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Jai Alai IPA - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,260 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,260
Hads: 6,763
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 23.1%
Wants: 934
Gots: 1,597 | FT: 81
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Jai Alai IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,260 | Hads: 6,763
Photo of Reaper16
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip

Pours a translucent SAC Amber color. Brilliant clarity, no trace of hop haze; soft wisps of carbonation meander up to the foam. I only get about one finger's worth of soft, buttermilk colored head. Tremendous, jagged lacing. Good stuff.

I really enjoy how Jai Alai manages to have aggressive aromas presented with a soft touch. This is not a huge, bold nose. But the individual aroma notes -- grapefruit peel, pine needles, lawn clippings, flower petals, Dole Orange-Mango juice, cat pee, tobacco -- are potentially-dominant smells. This beer delivers a balanced mixture of those notes; a soft, small amount of each. Underneath the bountious hops is a sweet malt backbone: mostly crystal malt, caramel malt for sure (but not overdone). This is complex and intriguing, but not aggressive; like the quiet, confident kid in the back row of class. Some of the fruitier aromas begin to take over as the beer approaches room temperature, so the beer is best appreciated when chilled.

The taste of Jai Alai follows the nose to a T. The hop attack is grapefruit peel & grassy, floral flavors. Like a distilled garden; very much some garden action going on. It reminds me of the month-and-a-half old Pliny the Elder I had once, actually (much too old for a Pliny, but not half-bad regardless). Sweet, biscuity malts make their play on the mid-palate before yielding to a splash of mango and orange zest on the finish. Some ashy, sort of tobacco leaf flavor comes on at the finish too, and it lingers for about a minute. Nothing here blows me away, but I find the balance to be pretty remarkable. This is a greener example of the IPA: not particularly piny or dank or citrusy. It's got grassy, floral flavors for days, though.

If you read my reviews then you know that I like my IPAs about as thin as you can get them. "Hop juice" is the mouthfeel aesthetic that I'm going for. Jai Alai comes somewhat close. It's a touch thicker than perfect, on the light side of medium-bodied. The carbonation is soft, and the size suits the malt backbone pretty well. Jai Alai is 7.5% ABV and damn drinkable for its alcohol content. The balance that this beer achieves makes it an ideal six-pack candidate. You have to like the green, garden flavors (which I do) to be able to appreciate multiple bottles in one session, though.

I was expecting something more aggressive or assertive. I'm glad, though, that what I got out of Jai Alai IPA was a balanced, well-conceived IPA that highlights the underused, underappreciated grassy & floral hop flavors. I'll buy this again.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

This ale puts its foot on the border of IPA and Impy IPA, a blurring of the lines. Clear copper hue, impressive lacing but coming from a highly hopped beer ... not a surprise. Big hop stink, heavy citric of ruby red grapefruit and tangerines ... faintly catty with some taffy undertones. Hops smack down hard, though some caramel and biscuity flavors from the malt appear; aside from that, it is a full-on palate bashing of citric, earthy pine, tobacco and wild herbs with a tropical fruitiness to compliment. Seriously epic beer, we can only hope a pint of it is waiting for us at the gates of hop heaven.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a hazy orange color with an inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, fruity malts, light grapefruit.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, fruity malts, pine, orange. A little bitter but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good IPA with some nice citrus. Would have again.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Al's of Hampden

A- an orange red color that is hazy. Minimal head and no lacing. Simple yet beautiful.

S- orange, melon and floral hints. toasted malts asl well. smell isnt as hoppy as an IPA normally is.

T- hop explosion hits the mouth of orange and tangerine. taste is def that of an IPA. a strong floral backend as well.

M- dry and hoppy. light bodied and fluffy.

D- a very decent IPA I still think the Bell's hopslam is one of the best and the nugget nectar but this is a nice top 5 IPA for me. i would do a sixer.

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

Pours a light caramel color, very small head of white dust sized bubbles.

Smell of strong citrus , great bouquet of floral oranges, tangerine and pale malts.

Taste of a very well rounded India Pale Ale. Not overly bitter and not overly sweet. A lot of the IPAs out right now have a little too lopsided of flavors on the hop side ; this is not in that category. Bits of grapefruit mixed with toasted sugars. Everything that I like in a barleywine only at a lower level. This is a great IPA. Medium bodied and light to medium carbonation levels make this very drinkable. A great IPA that tastes remarkably fresh considering it had to make a trip up the east coast to get here.

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Photo of kagent777
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the tasting room in early November of 2010. Poured into goblet.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper, the head settles slowly into islands of foam and lacing that last. Very nice.

Smell: Citrusy and fruity hops. I also sense some alcohol warmness. After it warms for a few minutes, the toasty malt bill begins to take over the smell.

Taste: While this is a IPA and hoppy, it is only somewhat bitter. The bitterness is earthy and balanced against a strong malt bill. The flavors all balance really well. I get toasty malts, citrus hops, and some earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The flavors coat the mouth nicely, with nice amounts of carbonation to back it up.

Drinkability: I could have several of these, if CCB distributed to Utah.

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

From notes. Thanks to Jefe73 for this one!

A: Big, bubbly, white head sits atop a hazy pour and boasts decent lacing and retention.

S: The smell is piney up front, followed by some maltiness.

T: A slight floralness up front, piney hops next, which aren't dominant. This is followed by a nice caramel malt character. The dry aftertaste is also subtle, but nice.

MF: Very light with a slight carbonation

D: The alcohol is masked nicely, very refreshing.

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Photo of shand
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This is a great looking IPA. It pours a fairly clear copper color with two fingers of thick head. It retains and laces wonderfully, leaving a white dusting all the way down the glass. The smell is predominately very tropical hops. Pineapple being the predominant fruit. There's also some pine and grapefruit character in here, par for the IPA course. It's also a very good tasting IPA. At first, this tastes like it's going to be a hop/pine/grapefruit bomb of the highest degree. And, to be mostly fair, this is a very hoppy beer. But some smooth, sweet malts and tropical fruits come in, along with just a little hint of alcohol to help balance out the bitterness. Don't get me mistaken though, this is a very bitter brew. A great and unique IPA.

The mouthfeel is probably a little bit too thick (perhaps due to the relatively high IPA,) but is otherwise good. The drinkability also suffers just a little bit due to the thickness and sticky aftertaste, but is otherwise pretty good. This is a great and unique IPA that's worth seeking out, especially for fans of the style looking for something a bit different.

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Photo of TaddyPorter
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of a couple of beers I picked up at Fairway on a recent "cabin fever" day trip to NYC. I've heard good things about Cigar City, but this is the first beer I've actually tried from them. I'll be on the lookout for more from them when I'm back in Florida in the summer--not to mention when I'm back in New York!

Dense, frothy, billowy off-white foam sits solidly at three fingers for a few minutes, then settles in to a sturdy half-finger cap of froth, laving behind a web of frothy lacing that doesn't stick for too long. The color is a really enticing glowing wooden mahogany--like a sunburst Les Paul when held up to the light.

Fruity, juicy, tropical hop aromas jump out--pineapple and mango dominate, with a juicy tutti-frutti base carrying them along. A little bit of light, sweet biscuity malt sneaks through, but the juicy tropical fruits are in charge here. A bit of yeasty esters are also swept quickly into that current.

Juicy tropical fruit hop flavors float atop a powerful undercurrent of resiny hop bitterness. Dried pineapple and mango sweep through first, and a deep layer of dank bitterness stays behind on the tongue. Grain is in the background as it was in the aroma, providing a bit of a doughy biscuit note deep beneath the levels of hoppiness. The fresh hoppiness is the reason to seek this beer out, but it's not a one-note hop bomb; nicely balanced, juicy and somewhat light tasting even while throwing around 7.5% ABV and some serious bitterness.

Lightly carbonated juiciness sweeps over the tongue, leaving behind an almost tangible cap of hop oil--not in a bad way!

I found it utterly more-ish...I could drink these very regularly; the missus said it was very good but she wasn't really overwhelmed by its flavor. Reminds me of a really hoppy west coast IPA, but with particularly juicy tropical-fruit flavored hop varieties. I would definitely recommend it and would like to see more from Cigar City.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A friends Uncle Bob shipped it from Tampa. Pours a copper orange with a white 3 inch sticky head. Very cloudy in my 13 oz tulip glass,with awesome lacing that sticks around the whole time. Smell is nice, but fairly mellow for a IPA with 7.5ABV. Some citrus and piney hops. The taste is wonderful oranges, pineapple, and pine. Not overwhelming but bitter. Plenty off carbonationand great mouthfeel for a IPA, one of the best I have had. I think this a wonderful IPA. So glad to have a beer from Florida. Wish I had more.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to David for the opportunity.

Medium orange with nearly two fingers of fluff that sticks around and plenty of lace that spider webs the glass

Smells like sticky citric bitterness

Sweet caramel drizzled zesty orange peel with a prickly pine backing. Balanced but neither tempered nor mellow. Both the caramel from the malts and the orange citrus play strong and bold roles here.

There's an effervescence in the mouthfeel that permeates into the jawline, while the citric orange and bitterness lasts long into the aftertaste and sits on the tongue on a long lingering finish.

Feels more like a double with a mosh between west coast aggression and east coast balance that works well. A nice, slightly different IPA.

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

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a nice orangy copper color with ample offwhite head that laced nicely. Smell is of pine with some citrusy grapefruit background. Taste is citrusy with some caramel malt notes. Good smooth, medium bodied feel with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall a great IPA that has quickly become one of my new favorites.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A: Pours an amber/orange color (more towards orange in the spectrum) with a thick, off-white head which sticks around for a while. Leaves bubbly lacing around the edges of the glass with nice legs slowly falling back into the glass after sipping. A very attractive beer which fits the textbook IPA appearance quite well.

S: Strong hop profile upfront with a certain earthy, resin attitude. Somewhat between piney and citrusy, the beer gives off a great aroma of both the sweet citrus notes of tangerine and mellow notes of pine.

T: Upon sipping, the hops certainly make their presence known. The predominantly bitter and piney (mildly earthy, almost woody) notes with a more subdued profile of lightly sweet citrus are immediately present. The hop profile is later tapered off by a well rounded sweet caramel malt background making for a balanced, bittersweet finish. However, there is an unmistakable slight alcoholic twang that resides in the finish likely from the abv being closer to Double IPA status.

M: Medium bodied and smooth feeling with perfectly refreshing (but not overpowering) carbonation. Lightly oily on the lips and leaves a slick feeling upon the mouth and palate on the way down. Moderately dry in the finish.

D: Very drinkable (dangerous for the abv). I had no problem finishing the glass and would gladly have more. Overall, a very refreshing and well balanced IPA that does not bitterly stress the palate and at the same time does not sacrifice much in terms of a dominant hop profile to achieve its drinkable means. I'll be picking up more 6 packs guaranteed.

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

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent malt scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and Carapils malts. The hop character is good. It has a mildly aggressive citrus hop aroma that's spicy, yet compliments the malt bill. The taste is good as well. It has a nice bitter hop punch up front along with a well balanced malt profile. It's an east coast IPA with west coast hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good IPA. It's full flavored featuring both an excellent malt and hop character.

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Photo of beldin96
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jai Alai when poured was a little hazy, but still had a nice orange to amber color. It had a good two finger head that lasted a good amount of time.

Smell: It get a little of the bitterness that you would expect from this kind of IPA. You also get some floral, orange peel, vanilla and lots of citrus.

Taste: There was a solid bitterness from beginning to end, although it is not as strong a bitterness as I was expecting. On the taste there was some orange, floral, and pine. It was well balanced with some light malt towards the end.

Feel: Solid body to it. Not to heavy, but a very good IPA.

Drinkability: I think that is has good drinkability. I am getting into IPS's, so for me a little too bitter, but I think that it was really well made and would recommend to those that like this style.

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Photo of UnDeadly
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Justin for sending this my way!

A- Body is a quite hazy rust color. Pours with a 2 finger or so creamy white head and pleny of lacing is left behind in the glass. Head has very good retention at 1/2 finger. Cloudiness is uniform.

S- Citrus-mostly orange and grapefruit, herbal hops, and a nice caramel malt backbone.

T-Taste upfront has a herbal hop accent over a light citrus and malt backbone. Finish adds a mild to moderate refreshing pine flavor-pine bitterness and a hint of malt lingers.

M- Medium to high carbonation and a smooth, creamy, body.

D- This is a pretty good IPA overall. I've been trying to get ahold of it for awhile and while its good-it doesn't quite live up to my expectations-but I would still like to have this again(maybe super fresh and stright out of florida?)-luckily I have two bottles of it.

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.49/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for sending this bottle.

Pours cloudy orange into a pint glass, producing a finger of white head. This slowly fades away to a bit of lacing.

This beer smells of floral hops and fruit, backed up by sweet smelling malts.

Definitely the maltiest IPA I've had in a while, Jai Alai presents both bright, citrusy fruit and sweet caramel. The sweetness seems to linger on the tongue even longer than the hoppy bitterness. Without the IPA label on the bottle, I'm not sure I would have identified it as such.

Medium-bodied and smooth, this is a pleasant drink. I just wish it tasted a little better.

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

Thanks to Ankur (arvjunk) for this 12oz bottle!

A: Pours a hazy golden amber, with one finger of frothy off-white head.

S: Hops stand out here- pineapple and grapefruit, with a bit of spruce. Caramel malts are present but well hidden.

T: Sweet from the get-go; both the caramel malt (which is far more noticeable here than in smell) and citrus hops provide a good deal of sweetness. Nice balance from the hops' bitterness; pleasant bitter aftertaste even if not as pronounced when the sweetness is present.

M: Thin, smooth body, with moderate carbonation.

D: Quite enjoyable, taste never gets old and alcohol is hard to pick up on. Cheers to Cigar City for producing such an approachable beer.

4s across the board here; while this may not be one of my all-time favorites, it would be a staple in my fridge if only I lived in Florida.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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 -18.3%
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 -25%
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 -4.8%
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 -1.9%
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 -4%
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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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,260 ratings.