1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,481 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,481
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 268
Gots: 159 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,481 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It is shaping up to be a Cigar City day as I run through a backlog of CANs that had been awaiting picture approval and other obstacles that stood in my way. Hoppy Easter!

From the CAN: "Drink fresh! Do not age! Pour gently into a glass."; "This is an Ameri[CAN] oak aged verssion of Jai Alai. The 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."

A nice, loud Crack! presented a brimful craft CAN, but these guys must have been talking to my Old Lady, who was scandalized by the inverted Glug. It's beer, kids! It ain't gonna bruise, but I promised that I would use a gentle pour when so directed. I was careful, but I still created a finger of dense, tawny head with great retention. Color was a deep-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of coconut, dill pickle, bourbon-like booziness, caramel, but not much in the way of hops. Hmmm. Mouthfeel was medium and the caramel-coconut taste was primary on the tongue. I really was not experiencing much in the way of hops, but it was okay. I was reminded of a coconut Easter egg, quite appropriate for the day. This makes me want to revisit Jai Alai for a side-by-side comparison. Finish was, indeed, dry, but restrained. I did not feel like I needed to reach for my asthma inhaler, which is sometimes the case with AIPAs. Good stuff!

My original bottle review dtd 23 August 2011, scores 4.0, 5.0, 4.0, 3.5, 4.0 follows:

My thanks to DmanGTR for sending this to me in return for some various CANS. I do not have a problem with receiving bottles, but do not look for me to ship them.

From the bottle: "India Pale Ale aged on American White Oak."

I am back on a slippery slope with all of these recent AIPAs, but it's all right ma, I'm only bleeding. I got two fingers of dense French Vanilla-colored head with excellent retention. Color was a hazy orangish-amber. Nose smelled of coconut, caramel, pine hops and a mild oakiness. Man, I may need a lay-down after this one is over. Mouthfeel was medium and the oakiness was prevalent on the tongue. You had best like the taste of oak-aged beers going into this one. It was much different from regular Jai Alai, not better or worse, just different. I found it very drinkable and the dry finish only helped to speed its drinkability. A very tasty beer!

Photo of corby112
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Photo of mothman
2.45/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours a finger of white head that thins out. Leaves a bit of lace. Color is a hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Butter, oak, and cedar flavors. It has some sharp fruits and and some floral hops.

Taste: Again, this beer is very buttery which distracts from anything that may be good here. It has a floral hop profile with a tropical fruit citrus blend and it is all topped off with oak and cedar. Reminds me of their humidor series beers.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but really creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this beer could have been good if it wasn't so buttery. I did like the flavors, but I couldn't get passed the butter. Not really for me.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle gifted by Chaney. Thanks Brandon! I split this with Paul earlier this summer. Review from notes.

The beer is a copper orange hue with a thick, white head that displays lasting retention and leaves ample lacing cascading down the pint glass.

The aroma is a huge blast of oak and vanilla, followed by hops and some caramel malt. I can smell the beer from a few feet away. Alrighty then.

The flavor is decent. The beer is done well, but a little bit goes a long way here. Sweet and oaky, this is best enjoyed in small doses. I don't see this brew as an IPA, per se, but more of a wood aged strong ale. Again, lots of oak and vanilla dominate the flavor profile to a large degree. The heavy malt bill works with the beer, but not if you were expecting or hoping for a hop forward IPA. This drinks more along the lines of an American strong ale or barleywine, as the hop profile is being overrun with oak, vanilla, and sweet malt.

An interesting brew. I have yet to truly relish any sort of barrel aged IPA. I am all for exploration and creativity, but it seems, to me at least, that IPAs are better left alone. I am grateful for the opportunity to try this. Not my favorite type of beer, but I would certainly try it again.

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Date on bottle is May 4th 2011, I think.

A very nice tight retention off white head of a good solid 3 fingers. Foamy, clumpy and tightness sits on a suspended glowing orange body with some hazyness. Too bad for the cloudyness unfortunately still looks good.

Woah what is that on the nose! It's buttery floral and grass. Garden, honeysuckle and bee pollen. Hints of salt and pickle brine. Bizarre but I am going to say I actually enjoy this.

Hit of hop and pickles. No joke, hint of salty brine of cucumber and dill pickle on the finish. DILL DILL DILL holly cow batman! I don't mind this but woah is this ridiculous. A good hop finish and initial bent, some hints of diacetyl like butter comes through also matching the butter sense on the nose.

Fairly simple feel and body, nothing off putting or outlandish.

Overall I am beginning to think aging IPAs with oak either resting, chips, or barrels is a recipe for disaster but we'll see. Right now though I need some sour cream to go with these Dill potato chips I just drank.

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.

Pours a nice cloudy dark amber color, nice carbonation, HUGE thick foamy/creamy off-white head, with tons of very nice thick sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy with some nice malt notes, citrus, oaky. The taste is sweet, hoppy, malty, with some nice oak notes, and citrus. Medium Body. This is one very tasty brew.

Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Giant white head that has finally tapered off as I write this. The top of the beer still has a coat of foam on it. The beer itself is a light amber.

Smell - Not what I expected. With most oaked IPAs, I smell sweetness enhanced by wood. This one has a sharp, fresh oak aroma. A citrusy hop aroma is there, as well.

Taste - Nowhere near as sweet as I expected. It is a very fresh IPA. The oak actually adds to the bitterness instead of softening any flavors. This is far more appealing than other oaked IPAs I've had. The hop flavor takes a backseat to the oak, at least to me. Obviously, there's still a hop flavor, but I'm more interested in the oak.

Mouthfeel - Pretty high in carbonation. Makes the beer feel lighter and fresher. It's not syrupy. Just the right consistency for a standard IPA. I detect no alcohol whatsoever. There is a bite at the end from the woodiness.

Overall - A very interesting oaked IPA. Nothing like any other I've had. Has none of the cloying sweetness of other oaked IPAs, which I really appreciate.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
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!!

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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 johnnnniee
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Photo of beertunes
3.24/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Photo of chippo33
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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.

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,481 ratings.