Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) | Cigar City Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
925 Ratings
Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship beer in the Humidor Series is Humidor Series India Pale Ale. We start with Jai Alai IPA as a base beer and add the cedar during secondary fermentation. The cedar provides a perfect balance with the assertive hops of Jai Alai to create an entirely new experience.

70 IBU

Added by tpd975 on 05-26-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,734
Reviews:
449
Ratings:
925
pDev:
13.55%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
83
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 925 |  Reviews: 449
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to both Jw347 and Beerlando for bottles of this one.

Pours a very nice looking slightly hazy glowing orange color with light brown highlights and a monsterous fluffy pillowy billowy white cauliflower head that retains extraordinarily well and leaves fantastic lacing. Very nice looking.

Nose smells, in all literality, like a well seasoned humidor full of IPA.

Hmmm. The Cedar doesn't seem so strong at first, but then it jumps out of the closet in a clown suit and wails you in the balls with a bat made out of old cigar boxes. The IPA underneath this tastes like it would be quite good, maybe very good, but i just think the cedar aging is a bit overboard. I love the use of cedar in other CCB offerings, but in this one its just a bit too much. That being said, its very educational, and allowed me to appreciate what they've done with it in other beers, and this is still a good brew. I just need it in very small doses.

The mouthfeel is solid, not soupy, but certainly not thin. Carbonation is ideal.

Drinkability would be great, the abv is well hidden and all that, but due to the cedar face raping, it makes it a little tough.

Overall I think this is a beer everyone should try, and certainly has proven to me that cedar aging does belong in the beer world. I just think the beer its used on should be able to stand up to its prominent flavor, and IMO, this one would be better without the cedar. I would love to someday try the regular old Jai alai. An interesting, educational, and beer worth trying, but not one i would drink alot of. Still tastes great, its just too much...

 1,603 characters

Photo of sideshowe
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Pahn
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Captain Lawrence tulip--which, by the way, is a pretty nice beer glass. This was my first time using it.

Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch white head that dissipates slowly leaving an elaborate web of lacing. Pours a hazy orange brown. Good lacing.

Smell: Cedar and piny hops. Very woody. Like "Whoa, they're not kidding about the cedar," woody. Probably not hard to convince someone that the beer contains liquefied cedar. Also some herbal and peppery notes. Overbearing as the wood notes are, it smells like a nice hoppy Belgian pale ale or saison.

Taste: First sip: this tastes exactly like the smell, with some booziness at the end. So much white pepper and cedar. The hops are mainly expressed as pine flavors, which augments the dominant pepper and cedar. There's a nice sweetness near the end that really ties the whole thing together. Beautiful grassy aftertaste.

I could definitely buy a criticism along the lines of "this beer is (way the hell) too woody," but that's not my criticism; I think the beer is balanced enough to pull it off. My main criticism is just that there's a bit too much booze in the flavor, especially for a 7.5% ABV beer (tastes like 10% at least to me).

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium bodied. Ample carbonation. Very mild dryness at the end.

Drinkability: While I immediately recognized that this was a well put together beer, I had doubts about being able to enjoy the whole bottle. However, it got very pleasant after just a short time. I'd almost call the beer "educational", as it shows nicely how the similarities between IPAs and saisons can be played up, and how such a strong smell as cedar can work in such a seemingly unlikely place as an IPA.

"Learning something" while drinking the beer was enjoyable, and the overall balance of the beer came more clearly into focus as I got further into the bottle, leaving me with the impressions that, no, it was not hard to enjoy the whole thing at all, and yes, I would drink it again.

---

I would say that most of these scores could easily be 4 or 4.5 (none really approaching 5), with only drinkability being a realistic < 4 score. An impressive first beer to try from Cigar City. I'll definitely seek out more offerings by them.

 2,261 characters

Photo of ortie
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of johntfox
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of SFLpunk
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dimenhetfield for this one! 750mL brown glass champagne bottle capped. No freshness date. Bottle is different than picture with a large "H" right in the center of it.

Pours a beautiful amber orange with thick cascading tan head. Hazy but vibrant. Nose reminds me of a British bottle conditioned IPA with some plastic-y hops. Lots of preserved oranges/marmalade, honey and a floral quality like lavender. Big and citrusy.

Palate is bright and fleshy with orange pulp flavor and then the cedar creeps out and flashes before letting the hops take over again. Pine resin and herbs round things out. Bitter, but round and dense.

Spicy peppery cedar plays a supporting role and is not ever aggressive. This is the best wood-aged IPA I've had yet and it all owes to the fact that the cedar is adding flavor without taking over. Cedar can be tricky and these guys nailed it. Well done.

 891 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of meatyard
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy, hazed, barely translucent, burnt orange with a 1", off-white head that has decent retention and moderate lace.
The smell is a strong dose of sweet, citrus hops followed by the cedar. It has a nice, mild floral aroma that seems to just float around and change a bit while drinking it.
Boy, the taste is different. The citrus hops starts again and seems to soften into the cedar flavor that dampens any bitterness that might have been there. Like the smell, it almost feels like you are drinking a flower at times.
Mouthfeel is light, leaning toward medium with just enough carbonation. It feels very smooth too.
Drinkability: Well, I think it's pretty good, goes down easy (if you like this one) and even though it's 7.5% you don't notice the alcohol at all. CC has made a rather unique IPA with this beer and it's interesting without being so just to be interesting. The cedar seems to do very different things than you would expect and mostly in a good way.

 978 characters

Photo of carolinabeerguy
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium caramel brown with a 2-3 finger frothy off-white head. Excellent head retention. Excellent lacing throughout.

Smell: Sweet floral hops, caramel, warm spices and cedar.

Taste: Sweet citrus up front followed by black pepper and cedar in the middle and ending with grapefruit bitterness. The aftertaste is a mix of cedar and bitter grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. Goes down quite smooth.

Overall: Great variation of Jai Alai. I'm not sure that I would want to drink the cedar aged version all the time but I'm glad I bought it. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

 728 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a recent trade with my favorite trading buddy, fogdog. Thanks a ton Kevin! Can't wait to get my hands on some more Cigar City stuff!

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Very hazy caramel-colored body with a small white cap. Head looked a little fizzy at first, but quickly settled to a tight, sticky, halo. Great web-like lacing. Looks elegant.

Smell: Rich cedar, flowery hops, and pine. I also get some caramel and toffee-like undertones. Pretty mild on the whole, with cedar being the most prominent aroma.

Taste: Cedar and caramel are the most obvious flavors up front. Surprisingly, I'm tasting a lot of pilsner malt - not sure if they actually use that in the recipe though. Maybe that's the cedar barrels causing that flavor. The finish is very dry and piney with some solid bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light on the palate. Prickly, somewhat gritty, feel from the carbonation. Feels pilsner-y to an extent. As noted above, finishes dry and bitter.

Drinkability: This was my second time tasting this beer, and both times I haven't been too impressed. I like the idea, and I like the cedar, but this one just doesn't do it for me. Worth a try still.

 1,172 characters

Photo of BeastLU
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

couldnt wait long to pop this one, got it in the mail yesterday via BA'er infestaxion - thanks bud!

served in a 12oz tulip-type glass...

A - pours with a bit over an inch of tight, creamy and fluffy light tan foam. receding very slowly, forming a big billowing mountain with sticky lacing around the glass. the beer is very hazy, dull gold in color.

S - big bright, citrusy and lightly grassy hops matched toe for toe with an abundant cedar sweetness. other notes of melon, strong caramel malts, and fresh splintery wood.

T - immediately, a fairly strong blast of orange zest, pineapple, pine, and wet grassy hops assault the tongue while bitterness bites the back of the mouth. supplanted through the base by toasty caramel malts and a big fresh, cedary sweetness. very lively wood flavors linger through the aftertaste and for once, actually works well with the hop profile. bits of black pepper, onion, and grapefruit appear sporadically.

M - body is a bit light, and thin...struggles to hold up against the robust flavors. very sticky, incredibly dry finish from the combination sweet + hoppy combination. carbonation is tight and effervescent, working fairly well.

D - a very decent beer, though not enough to convince me that an IPA should spend any amount of time near wood. leave the hops alone, dammit. still pretty yummy and decently balanced. nice and pleasant sipper on a chilly, rainy Thanksgiving night.

Hey, review #500. Thanks for everything BA!

 1,469 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, with a half-glass full of off white head over a hazy amber body. Head fades to a thick, foamy film. Tons of lacing.

Aromas of resiny pine, plenty of cedar, and plenty of sweet caramel maltiness. You can just smell that they put some serious work into this one.

Flavor is terrific - aromas all carry over, with a good smoky quality layered on top. Hop forward and really close to DIPA world.

Pretty darn creamy up front on the palate, with a sharp bite in the finish.

I housed this puppy with a quickness... you've been warned.

 544 characters

Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of joepais
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gtreid for sending this one my way. I split the bottle two ways into strait pints. There was a generous two finger white fluffy head that lasted quite some time and the lace followed the beer wonderfully down the glass. The body of the brew was hazy darker orange in color.

I was quite impressed at what the cedar ageing has accomplished with this brew I had the most intense pepper aromas I have ever experienced in an IPA. The citrus and fresh grass aromas' I typically expect were there too. The flavors were Intense as well that pepper being right up front with a nice bitter and a slight malt sweetness to balance this brew out. It had a medium body with nice dry finish and great carbonation.

I really enjoyed this brew and hated to see the glass go. I would easily buy or trade for this brew again. Great job Cigar City

 839 characters

Photo of sendsilk
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of sgoro
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of Jeffrey2310
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of WVUbrew
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of laxer8811
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of standardcherry
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CCB tap takeover at OTC.

A: Nice looking amber color. Small white head with excellent lacing and retention.
S: The first thing I got was fruits. Grapefruit, orange, peaches, pineapple and mango. It was backed up by a sweet cedar smell. This smells amazing.
T: Taste is malty sweetness with some fruity hoppy bitterness. A bit piney that I imagine comes from the cedar ageing.
M: Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. A bit sticky but overall very drinkable.
O: This was easily my favorite beer of the night. It's very mellow compared to other huge IPAs, just extremely well balanced and drinkable.

 614 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a four-fingers thick and dense creamy tan head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and great lacing throughout. the body was a bright orange-amber color.
s - grassy, herbal, floral with a hint of citrus peel.
t - spicy, smokey, piney with some sweet fruits.
m - medium and thickness which starts out bubbly but really smooths out.
o - awesome is the only way to describe this. cigar city is doin' work.

 417 characters

Photo of dsauter
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of fmccormi
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a teku; bottling date of November 7, 2013 printed in some sort of dark-ish ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“Bottled on 11/07/13”), making this bottle a week old on the date of consumption. Yep, one week. Huzzah for freshness.

Appearance (4.25): Sure is an attractive beer: a good two fingers milk-white foam rises off of the pour, capping a rich orange-amber body with a moderate chill haze. The head shows decent retention, dying down relatively slowly and leaving a thick collar and thin film at the surface. A few nice splotches and thick legs here and there.

Smell (3.25): This is quiiite a unique aroma—honestly not sure what to make of it at first. Must be the cedar? There’s an herbal-spicy scent that’s almost sulfurous, but a little woody and spicy like mustard, almost (though that side of it is lighter). Some fruity, slightly resinous hops underneath it, but the aroma really is dominated by what must be the cedar. To be fair, the fruity hops come in to balance out the cedar a bit more as it warms.

Taste (3.5): Following the aroma at first, with that funky, at turns sulfurous cedar, but the hops character is much clearer and more prominent here: that weird, woody-botanical tang accompanied by a bit of spiciness, sitting next to a juicy citrus component with sweet red grapefruit, some of the melony richness of papaya, and then a moderately sharp red grapefruit bitterness in the close, as the beer finishes crisp and dry. Some of the slightly spicy, woody-botanical cedar character (which I recognize now is unmistakeable) permeates every aspect of the flavor, from start to finish. Is there malt in here? Yeah, I suppose so. A little rich peasant bread and toasted wheat bread underneath the hops and melding with the cedar. Certainly is unique.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Smooth bodied, a slightly oily just-under-medium-weight, with a moderately velvety carbonation that foams easily but subtly, dies out before too long, and washes down cleanly with a dry, but not parching or astringent, finish. No booze at all.

Overall (3.5): So, the base beer here is killer—Jai Alai is always on point and an absolute joy to drink. The cedar aging adds a very unique dimension to it, though, which is impossible to ignore because it is front and center. It also mutes/covers up some of the hoppiness that makes Jai Alai so damn good, too, but not entirely. So, basically, in the end what you have here is a very solid IPA with an extremely unique treatment that has the potential to be very polarizing. I’m on the fence about how I feel about it, in the end, but I’m glad I’ve tried it. In the future, though, I’ll probably just stick to Jai Alai.

 2,727 characters

Photo of ScottJWing
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Jai Alai IPA - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 925 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.