Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,341 Reviews
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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: 1,341 | Ratings: 7,172
Photo of saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice mango amber color has a sudsy, white head. Very nice fruit aromas mix with passion fruits. Lots of mango and grapefruit mix with citrusy hops in the nose. Taste is smoothe and bitter, passion fruits mix with tangerine, orange and lime. A tad sweeter than some other IPAs, but this brew stays balanced. Another great brew from CC. Not quite Two-Hearted, but a welcome changeup.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
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. 

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the one beer (somehow) I picked up at Bierkraft. Hadn't had it, the man at the counter recommended I put it back and get the brown. I shoulda listened.
Pours dark orange and very cloudy. Some citrus and pine and big malt sweetness aromas. Taste was pretty much the same, some faded hop flavor, a little bit of bitterness, sweet malt dominating the beer. Really was hoping for an outstanding beer from Cigar City, and while it wasn't bad, the malts were tasty, it just wasn't as bitter or hoppy as I was hoping for. Ahh well.

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

Pours a bit murky and very orange/gold. A bit of head that dissipates quickly. Some nice lacing. Smells a bit sweet and hoppy. Sme citrus and floral flavours coming through. Taste sweet and full. Sme citrus hops and floral flavors. Thicker than a normal ipa but very drinkable

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Photo of birchstick
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a brown / orange / copper color with a bready looking head

S - smells of spicy and floral sweet grapefruit and lemony citrus hops, very sundry, with some sweet caramel malts

T - starts with caramel malts that remain throughout as a nice base for the floral/herbal and spicy hops to shine. There is also a nice peppery spiciness in the finish with some woody earthiness. Very solid IPA here.

M - medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation

D - this was a solid IPA by CCB. I can see how the humidor series sounds appealing for this brew as it has a nice spiciness and earthiness to it that most other IPAs don't have.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/13/10.

Pours a peach copper brown with a green tint when held up to the light. The head is billowy and nice with superb lacing.

Wood and fruit notes are balanced by ample malts. A piney orange smell dominates.

The taste is a balance of bready malts, pine/grass hops, and a woodiness.

Medium on my tongue, a good deal of creaminess fills my mouth. Very solid.

This is a solid IPA with above average drinkability.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left light sheeting and decent lacing throughout. the body was bright amber.
s - strong citrus hop aroma.
t - grapefruits with an underlying breadiness.
m - very drying, seems to absorb moisture. slightly thin body.
d - drinkable but something seems a little off w/ this one, not one of my favorite AIPAs.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a dark orange with a one finger white head. Fades pretty quickly, lacing is there, but minimal

S- wow, strong tropical fruits. Very vibrant smelling

T- so juicy and fruity! Love it! Finish is pretty bitter, lingering long after the swallow. But man, that initial pop of tropical fruit is definitely prevalent

M- a little syrupy...OK with the strong flavors

D- can't go too fast with it, because of the lingering bitterness, but it's really juicy and good

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint of this at the Cigar City tasting room. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a light copper color with a finger deep tightly foamed white head.

S - Smells of faint fresh pine, like a lumberjack's jockstrap. Some citrus hops in it as well. Alcohol and malt there to boot.

T - The taste brings in some floral hops in addition to the aforementioned citrus and piny varieties.

M - Nice carbonation, not quite sticky but substantial.

It's a solid IPA that I'd rank among the better ones, though not quite the best.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a finger of slightly off white head on top of an amber body that is not quite crystal clear, but is close to it.

S: A little less intense than I was expecting. Very fruit and citrusy aroma with a hint of caramel or some kind of sweet malt aroma.

T: Oranges with a hint of grapefruit mixed with a touch of sweet malt flavor. Bitterness towards the end that lingers.

M: medium body with slightly lower than expected carbonation.

D: Drinkability is very high. I expected it to be harder to drink then it does. The alcohol feels significantly lower than it is.

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Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

served in pint glass; some dark sediment in bottle added with last few drops.

pours a slightly hazy amber with a thick off-white head. Head leaves good lacing. Small amount of pale sediment (added during tasting).

S - both hops and malt evident. Hops smell fresh and dominant the aroma. Primarily citrus-toned with a hint of melon.

T - immediate and lasting hop hit, with a nice amount of malt sweetness to add complexity and reduce the bitterness, particularly in the after-taste. Finish is noteworthy, with a drawn-out and dynamic flavor array.

M - typical for style, if a bit more biting and clean. Nice level of carbonation.

D - well, there is that very hoppy and rather bitter taste some people can't abide, but for us hop heads, this flawless IPA has high drinkability.

My first from Cigar City did not disappoint despite my high expectations. Recommended for all hop heads.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice clear honey color with thin white lace, and descent retention, leaves sea foam lace.

S- Foral and citrus hops, grassy notes, caramel underneath.

T- Follow the nose with a hook that wakes up the mouth.

M- Very vibrant and vivid. Makes the hair of the tounge stand up a bit and pay attention. Nice little hop bite with a bitter ending.

D- A sipper. enought intensity here to make it be a slow drinker.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Proof in Tallahassee, FL.

Pours a clear copper color with a 1.5-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sweet pale and caramel malts with large amounts of herbal, pine, and citrus hops, in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust caramel malt flavors with light pale malt influences kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of sticky pine and herbal hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hop profile changes with the addition of tropical fruit hops. Herbal and tropical fruit hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I couldn't believe that I'd overlooked this beer on so many occasions - a very well done IPA that's fairly well balanced. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber with very little head.
Smell is very faint. Some grassy hops.
Sweet honey-malt backdrop for minty, herbal, grassy, lemon tea-like hops. Not very bitter. Alcohol pretty well hidden. Not a typical US IPA; a little more British, maybe. Not bad.
Tastes a bit like a toned down Pretty Things Hedgerow Bitter,hopwise, with more body...and a lot more alcohol.( which I just realized is the last beer I reviewed )
Update 2/1/11 after having another sixer of this, I am liking it a lot more. Pretty unique.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enormous, dense, creamy, off-white foam last for quite a while, and never completely goes away, and leaves some thick patches of lacing as it recedes. The liquid is copper/amber in color and mostly clear.

Fairly balanced but not especially strong, with a little too much booze. Composed mostly of floral and fruity hop notes, the aforementioned booze, and some soft grainy and malty hints coming through underneath.

The taste is where the hops shine brightest, with piny, floral and fruity influences. Bitterness is modest, and the booze cuts sharply across the malty (sans sweet) backdrop. Nicely balanced, flavorful single IPA.

Carbonation level is good, and the rich, medium-full body is luxurious through the middle before fading into a mildly dry and bitter finish.

Really smooth, moderately complex, and quite well balanced. Good looking, flavorful beer with pleasant texture. But the aroma could be stronger and hoppier. I'd get more of it if I could. Thanks to Iowahawk for gifting it upon me and sharing a bunch of other really impressive stuff (including cedar aged Cigar City) in a tasting!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cliff's Notes to Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai

Appearance: Hazy orange amber body. Creamy off-white head that holds remarkably well and leaves short but solid walls of lace completely round the glass.

Aroma: Gently caramelish malt base in the nose, infused with spicy/peppery, and grassy/leafy/floral hops. More English than American.

Flavor: As expected, it delivers a rich, round maltiness that offers an edge of dextrinous, medium caramel sugars. The hop flavors cling to that, move through it, and are supported and sprung forward by it. Solid bitterness, but not overly brutal at all. Finishes dry with receeding malt and rising hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full in body. Dextrinous. Crisp but not biting (smoothed by the fullness of the malt).

Drinkability: There are several components that seem to dance in a circle here, continually nodding and giving space to one another, yet existing mainly as one. The malt dominates and steps forward but then needs the hop bitterness and spiciness to keep it in check and steps back. Nicely balanced. Full flavored. Oddly compelling in its heavy-handed finesse.

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Photo of grover37
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap, out of the bottle, and brought a growler home from the brewery ($4.50 pint, $11 sixer, and $6 quart respectively) - the draft version is significantly better than out of the bottle. This review is of the growler which was split into two imperial pint glasses.

Appearance: Clear, dark orange, amber color with 3/4 of an inch of off-white head which almost reduces entirely to a small patch of bubbles. Lacing where the original head was, but practically none otherwise.

Aroma: Sweet grapefruit, oranges, and lemon. Obviously very citric. A hint of caramel maltiness, but mostly just floral hops. As it warms, a bit more resinous pine and booziness.

Taste: A nice dose of lemon, citric bitterness up front which beats back the sweetness until the finish. An intense juicy citric and fruit flavor in the middle - here's where the caramel malt backbone comes through a bit as well - and a lingering pine flavor with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation. Dominated by the high, but not overwhelming bitterness. Although the flavors are a bit sweet in the middle and finish, the feel is dry in the finish.

Drinkability: Amazingly flavorful, almost too much so to drink a lot of it. The drying mouthfeel sensation makes you want more immediately and the non-existent booze flavor present in the nose does not slow you down. I could drink two or three of these maybe, but not a six pack.

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Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks DmanGTR for the chance to try this brew out!

A: A beautiful medium amber, with tons of fluffy off white head on this.

S: Grassy American hop smell coming out right away. There is a pine aroma to this as well. In the bak there is a little bit of a bread/caramel aroma, as well as a touch of tropical fruit. There is almost a pungent earthy aroma in the finish, as well as something I can't quite put my finger on.

T: Tropical fruits come out right away. Caramel and burnt sugar balance out the hops with a nice earthiness and a subtle bitterness.

M: Medium light in mouthfeel, with good carbonation.

D: Very nice overall. Good strong hop flavor, and fairly well balanced with the malt.

Thanks again DmanGTR!

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Photo of zoso493
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Piraat tulip.

Appearance: Jai Alai IPA pours a nice ruddy amber color that is hazy and unfiltered (like an IPA should be). A stern pour only produces a one-finger head that is more bubbles than suds and which doesn't stick around for very long. This is a really appetizing-looking IPA.

Smell: The smell is pretty big on the hops, but it smells as though they might be fading a bit (why can't brewers just date all their bottle?). There is a big fruity and juicy hop scent that is complemented very nice by the sugary caramel malts. This is a pretty nicely scented IPA.

Taste: The taste stays true to the scent, as this is a pleasantly bitter, hop-forward IPA. The fruity, orange peel tastes are perhaps the most prominent and are countered quite nicely by an aptly-applied malt backbone of sweet caramel malts. This is definitely a very nice IPA, but I still can't shake the feeling that this bottle is a bit past its prime.

Mouthfeel: Jai Alai is a nicely weighted IPA in terms of thickness as it has that little bit of added viscosity that lesser IPAs often lack. Nonetheless, the zealously included hops do cloy on the palate just a touch too much for me.

Drinkability: Jai Alai is a really nice drinking beer for sure. There's no trace of alcohol even at 7.5%, making this a very drinkable IPA. The only thing holding it back in this department is the slight cloying from the hops in the mouthfeel:

Overall, Jai Alai is a really nice example of a hoppy American IPA. I suspect that this would be a superb beer on tap. This is my first brew from Cigar City and I can tell already that these guys know what they're doing. I'm about to review the cedar aged Jai Alai of theirs to see how it stacks up, but this is already a good beer in my eyes beer in my eyes.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/light orange color. Huge head when poured down the middle of a pint glass. Off white, maybe light tan in color and 2" tall, retention is great. Still 1" 5 minutes later. Really nice lace too.
Smell is of course hippy with citrus, resin, grass and a grapefruit note.
Taste is hops, grapefruit, an evergreen/resin note, with a faint maltiness in back.
A nicely balanced brew especially in the taste. Aftertaste has the hops toned down with a decent malt presence along with a slight touch of warming in the throat.
While IPA's aren't my favorite, this is a really good one. Carbonation is sharp up front, mellowing quickly. A fuller-leaning medium body. All told, a fine brew.

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Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jai Alai IPA, 12oz bottle poured in Delirium snifter. Interesting redish amber color with nice solid white foamy head. Head fell quickly but never quite left. Musty hop and carmel malt aroma. Malty, piney hop flavor, slightly bitter carmel finish. Little alcohol presence. Medium bodied and easy drinking. A strong offering.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden copper in color with a foamy, dirty tan head. Light lacing left behind on the glass. Beer has a slightly hazed look to it.

S - Strong piney bitterness in nose with a surprisingly noticeable caramel backing. Hops certainly dominate the nose though. Pick up hints of tropical fruits as well.

T - Strong bitterness up front with lots of pine and some tropical fruits. Malt comes in quickly and provides some sweet caramel flavors but the hops carry the show throughout. Bitterness is a touch one-dimensional for my liking, but still a pretty good IPA.

M/D - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. As I continue through the drink it actually becomes a little heavy on the tongue. My favorite IPA/ No, not at all. But certainly a worthy contribution to the world of American IPA's and I would be happy to have it again down the road.

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Photo of HoptimusPrimeIPA
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a nice two finger head that gives a ton of lacing.

Piney with a tropical fruit sweetness, some nice sweet malts are present as well as some caramel

Grape fruit, tropical fruit and hoppy goodness take center stage with the malts adding a very nice flavor but taking the back seat to the aforementioned flavor. Good bitter finish and almost no alcohol taste even though the beer is 7%+.

Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation

Very very drinkable for an IPA with a 7% ABV. Had to force myself away from this one at the bar.

Serving type: Tap

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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

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Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours hazy bright copper orange with a 1+ finger white head that left spotted lacing

smells of ashy bitter hops with some sweet caramel malt

taste is just like the smell - not a strong beer by any sense just solid - a very balanced beer

mouthfeel is a medium body with good carbonation that gives it a very smooth creamy feel

drinkability is good - this was an extra so i dont know the price but i would be game for picking this up if i was in the need for ipa

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.