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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,350 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,350 | Ratings: 7,219
Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just as good as I remembered it being the first time I had it. This beer it a really nice amber color on top of the glass that fades to a golden yellow. The head disappears fast and there really isn't much lacing. The aroma is really hoppy, makes me want to go for a swim in this beer. It's aroma is wonderful. The flavor is aggressively hopped, floral and citrusy. The mouthfeel is medium and begs for you yichang another.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler Glass, got this courtesy of a beer mail!

Appearance - Incredibly hazy dark amber color with a slightly brighter orange color at the bottom. Pours a nice fluffy 2 finger head that's slightly off color in appearance. This also leaves behind alot of great lacing.

Smell - There's some floral hops in here along with the typical citrus smell. However, this smells fairly fruity as I can smell some orange notes and some sweet yeast notes. Either way, it smells fantastic

Taste - There are some definite floral hops in here as well as some strong citrus notes and subtle yeast flavors. It also tastes fairly sweet thanks to the sweet yeasts in here as well. All of together makes for a pretty tasty IPA!

Mouthfeel - Body is pretty heavy and the carbonation is normal and it adds some variety to the flavor. Interestingly enough, it's a fairly creamy feeling beer which makes it pretty easy to drink.

Overall - This is a delicious IPA that no IPA fan should pass up on and it's very easy to drink. It's a shame they're not distributed throughout the country as I would be buying this almost all the time!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes out to Screach for bringing this gem to the May Austin BA tasting event!

Pours from the mini-growler an attractive, burnt copper-orange body with a well-retained patch of light tan foam. Leaves some splotches of lacing along the inside of the glass. Fantastic aroma on this IPA, with big, fresh notes of pine needle, resin, cotton candy, and toffee malts. Mouth watering profusely...

Great usage of hops, and although that is to be expected for an IPA, the brewers at Cigar City really knew what they were doing with this beer. Lots of piny, leafy, fresh hops in the mix, balanced by a solid backbone of caramel and biscuit. Lingering hoppiness rounds out a medium body with a good carbonation level. Jai Ali drinks nicely, and measures up to many of the other top-notch IPA's out there. Would gladly have again.

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Photo of Deadheadbill
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden color with a nice white head and very good lacing. Very nice aromas of hops, citrus and some malt. Medium bodied with nice bitter citrusy hop flavors balanced by malt, citrus fruit and some sweetness.

The amazing thing about this beer is that it always stays in balance with a lush mouthfeel and the hops always winning out in the flavor battle. CCB has done something few brewers can do, they have crammed all the flavors of an Imperial IPA into their regular bottling. This is without a doubt one of the best IPA's available.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body was orange-amber in color, clear, and gently carbonated; forming a two finger thick head that proved very durable. The first thing hit me as the can was opened was the tropical citrus smell, and it intensified upon pouring. Bringing the glass under the nose revealed a ton of grapefruit, mandarin orange, bitter orange, and a hint of papaya. The taste was very hoppy, revealing layers of grapefruit, pine, hay, and some butterscotch. The finish was spicy and earthy, and the body felt quite sticky. This straddled a line between a regular IPA and a DIPA, and should probably be considered a double. I am so glad I bought two sixpacks, as this would keep me happy for a while.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned on 12/11/12
Estimated calories - 225/12oz

Purchased through LetsPour.

Price - $5.00/can

Oh yeah, exactly what you would expect from a quality IPA. Big, thick white head (two fingers high) with lacing to die for. Copper in color with lots of sediment both in suspension and on the bottom of the glass. Mounds of soapy suds sit atop this gem.

Smell is tropical with tangerine, pineapple and orange. Big hops here without holding back. Fairly strong in the nose and leaves very little for the imagination. No surprise here.

Flavor is spot on for the style and a surprise with 2 months of age on it. Holds up well here with fruity characteristics one would expect straight out of the settling tanks. Grapefruit peel, pine apple, pear and caramel malt for some sweetness balance rounds this one out.

Body is medium and feels sticky with low carbonation. Refreshing for a 7.5% beer with a fair amount of bitterness and mild dryness, impressive.

Overall this beer is full of flavor and highly drinkable. From start to finish the beer is a cookie cutter example of the style the way it was meant to be. More please. My biggest hang up here is price but I understand the cost of doing business.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to BPRESTON for the Cigar City haul! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Deep hazy tangelo liquid with tangerine and amber highlights and a fluffy three finger seashell stand of merengue up top. Thick soapy lacing, and a constant stream of rising bubbles throughout. Superior retention.

Lovely aroma - chock full of citrus-forward hops with fresh orange and pomelo zest dominating the nose. Clean malt and a light herbaceous note round out the scent.

Very faint caramel malt, immediately enveloped in a wave of citrus-y, lightly spicy hops which lead into a moderate bitterness mid-palate growing more fruity suggesting white peach and a touch of mango. Finishes dry and bready with a lasting subtle complexity of mixed hops. Very citrus-forward and flavorful, but remarkably balanced (without being too malty) and without overdoing the bitterness or acids. A true change of pace from many West Coast IPAs, but just as enjoyable as most of them.

Well carbonated, soft, then crisp and refreshing. Each sip demands another as you try to pick out subtle hop notes but are thwarted again and again as the wave of citrus/fruit and gentle caramel wash over you.

Really impressive.

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Photo of LittleMurphyDog
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look--beautiful golden color. Pours out with fine white head, which reduces to a nice collar aroma is hoppy and fruity. Taste is hoppy. Feel is light and smooth,

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Photo of kevinv
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Many thanks to a great new trader, Belthor, for sending a bottle of this my way as an extra.

A - Pours a dark murky copper/orange with a 1.5 finger creamy off-white head, which retains very nicely by the way... Solid lacing is left on the glass as you enjoy this one.

S - Pungent aromas of floral and tropical notes. It smells like oranges, tangerines, and mangos. Slight caramel undertones. If you have the willpower to savor this beer without just gulping it down, the aromas really begin to shine as the beer warms a bit.

T - Very orange-y type fruits like you get in the smells dominate the flavor. Delicious. Slight maltiness is more noticeable when the beer warms a bit. Mild hop bitterness up front with a nice drying finish. No presence of alcohol. Piney notes in the aftertaste.

M - Good medium bodied brew with a well balanced mild carbonation.

D - This a great IPA that I'd love to have over and over. My glass was empty before I knew it and I was left craving more. Solid.

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Photo of Marleypoo
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

How they got 7.5 abv to taste so smooth I will never know? I live on the beach in south Florida and drink beer all day everyday, this is my new favorite beach beer. You only need a few and your where you wanna be! I love beer and Really think Jai Alai is the best beer I ever had! Hands down!

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Photo of StrangerTides
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first introduction to IPAs, found it available on tap at The Living Room Restaurant in Boynton Beach, FL a few years ago. Prior to that I was a pretty undiscriminating beer drinker, choosing anything from Bud Light to Heineken to Sam Adams. It was a revelation to find a new type of beer with a really great taste. The thickness and smoothness of this beer combined with the tingling bitterness made an instant impression on me. Now I've taken every opportunity to try different beer varieties and IPAs remain my favorite, with Jai Alai being one of my top five or so.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Arrived today in a package from hoppy99, had to crack it right away.

Appearance: Pours a copper tangerine color, with a modest, bubbly white head. Some lace forms a nice web on the glass.

Smell: A great variety of citrus hop aromas. Grapefruit, mango, and sweet pineapple. A soft, caramel bready malt exists in the background.

Taste: The balance between a semi-sweet bready malt and the stronger citrusy hops stays steady throughout each sip. Sweet mango and pineapple help round out the dominating tart grapefruit hop presence. Quite a hoppy bitterness in the middle, but it finishes a little sweet.

Mouthfeel: The definition of a smooth and creamy feel for an IPA. The great feel is what really sets this apart. Crisp and bold, with a light dry finish. A light sticky residue remains at the end of the sip.

Drinkability: This is very tasty, and the creamy feel puts it up there as one of the more drinkable IPA's I have had.

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Photo of rdilauro
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First time trying this beer, I was totally happy. It had that ever so appealing grapefruit, resin pine aroma,
The taste did not disappoint, Right from the copper Amber color with a good lasting dirty white head, I enjoyed this. The first sip was bold and crisp. This is one of the beer types I call chuggable. The second and third sips satisfied,until I just "downed" the rest. Not as much of a dry finish.
Now that I am leaving Florida I will have to see where in CT I can get some

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap poured into shaker pint

A: clear copper color nice fluffy head laced on the glass well 

S: grapefruit orange little bready      

T: very clean smooth grapefruit and orange flavors nice light bitterness on the end

M: very clean feel nice smoothness 

O: very well done IPA it's fruity finishes clean not too bitter it's very good 

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Photo of frozyn
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Updated review, after having had a couple six packs ranging from 5 days old to 2 weeks old.

L -- Thick bright white head on an copper body.

S -- Bright, citrus hops take it all for me. Can I pretend I smelled the malt in it? No? Ok, just hops then.

T -- Citrusy bitter hops, caramel malt on the back end that's tempered for me by some banana/mango/fruit flavors. The hops are very forward and are great.

F -- Crisp, fresh, smooth, nicely carbonated.

O -- Really great IPA. Some won't enjoy the malt presence, but I think it adds a balance to it. There's plenty of bitter hops in here and the malt tempers that. I can't go wrong with a pretty fresh 6-pack of this, especially on a hot summer beach.

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Photo of illMurray
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

So here goes my first review ... This is a fantastic IPA , at only 7% abv it packs a lot of flavor. Its a great anytime IPA and has become really popular in South Florida and is almost always available. Nice opaque orange color , great mouthfeel, and tons of citrus hoppy flavor. Is great out of the can but I prefer in a glass to really appreciate the color and aroma of this IPA. Has a great balance of bitterness and sweetness. I usually drink IPA's in the 9-10% abv range but this IPA stands up right next to them.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored, white head, sticky lacing. Smells sweet with orange blossom aroma and caramel. The taste is sweet caramel orange and flowery hops. Medium body with medium caucusing. Dangerously drinkable beer.

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Photo of themind
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing American IPA! beer pours a small head with a murky golden color. The aroma is hops and more hops. The taste is a hop explosion...not a Heady level but this stuff is very good. The beer is slightly bitter with a subtle after taste. Over all its an amazing beer worth seeking out. I would stock up on this stuff if it came to PA again in the next 100 years.

Bottom Line: Incredible IPA

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out of a can at a Marriot in Orlando. The beer is a beautiful deep murky copper color with two or so inches of thick creamy off-white head. Retention is solid, lacing comes in rich, thick rings.

S - Wonderful fresh hops, little bit of pine. Mostly citrus. Yum, can't wait to sip this thing.

T - The taste follows the smell quite well. Not quite as citrusy as I was expecting from some of the reviews that I had read before I tasted it, but still bursting with the hop flavors that I look for in a top IPA.

M - probably on the thicker side of medium-bodied and a pleasure to drink. Another facet of this beer that stood out to me as unique is a bubbly tingle that I felt on my tongue during and after the finish. It really created a great contrast to the easy smoothness of the beer.

O - All the components of some of my favorite IPAs are present here. My only regret is that I had to drink it more quickly than normal due to concerns over catching a flight. Highly recommend if you can get your hands on some.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dirty looking orange color that is impermeable. Has a thin head that leaves a lot of lacing on the sides of the glass

S-Grapefruit, pine, acidic fruits, floral, with some zesty spices. Just fantastic.

T-Hop forward, but a lot going on here. A flash of breadiness hits the palate at first, then fades into the hops. Citrus, acidic fruits, bitter hops, zesty spices are in the middle of the palate. The finish is hoppy as hell, but has a sweet twinge to it.

MF-Creamy and carbonated at the same time. Finishes crisp and refreshing. Medium body

O-Exceptional. An IPA worth the hype.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned on July 26 2013

A: Pours a lightly hazy copper color with 2 fingers of head that slowly recede to a cap that leaves great lacing

S: Quite tropical with citrus and light earthy notes. Decent malt presence. Hops definitely take the show

T: Starts with a bit of citrus and some caramel maltiness and goes into the tropical hoppiness that dominated the nose. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and more fruitiness. Nicely balanced and hides the alcohol well

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Soft

O: Definitely one of the better IPAs out there. I love the balance and drinkability. Packs a nice hop punch without being too bitter. Wish this had distribution out of FL

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Photo of Stevedore
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap several times back in December when I was visiting the brewery before heading out on a cruise with the family. Reviewing this one based on a fresh can dated 5/28/2013, so it's ten days young. Poured into a CCB pint glass (the one you get free with the brewery tour). Thanks to RaffyS for throwing a few cans of this in as extras.

Aroma: A bit of pine but mostly citrus and hints of tropical fruit. Balanced out by a nice caramel malt backbone. Smells rich and appetizing without smelling too sticky or resinous. (4.25)

Colour: Beautiful dark amber body with a thick, thick 3cm offwhite head that takes its sweet time settling down into a thick off-white film with tons of ridiculous lacing all over the glass by the time all is said and done. Beautiful! (4.5)

Flavour: Delicious citrus and tropical fruit notes- its grapefruit and mango mixed together, yet balanced out so well by the malty caramel and toffee backbone. All the flavours come together incredibly well, enough that you can pick it out if you pay attention but you're too busy enjoying the damn beer! Has a nice piney bitterness at the end too. Well-done Joey. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: A delicious medium bodied brew with great carbonation, full of the frontloaded fizziness with a clean but moist finish that makes this beer so refreshing. The aftertaste is primarily some combination grapefruit and pine bitterness with a nice malty sweet kick. You cannot detect any of the 7.5% ABV at any point in this brew. Simply quaffable. (4.5)

Overall: One of my favorite IPAs, glad to reexperience this one again. So refreshing, not even a hint of dryness, with excellent hoppiness for an IPA makes this a very well put-together beer. One of the best regular IPAs I've had the chance to drink. (4.5)

(My previous Hads rating from 1/2/2013 was a 4.5)

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Bubbly, mostly white head. A hazy, light copper and orange hue. Carbonation is everywhere - in the head and small chains of active bubbles traveling up the glass and suspended in the beer. Some sediment floating in the beer as well.

S: Floral, orange citrus hops, biscuits, and strong pine resin.

T: Sweet, caramel, and malty biscuits up front. Sting of grapefruit and dank, earthy bitterness on the end.

M: Juicy mouthfeel that is more sweet at first, but bitterness clings on the tongue at the finish. Nice warming sensation on the back of the throat.

O: An easy drinking IPA that is juicy, slightly refreshing, but full of powerful flavors and aromas. A handsome looking beer from start to finish. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tale of two beers. Had two from the same 6 pack, one was OMG excellent, one was dull and not nearly as good. It was an odd thing. Some, the great one had an almost orange juice like taste. Very citrus forward aroma. The dull one had a muted citrus aroma. Was more on the bitter side with way less citrus taste. Still good, just not as good as the other can.

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Photo of BWED
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can purchased at the Craft Beer Outlet in Philly.
Poured into a tulip.

A- Clear, golden-burnt orange, with a light and fizzy one finger head. Off-white in color and retains fairly well, with the lacing sliding slowly back into the beer.

S- Nose stinging of floral and citrus notes, with a sweet malt undertone.

T- Malty, almost a caramel off the bat, but with a bitter punch of citrus and a complementary earthy hop mellowness.

M- Unbelievably not bitter, light carbonation, on a medium light body. The finish brings a mellow bitter dryness, only beckoning in more beer!

O- I thought this was fantastic. I noticed some reviewers saying this was more a pale ale than an IPA, but I think not. It is highly hopped like any other IPA, but it is so mellow. Who ever said IPAs had to be highly bitter? I look forward to the next time I drink this beer.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,350 ratings.