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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374 Reviews
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Reviews: 374
Hads: 1,716
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 341
Gots: 220 | 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 grover37
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of willseph
3.81/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of pigc
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

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Photo of bierbrauer
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of ccarney2
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of Jammies
2.31/5  rDev -44.2%
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.

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Photo of datalager
4.39/5  rDev +6%
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).

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Photo of korguy123
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.31/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on a recent trip to Orlando at the World of Beer, which is a very good place. The beer was recommended to me by the bartender and it was good. Not great but very good. The combination of cask conditioning with the oak and other IPA characteristics made for an interesting beer.

Appearance was a dark hazy orange with a surprising amount of carbonation, especially considering that it was on cask.

Aroma was a great combination of hops, maltiness and oak.

Flavor was also quite complex featuring all the qualities that went into making the beer.

Overall a good beer that I would recommend to anyone who can find it.

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Photo of ccastro
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious! Great beer, highly recommended. From a 12oz bottle pours with a perfect head into my vintage mushroom glass, no sediment perfect appearance. Aromas are citrusy hops, fresh malt, vanilla oak. Mouthfeel is creamy, delicous flavors jump out alternating hops, malt, and wood. What a deliciously balanced, perfectly executed beer. Will gladly pick up several 4pks of this beauty. Will be staggering if I can find any draft. Great job boys!

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to donttazemebro for this!

Pours a hazy, dark orange juice color. White slightly fizzy finger of head. Nice lace and dissipation. Aroma is fairly muted for an IPA. There are some slight tinges of tropical fruits, but more oak, wood and vanilla is present. While not atypical, it's pleasant. Good bit of sharp bitterness asserts it's IPA classification. Light notes of citrus and sweet tropical fruits, a big vanilla/wood note. Predominant creaminess to the mouthfeel, medium in body. As a whole, an interesting and undeniably tasty brew. Very glad to try it.

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Photo of biglobo8971
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pub glass. The color is incredible, vibrant golden orange. Very little head with slight lacing present.
The first smell is of sticky sweet fruit, want to say papaya or mango, though not tasted. Dug my nose into the glass the whole drink, kept picking up different smells. Very enjoyable. Taste is different, not a bad different, just different. There is a taste that I cant describe well, I am assming its the white oak. Very well done specialty IPA, the mouthfeel is easy to drink, making it easy to drink again while trying to figure out the different nuances in the taste.
Overall, interesting beer. Will want to try again fo sho.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No freshness date but drank within a day of trade.

A= Pours a nice hazy orange with a finger of head on it. The head looks a little lighter in color than the regular Jai. The head is also a little less dense and maybe falls a bit faster but not by much.

S= The smell on this is very interesting. I can say with confidence that it smells like oak. Straight oak and hops. There is no misunderstanding what kind of wood was used. The hops are a little taken over by the oak but it still is there and maybe a little more fruity with the oak smell. Reminds me of overripe mangos or something.

T= The taste is much more oaky than I would have expected. Still very very tasty though. It has a lot of coconut flavor I think. Pineapple as well. Tastes almost like a pina colada! Really interesting and unique. This maybe the only IPA that I've had that I thought made a totally new and tasty beer when it had wood added.

M= The carbonation is a bit lower than the regular version which is nice.

O= Wow I thought I would have hated this beer but it's actually really really nice. Unique and delicious. Worth trying and drinking regularly if it's avalible to you. I would gladly drink a lot of this.

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Photo of sdmvd6
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a CC snifter.

A - Slightly hazy copper (similar to regular Jai Alai) but with a small head leaving little lacing.

S - Wow. Sweet vanilla, brown sugar, and some bourbon from the oak. These are underlain by a touch of caramel malt and spicy, earthy hops.

T - Sweet, rich vanilla, brown sugar, and woodiness. Definite notes of spices and bourbon-soaked bread. Undertones of caramel malt and earthy/citrusy hops linger in the finish with a peppery alcohol burn and a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. The alcohol burns a bit but not in a bad way. The finish is a tad dry.

O - This is a fantastic beer by CC. It is by far the best aged IPA I have had, as the hops are still apparent and superbly balanced by the character imparted by the oak. The complexity of the wood was something I just haven't found; I loved it!

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Photo of nataku00
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a very hazy copper color with two fingers of off white bubbly head. The head dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a lot of sticky lacing on the glass and a few patches of bubbles along the surface. Some tiny bubbles visible right at the edge of the glass, but not much visible through the very hazy beer.

Really interesting nose, tropical fruit, predominantly pineapple, but some mango and sweet tangerine. There's a spicy and earthy aroma that I'm going to guess comes from the white oak soaked in the beer, nice complement to the tropical fruits. Not much of the malt in the aroma.

Big tropical fruit on the taste, with pineapple really dominating the flavor, with light sweet orange and tangerine as well. Mid tongue, the oak presents as this woody, earthiness, and slightly resinous. Finishes with some residual earthy flavors and a light bitterness.

Medium oily mouthfeel with some light carbonation that barely registers on the tongue. The beer is interesting, heavy oak influence, but a touch more hop bittering would have been nice.

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

Poured into my trusty tulip.

A: Pours a hazy copper color with one finger head. Solid retention and above average lacing.

S: Oak is the first to hit the nose. Followed by caramel, citrus, vanilla, and hops. The oak is pretty much over powering this one.

T: The first drink has almost a whiskey-esque flavor due to the oak. Underneath, there's a nice citrus, piney, hoppy flavor.

M: Medium body with medium/high carbonation. Leaves a light oak/piney resin that clings to the mouth.

O: Good but not how I prefer my Jai Alai! I thought the oak overpowered everything and could have been more balanced.

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Photo of lazjuarez
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Bottle dated: AUG1011

A: Poured fairly vigorously which created about 2 fingers worth of an off white, almost buttery colored head. Pours a deep orange, burnt amber color. Head stuck around for a few minutes, but reduces to some spotty patches of foam, leaving behind some small lacing.

S: Nose is filled immediately by oak, but compliments the tropical notes that follow. I'm getting grapefruit, pineapple, and some small citrus as well. Astringency is present, but is balanced by some sweet malts.

T: Taste is oak forward, just as in the nose. Then, pine notes follow and just as they started retreat to the dominant oak. Good caramel malts play a nice role as well.

M: Medium bodied; The oak really coats the palate, light malty breadiness also helps. Carbonation was a bit low for me, it would have helped in refreshing my palate. Overall a great beer, but the only down point was the mouth feel for me.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mrpepino for this extra, cheers! June bottling.

Appearance – Pours a hazy, cloudy orange into a tulip. About a half finger of slight off white head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Pale malts, slight oak and vanilla, caramel, and just a hint of hops.

Taste – I’m assuming this might be a bit past its prime. The flavors start off with quite a bit of oak and vanilla. A hint of smokiness is present midway through. As the beer warms more bitterness comes through which is a bit odd. The beer finishes with a heavy caramel, toffee backbone.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall – A decent IPA. Even though it may be a bit past its prime, it is still quite tasty.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass (Sept. 2011 bottling).

Appearance: Amber, slightly darker than the regular Jai Alai. It has the same thick off white head that fades slowly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Lots of oak, vanilla, sweet, hardly any hops.

Taste: Lots of oak, vanilla, leather, subtle hoppiness and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A good, very drinkable beer. The IPA is almost completely overwhelmed by the oak. Not what I was expecting, but pleasantly surprised.

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