What: Cigar City Brewing White Oak Jai Alai IPA (7.5% ABV; 70 IBU; year round release)
How we had it: Out of can into a pint glass.
What we saw: Beautiful orange/copper color with a frothy white head.
What we smelled: Vanilla and Oak prevalent on the nose, get some citrus to shine through next (it is jai alai after all) and a very light spice/herb note in the background.
What we tasted: What’s nice about this beer is the incredible balance between the sweetness, maltiness, bitterness, and fruitiness. The vanilla and oak again play a major role in the taste and appear first on the palate. This sweetness is followed by the citrusy hop bite expected from a Cigar City IPA, especially the Jai Alai. Amazing interplay between the up-front sweetness and the slightly bitter and dry finish that refreshes the palate. The oak seems to round out this beer and smooth the edges to make the drinking experience incredibly pleasurable.
What we thought: This is one of our favorite beers here at Craft Commander! If you haven’t had one yet, this beer is strongly recommended. It shows Cigar City’s ability to push the limits of a beer and transform a staple like Jai Alai in to something, which in our opinion, is far better somehow. This beer isn’t necessarily your “sit by the pool” beer, though. Try this beer with spicy, jerk Caribbean food or Indian curries. If not with food, this beer would pair nicely with a mild and medium-bodied Cigar – Try Oliva’s Serie G for a great pairing. Go out and try this beer… Now.