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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
80
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 7
Gots: 27 | 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 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
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

Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of Reagan1984
3/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of Patrick999
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Photo of rdickey
3.8/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/12/2011

Thanks to Jason and Sean for bringing this.

A: Black with a fizzy light brown head.

S: Lots of oak with lots of chocolate. Lightly smoky with a restrained char and a touch of booze. 

T: Dark chocolate with a strong oak presence. Malt has an upper moderate roasted quality. Bitterness is at a moderate level. Tons of oak. Super dry oaken chocolate finish. Did I mention there's a lot of oak?

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. 

Overall: More oak than is desirable. A few ounces is more than sufficient.

Photo of LethalChickens
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large Snifter. Light white/tan head with a nice oak aroma. First sip... A hole lot of OAK. It reminds me of the oak flavor from the White Oak Jai Alai. After getting half way through my pour I realized that the oak flavor was getting to be a bit much for me. Its def a solid beer but I don't think oak aged porters are my favorite style. Perhaps some bourbon soaked oak spirals would have been nice.

Photo of Hex92
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, near black without light behind it and a wonderful cap of dense khaki colored creamy head - long lasting and good lacing. Scent leads with roasted grain and bitter cocoa powder before unleashing a big plume of oak, interesting notes of fragrant spice and dark fruit on the end. Taste quickly leads with heavily roasted, lightly charred grain, bitter cocoa and very quickly moves to a very heavily tannic and drying oak... almost like sucking on a unfinished oak plank. Taste changes directions a bit and brings it back to where light coffee notes, dark stone fruit, some earthiness and interesting spice profile (from the hops or additions?) can be found. Lighter side of medium bodied, very dry. The amount of oak involved on this screamed for a bigger flavor profile and heftier body... maybe the oak was best saved for a stout. Has some decent qualities and is interesting like everything else Cigar City does, but not a favorite.

Photo of ottovon
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of wscaffe
3.8/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of palma
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown body with a solid inch of tan-hued foam.

Smell: Well-roasted malts with a scent of bittersweet chocolate and an underlying chalky quality before the pronounced oak character hits you with its striking woodiness and accents of oregano and summer savory.

Taste: The roastiness and chocolate are carrying over from the aroma with a fast blip of curt sweetness, and, as expected from the nose, it's strongly oaky with a ripplingly blitz of accompanying tannins. Again, there're those peppery, savory aspects. Some small touches of char and smoke signal smoke are felt. Vague hint of vanilla. A belt of cold coffee, with more of the tannic oakiness on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel, friends, is smooth.

Overall: José M is abundantly oak-induced without, thankfully, turning into a truly ganky mess, making for an overall interesting brew.

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

After several months of relative nothing, finally a potentially good beer comes along in the Rare Beer of the Month Club. It pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises pine, roasted malts, oak, chocolate syrup, and light coffee. The taste holds notes of oak, pine, roasted malts, and bitter dark chocolate. The oak is quite present, presenting a nice foil for the more traditional porter qualities. It's a bit hard to get used to, though. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice porter, one that took to the oak-aging rather nicely, if not quite perfectly.

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.64/5  rDev -53.4%
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.)

Photo of mwilbur
4.36/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev +22.7%
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!

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