted and some roasted notes. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7.5% abv is well hidden.
Excellent American IPA, with lots of tropical fruits, spices and a nice earthy touch. I found it better than the regular version.

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Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -3.6%

A- Looks just like regular Jai Alai. Clear orange body, two finger white head with good retention time. Lots of lacing.

S- Smells like peaches and oak. I think the vanilla from the oak is combining with the tropical fruit aromas from the hops to create a peach-like nose. It's definitely a nice twist on regular Jai Alai, and smells great.

F- Vanilla comes out a bit more, with the oak which kind of overwhelms the base Jai Alai and its hops. Its kind of weird, almost cloying if that makes sense. Still, the peach flavour is very nice so I can't complain that much.

M- Medium bodied, lower in carbonation than regular Jai Alai. Solid drinker, I wouldn't try to dome this due to the almost cloying sweetness.

O- Nice take on the base Jai Alai. Would recommend trying a 4-pack and seeing how it evolves over time, but overall I would just go for the original Jai Alai if you had to choose.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours medium to dark gold with a generously thick white lacing, very light carbonation.

S - Citrus, oak, and the citrus side has some pungency.

T - Citrus and lots of oak presence that tends to dominate at times.

M - Full medium body.

O - Enjoyable.

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

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

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours orange and a bit cloudy with small to medium head. Dank aroma of pine, orange citrus, and definite oak and vanilla presence. Very complex. Flavor has the nice bitter front end with a mellowing vanilla finish. A lot of times these are overly dry and oaky, but CCB did a very nice job with this one. Slick mouthfeel and very smooth finish. I really wish this was more easily accessible, but CCB goes so quick even down here in FL. This is an absolute must try and better than the regular version.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Vonschplieffen into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Deep orange-amber body under an inch of fine off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Very nice indeed.

S: Sweet tropical fruit hop notes mix seamlessly with vanilla oakiness and dry bitterness. Excellent.

T: Fruit, vanilla, caramel, pine, oak, and clean, fresh bitterness. Delicious mix of oaky/malty sweetness and oaky/hoppy bitterness. Great.

M: Soft medium body with intense, prickly carbonation.

O: I was entirely ambivalent about regular Jai-Alai, and hugely impressed by the cedar version. Happily, the Quercus Alba iteration of this beer is every bit as amazing as its cedar forbear. The vanilla from the raw oak mixes perfectly with the fruitiness of the hops, creating a beautifully luscious flavor that's reminiscent of nothing so much as NEBCO Gold Stock - and that's about the highest compliment I can give. Don't get me wrong, this beer is no Gold Stock, but it's damn good.


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