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
80
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 7
Gots: 28 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 54
Photo of Siggy125
2.82/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L- Dark cola brown in color. Tons of big bubbly carbonation. Subsided slowly leaving lots of sticky lacing. Light tan head.

S- dried fruits, fig, dates. Smokiness, light hop character, roasted malts, faint oak aroma. No abv on the nose.

T- Taste character similar to the nose, but now the oak is really coming thru. Very pronounced, almost artificial tasting. Warming a bit didn't change the flavors much.

F- solid on the mouthfeel. A bit thin but still enjoyable. The carbonation provides an effervescent feel.

O- I enjoyed everything about the beer but the strong oakiness on the palate. I had a small pour to experience it but didn't want to go back to it.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.45/5  rDev -2%

Had this one, 2011 bottle, at The Porter Bar in Atlanta on 11/23/14. I was pretty excited to get to try this. Pours black just like regular Jose Marti with a fluffy khaki head on top that sits around for a good bit. Lots of oak on the nose, light plastic smells, a bit strange, some weird spiciness, something almost like pine. Flavor follows with some faint chocolate tones, and a massive spicy oak flavor that just envelopes the entire palate, and not really in a good way. Very harsh here, and this thing is 3 years old. Medium bodied, maybe even on the thinner side, with medium carbonation. This was certainly a disappointment, but nonetheless very happy I got a chance to try it. Just too much wood here.

Photo of chugalug06
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out looking much like the regular version, the beer is very dark in color with a creamy looking tan head on top. The retention is thin but hold up nicely, the lacing is also sticky on the glass. The smell of the beer is loaded with French Oak, in all honestly that is all I get on the nose. The taste goes with the flavor... I taste all french oak and nothing else. The mouthfeel is a bit sharp on the carbonation, making this beer a bit on the dry side and it stings to drink. Overall this was a bit of a disappointment, had much higher hopes for this one and was let down.

Photo of Dope
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date that I can see. I got this through the Rare Beer club probably a year ago. I heard it was extremely oaky so I let it sit for a year.

A: Very dark brown pour. Enormous fluffy light brown head. Takes forever to fade away, leaving a nice island behind. Nice swath of lacing everywhere.

S: Smoke, roasted malt with some char and chocolate. Charred oak. Decent amount of anise.

T: Smoky up front with lots of meatiness too. A little char and chocolate. Intense wave of oak in the middle, like chewing a 2x4. Anise and smoked meat in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: Hmph. Hopefully the oak has faded a bit with age but it's still very woody. It's also quite smoky with lots of meat. I was really reaching to get some roasted malt, it was mainly just smoked meat, oak, then more smoked meat. If you're a fan of beers like this you will probably love it. As for me I'm not a fan of smoked beers or intensely oaky beers either (see, Great Divide anniversary series). This was a little rough for me as a result.

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
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

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Poured out a dark brown with two cm of tan head on top that lasts for about a minute and a half, minimal lacing.

Smells of garam masala, dark chocolate, black coffee, charred malt, and a touch of licorice.

Tastes of bitter tannic oak, combined with a splash of acidic soy sauce over the typical porter chocolate /coffee. In some ways, the oak wood is almost like a hopping substitute. In other ways, the oak wood is a completely overwhelming force that drowns out many of the other subtle flavors that probably would have existed if the wood wasn't there.

In summary, this one has a bit TOO much wood. Because it has gotten to the point where it is obvious that the wooden flavor is obscuring some of the more delicate nuances of a beer's flavor.

Cellaring note edit : I've come back to this after cellaring at basement temp for a year and it improves dramatically, I'd say to about a 4.25. Tastes are subjective, YMMV, however.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.59/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black with a big off-white head. Good retention. Great lacing.

Smell - Hops, coffee, and lots of oak. Serious oak.

Taste - Tastes like regular Jose Marti at first. Hoppy, coffee, chocolate. Then the oak hits. Like a train wreck of oak. Strong, ashy, dry oak. Bad.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Terrible finish of oak. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Really ruined by the oak. The oak flavor is overpoweringly bad. The beer starts off good and ends up nearly undrinkable.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

Photo of Spider889
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of billab914
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Rhettroactive for sharing this one. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured black in color thick foamy head. Pretty nice looking beer of the style.

The aroma has a pretty bold, woody oak presence to it. It mixes with some sweeter cocoa and a little hoppiness as well. The French oak seems to dominate a little too much though making it seem too one dimensional.

The taste also shows a lot of the woody oak to it, especially in the finish. A little more sweeter caramel and chocolate to it along with some hoppy, herbal bitterness. Again, the woody oak just seems to dominate it a little too much.

The mouthfeel feels a little thin for the style with moderate carbonation. Overall, it was a decent but not great beer. It felt one dimensional with the oak being the dominant flavor. The oak just didn't compliment it all that well.

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 750mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

A: God damn dark. Rich brown to black hue gives this the appearance of an RIS, not a Porter. A .5 finger creamy head leads to a good collar and solid lacing.

S: Herbaceous. Freshly shoveled earth. Wood chips. A touch of hops circle my nose too, yet it's all a bit one note and not all that appealing.

T: Way too much wood. There's not enough balance or complexity, as the French oak bludgeons the base beer. Jose's typical hop bill is sorta-kinda there, but muted in a really negative way by the tannic and off-putting wood. They don't marry well in the slightest. Even when I'm finished with each sip, I can't get the char out of my mouth.

M: Plenty thick and rich. CCB has a history of top shelf body, and this is no exception.

O: I can't recommend this beer. It's unbalanced in a way that comes off as lazy and uninspired. Maybe a rum barrel or some type of agave nectar infusion would be cool. But as it is, this is most certainly not very good.

A (somewhat) rare miss for CCB.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of blazer06. Into a Deschutes Snifter.

A: Pours a deep brown with 2 inches of tan colored head that doesn't want to go away. Incredibly dense head. Nice rings of lacing that are left behind as the head slowly recedes.

S: Interesting mix of wood, slightly burnt malts and caramel. Some decent notes of coffee and chocolate. Fresh cut wood really dominates the nose.

T: A lot like the base beer, with a huge charred oak presence. Still fairly hoppy with some citrus thrown in the mix. Decent amount of hop resins in here as well. Chocolatey and slightly roasty. All of this lies under a MASSIVE amount of wood. Oak flavors linger on the tongue forever after the swallow. If the oak was knocked back by about 40% it would be so much better.

M: Nice here, medium body with lower carbonation finish is mostly dry which is probably a result of the oak.

O: Just too oaky for my tastes. I like the oak to impart subtle woody characteristics, this just over does it, even more so than the Odell Woodcut beers. Glad I got to try it though!

Photo of stxSS07
2.16/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed from notes. Split with lookitsmp.

A- Pours a dark brown with a tight finger of head that leaves nice lacing, but recedes to a cap fairly quickly.

S- Huge notes of oak followed by some coffee, sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, and some booze. Extremely wood-forward beer.

T- Huge oak/wood again followed by some roasted notes, but mostly trumped by a plastic taste that permeates the entire beer. If you've ever smelled burning Styrofoam or plastic cups...it tastes like that.

M- Thin and highly carbonated.

O- Strangest porter I've had. Strongest woody/off flavors I've encountered in a brew. Really disappointing since I love Jose Marti so much.

Photo of illidurit
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours dark brown with a fluffy khaki head. Fresh-cut wood/sawdust aroma, vague lime fruitiness, and dark chocolate. Biter chocolate flavor, well-married to a very prominent woodiness (cigar box/fireplace notes). Too much wood but not bad.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Andrew for the hookup on this one. Split with Dave and Casey...

Poured from a bomber into a RR snifter...

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head. Head retention is decent and there is a good amount of sticky lacing to be had...

S - Wow, this one is definitely oak foward. Strong oak notes with a little vanilla in the background...

T - Like the nose, oak dominates here. Vanilla and a little chocolate also make an appearance, but oak comes through very strong, and is a little overwhelming. Not a bad tasting beer per se, but kind of one dimensional...

M - Mdium bodied with a moderate amount of carboantion, and an incredibly dry finish...

O - Way to much oak to be had here. Overpowers the base beer, and makes for a one dimensional oak bomb. First CC beer that has let me down...

Cheers...

Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chefmonty for sharing. Poured into an Overlord approved Cigar City snifter.

Pours pitch black with faint mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Huge toasted oak aroma with a dominating charred wood presence with some roasted dark malts underneath. As the beer warms the maltnotes become more evident.

Medium bodied with a bery prominent dry oak presence that dominates the flavor, lingering into a bone dry finish. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts to all of the oak flavor, there is a nice roasts malt haracter hidden underneath. Hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, toast and oatmeal. ABV is well masked but this could be tough to drink for those who aren't into virgin oak beers.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a goblet

A: Pours a dark brown with a finger of tan head. Head retention is quite good.

S: Fairly significant floral hop aroma with some roast aroma. Tons of oak - almost like I'm sniffing a log.

T: Very similar to smell. I feel like I'm drinking a piece of wood. It's interesting and certainly not terrible, but it's not one of the better porters I've had. I've never had a beer with this much wood flavor in it.

M: A bit thin, but carbonation is good.

O: I'm a bit disappointed. This is the first time I've been disappointed by CCB. Not worth seeking out.

Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of aasher
1.43/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is courtesy of Sean, thanks man! I love trying CC that is new to me.

This one pours a solid dark chocolaty brown in color and medium in body. The aromas are of strange woods, bark, dry wood, an Amish furniture showroom, and forest brush. Dear god its woody. The flavor is worse. You get an unbearable amount of dried wood with a boatload of fresh rubber. It's bonafide undrinkable. Awful stuff. This wood is far too strong to use with this base beer. I'd stay away. This is almost as bad as the Humidor Series Jai Alai. Cedar and Virgin Oak just are not suitable for barrel aging.

Photo of phichifiji00
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into something at Jackie O's on 8/27/11

Irresponsible Tick #6

Thanks Chris

Dark brown, but that's it. One finger head. Thin retention, but really good lace. Aroma - tangy, roasted coffee with overtones of lively oak; brighter than I'm accustomed to. Nice earthy hops. Ripe dark fruits. Earthy oak with a lot of dry spiciness. Roasted tones and a modest bitterness. Medium-full body. Puffy carbonation; not bad. Tangy roast and oak finish. Commanding beer.

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José Martí India Porter - French Oak from Cigar City Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.