Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Jai Alai IPA - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,290 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,290
Hads: 6,931
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 961
Gots: 1,713 | FT: 85
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Jai Alai IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,290 | Hads: 6,931
Photo of armock
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of grapefruit hops

T - Follows the nose its like drinking grapefruit hop juice

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a beer for the hop heads out there its a good tasting hop bomb for sure worth hunting down to try sometime

 357 characters

Photo of beerman207
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off - thanks to Bamadog for the hookup with this single from Cigar City. I had the cedar version of this prior and didn't get a chance to review it but thoroughly enjoyed it.

A: Cloudy orange with a nice fluffy head that sticks around forever. Amazing look.

S: Interesting nose - smells of faint citrus but may have some element of melon present?

T: Wow. Bitter up front, Pine hops linger a while giving way to the malt back. Very nice balance in the flavor.

M: Great carbonation

D: All night long. I need more of this IPA.

 536 characters

Photo of mattsdenney
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased in DeLand, FL (home of Abbey) while visiting in-laws for Thanksgiving. Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours w/ a thick foamy head, hazy amber color.

S: Hops, not overly strong but crisp and fresh.

T: Not sure what type of hops are used but tastes amazing. Slight fruitiness with a mild lingering bitterness. Extremely tasty.

M: Creamy, medium body.

D: Higher than normal ABV and extremely drinkable.

If you make your way to FL be sure to pick up this beer. Wish we had in TN!

 488 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really pretty hazy cherry wood amber color with moderate head and some nice lacing. Smell is a bit sweet, malt forward, a little weak. Taste is decent, though this is a far more balanced IPA than I was hoping for. Decent piney hop bill on top of a spicy amber malt (and maybe some rye?) bill. Medium body, nice for an IPA, not over-carbonated like so many out there. Good drinkability, not my favorite IPA, but glad to be able to try it.

 439 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Whole Foods on Houston St. in New York City. I heard that these guys were up-and-coming and this was the only offering that I was able to get when I last passed through there two weeks ago. Although I like my IPA's nice and hoppy, this one fit the bill as well. Without a doubt, this had to be the smoothest IPA that I've ever had and if anyone wanted to try this style for the first time, this would be the perfect beer for that!

Nice pour to this - a light copper hue, decent head, and a good amount of lacing could be seen throughout my somewhat quick downing of this beer. This is hoppy with metallic, orange, and light lemon zest notes to it. Doesn't burn in a dry-hopped way and it's crafted so well, that the mouthfeel is light and still feels totally natural. Only the flavor lingers in the back after each sip, the hops slowly easing away until the next sip.

Don't be fooled by the 7.50 ABV%! It's there but you won't even notice it and this could easily sneak up on you if you decided to have more than one sitting. I don't do the whole cigar thing but if these guys have the pairing of that with their beers down as well as they crafted this, then they're onto something. Damn shame I can't find more offerings from them up here in the northeast!

 1,281 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this in a recent trade with sorelenator, and am quite grateful for it as this is really a great IPA. Review is from notes taken on 11/17/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a standard orange/coppery color; starts with a big 2 and 1/2 finger, slightly off-white head with great retention; body shows just a slight haze and lots of fast moving, strong carbonation; nice webs of lacing are left behind as the head fades to a very full, yet uneven and frothy cap.

Smell: Super solid and mouthwatering; lots of bitter grapefruit and lemony citrus zest; ever so slight sweet malt scent in the back; very straightforward, robust and good.

Taste: Very much like the smell -- lots of up front hop bitterness that is citric in nature (grapefruit and that same lemony zest); bit of a dry, cracked grainy bitterness in there as well, but overall, the hops really rule this one and they're pretty great.

Mouthfeel: Body is between light and medium in weight, but closer to light; strong carbonation that is good and just shy of sharp -- really provides some nice liveliness to push those great bitter flavors around the mouth; the gums are left a little tingly from the action and ABV; a dry, thin stickiness is left all over the mouth.

Drinkability: This is really an all-day kind of IPA, despite the 7.5% ABV; great flavors that are refreshing that accompany a body that isn't going to sit heavy at all -- I would gladly have 3 or 4 of these over the course of any day.

 1,508 characters

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

Jai alai from Cigar City Brewery. Tampa, Florida

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Hazy straw colored with a thick off white head. Nice lacing as I drink it.

Smell- Musty, piney, hops accompanied with grapefruit and maybe some citrus rind of some kind.

Taste- Nice balance of hops and malt. Wait..did I just say that? I usually prefer very dry IPAs but I really like this one. The piney hops stick around nicely in my mouth. Still has the grapefruit from the aroma and the musty hops, in a good way. The alcohol starts to come out as it warms.

Mouthfeel- A little thicker than I think IPAs should be, but that doesn't take away from the beer at all.

Drinkability- This is a good beer but I like it in small doses. I am glad this is a 12oz serving and not a bomber. The hops start to get hairy and too much after awhile. I think this would be better with a 6.5 abv than a 7.5.

I was glad I got to try this. If it was available in my area I would pick it up from time to time but this is one that I would have to be in the mood for.
Got this one from beandip.

 1,081 characters

Photo of Shaw
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a growler I got yesterday at the brewery.

A beautiful deep amber in color with a short, but solid off-white head.

The aroma is unique: It smells of tropical fruits and hops. Fantastic.

The taste is excellent. It's hoppy and fruity and bitter with notes of malt sweetness. I've noticed that the hop flavors fade rather quickly, so make sure you have this beer when it's fresh; otherwise it's a more muted beer.

Glassy and smooth body that just glides around in my mouth.

It almost feels like Cigar City brewed this beer just for me. Stop reading this review and go drink some Jai Alai.

 594 characters

Photo of OatmattStout
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice bulky tan head with a thick veil of lacing sticking to glass.

nose was for me more malty than hops, but a nice piney hop sniff

taste was hopalisciuos. grapefruit rind and all around citrus spice.
the beer has a real toasty sweetness not seen in many big american IPA's that i have had. It is a residual fresh malt flavor reminiscent of the smell of boiling wort sweetness in the air. It had a ral big long lasting oily hop finish that was nice with the aforementioned malty sweetness.
thus left you wanting another sip.

mouthfeel was full and pleasing to the senses.

There are so many big and good american IPA's these days and this one is right in the mix.

 667 characters

Photo of levifunk
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - golden in color. white head with good retention.

s - big citrus hops. grapefruit sweetness.

t - very bitter and quite dry. bitterness is very piney and not so much citrus. citrus is more rind flavor. malt sweetness adds depth.

m - medium-light body. good carbonation. pretty dry finish.

overall - solid IPA, but more bitter than I like.

 344 characters

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

Appearance: light red/amber hue. Vigorous pour yields a very attractive, rocky, frothy head almost an inch tall. It slowly recedes to a respectable 1/6th of an inch or so head after a little bit. Nice lacing left on the glass from the initial head from the pour.

Smell: Tropical fruit hop smell, a little orange/citrus smell that brightens it up more, with some sweet malt flavor in the background.

taste: tropical fruits, slightly bitter and piney hop flavor, and a sweet malt finish.

mouthfeel: slick, smooth and somewhere between heavy and creamy.

drinkability: it does kind of taste like a 7.5% beer, but goes down a lot easier than most other beers of the same strength do. I could probably have two maybe three at a sitting before I wanted to switch it up, or was feeling the effects of the 7.5%.

 807 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a decent white heading. Some lighter golden highlight's.

Smell is a bit hoppy with a solid malt backbone which is mostly of tropical fruits.

Taste is very well balanced. Sweet malts,heavy fruit tastes of grapefruit,a bit in the mango area and just a solid hop grind finish. Like someone sprinkled little hop dust all over my tastebuds.

Mouth is medium bodied and smooth. Good carbonation and finish with a tasty hoppy linger.

I had this side by side with Flower Power and I did favor this one just a bit more.

I've now had this on-tap a few months back and out of a bottle again I haven't found anything bad Cigar City has come out with.

 662 characters

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

Thanks to dimenhetfield for this one! 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a thick bright (yet hazy) orange with some thin, quickly receding tan head. Nose is power-packed with orange and yellow grapefruit. Sticky marmalade comes to mind as well, and bitter herbal notes like Campari or Aperol (gentian root?).

Palate is spicy with hops, really packed in there and the malt offers up a mellow sweetness. This is reminding me a lot of Aperol right now. Big bitter orange peel, yellow grapefruit pulp and rind, flower box (flowers plus potting soil, if you will) and dried roots. Finish is bitter and drying despite the persistent malt sweetness.

An excellent IPA. I wish I had access to this on a regular basis. Not the "best," but would definitely drink the hell out of it.

 801 characters

Photo of prg1976
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No bottling date that I could find, so I don't know how fresh it is.

Poured into my DFH snifter, a slightly hazy pale amber color. Decent whitish head. No lacing, slight retention.

Smell is citrusy hops. Grapefruit, but not very prominant. There's definitely a malty presence, so I'm leaning towards this being a couple months old at least.

Taste is a little more malty with some citrus hops. I can still get the gist of the hops, it's still very good.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, not super carbonated. Pretty smooth.

Great drinkability. the 7.5% is not detectable. Could definitely have a few of these in a sitting.

I wish I could tell how fresh it was....PUT DATES ON YOUR BOTTLES!!!

 690 characters

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

Pours into a snifter with a half inch white head that does not retain. Smells very caramelly with a bit of a hop presence. Tastes very much like caramel with a bit of pine to it. Very smooth with a bit of an afterbite. Very drinkable when it is warmer outside but not as much during winter. I really enjoy this beer and may be underrating it because i enjoy dipas more than regular ipas but this is a great beer.

 412 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a white head; full alcohol sweet pineapple nose. Much more alcohol in the nose than one would expect with 7.5%.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy and full with a nice big, full feel to it; inviting.

Flavors are much more like a double than an IPA. Big sweet citrus/malt front palate that goes to a very well balanced big sweet bright citrus malt and bitter grapefruit hop character.

Big malty sweet/bitter hop finish. Very drinkable. I'm not convinced that I tried "the freshest" bottle. I'd like to try it again although this bottle was very drinkable and appealing.

 584 characters

Photo of Zoxygen
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty dark for such a hop heavy IPA. I'd call it a copper color but more of a deep copper color.

The head was perfect. If you pour properly it settles into a creamy froth that sits on top all the way down.

Smell was pleasant. Its not as powerful as I would hope though!

Tastes awesome! Candied citrus hops and pine are the predominant flavors. Just enough malt backing to round it out pleasantly.

I'd say dont let the color trick you, there's not too much malt in this beer. Just enough to round the beer out nicely.

Its a main stay in my fridge now!

 562 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color. White head that starts a few fingers high and has pretty good retention. Nose is quite hoppy with pine and citrus taking the front. Taste is strong hops along with a light bit of malt in the background. Good dry, resinous mouthfeel with superior drinkability.

 312 characters

Photo of boomer31
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to SneezyAchew for the extra.

A - Murky gold with an off white lacing, sticky on the glass

S - Mostly malt but a touch of fruity hop presence. I'm surprsed at the lack of hops in the nose.

T - A sweet malt blends well with the dry grassy finish. I get some mango along with a grassy hop but the dryness really sticks.

M - Rich and full. Nice low carb. You realy notice how well balanced this beer is with the rich malt backbone and full mouthfeel.

D - Very dry but welcoming for a hophead. A solid AIPA

Overall this is an enjoyable beer. I'm not sure it's one of my favorite AIPAs but solid nonetheless. Perhaps with more of a hop nose I'd enjoy ths more.

 673 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, really a dark yellow almost light brown, definitely dark for a single ipa. Aroma, a little hoppy, definitely seems to be lacking in any noticeable hop nose. Might not be dry hopped at all.

Taste, eh, a little thicker than I like ideally in a single ipa, heavy on the caramel, but this is a good beer. Pretty balanced, a higher degree of sweetness than was expected. This is a big, single ipa. . . but not what you might expect, it isn't hugely hopped relative to its malt heft. This is just big all over. Made me think of Eye of the Hawk a little bit, not right on point, but you know, just that level of abv and big all over.

 633 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my perfect pint glass.

Beer pours a orangy chestnut color with about a finger or so of off white head.

Has a beer hops aroma. Citrusy...I'm detecting some peach, maybe a little apricot.

Taste is decent but not what I'm expecting. The hops flavor is there...citrusy again with some lingering caramel malts. However, something just not right about this beer. It's not as big and bold as I was expecting particularly since Cigar City has six kinds of hops it. I mean the beer is well balanced, but kind of underwhelming for me.

I had heard nothing but good things about Cigar City. I have to say that the Ja Alai IPA is a disappointment. It's a good but not great beer.

 705 characters

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

Big thanks to Jwiss22 for the great extra. Cheers!

Appearance -- Pours a hazed autumnal orange hue with one finger of sudsy white head. Lacing abounds in thick bands.

Smell -- Big citrus and tropical fruits, pineapple, pine resin, dark honey malt. Diacetyl is in the mix at Alpine levels: present, but not distracting.

Taste -- Citrusy hops for days, pine resin, faint pineapple and tropical fruits, buttered biscuit, caramelized malt. Finish is grapefruit and honey.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with somewhat gentler carbonation, nearly still. Slightly oily finish. Disappointing.

Drinkability -- Just goes to show it's always worth going back. Cracked another bottle of this and found the second to be much better than the first in regards to carbonation. While I'd still like to see more carbonation in this one, It's pretty damn solid. If your aim is to try all of the best American IPA's this has to be on your list. Period.

 934 characters

Photo of beersensei305
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours a honey gold in color with a perfect one inch white head with great sticky lacing. Very aromatic, sweet and hoppy with hints of herbal citrus. The taste is sweet from honey, loaded with hop, and has a good citrus bite. This IPA has a medium body a bit syrupy. This is IPA is great, one of my favorites and a great example of what IPAs should be.

 360 characters

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

12 oz. at Harp and Celt in downtown Orlando.

Light amber and clear. Nice head with decent lace and retention. Citrus-floral aroma. Carbonation noticeable up front. The middle brings out the flavors found in the aroma, a bit of citrus, with some floral characteristics. Back of the tounge bitterness on the finish and afterwards. Medium mouthfeel.

 347 characters

Photo of dougofthefuture
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First beer from cigar city!

A. Pours a bright cloudy orange with short lived but soapy head.

S. A good mix of pineapple citrus and bright pine.

T&m. Sharp hop bight up front that fades into the citrus, going from grapefruit to a sweeter pineapple finish. Just sweet enough to seem like it would be quite refreshing on a hot Tampa day.

D. It remains dry enough to go down easy, and the balance is right on. Very solid ipa.

 427 characters

Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,290 ratings.