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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,351 Reviews
For Trade:

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: 1,351 | Ratings: 7,221
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance : clear copper orange color a good half inch white head

Smell : great overall aroma,strong citrus aromas dominant smells like an orange peel also subtle pine aromas

Taste : tons of great taste- great hoppy bitterness not a whole lot of sweetness this beer is very hop forward

Mouthfeel : medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation

Overall : this was a very good beer if you love hops as I do this is a great beer to seek out. I love the orange peel aroma. There is something very unique about this beer!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just as good as I remembered it being the first time I had it. This beer it a really nice amber color on top of the glass that fades to a golden yellow. The head disappears fast and there really isn't much lacing. The aroma is really hoppy, makes me want to go for a swim in this beer. It's aroma is wonderful. The flavor is aggressively hopped, floral and citrusy. The mouthfeel is medium and begs for you yichang another.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at my local Gateway grill for 4 bucks. Since I never seen a Cigar City beer I bought it up. Glad it's a grade "A" beer!

A - Nice clear amber with an inch of bubbly frothy head that sticks around. Looks to be forming a nice lace and carbonation is plentiful.

S - A nice strong hop presence that is more pine that fruit hop forward so it might be bitter yet balanced. Malt smells strong enough to manage.

T - Hops are bitter but wow are they tasty. Not sure the variety but I am digging how in your face yet subtle they are on the palate. The malt base is fantastic giving the body an almost candy like base without being sweet (if that makes sense) Man is that tasty.

M - A very well balanced IPA that drinks with a solid medium body. Sipping to savor the flavors.

Overall I just knew the name and now I have a beer to that name. A bountiful hop presence, extremely balanced malt body, and low detectible ABV make this an overall great beer. If I was ever in the Florida area I would snag a case but in the meantime I hope I can someday find a cheap sixer since now it's pretty expensive IPA. Looking forward to more offerings guys! If they can do this well with an IPA I can't wait to see what stouts they offer.

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

Thanks again to Brian44556 for the awesome trade.

The basics: no idea on price and 7.5% ABV.

Looks great: nice orangish-amber, fluffy, persistent head. Well carbonated. Excellent lacing. Top notch on looks...

Lots of pineapple-y grapefruit-y goodness in the aroma profile. Not a lot else, but these are nice.

Wow, very East Coast flavor. Lots of piney hops. A sweet malt backbone. Very thick in the mouth. Carbonation helps somewhat to stem the hoppy tide, but it washes over your tongue like a hop tsunami. Very good beer, but a veritable hop bomb.

What I like most: Purty appearance.

What I like least: The overpowering nature of the hop profile.

Verdict: Good beer, but not for the noob to the hop world. A touch overpowering.

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Photo of beagle75
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Mellow Mushroom in Orlando.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and bubbles rise in a few tight streams.

S: Piney and citrus hops are clean and focused in the smell.

T: Begins sweet, with juicy citrus hop aromatics, significant astringency, and restrained acidity that is never out of balance. In the middle the astringency and sweetness decrease, while hop flavors turns toward that of pine foliage and bitterness slowly begins building. Astringency--and sweetness, to a lesser degree--returns in the finish, where bitterness is bracing at its peak and new flavors including husky caramel malt and lingering grapefruit peel are also detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate with occasional mild astringency also felt, and with moderate carbonation.

D: Understanding the many varietal beers of Cigar City Brewing involves getting to know the base beers--this being one--that do the heavy lifting in many of the recipes. Jai Alai IPA is an aggressive example of the style, and its standing somewhere between the typical IPA and DIPA is surely by design. Sweetness is cloying early and wherever sweetness appears, so does astringency. This beer is cleanest and most enjoyable in the middle, where some dryness is allowed in while astringency takes a back seat. It reminds the drinker of its immensity and importance with every sip, but it also has the palate-fatiguing potential of a strong ale. While it may not be the best choice for an approachable, everyday IPA, it does suggest at Cigar City's ability to one day brew a big and impressive APA.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really pumped for this one. All I hear about is how Cigar City is a great brewing company but difficult to get. Also wanted to try this one b/c I used to live 3 minutes away from a Jai Alai stadium, does this game still exist? Lucky for me I got a 6er. Lets try this out.

Appearance-Amber/Brown, really nice looking. very similar to the dogfish 90 minute. Excellent head, about 2 fingers, as it dwindles down theres a farm stickly lacing.

Aroma-After popping the cap instantly get a ton of aroma. Nice amount of Sweet malt and a nice amount of hops. Can also pick up some citrus.
EDIT: Text Day, about 22 hours later, I couldn't figure out what I was getting after doing the side by side with Two Hearted, but you get alot of barleywine characteristics in the nose.

Taste-In some ways I keep comparing this to dogfish 90, only better. Sweet malt, lots of dry hops, citrus, pretty good amount of spice. As beer warms you really get some of the earthy tones, lots of pine. This beer is a party on your palate. Alcohol is non-excistant.

Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall-If there were a beer that was categorized between a IPA and IIPA this is it. This beer is absolutely exceptional. Going by the style, being an IPA and not a double, probably the best beer for the style I've had in 2011. Extremely drinkable.

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

Bottle courtesy of northyorksammy. Thanks!
Clear, coppery orange with a thick, 2 inch cap of light beige foam. Tons of sticky lace, clumpy, with great head retention. Bubbles of carbonation rose slowly through the beer, making it look viscous. Citrusy sweet aroma, oranges and grapefruit, tangerine, fruity. More earthy, spicy hops notes and caramel sweetness as it warmed. Nice balance for an IPA, plenty of hop flavour (still very citrusy, but with more pine than the aroma) and sturdy bitterness tempered by caramel/crackery malt. Slight pineapple and spicy alcohol towards the finish. Medium bodied, lowish carbonation, nearly creamy in texture with a bit of dryness. Overall, really quite tasty. I'd love to try this on tap.

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Photo of CMB2012
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date. Acquired in Orlando, FL at Knightly Spirits. Poured into open mouth wine glass.

A- Pours a clean orange, reminiscent of dark orange jello. Thin white head dissipates pretty quick leaving nice frothy bubbles. Good lacing. This beer looks good!

S- Strong hop presence for a single IPA, sweet hops, a little bubblegum. Orange citrus (my mind is on jello now, so I smell that too), lemon, grapefruit, and pine. I detect oak up front which appears mellow and sweet in nature, possibly some vanilla. Toffee and caramel malts, then a peppery spicy character, followed by a little alcohol burn in the end - not surprising considering the high ABV, and by no means overwhelming.

T- Tasty... Subtle, mellow oak works perfect with the resinous piney hops, sweet toffee malts, and it culminates into a citrus ending that is both crisp and refreshing. The citric aftertaste lingers and melds into a musty, woody character.

M- Velvety and full(ish) up front, the medium carbonation lightens up the palate and finishes crisp.

O- I would like point out that no where, except on the bottle: "Pair Jai Alai Oak-Aged India Pale Ale with..." is there any mention of this beer actually being aged in oak. Cigar City's website mentions nothing, and neither does BA. However, I certainly can detect subtle hints of what can be described as woody and oaky characteristics in this brew. If it isn't oak, then either my palate is off and/or these hops are more complex then I give them credit for. Either way, I really enjoyed this beer and wish it were available in Chicago. I would definitely drink a lot of it.

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

Bottled march 15th 2011(fresh)
Poured into my cigar city pint glass

A-pours a rich amber color, decent white head and clear as day.

S-citrus sweetness, caramels grapefruits

T-great grapefruit hoppyness, tons of sweet malty goodness, clinging bitter sensation and lots of fresh floral notes.

M-great carbonation as expected by a good ipa, refreshing, clean and very drinkable.

O-one of my top ten ipa's. Very well hopped and great anytime I can get it.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Amber body with a small off white head. Smells kind of fruity, citrusy with something strange that I can't put my nose on. Tastes more citrus with a good amount of bitterness in the finish,not much hop flavor just bitterness. Once again there is just something off about this beer that I just can't name. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I would expect with a decent amount of carbonation. I dunno this one just isn't for me. Not as much hop flavor as I'd like. Very strange considering White Oak Jai Alai was one of my favorite IPA's I've had. I'll try this again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of kevinv
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Many thanks to a great new trader, Belthor, for sending a bottle of this my way as an extra.

A - Pours a dark murky copper/orange with a 1.5 finger creamy off-white head, which retains very nicely by the way... Solid lacing is left on the glass as you enjoy this one.

S - Pungent aromas of floral and tropical notes. It smells like oranges, tangerines, and mangos. Slight caramel undertones. If you have the willpower to savor this beer without just gulping it down, the aromas really begin to shine as the beer warms a bit.

T - Very orange-y type fruits like you get in the smells dominate the flavor. Delicious. Slight maltiness is more noticeable when the beer warms a bit. Mild hop bitterness up front with a nice drying finish. No presence of alcohol. Piney notes in the aftertaste.

M - Good medium bodied brew with a well balanced mild carbonation.

D - This a great IPA that I'd love to have over and over. My glass was empty before I knew it and I was left craving more. Solid.

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Photo of Charlotte09
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Color is cloudy, rich, and a dark orange amber color. Head is about a finger width thick and creamy white in color.

S: Smells balanced of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

T: Beer starts off pretty malty with caramel notes. Followed by some citrus hops and continues through with a slight bitterness and grapefruit finish

M: Feels pretty smooth on the pallet, not very carbonated, slightly bitter and alcohol is pretty balanced.

O: Good beer overall, enjoyable to drink, like the variety of flavors and look foreword to trying more Cigar City Brews

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

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard Shaker pint glass. Picked this up on a recent trip down south. Label is a sticker type and depicts a jai alai player throwing a whole hop cone. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles slowly and just slightly, still maintaining a fluffy cap and nice, sticky lacing coverage. The beer itself is bright amber and slightly cloudy. A fair amount of sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong piney hop aroma with hints of floral dry hopping and a citrus finish.

Taste: Sharp hop bitterness upfront followed by a slightly sweet, bready caramel malt. Hints of honey linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good; very nice creaminess.

Drinkability: A well balanced IPA that highlights the hops well. Unfortunately, won't be getting any more of this in my neck of the woods.

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

From notes, 3-25-11, edited 6-26-2011, from live bottle (labelled May 19)

A - nice crisp amber body, mostly clear.very small amount of white head, just a thin film and medium ring.

S - Nice earthy citrusy hops, mild vegetal aroma, floral/perfumy notes.

T - dry and bitter earthy hops, not getting much citrus or floral notes.

M - medium body, fairly smooth, a bit dry.

O (D) - over the course of my glass, it definitely grew on me. pretty tasty. A nice change-of-pace from the normal IPAs I drink. Not my favorite, but it's very good.

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

Very nice extra from Jsgreen16. Thanks buddy for the tasty beer. 12 oz into a pint glass.

A- Pours nice dark orange color. Pretty hazy. Nice white head on that stays on top for a good amount of time.

S- Mostly hoppy aroma. Pine, citrus notes throughout. Very nice aroma.

T- Good burst of hop flavor up front. Very crisp taste, tough to pick out all the hop flavors. Balances very nicely with some bready malt flavors. Cuts down the bitterness, without taking all of it away.

M- Medium body. Good carbonation. Fair amount of bitterness.

D- Very easy to drink IPA. Very crisp and clean drink. Good beer here and big thanks to Jordan for it!

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Photo of bsp77
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving Glass: Poured from bottle into pint-like glass.

Appearance: Clear amber-orange with moderate off-white head and light lacing.

Smell: Orange, grapefruit, toasted malts and some light spiciness.

Taste: Massive orange flavor, with some grapefruit and toasted and caramel malts. Just light bitterness at the end as the orange flavor is fairly sweet.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is loaded with hop oils and even slightly warming. Almost DIPA-like. Finish is not quite dry enough but the body makes up for it.

Overall: Loads of flavor and definitely very tasty, but slightly too much orange and sweetness to be a top-rate IPA for me. However, it kinda works really well as a lower abv DIPA.

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

A - This beer pours a hazy orangish copper color. It has a nice 1.5-finger white head. The head has good retention, and leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass.

S - The smell has a nice hop presence, with a nice sweet malty background. There are also some hints of tropical fruit, citrus, and it has a slight oakiness.

T - There is an earthy hoppiness up front. Notes of grapefruit and orange shine through. There are also, notes of caramel, citrus, and light oak present. The finish has some lingering hop bitterness and some citrus.

M - It has a medium body and medium carbonation. It is crisp, refreshing, and goes down very easily. The finish has some lingering bitterness that works perfectly for the style.

O - The drinkability here is great. I could drink this all day long. The flavor is great, and never gets boring. There is a slight oakiness to it that I find great, and the hop presence is perfect. This is my first Cigar City beer, and I look forward to many more. I recommend trying this one.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A slightly cloudy golden color. Very nice head retention and leaves a lace on the glass.

S - A floral hoppy aroma. Nectar. Sweet.

T - Sweet nectar of the gods! Alot of honey, hops, and surprisgly, not very bitter for a strong ipa.

M - Very smooth. High carbonation.

O - A highly drinkable IPA. I will buy and drink this one over and over.

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Photo of abrand
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottled date on bottle

Pours a copper/orange color with a huge off white head. Nice pour. Smells like the usual IPA with plenty of hops and floral notes. Some citrus and malts are also present. Taste is quite bitter. Not much citrus sweetness on the tongue. A very bitter dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and good carbonation. Overall a tasty IPA. I would love to get to sample some of the other Jai Alai that are available.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep orange/amber with two fingers of thick eggshell head; decent retention and some sticky lacing.

S: This is fruity as hell: mango, pineapple, orange. Amazing!

T: The first thing that hits you is the sweetness and you think you are in for a malt bomb but then the juicy hops take over and you forget all about the malt!

M: I'd say the mouthfeel is quite full and the carbonation is spot on.

D: The drinkability is very high.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle into an Allagash Tulip.

Pours a hazy orange copper with a fluffy off white head. As the head recedes slowly, it leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

Nose is a mixture of bright citrus hops and earthy pine. Minimal sweetness in the nose.

Very well balanced taste. A nice bitterness coupled with a light caramel sweetness.

Mouth is on the full side for the style. Silky.

Drinks like a champ. This borders on the line of a DIPA, but is as well balanced as any other IPA I've had. A solid flagship for CCB.

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Photo of Franz4
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle... no freshness info unfortunately.

A- looks great with a big foamy off white head. cloudy copper in color. Very good head retention.

S- grapefruit, floral, and slight touch of caramel in the nose.

T- starts malty and then the hops hit, pine and grapefruit. very refreshing.

M- very smooth, just slightly carbonated, aftertaste stays with you but it's actually quite pleasant.

D- Very drinkable, quite good. Very glad I was able to try this as This is at least a month old b/c it was procurred by a fellow BA down south somewhere, but I wish I had a bottling date.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zoso1967 for supplying this delicious treat!

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Color is a fairly-clear orange/ruby and the head is an off-white one finger froth that recedes pretty slowly. Lacing is great and seems to find its way up the side of the glass without any agitation. A few carbonation bubbles slowly make their way up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is a nice balance of tropical citrus hops and a solid malt backbone. The malt character is definitely a little more up front than I anticipated, but not to the point of being too much. Lots of caramel and toffee, rounded out with subtle grapefruit and pine notes.

Taste: Very creamy texture and more hop bitterness than I suspected, given the aroma. There isn't a whole lot of sweetness to the flavor; just the opposing forces of pine hops and an almost buttery, bready malt punch. Alcohol is is present as well, lending a bit of warmth and body.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side for an IPA and quite creamy. Nice hop bitterness off the bat, with warmth towards the end and a fairly clean finish. A pleasure to drink!

Drinkability: Very drinkable for its higher ABV. Definitely a little less hop-centric than a lot of IPAs, but I really don't mind that. Certainly a beer that I will go back to!

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Photo of Sean9689
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Datz in CCB's back yard.

A - Pours a copper/amber reddish color, white head which reduces down to a bit of spotty lacing, some bubbles, no real retention.

S - Nice solid hoppy profile, good dose of bitterness followed by a touch of malt to help balance things out a bit. Mostly citrus with a touch of tropical and floral bitter notes.

T - Hops in the form of citrus, pine, and slight tropical bitterness. Nothing else going on and I really didn't expect there to be anyway. They did what they set out to do here: hops.

M - Light, crisp, smooth and refreshing and an oily finish.

D - A very solid IPA that I would enjoying having in my city. CCB has yet another solid staple in their lineup. Nuff said.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer review number 500!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden-amber color with a medium off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a thick ring of lace and a bit of foal floating on the top.

Smell: Sweet and citrusy with a bit of a whiskey-like aroma.

Taste: Begins with a citric sweetness which rounds out to some buttered toast flavors and with a finish that at first seems overly alcoholic but becomes pleasantly bitter after a bit more drinking.

Mouthfeel: Medium, oily body with balanced carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: A good, not great IPA. It seemed very off-putting at first, but becomes better as you drink it. I'd have it again, but this is not the first thing I would go for.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,351 ratings.