Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,342 Reviews
For Trade:
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

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: 1,342 | Ratings: 7,178
Photo of samyoung
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beers you find in the random bodegas...
I was heading back from dinner at a friends and stopped into a neighborhood store expecting to get a Sierra Nevada; instead I found a beer I have been wanting to try for months. Picked up a single for $2.39.

A - Cloudy, autumn haze; it looks fantastic.
S - Slight scent of hops, vanilla and citrus; really had to smell hard.
T - Vanilla, pine-cone and bitter oak.
M - Thick and sticky.
D - Very robust and complex; may be hard to have multiple.

I think this one may be an acquired taste. I really like the oak aging idea - it definitely shows in the beer. The vanilla-oaken undertones make this beer unique as far as IPAs are concerned. I want to try it on draft.

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Photo of ggilman
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found a six-pack at ABC in North Port, FL while visiting my Dad this week. Hoping to swing by the brewery in Tampa on my way out of town!

Poured into a brandy snifter.

A - Hazy apricot color with an intially thick foamy head, that subsided quickly, leaving small amounts of sticky lacing.

S - Sweet Candy Malt nose.

T - Rich malt sweetness fully coats your mouth. Grapefruity bitterness lingers in the back.

M & D - Thick & syrupy. Rich, but enough carbonation to cut it. Smooth, but heavy. Like drinking a hop nectar reduction. A couple will fill you up. 7.5% ABV comes through. Finish the 6-pack and you'll be drunk dialing ex-girlfriends.

I'm not sure what defines Imperial or Double vs. a regular IPA, but to me, this is an IIPA! Similar in character to a 90-Minute. This has become my official vacation beer. I'm excited to try more of their beers soon!

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Photo of brew3crew
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-cloudy orange with white head
S-smells like mostly faded hops. Get some pine after it warms up some
T-very malty with almost no hop presence. Doesn't seem like this is very fresh. Ok at best and I think that is the biggest indicator of freshness
M-mediun bodied and smooth.
D-Very drinkable considering the abv. Would like to try a fresh one and see what it tastes like

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Photo of BamaViper1
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I assume this is an early 2011 vintage.

The Jai Alai pours golden amber and slightly opaque into the glass. It forms a half-inch thick, white head that leaves nice whisps of lacing down the side of the glass.

This beer has strong aromas of hops with notes of grass and grapefruit. There are also slight hints of banana and a caramel malt.

This brew is nice with the grassy hops coming through as the beer hits the tongue. That bitter grassiness is the base from which all of the other tastes emerge, those others including hints of grapefruit and orange. The finish is bitter with a hint of bread.

The beer is medium-bodied with good carbonation. The finish is long but a bit too thin. The almost DIPA-like taste screams to me for a DIPA body, but it's an IPA and the mouthfeel fits its style. Just with it were a little bigger.

With lower alcohol and a solid taste, this beer is easily drinkable. I like the Jai Alai a lot, and for now it is probably my favorite Cigar City brew. It's a really hoppy and bitter IPA. You can't really ask for more.

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Photo of gskitt
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a tight fluffy head, has some floating sediment in the body. Smells of sweet citrus and pine resins. Something else coming through, can't put my finger on it. Very resiny, oily, citrus component comes through as a sour bitter grapefruit. Has a touch of sweetness at the end. Leaves my mouth puckered and watering. This is a drinkable 7 1/2 %. My first beer from Cigar City, impressive.

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Photo of ms11781
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sburrough. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy, deep orange color with a 1 and half finger, fluffy, off-white head. Great head retention with decent foamy lacing left on the glass.

The nose is pretty balanced. A few different hop aromas are present. Some citrus and grapefruit, and a good amount of pine. The pine is probably more prominent than the others. It's all balanced by an underlying malt sweetness that is probably stronger than it seems if it keeps the hops in check.

Strong hop flavor in the taste as well. Still fruity, but not so much citrusy as in the nose. The sweet malt character is very strong here, balancing the hops nicely. Finishes strong with some bitterness from a piny, resinous bite.

Medium mouthfeel with a lower carbonation give the beer a smooth and creamy mouthfeel all the way through. That being said, it could probably use a bit more carbonation. Sometimes a beer with a good bitter kick at the end doesn't finish all that smooth but that's not the case here.

Good drinkability. Overall a pretty balanced IPA with strong malt and hop flavors. Definitely surprised to see that the ABV is 7.5% because it feels like a beer that you could have a more than a few of. But with an ABV that high it would catch up sooner rather than later.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange/gold color. Nice fluffy cream colored head than slowly descends to a thick blanket. Nice lacing. Smell is malty with tropical hop aroma. A. Lot of tart tropical fruit hop flavors with a malt backbone. Some Carmel notes due to the malt. Long lingering slight bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with nice carbonation. Fairly creamy mouthfeel. Quite smooth. Overall a decent ipa.

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Photo of larsenju
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date, batch codes, or best by.

A-Orange body with just a hint of amber, 2 finger solid white nice retention and lacing.

S-Strong citrus, kind of a mix of grapefruit and orange, some peach, and a little bit of a grassy pine character that cuts through everything. Backing up all those hops I got a little honey sweetness and some biscuity malt.

T-Sweeter fruits up front, some mango, peach and just a little bit of lemon. Moving back the malts started to come through, biscuits and bread. Finishing with a kick of bitter and some resin like pine. Starting midway across the palate it got pretty hot and only got worse from there.

M-Kind of on the thin side, medium carb.

D-I have had this before and I was pretty excited about it at the time. I enjoyed it today, but I am almost wondering how fresh this is. The hop flavors are way down from what I remember, and it is unpleasantly hot. The fruit flavors are nice, and the aroma is pretty interesting. I appreciate their deviation from the normal American IPA, but lets get some date codes, and maybe drop the ABV and build some body.

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Photo of uustal
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber-orange with a pearl white one-finger head. Not much lacing, decent head retention. Big hoppy aroma. Tropical and pine hops dominate, also a bit of floral hops, bready malt and alcohol present in the nose. Taste is what you'd expect from the nose. Big citrus hops, a little sweetness from the tropical fruits mix well with bittering pine hops. A little bready malt sweetness on the back end. Pine hops linger a bit into the aftertaste.

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Photo of bboelens
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a duvel tulip.

A-Murky orange/copper with flakes of amber and a large frothy 2" white head

S-Spicy Hops, slight malts and citrus

T-The citrus is a bit more pronounce and the hops more subdued in the taste than in the nose, however it certainly works, a slight alcohol infused malty finish wraps up a delicious tasting beer

M-Crisp, medium bodied and well carbonated

D-Loved having a homegrown Florida beer that was absolutely delicious, a great tasting beverage that I'll definitely be having again.

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Photo of eloudy
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First review. Experienced this beer tonight from a 12 oz bottle, given by my girlfriend in a mixed 6 pack. Having lived in Tampa for a few years for college, I have recently found out about the Cigar City Brewery in Ybor city, and I am really excited as its offerings seem to recieve excellent reviews here on BA.

Back to the beer, the Jailai IPA boasts a very well balanced, hoppy nose with an excellent full mouthful, without being too creamy. Hints of hoppy pineyness coupled with citrus and slight orange flavors mingle nicely with caramel malt and a very minimal alcohol flavor(extremely well balanced for its 7.5 ABV profile). Lasting head about 2.5 fingers leaving significant lacing on a pint glass. Very drinkable IPA, can't wait to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: From a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic. Thanks to beveritt for hauling some of these back from Florida.

A- Clear amber/copper. Pours with ~2 fingers of rocky off-white head, which fades very, very slowly to a nice cap. Gobs of sticky lacing left as consumed.

S- Starts with hop notes that are a mix of citrus tipped with pine, and fairly quickly gives way to caramel malty sweetness.

T- Citrus hop notes provide a solid, lingering bitterness, backed by a full dose sweet caramel, slightly biscuit-y malt counter-punch.

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium-slightly full feel. Smooth, even a bit creamy.

D- Very good. Solid all around, and extremely drinkable. Not too palate smashing given it's relative heft and hopiness, and easy to envision drinking multiples in a sitting.

Future outlook: Very good beer that doesn't make it here via distribution, so I won't get to have too often...

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint at Crescent and Vine. This beer is the gray area between IPA and Imperial IPA, but I like beers in here. They're supremely hoppy but still have a decent malt body without being to sweet or thick. I had my glass also with a cheese plate and this went fantastically with the Irish cheddar and Stilton Blue.

The hop character was less citrusy than I remembered with a bit hit of flowery fruit punch. It's smooth at first and then finishes with peppery grapefruit (ok, there's some citrus). For balance there's a slightly sweet fresh bread malt note. Overall, this a great IPA and something a little different than the rest.

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was pretty excited when my parents brought me back a sixer of this from their vacation.

A: Cloudy copper hue with a great frothy head that sticks around and won't go away.

S: Hops play into a tangerine, clementine, ruby red grapefruit aroma. Smells so fresh and sweet with a biscuit malt note in the background.

T: Very sweet, its like tangerine and caramel together in the best of ways. There's more malt then some people might care for, but its quickly cut back with a crisp hop bite. Lingering flavor is very much grapefruit.

M: Slightly syrupy for the style. Medium carbonation.

D: Great; flavor has enough to keep you interested, its crisp yet complex, and you'd never guess it was 7.5%. One of the most enjoyable and drinkable American IPA's.

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Photo of BennyL1
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one in a trade with GallowsThief (Thanks Rich!) Been wanting to give this IPA a shot. Also my first offering from Cigar City.

A - Jai Alai pours a nice cloudy amber color with about a fingers worth of creamy ivory colored head. A good amount of spotty lacing along the glass makes for an inviting appearance.

S - Citrus hop aromas of grapefruit and tangerine up front. A decent amount of pine in there too. Aroma is balanced out with a nice malt scent.

T - Tons of hop flavor up front make for a really nice first sip. Nice and complex with flavors ranging from tropical fruit to pine with a nice toasted biscuit note to boot. Really wonderful all around flavor.

M - Really love the feeling on this one, just nice and smooth with the right amount of carbonation.

D - Great IPA from a great brewery. Can't wait to try the other variations.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange with yellow and a little cloudy. Nice thick white head that fades and brings decent lacing.

The smell is light with pine, alcohol, and spicy malt.

The taste is mostly of pine on the bitter side but has a mandrian orange backing to it as the malt breeps up.

Pretty good IPA and Im very glad I have a few more I received in a trade but nothing that I couldnt live with out.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I paid $11.49 for a six pack of Jai Alai at Sweetbay.

A- Clean. Don't usually drink IPA's but it is my hometown brew so I feel obligated to taste and review it. A really clean orange color that is very appealing.

S- Nicely hopped. The hops are present but not punching you in the face, like Hopslam (which is excellent).

T- Wow, this is a really great IPA. Not my style right now, but, I will always have a place in my heart for IPA's. Clean and crsip with just the right amount of Hoppiness to it.

M- an IPA with great mouthfeel. Easy to swallow down.

D- I am abbreviating this as I only opened it about 10 minutes ago and it is GONE..I should have had another in waiting. What a great beer. I am impressed and will have this again soon.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jessee for this bottle in our recent trade.

Pours amber with an inch of white head. Leaves a ton of lacing down the glass.

Smells like grapefruit and herbs with a hint of caramel in the background. Its a pretty nice smelling beer.

Taste is exceptional a pine flavor warms up the tongue and then its smacked by grapefruit and caramel. Herbs and the pine again finish off the taste.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, not enough IMO, would have liked a tad bit more

Drinkability is great. Too bad I only have one to enjoy.

Would also recommend the cedar aged version.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to dogbones for this extra!

I think perhaps I should have let this one sit a bit longer as I just received it today and it must still have been shaken even after 7 hours of sitting. This beer was a tad foamy out of the bottle, but once i let the gas escape it settled down and poured a nice finger of ecru foam on an amber body. It's much darker than most IPAs that are out there. The smell of this beer is pretty good mostly there is some pale and caramel malts backed up by a strong lemon scent. The flavor of this beer has much of the bittering hops in it, but the flavoring hops seem to not be as present, if they were ever there. There is a deal of barley husk/toasted malt and toffee to go with the minor citrus flavor and there is a distinct bitterness to this beer that might even be off putting to some not acclimated to the style. This is still a good beer to drink though perhaps a tad aggressive on the carbonation.

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

nice color its def. a darker colored ipa....but still transparent...nice little white head...and ok lacing...

the smell is def. malt heavy in the nose....the hops are present as well....

taste totally different than the nose....very very well balanced ipa...not over the top bitterness either....nice piny hop flavor....with a solid malt backbone....

great feel in the mouth....feels good and wet ....not dry at all....

pretty good drink ability....only 7.5% abv....with small hop bitterness....so that doesn't get to you...

great all round beer!

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter

A: Pours a hazy amber with a nice head that gives way to thin lace.

S: Fruity hops are certainly present as well as SImcoe hops. however I can still detect the malty body to the beer as well.

T: Very balanced between the various hops and malts. I detect the usual grapefruit, apricot, and other fruit flavors but also a hint of nutty or toasted malts.

M: Has some body and feel to it, which I much prefer to thinner IPA's

D: The alcohol content is higher than a normal IPA. Very drinkable, although not necessarily something you'd knock back a bunch of at one sitting

Between this and the other Jai Alai variations I've had (Humidor Cedar aged and Oak Aged) I'd have to say the Oak Aged is the best (and one of my favorite IPA's) but this original is pretty great too.

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Photo of peabody
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really clear very effervescent light amber with two fingers of very foamy suds and there is lacing here.
Smell is light malty caramel sugars. Very mild hoppiness. No alcohol is present in the aroma.
Not a citrusy smell at all, but the yeast/hop does burn the nose just a bit.
Taste is slightly bitter at first with some sugar. Then the dark black bitterness hits and it is all bitter hop for about 45 seconds followed by the booziness that you would expect from a 7.5%er.
Mouthfeel is clean at first then as the alcohol comes forth you get a blackness that goes all the way down the back of the throat.
Drinkability is pretty good but I think it needs just a tad more sweetness. Still a great IPA.

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Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

brought back from a recent trip to FL, courtesy of JW3477. thanks john!

12oz bottle. sampled oct 27/2010.

pours hazy orangey amber, more reddish at its darkest points and amber toward the edges. a thin layer of fine cream coloured head forms, quickly retreating to a ring around the glass and leaving plenty of spotty lace.

aroma is great. a nice mix of tropical and west coast hops. orange, tangerine, grapefruit, mango, pineapple. bit of candied fruit character. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. hint of winey caracter. caramel.

taste is good. the hopping seems more unified than in the aroma. candied orange and pineapple. caramel and a bit of toffee. hints of pine. white bread and cracker. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. medium body with a pretty dry finish. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance, hiding most of its alcohol. i only wished that the flavour had retained some of the depth that was present in the aroma. still, a damn tasty ipa.

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Photo of argock
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed clear glass wine goblet. No freshness date. Single purchased at Knightly Spirits (Orlando, FL) for $2.29.

A: Lightish amber with ample 1-finger off-white, tightly bubbled head with good retention and above-average lacing.

S: Thick resinous pine off the top gives way to grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas. Malt is sweet caramel and toffee. Very bold, aggressive hoppiness to be sure.

T: The flavor carries the same pattern of strong resin and pine up front, followed by more grapefuit, lemon, and fruity flavors. The maltiness is substantial with a lot of sweet caramel and nougat to go around.

M: Coating and slick at once with excellent low-medium carbonation and a resiny aftertaste.

D: A very impressive IPA with West Coast aggessiveness combined with more muscular hoppiness and more caramel in the malt bill. It tastes a lot like PtE Jr. would taste. A top-tier IPA without a doubt and I am glad I had a shot at it this trip.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange-amber with a one finger white head and good lacing.

Nose consists mainly of citrusy hops, mostly lemon and orange peel, and some bready malt.

Taste is not very aggresive. Some citrus hops followed by a little bit of piney hops and and balanced out well by some sweet malty to finish. Leaves a nice sweet floral hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Aftertaste is dry, but not aggresively.

Drinkability is high. Light enough and mild enough to knock a few back.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,342 ratings.