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José Martí India Porter - French Oak - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
José Martí India Porter - French OakJosé Martí India Porter - French Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

54 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 96
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 7
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jsanford on 03-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 96
Photo of mwilbur
4.36/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark brown--nearly black--with very nice 2 inch frothy dark mocha head. Excellent retention and beautiful sticky sheets of lacing. Best porter I've seen...hands down.
S: Roasted malt, dry chocolate, sweet cream, vanilla, and a hint of oak. Mild coffee and alcohol notes. Very pleasant.
T: All sorts of stuff hits at once...and all good. Coffee with cream, roasted and nearly charred malt, soft vanilla/oak influence, dark chocolate, and a boozy kick. There is also a faint floral note in the background which is beguiling.
M: Medium bodied...but seems heavier. Initially soft and smooth, but quickly transitions toward an oily feel with an alcohol bite. A dry and bitter finish.
D: Extremely enjoyable and drinkable. Complex and not too much alcohol (8% seems perfect). One of my new favorite porters. Kudos to CCB on this brew. (894 characters)

Photo of palma
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

awesome porter here. great bittersweet chocolate flavor. mild coffee notes. robust yet not too strong of a roasted taste. barrel ageing adds layers of oak and wine flavor that is subtle. not way strong a beer but still packs a punch with a cautionable abv at 8% and a lot of complex flavors. extremely smooth with a full mouthfeel. an excellent complex porter that is very unique yet very approachable. one of the best new style porters out there. (447 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a very dark brown with a slight khaki-colored head. Wonderful aromas and flavors of dark malt, coffee, caramel, and milk chocolate with a definite oaky character that matches up perfectly and contributes nice vanilla and spice characters. Medium-bodied, very creamy with lowish carbonation. Already one of my favorite Porters, the French Oak really kicks it up a notch! (404 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid dark brown with a huge bubbly tan head that slowly recedes to lots of sticky lace. Smells of chocolate and roast with a hint of licorice, earthy and herbal with some faint woody notes. The flavor comes through with chocolate and roast up front that segue's to a vinous and earthy herbal flavor. The finish is a bit heavy on the woody, but nothing like the cedar aged stuff I've tried. Medium body with a moderate to heavy level of carbonation and a bubbly earthy oaky almost ashy mouthfeel. I've gotta hand it to Cigar City for always surprising my taste buds, this is another wonderfully unique beer that I'm glad I was able to sample. (709 characters)

Photo of Spider889
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to sendsilk for this bottle. It ranks as one of my top 3-5 CCB beers to date.

Black with a tan head. leaves excellent lacing on my glass.

Wow the aroma is flush with white oak. The French oak is actually distinguishable - it has a new furniture and more floral quality than American oak does. Nice char aroma from the malt with green hoppiness.

The flavor begins with big oaky notes as well. The oak tastes fresh, dry, and grainy. Loads of bitter green hops - the base beer is considered an "India Porter" by the brewery I believe.

Super dry mouthfeel from all that oak.

Overall the oak is borderline overpowering, and I do feel like half the people i shared this with at Jackie O's felt as much. But for me this was extremely delicious and showcases just how powerfully positive oak can be in the right beer. (825 characters)

Photo of ottovon
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to phelps for sharing this.

A: a dark ruby, brown with a brown head. left some lacing.

S: nice aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, and smoke. i get some burnt sugar, roasted malt, and vanilla and oak. there is some sweetness in the aroma as well.

T: a nice mix of sweetness and roasty bitterness. a lot of the aroma comes through. dark chocolate, smoke, and roasted malt. there is some malty sweetness at the front, and then it finishes bitter with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and burnt malts. there is some toffee, oak, and vanilla notes.

M: medium-thin with decent carb.

O: this is a great beer. easy drinker, and very delicious. (657 characters)

Photo of ElmerBruisery
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the tasting room probably about a month ago. Poured into my CC snifter

Very dark brown with light brown creamy head that slowly fades leaving solid lacing. Looks great. 

Nose is an excellent blend of dark chocolate espresso and oaky vanillin. with warming the oak starts to take over.

The first sip starts with a burst of espresso beans quickly becomes smooth chocolate with a hint of oak in the finish. Reminds me of chewing on a bitter chocolate covered espresso bean. As it warms the French oak becomes much more prominent and some slight funky acidity as it hits the tongue. 

The body is thick but slighlty oily; thinner than the bold flavors with moderator carbonation.

Overall this is an excellent Porter and the oak is adds a great new dimension. The oak spirals seem to create more of a "harsh" oak flavor than a barrel, but this is not a flaw. The richness and robustness of the porter can handle the oak spirals and create an extra flavor dimension that is very enjoyable.  I bet this will become even better with some age. If only I had more. (1,080 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750ml bottle, I pour this dark brown liquid into my trusty snifter. Good pour - dark but not quite opaque. Solid foam retention - carbonation looks pretty near perfect.

My first impression sniffing this was "hops" rather than oak or roastiness, not unlike a Black IPA aroma. Brief impression, though, as there's more than that, thankfully. With just a little warming, it overwhelmingly turns to vanilla from the oak - oh yeah, definitely a super-oaky beer. I would probably guess American Oak, but French Oak it is. Those spirals have done their work for sure.

Somehow I wasn't expecting this to be as breezy a drink as it is. I have been critical of some CCB beers in the past for being too boozy, but 8% this one seems to have it spot-on, almost drinking like a 6% porter. Oh, it's oaked to hell and back, sure - so if that's not your thing I'd probably pass on this one. Lot of vanilla and a dry, flinty pine bitterness reminding you that underneath all the wood, this is a pretty hoppy porter.

If I'm throwing minor criticisms, I could actually do with it being less hoppy...so I'm probably going to sit on my other bottle for a few months. (1,159 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown in color with no light cracking through this one at all. A smallish head, maybe a half an inch in height coming up over the top, never really did fade away as it kept that nice layer there throughout the session.

The aroma was just rife with whiskey and oak. roasted malts and chocolate like notes hiding right under its surface. Letting it warm really let the oak and vanilla start to become dominant, and a hint of alcohol started to present itself in the back end. The flavor was more of the same, rich, full bodied, I would have swore this was a stout in a blind tasting, but no, this indeed was apparently a robust porter. Luscious, velvet like feel in the carbonation never gave way. The flavor started with that warm influx of vanilla and whiskey, lots of caramelized malts and a light roasted or smoky note to it. This then rolled over with nice touches of chocolate rippling throughout (907 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010

Huge frothy milk chocolate colored head. Brew is pretty dense for a porter. Great lacing

Lots of subtle leather and smoke. Caramely vanilla, tobacco, leather, only thing that detracts is the camp fire aroma.

Definitely loads of vanilla spice. Chewy, robust and deep. Carbonation starts high and has a smooth even finish. Bitterness is spot on, dry, true, earthy. Heat is non-existent.

Something to chew on. Definitely recommended with some time on it. Can't imagine what it's like fresh...intense. (508 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy very dark brown with two finger thick dense khaki head, settles to a quarter inch leaving a sheet down the glass. Smell: mild roast, a little plum, powdery chocolate, quite oaky, earthy hopping, hint of vanilla. Taste: moderate roast, bitter chocolate, plum skin, earthy and slightly citric hopping (toned down vs. the base beer), vanilla. Very nice but the finish is a bit dry and oaky for me. Stamped July 06 2011. (429 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are strong aromas of chocolate, coffee, oak and roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of vanilla.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is very complex (due to the barrel aging) with flavors of chocolate and mocha along with notes of vanilla and hints of licorice.
M: It feels relatively full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness, which is most apparent in the finish.
O: The oak aging definitely adds an interesting level of complexity to this beer, which makes it a nice one to sip and savor. (767 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

675th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750 ML

App- A dark dark brown. A lot darker than Bolita and had about the same head. Nice cling and some sheety lace.

Smell- A classic porter smell but not as thin. Dark roasts, a little coffee, some booze, some vanilla.

Taste- In the forefront is a very strong porter with the above nose taking over on the taste. On the backend you get a unique little treat from the barreling of this beer. The roast and chocolate are most upfront with a small vanilla.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little bit of the chocolate and oak flavors remain. A little dry.

Drink- This was a unique take on a very classic style. The French barrels really added a new dimension to this tasty beer. This was only my second CCB and it just happened to be a very unique one. (806 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A rocky beige head caps the fudge brown-colored liquid and delivers an impressive lacing performance

Smell: Strong, oaky aromas underpin black bread, coffee, chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Black bread and molasses, up front, with the coffee, chocolate, vanilla and oak flavors building through the middle; after the swallow, however, the oak dominates though pithy hops also enter the profile; rather tannic in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Although the oak is powerful in this beer, there are a lot of other flavors present and I was rather pleased with the outcome (619 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sawdust, Lowes, and cedar. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I can honestly tell you to go to the Lowe's/Home Depot lumber section and get a good smell so you can remember. Then go smell this beer. They smelled the exact same to me and I was not the only other person who thought this either. CCB definitely made sure that you knew this brew had seen some wood action in its making. Luckily it did not taste like Lowe's/Home Depot. The wood flavor was definitely present, but not overwhelming as it was in the flavor. The nice roastiness going on in this one really seemed to help carry the brew to a new level. A definite must try if you get the chance or just like the smell of lumber. (1,041 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, deep brown in color-nice sized cocoa head on top. Nice espresso and chocolate aroma-not much oak in there. Flavor is of espresso and dark chocolate. Some oak and vanilla come thru as it warms though it is really in the backround on this one. Nice dry cocoa flavor. Smooth and somehwhat creamy body. Very pleasant and drinkable all in. (340 characters)

Photo of Hex92
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells amazing when you first pour it. Smells like chocolate and coffee, as it warms that smell changes to mainly hops.

Very hoppy flavor, but not too much. Mouth feel is a little thin.

I am interested to see how it changes after aging for a year or so. (255 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle acquired from the Rare Beer Club. Cigar City's José Martí aged on French Oak Spirals. Very intriguing and if there is one brewery who has master spiral aging, Cigar City would be it. Split with my girlfriend, poured into two snifter glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, almost black, opaque body. A creamy, frothy and bubbly tan head sits atop. There is a great amount of retention all over the surface and around the edges, as well as patches of lacing on the walls.

S: Oak wood, bourbon, cherry, vanilla, chocolate, black bitter coffee beans. A certain sweetness is present throughout the entire aroma that I can't quite put my finger on. I attribute that to the Oak Spirals but it truly does absolute wonders for the nose.

T: Roasted oak wood, very rich and big mocha and espresso notes. These are dominating at first and last well through the entire palate hurdles. A slight alcohol note is detected in the linger as well as finishing a touch hot but very flavorful. It's sweet and fruity, though no tartness which can come sometimes with a port-like quality. Very diverse flavor profile that is executed extremely well.

M: Carbonated but not overly so. It feels thinner, on the lower end of a medium-bodied beer but appropriate for the style. This drinks very smooth even with the active carbonation. An absolute easy drinking beer even for it's caliber of ABV.

I've never had the regular José Martí but this version aged on French Oak Spirals is truly unique and delicious. The fruity qualities that come through on both the nose and palate are enough to set this apart from other American Porters. The oak adds a very nice complexity that perhaps would otherwise be absent. (1,695 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a broken record (that's really good), this is a long-distance dedication (thanks) to moose3285 (in my best Casey Kasem voice).

Poured into a pair of lovely Cigar City glasses we picked up at the brewery two winters ago. Dark brown that may as well be black, with plenty of bubbles. Smell is a dwarven warhammer of oak to the sinuses; like walking through the doors of an oak desk factory. Bits of malt & smoke peek through the raw wood.

Jose Marti Aged on Oak Spirals is more oak than beer. Wow. Oak strips the taste buds, drying them out in a single motion, leaving splinters in my tongue. After shaking off the two-by-four blow, there's chocolate underneath, good amount of bitterness (seems like hops?) married to hard roast. Tannic! Drier than an oak bonfire. Weirdly appealing, I'm drinking mine at a rather rapid rate. I've always liked wood. Living, dead, drinking it, whatever.

Certainly unique, I can't recall another beer with this much oak in it; I can see how it would be overwhelming. Ultimately, a very good beer, but the split decision is completely understandable. (1,091 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Dark opaque brown, with amber highlights and a fuzzy one-finger head of tan. A thin, silky layer remains, along with sticky tendrils of lace.

The nose: smoky dark chocolate and a large campfire built of vinous French oak. Woodsy, with lots of piney hops.

The flavor begins with tang, cocoa nibs and anise. After the swallow, oak gives way to smoke, which gives way to bitter dark chocolate in a day-long finish. Hints of vanilla peek out as well.

Kind of thin, medium-light body, peppered with active, large-bubbled carbonation and just a hint of fizz. There’s not even a hint of alcohol and some pretty burly bitterness, brought by the sum of bitter chocolate plus hops.

As I make my way through the glass, this beer gets better and better. A nice, smoky blend, with lots of subtle flavors to mull over. Drink it by itself, as food masks the fainter stuff. (889 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this one.

Pours a tan head. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: A lot of oak. French oak to be specific. It is very dominate. A little chocolate and caramel. Warming.

Taste: Very unique. The French oak dominates this beer. A little bit of roast. Caramel and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Slight warming and a little roasty. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, good stuff, but a little overdose on the oak. Still, pretty drinkable and enjoyable. (494 characters)

Photo of phichifiji00
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown/black. Pours one finger of tan head which quickly fades. Almost no lacing.

Smell: Oak, spices, cinnamon, cloves, tobacco, vanilla, leather.

Taste: Oak, malty, subtle spices, leather, vanilla, tobacco. A cigar aftertaste that is a bit overpowering, and offputting.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very complex. The tobacco, oak, leather aromas/flavors work quite well together. A very drinkable beer. (483 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass.

Like the base beer, French Oak José Martí has a rich, chocolatey appearance. The full and viscous body is topped by a smaller mocha head that fades over the course of the glass.

The aroma maintains the chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee notes, while the hoppy presence is a little bit reduced when compared to the base beer. In its stead, there is a modest woody oak presence.

Oak flavor overlays the rest of the flavors, but it does not dominate or dry the beer out too much. On occasion Cigar City wood treated beers have been too intensely woody or dry, but this is not the case. Dark chocolate, espresso and cream, and roasted malt are more noticeable on a relative basis, with the orange zest citrus and spicy pine playing more of a supporting role. There are some pepper and spice notes throughout that I also attribute to the oak aging. The finish is more mellow, less bitter than the base beer.

The body feels more solidly medium than the medium to full body of the base beer, and the carbonation is creamy and smooth, about the same. There are definitely some drying effects from the oak on the overall mouthfeel.

Overall I thought this was a nice treatment, although I liked it a little bit less than the original beer. (1,300 characters)

Photo of wscaffe
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A - Dark brown almost black in color. One finger tan/beige head. Beer leaves a decent lacing on the glass.

S - Oak aromas coupled with some malt sweetness. I get some dark fruit, chocolate, and hints of vanilla as well.

T - Some chocolate. Get some pleasant burnt and roast notes as well from the oak. Some alcohol but it smooths out once the beer warms up. I get some dark fruit in the taste as well. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla as well.

M - Medium to heavy bodied. Fairly smooth with a good level of carbonation. A little heat from the alcohol.

Overall I think CCB did a good job with this beer. I would definitely cellar a bottle and let it mellow out. Glad I got to try it. Not the best oak aged beer I have had but far from the worse. (790 characters)

Photo of rdickey
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It’s a very deep, dark brown – almost black. A deliberately rough pour produces a smallish tan head featuring a mix of small and large bubbles, which dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Big licorice smell dominates the nose, joined with coffee and notes of chocolate and vanilla (presumably from the oak). The ABV comes through pretty clearly.

Taste: This one is really interesting on the palate due to the oak. The expected coffee and chocolate, presaged in the nose, hit first, although the oak and vanilla is also pretty damn prominent. Licorice comes back in for the finish, along with more bitter chocolate. I’m not sure I’d want every big porter to bring the wood like this one, but it’s definitely an enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel: As you’d expect from the style, this is a pretty huge beer in the mouth.

Drinkability: The style, the ABV and the oak make this one a slow sipper. (907 characters)

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José Martí India Porter - French Oak from Cigar City Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.