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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak - Cigar City Brewing

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

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374 Reviews
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Reviews: 374
Hads: 1,716
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 341
Gots: 218 | FT: 12
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
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Reviews: 374 | Hads: 1,716
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
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 jsanford
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a CC snifter.

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

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai – White Oak
Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A – Pours a gorgeous strong perfect orange color with some nice haze and a slight golden outline. There is a nice .25 inch head that is nice and white and quite dense. It has some medium retention. (4.5)

S – Flowery aromas with some slight woody and grassy notes tomorrow. Nice tropical fruit notes that are a bit balanced with the wood spice. Some mango and some peach notes are present. (4.0)

T & M – Nice woody notes to start with some slight coconut flavors present. Mango notes and some peach as well as some nice grassy and citrus notes. The wood notes add an interesting balance to the traditional hop juicy character. There is a nice dry hoppy and bitter finish but that is also infused with a dry and fresh wood notes. The coconut flavor is really nice on this beer and not to overpowering. There are some nice bready notes in the background to this beer but obviously this is a hop heavy beer. (4.0) (4.0)

O – This beer is quite delicious and interesting. I’m interested to try the base beer. (4.5)

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Goldish orange pour that left a big gushing and sticky white head with very nice lacing throughout. Nose is buttery citrus, most notably tangerine and pineapple and perhaps coconut. The taste is a creamy oak, vanilla, some coconut, hops, and moderate pine. The mouthfeel was much improved when compared to the regular Jai Alai IPA. Softer and not as bitter on the tongue. This beer is obviously intended to be savored slowly to appreciate the subtle differences and over the top oakiness. Medium-bodied with a light oily finish. Finishes clean with a dank budder aftertaste in the mouth. Overall, a nice oaky/vanilla IPA from Cigar City.

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Photo of sliverX
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper pint with a nice thick cap good lacing
Smells big coconut with hops in the back
Taste follows the nose but with a pronounced wood flavor, reminds me of the smell from freshly split wood the longer this goes the more woody it gets which just gets a bit unpleasant.
Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied bright carbonation
Overall not a bad beer but a pint was a bit much by the end

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Photo of OddNotion
3.32/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with brewpaab. Thank you! I have had regular Jai Alai which I think is amazing and the Humidor series which I also really enjoy. Poured into my Fantome Tulip.

50th Review for me!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful orange color with a light tan uncontrollable tow and a half finger head. Extremely active carbonation and the head keeps building, over three fingers now. This is one of the most active beers I have ever poured, and definitely the most active in this style. Starting to get a little bit annoying, maybe I should have used a more open glass.

Smell: The smell of cut oak hits me immediately. I love that smell. Some nice citrusy fruity notes follow.

Taste: Going to be a while before I get the chance to taste this beer. Everything is blended very well in the taste, most things are not too distinguishable from one another. The bitterness shows up a little bit on the back end. I feel the oaking of this beer has made it too smooth, no bite that I like in my IPAs and the fruity bouquet of flavors present in the original is almost lost to the oak in this version.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy for an IPA, carbonation has calmed down after the head dissipated, I wouldnt call it flat but would appreciate more carbonation.

Overall: Not a huge fan of this one. I feel that oak is a very hard flavor to successfully incorporate into an IPA, I do not Jai Alai is very well suited for the overbearing flavor of oak. I love the original, just not the oakiness.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy ruby red amber with a finger of fluffy foam poured into my tulip. Nose reveals a touch of sweet strawberry, blood orange, creamy vanilla and custard filled pastry. Tasty is creamy and refreshing with a light hop bite as well as a touch of tannins from the oak the the finish. The taste is nearly as complex as the nose but does have some red fruit along with bitter citrus peel and a nice dry malt taste. Very nice ipa and easily drinkable as well.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Instead of reviewing the beer by itself I'm just going to comment on the differences between this version and the regular Jai Alai.

A - Pretty much the same, might be a little hazier and the head might be a little more foamy in density.

S - First whiff reveals a nice aged oak aroma, very fragrant. The caramel background aroma is more hidden than the original and the hop smell is slightly masked as well, but remain the same scent. Just a tick lower in score because of the less aromatic hop aroma.

T - Again, big on the oak flavor and I would say it's the major player in this beer. The hop flavor is drowned down just a skosh but there is still plenty of resin and woody/earthy flavors coming through. The caramel background is also still a solid flavor holding the beer together. Just a tick higher in score because the original flavor is still there but the oak did nothing but help it.

M - Pretty much unchanged, maybe just a little less carbonation, maybe. Same score.

CCB took an already stellar beer and tweaked it just slightly to take it to the next level. The base beer remains unchanged but the oak aging doesn't take away or change the make-up of it at all. Bravo.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Maltzilla for the chance to taste this beer -poured chilled into a willybecker.

A deep apricot shade w/ towering rocky ecru cap w/ whipped topography, mildly hazy -yet visibly carbonated with spacious bubbles and spotty lace pattern. The smell is very fruity with a lot of oaky resin odor and the nose has a bit more pine cone hop scent than floral but a slight citrus accent is there. The feel is good, w/ very oaky and astringent accents lives up to the name w/ moderate bitterness and light sweetness w/ a bit of creamy and oaky texture almost. The finish is drying and oily with hop resin and the body is medium with a moderately low amount of carbonation.

The taste is very good with a balance of bitter and spicy hops with the sweetness of the gentle oak taste and malt. The yeast is there w/ no doubt as it blends in well w/ the astringency of the hops. the hops have a nice citrus quality which also seems to add some piney. The oak comes off as an ingredient that is well integrated here - you aren't sure if you are tasting hops or the oak at times. A nice caramel maltiness adds to the mystery -am I getting vanilla from the oak or is the malt what I am tasting? It cushions the acidity of the hops but lends astringency where it is needed with a mild toasted taste from the malt. there is a subtle wood and herbal blend of slightly lemony flavors that linger after the taste. Overall I enjoyed this IPA a lot It is treated very well w/ the oak not dominating like the cedar version I tasted. It adds a layer of complexity and I would certainly not mind having this again.

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Photo of dbossman
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber hue with a huge, bright and steady head; bubbles move slowly and steadily up the glass; lacing is wonderful

S: A balance of grapefruit hops and slightly sweet toffee and caramel like malts; a black pepper spice underneath the malts and hops; also a subtle grainy and woody back end to the aromas

T: Wow! I did not expect that bitter hop explosion after the somewhat subtle aromas; besides the obvious grapefruit and citrus from the hops there is a black pepper spice and obvious oaky quality that so nicely complements the hops and helps them blend so well with the strong malted backbone; this is a good tasting beer that I wish didn't have such a dry finish, but all in all this tastes awesome

F: The beer does quickly vanish from the back of the mouth--the dryness is probably due to the oak, but it does distract from the beer just a bit; it just doesn't have that oily stickiness that I prefer from a hoppy IPA

O: This is a darn good oak-aged IPA; I generally like wood aged IPAs and this might be right up there with the best of them; the dry aftertaste does take away a tad from the overall beer but all in all this is a great beer from Cigar City

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of StLThrash
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with richalexander78 - lots of great CCB beers!!

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Clear, copper hue with a nice, thick foamy 2 finger head that definitely lingers and left a nice cap all the way down. Very sticky with excellent lacing that stuck all the way down as well.

S - I can definitely smell the oak, along with some citrus (pineapple / mango?), and some toasted malts. Hop character not as pronounced as your typical IPA.

T & M - Nicely balanced with good carbonation, some sweetness up front with the toasted malt, and the hop / oak flavor finished it off.

Overall - A great beer. Nice, refreshing and great balance.

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Photo of Sideswipe
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle in yet another incredible box from Palmej1. Thanks Jacob! 12oz bottle into my Brugges Zot chalice.

The beer pours an appealing copper color with a finger of white foam. The head recedes leaving a thin white coaster and some very nice lacing. I can smell the wood in this beer immediately, sweet biscuity malt and citrus hops round out the nose. The taste is an initial blast of bitter citrus. Orange, pineapple and mango dominate. The malt profile provides a nice sugar cookie backbone, but the hops are showcased here. The oak persists throughout, however, and while it is initially interesting, I think that after awhile it takes away from the experience. Feel is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. As the beer warms it becomes creamier. Overall this was pretty good. I think I prefer my IPA without the wood though, as I like the regular version of Jai Alai better than this iteration. If you like your IPA with oak seek this out.

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Photo of Radome
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A -Beer is a medium copper color, slightly cloudy. Head is very fluffy and off-white colored. When I poured it the head foamed up drastically and I had to stop pouring to keep it from overflowing the glass. Possible contamination?

S - Crisp Northwestern hops dominate. Then there is a strong nutty or coconut note and lots of wood. No malt aroma breaks through.

T - The initial hit is strong hops flavor and bitterness. As that fades the coconut and nut flavors roll in. There is also an astringent quality in the end, like iced tea.

M - Body is light. Fizzy carbonation. Massive hops bitterness. No alcohol burn.

D - Overall a good IPA with very strong hop level. The coconut flavor and aroma are very pronounced and I guess they are from the white oak.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.32/5  rDev -19.8%
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 kirok1999
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A real pretty looking beer. Hazy copper/bronze with tons of sticky lace. The whole glass is laced with each sip.
Smells slightly woody with a backbone of sweet malt. The hops are a nice mix of grass and pine with a slight citrus note.
Taste is much like the smell on steroids. The wood dominates but not in an unpleasant or overpowering way. The whole thing plays well together. The sweetness of the malts lingers on the tongue and there is just enough wood there to make it interesting.
Feels dense and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very hazy deep orange amber in color. Forms a nice looking, stable, almost light tan colored head that leaves some moderate lacing.

S: Citrus mixed with oak and vanilla. Reminiscent of lemon meringue pie.

T: Lightly sweet pale malt on the front end that moves to a moderate bitterness with flavors of vanilla, oak, and pine. Lots of wood and a surprising amount of vanilla as well.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. A bit prickly as well.

O: Regular Jai Alai was a deeply uninspiring beer, but this one, like the Humidor variant, is a vast improvement over the original. One wouldn't expect the odd blend of flavors to work so well, but this beer manages to do so.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes, 3-25-11

A - low white head settles to a white ring over a clear amber body.

S - tomatoes and carrots, earthy citrus hops, and a touch of oak.

T - Not much oak, sweet vegetal flavors, earthy hops.

M - dry woodiness, medium body, and quite smooth.

O (D) - decent, pretty interesting

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Photo of brew3crew
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-hazy orange with white head that sticks around for awhile.
S-almost smells like white cheddar cheese its. Must be the white oak
T-get a lot of the wood compared to the hops. Wood really over powers it.
M-medium body and very dry
O-OK at best. Oo much wood

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Photo of billab914
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crisp amber orange with a bit of nice white head. Smells very hoppy and oaky. A hint of vanilla on the nose as well. Tastes fairly sweet and hoppy. Lots of piney flavours on the tongue and a solid malt backbone. Thick and syrupy with a solid mouthfeel. Overall, just a touch nicer than regular jai alai as the oak adds some interesting complexity.

Note: let this beer warm up! S much more complex!

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date listed. Big thanks to Cheesemoose for this extra.

Appearance: Cloudy orange in color with a fluffy, three finger white head and good retention. Definitely a lively pour.

Aroma: Orange zest, citrus, tropical fruit, and mango notes are all in there. A nice rounded backing of caramel and more than a little toasted oak.

Taste: Bitter pine notes are dominant upfront. Oak and herbal notes round out the hop flavors in front. The tropical fruit and mango notes are far less noticable here. A slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp. Ample carbonation keeps the feel light and a little dryness sets in on the finish.

Overall, a welcome twist on Jai Alai. I enjoyed this variation but I almost feel there was not enough to distinguish it from the original. The most noticable improvement (from what I remember) was in the balanced and complex hop aroma.

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Photo of shand
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

This brew pours with a puny one-finger of head (especially compared to the head explosion of the base Jai Alai), and it's more hazy and slightly lighter in color than the base Jai Alai. Lacing is still exceptional. The smell is very nice, sharp oakiness and a touch of vanilla is over the great tropical fruit and hop base of Jai Alai. The oakiness is much stronger on the taste, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because the oak tastes great. But it's bad because it mutes some of the better parts of the base Jai Alai - the citrus and hops in particular. I wouldn't mind the oak to be a bit more subtle. Otherwise, it's pretty good, just unbalanced.

The mouthfeel is good, it's slightly more substantial and less carbonated than the normal Jai Alai. Drinkability suffers just a bit with the oak treatment. Overall, it's a solid spin on the original, but it's not quite an improvement. Worth trying, but not a necessity.

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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.