Rebranded Cigar City Jai Alai

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ipaupaweallpa, May 12, 2018.

  1. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Initiate (174) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    Hey guys been a while since I posted..

    Just got a six pack of jai Alai (the new rebranded edition distributed by Oscar blues), it's been almost a year since I have had it due to trouble finding it under 2 - 3 months old. I picked this up cause its right at 2 weeks.

    It dosent seem to have the fruity pineapple orange taste that jai Alai is known for. More of a bitter boozy bite similar to that generic 10% abv IPA taste. Not a whole lot going on. Pretty disappointed. Anyone else notice a difference similar to mine AFTER the rebranding /can logo change?

    GuyFawkes likes this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I do not have a contemporary story to relate but the part of “I picked this up cause its right at 2 weeks” sure rings a bell.

    A few years ago I bought a case of Jai Alai because it was so fresh (i.e., 2 weeks from packaging). Those beers tasted like a malty mess compared to my previous drinking experiences of Jai Alai. I discussed this with the folks of Cigar City Brewing and exchanged numerous e-mails with the person in charge of Brewing Operations. They ‘educated’ me that this batch “met spec”.

    That was my last purchase of Jai Alai (or any beer from Cigar City Brewing for that matter).

    Something was indeed ‘off’ with that case of Jai Alai. The half full part of this story is that there are lots of other breweries producing quality beers. I do not miss no longer purchasing Cigar City beer even a little bit.

  3. teromous

    teromous Poo-Bah (1,754) Mar 21, 2010 Virginia

    I've noticed that Jai Alai has been inconsistent in general. I have some older cans that I picked up in my area that I'm still enjoying that sound like they might be better than your 2-week old beer. I've had cans in VA that tasted better than taps in FL, and some that were the opposite. It's a bit of a gamble but the beer always ends up tasting good or better.
    Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas likes this.
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    It's not just "distributed" by Oscar Blues, Jai Alai (and other Cigar City) beers are sometimes brewed at Oscar Blues breweries in TX, CO and NC.

    Both breweries, along with Perrin,Wasatch & Squatters , are under the same ownership, CANarchy.
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,597) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Never been a favorite of mine, it's a never buy for me mainly because it's never even remotely fresh. Even fresh it's just an ok kinda beer.
  6. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Initiate (174) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    Thanks guys glad it wasn't just me then . prob be a while before I pick up any more. Sucks because it really has potential to be an outstanding beer on the good batches
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I enjoyed some 'good' batches of Jai Alai but that was several (3+?) years ago.

  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,228) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I never got the hype behind jai alai. Even in it's heyday I didn't find it unique. But then again Odell ipa, blind pig, and pliny leave a person spoiled.
  9. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,277) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Like most everyone else has mentioned in this thread, I liked Jai Alai the first few times that I had it when traveling to Florida (before it found its way to other states), but ( find it not so great now. (Had it on tap in Florida a few months ago and also on tap here in Michigan a month ago, both brewed from different sources and felt it was different from early memories.). However, I had my early experience with Jai Alai before having Pliny and Blind Pig, so maybe the order of having them has something to do with appreciation early on. I didn't get "spoiled" by Pliny/Blind Pig early on, although I'd sure like to have some more of either, but not so for Jai Alai.
    LuskusDelph and SFACRKnight like this.
  10. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (329) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Seems like jai alai got way more love before cigar city expanded their distribution. I never had it before this year, so I can't comment on how it may have changed. I don't mind it when I have it, but it's not a world beater by any means.
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  11. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (1,968) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Premium Trader

    Its just not the same as it was before the Oskar Blues purchase. Sorry...its just not... Loved that minty hoppiness it offered that is sadly missing from today's Jai Alai...
  12. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,207) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I was in Florida last week and drank plenty of it. I really enjoyed it.
  13. honkey

    honkey Zealot (539) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    Man that sucks your experience with them wasn’t great. Wayne is a great guy who acted as a sounding board and provided a lot of insight for commercial brewers. I don’t know what your situation was, but I can tell you it is very hard to deal with customer criticism sometimes when you get to a larger size.
    Maestro0708 likes this.
  14. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,416) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Just drink Maduro and forget about Jai Alai ...

    But seriously, a potential counter point - taste buds die off, palates change. If you hadn't had it in a year it could be different, it could be your palate, it could be a combination of both.
  15. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Initiate (174) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    Ya I totally get that for sure. I keep wanting it to be good, been so long since I've had it, but used to drink regularly when fresh around here. Maybe the individual cans will be as inconsistent as the batches lol.
  16. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (321) Apr 29, 2012 California

    When I lived in NJ, I had people bring it back from FL and it was...pretty awesome! It was just an excellent IPA (and I'm from CA).

    Haven't had it in about 3 years, so I can't comment on how (or if) it's changed. Never see out here in CA, but my next trip back east i'll find some.

    But that beer has a soft spot in my heart for sure!
  17. mt817

    mt817 Initiate (32) Mar 31, 2015 Michigan

    The stuff brewed by Oskar Blues isn't the same. Was in FL in September, had one relatively fresh (within 21 days) brewed by CCB. Drinking one now, equally as fresh, brewed in NC. These are two different beers. The ones in the newly branded labels brewed by OB are much more astringent, less citrusy.
  18. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (538) Mar 28, 2009 California

    It recently hit Southern California and drank a few fresh six packs. I liked it. A maltier ipa but had some nice tropical and citrus flavors with a firm bitterness. Didn’t get any booze and found it very drinkable.

    Not outstanding and haven’t picked it
    Up again, but would.
    Lahey likes this.
  19. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,455) Dec 11, 2006 California

    Traded for it back in 2013 - loved it. Bought a 6er when they hit SoCal and was disappointed. Astringent and less citrusy is it.
    GuyFawkes, benzodrums and ESHBG like this.
  20. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Devotee (452) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    Interesting reading the observation of others. At my store in Central FL we can't keep in on the shelf. If we receive say 30 or 40 cases on Thursday we are out of stock by Friday afternoon or Saturday morning at the latest. When we get an allocation of a special release like the White Oak aged stuff we have to put it behind the counter and limit folks to a single 4 pack. It still disappears in a day or two. I've had visitors tell me it's gotten big in Atlanta too.
  21. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Initiate (184) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    What's your store?
    FBarber likes this.
  22. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (111) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I had one the other night that was fairly fresh (new packaging) and it was as good as it ever was.

    Great beer with no bells and whistles. This and Two Hearted will never lose ground against the fads.
    IPAExpert69, GetMeAnIPA and raynmoon like this.
  23. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,573) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    I absolutely loved it the first time I had it, but a lot has happened in my local area since then. So I hate to say it has changed, more likely I have changed. But I do dig their Guayabera Citra Pale Ale. I prefer the hop character more and the ABV.
  24. mrbeersnob

    mrbeersnob Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2016 Georgia

    i believe there is a difference. My Jai Alai in the past has come from Florida. I like it- nothing epic- but it is a good solid go to if there is nothing better avail. I was given one by a neighbor the other day- I havent had one this year-and I knew something was off- checked date- thats not it- and then saw canned in NC. So this weekend I went hunting for Jai Alai- I havent bought any this year- I am 50 miles NE of Atlanta GA and 6 liquor stores and 3 major supermarkets that carry it all had NC canned Jai Alai- what a bummer. A buddy mine and I were going to do A/B tests on NC vs Fl and looks like I cannot do that now. I say there is definitely a difference- my buddy is in TX- he gets NC canned there (??Oskar Blues has a facilitiy in Texas but he gets it from NC?) anyway- he likes Jai Alai and he and some friends of his all noticed a difference. Not quite as hop "skunk bud" in the aroma- the taste is not as crisp and tight- and a general "watery-ness" about the beer. Bummer. I hate change.
  25. threeviews

    threeviews Zealot (555) Apr 18, 2011 Florida

    This is definitely a trend in the craft beer industry as of late...when a brewery is growing faster than their infrastructure can affor, they find themselves pressured to make more and as a result, contract out their flagships:
    - Alpine (Brewed By Green Flash...multiple brands)
    - Topping Goliath (Brewed By Brew Hub...Psuedo Sue)
    - Carton (Two Roads...Boat)
    ...and now Cigar City.

    However, the one consistency is that for ALL of those I mentioned, people "in tune" with what those beers were when brewed locally have all noticed a drift in the aroma/flavor profile from batches brewed by larger installations. I think it proves that simply scaling a recipe doesn't work...especially, when it is brewed in a different region of the country.

    As far as CCB is concerned, I've only ever had the White Oak version (original and re-branded cans) and has always been consistent (never did care to check the can, since I thought it was all being produced out of their Tampa, FL facility).

    However, I will probably pass on the next batch since I discovered Oaked Category 5 DIPA from Due South (Boynton Beach, FL). Although they only package it twice a year, I am more than happy to wait for it...they have it dialed in nicely and would venture an opinion and say that it is superior to CCB.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    LuskusDelph likes this.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Late last year, I talked to an OB rep (aka a "CANarchist", I suppose) who was giving out samples of Mama's Lil Yella Pils and some other OB and CC beers and I asked him if where we in NJ were getting the Pils from NC, CO or FL and he said "Texas" --- to my surprise --- and he explained that NC was brewing primarily just Jai Alai and Dale's Pale Ale.

    I've never seen Boat from Two Roads in cans (don't know about draught). I've seen other Carton cans like Unjunct, Red Rye, Beach, Hoppun, IDIPA from CT.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  28. PalatePilot

    PalatePilot Aspirant (298) Dec 24, 2010 Colorado

    yeah... It tastes like capital investment.... Money is dirty.

    Fireman Capital wants those dollars back.
  29. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (776) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    OR.... OR... think about this: Since some haven't had the Jai Alai in numerous years, the memory is only just that, a memory. The beer is essentially the same. :astonished:.
    Dan_K, Gajo74, 5thOhio and 3 others like this.
  30. Kb024

    Kb024 Initiate (106) Jun 11, 2015 California

    I got super fresh Jai Alai and it was better than I expected to be. Didn't notice it to be boozy. I remember it had good quality malt flavor compared to others like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada are lacking. Same with Guayabera. It tasted like it was brewed with quality ingredients.
  31. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,440) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I bought a six pack of Jai Alai two years in New York City and I loved it. I just hope they haven't changed the recipe.
  32. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Aspirant (282) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    I have to hone in on this comment since JA has always been a 7.5%abv brew. What exactly do you mean by that comment? I've had some JA that didn't really pop (and I've found it wildly inconsistent and can rarely find it fresh)... but I have no once thought it was boozy in the slightest.
  33. surfcaster

    surfcaster Crusader (735) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    I have had the Guayabera twice lately in cans and agree--my favorite of all their hoppy brews. Bright, clean and love the sub 6 abv. Also had some keg Jai alai and not so great.
    BrewsOverHoes and FBarber like this.
  34. nesarebad

    nesarebad Devotee (422) Feb 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Well that's because they are wrong about Boat being contract brewed. They also conveniently left out Sip of Sunshine as well, although I doubt that fits the narrative.
    SomethingClever likes this.
  35. mt817

    mt817 Initiate (32) Mar 31, 2015 Michigan

    'Essentially the same" is not the same as 'the same'. Just saying.
    Mothergoose03 and Zaphog like this.
  36. Yellowlt4

    Yellowlt4 Initiate (51) Sep 21, 2016 Texas

    Drinking some right now in Texas that's a few weeks old and it tastes the same as it ever has.
    Ahonky and Thankin_Hank like this.
  37. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (776) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    Kay ...
    Gajo74 likes this.
  38. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (5,889) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania

    I don't seek it out. IMO, it's grossly overrated with the current score of 4.28 (at the time of this posting). Then again, more than any other style - us IPA drinkers tend to be some of the most critical d-bags on the face of the beer planet and guilty as charged. :flushed:
    #38 jzeilinger, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
    dcotom, Ozzylizard, 5thOhio and 3 others like this.
  39. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (329) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    When I tried it recently, I got some hot booziness out of it. I enjoy a beer by a local brewer that's 8%, but tastes less boozy. Maybe it's the difference in who's brewing the batches amongst their multiple brewing sites. I haven't drank it before it came to michigan recently. It's still enjoyable, but not as easy drinking as some.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  40. reowin

    reowin Initiate (24) Nov 24, 2017 Tennessee

    i was just wondering about this myself since today i looked at the jai alai near me and it said canned/brewed by oscar blues which is alos the only jai alai ive had so basicly in a way now is it just a oscar blues beer? since some people say its different now?
    Ozzylizard likes this.