Beginning with Cigar City’s Jai Alai White Oak-aged IPA, Little Utopia will review new and exciting beers based on aroma, appearance, taste and palate (mouthfeel). At the end of each review, we will score the beer based on a five star system. Let’s get started.
Based on one of Cigar City’s most popular brews — Jai Alai — Jai Alai White Oak-aged just might be an improvement on its older brother. As the name implies, the IPA is aged in American White Oak, giving this version subtle hints of vanilla, as well as tart citrus flavors not only in the aroma, but in the taste as well. The beer pours a hazy orange color with an off-white, lacy head. The texture is smooth and creamy on the palate and goes well with the light carbonation. Like most microbrews, this beer packs a punch at 7.5 percent ABV.
While the flavors provided by the oak are subtle, it still manages to clearly differentiate this brew from the original Jai Alai IPA. It’s clearly still an IPA, and therefore still has that bitter finish, but is much more restrained than the original. This is an excellent beer to pair with all types of cheeses, as well as with Mexican food.
On its website, Cigar City lists the Jai Alai White Oak-aged as “released occasionally,” so if you happen to stumble across this beer make sure to stock up, because Cigar City products have a tendency to disappear in a hurry.
Little Utopia Rating: Five out of Five
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ Anthony Bourdain vs. Paula Deen: A Battle for America’s Food Conscience Revisited