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Jai Alai IPA - Papaya - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Jai Alai IPA - PapayaJai Alai IPA - Papaya

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

85 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 146
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 39
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 01-07-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 85 | Hads: 146
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at Chris' (spycow's) place during the Southampton tasting, and then cracked my own bottle courtesy of Beerlando. Served in a Half Acre pint glass.

A - Big white foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. Transparent golden body.

S - This was quite an odd experience. One bottle seemed faded and malt-forward, while the other smelled of straight-up Papaya. Both were refrigerated for the majority of the past month, so I'm baffled by the bottle variation. In any case, it's heavy on tropical fruits, but also has a bready malt backbone that is fairly assertive.

T - Tropical fruits, burnt sugars, toasted grains, and bready malt character. Not as juicy as it was merely a week ago - I wouldn't sit on this beer too long.

M - Big juice medium-full body, medium carbonation, sticky residual feel that reminds me of fruit juice. No discernible alcohol.

D - Very easy to drink, and one of the better Jai Alai variations I've had. I'm confused as to why one bottle tasted significantly older even though I sampled them about four days apart. In any case, fairly enjoyable but not essential.

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Photo of shand
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

This brew is a fairly clear red-amber color with two fingers of head that retains and laces fairly well. The aroma is nice, the standard IPA hoppiness and pineyness are present, along with the normal tropical fruit bouquet from CCB's IPAs. The papaya blends in here on the nose, just adding another dimension to the aroma. The taste is exceptional, this is one of the best fruited beers I've ever had. The papaya is upfront on the taste, riding up front on a wave of other tropical fruits that that washes away to a nice hoppy, piney finish. The best thing is that the fruits are not very sweet too, this is less sweet than even the base Jai Alai. A great fruited IPA.

The mouthfeel is great, it's fairly thick but not quite as thick as a DIPA, and it is fairly highly carbonated. The drinkability is absolutely superb. I really, really love this beer. Now, personally, it must be taken into effect that I love fruit beers and I love IPAs, so the two making a beautiful beautiful child is something basically right up my alley. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mosley1212
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into my DFH Signature Glass.

A--Poured like what I expected an IPA to do. It had a very aggressive 3" inch that was a slightly off-white color. Had syrupy retention throughout the drink. Giving a vigorous swirl produced quite a bit of head that each time.

S--A rich pine, floral smell. There is a slight booze to it as well. Unfortunately, it smells like any other IPA to me. The papaya is too faint or non-existent. Really disappointed.

T--Tastes a lot (read: almost identical) to their other Jai Aalais. Lots of nice hop presence. The floral notes come off and dance on the tongue. Pine is very present as well. Sweetness of the papaya comes through pretty substantially in this beer. It really knocks out the hop flavor and replaces it with the sweetness of the fruit.

M--Very light. There are tons of carbonation bubbles in this beer (and from my DFH glass). So it feels really nice on the tongue. Good mouthfeel over all.

O--It's a very good IPA that can really hold its own. Unfortunately, there's not a lot separating this beer from either the Humidor Series or regular Jai Alai to justify the hefty price ($12.99). I think I'll stick with the regular since I can get more of it for less of a price. But definitely give this one a try if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seems my rumoured love of Cigar City has spread far & wide - rec'd bottles from steelcitybrew, moose3285, & beerisheaven in short order the past couple weeks. First bottle downed at a gathering; this is #2, opened up with my wife.

Pours like a straight-up IPA, strolling between copper & light orange. Clear as gin. Light pine hops, malts sweetness, & feathery touch of papaya in the nose. Pretty tame.

Papaya IPA has that trademark Jai Alai bitterness that I love so much, but it's cut signifantly by the papaya sweetness. Lovely bitterness, pine needles, floral curtains, & a quieter papaya presence. It's more lurker that Shogo. This is a swigger; the slight sweetness cuts into the strong hops enough that I want to take full mouthfuls of this rather than dainty sips.

Very good beer, very, very good beer, but doesn't live up to the sheer bliss of the other Jai Alai treatments I've had to date. Would love to see more papaya character to relly make this one belch, but hey, I've been so spoiled by Cigar City all I can think is "what if..."

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first ccb to taste and was slightly disappointed. Reminded me somewhat of dfh aprihop coming across as a middling ipa without much fruit to speak of. Pours a mahogany brown with a slight head that does leave nice lacing. Nose is somewhat with candied mango, sweet malts backed by a slightly citrusy hoppiness, with maybe some pink peppercorn. Maybe i served this too cold (15 minutes after refrigeration) but all i get is simple bitter ipa characteristics along with bready malty sweetness, and honestly not much else. I am far from a west coast homer (not a big pliny fan) but after having nelson last night it is tough to bring myself to attempt to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I am so happy to report that I was able to share three bottles of this great beer. This is an example where I get so mad at my hobby... Why. Why only make this beer once? It's phenomenal!!!! It's not like dried papaya isn't available anymore. Time to raise more money for the Florida Brewer's Guild. One of my favorite IPA's...

A nice aggressive light tan head forms atop this beer. Retention is very impressive and lacing a left all over your glass. A brown/amber color with good clarity.

Aroma is the beginning of your awesome journey. Citrus and tropical fruits, which obviously resemble papaya. Fresh, bright and perfume like. Just wonderful.

The flavor of this beer is just amazing. There is this wonderful balance between the three main components. 1) A toasted malt backbone that is just great. The slightest sense of smoke. Not smokey.. But there is something nice. Reminded me of DFH 60 Minute's malt profile. 2) The bright fresh citrus & pine hop flavors and bitterness. Excellent. 3) And the tropical fruit flavors that just make this very complex and wonderful. Yes, papaya... but it's deeper than just that. All of this works perfectly together..

Subtle carbonation, medium bodied, smooth in your mouth with a touch of oiliness.

Phenominal Beer and one I would chase forever. Please make this again!!!!

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Photo of corby112
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden copper color with burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy, pillowy two finger white foam head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with large chunks and rings of soapy lacing.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of pine needle, tropical fruit and faint malt. Slghtly earthy and resinous but the prominent charaterstic in the nose is tropical fruit. I was expecting more of an earthy citrus presence but it's domnated by the papaya along with hints of mango and pineapple. Faint malt presence with a bit a graham cracker and biscuit in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry, resinous oily hops and a bitter pine needle presence that lingers over the sweet citrus/tropical fruit flavor and pale malt backbone into a slight dry finish. The bitterness is countered mid-palate by a nice tropical fruit presence with hints of papaya, mango and pineapple as well as some citrus rind/orange peel. Underneath, there is a pale malt backbone with hints of biscuit and graham cracker, adding complexity while balancing out the sweet and bitter notes. Toward the end of the swallow I'm picking up some slight heat but overall the ABV is very well masked and this beer is extremely quaffable. I had to slow myself down before pounding down the whole 750ml too quickly.

Overall, this beer is a nice variation on the base beer and I'm glad that they bottled it. Not as good as some of the others that I tried at the Hunahpu's release(especially the Peach) but the papaya adds a nice tropical element that I really liked. Hopefully they decide to bottle more of these in the future.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to urwithdave for the bottle!

Pours a beautiful, clear, amber-orange with a thin, white head that leaves a few patches of lacing behind.

Lots of residual sugar on the nose with fruit sweetness and citrus-laden hops. A little malty. More sweet than hoppy.

Grassy, citrusy hops mixed with papaya and sweet malts. I'm not a huge fan of papaya, but it works quite well in this beer. Very cool.

Smooth, creamy body with lingering bitterness. Medium to light carbonation. This feels great going down.

Overall, this is a cool spin your typical IPA. The papaya is well integrated and really helps this beer stand out. On the sweeter side for an IPA, but delicious none the less. Worth checking out.

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Photo of mwa423
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Completely clear golden color with a fingerof head that left a nice lacing down the glass.

S - Aroma is a fantastic balance of hoppy bite, citrus and pine with a fruity sweetness from the papaya.

T - Taste is as good as the smell, a bit hoppierwith lots of citrus and the fruit mostly comesout in the aftertaste. Overall an excellent balanced flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with a creamy finish.

Overall - Anybody who said don't fruit the beer would change their mind tasting this beer. It has an incredible balance of fruit and hops that will please any palate.

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth pale malts with large amounts of tropical fruit and citrus hops. There's a slight amount of dried papaya in the aroma but for the most part it's drowned out by the hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as well balanced. Moderately sweet pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by heavy citrus and mild leafy hops. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was a fan of this beer but it didn't meet my admittedly high expectations. The balance from the normal Jai Alai wasn't there, as the malt flavors were drier and the hops weren't as bright. Still, an interesting take from CCB and one that's worth a shot for comparison's sake.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely clear with a very ambery golden hue and very little accompanying white foamy head that doesn't stay very long. Moderate lacing.

Smells strongly of papaya and tropical fruits. A pineappley hop whiff in the background makes itself known. Strong malt backbone too.

The tropical fruit is still very present but there is a very dominating hoppiness right up front. Somewhat piney with a citrussy residual flavor leaning more toward pineapple. Strong malt character, a little between caramel and toffee as well as a very bread like yeast presence. This is quite a flavorful beer, very dominant notes all across the board, like they are competing very hard for my tastebuds affection.

Dry medium body mouthfeel with lots of prickly carbination. Residual body is fairly light, tolerable is a good word.

A bit too heavy to have a bunch of these but still worth drinking.

Yummy beer, but its a bit too much at times. I would almost file this under desert beer. Still very delicious.

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave for this bottle. Out of my Founder's Tulip.

A- Pours a glowing reddish amber, clear and crisp. The beer pours with a healthy white head, and the lacing is pretty intense.

S- Smells sweet and fruity, the papaya is very evident. Some fruity and piney hops are present too.

T- It's smooth and slightly sweet. The finish is dry and hoppy, with a touch of papaya. Excellent dry hoppy aftertaste.

M- Very good here as well. It has enough body without being too overboard. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation, but that's ok.

O- This is pretty tasty, could use a bit more papaya though. I'm not sure you would know it was there if it wasn't on the bottle. A big malty single IPA that is quite tasty.


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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Had at a DC RB tasting.

a - Pours a deep amber color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, citrus hops, and tropical fruits, which I guess is the papaya.

t - Tastes of pine hops and citrus hops again. Some fruity malts, but not a ton of papaya or tropical fruits like in the smell. Also some bitterness and alcohol in the taste. A slight step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice IPA, but would have liked more tropical fruit and less alcohol in the taste. Would give another shot.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A medium orange gold color with a white head and even lace.

S- Sweet smell of Papaya even fruitiness with no bold hop notes present at first had to work it's way in.

T- A well balance of hops and papaya. Not sweet like I would expect from the papaya since on the label state unsweetened Papaya but the flavor is still there. Not much of a hop bite but very blended.

M- Semi dry but with very good flavor.

D- Very good IPA. imo I would like it to be a little more sweeter but hey that's why I don't brew.


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Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a light orange color with a thin white head and not much lacing as it goes down. The nose brings forward some really nice tropical and citrus notes with papaya dominating. The flavor is all papaya. Wow, there is a lot of papaya there. Not too complex, but I really like the flavor. Beer is mildly hoppy in the flavor and then the finish is a bit bitter. Really interesting and I'm glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 mL bottle with no freshness date visible. Big thanks to Cheesemoose for this beer I really wanted. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep brownish orange in color with a two finger pillowy beige head. Not cloudy in the slightest with some pretty nice retention.

Aroma: Pine, tropical fruits, and citrus notes from the hops definitely dominate. Backing notes of caramel and toasted bread, with the slightest touch of papaya. The papaya aspect of this beer really is not that prominent here.

Taste: Much like the regular Jai Alai, sharp pine, grapefruit, cirtus and some tropical fruits. But the added papaya really does not hit too hard. In fact, it is well hidden here. I would love more fresh or dried papaya notes to be honest. Some caramel and toasted bread backing. Very much like the original Jai Alai.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and crisply carbonated. Very refreshing.

Overall, a really solid IPA but not that different from the regular Jai Alai. The name really made me want more fruit character from the Papaya, but it really is just an extremely subtle variation of the regular. I wonder if I could even distinguish if given a blind taste test. I enjoyed, but stick to the original.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber body with a small white head. Leaves behind some nice spotty lacing.

S: A nice hoppy aroma with notes of tropical fruits (papaya) and pine. Very similar to Jai Alai, just more fruity.

T: Being that it's a Papaya IPA, I expected it to have a more strong tropical fruit flavor. Put that aside, a nice bitter pine hop upfront, followed by some caramel malts, and finishes with tropical/papaya fruit flavor. Slightly sweeter then their regular Jai Alai and very well balanced.

M: Medium body & carbonation, smooth & sticky texture.

O: Really enjoyed this beer and wish I bought more then 1 bottle. Extremely easy to drink and very smooth.

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Photo of JeffSpicoli
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- looks just like troegs nugget nectar and it really sticks to the glass

S- the smell is nice and very different from any other ipa but its not potent very subtle, I prefer to smell the bottle than the glass to get a better aroma of the beer.

T- I have eaten lots of papaya so I actually know what it taste like and it does taste like papaya, I have even eaten allot of papaya from Cuban woman ;) this is a very nice and distinctive ipa IMO it is their best ipa, so they better continue it, much better than their regular jai ali ipa.

M-Its good, damn good, cause you know its good! yes I may have had one to many. but thats not stoping me from having another now is it!

O-I'll drink this beer till the cows come home.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a decadent looking orange/amber with an admirable one inch white head that has good retention and left spotty lace.

S-Very prominent nose. Probably one of the most aromatic beers I've ever had. Hopslam smells better to me, but this is pretty darn good. Strong citrus and pine hops waft through the air along with a subtle yet nice and slightly sweet bready, malty backbone.

T-Nice bitter hop bite leads with citrus and pine. Hints of papaya come through in the middle and finish-but thats all I get are just hints. No strong papaya taste which is somewhat surprising given the name of this beer. But still, this is one fine tasting beer. A nice bready malt also comes through in the middle and adds a nice complement to the hops and hints of papaya. A nice bitter hop bite rounds things out at the finish. A slightly medicinal like flavor present in the aftertaste knocks a half point off right here. If it weren't for the aftertaste, it'd be a 4.5 on taste.

M-Medium body. Slightly slick and oily with a crisp carb bite.

O-A very enjoyable beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes, 3-25-11

A - crisp and clear amber, some white head to a big fluffy ring, good lacing

S - awesome balance of tropical fruit and citrus hops, some floral notes

T - real smooth and good balance of sweet papaya and dry bitter hops.

M - dry, good body, moderately creamy.

O (D) - nice, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-amber body with a white wispy head
S-nice fruitiness to align with the hops.
t-taste just lime the normal jai Ala I. Nothing to really differentiate it. Still a nice hop taste to it. Citrus hops fo sho
M-medium bodied and oh so smooth
O-good, but just like their normal I pa.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pretty golden orange. Identical to jai alai. Smells almost identical to jai alai but with a touch of papaya. The fruit is very subtle but compliments well. The beer is nearly identical to jai alai in every way just with a subtle twist. Not as good as masala mama but still very good.

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Photo of babaracas
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bomber a mostly clear orange amber with two finger cream colored head, slowly fades to a thin ring leaving splotches of lace on the glass. Smell: floral, with a quick touch of grapefruit, sugary dried papaya, and spicy, woody and earthy notes. Taste: sweet but in a light, sugary way, biscuit with sugary fruit (mango or papaya, can't really tell)), citric and leafy with light earthiness. Medium bodied with the right balance between creamy carbonation and viscosity. As is customary from CCB, this is a unique IPA that is hard to rate as an IPA as it is sweeter than usual and with a measurable sweet tropical fruit component. But it's really tasty, so it gets a nice score here.

If you plan to review, let it warm a bit as that citric component takes a while to come out, and adds a lot.

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Photo of regspeir
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at CCB on tap. Poured an orange/amber with a two-finger, off-white head. Nose is pine, sugar/molasses and dried fruit. I DO like the taste of this - hops evident up front but they quickly give way to fruit and malt. Bitterness is meduim and what is there is moderated by the sweetness, especially in the finish. For me, there is a very pleasing aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavier than medium, there is moderate carbonation and it is, not surpringly, a little sticky. Wish I could get more of this as I preferred it over the other Jai Alai's i have tried.

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Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a clear, copper colored body. The head settles down quickly and leaves nice, thick lace.

S - Fruity pine hops with notes of pineapple and mango (and papaya I suppose). There is quite a bit of bready malt in the background as well with a hint of caramel.

T - Sweet, biscuit and toffee malt with sharp, citrus hops and moderate bitterness. The hop character becomes more fruity in the middle with pineapple and other tropical fruit character as well as more sweet, cake-like malt. The beer finishes with notes of sweet fruity hops and alcohol as well as moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This beer is very similar to the regular Jai Alai, but it seems heavier and sweeter. The papaya is a bit hard to pick out since the base beer is already full of tropical fruit hop notes, but it does seem to add a bit of acidity and fruity sweetness to the finish. The hops aren't quite as sharp as I remember them being from the regular version either and their flavor seems to linger on the palate with the malt much longer than the bitterness does. This almost comes across more like a very sweet DIPA than a standard IPA and the sweetness along with the fruit and the pithy hop flavor makes it seem stronger than it really is. Worth trying, especially if you have had any of the other Jai Alai permutations, but I definitely prefer the white oak version and the straight Jai Alai to this one.

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Jai Alai IPA - Papaya from Cigar City Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.