It’s a rainy day here in the Northwest (what’s new?) and I’m dreaming of being somewhere warm. While I might be stuck here today, I can at least pretend to be somewhere warm in Florida by drinking a beer from Cigar City Brewing. Cigar City is a craft brewery located in Tampa, Florida and they were kind enough to send me a sample of a few of their beers to represent Florida in my 50 beer challenge.
Out of the beers they sent, I chose to review their Jai Alai IPA White Oak Aged IPA as it sounded pretty delicious. One of the interesting things I noticed about Jai Alai is that they have different releases that seem to have slightly different flavors such as Papaya, Peach, Mango, and White Oak Aged. From the looks of their previous offerings, they like to experiment with different recipes.
Jai Alai poured a very cloudy dark orange color with about a fingers width of beige head on top that quickly disappeared. There was some slight lacing left behind on the glass. Just looking at this beer sitting in that pint glass waiting for me to drink made me get excited for what was to come.
I absolutely love the aroma of this beer. The oak smell is very prominent with some great sweet fruits such as peaches, oranges, and grapefruit mixed in. There is some slight spiciness, booze and malt mixed in to make it a pretty complex yet satisfying smell.
Although it was tough for me to pull my nose away from the magnificent smell, once I finally did and took a drink I was smiling like a giddy school girl. This is an incredibly unique IPA that I could see people either loving or hating it. For me, I loved it.
The taste followed the aroma perfectly with oak and fruits being the focal points. It starts out with piney hops, citrus and a strong grapefruit flavor at first before transitioning into some slight carmel malty goodness. It then ends with a slightly burnt oak flavor mixed with nuts and vanilla.
I don’t care all that much if other people don’t like this beer, I’m in love with it. I’m a bit saddened though right now knowing that I won’t be able to find Jai Alai on the west coast.
If you have a change to try the Jai Alai White Oak Aged version, DO IT! Hopefully you won’t regret it. I will go out on a limb and say this is one of the best beers I’ve had this year by far.
My Cigar City Jai Alai White Oak Aged IPA Review: A
Here are the details:
Style: American IPA
What’s your thoughts on Cigar City Jai Alai White Oak Aged IPA?