José Martí India Porter - French Oak | Cigar City Brewing

BA SCORE
82
good
98 Ratings
THE BROS
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José Martí India Porter - French OakJosé Martí India Porter - French Oak
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jsanford on 03-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
98
Reviews:
54
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
19.38%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
27
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of Rhettroactive
2.99/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 750mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

A: God damn dark. Rich brown to black hue gives this the appearance of an RIS, not a Porter. A .5 finger creamy head leads to a good collar and solid lacing.

S: Herbaceous. Freshly shoveled earth. Wood chips. A touch of hops circle my nose too, yet it's all a bit one note and not all that appealing.

T: Way too much wood. There's not enough balance or complexity, as the French oak bludgeons the base beer. Jose's typical hop bill is sorta-kinda there, but muted in a really negative way by the tannic and off-putting wood. They don't marry well in the slightest. Even when I'm finished with each sip, I can't get the char out of my mouth.

M: Plenty thick and rich. CCB has a history of top shelf body, and this is no exception.

O: I can't recommend this beer. It's unbalanced in a way that comes off as lazy and uninspired. Maybe a rum barrel or some type of agave nectar infusion would be cool. But as it is, this is most certainly not very good.

A (somewhat) rare miss for CCB.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/12/2011

Thanks to Jason and Sean for bringing this.

A: Black with a fizzy light brown head.

S: Lots of oak with lots of chocolate. Lightly smoky with a restrained char and a touch of booze. 

T: Dark chocolate with a strong oak presence. Malt has an upper moderate roasted quality. Bitterness is at a moderate level. Tons of oak. Super dry oaken chocolate finish. Did I mention there's a lot of oak?

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. 

Overall: More oak than is desirable. A few ounces is more than sufficient.

 530 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chefmonty for sharing. Poured into an Overlord approved Cigar City snifter.

Pours pitch black with faint mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Huge toasted oak aroma with a dominating charred wood presence with some roasted dark malts underneath. As the beer warms the maltnotes become more evident.

Medium bodied with a bery prominent dry oak presence that dominates the flavor, lingering into a bone dry finish. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts to all of the oak flavor, there is a nice roasts malt haracter hidden underneath. Hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, toast and oatmeal. ABV is well masked but this could be tough to drink for those who aren't into virgin oak beers.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, near black without light behind it and a wonderful cap of dense khaki colored creamy head - long lasting and good lacing. Scent leads with roasted grain and bitter cocoa powder before unleashing a big plume of oak, interesting notes of fragrant spice and dark fruit on the end. Taste quickly leads with heavily roasted, lightly charred grain, bitter cocoa and very quickly moves to a very heavily tannic and drying oak... almost like sucking on a unfinished oak plank. Taste changes directions a bit and brings it back to where light coffee notes, dark stone fruit, some earthiness and interesting spice profile (from the hops or additions?) can be found. Lighter side of medium bodied, very dry. The amount of oak involved on this screamed for a bigger flavor profile and heftier body... maybe the oak was best saved for a stout. Has some decent qualities and is interesting like everything else Cigar City does, but not a favorite.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a broken record (that's really good), this is a long-distance dedication (thanks) to moose3285 (in my best Casey Kasem voice).

Poured into a pair of lovely Cigar City glasses we picked up at the brewery two winters ago. Dark brown that may as well be black, with plenty of bubbles. Smell is a dwarven warhammer of oak to the sinuses; like walking through the doors of an oak desk factory. Bits of malt & smoke peek through the raw wood.

Jose Marti Aged on Oak Spirals is more oak than beer. Wow. Oak strips the taste buds, drying them out in a single motion, leaving splinters in my tongue. After shaking off the two-by-four blow, there's chocolate underneath, good amount of bitterness (seems like hops?) married to hard roast. Tannic! Drier than an oak bonfire. Weirdly appealing, I'm drinking mine at a rather rapid rate. I've always liked wood. Living, dead, drinking it, whatever.

Certainly unique, I can't recall another beer with this much oak in it; I can see how it would be overwhelming. Ultimately, a very good beer, but the split decision is completely understandable.

 1,091 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%

Had this one, 2011 bottle, at The Porter Bar in Atlanta on 11/23/14. I was pretty excited to get to try this. Pours black just like regular Jose Marti with a fluffy khaki head on top that sits around for a good bit. Lots of oak on the nose, light plastic smells, a bit strange, some weird spiciness, something almost like pine. Flavor follows with some faint chocolate tones, and a massive spicy oak flavor that just envelopes the entire palate, and not really in a good way. Very harsh here, and this thing is 3 years old. Medium bodied, maybe even on the thinner side, with medium carbonation. This was certainly a disappointment, but nonetheless very happy I got a chance to try it. Just too much wood here.

 710 characters

Photo of Hellpop65
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Dope
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date that I can see. I got this through the Rare Beer club probably a year ago. I heard it was extremely oaky so I let it sit for a year.

A: Very dark brown pour. Enormous fluffy light brown head. Takes forever to fade away, leaving a nice island behind. Nice swath of lacing everywhere.

S: Smoke, roasted malt with some char and chocolate. Charred oak. Decent amount of anise.

T: Smoky up front with lots of meatiness too. A little char and chocolate. Intense wave of oak in the middle, like chewing a 2x4. Anise and smoked meat in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: Hmph. Hopefully the oak has faded a bit with age but it's still very woody. It's also quite smoky with lots of meat. I was really reaching to get some roasted malt, it was mainly just smoked meat, oak, then more smoked meat. If you're a fan of beers like this you will probably love it. As for me I'm not a fan of smoked beers or intensely oaky beers either (see, Great Divide anniversary series). This was a little rough for me as a result.

 1,031 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sawdust, Lowes, and cedar. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I can honestly tell you to go to the Lowe's/Home Depot lumber section and get a good smell so you can remember. Then go smell this beer. They smelled the exact same to me and I was not the only other person who thought this either. CCB definitely made sure that you knew this brew had seen some wood action in its making. Luckily it did not taste like Lowe's/Home Depot. The wood flavor was definitely present, but not overwhelming as it was in the flavor. The nice roastiness going on in this one really seemed to help carry the brew to a new level. A definite must try if you get the chance or just like the smell of lumber.

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Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours very dark brown, darker than most potters, almost stout-like, with a big thick tan head which recedes pretty quickly.

Aroma is very good and definitely favors the oak which has some spiciness and a bit of vanilla. The roasted malts and coffee that I love in the regular version are not as prominent.

The taste is even heavier on the oak with a heavy spiciness and lots of oak character. The underlying beer is very tough to detect which is a bad thing for this one. Wish the taste had more porter character.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with good carbonation, though it's definitely prickly with the barrel notes.

All in all, a good beer but definitely not as good as the base beer for me.

 720 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours dark brown with a fluffy khaki head. Fresh-cut wood/sawdust aroma, vague lime fruitiness, and dark chocolate. Biter chocolate flavor, well-married to a very prominent woodiness (cigar box/fireplace notes). Too much wood but not bad.

 312 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Chris S. a co-worker of mine from Tampa for picking this up for me. It was one of the advertised stars at a recent Stout/Porter tasting. While it was a little disappointing in it’s flavor and overall appeal, we were still happy to have had the opportunity to try it.

Nothing of real note to point out in it’s visual appeal. More dull in finish vs. having a sheen. Dark with a thick head that showed good retention, but didn’t leave much lace.

Aroma is the first hint of the flaw here. And by flaw I do not mean the beer was defective in any fashion, it was not. Just vs. my preference, and frankly the others in the group. Wood was the main note in the aroma. Other standard Porter notes here, but it was all about what I’ll refer to as “raw” wood. Almost saw dust like.

Flavor sadly followed the aroma. THe overwhelming note here was from the oak spirals. Tons of woody notes that were not well rounded and didn’t mix well with the roasted notes. Almost wanted to add a touch of corn syrup to my glass to add some sweetness to balance the raw notes from the wood.

Frankly was not a fan. This is the 2nd or third Cigar City selection where this was an issue for me. I suppose others like the total wood character, but I just don’t . It should add complexity and bring out new notes, but it should not be about sucking on a piece of wood.

 1,371 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

675th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750 ML

App- A dark dark brown. A lot darker than Bolita and had about the same head. Nice cling and some sheety lace.

Smell- A classic porter smell but not as thin. Dark roasts, a little coffee, some booze, some vanilla.

Taste- In the forefront is a very strong porter with the above nose taking over on the taste. On the backend you get a unique little treat from the barreling of this beer. The roast and chocolate are most upfront with a small vanilla.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little bit of the chocolate and oak flavors remain. A little dry.

Drink- This was a unique take on a very classic style. The French barrels really added a new dimension to this tasty beer. This was only my second CCB and it just happened to be a very unique one.

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Photo of IckyT2012
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Forms a dark tan head that eventually reduces down to a thick ring around the edges.

S: Woodsy. Lots of oak. A little coffee and some roasted malts.

T: Wood and lots of it. Tastes like sucking on a piece of furniture (thankfully no varnish, though). Flavor is odd, lightly sweet, not necessarily good. Some coffee and some chocolate, but my god, the strong oak flavor just overpowers everything. Tannic bitterness.

M: Fuller bodied and dry. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Sometimes subtlety and moderation can be appreciated characteristics. However, this beer does not offer either. It is quite in-your-face with the French oak, much more so than I cared for. Jose Marti is a fine beer, but the wood is just too much.

 756 characters

Photo of thewimperoo
1.5/5  rDev -57.9%

Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a very dark brown with a slight khaki-colored head. Wonderful aromas and flavors of dark malt, coffee, caramel, and milk chocolate with a definite oaky character that matches up perfectly and contributes nice vanilla and spice characters. Medium-bodied, very creamy with lowish carbonation. Already one of my favorite Porters, the French Oak really kicks it up a notch!

 404 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy very dark brown with two finger thick dense khaki head, settles to a quarter inch leaving a sheet down the glass. Smell: mild roast, a little plum, powdery chocolate, quite oaky, earthy hopping, hint of vanilla. Taste: moderate roast, bitter chocolate, plum skin, earthy and slightly citric hopping (toned down vs. the base beer), vanilla. Very nice but the finish is a bit dry and oaky for me. Stamped July 06 2011.

 429 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, deep brown in color-nice sized cocoa head on top. Nice espresso and chocolate aroma-not much oak in there. Flavor is of espresso and dark chocolate. Some oak and vanilla come thru as it warms though it is really in the backround on this one. Nice dry cocoa flavor. Smooth and somehwhat creamy body. Very pleasant and drinkable all in.

 340 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.64/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a sturdy brown-black and is capped with a big umber head; lace is deposited in small spots. The nose is a lot like regular Marti, though I can certainly smell the wood, too. The aroma is of heavily roasted grain, some chalky oat notes and a heavy tannin presence. The first sip is absolutely disgusting. This beer tastes like putting pennies in your mouth, or like licking a copper rail or just eating straight wood tannin. There is a vile and horrendous lingering tannic note that is less pleasant than chewing on a piece of pressure treated lumber. Maybe that is the problem here, they used pressure treated wood? I kid, but something is terrible here; this beer should not have been released, as it falls so far below the CCB standard for quality. This is the worst beer CCB has ever bottled, by a longshot. . The price point of $15 makes this unforgivable. After I suffered through half a glass, I actually had to crack one of my girlfriend's dad's Miller Lites to wash the nasty taste out of my mouth (that really says something when ML is clearly better than a CCB.)

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Photo of GrindFatherBob
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Poured out a dark brown with two cm of tan head on top that lasts for about a minute and a half, minimal lacing.

Smells of garam masala, dark chocolate, black coffee, charred malt, and a touch of licorice.

Tastes of bitter tannic oak, combined with a splash of acidic soy sauce over the typical porter chocolate /coffee. In some ways, the oak wood is almost like a hopping substitute. In other ways, the oak wood is a completely overwhelming force that drowns out many of the other subtle flavors that probably would have existed if the wood wasn't there.

In summary, this one has a bit TOO much wood. Because it has gotten to the point where it is obvious that the wooden flavor is obscuring some of the more delicate nuances of a beer's flavor.

Cellaring note edit : I've come back to this after cellaring at basement temp for a year and it improves dramatically, I'd say to about a 4.25. Tastes are subjective, YMMV, however.

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Photo of Bartos
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

José Martí India Porter - French Oak from Cigar City Brewing
3.56 out of 5 based on 98 ratings.
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