Jai Alai IPA - White Oak - Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak

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1,483 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,483
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 268
Gots: 157 | 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
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Ratings: 1,483 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

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3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of PDXHops
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Borrowing notes from my review of regular Jai Alai for reference.

Jai Alai: No date info on the bottle. Hazy dark copper body capped with a creamy finger's worth of foam. Retention's pretty good. Patchy lacing.
White Oak: Much improved. Massive frothy head that reduces at a slow rate, leaving a mountain of foam in the middle with a huge bumpy skip all around. Impressive sticky clumps of lacing are scattered all over the place. Gorgeous. Bump 3.0 to 5.0.

Jai Alai: Very east coastish nose, with a hefty dose of caramel and light citrus zest notes underneath.
White Oak: Add a bunch of oak, which is pleasant in and of itself, but further blunts the hops. No change from 3.0.

Jai Alai: A touch boozy. A thickish brew, with moderate carbonation doing little to lighten up the sweetness. A decent level of bitterness briefly cuts through midswallow. Juicy citrus turns into a mildy pungent leafy hop flavor toward the finish. Malt dialed up to about 8.5.
White Oak: The plentiful oak seems to amplify the malts at the expense of the hops. No change from 3.0 for taste or feel, although a potential downgrade to 2.5 was considered.

Jai Alai overall impression: Not particularly memorable, although I have no idea how old the bottle is. Given this mystery, I'm inclined to give it another shot (will update my review with any new developments).
White Oak: Again, not really memorable. I remain unconvinced that 'oaking' is a good idea for IPAs. It's a helluva great looking brew, though, which is inflating my rating a notch or 2 above what it probably deserves.

Photo of lurpy1
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewing from memory, and thanks to the ever-generous Three Fishes for sending this along. So many winners in that box. Unfortunately, this one tended towards the back of the pack. Can't beat the Jai Alai backbone, but I picked up on a strong tropical smell evocative of Coppertone. Can't say I know what Coppertone tastes like, but i have to think the coconut oil aftertaste White Oak delivers has to be pretty close. The beer still managed to be refreshing and suitable for summer. Perhaps paired with the right food would have provided a major a-ha moment, but as it was, it was merely OK.

Photo of Chizoad
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

3rd of the Jai Alai "varietals" I've had now. I really appreciate that Cigar City experiments so much with their beers, and that they do a good job with it on top of the crazy styles.

On-tap at the brewery.

Big deep amber frothy beer. Doesn't really resemble pale ale, and certainly not the pale part of it. Still, a good looking beer.

No mistaking it, this beer smells like an oak tree. Imagine an oaky wine, and how it smells after you've emptied the glass. Make that oak smell slightly more aggressive, and that's what is in this. A little disconcerting in an APA.

The oak unfortunately totally overwhelmed the rest of the beer to the point of making it nearly undrinkable, at least until the beer warmed up and the oak chemicals had a chance to evaporate off or whatever they do. The strong malt backbone was barely there, and hops were also subdued by the majestic oak tree. Less oak = better, and made this one an interesting oddity that I'm glad I had but would never seek out again.

Edit: I just read other people's reviews, and it seems that my experience with this one was not the norm at all. Perhaps I had a different batch?

Photo of OddNotion
3.23/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing this beer NOT from notes. Finally have a bit of time to sit down with a new one. Direct from Florida and received today.

Bottles makes a nice hiss as I pry off the top. A bit of oak scent wafts from the bottle. Poured into my tulip.

Initial pour is quite hazy. The beer itself is a copper color that is on the lighter side. It looks like it has been infused with a bit of peach coloring. The head starts out about 1.5 fingers high and slowly fades down to half a finger. Very nice lace circles around the edge of the glass and some bigger carbonation bubbles in the middle.

Nose is a bit muted and not nearly as hoppy as I would expect given the base beer. A bit of oak makes its way through alongside some dull toffee notes and hints of cardboard. Not necessarily in an off way; more like fresh, non-soggy cardboard. Also a bit of a light nutty character. Three scents and not a single one deriving from hops. Interesting.

Initial sip reveals a good amount of fresh oak, although there isn't much tannic character present. Soft notes of caramel and toffee along with some fresh-baked bread. Slightly bitter mouthfeel. Slightly dry and tannic in the finish, as my cheeks and the roof of my mouth are somewhat dried out.

All in all, I'm definitely quite perplexed by this beer. The oak character has completely taken over the hops, and all that is left of them is a bit of bitter dryness in the finish. While the oak certainly isn't bad, it takes over what are some really great, fresh hoppy characteristics in the original formulation. While it is a decent enough beer in its own right, I believe it's a fairly signifiant step down from regular Jai Alai, as well as from some of the fruit-aged versions.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.24/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - murky orange/copper color with a thin off-white head that settled to a ring.

S - vanilla, wood and citrus rind.

T - woody taste upfront with vanilla extract and then some citrus rind bitterness with a sawdust dryness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with gentle carbonation.

O - a little too much with the oak for me.

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 billymoe
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.25/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow hard to imagine this is the same Jai Alai I just had a couple of months ago. The non oaked version is more of an IPA this oak version is just out of hand unlike any offering I've had from an IPA. I get a nice oak and spicey aroma but the flavor just oozes out with vanilla and a hot boozey bite of spiciness. There is a bit heavier diacetyl in the mouth. A decent beer but not really my type.

Photo of thebigbambino
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of Robloc303
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,483 ratings.