Jai Alai IPA
Cigar City Brewing

Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #34
Ranked #821
4.29 | pDev: 9.32%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA
Notes: Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188 mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at race car speeds, "the merry game." Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with beef empanadas, deviled crabs and other spicy dishes.

65 IBU
Reviews: 1,744 | Ratings: 8,856 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kimcgolf
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a nice hazy red orange with thick white head and lacing that lasted throughout. Nice aroma of tangerine and mango, that carried into the taste. Mouthfeel was a little thin and aftertaste was a little bitter. All and all a decent IPA, but not one of my favorites

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Photo of Guaro
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fine and very compact foam in light ivory color, veiled beer in orange color with gold veins. Very fresh and intense bouquet of citrus and yellow-fleshed fruit, light caramel, herbaceous. On the palate the body and carbonation are medium. The slightly pungent citrus notes are accompanied by a good soft malty base, white bread and hints of caramel. Bitter aftertaste with herbaceous and spicy notes and enveloping abv. Good!

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Photo of BitterBru
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

*Thin, wispy head, bubbles dissipate rapidly
*Amber color, slight haze
*Clean smell, a little grassy but not particularly fragrant, slight malt
Hoppy, but not seriously so - aftertaste is very much like the front end of the sip. Seems very balanced. This beer would be welcome at a dinner party or just with friends in the backyard. Smooth enough for a non-IPA drinker but would be most appreciated by a fan of the hops.
Seems to have a west-coast feel despite being made in Tampa. Lovely and reasonably priced, this is definitely a beer I’ll drink again (and again).

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Photo of UWDAWG
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a tulip glass.

Look- Deep gold, frothy white head, some small particulate sediment, average head retention, above average lacing.

Smell- Orange, citrus.

Taste- Orange, malty.

Feel- Between thin and medium body, slightly below average carbonation, mild bitterness.

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Photo of Beernaby
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My new son-in-law (married my daughter 9 mos. ago) gave me a six-pack of this beer recently and, judging by the beer, the
kid has good taste...(obviously, Dad, he married your daughter!) Anyway, this beer is a keeper (and she is, too!) The look is
bright orange-gold with a citrus-blossom nose. The taste is grapefruit peel with crisp hops and a mild, banana finish. The mouth-feel is sharp and refreshing. Darn it, I'm already down to the last one of the six-pack!

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super fresh 12 oz can brewed on 04/15/20! Pours a clear copper-orange color, Aroma's of citrus and tropical fruits. Very nice foamy clingy head. Juicy grapefruit-citrus flavors, medium bodied IPA with a nice full mouthfeel. One of the best IPA's I have tried in a while, delicious!

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Photo of lflotron
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best IPA's out there right now that isn't outrageously expensive. The beer looks very bubbly with a beautiful dark amber color. You can definitely tell it is an IPA when you take your first sip but it does have a hint of citrus. It has a crisp and bitter feel.

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Photo of Fuggles_
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L- Beautiful copper and very very clean. Lightest amount of haze.
S- Classic WC IPA, bright and slightly astringent and pithy. Very fresh smelling and alcohol peeks through but not overwhelming.
T- Exactly what I personally love with these styles of IPA’s, crisp, bright, pithy, and very few have a clean aspect like this does. It’s hard to explain, it tastes so clean and leaves the mouth not feeling too dry or stale.
F- if any of the above give you a clue, it’s great. Thick yet drinks very easy, going back to its crisp nature and it’s clean feel it’s hard to beat.

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Photo of AccipiterofBeer
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter/tulip style glass.

L: 4.75 Brilliant orangish-gold hue. Slightly cloudy. Nice head and carbonation.
S: 4.5 Dank hops. Grapefruit. What you want in an IPA, pure.
T: 4.5 Delectable. Surprisingly fruity, but also bitter.
F: 4.25 excellent.
O: 4.5 heck of a beer, definitely an IPA to try in the crowded field of the style.

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Photo of graysonslamsbrews
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a pint glass.

L: Beautiful amber color, pillowy white head that laces. Suspended solids, carbonation looks light. Hazy fer sure.
S: Smells sweet with citrus and bready malts. Pretty subdued, but I also poured it too lightly.
T: Soft bitterness on the front, not too powerful or overwhelming anywhere, but fresh orange and lemon peel off the end. Soft but bright hops combined with caramelized malts... really good
F: Not too heavy for 7.5%, and very drinkable for this style. Carbonation is bright and uplifting but not too powerful, and compliments the flavors.

Embodies everything American IPAs strive towards and does it well. It's like a 6pk for $13 in upstate NY so a little pricier, but is well worth it.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cigar City Jai Alai, 7.5% ABV. Pours golden with a 3+ finger white head that left some lacing. Nose is sweet and bready, with a hint of honey. Taste is bready, citrus, earthy, with some sweetness and moderate bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent. Had expected more, a bit disappointing.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can - nice to see that there are venerable American craft breweries still suddenly showing up here in the wild, wild west of the Alberta bottleshop landscape.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium apricot orange colour, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent flock of seagulls pattern lace around the glass as it lazily abates.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, muddled domestic citrus rind, a further bit of sugary tropical fruitiness, some damp minerality, and plain earthy, musty, and leafy green hop bitters. The taste is crackery and biscuity caramel malt, some orange, lemon, and grapefruit citrus pith, a hard water flintiness, meek exotic candy notes, and more leafy, weedy, and grassy verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its palate-coddling frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, with nothing really making a fuss at this particular juncture. It finishes trending dry, the malt sort of faltering, in the face of a sturdy lingering hoppy quotient.

Overall - I can see why this has been considered a stalwart in the craft IPA segment for so long. Frooty, not too bitter before it was 'cool', and with a 15-proof alcohol measure that exhibits its Southern, rather than Panhandle, manners to the utmost, y'hear?

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Photo of Corp36
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had two recently with dinner while in Florida. Poured orangy hazy with a rather large head. Floral and citrus aroma notes that carried through to my taste buds. I struggled to find some different notes on my palate. Middle of the road body. Very crisp and clean. Easy drinking beer if you want more than one. Good recommendation by the bartender.

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Photo of irs
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

hazy dark amber with delicate lacing and lots of bubbles.
nose is a wonderful blend of grapefruit, dank cut grass, and a deep breadiness.
taste is a dry bready citrus upfront with a mildly sweet yet bitter hoppy aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, maybe astringent, very refreshing, but not quite what I'm expecting after such a complex nose and taste. Actually quite nicely refreshing, just a bit different from the flavor and aroma.

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Photo of AmberSpirit
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours with a thick copper head. Pleasant aroma, but not as fragrant as some other IPA, like Goose Island or Kona. A little flat on carbonation. Prominent hoppy bitterness. It did not particularly captivate my palate, but I'm generally not a big fan of super hoppy IPAs.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.86/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is copper, a bit murky/dense looking, big 2 finger head with a very light tan color, small frothy bubbles, head laces the glass and lingers with solid top.

Smell is primarily earthy, herbal hops, light citrus rind, light caramel.

Taste is similar with an earthy herbal hop dominance, lighter citrus and pine, malt is notable with caramel and very light toffee; I've tasted some oak like qualities in this before but not much present in this vintage. This appears to have aging to the hop and malt character as it does not seem uber fresh, but I like the English style tilt with a moderate malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is quite crisp and bitter, a good balance as the malt sweetness starts to come through and linger a bit.

Overall a good but not quite great IPA - could be the age on this particular can or could be the travel to PA from FL.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into Duvel tulip. CANNED ON 11/07/19 printed on bottom of can. And I've got to say I appreciate the fact that it's not all smudged to heck, and is fully legible. Seems like an increasing rarity these days among manufacturers. Picked up at grocery store as part of a $10 sixer mixer.

Appearance - Pours massive 3-4 finger tan pancake batter head with great retention, weak lacing, and strong but semi-irregular stick. Body is a moderately hazy medium to medium-light amber. Head readily regenerates with a light swirl. 4.75

Smell - Complex, floral hop aroma. Everything from coffee, to citrus rind, to dark fruit. Even some admittedly off tones like cardboard and soy sauce however faint. But no points removed because the intense complexity is a mitigating factor. 4.75

Taste - Bitter. Tea, coffee and citrus rind. 4.5

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Astringent. 4.5

Overall - Complex. Not an easy beer, but not too bad for an IPA. Pretty smooth in style. 4.25

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Photo of That_Mohawk_Dude
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Great example of a killer tropical IPA. Very bright and crisp with heavy notes of passionfruit and pineapple in both smell and flavor. Bitter but balanced by the tropical fruits.

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Photo of Magnificent_Bastard
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned two months prior to drinking

Very nice. Pours orangy, hazy. Smell is great and fresh with pink grapefruit, lychee, apricot notes as well as some leafy vegetal hop aromas. Taste is lovely crisp and clean, could have had a bit more density on the mid palate, but it is still very blanced and tasty. Finish is lovely crisp, bitter and leafy. My style of American Pale Ale!

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Photo of DrOfGolf
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall, I was expecting something just a tad bit better because of all of the earliest reviews. Unfortunately, I also never thought to check out the canned on date and realized that this 12 pack was canned over 15 months ago. Oh well, I'll make sure to check before I buy next time.

Look: An orange color with a decent head.
Smell: Definitely an orange and lemon/lime smell.
Taste: A malt and citrus crispness.
Feel: A mid body feel.
Overall: I'd be happy to try again, providing I can find some closer to the "canned date."

*** Found some more that seems to be a whole lot better. Upped my ratings in the various categories. I really, really like this beer.

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Photo of BulmasPanties
4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The score description of "world class" is no exaggeration. To say that this beer is bursting with flavor may not do it justice. The strong hop flavor accentuated by citrus overtones makes every sip cut as deep into your taste buds as any beer out there. Cigar City Brewing makes some damn good beer but this one stands out even by their standards and deserves to be mentioned alongside the world's highest rated beers.

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Photo of MattDecker
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: sticky hazy honey gold with a small tint of Amber, decent sized head that lasts for a medium amount
Smell: citrus hop bomb, fruit - both sweet and citrus, citrus pine, grapefruit/lemon zest
Taste: first a citrus hop flavor that transitions to a sweet cirtus flavor (papaya?), hoppy and honey flavor kinda combined after - they hit at roughly the same time for me, the sweetness lingers for moment which unique and really pleasant and then a really refined malty hoppy flavor that comes out of that sweetness and lingers. Very unique, very complex, very interesting!
Feel: medium to full body
Overall: man, I really love this thing. And I do not like piney hoppy flavors particularly. But what overcomes that is that complex ever evolving taste profile and that seems to present a COMPLETELY new flavor right when you start to pin it down. And it seems to alter almost every time, or more realistically, its so complex that you pick up on different nuances each time.

This flavor though! It goes like this for me: Honey (but not a sweet honey, the flavor honey) > to citrus hop flavor > the to sweet (literally pretty sweet) flavor > then to a malty piney hop flavor that lingers > then mellows out to a mostly malt with the best kind of piney hoppy flavor

I am not an pine-hop flavor fan and I still give it a 5 for flavor!!!! Look the look, smell, taste and body. WOW. Ipa's are not my jam but this beer is so unique and interesting, on that alone I have to give it a 5. Worth experiencing!!

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Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nearly clear amber. Mixed citrus (lemon, grapefruit), pine, plenty of caramel. Not terribly bitter, a bit on the sweet side. Quite malty. Moderate mouthfeel.

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Photo of octortus
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

473 mL Can. ABV 7.5%.
Appearance: Veiled copper, One and a half fingers of off-white creamy/frothy head, Good retention, Good lacing, Medium carbonation.
Aroma: Tangerine, Citrus candy, Tropical fruit, Juicy hops, Slightly earthy, Herbal.
Mouthfeel: Slightly under medium body, Smooth, Soft carbonation.
Flavour: Earthy, Herbal, Juicy, Tropical fruit, Citrus candy (grapefruit, orange), Pine, Slightly sweet.
Overall: The six hops (Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial, Motueka, CTZ) are very nicely integrated. I really appreciated the light sweetness mixed in with the bitterness. I'd definitely enjoy this again.

Review: 81

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Photo of entheos
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer. It’s tart, frothy, spicy and delicious! If cigars were like this beer, I’d smoke them. Fortunately, no cigar is this good and my lungs are safe! Drink your pleasure, don’t smoke it!

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 8856 ratings