Jai Alai IPA - White Oak
Cigar City Brewing

Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak
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IPA - American
Ranked #73
Ranked #1,519
4.22 | pDev: 9.95%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak
Notes: A truly unique India Pale Ale, this iteration of our Jai Alai IPA boasts the addition of white oak spirals to impart sleek notes of vanilla, coconut and a touch of dill to Jai Alai's bold citrus and caramel character. The oak also serves to temper the bitterness in the 70 IBU base beer while oak tannins elegantly dry the beer’s body to create a unique drinking experience that still remains true to Jai Alai’s unique qualities.
Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 2,458 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Dfeinman1
Dfeinman1 from Florida

4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A great take on one of the best IPAs out there. Perfect carbonation and mouthfeel bring out the white oak and hops. Like the new can design as well.

Mar 03, 2021
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LCBO purchase for $13.95 CDN per 4 pack. 355 ml can served fairly cold into a pint glass. Canning date of 05/06/2020, so hoping this holds up ok.

Appearance - A gusher of a can is cracked and emptied halfway into the pint glass. Light hazy dark golden brew with copper highlights. Multiple fingers of loose white head with incredible staying power and curtains of lacing.

Smell - Spicy notes with hints of oak (made me think scotch for a sec) and lots of citrus. Hops faded somewhat. Vanilla and coconut are present as advertised.

Taste - Spicy again with some citrus, grapefruit most prominent and some orange in there. Woody notes certainly present and hints of caramel. An intense ride. A little more harsh and boozy on the palate; you definitely know this is a stronger than average brew.

Mouthfeel - Soft body with lower than average carbonation, but easy to drink despite the apparent booziness and spiciness. Finishes with astringent little bubbles on the tongue.

Overall - I know this is past it's prime, but even still a truly remarkable beer with gobs of flavor, tons of intensity and yet is easy to drink even with a 7.5% ABV. I enjoyed Jai Alai the first time I had it and wish I had a source that would deliver it fresh more often, but the White Oak variant is pretty awesome stuff. For Any BA's up in this neck of the woods, I highly suggest you give it a try. For those closer to it's origin, color me jealous that I don't have access to this awesome brew.

Oct 02, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not the biggest fan of the regulare version of jai alai, perhaps the white oak will be better received.

No difference in the appearance, its amber with a 3/5" barely off white head. I always thought there was a light woodiness to regulare Jai Alai, and it was here, but different. Previously it was cedar like, here I guess that is 'white' oak.

Taste still seems to impart the same caramel and woodiness of the regular. Where it is weird, is that the only one with actual wood, tastes less woody. I think I slightly prefer this version because of the more dry mouth feel, this one seems to meld with the caramel malt thickness and lessen those less desireable traits. I've never really thought the hops in here popped much in any non generic direction beyond just bitterness and its no different this time around.

Sep 23, 2020
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355 mL can from a 4-pack purchased at the LCBO; dated May 18 2020 and served barely chilled.

Pours orange-amber and a little foggy, which may be related to the countless teeny-tiny bits of stuff hovering throughout the liquid. Situated atop is one finger of frothy, off-white coloured head that recedes within a few minutes; a few strands of lace are flung about in the process, which also leaves behind a foamy collar, as well as some filmy wisps. The aroma includes notes of orange, grapefruit and pineapple, with hints of mango, pine sap, cedar and oak. I'm also getting bready, caramelized malts and coconut, as well as a touch of ethanol - it's downright fragrant, like a pine forest after a light rain.

This is a robust IPA that mostly fits the "old school" template, though the white oak spiral treatment does spruce it up effectively enough. Grapefruit, orange and pine resin are prominent right off the bat, supported by bready malts and caramelized sugars; lesser notes of mango, pineapple, oak and coconut are also apparent by mid-sip. There's a hint of vanilla preceding an earthy, floral, slightly pithy bitterness that lasts only briefly, dissipating into a fading aftertaste of citrus and oak that finishes off-dry. Medium-full in body, with low carbonation and a slick, smooth texture on the tongue. Good drinkability - finishing one can is easy enough, and I wouldn't mind another, but I doubt I could stick with this all night.

Final Grade: 4.26, a very respectable A-. Cigar City's White Oak Jai Alai was a feast for the senses, and a brew that I must highly recommend to any and all IPA fans - particularly those who prefer 'vintage' American IPAs over the hazy, double dry-hopped, NEIPA-type stuff that is all the rage these days. Note that I have not actually tried the original article (Jai Alai), but I would absolutely be interested in doing so, and am holding out hope that it will pop up here eventually.

Sep 11, 2020
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VolatileAgent7744 from Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful IPA. Complex in a way I can't put my finger on. Just bitter enough, and just enough ABV to satisfy. I still like the regular Jai Alai better, but this is a quality diversion. Dang Cigar City knows the craft.

Jun 23, 2020
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I like White Oak a shard better than Jai Alai. Bravo!
a) An arrogant bastard like smokey body, darker, more bronze, with a creamy lasting and lacing head.
s) As noted wood, vanilla, coconut rise as the first layers, the wood continues and is supported by citrus, pine, malt.
t) Loses the shortbread cookie sweet of the original in favor of smokey, woody, oaky power.
f) Perfect, the wood and hop resins linger quite well. Well made.
o) Sum greater than the parts and so a higher yet score here.

Jun 21, 2020
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Peach63 from New York

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with a 1 1/2 inch white head. Moderate lacing. Slight haze.

Aroma is very light pine, light citrus, floral.

Taste is light pine, light citrus, light bitterness.

Medium bodied, light carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Milder version of the regular Jai Alai. Quite good.

Jun 14, 2020
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - clear copper color with a nice lasting white head
Smell - pine citrus vanilla coconut
Taste - lots of vanilla some coconut a splash of some sort of citrus with a caramel backbone but very light, slight bitter
Feel - medium body light carb slight creamy
Overall - pretty tasty, I like the original better but it's still great

Jun 11, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Notes from 5/10/2020.
Poured from a 12oz can into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
The body is hazy amber with 3 fingers of white head. Retention is excellent and leaves lacing down the glass.
The intensity of aroma is medium-low. There are notes of ripe mango, a woody sweetness, and some pine.
The intensity of taste is slightly below medium-high. The flavor has ripe mango, a little peach, a little orange, a hint of vanilla, some oak, and a medium-high bitter finish.
The feel is thick, very juicy, somewhat creamy, has low carbonation, and a medium astringency level.
Overall, the taste has dark tropical fruit flavors, and is fairly sweet but well balanced. Objectively, it's an outstanding IPA. I'm just not crazy about it. I prefer IPAs with a more intense aroma and much more creaminess.

May 25, 2020
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donspublic from Texas

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Have had this several times in the past when in the panhandle, grabbed it this year when it came out in Houston Tx. I have shy'd away from Jai Alai, but still love this beer. Poured from can into a BA teku, good 1+ finger of light tan head, good retention and lacing. Burnt orange in the glass, not clear, not opaque, but it is a pretty beer. Pine, pineapple with a underlying dankness on the nose. Taste follows the nose, big pine, pineapple, citrus, sweet malt on the front, the wood tames this beer out in the middle, the vanilla, slight coconut thru the middle and a smooth mild bitterness on the somewhat dry finish. Some lingering citrus on the palate. Easy drinking beer for 7.5.

May 16, 2020
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Brew_42 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Darkish Amber with an off-white head and medium lacing.

Aroma is piney with hints of vanilla and coconut but only faintly.

Taste follows the nose, but the vanilla and coconut are more pronounced.

Medium carbonation and medium body

Overall a tasty IPA for the summer with a nice punch in terms of ABV

Jun 08, 2019
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Amber with some hazy and a medium white head that sticks around and leaves behind a good amount of lacing.
S - Piney, bitter hops and some malt on the nose along with hints of coconut
T - Piney bitter hops up front and throughout followed by a nice malt backbone. Hints of coconut and oak as well. Some tropical notes.
F - Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth, somewhat thick
O - A solid, balanced IPA with a little more toned down hop bitterness compared to the original, but personally I prefer the original Jai Alai to this version.

Jun 07, 2019
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Ronl12 from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into IPA glass. Dated 1/14/19.
Look is nice hazy golden orange. Smell is nice dank citrus. Taste is nice citrus front note with a little bitter hop at end, also notes of the oak sneak in especially as it warms. Fell is light. Overall, a nice twist on a very good IPA. Nice notes of oak and vanilla sneak in.

Apr 05, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Had this beer on-tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, poured into a pint glass. Had a yellowish / amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A solid aroma of hops, vanilla, citrus fruit, oak, and malt.

T: Tasted of a bit of malt (mostly in the finish), a little citrus fruit (lemons, perhaps), a good shot of the advertised oak, some hops (not overdone), and a hint of vanilla. A straightforward, well-balanced flavor. The oak (and vanilla, too), adds an interesting dimension to your standard IPA taste. Sweet, light, and tasty.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made, easy to drink IPA. Worth a try.

Mar 10, 2019
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metter98 from New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is rather hazy amber yellow in color and has some particulates floating in suspension near the bottom along with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that quickly settled down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides off the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with hints of oak.
T: The taste follows the smell and starts off with flavors of citrusy hops, but these are somewhat mellowed out in the middle with notes of oak and associated vanilla. No underlying malts are detectable. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness as well as citrusy flavors that linger into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: It thought that this beer was an interesting take on the Jai Ali IPA and the oak added a little complexity to the taste.

Serving type: can

Mar 02, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

$ 10.00 (Including tax)/4-pack of 12 oz cans ($ 0.208) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 2/9/19.
Can stamped “Canned 12/14/18” on bottom. On shelf at distributor. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.25.
Body – Dark yellow, hazy, translucent.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, medium density, good retention, slooowly diminishing to a three to five mm ring and a thick, rocky partial layer. Head retraction leaves massive torn curtain lacing.
Lacing – Excellent – Wide bands of tiny bubbles, connected by multiple narrow columns.
First pour – Yellow, clear.
Aroma – 3.5 - Initially citrus with a bit of malt and wood. Eventually only a hint of malt remains.
Flavor – 4 – Begins moderately bitter with malt and oak tannins prominent. No nose citrus detected. No alcohol (7.5% ABV) flavor. No diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.75 – Although this was sitting on the distributor’s shelf, at this time of year that shelf is usually around 40-50 degrees, depending on the outside temperature, so I really can’t blame citrus loss on the distributor. That leaves the age of the can, but seven weeks isn’t an unreasonable age for an IPA here in the wilds of the oak/maple/beech climax forest. So whatever caused the loss of citrus, as well as the absence of the advertised coconut, is a blame shared by both the distributor and the manufacturer. Still, a decent IPA when it arrived at my taste buds.

Feb 09, 2019
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ludachris from Canada (ON)

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Its pithy amber orange hue is a refreshing break from the flour/yeast/wheat/oat laden hazy IPA of today. Creamy and stern is its off white head on top. It's a touch cloudy but still looks au natural.

Bright, snappy lime and citrus skins are married with a piney, resinous stick. The white oak is equally as lively, bringing fresh cut wood and lemongrass into the mix.

My mouth is immediately coated with limey, minerally, grassy goodness; coming in bright and punchy. Sweet suggestions of coconut and vanilla make up the underlay. A lemony, piney bitterness eases into the finish. A foray of leafy, grassiness is what's left to linger

Its snappy dry finish paired with its stern but clean level of bitterness defines its texture and makes it a real treat. Its weight sits comfortably at medium with a CO2 level that's a bit understated but works well with the bigger picture.

Punchy, sharp, dry, and snappy are all descriptors that are almost the antithesis to the fruit juice cream that the new fan favorite IPA has come to resemble. I myself am a big fan of the former and this iteration of Jai Alai does well at encapsulating just that.

Feb 03, 2019
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden honey pour with a 3F head in a Spiegelau glass.

Well balanced interesting blend of flavors in the aroma: woody, fruit, vanilla , coconut.

Thick MF. I like this in an IPA.

The aroma transitions well to the taste: woody, oak, tropical fruit, vanilla coconut. The flavor balance is more pronounced. especially as the beer warms up.

Mild hoppy finish.

Great beer.

Jan 25, 2019
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soze47 from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like the Woody notes to this American ipa classic. This beer usually has a nice malt balance against bitter notes of citrus and resin. Same still applies here, but there are indeed notes of coconut and sappy dryness to really give it a nice bite to finish. Nose has some almost spruce or juniper qualities. Dangerously drinkable for a 7.5 abv. Not sure this is what I’d always want as a go to in my fridge, but fun change of pace

Jan 13, 2019
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber color with some suspended sediment. Creamy white head. Great retention, with sheets of lacing.
Smells immediately of oak--coconut, vanilla, oak tannins, and rum. Then tart and juicy pink grapefruit, blood orange, pineapple, mango, and pine needle.
Tastes of sugar sprinkled ruby red grapefruit upfront--juicy and sour. Blood orange, citrus peels, lime zest, mango, papaya. Toasted biscuit malt with hints of caramel. Bitter and piney on the finish, along with massive vanilla and coconut oak notes. Intense oak tannins, and lingering grapefruit peel and pine.
Medium mouthfeel, well carbonated, smooth, oily, dry and crisp. Sticky with residual hop oils and sugars.
A real nice super oaky hoppy treat!

Jan 10, 2019
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pretty orange pour, clear and bright, big white head, lots of lacing.

S - Strong pine and resin, a hint of lemon and orange, some earthy woodiness.

T - Bright menthol hop notes, mildly sweet malt core, and a big hit of citrus. The middle also adds a oaky aspect, and the close brings stronger bitterness, lingering but not oppressive.

M - Lively acidity, moderate weight, dry close.

O - A mighty fine IPA, quite delicious and satisfying.

Dec 23, 2018
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joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to an Ora et Labora taster.

A: Body is coppery to orange. Head is white to beige, 3mm thick. No carbonation visible.
S: Aroma is more of blood orange than any citric component, which basically means that I should've drank this beer earlier. No oak whatsoever.
T: Taste starts off with blood orange again incoming from an aged IPA, but now you can see through it to find orange, lemon zest, grassy tones and then moves on to a very on point finish that's very sharp and controlled. This is a classic IPA, a classic American IPA with a coppery body, a damn hoppy finish and a minor floral to citric beginning. YES.
M: Body is medium. Carbonation is medium. Alcohol is medium. Bitterness is mild.
O: I actually prefer the regular version but I also wish I could've had this on a fresh version.

Nov 22, 2018
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BackMarker from Maryland

4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very different, but in a good way. I had the original Jai Alai IPA on tap in Tampa (it was wonderful), so I was excited to try this variation on the theme. Found it in cans at Total Discount Liquor in Eldersburg, MD. Beautiful light orange to amber in the glass, with a nice head of foam that laced nicely. Prominent hops in the nose, but a very soft, subtle hint of vanilla and aged wood in the flavor profile. Has an underlying whiskey-like taste behind the malt that provides a rich, rounded softness to it all. Then the hops kick in again with a bit of a bitter aftertaste that renders the entire beer very drinkable. I liked it a lot. I have to go back and find some more.

Nov 12, 2018
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BeerBourbonAndBooty from Tennessee

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I give both the regular Jai Alai and the White Oak Jai Alai 5’s all the way around. Jai Alai is my absolute favorite beer ever. The White Oak version is almost a smoother version with a little less “IPA bite” but the same amount of awesome flavor. This is a seasonal / occasional beer that’s not always available but when it is, it flies fast. Same ABV but a smoother, oaky taste takes over some of the bright citrus hoppy-ness and creates an extremely smoothly balanced IPA that even my dad would enjoy.

Nov 03, 2018
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craftbeersweden from Sweden

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Released October 19, 2018 at Systembolaget in Sweden.

Finally I got hold of this beer! I've longing for it since it was released from Cigar City and I tried to get it when I was in Florida in March this year but I had no luck.

The beer bours hazy, orange with a huge, three finger high, beige, fluffy head that leraves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Hops, caramel, a hint of oak and vanilla, wood, pine, apricot and citrus.
Taste: Bitter hops, oak, orange, pine, hay, orange marmalade and spices.
Mouth: Full body. Light carbonated. Oila and bitter ending.

A great, full-bodied, beer with a great nose!
Saying that I still prefere a fresh Jai Alai instead of this. A great beer though!

Oct 27, 2018
Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 2458 ratings