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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak | Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak
BA SCORE
4.2/5
Exceptional
2,406 Ratings
Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak
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:
This is an American White Oak-aged version of Jai Alai India Pale Ale. The white oak adds smoothing notes of vanilla and slight hints of dill to the aroma and flavor profile. The finish is elegantly dry due to the light tannin notes from oak aging and though still loaded with hop flavor, hop bitterness is more restrained.

70 IBU

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,276
Reviews:
537
Ratings:
2,406
pDev:
10%
 
 
Wants:
343
Gots:
410
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,406 |  Reviews: 537
Reviews by Twoheartedzombie:
Photo of Twoheartedzombie
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of B-Town
2.64/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I honestly don't understand why breweries feel that barrel aging an IPA is a good idea. Apparently, a lot of of people like it, especially in the case of Jai Alai. To me, the barrel aging on this beer is simply a masking agent whose sole purpose is to hide the bitter, skunky taste of a base beer that has gone bad while sitting in a barrel. In a way, it's somewhat successful, in that it makes an expired beer palatable, by adding different dimensions - a little bit of vanilla and kind of an earthy, mellow tone. At the same time, the aftertaste and baseline skunkiness remind me of that 10 month old IPA bottle that you find in the fridge every once in a while, that you open, take a drink of, then pour it down the drain. I like CCB beers, but I just don't get this one.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just picked this up at brewery only a few day old. have been wanting to try this for years but could never get my hands on it. Wow as this good. Like the can says, "hop bitterness is more restrained". This is do to the aging in white oak and it works. Standard Jai Alai is a great DIPA, but being aged has mellowed out much of the strong syrupy taste and made it almost perfect. This also gets better as it warms up. One of the best DIPAs I've had yet. 4.75

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Photo of CollinaTiger
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Citrus and hoppy goodness...the oak barrel aging really smoothes it out and seems to add some smoky vanilla overtones. Excellent and not easy to find.

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Photo of IronLover
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lightly weathered copper orange in color with a heavy haze. Poured with a short, soapy, white foam with moderate retention. Medium, mellow over-ripe citrus orange and earthy, resinous hop aromas with notes of vanilla. Medium light malt aromas. Medium bodied with medium light carbonation and a light creamy feel. Pleasant, light warmth from the middle to the end. Flavors are similar to aromas. Over-ripe citrus orange and earthy, resinous hop flavors up front with smooth, mellow vanilla notes. Medium high, biting hop bitterness in the middle. Citrus orange and vanilla flavors from the middle to the end. Finished dryly with mellow vanilla flavor followed by light lingering bitterness. Well balanced, hop centric and easy drinking. Oak aging gives this already great beer a mellow smoothness that's amazing.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A delicious brew, very complex, blending flavors from a wide variety of sources. Big fruity hop and yeast ester notes, a rich biscuity malt backbone, drying tannic wood character as well as a nice round vanilla note. While to the average passer by this beer may not seem like anything revolutionary, to a fellow beer nerd and brewer, this beer is a game changer and is unique and delicious in a world of copycats and posers. I don't think I have had a beer that has impressed me more than this one.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Normally I'm skeptical of barrel aged IPAs, but Cigar City's high talent had me curious to see if they could pull this off. Purchased at a beer store on Long Island today.

CAN: Aluminum. Silver, with green and orange on the label. Canned 10/21/16 (making this a week old; not sure I could get it any fresher).

7.50% ABV. India pale ale aged on white oak.

HEAD: Fluffy and soft, coming in at 6-7cm in height. Off-white colour. 5-7 minute retention. No lacing as it recedes. Appears coating and robust.

BODY: Clear copper of average vibrance (neither vibrant nor dull). Clean, with no visible yeast or sediment.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a pretty average look for an IPA, if I'm being honest. I'm optimistic.

AROMA: Tropical fruit mixes with bright floral tones and some evergreen/faint pine. Pale malt sweetness is present in just the right amount to keep it balanced, judging by the aroma. Tangerine, mango, citrus. Caramalt sneaks its way in but doesn't contribute too much sweetness.

Barrelwise, there isn't much as far as I can tell. Certainly nothing I'd pick up on in a blind tasting. Vanilla? I guess, faintly from barrel sugars (vanillin). Dill? Nah, that's too far a stretch. I don't get any vivid expressive white oak aside from maybe a reticent hint when I really search for it, but then I don't really want oak in an IPA anyway.

Aroma suggests a balanced flavourful IPA. I'm excited for the first sip.

Aromatic intensity is above average, though in terms of the style this isn't as "dank" as many (if you can stomach my use of the term).

TASTE: Hm. Caramalt is more pungent than I thought, and I do get some barrel sugar-derived vanilla in the third act (I guess because I'm looking; I doubt I'd find it in a blind tasting). Floral and piney hops join with tropical hops to good effect; luckily the tropical fruit is tangerine and citrus instead of the boozy pineapple I deplore in IPAs. Balanced yet hoppy, with plenty of flavour though depth of flavour could be improved (as with most beers).

Oak? Sorry, no. Maybe I'm just not used to looking for it in hoppy beers, but while I'll concede there's vanilla (vanillin), I find no rich white toasted oak in this. It does have impressive cohesion; maybe the oak is lending intangible unity to the build?

Flavour duration is ideal for an IPA. Flavour intensity is also right on the money for the style.

Adequate complexity. There's almost always room for more intricacy. It's a nice hop profile, but it doesn't really stand out as unique or special in the oversaturated IPA segment.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, coating, well-carbonated, somewhat refreshing. Apt heft and thickness on the palate. Slightly oily.

Not syrupy, gushed, hot, boozy, scratchy, harsh, astringent, or rough.

Complements the taste nicely. There's a natural harmony of flaovur here. I know the label tries to have us believe the finish will be "elegantly dry" but with all due respect to Cigar City I have to disagree. But I wouldn't want a dry finish anyway...

OVERALL: True to form, Cigar City's ostensibly oak-aged IPA is a solid brew within its style, though it arrives at its quality without committing to the gimmick it's marketed under...there isn't much barrel character here, and I have to wonder just how long they actually "age" it before shipping it out since it does still taste fresh. Does 2 weeks constitute "aged"? I guess it does for marketing.

But who cares? It's a tasty IPA that I'd happily buy again if not for the high price. I'd have to have it side by side with plain ole Jai Alai to really pick out the little nuances, but any beer that warrants a side by side with Jai Alai is a beer worth recommending in my book. More good work from a fine brewery.

High B- (3.50) / WORTHY

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rich golden color and a few fingers of ivory foam. Aromas of herbal citrus and oaky tannins. Sweet tropical and citrusy fruits, like banana, mango, papaya, and orange, are blended, muted, and rounded-off with oaky tannins and suggestions of musky vanilla and coconut. Creamy smooth and softly carbonated. Impossible to just drink one.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

White oak Aged Jai Alai pours a slightly cloudy tangerine amber with a smallish white head falling rather quickly and leaving a slippery film with light froth as lacing.

The aroma is one of the more distinctive beer scents I've run across. Strong citrus hop scents are nearly muted by a heavy woody and herbal scent from the white oak. If I hadn't read the description first I would have had a time running down the fresh herb scent and damned if it isn't fresh chopped dill along with a background of vanilla and freshly baked bread. Pretty amazing aroma actually.

Wow, this is Jai Alai Plus, fresh juicy citrussy hops as expected from Jai Alai and the Plus is the flavor added by the aging on white oak, an astringent woody flavor with the prevalent note of vanilla and a hint of tobacco. The fresh bready malts back up the hops and woody tones while the astringency lends an extra touch of dryness on the decidedly bitter finish. The white oak noted are among the strongest I've run across before and could easily be overpowering but I think a tight-rope act of balancing was achieved here by the brewers at Cigar City.

The mouthfeel is smooth and firm but manages to stay on the lighter side of medium in heaviness. Carbonation is moderate and lightly biting on the tongue.

A very pleasant and enjoyable take on Jai Alai that I enjoyed.

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Photo of Roguer
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big, strong flat white head (3 fingers) with great retention and leaving behind tons of webby lacing. Brew is crystal clear amber-orange.

Nose is barely distinguishable from classic Jai Alai. Big waves of citrus and pine, balanced against both pale and caramel malt grains. Floral, juicy, resinous. However, there is a slightly sour and vanilla oak note that provides additional depth.

Flavor follows: the oak aging is immediately noticeable, as the already smooth Jai Alai profile is even smoother. Up front, everything is present: oak, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, caramel, pale grains, vanilla, lemon. It's an excellent blend. On the finish, the dull and woody oak edge becomes slightly more prominent.

Bitter and dry. Very bitter, in fact. Crisp and lively.

Not many IPAs are aged on virgin oak. Those that pull it off well (Burton Baton, Jai Alai) give you a classic IPA taste with additional depth and warmth. This is very much worth the asking price.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.59/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at a FL bar.

A very pale, somewhat hazy, light gold to yellow with a white head. Looks nothing like the regular version for reference.

Aroma is pretty weak other than the wood aspect. Faint citrus fruits.

The oak flavor is very good and dominant. It is also sweet, but not in the same way as Jai Alai. More of a rich, vanilla like sweetness. The rest doesnt leave much to talk about. Muted, flat tasting tropical fruits and hops. Virtually no noticeable bitterness or bite.

Body is a tad under carbonated, but pretty normal for any barrel aged beer.

I was pretty disappointed in this one. It should be noted that I am not a fan of cask versions of beers, and this is exactly that. While the oak profile really shines, they lost everything else that Jai Alai offers. I am shocked at the love this gets. Far from being a bad beer, but I will stick to the original myself.

 890 characters

Photo of awdturboiv
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Gunch43
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of gbohl
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of FriedSlug
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pretty good version of Jai Alai. All of the fruity and bitter tastes of the base beer come out in this one but there is the added aroma and taste from the oak. The oak seems to add some astringent qualities to the taste which makes the beer seem a little less sweet and a little more bitter than the original. There is also an added lingering bitterness.

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Photo of Lionhawk
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of chossboss
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CSO
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Yancey82
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ladle69
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is orange in color with a dense and creamy white head.

S: Smells quite sugary and oak forward. I get a lot of brown sugar, vanilla, and fruit notes. Seems to be some peach and orange aroma in there. Maybe a bit of oxidation as well.

T: The amount of oak flavor in this beer is surprising. A lot of tannins and vanilla to go with the sugary notes I get. Brown sugar, caramel, and oranges, maybe some of the peaches, too. A pretty mild level of citric hops.

M: The body and the carbonation are both medium.

D: This was interesting. I didn't dislike it as a beer (thought it was pretty decent), but as an IPA, it's not what I would be interested in having.

 669 characters

Photo of lurpy1
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewing from memory, and thanks to the ever-generous Three Fishes for sending this along. So many winners in that box. Unfortunately, this one tended towards the back of the pack. Can't beat the Jai Alai backbone, but I picked up on a strong tropical smell evocative of Coppertone. Can't say I know what Coppertone tastes like, but i have to think the coconut oil aftertaste White Oak delivers has to be pretty close. The beer still managed to be refreshing and suitable for summer. Perhaps paired with the right food would have provided a major a-ha moment, but as it was, it was merely OK.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of thebigbambino
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of StratManKudzu
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 2,406 ratings