Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak | Cigar City Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
406 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Jai Alai IPA - White OakJai Alai IPA - White Oak

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 406 | Ratings: 1,906
Photo of Gtreid
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at CCB on the Double Barrel MZ release.

A: Hazy, copper, orange color, pretty much just like the other Jai Alai's. A big quarter of off white head shows up and then leaves great lace.

A: Man, where do I start? Coconut, macadamin nuts, grapefruit, orange, vanilla, and yes the oak. This has got to be, hands down, the most complex nose on an Ipa I have had to date.

T: Taste is just as good as the nose. The sweet coconut, vanilla, and islandy nutty flavor is balanced so well with the base Jai Alai. The caramel malt and big citrus hops play perfectly together. And the white oak gives is a dry, woodsy finish that is just sublime.

M: Great carbonation, medium body. Just fantastic.

D and overall impression: Drinkability for an IPA that is so complex is really quite nice. Overall, this is the best IPA CCB has done to date, and maybe the best IPA I have ever had. Skal.

 901 characters

Photo of Benish
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I opened bottle cap I took a deep sniff from the bottle. I smelled subtle oak and orange juice.

Poured into snifter glass. No head present, moderate lacings. It had that dark orange or copper color. Specks of hops were dispersed throughout the beer (I'm told they do not filter the beer). I think it's cool to see the hops.

Tasted interesting, kind of funky in a way. I get some peaches and orange juice (kind of the Sunny D type). It has that detectable sweetness that doesn't follow in a traditional IPA, possibly from the type of malt. The beer is not so aggressive on the hops. It has a light-medium bodied mouthfeel.

I never had a beer with White Oak and the sweetness is kind of perplexing. While its good, I'll probably stick with plain Jai Alai IPA. It still is worth it to try.

 797 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A real pretty looking beer. Hazy copper/bronze with tons of sticky lace. The whole glass is laced with each sip.
Smells slightly woody with a backbone of sweet malt. The hops are a nice mix of grass and pine with a slight citrus note.
Taste is much like the smell on steroids. The wood dominates but not in an unpleasant or overpowering way. The whole thing plays well together. The sweetness of the malts lingers on the tongue and there is just enough wood there to make it interesting.
Feels dense and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

 554 characters

Photo of fmccormi
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off beer to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of October 16, 2012 printed in white ink, sideways near the back of the label (“16 OCT 2012”), so exactly two weeks old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a good two fingers of moderately tight head, custard-colored, above a very slightly hazy, deep amber colored-body that has deep orange hues against the light. The head leaves some widely-spaced but thick legs of lace, and the head falls to a thick collar towards the end. Good-looking beer, not perfect but very good overall.

Smell (3.5): Dill? Yeah, that’s a very noticeable dill scent, which I hadn’t picked up on before. Little bit of vanilla that blends with that at-first-odd dill note to come off somewhat coconutty. There’s some understated, pale, grainy malt character underneath, but it gets lost in the oak and hops, for the most part. Turns more toasted coconut as it warms.

Taste (4.0): This can go one of two ways: at first it can come off as a pale ale brewed with some dill that accounts for both body flavor and bitterness, or it can come off as a moderately citrusy IPA with some toasted coconut and coconut milk tones, adding a mellow, buttery but still fruity dimension to the base beer. Personally I’m not enjoying the dill end of the spectrum, so I’m trying to focus on the coconut dynamic. Fortunately, it goes more toward the coconut tones as it warms. Moving on . . .

So, the Jai Alai base is evident here: some plain, lightly sugary bread character (think of, maybe, an elephant’s ear pastry) acts as a base for some good, citrusy fruit character. The juicy, orange-pineapple kind of citrus tones that are so prominent in the base beer are muted here underneath the coconut tones (hi there, white oak), but the citrus zest bitterness comes out at the end, though somewhat tame compared to the base, too. This really mellows as it warms, the coconut (née dill) blends in better; meanwhile, no alcohol or yeast notes at all. Improves quite a bit as it warms, actually.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Even carbonation, not prickly at any point but sharpens a bit before it foams on the way down; the body is just under medium-weight, not syrupy at all and only a bit of oily character. Finishes pretty dry.

Overall (3.5): I haven’t had many wood- or barrel-aged hoppy pales before, and I appreciate this one but I admit I’m not convinced on the idea behind it*. I’m sure it has potential and I can see why a lot of people like this beer a lot, but it’s not 100% for me. My advice is this: if you think you’d be averse to dill, let it warm up first, and then it turns into a smoother, woody, coconutty dimension. Definitely not a bad beer overall, but not for everyone.

*Edit: I take that back, Burton Baton is a phenomenal beer.

 2,829 characters

Photo of maxcoinage
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to @velcrogrip for this (extra!)

Poured 12oz bottle ( no date ) into tulip - there was a huge head on this, but it could be due to the fact that it arrived on my doorstep several hours ago. Fluffy white head that took it's time to settle down. Some noticeable bubbles rising from the bottom. Color of the beer is a darker orangish brown.

Aroma has some good citrus notes, oak, vanilla, bready

Taste is amazing! The hoppines and malt flavor are balanced perfectly. Big citrus, some floral notes, toasted coconut and that finish definitely has an oak flavor where I'd normally expect it to be a bitter finish

Mouthfeel is smooth for sure, nice medium body and carb, and somewhat creamy.

Overall this is a really nice variation of an IPA. It's definitely worth seeking out, will have to try to score some again soon. It recommended spicy food on the bottle, so I broke out some spicy hummus and veggies/crackers and must say it's definitely a good pairing

 966 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, orange-gold with a two-finger head in a DFH goblet. Rich smells of wood and vanilla predominate. Really pretty.

Taste-wise, this is a special IPA. Wonderful tropical notes of pineapple and a hint of coconut; I get the sense that this is an IPA with a crush on a pina colada. An orange peel note ties the fruits to the hoppy finish. For a brief second, it also has a saison feel to it. The finish is dry and bitter, with the oak coming through and smoothing the body and mouthfeel out. The citrusy hop bitterness lingers just long enough until your next sip.

Extremely original and very tasty. Excellent and a must-try if you have the chance. I'd love to pair this up with sweet and sour rabbit...yum!

 717 characters

Photo of davey101
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bit faded but the date appears to be Aug 15, 2012. 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazy dark orange body. Loads of yeast and sediment line the bottom of the glass. A frothy and soapy two finger off white head forms and sticks around for a while. Immense lacing and retention. Looks like the topping of a cappuccino. It certainly doesn't bother me, but I've yet to see a beer have this much sediment.

S - Where to start? This beer is just so unique. Aroma starts off with intense ripe mango and peach juice. Candied peach rings, some floral hops and a touch of the dankness that I found in the standard Jai Alai. Finally on the end there is some wood and warm vanilla.

T - Less tropical than the nose. Grassy and floral hops start off. Some peaches and cream. Then a strong wood presence with some vanilla. Mouth feel is silky, creamy and well carbonated. Really great feel to it.

O - Really unique beer here. I guess the closest thing to compare this to would be Burton Baton. Huge gobs of tropical notes with a fresh white oak finish. Perma-ISO!

 1,068 characters

Photo of brew3crew
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-hazy orange with white head that sticks around for awhile.
S-almost smells like white cheddar cheese its. Must be the white oak
T-get a lot of the wood compared to the hops. Wood really over powers it.
M-medium body and very dry
O-OK at best. Oo much wood

 259 characters

Photo of afksports
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to a Florida trading partner for hooking up this IPA from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa called Jai Alai White Oak. It's their regular IPA - Jai Alai - aged in White Oak. In case you didn't put that together from the name.

The beer is citrus, sweet, and round. Lacing all over the glass, and a hazy orange to copper in color. It smells of a lovely citrus grapefruit, orange, and oakey sugar. You can almost taste the wood when you inhale. That's not a dick joke, either.

The taste follows through. Leading with a hops bite of grapefruit and pine, following with caramel malts and some toast, and finishing with a smooth thickness that is no doubt provided by the oak, this IPA is smooth drinking without question. Not as clean and crisp a finish as Cigar City's standard Jai Alai IPA, the white oak is for when you want to drink a little less, and enjoy the sweetness a little more. The mouthfeel fits right in with that, as it's a thick medium body.

Incidentally, that's all about like today's drinking expectations. I've eaten one egg and drank three beers. This one... this one counts as lunch. And what a good lunch it is.

 1,134 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Like the base beer, a hazy amber gold with an ample off-white head that leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of light caramel malt, green, citrus and earthy hops, vanilla, and caramel sugar--like the base beer.

This doesn't taste as smooth as the base beer. The oak aging has made this a bit less balanced and the hops are more harsh. There is a very distinct flavor of vanilla that is immediately noticeable and permeates the taste of the beer throughout the palate and the beer is sweeter than the base beer. There are notes of citrus and grassy hops, but they also seem somewhat harsher--especially the bitterness--and the result is the beer is not as nicely balanced as the base beer, being sweeter and harsher.

The body is medium and the carbonation is a bit fizzy, giving this a more crisp than creamy mouthfeel compared to the base beer, whose creaminess I liked better.

Overall, the wood and vanilla notes dominate what is a delicious and nicely balanced base beer. This version teaches me that I don't find vanilla to be a pleasant addition to an IPA.

 1,107 characters

Photo of scottyshades
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at BX Beer Depot's CCB Tap Takeover - looking forward to this one

Really different than Jai Alai and Cedar Jai Alai. Citrus (orange, orange marmalade) and jam flavors. Unique. Mellow and lacking bitterness. Slight herbal spice to it. Dry dry dry with an oak finish.

 273 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes, 3-25-11

A - low white head settles to a white ring over a clear amber body.

S - tomatoes and carrots, earthy citrus hops, and a touch of oak.

T - Not much oak, sweet vegetal flavors, earthy hops.

M - dry woodiness, medium body, and quite smooth.

O (D) - decent, pretty interesting

 297 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Instead of reviewing the beer by itself I'm just going to comment on the differences between this version and the regular Jai Alai.

A - Pretty much the same, might be a little hazier and the head might be a little more foamy in density.

S - First whiff reveals a nice aged oak aroma, very fragrant. The caramel background aroma is more hidden than the original and the hop smell is slightly masked as well, but remain the same scent. Just a tick lower in score because of the less aromatic hop aroma.

T - Again, big on the oak flavor and I would say it's the major player in this beer. The hop flavor is drowned down just a skosh but there is still plenty of resin and woody/earthy flavors coming through. The caramel background is also still a solid flavor holding the beer together. Just a tick higher in score because the original flavor is still there but the oak did nothing but help it.

M - Pretty much unchanged, maybe just a little less carbonation, maybe. Same score.

CCB took an already stellar beer and tweaked it just slightly to take it to the next level. The base beer remains unchanged but the oak aging doesn't take away or change the make-up of it at all. Bravo.

 1,184 characters

Photo of d5001986
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into tulip.

A: Pours cloudy amber-red with large off-white head.

S: Resinous pine, lots of honey, berries, and some alcohol.

T: I pick up the oak right away. A mostly piney hop profile, though there is some tropical fruit. Some malt sweetness to balance. Slight post bitterness. Different, but I definitely like.

M: Medium body, crisp and quite smooth.

O: A bit different than anything I've tried before, but I find it very drinkable and tasty.

 465 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark honey hue in coor, with lots of head, medium retention.

S- Oak with some citrus qualities of Jai Alai. Grapefruit, lemon other tropical fruits.

T- The oak thing throws me off. I like reg better.

M- Best part of the brew. Has a creamy texture. Medium carb

O- I would take reg any day over this

 307 characters

Photo of dtivp
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange bronze with a two finger frothy white head, good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma of oak, malt and citrus hops.

Taste followed the nose with a nice balance between the bitter oak, hops and sweet malts along with hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel was Medium body and carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Enjoyed poolside in Naples, Florida, a very nice refreshing beer on a warm day by the water.

 424 characters

Photo of aubuc1
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip pint glass.

Pours a nice orange with a thick off white head.

Smell is huge citrus with some light pine and then woody oak.

Taste is sweet, but not cloying, citrusy without bitterness. The oak cleans up the aftertaste and absorbs the bitter finish but still is dry.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is great.

Was surprised by the effect of the oak.

Great beer.

 399 characters

Photo of GregSVT
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass - bottled May 20 2011

A: Pours a golden honey color with a nice white head that fades to a ring and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is huge with the oak in the form of caramel and vanilla with the malt showing up as toffee and the hops are very subdued with hints of citrus and grapefruit. I can't stop smelling this beer...it smells very unique and amazing.

T: The taste also has a huge wood influence with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and the hops show up with notes of pine and grapefruit.

M: The feel is thicker than a regular IPA and pretty creamy.

O: The oak aging is very apparent in this beer. In fact I'd call it an oak bomb but I think it's brilliant. I really enjoy this and wish I had a few more.

 768 characters

Photo of SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Very different then regular JA but in it's own, good way. The fruitiness and bitterness is toned down and replaced with notes of oak and vanilla. the hop bitterness is completely lacking, and instead is replaced with a dryness that complements the subtle, complex flavors in the beer. delicious. i would buy as many of these as i possibly could.

 345 characters

Photo of nhindian
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 3/28/16, so a little over a week old. Thanks, Beer4B!

Appearance - Pours a dark, golden amber color that is nearly crystal clear. A good amount of carbonation can be seen within the beer feeding a rocky, 2-fingered creamy head. The head retention is long-lasting and leaves behind a silky lattice of foam behind.

Aroma - The aroma is loaded with hops but is balanced with a very nice sweetness that is part malt, part oak. The wood adds a subtle vanilla note that plays nicely with the fruity hops. Large amounts of citrus and pine in here for sure.

Taste - Whoa. While the aroma imparted some notion of the oak-aging, the taste hits you with it full-bore. In fact, it is the very first thing I taste, even before all of the hops. It is a little abrasive at first, like sucking on a toothpick, but it mellows out near the finish to a sweet vanilla flavor. The hops are super juicy as well - like fresh squeeze citrus. The combination of the hops and oak is interesting, but a winner.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with good carbonation. The finish is long-lasting and there's a heft to this beer that helps support the big flavors going on.

Closing Arguments - I think this may only be my third oak-aged IPA after Dogfish Head's Burton Baton and Voodoo's Bourmuda Triangle (featuring bourbon, rum, and tequila barrels). While this isn't the most prevalent style, it is a nice detour from the wealth of IPAs out there. This is well worth a visit.

Rating: 8.5/10

 1,492 characters

Photo of tikk
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy vanilla Batman.
Thanks to Abriggs1.

Pours a light tan with a light head, leaves some lacing as it goes.

Smell is vanilla oak, almost too much vanilla for this much oak.

Taste strong vanilla, some sweetness and oakiness, get that hop bitterness at the end, a vanilla oaky citrus overall.

Something doesn't feel right on the mouthfeel, just a little too lite for me.

Overall I love this beer, would I go for two in a session? No way. I would have more over time? Oh yeah.

Highly recommended

 500 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. pour at the brewery:

One of the more unique flavors I've gotten from a beer, and it was really delicious. I loved the standard Jai Alai, and this one was almost as good, with a slightly different flavor. Less juicy, with much more pine and resin, and the oak flavor was so distinctive. Very surprising flavor, and an incredible beer. All oak and lessened citrus, with all the excellent color, head, aroma, and crispness of standard Jai Alai.

 448 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at kickbacks in jax. Poured into a snifter. White head, moderate lacing on a hazy marmalade body. Soapy and oily lacing. Aroma is spicy, hoppy, fruity (citrus), maybe a touch smokey. Taste has a nice light sweetness, high bitterness, very smooth with no alcohol taste at all. Nice spicy character on taste along with a touch of vanilla. Awesome.

 352 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice opaque golden/copper color with a white head.

S: Pear, grape, what I imagine wine must smells like, earthy/funky Belgian yeast and just a touch of oak in the nose.

T: In a word, odd. Caramel, citrus, brettanomyces, somewhat earthy. Sweet and nectary.

M: Very smooth for an IPA and medium bodied.

O: Dear Cigar City, aging Jai Alai on white oak is trying to fix something that's not broken, and ending up breaking it. Is it good? Yes, but it's nowhere near as good as the regular jai alai. Still recommended, but between this and the regular Jai Alai, I'd always choose regular.

 597 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CoastieSimon for this extra.

Pours light orange and just a little hazy, producing two fingers of white head. This slowly fades to a nice cap.

Some hops and malt are present in the nose, but the oak is dominant here. If somebody asked me what oak aging smells like in a beer, I would point them to this.

There is a very nice balance of hops, malt, and oak flavors in this beer. It leads in just a little sweet, then shows the bitter hops. The finish is dry, bitter, and oaky.

Medium-bodied with a nice level of carbonation, this is quite drinkable.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. I find it much more interesting than standard Jai Alai, and am glad to have been able to try it.

 691 characters

Jai Alai IPA - White Oak from Cigar City Brewing
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,906 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!