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

1,635 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,635
Reviews: 368
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 324
Gots: 203 | FT: 10
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 368
Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer. Finally got some to try some of this. My can is only 7 days old. Man it doesn't get much more fresh then this.

Can't say I prefer this to reg Jai Alai but it does stand up there.

Photo of JebediahScooter
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer review, here it goes.

Poured out of a bottle into a DFH Signature glass on 12/3/10. 3 White Oak Jai Alai's were part of a lovely birthday mixed six pack--which also included my first PtE, a Founders' Devil Dancer, and a Burton Baton--from my good friend and brahim Moses Mendoza.

Hazy orange/copper hue with a fluffy, pillowy tan two-finger head that subsides to a nice crown with decent lacing. This beer is murky and colorful.

The smell really stands out as absolutely unique. Tropical fruits dominated by mango and coconut are the predominant. Vanilla, wood, and citrusy hops are in there, though more subtle. I've really never smelled a beer like this before, and I didn't expect it to smell like this. It's almost like a hoppy Pina Colada.

The strong bitter hop presence kicks off the first sip, fairly aggressive and similar to the regular Jai Alai. The beer departs from the original version as the bitterness mellows out through the sip into more of the tropical fruit, again dominated by mango and coconut. It's quite different than other IPAs dominated by the citrusy/grapefruit hops like Sculpin, Racer 5, Maharaja, etc, and it's a nice change of pace for an IPA. The vanilla is there, and the wood comes through subtly. It's not overpowering like some other wood aged stuff I've had recently.

Mouthfeel is the perfect balance between a good amount of carbonation up front and a smooth velvety finish. This is how beer should feel when it's all up in your face.

I could drink a 6-pack of these...the fruity flavors just mellow out that heavy hop bitterness of the regular Jai Alai so nicely. This is an extremely unique offering, one that should not be missed if you have an opportunity to lay your hands on some. This is a flat out fantastic beer that's true strength lies in the fact that you've never tasted anything quite like it. It surprises you, pleasantly.

Photo of ricoslim
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the biggest lie on this beer is that it is available year-round. Hard beer to find, when they do release it the couple times a year.

Photo of mondegreen
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into a DFH Signature Glass.

Pours a hazy deep orange. Throws up a giant 3 inch head with nice retention and great lacing. Aroma is sweet citrus hops and lovely wood. Taste follows, with the oak taking center stage. I love what the guys down in Tampa are doing with Jai Alai. This beer is their canvas, and every iteration I have been lucky enough to try is a masterpiece.

Photo of Thur123
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep hazy red orange color with one finger of off white head. Looks a little darker than regular Jai Alai. The smell is stifled it seems, it's not coming off as very aromatic, which is unexpected. A slight hop presence with something like fresh cut wet wood coming through very faintly. Maybe a bit of vanilla.

Glug glug glug

The oaky flavor is complex, with wood, vanilla, crème, meshing with typical big IPA flavors like bitter grapefruit, orange, and herbal resin. Coconut and maybe at the very initial contact between beer and tongue, something like mango too. Overall a very interesting beer that could use a bit less of the oaky aspect but it does taste fresh and 'real' if that makes since. At least compared to other oak IPAs. The flavor is a bit big and complex for great drinkability but this is mostly just great beer. Mouth feel is fine.

Photo of mschantz
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light bronze in color with minimal head thT dissipates to a fine lace after a few sips. Nose shows a bit of fruity sweetness with subtle hop notes. Taste is citrusy, maybe fruity pebbles, with a surprising lack of wood flavor. However the wood manifests itself with a dry finish. Very refreshing and drinkable.

Photo of fear025
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:Sweet cotton candy, subtle fruit, oak in the nose.

Appearance:A deep shade of amber, nice white fluffy head, good retention.

Taste:Lots of oak on the first sip, along with some great candylike sweetness. A fair amount of bittering hops, but the specific hop flavors are hidden with all of that oak. There is a very slight tart flavor on the foretaste too. The oak lingers long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:This beer has a refreshing bite to it, great carbonation.

Drinkability:This is a great alternative to your average IPA, very unique in flavor.

Photo of timc100
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic aroma - a great blend of barrel and dank hoppiness. Oaky vanilla and coconut come out strongly - great organic woodiness. The citrus and pine comes through and really blend well with the oak. The taste is more bitter than the nose suggesteed with grapefruit being the prominent flavor. The oak is very smooth - vanilla.

Awesome oak aged IPA - takes the base up a notch

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at CCB. Definitely my favorite thing I had there... and I was a big fan of the Humidor IPA from a previous tasting, too. Just plain interesting. Where can I get some White Oak? Served in a shaker pint glass.

The beer has a creamy, inviting foamy head that just opens my eyes and waters my mouth. Heck yes. You can tell they put a lot of effort into clean glassware here... and since I'm getting it at the brewery, I feel like I can include that in the beer's score. The body itself is a slightly hazy, standard IPA. However, the head alone merits the 4.5.

The IPA was fruity as all get go... and that's how I love my IPAs. They said it was made with a blend of hops and dry hopped with Simcoe. Every one of them added to the smell and taste. It was a veritable mixture of fruits and succulent flavors. The oak itself provides a different kind of fruit flavor. This stuff is addictive and I keep loving every extra sip. In addition to the wonderful flavor, the mouthfeel is solid, but not mindblowing. This isn't exactly a Live Oak beer or anything... but it will do the job.

CCB's experimentation provides some hits and misses, but this hits all over the place. This may be my favorite standard IPA I've had and I'd jump at the chance to have it on tap again.

Photo of HopBomb515
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange with copper hues, off white thick head and tons of lacing. Big nose brings tropical and citrus notes and a vanilla to the backbone. Taste follows through with sweet tropical fruit, mango, orange, grapefruit and a vanilla cloak wraps it together and rounds off the bitter edge. Medium feel, little sticky on the feel and semi dry finish. Interesting new dynamic to these IPA flavors.

Photo of Bobheed
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice copper color with a two and a half finger soapy white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly

S: Tons of earthy hops. Maybe the earthiness is from the oak though because it's a whole different beast than normal jai alai. Still get a lot of that pineapple citrus kind of hops too though

T: Bit of citrus, some pine, then goes into a sweet bready kind of flavor.

M: Very well carbonated. Pretty thick for an IPA and pretty dry

Overall this was quite nice. I liked it much more than the normal Jai Alai IPA

Photo of fields336
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: light brown, orange

S: light vanilla, oak wood, dill, tropical fruits, and earthy hops

T: vanilla, dill, pepper, peach, pineapple, mango, oak wood, herbal

M: creamy mouthfeel, not rough at all, almost a nitro mouthfeel

O: this beer tastes very different from jai alai, but in a good way. I like the flavors and the best parts of jai alai shine through

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: peach fuzz/ amber orange, two finger off white head in perfect pint. cloudy to a point, clears up a little over time.
S: strangely enough, im reminded of the shorts anniversary i had a few nights ago, mainly because i feel like i get some kind of pepper, or peppercorn fairly up front. honeybell oranges and strong, dense citrus dominate, this is a whole different animal.
T: again i feel like i get some kind of peppercorn aspects in the flavor, maybe its the oak. theres grapefruit, blood orange, orange zest, heat, oak... a little bit of everything, except the kitchen sink. damn this thing is intense.
M: an initial moderate carbonation level tapers off to yield a creamy and smooth finish. mild bitterness all the way through, but more just open playing field for intense and solid flavor profile.
D: im finally reviewing this after having a few bottles over a months time, and id drink it again, and again.. and again. really glad i got to experience it, and hopefully theyll do it again. absolutely delicious.

Photo of mattsdenney
4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was able to snag some sixers of this one on vacation back in May. Finally getting around to drinking and rating my last one. Was hard to find.

Pours a medium amber, orange color with two things of full, thick head. Cloudy with noticeable specks of material and residue floating around. Not sure what this is, part of the oak possibly? Smells amazing; orange peel, lemon, fresh cut grass, sweet vanilla. Tastes even better. It's hoppy, smooth, malty, sweet, bitter, and all in perfect harmony. The finishing notes of vanilla and oak are perfect and mix well with the hoppy bitterness. The hops are more subdued than in normal Jai Alai as expected. The smoothest, most flavorful IPA I've ever had. Light carbonation, smooth, medium bodied. Perfect consistency. Overall an amazing beer and one that I hope to find every year. I can see why people in FL were buying it up and trying to sell it for 4x the normal price.

Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by FlandersNed at the June '10 Metro Detroit tasting. Gold colored pour with a loose white head. The aroma is white pine, oak and toffee. Amazingly fragrant. Like smelling an evergreen forest. The flavor is big citrus with lots of juniper, pine and faint honey. Creamy, medium body with low carbonation.

Photo of baggedlunch
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Delicious beer. Smooth oaky jai alai with notes of vanilla and dill. Where can you go wrong?

Photo of ales4baldo
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz btl served in a Stella glass

A: Initial pour results in a glass half filled hazy golden orange liquid and the other half with fluffy luxurious cream colored head. Head dissipates into rocky formations as I try to fit the rest of the beer into the glass.

S: Very unique. Soft vanilla aroma. Honey drenched herbal hop scents. Picking up a little fresh mint. Sugary and spicy. The smell is like no IPA I've ever encountered and its tremendous, certainly not typical, but amazing nonetheless.

T: Mirrors scent in a lot of ways. It is clear that Jai Alai is the base beer, but the white oak treatment has made it much better than the original IMHO. Sweet vanilla and woody flavors accentuate some of the strong qualities of the standard brew. Hops are slightly subdued but some citrus, herbal, and spicy notes are present. Sweet fruity flavors are abundant. The finish is very neutral, with a balance between sweet and dry.

M: Has a coating feel. Carbonation is good.

D: I wish I had another bottle or two. This is a unique beer that will hold one's interest.

Enjoyed this much more than the standard Jai Alai. Looking forward to trying other versions.

Photo of itsscience
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark copper with two fingers of white fluffy head. Darker than Jai Alai with some big soapy bubbles that aren't typical of the original. The smell is mango, orange juice, and tangerine, coming off quite a bit sweeter and riper than original Jai Alai. I have to try pretty hard to pick up on the smell of oak. The taste is sweet vanilla up front, followed by a grapefruit bite and an earthy oak finish. The beer has a superb balance that attenuates any bitterness. This is miles ahead of the smoky mess that is the Humidor Series Jai Alai and I dare say that I like it more than original Jai Alai, which is my go-to IPA.

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to smokinoak for the bottle!

A: Cloudy burnt orange color with a very sticky white head that loses fluffiness quickly but laces the glass for an extended period of time.

S: The overwhelming oak smell creates a pleasant faux coconut whiff. The end of the smell finishes a hoppy and citrus oak-centric smell.

T: Starts really sweet, but the oakiness balances out the sweetness towards the finish. Not a lot of hoppiness, but there is enough hidden in between the oak and smoke that it creates a special taste. This is very unique.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation level. Naturally carbonation dissipates a little as it warms, which only brings more flavor out. Very good balance.

O: The smell says it all with this one. Take a whiff and expect to taste what you're smelling. The oak and smokey flavors tone down the natural sweetness to create a very different experience. Best after sitting for just a few minutes so the flavors can open up and expand. I could drink a whole sixer of this on a summer day. I will actually try to trade for more. THANK YOU SMOKINOAK!

Photo of Ratman197
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of Chizoad
3.18/5  rDev -24.6%
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 TotallyHosed
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Heatwave33 for the bottle.

Poured into a highball glass.

Has a slightly off-white head, about a finger thick, that leaves some nice lace on the glass. The color reminds me of bright apple cider that's opaque enough to hide the bubbles.

The smell is full of sweet oak with a little bit of hops hiding behind. It makes my mouth water, so I dove right in.

The taste matches the smell at the start: oaky sweetness. The oak subsides a bit and allows some hoppy bitterness. The bitter steps aside and all that's left is a creamy oak flavor.

For an oak aged beer, I'm surprised with the carbonated feel, especially considering other wood barreled beers that I've had. This is a nice surprise.

Overall I really enjoyed this brew. I've had a few other oaked IPA's in the past and was disappointed. I never detected any of the alcohol, which for me is always impressive.

Recommended

Photo of BennyL1
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had a bottle of the regular Jai Alai, now on to the White Oak version. Once again thanks to GallowsThief for the brew.

A - Pours a hazy copper color, not to much different the regular version. A good amount of foamy white head caps off the brew. Good lacing the along the class as well

S - The difference between the base brew and this one is definitely noticeable in the nose. Oak aroma is there for sure with a bit of pepper in there. Hop notes are in there for sure, just not as dominate.

T - Hop bitterness is noticeable with the first taste but a smooth wood character presents itself which mellows everything out very nicely. The oak combined with the malt bill balances this out almost perfectly.

M - Medium body with a creamy finish. Carbonation is also right on.

D - I was thoroughly impressed with the regular Jai Alai, this one was a step above due to the oak character. Great brew, one that if I can get my hands on again I would for sure.

Photo of CuttDeez
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.