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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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,483 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,483
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 268
Gots: 158 | 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:
Photo of olimpia84
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at CCB. Served on a pint glass.

A: dark amber/brownish color, more on the opaque side. Small fizzy head but good retention. Very good lacing decorating the glass with foamy strands.

S: strong coconut smell, oak, pineapple, also some floral hints and hops. More on the 'sweet' side.

T: herbal, hoppy, wood. The taste of the hops is disguised a bit as the beer goes down and ends with some sweet notes.

M: light to medium body, carbonation was a bit on the high side.

O: overall it was a pretty good beer and a very peculiar IPA. I wish carbonation was on the lower side. Regardless, I recommend this beer.

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 Cheesemoose
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served to me in a standard Pint Glass from my local gastropub of choice, Kickbacks.

Lighting is poor. But to say that this one is on the amber side would imply that in better lighting it would better to be called a few shades lighter. Found a better light source. A deep yellow, near red. Nice clarity. A solid finger of head on the pour. Lacing is rather nice, with distinguishable lines from sip to sip.

This is not my first attempt at this beer, so each time I am greeted by the same aroma. Apricots. There is a dominant sweetness off played by the hopped up oak body that creates a pleasant and quite fruity IPA. Very nicely done. Perhaps a bit on the sweet side.

Clean and crisp is how I would describe the regular Jai Alai. This one has a bit more sticky sweetness, followed by a residual lingering after-bite that distracts from the hoppy base of the beer. The foreflavor is rather weak, though the finish is pure white oak apricot essence. Very fruity, light and semi refreshing. Suprising, yet defined. Quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky from the oak resins, though it has a clean "presence" to it. I find the mouthfeel to be remiscent of a sipping belgian triple. A bit on the sweet side, but a solid hop base that provides a nice balance. This one comes off a bit on the sweet side though.

Overall, I find it to be an excellent example of taking a rather straightforward style (American IPA) and having a bit of fun. Well executed.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crimson and copper. half finger head. Hazy.

S: Oak, vanilla and some hops in the aroma

T: lot of oak and wood flavor. More vanilla. The jai alai hops are kind of overwhelmed however

M: Moderate carbonation and medium body.

Overall: I like the beer but the oak was a little stronger than I like and I am not sure if the flavors off-set each other or cover up the hops. A little off for me.

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 brentk56
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a finger of foam; webs a bit of lacing

Smell: Tropical fruit, citrus, pine, caramel and vanilla; the wood leaves a firm impression, as well

Taste: The bitterness unfolds as soon as the liquid hits the tongue, with the tropical fruit, pithy citrus and pine flavors adding depth; the caramel backbone also provides sweetness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the oak and vanilla add another dimension, though the finish is predominately bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a rather spritzy level of carbonation

Overall: Though I am not the biggest fan of wood-aged IPAs, this is nicely done

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 elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled July 11, 2011. Served at around 45F.

Pours hazy orange/amber with a two finger off-white head that leaves a lot of nice looking lacing and holds a good creamy cap. Quite attractive.

Aroma is very floral with a bit of tropical fruit and citrus, notes of pine, grass, oak and vanilla, decent caramel malt as well. Very good strength and a rather complex nose.

Flavor is floral hops, tropical fruits, some grapefruit and orange citrus, only a hint of oak, some resinous hops, fair caramel malt backbone offering some sweetness, finishes with good bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little oily and creamy with good carbonation.

Good stuff. Enjoying this more than the regular Jai Alai but that could also be a factor of freshness/batch variations. While it is somewhat caramel heavy for an IPA there are more fresh hops here for balance. The oak is subtle but welcome.

Photo of Lefty1881
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazing IPA here

Appearance is a nice golden, hazy color, with eggshell colored head, and light carbonation.

The smell of a big ripe fruity burst hits you immediately, with a small alcohol burn, and finishing with a big lasting pine scent. Really enjoyable

Tastes hits the front of the mouth with a ton of fruity, almost pineapple and mango taste - then bitterness hits the back of the tongue , and finally a big juicy bitter finish. Amazing. A little heat from the 7.5 alcohol, but blends perfectly with the sweet tastes - and only gets better while it warms up.

Overall - My favorite IPA by Cigar City.. Their Papaya IPA doesn't even have this immense of a fruity taste. This is right up there with Hopslam. I love it !

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled dated July 14, 2011 courtesy of Dave. A big thank you for sending me some fresh bottles!

Dumped intermittently into a GABF tasting glass. White Oak Jai Alai pours a nice peach color with a healthy bubble laden egg white topping and oodles of stick.

Smells of sweet sugared mango and fresh cut oak.

Like the other incantations of this beer, she bends towards the sweeter side. Steady yet moderate dose of bitterness from from to back. Sugared mango presents midway through and the "green" woodiness of the fresh oak lays down a drying smack at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky. Carbonation is low-medium providing a full and rounded feel.

Without consulting my past reviews, I'd place this as slightly better than the regular version, but not quite as good as the cedar version, which I adore.

Photo of thain709
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle on IPA Day 2011. A big thanks to whomever provided this bottle.

A - Poured a hazy, burnt orange body with a creamy, white, two finger head...the head fell to a full cap and showed some nice lacing

S - Nothing but a big dose of fresh, white oak...the hops are there but they are a bit muted and taken over by the oak...there's not much sweetness to the nose

T - Again, the oak reigns supreme on the palate...it never fades from the nose...speaking of fading, I believe the hops are faded a bit...there is a tiny bit of underlying grapefruit providing a slight bitterness towards the end of the beer...the sweetness is at a minimal level...as I said, there is a minimal hop bitterness at the end combining with a bright oak flavor

M - Medium bodied...the oak dries out the palate leaving a fresh feeling

O - This was one of the best IPA's I had on IPA Day...I feel this one had been sitting for a while since the hops were faded and the oak was big...I like that the oak was a brighter flavor than normal...it really added a nice profile to the beer

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

Thanks to sendsilk for hooking this bottle up in a trade.

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a sweet nose with vanilla and oak the hops are light for an IPA

T - Like the nose starts off sweet and oaky with vanilla finishes with some hop flavor

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

O - I'm enjoying this one quite a bit I really like the flavors the oak has added to this beer very easy to drink worth getting if you ever have the chance

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 buffs9
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: . Dark orange and a bit cloudy. Small head that reduced rather quickly to a thin layer on top.

S: Smells very sweet, almost like a combo between a sweeter quad and a fruity ipa on the nose. Picking up brown sugar, light citrus smell at first. A bit of spice as well - love the nose on this.

T: Much like the nose. Starts with a nice citrus hop profile, then comes some sweetness, sugar/vanilla combo and then finishes w/ some wood.

M: Medium bodied. Decent carbonation.

D: Definitely want to drink this one again, too bad I don't have any more and would need to trade for it. Will have to get more Wooden Elephant from Odell instead.

Photo of CuttDeez
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Copper mixed with a yellow orange colored bodied. The head was substantial and white and it faded quickly but left a good lace.

S - Great balance of piney and citrus hops. The Smeel lends itself to vanilla and oak on the back end as well.

T & M & D - A huge cirtus and piney hop bomb in the front that opens to great malt sweetness. The sweetness in the middle opens itself to vanilla. Then a great oak profile comes in and brings together the complexity of the taste. Great smooth medium bodied mouthfeel that coats the palate. Very drinkable.

O - An awesome oak aged IPA that has complex flavors and is incredibly drinkable. Love it

- Cheers

Photo of GallowsThief
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A – Poured out a cloudy butterscotch color. Small bubbly white head that receded quickly and settles down. Spotty lacing all down the glass.

S - Light citrusy smell almost has floral qualities. Pine and grass.

T – Hops baby. Oak taste is there but not huge. Has a caramel sweetness. Popcorn flavors. Piney like the smell. Very nice citrus notes finish this. Grapefruit all over the place. Lot of flavors working together.

M – Lively carbonation. Tingly on the tongue. Drying at the end. Medium bodied.

O – Really nice oak aged brew here. Love the regular version of this one and the oak aged is just as solid. Great flavor. I could knock off a growler of this sitting on a boat somewhere everyday.

Photo of Chaney
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a sample of this on tap at the brewery, but I'm reviewing the bottled version.

A: Splotchy, cloudy orange, with a nice finger or so head that continued to stick to the glass even as I siphoned down the liquid.

S: Weird how the oak makes this more bitter, fruity, and colorful than the actual based beer. Mango, orange, and vanilla.

T: Citrus Creamcicle! Honestly, that is the absolute best way to describe this one. I would say that overall it is more on the fruit (candy) side than the hop bitter one.

M: I got a mild, yet divine booze warming on the end, but overall, this was creamy and smooth. The sugar was tempered by the oak, and the carbonation was low to moderate.

O: Pretty awesome stuff. Cigar City makes some of the best non-bitter IPAs on the market.

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 KAP1356
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MhopeTC for throwing in this extra in a recent trade. Reviewed from notes (wanted to have it as fresh as possible). Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass...

A - Pours a really nice hazy, dark orange color with some light amber highlights. An eggshell white head forms about 1 finger thick and slowly recedes to a pretty sturdy cap. Nice spotty lacing.

S - The oak really stands out on the nose and adds some nice nuances to the beer - mainly earthy notes. Hops aren't as forward as I would've expected here. Some citrus is detected, but the oak really takes the nose by storm.

T - Here come the hops. Nice juicy, citrus hops up front with some nice bitterness as well. Really strong malt backbone in this one alogn with a nice earthiness from the wood. Slightly bready with a nice fruity aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied beer with moderate carbination. Slightly creamy, which is nice.

O - I enjoyed this one, although the nose did suffer a bit. Overall a nice beer that added some interesting nuances to the original beer.

Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of claspada
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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 TheDudeRules
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my over sized Founder's snifter.

Liquid is a cloudy amber with a fingers width of off white head. I let it settle a bit before I sniff. A good amount of lacing helplessly clings to my glass. Pleasant smelling. Tropical foot with a wood kick. A huge whiff of stone fruit that is quickly beaten down by a cedar stick. Quite interesting. Wood dominates my palate. Stone fruit slowly follows. The caramel of the malt is in there but the supporting role is very small. A nice hop bite rounds out the sip. The aftertaste is so damn satisfying I pause long in between sips. The carbonation is dialed right in.

If I had more there would be a pile of bottles next to my kitchen sink. This is a winner.

Photo of ehammond1
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

A coppery orange and a relatively large off-white head that sticks around. Spotted and consistent lacing down the glass. There are hazy ribbons of sediment running through the body of the beer.

The white oak is dominant in the nose and it adds a peppery, spicy, earthy element. It's tough for me to actually find the IPA aromas behind the white oak, which is just a touch unfortunate, but the wood smells nice enough.

The white oak is again dominant in flavor. The wood has imparted a nice, warm vanilla undercurrent, along with the white pepper spice and earthy elements. If i was to try this blindfolded, I'd never guess it was an IPA; I'd probably guess that it was a strong ale or a mild barleywine aged in oak.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

A really incredible oak-aged IPA, which is typically not one of my favorite styles. It's interesting to see how much the wood has really imparted on the flavor of the beer and turned it in to something quite complex and delicious. I prefer this significantly over the standard Jai Alai.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark yellow, almost amber, color. Small head drops to a very thin film island rather quickly.
Smell is full of oak and malt with a touch of sweet orange or tangerine and some caramel?
Taste is more of an IPA with a definite hop presence, some grapefruit, malt, oak. Good balance here.
Fullish body with a tangy, almost biting, effervescence. Not harsh but sharp. Dry finish with a warming in the back of the throat and down. As a malt lover, IPAs aren't often on my list but this is a good one.

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