The beer that won Cigar City Brewing (CCB) their first Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medal has returned. CCB has changed the name of the beer from “Humidor Jai Alai” or “Humidor IPA” to “Spanish Cedar Jai Alai,” but the unique taste is the one that IPA lovers have come to know as distinctly Cigar City.
From Cigar City Brewing’s newsletter:
Inventive flavor profiles and unconventional processes have always been a part of the Cigar City Brewing ethos, and no beer embraces these ideas more than our Fall 2021 seasonal release, Spanish Cedar Jai Alai IPA. What makes this beer so idiosyncratic and such a great example of our brewery’s drive to innovate? Grab a pint and we’ll tell ya!
Since 2009, Brewmaster Wayne Wambles and his team of intrepid brewers have experimented with additions of Spanish cedar, the same wood used to make the world’s finest cigar humidors, in an innovative collection of beers called The Humidor Series. The addition of Spanish cedar is illustrative of CCB’s quest to tell the story of Tampa, Florida’s culture, cuisine and history through beer, and no telling of Tampa history is complete without a nod to the cigar industry that helped fuel the city’s growth in the late 19th century.
The most popular of these beers, Humidor Series IPA, was introduced in 2009 and earned Cigar City Brewing its first medal at the Great American Beer Festival that same year. After sporadic releases due to cedar shortages for several years, Humidor Series IPA was reintroduced to the world in 2020 with a stronger embrace of its base beer, Jai Alai IPA. The same beer that was loved as Humidor Series IPA reinvented notions of wood-rested ales as Spanish Cedar Jai Alai IPA last year, and now it’s back for another seasonal release.
Spanish Cedar Jai Alai IPA offers bold and balanced flavors that are at once complementary and contrasting. Cracked black pepper and sandalwood aromas present themselves assertively but play wonderfully with the base beer’s tangerine, clementine, and citrus peel notes. Balanced and juicy on the palate, caramel-like malt flavor helps temper bitterness and spice from the wood, while the distinct flavor of cedar lingers long on the tongue.
About Cigar City Brewing
Steeped in the unique culture and history of Tampa, Florida, Cigar City Brewing began handcrafting award-winning beer in 2009. Cigar City Brewing’s ales and lagers bring to mind the sun and citrus for which Florida is known, while taking cues from the cigar industry upon which Tampa was built. Behind all of Cigar City Brewing’s liquid is the philosophy that quality is achieved by giving first rate ingredients to first rate people in a space where they are free to pursue their passion.