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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
4.21/5
Exceptional
2,208 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

Added by tpd975 on 06-13-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,015
Reviews:
485
Ratings:
2,208
pDev:
10.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
344
Gots:
359
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,208 |  Reviews: 485
Photo of Knapp85
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a murky orange color with a nice white foam on top. The retention is pretty solid here along with some sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is sweet with malt and fresh oak, the hops have mellowed out a lot, there is some faint citrus notes in there along with the malts. The oak comes through pretty strong in the flavor, the malts and oak balance out the hops quite a bit making this IPA much less pungent on the taste buds. There is still a good amount of bitterness to it still which is nice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Overall it's a very nice beer, I think the addition of oak to this beer makes this more like an English IPA but still very much America with the citrus it has still in there. Overall it's a very good beer and worth getting.

 801 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Allow the flirtation to commence. The tease that Cigar City has with wood leads us to the footsteps of the famed Jai Alai IPA as it embarks upon a spicy white oak slumber. Though the wood alters the classic flavors of IPA, their added complexity gives unique and curious taste.

Its moderate haze and bright golden-orange glow precedes the buildup of a tall column of white foam. The bright perfume of freshly shaven oak weaves into the juicy tropical and citrus hop tones. And as that juicy elixir greets the tongue, it does so with caramel, biscuit and honey sweetness.

And as the hoppy middle palate quickly snatches the balance from the fleeting caramelized malts, the bright and tangy taste of tangerine, apricot and mango lead the way in a hoppy and estery melange. Somewhat jammy to taste, the malts linger with just enough sweetness for support. But as the taste turns the corner, heading toward finish, the bitterness of herb, leaf and citrus peel builds and the oak spices begin to dry the palate with its powdery textures.

And as the medium-bodied beer closes, it does so with ample dextrin richness and biscuity resolve. Resisting the classic fade of malt and the utter dominance from hops, the finish is more evenly balanced as the oak assists the alcohol and hops with its own tannic spice and dryness. While complex and interesting, the oak character proves overwhelming and interferes with the more desirable aspects of the original Jai Alai.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
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 emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank quite a bit of this at FoBAB '12, several pours served in the festival taster glass, at least 12 oz. total. Quick review from notes.

Pours a nice deep orange color, saturated hue with a glowing haze that's visible when backlit. Sudsy foam on the surface with an initial cluster of larger bubbles resting atop a fingers width of head. Aroma is full of oak character, dry woody traces with some sweet vanilla and coconut elements that blend harmoniously with a resinous citrus oil hop character. Dry and bitter feel, with a little bit of sweetness in the middle from the pale malt and possibly the oak too. Smooth and medium bodied, hops lend a good deal of citrus peel and herbaceous bitterness in the aftertaste, though it's smoothed out a bit overall from the oak aging. Pretty drinkable considering the abv, but probably a 1-2 in a sitting type of beer. Very well done.

 879 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a finger of foam; webs a bit of lacing

Smell: Tropical fruit, citrus, pine, caramel and vanilla; the wood leaves a firm impression, as well

Taste: The bitterness unfolds as soon as the liquid hits the tongue, with the tropical fruit, pithy citrus and pine flavors adding depth; the caramel backbone also provides sweetness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the oak and vanilla add another dimension, though the finish is predominately bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a rather spritzy level of carbonation

Overall: Though I am not the biggest fan of wood-aged IPAs, this is nicely done

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of thick, off white head. A layer of head remains with some lacing.

Smell: Sweet from the malt with some citrus and mild pine notes. Definitely picking up the oak, which plays a strong part in the smell.

Taste: Bitter citrus peel hops dominate the taste up front. There is just enough malt to back the hops up. After the initial bitterness, the oak shows up. Strong notes of wood along with some pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive, fluffy carbonation and a finish that isn't as dry as you would think it would be.

Overall: This brewery knows how to use wood to treat their beers. Very nice balance of tastes. Another winner.

 751 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Boone757
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of mothman
2.46/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours a finger of white head that thins out. Leaves a bit of lace. Color is a hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Butter, oak, and cedar flavors. It has some sharp fruits and and some floral hops.

Taste: Again, this beer is very buttery which distracts from anything that may be good here. It has a floral hop profile with a tropical fruit citrus blend and it is all topped off with oak and cedar. Reminds me of their humidor series beers.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but really creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this beer could have been good if it wasn't so buttery. I did like the flavors, but I couldn't get passed the butter. Not really for me.

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2012 bottle served in a pint glass.
The aroma is dominated by fruity hops, with notes of tangerine and orange, as well as oak. The oak becomes even more prominent in the flavor. Too much oak IMO. At least the oak aging has the benefit of creating a very smooth feel in this medium-bodied IPA. Moderately bitter but has an overly earthy/woody aftertaste.

O: quite woody IPA. I much prefer the regular Jai Alai.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium to dark golden honey in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate amber colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that reduces to a handful of small patches of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet caramel malts and moderate to strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/grapefruit zest, tropical/passionfruit, and tropical/mango hops. Hints of vanilla and a slight hint of woodiness.

T: Upfront there is a slightly stronger than moderate flavor of caramel malts with a moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/grapefruit zest, tropical/passionfruit, and tropical/mango hops. There is a light to moderate flavor of white oak with a light flavor of vanilla. Moderate amounts of hoppy bitterness which fades away relatively quickly leaving a lingering oakiness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable with well hidden alcohol and easy to drink. The white oak aging adds a different and enjoyable twist to the flavor profile of Jai Alai.

 1,419 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndrewNations and kkipple for this one.

A pasty white fluffy head of 1 finger, fades slowly iwith a bit of lacing, over orangeish golden color with a bit of haze.

Nose has lots of oak, a fresh white oak like aroma, the oak brings some vanilla as well, some earthy hops, light pine and citrus, has a bit of a gumball aroma, tangerine and peach as well.

Taste brings citrus hops, light pine and grapefruit, plenty of oak again with the white fresh oak and light vanilla, some bitterness, spicy earthy hops start to dominate as it goes, light fruits again with tangerine and peach, long bitter citrus hop finish, light spice and oak, also a very light buttery oak, and light astringency.

Mouth is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Drink is good, the oak smooths out the astringency and heavy bitterness, but it still gets fairly bitter, nice balance.

 868 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing this beer NOT from notes. Finally have a bit of time to sit down with a new one. Direct from Florida and received today.

Bottles makes a nice hiss as I pry off the top. A bit of oak scent wafts from the bottle. Poured into my tulip.

Initial pour is quite hazy. The beer itself is a copper color that is on the lighter side. It looks like it has been infused with a bit of peach coloring. The head starts out about 1.5 fingers high and slowly fades down to half a finger. Very nice lace circles around the edge of the glass and some bigger carbonation bubbles in the middle.

Nose is a bit muted and not nearly as hoppy as I would expect given the base beer. A bit of oak makes its way through alongside some dull toffee notes and hints of cardboard. Not necessarily in an off way; more like fresh, non-soggy cardboard. Also a bit of a light nutty character. Three scents and not a single one deriving from hops. Interesting.

Initial sip reveals a good amount of fresh oak, although there isn't much tannic character present. Soft notes of caramel and toffee along with some fresh-baked bread. Slightly bitter mouthfeel. Slightly dry and tannic in the finish, as my cheeks and the roof of my mouth are somewhat dried out.

All in all, I'm definitely quite perplexed by this beer. The oak character has completely taken over the hops, and all that is left of them is a bit of bitter dryness in the finish. While the oak certainly isn't bad, it takes over what are some really great, fresh hoppy characteristics in the original formulation. While it is a decent enough beer in its own right, I believe it's a fairly signifiant step down from regular Jai Alai, as well as from some of the fruit-aged versions.

 1,721 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, copper colored body. The head settles quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - An incredible, complex aroma of coconut, vanilla, dill, and cardamom. The hops only come out in the background with notes of pineapple and resinous pine along with a subtle note of bready malt.

T - Bready malt up front with a little bit of toffee. Savory spice notes of dill and basil come out in the middle along with moderate pine hop flavors. Finishes with a hint of coconut and lots of herbal wood flavor as well as moderate pine hops and fairly strong, somewhat pithy bitterness. Lingering herbal flavors blend with the bitterness and leave a grapefruit note on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This is a great IPA that really benefits from the white oak in unique and wonderful ways. The aroma is absolutely spectacular and I find myself sticking my nose back in the glass time and again just to enjoy it. The character of the white oak is like nothing I have ever experienced in a beer before and it works with the base beer perfectly. The notes of coconut and dill mesh exquisitely with the hops and bring out a resinous pine note that is much stronger than I remember it being in straight up Jai Alai. A beer aged on an alternative wood like this had the potential to simply be a gimmicky one off, but in this case it ended up being something really different that showed me some character that I had never seen in a beer before, which is something that happens only very occasionally at this point in my beer tasting career. This has to be my favorite version of Jai Alai so far and perhaps the best Cigar City beer that I have tried.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -5%

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

First had: on tap at Cigar City, Tampa, FL

Hazy copper pour, with a small but solid cap of frothy white head that retained well and left soapy lacing on the glass. Fresh hops in the aroma, juicy citrus, woody, notes of sweet biscuity malts just barely coming through. Citrusy malts were the dominant factor in the taste, a big hit of grapefruit greeted me, lesser notes of biscuity malts, cane sugar, crisp oak and just a hint of vegetal vanilla bean. Medium body, effervescent carbonation, quite good overall.

 511 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liter flip-top growler into a tulip glass. Thanks go to Jw347 for this in a recent trade.

Pours a great looking clear copper here, with maybe just the slightest haze to it, topped with about a finger of bright-white foamy head. This retains with a tight ½ finger that throws a heavy cascade of rich and spotty foam all over the sides of the glass. Really nice rich look here. The Jai Alai jumps out immediately, being floral, spicy, and lush with tropical fruit character that it then undercut some more herbal and danker character as well. Stiff smelling grains and warmth sit underneath the hop flavors but it's the wood and vanilla notes that are most prominent here. Maybe a bit too much actually, but it doesn't seem to interfere with the other flavors in the nose much.

The taste is initially pretty sweet with lightly toasted grains and juicy citrus character but is well balanced by a hoppy bite of bitter grapefruit and lingering notes of rind and spice which give this a deep and assertive finish. The vanilla and tannins from the oak add a LOT of extra woody and earthy tanginess to the profile that then lends this some considerable dryness as well. The mouthfeel has a heavier medium bodied feel to it, with a fuller creaminess that fills up the mouth in the front but then gives way to a much slicker feel from all of those hop oils more towards the swallow. There is some warmth here in the body and it about falls into what you would expect for a 7-8% beer.

I haven't had a whole lot of wood-aged IPAs to compare this to but this one seemed a little too heavy on the oak flavors at times. I would have liked to have seen all of that vanilla and wood be a bit more integrated in with the other flavors and that combined with the alcohol heft that is present in the body are what held the drinkibility of this back some for me. I'm definitely glad that I got to try it but this liter growler was more than enough for me.

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Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 2,208 ratings
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