José Martí India Porter - French Oak | Cigar City Brewing

BA SCORE
82
good
98 Ratings
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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 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.)

 1,078 characters

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.

 963 characters

Photo of Bartos
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into something at Jackie O's on 8/27/11

Irresponsible Tick #6

Thanks Chris

Dark brown, but that's it. One finger head. Thin retention, but really good lace. Aroma - tangy, roasted coffee with overtones of lively oak; brighter than I'm accustomed to. Nice earthy hops. Ripe dark fruits. Earthy oak with a lot of dry spiciness. Roasted tones and a modest bitterness. Medium-full body. Puffy carbonation; not bad. Tangy roast and oak finish. Commanding beer.

 465 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Dark opaque brown, with amber highlights and a fuzzy one-finger head of tan. A thin, silky layer remains, along with sticky tendrils of lace.

The nose: smoky dark chocolate and a large campfire built of vinous French oak. Woodsy, with lots of piney hops.

The flavor begins with tang, cocoa nibs and anise. After the swallow, oak gives way to smoke, which gives way to bitter dark chocolate in a day-long finish. Hints of vanilla peek out as well.

Kind of thin, medium-light body, peppered with active, large-bubbled carbonation and just a hint of fizz. There’s not even a hint of alcohol and some pretty burly bitterness, brought by the sum of bitter chocolate plus hops.

As I make my way through the glass, this beer gets better and better. A nice, smoky blend, with lots of subtle flavors to mull over. Drink it by itself, as food masks the fainter stuff.

 889 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a reddish brown color with a tan head. Slight roast in the nose, along with tobacco, dark chocolate, and a slight woodiness that I can only attribute to the french oak spirals. Velvety medium mouthfeel. Nice smooth start that has flavors of oak, roast, dark chocolate, all culminating with a slight oaky bitterness. Medium mouthfeel.

 347 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a goblet

A: Pours a dark brown with a finger of tan head. Head retention is quite good.

S: Fairly significant floral hop aroma with some roast aroma. Tons of oak - almost like I'm sniffing a log.

T: Very similar to smell. I feel like I'm drinking a piece of wood. It's interesting and certainly not terrible, but it's not one of the better porters I've had. I've never had a beer with this much wood flavor in it.

M: A bit thin, but carbonation is good.

O: I'm a bit disappointed. This is the first time I've been disappointed by CCB. Not worth seeking out.

 580 characters

Photo of Spider889
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to sendsilk for this bottle. It ranks as one of my top 3-5 CCB beers to date.

Black with a tan head. leaves excellent lacing on my glass.

Wow the aroma is flush with white oak. The French oak is actually distinguishable - it has a new furniture and more floral quality than American oak does. Nice char aroma from the malt with green hoppiness.

The flavor begins with big oaky notes as well. The oak tastes fresh, dry, and grainy. Loads of bitter green hops - the base beer is considered an "India Porter" by the brewery I believe.

Super dry mouthfeel from all that oak.

Overall the oak is borderline overpowering, and I do feel like half the people i shared this with at Jackie O's felt as much. But for me this was extremely delicious and showcases just how powerfully positive oak can be in the right beer.

 825 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010

Huge frothy milk chocolate colored head. Brew is pretty dense for a porter. Great lacing

Lots of subtle leather and smoke. Caramely vanilla, tobacco, leather, only thing that detracts is the camp fire aroma.

Definitely loads of vanilla spice. Chewy, robust and deep. Carbonation starts high and has a smooth even finish. Bitterness is spot on, dry, true, earthy. Heat is non-existent.

Something to chew on. Definitely recommended with some time on it. Can't imagine what it's like fresh...intense.

 508 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass.

Like the base beer, French Oak José Martí has a rich, chocolatey appearance. The full and viscous body is topped by a smaller mocha head that fades over the course of the glass.

The aroma maintains the chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee notes, while the hoppy presence is a little bit reduced when compared to the base beer. In its stead, there is a modest woody oak presence.

Oak flavor overlays the rest of the flavors, but it does not dominate or dry the beer out too much. On occasion Cigar City wood treated beers have been too intensely woody or dry, but this is not the case. Dark chocolate, espresso and cream, and roasted malt are more noticeable on a relative basis, with the orange zest citrus and spicy pine playing more of a supporting role. There are some pepper and spice notes throughout that I also attribute to the oak aging. The finish is more mellow, less bitter than the base beer.

The body feels more solidly medium than the medium to full body of the base beer, and the carbonation is creamy and smooth, about the same. There are definitely some drying effects from the oak on the overall mouthfeel.

Overall I thought this was a nice treatment, although I liked it a little bit less than the original beer.

 1,300 characters

Photo of avaldivia
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of blazer06. Into a Deschutes Snifter.

A: Pours a deep brown with 2 inches of tan colored head that doesn't want to go away. Incredibly dense head. Nice rings of lacing that are left behind as the head slowly recedes.

S: Interesting mix of wood, slightly burnt malts and caramel. Some decent notes of coffee and chocolate. Fresh cut wood really dominates the nose.

T: A lot like the base beer, with a huge charred oak presence. Still fairly hoppy with some citrus thrown in the mix. Decent amount of hop resins in here as well. Chocolatey and slightly roasty. All of this lies under a MASSIVE amount of wood. Oak flavors linger on the tongue forever after the swallow. If the oak was knocked back by about 40% it would be so much better.

M: Nice here, medium body with lower carbonation finish is mostly dry which is probably a result of the oak.

O: Just too oaky for my tastes. I like the oak to impart subtle woody characteristics, this just over does it, even more so than the Odell Woodcut beers. Glad I got to try it though!

 1,061 characters

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of SFLpunk
2.64/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to cmrillo for this hook-up! 750mL brown glass pry-top.

Pours a deep black with thick fluffy tan head. Nose is dominated by coffee with cream and an odd woody/earthy/dry leaves note. Palate is medium-bodied and pleasantly acidic like a porter should be. Oddly dry and a little burnt tasting. Or like wet charcoal embers.

Notes: I really really enjoy the regular Jose Marti...but I think this was a poor execution. There's burnt flavors and plastic flavors.

 466 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of adam42381
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter globe.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1 finger bubbly dark tan head. Nice head retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt, vanilla and French oak.

Taste: Very dark roasted malt and a touch of whiskey up front followed by very strong woody notes and the flavor of what I would imagine black tar would taste like in the middle before ending with espresso and bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is very woody and bitter. Not really enjoyable for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. The tannins really dry out the mouth.

Drinkability: Low drinkability. I wouldn't want another glass.

Overall: Below average beer overall. I definitely prefer the original Jose Marti. It's the least drinkable CCB beer I've tried. I can't recommend this one especially since it was $20 for the bottle at CCB this weekend. I feel a little shortchanged.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark brown--nearly black--with very nice 2 inch frothy dark mocha head. Excellent retention and beautiful sticky sheets of lacing. Best porter I've seen...hands down.
S: Roasted malt, dry chocolate, sweet cream, vanilla, and a hint of oak. Mild coffee and alcohol notes. Very pleasant.
T: All sorts of stuff hits at once...and all good. Coffee with cream, roasted and nearly charred malt, soft vanilla/oak influence, dark chocolate, and a boozy kick. There is also a faint floral note in the background which is beguiling.
M: Medium bodied...but seems heavier. Initially soft and smooth, but quickly transitions toward an oily feel with an alcohol bite. A dry and bitter finish.
D: Extremely enjoyable and drinkable. Complex and not too much alcohol (8% seems perfect). One of my new favorite porters. Kudos to CCB on this brew.

 894 characters

Photo of sendsilk
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Gtreid
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jk3
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Patrick999
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750ml bottle, I pour this dark brown liquid into my trusty snifter. Good pour - dark but not quite opaque. Solid foam retention - carbonation looks pretty near perfect.

My first impression sniffing this was "hops" rather than oak or roastiness, not unlike a Black IPA aroma. Brief impression, though, as there's more than that, thankfully. With just a little warming, it overwhelmingly turns to vanilla from the oak - oh yeah, definitely a super-oaky beer. I would probably guess American Oak, but French Oak it is. Those spirals have done their work for sure.

Somehow I wasn't expecting this to be as breezy a drink as it is. I have been critical of some CCB beers in the past for being too boozy, but 8% this one seems to have it spot-on, almost drinking like a 6% porter. Oh, it's oaked to hell and back, sure - so if that's not your thing I'd probably pass on this one. Lot of vanilla and a dry, flinty pine bitterness reminding you that underneath all the wood, this is a pretty hoppy porter.

If I'm throwing minor criticisms, I could actually do with it being less hoppy...so I'm probably going to sit on my other bottle for a few months.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Gushue3
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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