Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

385 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 385
Hads: 1,778
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 349
Gots: 239 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

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: 385 | Hads: 1,778
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks merc for sharing a bottle of this

The beer pours a clear, dark amber with a thin white head that laces. For an IPA this is quite dark and provides great head retention. The smell is absolutely intense. The hops fight tooth and nail against the intense oakiness, sweet orange marmalade, coconut, and slight biting alcohol. The taste doesn't impress nearly as much as the nose and I find myself wishing I could just have the IPA without the intense oakiness. The mouthfeel is a smooth and drinkable with a moderate hoppy bitterness. I would really like to try the jai alai by itself after trying this beer!

 612 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a hazy amber with 2 fingers width of light off white colored head, which takes a while to dissipate down and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Citrusy hops (orange mango and grapefruit), piney hops, sweet bready malts, and of course oak. Some lemon zest, a touch of alcohol. Very nice!

T: Tons of oak in the flavor, in a good way! Balancing out the oak is a solid hop profile, including great citrus notes of mango and orange. Piney hop flavors shine through as well. It all molds together with a firm malt backbone that has a honey sweet characteristic. A hint of alcohol is noted on the backend towards the finish, but doesn’t detract from the flavor profile. Great complexity in this beer, well balanced and oh so tasty.

M/D: Great smoothness here, particularly for the style. On the full side of medium bodied, with an appropriate but not overwhelming carbonation, and a noticeable drying finish. Relatively easy to drink, as this is my second one this sitting, although two is plenty.

O: Overall, what a terrific offering. I am not a fan of the regular Jai Alai, at all. I think its too malt heavy without the big hop profile I look for in an IPA or really any complexity. The White Oak Aged version, on the other hand, is excellent. The oak aging adds so much. Not only does is add an oak flavor, but it balances out the malt dominance of the original version, and somehow manages to pull out a pretty significant hop profile with great citrus notes. A great beer, and a must try that I highly recommend.

 1,616 characters

Photo of Bobheed
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice copper color with a two and a half finger soapy white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly

S: Tons of earthy hops. Maybe the earthiness is from the oak though because it's a whole different beast than normal jai alai. Still get a lot of that pineapple citrus kind of hops too though

T: Bit of citrus, some pine, then goes into a sweet bready kind of flavor.

M: Very well carbonated. Pretty thick for an IPA and pretty dry

Overall this was quite nice. I liked it much more than the normal Jai Alai IPA

 512 characters

Photo of BWarrington
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 March release batch. I have not been able to get regular Jai Alai for months but Cigar City threw a bone to South Florida and sent some cases of the oaked stuff down.

A- Dark cloudy gold with tons of sediment

S- Floral and oak

T- Delicious soft grapefruit, with wonderful tones of oak and vanilla

M- Nice carbonation for an IPA and has a long finish which is nice and smooth.

At first I thought I had been lucky and received the bottom of the barrel due to the amount of haziness and sediment but however reading the recent posts I have concluded that this batch had more morsels of goodness then in the past. I guess if the trade off is no reg Jai Alai and they send this stuff down every quarter or so, I would not complain.

 736 characters

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a burnt orange amber color with a finger of off white head.

S- amazing nose on this beer. Aromas of coconut, tropical fruit and lemon zest. Slight malt sweetness with leafy hops on the finish.

T- slight malt sweetness and leafy hop flavor. Tropical fruit and mango in the middle. Huge oak flavor on the finish that overpowers the initial flavors on the finish.

MF- smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and good low medium carbonation.

D- decent drinkability. The oak is a bit harsh and char like on the finish.

 522 characters

Photo of soughtbygod
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark slightly cloudy amber with a barley off white 2 finger head.

the smell is unique right off the bat i pick up some roasted caramel sweetness, followed by hops and a little bit of funkiness maybe that is the white oak pulling through

the taste wow this beer is great i don't find myself saying ipa and aged together as a good thing very often, but they did well with this. they gave it enough malt backbone that as it aged on the oak and the hops fell off that it picked up a sweet characteristic. this after you swallow you pick up grapefruit and floral hop flavors and it finishes with the oak

the mouthfeel is incredibly velvety for an ipa, it drinks like a milk stout. very thick and luscious.

overall this beer is on par with its BA score. very good will def hunt some down in the future.

 818 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I’m finally getting to the bottom of Stankonia’s LIF box; up next is CCB’s White Oak Jai Alai IPA. I’ve seen this beer on “disappointment of the year” and “beer of the year” lists, so I’m ready for anything. Cheers!

Brewed five months ago (“AUG2011” on the label).

A: Hazy amber-orange body, pouring with a moderate thickness. Cream-colored head, thick enough to produce a two-fingered head in an oversized wine glass. Just a shade of lacing with hardly any retention.

S: Pumpkin spice, toffee, and figgy malts, spicy and light at first whiff. Hops are citrusy and a little astringent, feeling medical and syrupy when combined with those base scents. Bubblegum, light woodiness, and strong (very strong) pine, as well. Ends on a note of orange rind.

T: Starts fruity – sweet, refreshing citrus fruit with a bitter orange-juice bite. Then come the hops, with a flavor of powerful, resiny pine; it’s a common bitterness for an IPA. The backbone reminds me of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale – a compliment for any IPA – because of its big-bread taste and its dark, chewy malts. There isn’t much to indicate this beer was aged on any type of wood, though, especially something as hearty as oak. It’s one of those beers where I wish there was more, but I’m still ok with the flavor profile. Dry, fruity-sweet aftertaste; a mouthful of orange, honey, and rose petals ends it.

M: Smooth, somewhat flat-feeling. Feels full and goes down very easy.

O: Another relatively good IPA from Cigar City. As far as wood-aged IPAs go, this is the first one I’ve had, so I can’t really say how it stacks up to beers like FFF Blackheart and the like. Only one thing to do, then: drink more beer like this. Shame…

 1,744 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
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 SolarMikey
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

 746 characters

Photo of Nachojon
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice looking beer. A nice gradient from blonde to almost an amber when put to light. 1/2 finger head, dissipates into a layer.

S- Smells like an aged IPA...yeah the malt overtaking the hops and I am not one to say that aged IPAs are barleywines, but it smells kinda like a barleywine.

T- Oh wow, the oak. I mean I gotta give credit on the purity of that oak flavor, oaked wines don't hold the flavor this well and it really blends well with the IPA base here. Really pleasant, warm. This is coming from a hop head who wants IPAs fresh off the bottling line. Has like a medicinal finish, not unpleasant tho. I am very impressed. Glad I opened this on Christmas eve.

M- Smooth with a nice crisp finishing note.

O- Really impressed, especially considering I wasn't impressed by Jai Alai itself.

 801 characters

Photo of TotallyHosed
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Heatwave33 for the bottle.

Poured into a highball glass.

Has a slightly off-white head, about a finger thick, that leaves some nice lace on the glass. The color reminds me of bright apple cider that's opaque enough to hide the bubbles.

The smell is full of sweet oak with a little bit of hops hiding behind. It makes my mouth water, so I dove right in.

The taste matches the smell at the start: oaky sweetness. The oak subsides a bit and allows some hoppy bitterness. The bitter steps aside and all that's left is a creamy oak flavor.

For an oak aged beer, I'm surprised with the carbonated feel, especially considering other wood barreled beers that I've had. This is a nice surprise.

Overall I really enjoyed this brew. I've had a few other oaked IPA's in the past and was disappointed. I never detected any of the alcohol, which for me is always impressive.

Recommended

 889 characters

Photo of grover37
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 2,305 characters

Photo of willseph
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to KickInTheChalice for sharing this with me.

The nose is quite nice, surprisingly I noted a lot of vanilla and mango with only a touch of the traditional hops smell. The creamy vanilla smell was pretty potent. Call me weird, but I thought this was a beautiful beer in appearance. A very cloudy apricot color, half a finger of fluffy head and very sticky lacing.

Being the only white oak beer I've ever had, the taste was a bit surprising. I noticed heavy cream and spiciness with the hops bitterness on the back end. Some sweet citrus like nectarines were present, but the lack of citrusy hops was evident. Mouthfeel was interesting, it almost bites the mouth with the carbonation but yet leaves a bit of an oily feeling. Overall, a fun intro to white oak aging, although this won't be on my short list of favorite IPAs.

 830 characters

Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of thick, off white head. A layer of head remains with some lacing.

Smell: Sweet from the malt with some citrus and mild pine notes. Definitely picking up the oak, which plays a strong part in the smell.

Taste: Bitter citrus peel hops dominate the taste up front. There is just enough malt to back the hops up. After the initial bitterness, the oak shows up. Strong notes of wood along with some pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive, fluffy carbonation and a finish that isn't as dry as you would think it would be.

Overall: This brewery knows how to use wood to treat their beers. Very nice balance of tastes. Another winner.

 751 characters

Photo of pigc
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dirty light copper with two finger head.

S - Citrus, pine, orange, tropical notes. Slight oak.

T - Mango, orange marmalade, citrus, pine. Bitterness is apparent yet not overwhelming. Slight oak taste from the barrel. Malt backbone is minimal. Slight sweetness. Nice dry finish.

M - Medium with average carbonation.

O - I enjoyed this oak aged version more than the standard Jai Alai. One of my favorites from this style. CCB hit the nail on the head with this one, well done!

 491 characters

Photo of bierbrauer
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, brought back from visit to Tampa and Cigar City Brewery in September. This is clearly past its optimal state. No freshness information. Poured into Duvel tulip glass.

A: Cloudy amber with no effervescence; 1-1/2" off-white, fluffy head that drops slowly and leaves gobs of lacing.

S: Oak, period.

T: Oak again, with increasing bitterness.

M: Creamy and smooth, with medium carbonation and medium body; dry finish & alcohol warming.

O: I've tasted this before and though the oak was always a prominent feature it not totally dominating -- I recall experiencing more complexity.

 599 characters

Photo of ales4baldo
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Hdelavega for this one in a trade. Thank you sir. Poured in the wonder Cigar City Snifter he also sent.

Presentation-Simple bottle, showing the white oak on the label. Big hop announces the presence what your gonna get.

Presentation-Appearence-Hazy deli mustard coloration. Almost a cloudy and foggy beer than you cant see through. Good head. About a finger and a half of head.

Smell-The white oak gives this beer a really sweet smell. Sugars and wood oak come up really nice. Lots of hops and a bit of tangerine.

Taste-Really nice man. The white oak does wonders to this beer. Grapefruit like youll usually find in an IPA. Sweet lemon notes hide behind the strong presense of hops. A bit of orange and like some red apple as well.

Mouthfull-Get a nice full mouthfull with this beer. Has a lot of body to it and the hops aged with the white oak add a really nice sweet bitter. Carbonation is really nice as always.

Overall-A really nice beer. Really nice. Simple and with a lot of body and flavors. I really like this one.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Ratman197
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Doodler (thanks Scott) poured a clear orange amber with a lingering ring of amber foam. Aromas of oak, vanilla, orange, light pine and a hint of carmel. Palate was medium bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of oak, vanilla, pink grapefruit, light orange and a hint of pine with a crisp dry moderatly bitter lingering oak finish.

 355 characters

Photo of ccarney2
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Gorgeous amber orange body, that is kind of cloudy. Pours a nice 2 finger light cream colored head with great retention and a thick/uniformed lacing all the way down the glass Small bubbles are visible rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - Extremely floral smell with a lot of citrus in the nose as well. Some kind of fruit that I can't quite narrow down, I'm leaning towards mango, a little bit of spice to round it all out. Overall sweet nose with very little hop aroma.

Taste - Extremely bright/crisp flavor that starts with a rather sweet fruity taste that transitions almost effortlessly to a more bitter and lingering mixture of sweet malts and a very subtle oak flavor.

Mouthfeel - highly carbonated ale that is also rather thick in consistency. A little more carbonation than I generally like in my IPAs, but it works well with the sweetness of this brew.

Overall - A friend of mine recommend this beer to me and I have to say I am thoroughly impressed with every aspect of it. From the gorgeous head that lingers until the last sip to the sweet citrus taste that had me sipping this beer extremely quickly just to narrow down each and every flavor of this wonderful beer.

 1,209 characters

Photo of Bfarr
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange amber and thin tan head with good retention. Fruity (mango/guava) oak and earthy undertones. Sweet grapefruit and earthy spice and oak finish. Moderately low linger thought the hops increase slightly. Sharp bite with a slick dry feel and a little tack.

An amazingly complex and enjoyable IPA that’s sweeter than your normal IPA and could use a dose of bittering to completely round it out. A nicely unique flavor and a little dryer than average due to the oak but it’s balanced although it’s not a beer to drink more than a pint but it makes a fantastic treat.

 581 characters

Photo of Jammies
2.31/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a golden orange with a thin layer of foam. No retention

S - a very oaky and overwhelming odor. Extremely difficult to endure.

T - the oaky flavor completely dominates the whole beer

M - light and sloppy on the finish

O - Not impressed. The oak completely destroys the flavor of the beer. I did not enjoy this one.

 327 characters

Photo of datalager
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the fortune of grabbing a four pack while in Ellenton, FL for a very quick trip there. Thanks to fellow BA members for recommending this brewery to me.

The look is a cloudy pale amber with short white head. It doesn't look like most of the IPAs I've had, and that is a good thing. Overall it has an attractive appearance.

Smell is excellent right off the bat. It is sweet, woody, and layered with a nice floral hop quality.

Taste follows the aroma nicely. Malt and hops are well balanced, with perhaps just a hint of grapefruit in the mix, leaving a touch of nectar in the finish without being overly sweet.

The tongue draws in a medium amount of sparkle, followed by a smooth swallow. Only a touch a dryness resides in the finish.

Although I enjoy good IPAs, they aren't typically my favorite style. That said, this is perhaps the best IPA I have ever had, and I'm glad I have three more to get me through until xmas (assuming they last that long).

 963 characters

Photo of korguy123
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this one.
Bottle date SEPT2011

A- Fairly clear caramel colored pour with a three finger off white head that deflates quickly leaving a finger width cap with super sticky lacing.

S- The oak stands out above the citrus and malts. It adds a nice smoothness with out being overpowering like the cedar version. For a three month old batch the citrus and floral hop notes are still obvious even in their somewhat muted state. Carmel and toffee with a bit of vanilla round things up in the back end.

T- The oak really stands out again with this one. Again not overpowering, just right. Juicy citrus and slight pine compliment the sweetness of the malts and oak barrels.

M- Medium bodied, slightly chewy with a dry lingering finish.

O- Very impressed, I think so far the oak is the way to go. Much more balanced with no overpowering wood presence.

 880 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated SEPT2011 poured in to Founder's Tulip glass.

A - Medium slightly cloudy orange/amber colour, translucent, with small amount of white head.

S - The oak is noticeable up front with massive fresh tropical fruit aromas of mango, peach and passion fruit. A balancing sweet caramel and toffee backbone is also present.

T - The oak hits the tongue first followed by a sweet caramel malt backbone and a subtle hop bitterness shows up in the finish and lingers slightly. Some citrus and tropical fruit notes are evident as well, mostly show up in the finish. Some mango notes really shine.

M - Medium body; light to moderate carbonation. The hop oils stick nicely to the tongue.

O - A little less oak would be nice but still an excellent beer.

 753 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.31/5  rDev -20.2%
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

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.