Jai Alai IPA - Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

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1,196 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 6,445
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 884
Gots: 1,400 | FT: 69
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 6,445
Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (324 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (844 characters)

Photo of HoptimusPrimeIPA
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 (595 characters)

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
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 (1,743 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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 (464 characters)

Photo of IjumpOverU
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Received this as part of a mixed case. Never been a big fan of IPA but after trying a few other very enjoyable examples I was looking forward to this one. Very unimpressed. Color was of your average IPA, smell was nothing special. First taste was mostly alcohol and overt bitterness (not a good hoppy bitterness either, just sour). Finished with more of the same but some light fruit and pine coming through. After beginning to enjoy IPAs more this one reminded me of what I don't like in an IPA. (496 characters)

Photo of COBeerBuff
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle received from Tanger in Secret Santa 2010, and poured into a Free State pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a very hazy, dark amberish color with a finger of billowy soft head that shows awesome retention. This beer is a lot darker than I had imagined, and it's also a lot cloudier than expected as well.

Smell: Surprisingly malty for an IPA, but not so surprising based on the appearance of this brew. A litte bit of hop bitterness (citrus and a bit of pine), but the most prevalent portion of the nose is reserved for the sweet breadier malts. Some grains of paradise and a bit of toasted wheat also show.

Taste: Exactly like the nose suggest, this is a very solid and filling beer. Initial citrical bitterness is quickly replaced with a heavy bready malt flavor, and rounded out with a sharp pine aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very heavy. I was picturing a nice crisp IPA, and what I've gotten is a, to say the least, a mouthful. It coats the tongue and palate, and it tries to finish clean, but the residual sweetness creates an aftertaste that is both bitter and sweet.

Drinkability: As good as this beer is, I'm not sure that I could have more than 1 or 2 in a sitting. The heaviness and the bit of alcohol warming makes me glad I opened this up on the coldest evening of the year, and I'm definitely thankful to Jon for giving me a chance to try this beer. If I'm somewhere CC distributes, I'll definitely seek this out again. (1,457 characters)

Photo of codewarrior
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Poured into a Chalice

Picked this up in a trade with chcfan, many thanks for throwing this little guy my way.

L: Pours a golden apricot with 2 fingers thick, rich head. Looks a touch thin, but great carbonation on this guy.

S: Musty sweetness with a lot of hops slamming through in the middle. Fades back into a boozy-sweet finish.

T: Just like it smells, balance is a bit on the bitter side, but not overmuch for an IPA. Pretty straight forward IPA with a touch of hard-to-place mustiness (this might just come from having been bottled in Florida).

F: A bit thin, but great effervescent feel outside of the thinness caries this into quality territory.

D: Drinkable for sure, and makes an impression. A touch run of the mill as IPAs go, but everything is going in the right direction here. (800 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Really nice and clear looking copper color. Two plus fingers of billowy white head. Tons of lacing. This beer is an IPA to the T .

S: Tropical fruit notes. Some floral hops as well. A little bit spicy. The nose is a little bit tight but all the things you expect from an IPA are there. Quite a bit of malt as well.

T: The taste is fairly malt forward for an IPA. Reminds me of 90 min in that regard but it lacks the formers booziness. Nice malt backbone. The hops are there but come across earthy and a little bit spicy.

M: Medium body. Perfect carbonation.

D: Super easy drinking IPA. One of the better examples that I have had recently. Very easy drinking. Really nice east coast IPA. (693 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark amber with two fingers of dense head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Just a little lacing is left on the glass during consumption.

Hop lovers aroma is present. Has a citrus and tropical fruit aroma. A little caramel malt underlies the hops.

A lot of hop flavor without brutal bitterness. This is the way I like my IPAs. More tropical and citrus fruit. The malt gives just a touch of sweetness but does not really add any flavor. No sign of the 7.5% ABV.

Medium body with good carbonation. Looks to be bottle conditioned and is done well.

A good drinking IPA but the high ABV is a concern for continued consumption. (661 characters)

Photo of Stoneyrok
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nice deep murky orange but cleared a little after settling in the glass. Thin head poured into a basic thin walled crystal beer mug which I can't really fit into a glass category.

S - whoa, clean, floral, slightly hoppy, I knew I was about to drink an IPA, smell reminded me a bit of Burton baton. deep, hard to find malt smell.

T - This is an IPA, grapefruit, piney, a little more grapefruit, but what I noticed the most was a wicked bitterness on the first few sips. Did not notice ETOH at all (alcohol) even though it's 7+%. Still a strong bitter, grapefruit aftertaste. Toward the end I could pick up the malt's a LOT better than in the beginning.

M - prickly, great balanced carbonation I thought. Smooth but not as smooth or sweet or floral as Burton baton, and I keep comparing this beer to that dogfish so that is good..

D - well, I was only able to find 4 in Jensen Beach and Port St Lucie Fl. So I will drink these sparingly since I am now home in NC, but for IPA drinkers, I think you could,knock out 3-4 before you are sick of the IPA for the night, and/or have had too much ETOH.

Another sip before wrapping this up, and again, bitter and strong grapefruit.. "I am an IPA and I PROVE IT" is what it shouts at you, not sweet, not dry - I am very malty once you start drinking me! (1,304 characters)

Photo of garuda
2.16/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A rigorous pour into the oversized snifter gets a thin white head that does not stay around long, but some suds do cling to the sides of the glass. Color is a murky deep orange.

S/T - Fairly similar and unimpressive in the same respects. Fully expecting hops off the bat, I'm greeted with malty, dark fruits of the prune variety. The malt body is way too much on this one, with hops taking a back seat. Some pine notes try to make an appearance in the lingering aftertaste.

M - Solid medium body, low carbonation, malty feeling for an IPA.

D - I'll try it on tap to confirm this tasting, but I won't be buying any more bottles until they put some kind of freshness dating on it. There's no way of telling if this bottle was fresh or not. (740 characters)

Photo of AdamGarcia
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

12oz btl served in shaker pint. Big thanks to nerdrocker101.

A: Hazy golden orange. Bright, almost backlit appearance. Fluffy off white head. Good retention. Sticky lace. Great looking IPA.

S: Some caramel malt sweetness. Candy-like hoppiness. Underwhelming.

T: Malty sweet with juicy citrus flavors. Some vanilla. Grassy, herbal hop character. Just a hint of spice. Nice dose of bitterness to offset the sweetness.

M: Smooth and soft. Carb is just about perfect.

D: Interesting IPA. I could have more than one. Drinks a little lower than 7.5%.

Jai Alai is a solid beer. It is not quite what I desire in an IPA, but I can see why others rate it so highly. This is my first offering from CCB and I'm really happy to have tried it. (756 characters)

Photo of flag8r
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA perfect pint glass

A-Amber to gold, huge head, plenty of carb.

S-Lots of grapefruit, hints of pine. Not the hoppiest beer I've smelled

T-Again with the grapefruit, especially towards the end of the drink and lingers

M-Lingers on your tongue, clean

D-A tasty IPA, typical, could drink a few of these (340 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review of a 12 oz bottle courtesy SamuelJackson45.
A: A dark amber copper, it poured with a mild head that died to a cream collar and slight film.
S: Creamy vanilla macadamia nuts haunt the background of an odd bitterness, which is almost metallic. A very mild smell overall, and not very pleasant at first.
T: Deep caramel and toffee with a mild green leafy hops finish. Again, vanilla and macadamia nuts are present, with a kind of oaky bourbon alcohol. Interesting. It grows on you.
M: Thicker and undercarbonated. It kind of matches the taste, though.
D: Pretty good. (576 characters)

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Ward's in Gainesville for $8.99/6 pack.

A: light brown color, great rocky head
S: nice grapefruit/pine American IPA with malt backbone
T: nice IPA for a drinker that doesn't particularly like over-hopped beers, a bit strong in citric bite but all-in-all good, good malt balance but hops could be a bit less, just a few notches below Sculpin, after initial hop hit the taste became more balanced
M: good with malt and hop balance
D: very nice (455 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a finger of creamy looking slightly off-white head. This maintains a nice frothy richness to it, leaving back lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass in a creamy cascade. The aroma is sharp, with grapefruit and pine cutting through the nose. This is softened somewhat by notes of tropical fruit, herbal accents, and some toasted grains in the back. Alcohol undercuts the flavors but isn't coming off as overly stiff or stinging.

The taste is once again, fairly sharp and aggressive, being bitter with grapefruit, earth, and pine, which sits against a backbone of rigid grains and some more sweeter feeling tropical character that comes out in a flush from behind the malts. This finishes strong with spice, resins, and bitter rind that linger with a steady dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, being crisp on the edges but then mostly smooth and oily throughout the rest of the body. This is a little warming feeling from the alcohol straight out of the fridge but the balance opens up as this warms and helps cover most of the ABV up.

This is a solid staple American IPA from Cigar City, with an aggressive, yet well balanced, hop presence and a body that maintains a smooth feel despite the ABV being on the higher side for the style. This was nice but I really need to give this a shot on draft as well. (1,380 characters)

Photo of jhtipton
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pumpkin golden in my tasting glass with a generous creamy head. Enjoying it with - A Cigar - Hoyo de Monterey Palmas Extra. It holds its own with a cigar, wonderful smell - piney and citrusy - plenty of grapefruit. Lots of mounds in the creamy head, still. Nice hoppy grapefruit tast with some creaminess - not sure if I should call it hop con leche or not, but it is a splendid flavour. Sweet, low on bitterness but the hops keep it toned down. Alcohol seem lower than advertised, but I'll press the I believe button. Mouthfeel is great, I like the creaminess to the texture, I would say medium bodied. Very drinkable but will wait to see what the alcohol does before I pound a few more. I'll try again! (712 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Pittsky for sending this in a trade. Thanks Jesse!

A: Poured a cloudy red-orange color, with about a four finger head that stayed a creamy froth until what seemed like a freeze-over of hell.

S: The fruit of choice for this one was... orange! I mean, this was one fruity, orangy mama jama! A bit of pine in the mix, but not in a West Coast IPA sort of way.

T: Sweet, a bit sugary, but not in an offensive way.... more like Florida citrus orange juice way. This one tasted eerily similar to Clipper City's (Heavy Sea's) "Loose Cannon." The finish was very smooth and had a high-end filtered water quality.

M: The sugar content was explosive for sure, and the lacing was extreme, almost to the point of ridiculous. However, the balance between the sugar, fruit, and alcohol was perfect and downright delicious.

D: I have only had one other Cigar City brew beside this one up to this point. They sure have made a great impression so far. Highly drinkable! (974 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, yellowish orange with splotches of red thrown in there. Light beige head that leaves sh*t-tons of webby lacing down the side. It looks great, and it looks like I'm going to smell some citrus in a second!

And I do smell some citrus and grapefruit. Some grassy, earthy hops are in there too and a fair amount of accompanying sweet/caramel malts. There's plenty going on, but it's a bit too much on the subtle side to be anything out of the ordinary.

The taste does some nice make up. Initial stark, grassy bitterness, with some citrus/grapefruit. Ends with a nice subtle malt backbone with a hint of bitter linger. Very nice.

The feel is good, creamy, but also a bit crisp. Carbonation is good, and feel is upper-light in body.

Drinkability is good and solid. (777 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this beer because it is not available in New England. Unfortunately after a lot of hype this beer did not live up to my expectations. The hops were not as in my face as I wanted and the malt notes came through more then I care for in an ipa. Having said all that tho I did enjoy this beer and would drink it again. (342 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-dark gold, almost reddish. good amount of cream colored head

S-mmm good fresh hops and pineapple! also a little bit of a cigar scent with spice. good strength. smells absolutely delicious.

T-intial hit is pretty bold with pineapple, citrus spices, and some hops. its such a rare an amazing taste.. the ending is a tab bit more hoppy. not very bitter at all, its mostly creamy. the after-taste is citrusy with a cigar spice to it.

M-medium to low carbonation but is very soft to the mouth. extremely creamy

D-honestly, the more you drink it, the better it tastes.this might be my favorite go to beer in the world actually. one thing about this...i always make it my last drink. for some reason when i have it first, it tastes almost mediocre. but if its my last drink of the night, i always find it to be my favorite. (823 characters)

Photo of psuKinger
3.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle acquired via trade with jchow79. Poured into standard curved shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a deep hazy orange with a nice 1-finger head.

S: The nose has some bitter hops and citrus.

T: The malts are dominating here, to the point where I have to question if this guy is *struggling* on the freshness front. I've had this beer once on tap before, and I don't remember this kind of malt presence. It starts with a very mild presence of grapefruit. I'd like to see more *punch* up front. The flavor profile turns almost entirely malt in the middle, with a thick syrupy malt taste. It finishes with some dry bittering hops, but once again, I would like more of a *punch* here to.

M: Great carbonation here, it's light and tingly at first, and falls apart nicely on my tongue as I move it around.

D: Drinkability isn't very high here. The malty-syrupy flavors are dominant... there's just no where near enough hops in this.

I think this guy probably wasn't fresh. Normally I wouldn't submit my review given these circumstances, but as I acquired this via trade and I believe this isn't readily available here at my bottle shop, I'm stuck in kind of a tough spot here. I will revisit this brew another time, and if a re-rating is appropriate I will do so. (1,260 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jai Alai IPA has a copper-colored body with just a little bit of haze to it. Many strands of carbonation bubbles rise to the top where they create a thick looking, tan head. Good retention and pretty good lacing too.

A hint of pale malt, and maybe some caramel malt are the first scents I notice, but they give way to the scent of hops in the form of a powerful aroma of tropical fruits.

Jai Alai is one of those IPAs that manages to bring a ton of fruity hop flavor with only a moderate amount of bitterness. It leads off with flavors of mango, apricot, grapefruit, and generally a cornicopia of tropical fruits. A little bit of bitterness comes with these hop flavors, but not much, and certainly not the type of tongue-biting bitterness that large amounts of American hops often produce. Besides the hops there is a malt backbone that, as the aroma suggests, seems to be mostly pale malt with a bit of caramel malt thrown in. Enough malt to balance, but not so much as to overwhelm the hops.

Mouthfeel is good, with enough body and a good amount of carbonation.

Jai Alai is a pretty tasty IPA, especially for beer lovers who really like big fruity hop flavors as opposed to more resinous, bitter-tasting IPAs. I'm also a little bit surprised to see that the ABV is over 7%, so the alcohol is well-disguised. (1,314 characters)

Photo of drewba
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy, translucent blood orange. Pours a two finger head with big, frothy bubbles. Lots of lacing.

S - Colossal aroma that doesn't fade during the duration of the beer. There is so much pine and lemon zest coming off this beer, i it's hard to smell much else. Ok, I am getting a little bread , ethyl alcohol and nutty character from the aroma.

T - Flavors are huge - from the hops, I'm getting a heavy dose of grapefruit fruityness which is adding a bulk of the bitter, also lots o grass and pine. There is an unusual dry, spicyness to this. Almost like a cedar or cinnamon. The malt is definitely here, notes of caramel sweetness, molasses and sourdough bread.

M - really satisfying, sticky, sweet medium-thick mouthfeel. Really light carbonation, I wish it was a touch higher, but I'm still liking the mouthfeel.

D - The cedar/cinnamon flavor I picked up in the taste is bothering me, because I can't exactly pinpoint it, plus it's sticking around. But, the tropical fruityness is keeping me interested and wanting more. Overall this is an unusual ipa, but still a tasty beer. (1,088 characters)

Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.