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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.

377 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 377
Hads: 1,731
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 23.86%
Wants: 344
Gots: 223 | FT: 13
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 377 | Hads: 1,731
Photo of Zraly
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, orange-gold with a two-finger head in a DFH goblet. Rich smells of wood and vanilla predominate. Really pretty.

Taste-wise, this is a special IPA. Wonderful tropical notes of pineapple and a hint of coconut; I get the sense that this is an IPA with a crush on a pina colada. An orange peel note ties the fruits to the hoppy finish. For a brief second, it also has a saison feel to it. The finish is dry and bitter, with the oak coming through and smoothing the body and mouthfeel out. The citrusy hop bitterness lingers just long enough until your next sip.

Extremely original and very tasty. Excellent and a must-try if you have the chance. I'd love to pair this up with sweet and sour rabbit...yum!

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Photo of fmccormi
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off beer to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of October 16, 2012 printed in white ink, sideways near the back of the label (“16 OCT 2012”), so exactly two weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a good two fingers of moderately tight head, custard-colored, above a very slightly hazy, deep amber colored-body that has deep orange hues against the light. The head leaves some widely-spaced but thick legs of lace, and the head falls to a thick collar towards the end. Good-looking beer, not perfect but very good overall.

Smell (3.5): Dill? Yeah, that’s a very noticeable dill scent, which I hadn’t picked up on before. Little bit of vanilla that blends with that at-first-odd dill note to come off somewhat coconutty. There’s some understated, pale, grainy malt character underneath, but it gets lost in the oak and hops, for the most part. Turns more toasted coconut as it warms.

Taste (4.0): This can go one of two ways: at first it can come off as a pale ale brewed with some dill that accounts for both body flavor and bitterness, or it can come off as a moderately citrusy IPA with some toasted coconut and coconut milk tones, adding a mellow, buttery but still fruity dimension to the base beer. Personally I’m not enjoying the dill end of the spectrum, so I’m trying to focus on the coconut dynamic. Fortunately, it goes more toward the coconut tones as it warms. Moving on . . .

So, the Jai Alai base is evident here: some plain, lightly sugary bread character (think of, maybe, an elephant’s ear pastry) acts as a base for some good, citrusy fruit character. The juicy, orange-pineapple kind of citrus tones that are so prominent in the base beer are muted here underneath the coconut tones (hi there, white oak), but the citrus zest bitterness comes out at the end, though somewhat tame compared to the base, too. This really mellows as it warms, the coconut (née dill) blends in better; meanwhile, no alcohol or yeast notes at all. Improves quite a bit as it warms, actually.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Even carbonation, not prickly at any point but sharpens a bit before it foams on the way down; the body is just under medium-weight, not syrupy at all and only a bit of oily character. Finishes pretty dry.

Overall (3.5): I haven’t had many wood- or barrel-aged hoppy pales before, and I appreciate this one but I admit I’m not convinced on the idea behind it*. I’m sure it has potential and I can see why a lot of people like this beer a lot, but it’s not 100% for me. My advice is this: if you think you’d be averse to dill, let it warm up first, and then it turns into a smoother, woody, coconutty dimension. Definitely not a bad beer overall, but not for everyone.

*Edit: I take that back, Burton Baton is a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
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 maxcoinage
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to @velcrogrip for this (extra!)

Poured 12oz bottle ( no date ) into tulip - there was a huge head on this, but it could be due to the fact that it arrived on my doorstep several hours ago. Fluffy white head that took it's time to settle down. Some noticeable bubbles rising from the bottom. Color of the beer is a darker orangish brown.

Aroma has some good citrus notes, oak, vanilla, bready

Taste is amazing! The hoppines and malt flavor are balanced perfectly. Big citrus, some floral notes, toasted coconut and that finish definitely has an oak flavor where I'd normally expect it to be a bitter finish

Mouthfeel is smooth for sure, nice medium body and carb, and somewhat creamy.

Overall this is a really nice variation of an IPA. It's definitely worth seeking out, will have to try to score some again soon. It recommended spicy food on the bottle, so I broke out some spicy hummus and veggies/crackers and must say it's definitely a good pairing

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Photo of pagriley
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange. Clear, but with heavy particulates floating
Grapefruit and citrus- not getting any of the oak on the nose
Softer than I expected. Rounded off edges to the hops with a touch of sweet vanilla and oak
A bit creamy, with a nice bite to the finish

Overall an excellent take on an IPA. I would happily drink this over many of the harshly hopped and dank offerings that abound

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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.

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

On tap at BX Beer Depot's CCB Tap Takeover - looking forward to this one

Really different than Jai Alai and Cedar Jai Alai. Citrus (orange, orange marmalade) and jam flavors. Unique. Mellow and lacking bitterness. Slight herbal spice to it. Dry dry dry with an oak finish.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just picked this up at brewery only a few day old. have been wanting to try this for years but could never get my hands on it. Wow as this good. Like the can says, "hop bitterness is more restrained". This is do to the aging in white oak and it works. Standard Jai Alai is a great DIPA, but being aged has mellowed out much of the strong syrupy taste and made it almost perfect. This also gets better as it warms up. One of the best DIPAs I've had yet. 4.75

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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 dtivp
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange bronze with a two finger frothy white head, good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma of oak, malt and citrus hops.

Taste followed the nose with a nice balance between the bitter oak, hops and sweet malts along with hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel was Medium body and carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Enjoyed poolside in Naples, Florida, a very nice refreshing beer on a warm day by the water.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark honey hue in coor, with lots of head, medium retention.

S- Oak with some citrus qualities of Jai Alai. Grapefruit, lemon other tropical fruits.

T- The oak thing throws me off. I like reg better.

M- Best part of the brew. Has a creamy texture. Medium carb

O- I would take reg any day over this

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Photo of aubuc1
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip pint glass.

Pours a nice orange with a thick off white head.

Smell is huge citrus with some light pine and then woody oak.

Taste is sweet, but not cloying, citrusy without bitterness. The oak cleans up the aftertaste and absorbs the bitter finish but still is dry.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is great.

Was surprised by the effect of the oak.

Great beer.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass - bottled May 20 2011

A: Pours a golden honey color with a nice white head that fades to a ring and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is huge with the oak in the form of caramel and vanilla with the malt showing up as toffee and the hops are very subdued with hints of citrus and grapefruit. I can't stop smelling this beer...it smells very unique and amazing.

T: The taste also has a huge wood influence with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and the hops show up with notes of pine and grapefruit.

M: The feel is thicker than a regular IPA and pretty creamy.

O: The oak aging is very apparent in this beer. In fact I'd call it an oak bomb but I think it's brilliant. I really enjoy this and wish I had a few more.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Thanks RayUF07 for hooking me up with a few of these bad boys.

A- Pours a murky, hazy dirt-brown body with a 2" white head that reduces to an uneven white ring and leaves some leggy lacing.

S- The aroma is very upfront, consisting of a sweet vanilla-bourbon aroma. Somewhat musty and woody, with some citrus rind in the background. Quite inviting.

T- Woody bourbon, vanilla and caramel notes that nearly overpower the IPA character of this beer (I said nearly). Unlike most IPAs, the hop presence of this beer is not intense. I'd call it a pale ale. Usually I'd complain about this, but the white oak really added character and worked together with the hoppy grapefruit and pine pines notes to create some nice balance.

M- Light in body, medium carbonation. Drinkable.

I've also tried regular Jai-Alia and I'd say that the addition of white oak really did it well. Oak-aged IPAs are very uncommon and are a style that IMO should be experimented with by other breweries. If they could pull off what cigar city did with this brew, they could create some real masterpieces.

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Photo of MLDucky
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a unique beer. First aroma is hop, citrus, vanilla and wood. Upon first sip much of the same, but the hop/pine aroma makes way for citrus and vanilla with a hint of dill. I would have liked more hop presence to announce itself through the beer, but other than that, excellent beer.

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Photo of tikk
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy vanilla Batman.
Thanks to Abriggs1.

Pours a light tan with a light head, leaves some lacing as it goes.

Smell is vanilla oak, almost too much vanilla for this much oak.

Taste strong vanilla, some sweetness and oakiness, get that hop bitterness at the end, a vanilla oaky citrus overall.

Something doesn't feel right on the mouthfeel, just a little too lite for me.

Overall I love this beer, would I go for two in a session? No way. I would have more over time? Oh yeah.

Highly recommended

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Speiglau IPA glass.

Look is clear lightly amber with golden/tan highlight. Thin head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is rich vanilla from the oak with a slight citrus hop.

Taste is a mix of piny grapefruit and rich oaky vanilla.

Wonderful beer. May not be as drinkable as a regular Jai Alai, but an excellent study in what a wood aged IPA can be.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at kickbacks in jax. Poured into a snifter. White head, moderate lacing on a hazy marmalade body. Soapy and oily lacing. Aroma is spicy, hoppy, fruity (citrus), maybe a touch smokey. Taste has a nice light sweetness, high bitterness, very smooth with no alcohol taste at all. Nice spicy character on taste along with a touch of vanilla. Awesome.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice opaque golden/copper color with a white head.

S: Pear, grape, what I imagine wine must smells like, earthy/funky Belgian yeast and just a touch of oak in the nose.

T: In a word, odd. Caramel, citrus, brettanomyces, somewhat earthy. Sweet and nectary.

M: Very smooth for an IPA and medium bodied.

O: Dear Cigar City, aging Jai Alai on white oak is trying to fix something that's not broken, and ending up breaking it. Is it good? Yes, but it's nowhere near as good as the regular jai alai. Still recommended, but between this and the regular Jai Alai, I'd always choose regular.

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CoastieSimon for this extra.

Pours light orange and just a little hazy, producing two fingers of white head. This slowly fades to a nice cap.

Some hops and malt are present in the nose, but the oak is dominant here. If somebody asked me what oak aging smells like in a beer, I would point them to this.

There is a very nice balance of hops, malt, and oak flavors in this beer. It leads in just a little sweet, then shows the bitter hops. The finish is dry, bitter, and oaky.

Medium-bodied with a nice level of carbonation, this is quite drinkable.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. I find it much more interesting than standard Jai Alai, and am glad to have been able to try it.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Very different then regular JA but in it's own, good way. The fruitiness and bitterness is toned down and replaced with notes of oak and vanilla. the hop bitterness is completely lacking, and instead is replaced with a dryness that complements the subtle, complex flavors in the beer. delicious. i would buy as many of these as i possibly could.

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Photo of d5001986
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into tulip.

A: Pours cloudy amber-red with large off-white head.

S: Resinous pine, lots of honey, berries, and some alcohol.

T: I pick up the oak right away. A mostly piney hop profile, though there is some tropical fruit. Some malt sweetness to balance. Slight post bitterness. Different, but I definitely like.

M: Medium body, crisp and quite smooth.

O: A bit different than anything I've tried before, but I find it very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To date, this is still one of my favorite IPAs. So refreshing on a hot day with tons of hoppy fruity notes on the nose and flavor. Overall it probably ins't the most balanced IPA out there, but still so enjoyable.

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Photo of taylor714914
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, CCB NAILED this one. What a phenomenal beer.

Pours a slightly darker straw color than expected, perhaps from the oak.
Smells of intense hops, vanilla, and biscuit malts.

Taste is where this excels. Pungent hops and sweet biscuit malts play perfectly against one another with the white oak adding vanilla similar to cream soda. The finish is spot on with the light tannins of the oak and the vanilla a well.

Overall, perhaps one of the best IPAs I've ever had.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Todes for hooking me up with this one, as repayment for almost nothing.

We watched an episode of Blue Planet the other night. The one where they go into the deep sea and you gaze at the sea monsters that are reminiscent of nothing else on earth. What amazing creation is on this earth. So there it is, a virtual aliencraft, a white cap on a pulsing, throbbing robotic light show. Shining goldish orange at times through the faint murk, and of course the obligatory flashes of green, blue and red as they stand out starkly against the dense blackness behind. White trickle-sheets between the lights, a beautiful wall of fresh lace. All of the strange aquatic vegetation, waving in what looks like wind though you know it to be current... and if you could breathe like a fish what aromas and flavours might this alien world provide? Perhaps the rich and odd opposing yet somehow coherent aromas of fresh oak wood, sappy, white wood, and pine resin, christmas tree, orange peel and booze? Flavours as the foreign, other-worldy aromas are taken in through the senses of another animal, something totally unlike us, that has an ability to distinguish nuances rather than the crushing burn of drowning, a creature that would explode if brought up to the light of day.
This is a subtle masterpiece. The density is a bit much, but that may have helped the flavour. the carbonation is a bit little, but overall it has come together beautifully. Don't take the little wonders for granted. Enjoy every sip.

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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 377 ratings.