Jai Alai IPA - Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

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6,370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,370
Reviews: 1,247
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 878
Gots: 1,350 | FT: 67
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: 6,370 | Reviews: 1,247
Photo of dfclav
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a very rich copper color with an impressive foamy 2 finger yellow frothy lace that does a good job of hanging around.

S - smells like a well done IPA. Huge notes of grapefruit and citrus all around. Simcoe fairly present in the nose.

T - huge on caramel and grapefruit, this beer is well balanced. Very biscuity, with a good hop kick. Carbonation is a little low to land a very intense twang, but it comes together well. Alcohol very well hidden.

M - medium to full bodied with good balance and enough carbonation and malt to hold everything together well.

O - this is a well done IPA. Not my favorite, but it's enjoyable and I'm glad I got to try it. Not extraordinarily complex, but gets the job done to keep IPA lovers happy.

Photo of WrathsU
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very clear golden bronze color. Pours great finger head and really good head retention.

S - The aroma literally filled the room upon pour. Smells very citrusy and sweet. Oranges, grapefruit, and a floral bouqet.

T - Very bitter up front. Spicy hop tastes, not as much citrus as you'd expect from the nose. Floraly towards the end. Wish there was a bit more malt backbone to help balance the very bitter taste.

M - Smooth, well carbonated. Goes down very easily.

D - A great beer, could drink a ton of this any given night.

Photo of Doc_Hops
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy copper color with some interesting floaties in it. Head is off white and about a quarter of an inch high.

S-Citrus hops in the nose with hints of other fruit, possibly banana and even guava.

T- Great hop punch in the beginning giving way to a little be of carmel-y sweetness. Definitely well balanced and is getting better as it warms up a little bit.

M- Really smooth, medium bodied, and crisp on the palate.

O- Great brew here. It is well balanced and juicy, which I really love. Very drinkable but I can see how this might get dangerous given the fact I could drink 4 or 5 of these very easily.

Serving type- 12oz can gently poured into a pint glass as instructed by the can. Thanks for reading.

Photo of jwchestnut
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - copper, burnt orange, brilliant white head, pillowly foam

S - grapefruit and citrusy hops, toasted bread, sweet honey-like notes

T - follows the noise, love the malty base, lots of fruity and floral hops with a late mouth bitterness that builds throughout but never overpowers the strong malt sweetness, no hint of the 7.5 abv - could drink this all night

M - smooth going down with medium carbonation, thicker than many american ipas, kind of chewy

0 - one of my favorites - wonderful balance between all that is at work here. i've had in the can as well as on tap and prefer the can. really wonderful and memorable stuff

Photo of Bennettrox
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dolfan84 for this one!

A - Dark amber with one finger head.

S - Very much key to east coast style. Citrus, grapefruit, maybe a little orange and pineapple. Very crisp

T - Shining point for me. Citrus up front with a surprising pine element that I couldn't find in the nose. Stick grapefruit and caramel finishes off strong.

M - Medium carbonation, very easy to drink.

O - Another great beer from CCB. Fresh, this is a great IPA and a very drinkable one. Can't wait to try more

Photo of jm1229
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to try Cigar City beer for a long time, but seeing that I primarily live in LA, it wasn't going to happen until the school year started and I was back in NY. Now that the time has come, I finally got my hands on some Jai Alai and I can't be more excited to try this. Hopefully I didn't hype myself up too much.

12 oz bottle served at 55 degrees and poured into a Founders pint glass. Can't really read the date on the label, but it says "11" on it, so it's not too old.

A- My conservative pour yielded quite the head, roughly 3 fingers worth. It sits on top like foam would atop a root beer float, sticky and clinging to the side of the glass. Body ls a golden syrup, expected for an IPA. Looks really nice. I have a feeling from the look that it'll be somewhat malty.

S- Immediately citrus fruit come to mind: grapefruit mostly, alongside orange, mango, and some pineapple. Really tropical. Some malt in there, as well. Expected in the east coast IPA.

T- Wow. Totally unexpected. It follows the nose in all the right ways. Mouthful of tropical juice: the mango, grapefruit, pineapple. Just a little malt to finish and balance the taste.

M- Nice carbonation, medium bodied. Goes down insanely smooth. Really nice aftertaste, as well.

O- While I must say I've been slightly disappointed by other east coast IPAs, this one really shines. I'm not really much of a malt lover (as I prefer the west coast hop-bomb), but this is a great beer. Glad I went for the 6 pack.

Photo of SolarMikey
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer side-by-side with its white oak-aged cousin, though I'm not letting that impact my review. The bottle was dated August 2011, and so I look forward to trying it fresher at the brewery later this week.

The beer is golden amber with a good amount of carbonation, and the fluffy head ends up as a thin continual layer. It has a classical IPA aroma of hops and bready malts.

The hops and bready malts also dominate the flavor, though the beer has a nice fizz to it, almost more so than the oak-aged version. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth.

I'd recommend this simple and straightforward IPA -- it completely hits the spot -- though it pales in comparison to the more experimental varieties out there.

Photo of JAA
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This wonderful brew was consumed at the Lost Kangaroo Pub in Bradenton, Florida.

A- Dark amber, one finger head due to a gentle pour. Excellent lacing with micro bubbles that cascade down the glass. Very appealing.

S- Hops Hops Hops! Grapefruit and other citrus notes.

T- Reminiscent of ruination, slightly more balanced, though. Strong hop presence. Tastes fresh. Good God, Cigar City is busting onto the scene with some exceptional brews!

MF- Relatively creamy. Zingy hops.

D- Phenomenal. I'm unaware of the ABV, but it seems pretty strong for an IPA. Wonderful brew, can't wait for sixers.

Okay, now that i know it's 7.50%, it is right at what i expected. A strong IPA that could have been classified as an Impy IPA. Very Very fresh. The freshest IPA i have ever had. Thank you, Cigar City.

Photo of jerrytodd
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

IMO merely OK. Too sweet. Not very distinctive hop flavor.

Photo of ZagZagg
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can into tulip

A: Deep golden, light hazy hazel colored brew that donned a nice two-two and a half finger head that was paper white in color. Grippy spider web like lacing clings to the entirety of the glass, retention is good – no visible sediment, although doesn’t appear filtered

S: Somewhat sour white wine/grape aroma dominates the nose – rather interesting aroma, very different from other IPAs I’ve whiffed. Cider notes complex with a sharp sorta yeastiness. Has a bit of a subtle sweetness in the tail end, lightly hoppy.

T: Fruity, but in an indirect way that diverges from the nose a bit. White grape, banana - has a Belgian sort of spin on it. Very light spice presence, silky and a little bready - Obvious malt dries out the middle mouth while adding a nice balance. The middle mouth pulls the mixed flavor of orange and possibly lemon, but without their typical citrus zest. Notes of clove, ginger, and coriander loom somewhere in the background without substantial individuality – Bold

M: Kinda creamy, bigger body than most – mouth filler - frothy. After taste is sweet and dry leaving a noticeable coating on the tongue and mouth. Carbonation is present, but understated.

O: Very different than any of the IPAs I’ve had in the past. It honestly reminds me of a tripel and therefore lacks the robust tropical fruitiness that I find crisp and refreshing. While the flavors I encountered were not displeasing, they weren’t exactly what I’m looking for when I scoop an AIPA. Definitely a unique beer, an interesting spin on the style

Photo of BigBlacke
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at a beer tasting at Mr. Dunderbaks in Daytona Beach.

A: is nothing extraordinary nice light copper
color. Leaves a nice light lace all the way
the last drop.

S: is where this one begins to jump out at ya.
VERY strong floral hop character.

T: Strong floral hop flavor
that rivals most DIPAs. Excellent

M: Smooth, has the ability to linger on the

D: Not as drinkable as most IPAs due to the
its higher alcohol and hop content. Not
your session beer by anymeans, but
absolutely delightful. Very impressed.

Photo of DaverCS
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bought can at cigar city brewery. 3 days old!!!

Golden orange, honey colored brew. 1 1/2 finger head.

Bright citrusy hop aroma. Tons of grapefruit and tropical fruit notes.

Taste is a tropical fruit explosion. Definitely a generous amount of grapefruit. I get a honey like sweetness. The beer is not overly bitter, but has just enough bite to cut through it all. Beautiful lacing on the glass post consumption.

My only critique is that the beer was a bit thick. Not by far, but just slightly. Really fantastic beer overall. It would go great with a shrimp ceviche or something with nice bright flavors. This beer does remind me of sculpin for everyone who can't get it. I give it a 96/100.

Photo of dpasotti
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dead-on copper color, an inch of frothy cream-colored foam, and a bit of haze gives Jai Alai an almost perfect IPA appearance in my book. Not to mention some of the best lacing you can find. This beer looks beautiful. Simcoe hops are definitely dominant in the nose, with a noticeable aroma of sweet malt. As the glass empties, there's a slight soapiness, but not in an unpleasant way.

Taste has plenty of hop complexity: tropical/pineapple and pine character surely from the Simcoe, and some lighter and sweet-ish citrus notes. Maybe a little too heavy on the crystal malts; there's a sweetness that is a little more on the caramelly side than most IPAs, even on this side of the Mississippi. Light bready malt undertones. The balance is not quite there, and I can't really put a finger on it. It's not overly bitter or sweet, but it's like the malty sweetness jumps into the cancha a bit too soon. It is not way out of whack by any means, but something just feels a little wobbly. I think the noticeable alcohol may play a big part in this perception. Bumping it down a percentage point could go a long way in the smoothness department, and for the beer overall.

The "fastest sport in the world" is heavy on the palate... in a great way. A medium-full body may not encourage a session of this beer, but it does make for an unexpectedly velvety-textured IPA. All in all, Jai Alai is a good beer, but isn't quite there in my book. I would buy it again (if I didn't have to drive 700 miles to get it), but the last sip doesn't pull me to the fridge for another one, like so many other great IPAs.

Photo of TheLostGringo
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Received as an extra in a trade for some other CC stuff I had coveted.
Poured from a 12oz. can into a tulip glass.

A: Nice Copper color pour, slightly hazy, with a brilliant white sudsy head that leaves solid lacing.

S: light pine, but very strong tropical fruit smells.

T: Crisp clean IPA, hints of fruit, mild malt finish. Perfectly balanced.

M: Perfect body for the style, finishes nice and without a syrupy finish I get from some IPA's.

O: Best Regular IPA I have ever had, I good drink this over and over.

Photo of jpittman80
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Brilliantly clear, dark copper with off-white head and lacing.

S - Beautiful floral hop aroma and caramel malts.

T - Has a complex citrus, pine, and floral hop flavor. Good bitterness, but not overbearing. Nice caramel flavor to balance everything. Nice dry finish. One of the most balanced IPAs I've ever had, and I don't usually enjoy the east coast IPAs. Well, CCB is on the OTHER west coast, so...

M - Creamy smooth, soft carbonation, no hint of alcohol.

D - So I could drink this all day. Throw in a couple of Humidor Series of this and I would die a happy man.

Yeah, I think the eastern US finally has a contender for best IPA. It took us awhile. This is much more caramel forward in the bottle, as the hop sensation will fade with age. Still excellent, but to get the true essence and promise of this IPA, you gotta have it on draft.

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

they serve this at the bar down the street from my house. it's AMAZING. the first time i had it it was right after i finished a stone IPA and my friend was trying to tell me to try it but i was hesitant because i was really digging the fact that they had stone IPA on tap. ANYHOW...i was convinced to try it because the brewery is around here in tampa. so first of all the appearance was amazing. nice foamy, sticky, clingy lace. nice amber color. the smell captivated me for like 3 minutes before i even took a sip. smells is like picking a fresh hop, cracking it and smelling it, and also very deep toasty malt. smells soo beautiful. it's really hard to explain. maybe oak chips in there somewhere. taste is a very perfectly balanced romance between beautiful toasty sweet malt and very abrasive (but still beautiful) hops. mouth feel is perfect...but maybe a tad more full bodied than your average american IPA. drinkability is great. the only thing that sucks is that i want to have like 6 of these but i have to drive home....7.5%

call a cab...it's SOOOO worth it to drink this beauty of an AIPA
touche cigar city...TOUCHE

Photo of UnDeadly
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, Glass stein

Appearance - Orange-red, pretty dark really for an American single IPA. Good foam though that maintains a small film throughout the drink. Exceptional lacing.

Smell - Admittedly, I am not sure the correct glass for this beer. Very clean notes of spicy pine, with just a bit of floral. I get almost no citrus.

Taste - A very tasty beer! Initial flavors are light and floral. As the bitterness ramps up in the middle, so does the maltiness. Sweetness peaks in the back, and then BAM, piney bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouth Feel - Slightly creamy mouthfeel that is very appropriate for the style, especially one that does not completely discount the malt notes. Carbonation is perfect, brings about a spritz that does not sting.

Drinkability - ABV is actually high for the style. To be honest, I actually wish it was a touch lower, its pushing IIPA status. Price was semi-reasonable...a little pricey, I think I paid $12 or so for the 4-pack? But yeah, I would drink this puppy until I couldn't see straight if I could.

Personally, not the best IPA I have ever had, but it's up there for sure. It's a nice change from the citrus/grapefruit IPA's that seem to dominate the American scene. This beer is very well done, and would buy another pack in a heartbeat...if I could friggen get it in NC.

Photo of mjsheehan08
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smells like a grapefruit wrapped in a hop plant. Fruity, hoppy with some mild piney aromas to it. 
Carmel malts upfront. Sweet and tasty with a little bready chewiness. A good complexities of flavor, but I'm not sure that they work that well together. The sweetness in the beginning is immediately overtaken by a very bitter aftertaste that lingers for a while. Hop feel circles around the back of the jaw.  Overall a decent beer, and I wish I hadn't heard the hype on it beforehand. 

Photo of weltywm
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drinking it right out of the can.

Appearance: It's a good looking can.

Smell: Citrusy orange, grassy hops, a touch of sweetness.

Taste: Just like the nose. Dominated by orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Followed by a little bit of vanilla and just a bit of wood, complimented by grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and full-bodied, with a very dry crisp finish.

Overall: A very good and well balanced IPA. For the price and the availability, it's hard to beat.

Photo of CraigS119
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at my local Wal-Mart (yes, we're spoiled by Cigar City) in Tampa, FL. $9.49 for the sixer and they come in these nifty green & orange cans:


A- Cloudy, orangey-gold color. It's got some moderate carbonation and a little bit of white, silky head lacing the top.

A- Smells hoppy, piney, and orange zesty… almost like a Blue Moon on roids.

F- The taste packs a punch. It's like biting through the peel of an orange- bitter, but satisfying. Hops are definitely at the helm of this beer, but there's good balance of malt and fruit, leading to a very full-bodied taste. Altogether a complex, yet harmonious flavor profile.

M- Lots of coarse carbonation on the tongue, with heavy, silkiness throughout.

O- This is the beer that first got me into IPAs. It's got that brutal kick upfront that takes you aback, an orangey/fruity middle, and the bitter follow-through that reminds you what a hell of an IPA it is that you're consuming. Jai Alai is not only a terrific beer, but also a great marquee of the Florida beer scene.

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 McDiddyPop
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Man, oh, man. After all the times I have had this beer, I finally decided to sit down and review it. 32oz growler poured into my Cigar City pint glass.

This one pours deep amber with a rusty hue. Perfect clarity. A rocky off-white head rose two fingers high and slowly dissipated to a thick quarter-inch cap of foam. Some of the best lacing I have seen. There is a ring all the way around the glass from the initial pour.

Smell is amazing. Citrusy. A bit of mint and pine aroma comes through. Tropical fruits are there as well. Maybe mango?

Taste is very refreshing. Nice and fruity with a fairly harsh yet enjoyable citrus edge. Sharp grapefruit on the finish. I love this beer.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Could perhaps use a bit more carbonation, but this might be unique to this growler. A sticky finish that puckers my mouth up.

The drinkability of this one is extremely high given its ABV. I shudder to think what Wayne and Joey would do with a DIPA considering their IPA is pushing about 7.5%. Goood to the last drop.

Photo of RyBrew54
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in Belgium style pub glass. Color is medium amber pour with quarter inch acing head. Nose has hints of tropical fruit, citrus zest, and citrus hops. Taste comes remarkably close to the nose as citrus hops are present with hints of caramel and pineapple. Not a terribly bitter after taste and is fairly sweet. A very nice IPA from an outstanding brewery.

Photo of mtvolkens
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into tapered pint glass with a 3in head. Beautiful Amber orange color, with lots of carbonation, and the head held well. Smells citrusy sweet and light. Malty caramel flavors up front with a nice citrusy hoppy note on the back end. Very drinkable, very pleasant IPA. Would love to drink these regulars, great go-to beer but probably not the hoppiest IPA if you're looking for that over the top bitter bite.

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

I was surprisingly impressed by this IPA. Living in Florida I've had total access to CCB's line up of beers. I have to say that I don't love them all but Jai Alai Is my kind of IPA. The color is very golden and pure. The aroma is a terrific citrus smell with the familiar pine presence as well. The taste follows the nose with a up front citrus presence followed by the hops to back it up. Just the right amount of hops without getting out of control but enough to keep the hop heads happy. Excellent balance with the 7% abv completely hidden and all you can think about is popping another beer. Overall this is an excellent IPA and is now part of my regular rotation. I only wish it were a little less expensive.

Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 6,370 ratings.