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Jai Alai IPA - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

6,119 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,119
Reviews: 1,193
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 835
Gots: 1,195 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

Pours copper in color with notes of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma. Flavor has upfront citrus bitterness with a hint of caramel and citrus and tropical fruit hop notes in the finish.

70 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,119 | Reviews: 1,193
Reviews by searsclone:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And the new wave of IPA begins- fruit forward with both hops and esters; fused together with a seamless web of maltiness, citrus, tropical and orchard fruit but without compromising dryness, crispness or drinkability. I like where this is going!

Pouring a mid-amber honey-like color, the ale seems a touch darker because of its unadulturated haze. A very formidable ivory head forms on the beer and retains very well with sticky lace all around.

Aromas are hop-balanced between caramel malts, citrus and spicy hops, and alcohol. Lightly fruity and yeasty notes weave within the alcohols. Its a soft and appealing scent that seems slightly English-like.

Graham cracker breadiness, caramel flavor, and spicy alcohols set the stage while the orange zest, ruby red grapefruit, and pineapple hop character bounce off the glass is vibrant and assertive fashion. Bitterness does much more than just balance out the malts but never really demand attention away from them. Again light fruity notes make me think of English Ales- non descript but fruity nonetheless.

Medium creamy and medium sweet, the beer starts out with a hearty malty tone that waits until the last second to crispen up and dry out. Still, the finish hold onto a lot of sweetness and weight despite the adequate carbonation. The aftertaste brings an alcoholic and hoppy-dry memory of the beer; I just wish this had happened at mid-palate and then carried through.

Its quite remarkable the effect that these deeply citrus and tropical flavored hops have with the embedded starch and yeast all have on this new wave IPA taste. Its a smoother and more balanced approach will appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers- even those who have traditionally steered away from hoppy beers.

Photo of EveningCordial
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from can into snifter.

A- Pours a nice light amber. Medium amounts of carbonation and lacing. Small half finger white head.

S- Tropical and citrus fruits. Super fresh and fruity. Lots of pear, mango, even some orange. Not much pine or grass, but some resins very lightly detectable.

T- Just like the smell, this ale is very fruity. Lots of tropical layerings giving it a very fresh and drinkable taste with just the right amount of lightly detected malts and resins. This IPA is super juicy but the light bitterness reminds you its def an IPA.

M- Light bodied, some detectable carbonation, otherwise Id be slamming these like juice boxes. Crisp and clean finish.

O- Lives up to the hype. I hope I run into more of these, as they put a smile on my face. Great warm weather ale, as its very refreshing. A home run by Cigar City.

Photo of humuloner22
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am generous on reviews at times but I have reserved the really high scores for outstanding beers. This one is one I have wanted to try for a long time and thanks to a fantastic trade I have acquired this one. I might have to keep this one hot on the pipeline! Jesus its good!

Look: Perfect color for an IPA in my opinion, they range from all over the place but this one sits on the darker side of that fence and I tend to like those better. This one is a reddish amber color with a bit of copper in there. Head remains pretty solid throughout the pour.

Smell: Sweet not overly so, you can detect some malts in there, but this beer is fantastic in the aroma. Nice tropical fruits, mango, papaya, guava, maybe some passionfruit in there as well. Its not as intense as the flavor will give up.

Flavor: Holy shit this is the best tasting IPA I have ever had no doubt. It blends everything I like in this style of beer. Its sweet but not overly so, its got a nice resinous quality to it, but its balanced by the malts, this is a hugely balanced beer. Its on the assertive side more than pseudosue or Zombie Dust, but then those are technically Pale Ales. This beer is not too bitter but bitter enough. Super enjoyable great mouthfeel, not sticky but not overly drying either. I want a case next time I go to the beach!

Overall: Thus far this is the best IPA I have ever had. No doubt. It is rated highly and for good reason. I have a few more CCB beer waiting for me, but those are a completely different style, but if this is indicative of what this brewery can do, I am happy to trade again for just about anything! This is truly an outstanding IPA!

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a thick head atop; nice retention and interesting pattern of lace

Smell: Ruby red grapefruit and mango with caramel malt underneath

Taste: Caramel base with grapefruit and mango fruit adding bitter complexity as well as a growing piney resinous flavor by mid palate; after the swallow, the sweetness builds and though there is plenty of floral bitterness, the beer finishes toward the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A Florida IPA to match the best of the west coast - who would have thunk it; a tad too sweet for more than one but still a fine brew

Photo of IvanJ126
5/5  rDev +16.8%

This gives IPA a new perspective it has a perfect balance of taste and isn't dry at all the citrus hits in many many levels great brew only bad side I cant find here in tx

Photo of craigh130
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A phenomnal ipa. Loads of tropical fruit in the nose and on the palate. A bit boozy for everyday sessioning but overall a great ipa. Nice full body and mouthfeel with a gorgeous Amber color and foamy head.

Photo of barfootbandit
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers and favorite IPA so far. I've had it on tap, from the bottle, and from the can; delicious every time. Malt and hop characteristics are well balanced and a hearty 7.5% ABV compliments this pairing. Smells of tropical citrusy hops and has a clean finish, not too hoppy. Overall taste is crisp and has notes of tropical fruits. Overall a well balanced and fantastically executed IPA. While both are world class IPAs I prefer it over Heady Topper, just sayin.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery tangerine with several slow bubble streams leading up to a quality crown of pale khaki colored foam. Head descent is slow and lace deposition is extensive; even more so as more of the glass becomes available. Solid all around.

The nose is tropical fruity with a (slight) background contribution from caramel malt. The hop bill isn't made available, but Simcoe and/or Amarillo might be present. If power and pungency ramp up with foam meltage and beer warming, then the 4.5 will be granted.

Jai Alai IPA is a lupulin lovers India Pale Ale. This is clearly a fresh bottle, as the hops are bright and bold, giving the malts a breezy 'see ya sucka' as they blow past, dig into the tongue, and hold on with tenacity. And yet...

... there is some semblance of balance as the bitterness begins to ease up with warming. Mostly pale with a small contribution of caramel is my preferred malt profile for the style, which is exactly what JA IPA delivers. The hops are still tropical fruity with loads of white grapefruit peel. Centennial is probable and Simcoe is now doubtful.

The mouthfeel does pretty much everything right, from the soothing effect of the malt sugars... to the buzzsaw-like rasp of the hops... to the enlivening carbonation. Not special, but damn good.

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA is a hop-soaked treat that doesn't overwhelm its malt support. In other words, it's right up my alley. Thanks to ktrillionaire for not 1, not 2, not 3... but 4 bottles of this wonderfully delicious Sunshine State elixir.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass a hazed burnt orange with just a really well definded whitemgreat defintion here,it faded slowly into a frothy mass leaving two rings of lace behind as it did.Tropical fruits and some herbal notes in the nose,underlying caramel biscuit.Fresh overripe tropical fruit,some resin,and herbal hops are not in your face they just flow nicely together.There is a bigger sweetish malt base that holds firm to the hops till the end.A very well made IPA with the alcohol being well hidden,I could drink alot of this.

Photo of tectactoe
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Finally, some Jai Alai - canned, of course. Pours a nearly copper, light-amber color with mild clarity - just a slight sheet of haze muddles the middle of the brew. Little, tiny, tiny bits of sediment circle around the beer; a cloudy, pillowing white head retains like a beast and leaves chunky-ass lacing along all edges of the glass, like a true champ.

The aroma is... Wow. Brilliant. Big-time fruit on the nose; huge bouts of tropical fruits - mango, papaya, tangerines, peaches, grapefruit, apricot... Smell this shit and tell me I'm wrong, I dare you. Not only do you get this wonderful cornucopia of fruit, you've got a nice bouquet of hops to fill in the edges. Pungent, wet, leafy, with a light, dank, weediness. This is the stuff dreams are made of. And Jai Alai, apparently.

The taste picks up right where the aroma leaves off - a fruit-fileld bitch slap to the tongue, complete with more mangos, pineapples, papayas, and oranges. And I'm talking some juicy-ass fruit, here. The kind that makes your mouth absolutely water. Authentic, ripe, and unadulterated in every sense of the word. Hops come to life even more so on the palate. Wet, pungent, oily, leafy, and I'm picking up some pine, too.

Bitterness is powerfully noticeable but not too sharp or harsh, not even close. It's perfectly balanced by the fruit and by the smaller helping hand of the malt; light bread and faint toasted caramel malts provide an extra "oomph" of sweetness, strictly for balance. It makes for such a soothing, drinkable bitterness. Finish is wet, grassy, juicy, fruity, etc... I could go on all day. Medium mouth feel and a medium-high level of carbonation.

Jai Alai. Blown away. There. I said it. This beer was fantastic, and it was much better than I was anticipating. I mean, I've heard good things about it, but I never thought it would be this good. Alcohol is seemingly absent, and 7.5% ABV isn't anything to scoff at. So goddamn drinkable and so goddamn tasty. Why don't they sell this in Michigan?

Photo of ExtraStout
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had both on tap and from the can. Pours hazy dark copper, nice glowing orange, with a one-finger, creamy, light-khaki head on top that just refused to settle. Fantastic retention on this one, with walls of lacing to match. Gorgeous IPA.

Nose blasts you with smooth, citrusy, tropical hops. Orangey, with quite a bit of mango mixed in, bit of grapefruit, but not too prickley - again, the keyword is smooth. The malt never really shows through of its own accord, although there is a gentle sweetness to the fruity hop bouquet that they may be at least partially responsible for. In any case, very nice nose on this one.

Taste is really nice. Again, smooth grapefruit, orange, and tropical fruit take center stage, with just a bit of astringent bite leading into the earthy, lightly prickly finish. Caramel body underneath provides a gentle sweetness that supports the fruity hop character perfectly, especially as the beer warms up a bit, never really emerging into the spotlight on its own, always in a supporting role. Finish is one last wave of richly sweet caramel and big tropical/orangey hops, before withdrawing and leaving a surprisingly light lingering bitterness on the palate. Beautifully executed.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium-full in body, with just a bit of astringency to complement the medium-light carbonation. Nicely put together, though not as stellar as the taste or smell.

Drinkability, however, is remarkable. The perfect level of bitterness on the finish, perfect balance of flavors that belie the 7.5% abv, making this one feel bigger than it is. Smooth and inviting. The only thing that could make this just a bit more fantastic would be if it were filtered but I won't let my likes get in the way of a great ale review.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 12/14/10. Thank you, zoso1967, for bringing the bottle from PA.

Jai Alai pours murky amber-orange into a large snifter, with about a 3/4 finger head that recedes and leaves a light beige haze, along with some big, clear bubbles. It is hard to see the carbonation trhough the murk, but the bubbles appear to be copious and fairly slow-moving. Lacing on the glass is lovely - very sticky and leaves blotches of all sizes and vertical, squiggly streaks.

The dominant smell is of caramel malt and some mustiness. A grassy and ever-so-slightly sweet citrus hop aroma also emanates from the glass. Sweet breads are another pronounced smell, and sneaking into the profile is just a hint of pine hops.

There is definitely more hop taste than I was expecting after smelling the beer, and, surprisingly, it is mainly a pine hop flavor. I feel like this IPA is backwards compared to most, in that I get a lot of the hop bitterness at the outset of the sip, followed by a coating, caramel malt and bready sweetness. The finish balances out with the malt flavor on the broad of my tongue and the pine, earth, and grass hops biting at the sides of my palate. Overall, this is an IPA that tilts in favor of sweet malts. The beer tastes good, but I am not sure of how fresh the bottle is.

The mouthfeel is creamy and full for an American IPA, which I enjoy. I miss the really biting grapefruit residual flavor that I like in IPAs, though. The carbonation is also quite low.

I would love to try this again, and I will certainly do so soon, as I am moving to the Tampa area in the near future. I may update this review after that. As it is, though, I found this to be too malt forward, which is not my favorite style of IPA

Photo of brownbeer
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours sunset amber with a fluffy, white head.

The aroma consists mostly of orange flower honey and it's a little vomity, sorry don't know how else to describe it.

The flavor is mostly floral hops, the malt backbone is solid, i'm just not sure that it's so good. It's a little too sweet and not so clean, not that it's bad, it just doesn't stack up with the best period

Photo of xVERITAS
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this is a great canned IPA. Canned 10/16.

Pours a nice hazel-orange with almost no head (if you tilt pour!) and smells like spring time...flowers and fruits and rainbows (not the rainbows really). Tastes phenomenal. Really holds its own against other IPAs. Super smooth drinking, I wish I had a lot more of this! Would highly recommend, enjoy! Cheers

Photo of diesel59
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

very nice ipa... be sure and leave about an inch in the bottom of the bottle and swirl vigorously to get all that cloudy goodness @ the bottom... i also like the 7.5abv for it being marketed as only a straight ipa and not an imperial... oh damn... not enough characters... how about now?

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

This ale puts its foot on the border of IPA and Impy IPA, a blurring of the lines. Clear copper hue, impressive lacing but coming from a highly hopped beer ... not a surprise. Big hop stink, heavy citric of ruby red grapefruit and tangerines ... faintly catty with some taffy undertones. Hops smack down hard, though some caramel and biscuity flavors from the malt appear; aside from that, it is a full-on palate bashing of citric, earthy pine, tobacco and wild herbs with a tropical fruitiness to compliment. Seriously epic beer, we can only hope a pint of it is waiting for us at the gates of hop heaven.

Photo of IjumpOverU
2.4/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Received this as part of a mixed case. Never been a big fan of IPA but after trying a few other very enjoyable examples I was looking forward to this one. Very unimpressed. Color was of your average IPA, smell was nothing special. First taste was mostly alcohol and overt bitterness (not a good hoppy bitterness either, just sour). Finished with more of the same but some light fruit and pine coming through. After beginning to enjoy IPAs more this one reminded me of what I don't like in an IPA.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the waiter at Mr Dunderbak's in Tampa for recommending this wonderful beer. In a pint glass the beer was a slightly hazy cherry amber color. It had a medium-sized white head and some specks of lacing. Very nice floral and citrus aroma. Hops came through well in the taste, mostly grapefruit, but also a bit of pine. Very well-balanced with malt. This is a well-brewed beer. Wish I could get it here in Maine.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12oz. can into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A nice looking beer. A hazy golden-orange with about two fingers of head that compacts down rather quickly to some dense foam that then fades a way leaving a dusting on top and lacing on the edges of the glass.

Great aroma! Grapefruit/citrus, grass, a little pine and a hint of floral and a little sweet (maybe caramel) in the background.

First taste is a hit of bitter pine, then tropical fruit/citrus and a hint of sweet malt followed by a lingering resinous pine flavor on the tongue. As it warms, just a hint of warming alcohol as it passes over the tongue.

Mouthfeel is very nice, good carbonation. It's a little tingly and a little sticky.

Overall, a really excellent IPA that I wish was easier to obtain up here in the Northern Plains.

Photo of Gagnowd
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time I've had this one. Overall impressionist that this is a very nice smooth drinking beer. Nice deep orange color. Taste is citrusy with hints of fruit. This is a easy drinking, light, refreshing ipa. I could drink these all day, But was hoping for a beer with a little more "Umph"

Photo of Guden
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy copper with a large off white head that lasts and lasts with nice lacing.

S- Huge tropical fruit and citrus aroma of guava, mango, tangerine, pineapple and grapefruit. Just a touch of malt barely showing its face.

T- Up front it is very similar to the nose, citrus and tropics with the strong bitterness taking over and leaning to grapefruit peel and a touch of pine. Not much of a noticeable malt character and the bitterness is a touch high compared to the other characteristics.

M- Medium light in body and medium in carbonation. Pretty spot on for the style but nothing that makes the beer stand out.

O- A remarkable smelling beer that has a lot of bitterness but not quite the hop flavor I was hoping for.

Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mntlover for the bottle. Pours a mostly clear, orange amber body with a three finger offwhite head. Excellent retention and lots of sticky and clumpy patch lacing.

Aaah! Huge citrusy aroma. Tangerines, red grapefruit, and mango. Floral notes of orange blossom underneath. Hints of toasted caramel suggest there will be some balance.

Creamy medium carbonation compliments a medium body.

Taste mirrors the aroma. Pink grapefruit, mango, and tangerines serve up a tasty citrusy wallop. Floral hints add interest. Spicy and peppery hops notes keep things on the bitter side as the caramel malt attempts to balance. Long bittery citrus lemon rind aftertaste.

Excellent IPA, especially if you like them citrus driven. Coming from Florida, what else would you expect from Cigar City.

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the world class beer spot called Rattle N Hum in NYC. Poured cloudy medium amber, with a typical light khaki head, that left nice looking sheeting and spotty lace. Bold nose of grapefruit, with the hop juices oozing out, nice. More grapefuit on the tongue mingling with minty tee notes and general hoppy IPA goodness. More then espectable hop pesence, malt in the rear. Enjoyable and agressive IPA.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ktrillionaire for sending this beer to me.

The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is awesome. I get some grapefruit and also some pine. There is also the slightest amount of orange citrus in the aroma. The flavor is a even mix of pine and grapefruit with neither standing out or dominating. There is some caramel malt in there as well. The bitterness is about medium. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very refreshing and easy drinking. I had this after a 12 hour day at work and it was the perfect beer. So glad I got to try this and happy I have a few more.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into pint glass. Big thanks to Beerdunson for including this in a trade as an extra. Date of review is 3/26/14

Appearance- Caramel and copper with a 3/4 finger head. Well carbonated with great lacing.

Smell- Mango and hops burst into my face. I then get limes, strawberries and barnyard. One of the best smelling IPAs I have ever had.

Taste- Honey-drizzled mangoes and hops are right up front. Just a tiny bit of malt present. I also get just a splash of lime just like in the nose.

Mouthfeel- This beer is really unique in the sense that it is super smooth at first and then about 5 seconds later it blast you with hops. I love the resiny tropical fruit film it leaves in my mouth.

Overall- So damn good for a shelf beer! We get no CCB beers here in Ohio, so this is a real treat. One of the best IPAs I've had.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 6,119 ratings.