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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.

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 96
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 19.66%
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 BMMillsy
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Chris S. a co-worker of mine from Tampa for picking this up for me. It was one of the advertised stars at a recent Stout/Porter tasting. While it was a little disappointing in it’s flavor and overall appeal, we were still happy to have had the opportunity to try it.

Nothing of real note to point out in it’s visual appeal. More dull in finish vs. having a sheen. Dark with a thick head that showed good retention, but didn’t leave much lace.

Aroma is the first hint of the flaw here. And by flaw I do not mean the beer was defective in any fashion, it was not. Just vs. my preference, and frankly the others in the group. Wood was the main note in the aroma. Other standard Porter notes here, but it was all about what I’ll refer to as “raw” wood. Almost saw dust like.

Flavor sadly followed the aroma. THe overwhelming note here was from the oak spirals. Tons of woody notes that were not well rounded and didn’t mix well with the roasted notes. Almost wanted to add a touch of corn syrup to my glass to add some sweetness to balance the raw notes from the wood.

Frankly was not a fan. This is the 2nd or third Cigar City selection where this was an issue for me. I suppose others like the total wood character, but I just don’t . It should add complexity and bring out new notes, but it should not be about sucking on a piece of wood.

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Photo of Dope
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Forms a dark tan head that eventually reduces down to a thick ring around the edges.

S: Woodsy. Lots of oak. A little coffee and some roasted malts.

T: Wood and lots of it. Tastes like sucking on a piece of furniture (thankfully no varnish, though). Flavor is odd, lightly sweet, not necessarily good. Some coffee and some chocolate, but my god, the strong oak flavor just overpowers everything. Tannic bitterness.

M: Fuller bodied and dry. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Sometimes subtlety and moderation can be appreciated characteristics. However, this beer does not offer either. It is quite in-your-face with the French oak, much more so than I cared for. Jose Marti is a fine beer, but the wood is just too much.

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Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
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!

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Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.64/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a sturdy brown-black and is capped with a big umber head; lace is deposited in small spots. The nose is a lot like regular Marti, though I can certainly smell the wood, too. The aroma is of heavily roasted grain, some chalky oat notes and a heavy tannin presence. The first sip is absolutely disgusting. This beer tastes like putting pennies in your mouth, or like licking a copper rail or just eating straight wood tannin. There is a vile and horrendous lingering tannic note that is less pleasant than chewing on a piece of pressure treated lumber. Maybe that is the problem here, they used pressure treated wood? I kid, but something is terrible here; this beer should not have been released, as it falls so far below the CCB standard for quality. This is the worst beer CCB has ever bottled, by a longshot. . The price point of $15 makes this unforgivable. After I suffered through half a glass, I actually had to crack one of my girlfriend's dad's Miller Lites to wash the nasty taste out of my mouth (that really says something when ML is clearly better than a CCB.)

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Photo of babaracas
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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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Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of Spider889
4.2/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a reddish brown color with a tan head. Slight roast in the nose, along with tobacco, dark chocolate, and a slight woodiness that I can only attribute to the french oak spirals. Velvety medium mouthfeel. Nice smooth start that has flavors of oak, roast, dark chocolate, all culminating with a slight oaky bitterness. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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!

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.64/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to cmrillo for this hook-up! 750mL brown glass pry-top.

Pours a deep black with thick fluffy tan head. Nose is dominated by coffee with cream and an odd woody/earthy/dry leaves note. Palate is medium-bodied and pleasantly acidic like a porter should be. Oddly dry and a little burnt tasting. Or like wet charcoal embers.

Notes: I really really enjoy the regular Jose Marti...but I think this was a poor execution. There's burnt flavors and plastic flavors.

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Photo of adam42381
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter globe.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1 finger bubbly dark tan head. Nice head retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt, vanilla and French oak.

Taste: Very dark roasted malt and a touch of whiskey up front followed by very strong woody notes and the flavor of what I would imagine black tar would taste like in the middle before ending with espresso and bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is very woody and bitter. Not really enjoyable for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. The tannins really dry out the mouth.

Drinkability: Low drinkability. I wouldn't want another glass.

Overall: Below average beer overall. I definitely prefer the original Jose Marti. It's the least drinkable CCB beer I've tried. I can't recommend this one especially since it was $20 for the bottle at CCB this weekend. I feel a little shortchanged.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of stxSS07
2.16/5  rDev -39.3%
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.

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Photo of palma
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
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...


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