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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

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1,394 Reviews
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,394 | Ratings: 7,430
Reviews by BigN8tion:
Photo of BigN8tion
5/5  rDev +19%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And the new wave of IPA begins- fruit forward with both hops and esters; fused together with a seamless web of maltiness, citrus, tropical and orchard fruit but without compromising dryness, crispness or drinkability. I like where this is going!

Pouring a mid-amber honey-like color, the ale seems a touch darker because of its unadulturated haze. A very formidable ivory head forms on the beer and retains very well with sticky lace all around.

Aromas are hop-balanced between caramel malts, citrus and spicy hops, and alcohol. Lightly fruity and yeasty notes weave within the alcohols. Its a soft and appealing scent that seems slightly English-like.

Graham cracker breadiness, caramel flavor, and spicy alcohols set the stage while the orange zest, ruby red grapefruit, and pineapple hop character bounce off the glass is vibrant and assertive fashion. Bitterness does much more than just balance out the malts but never really demand attention away from them. Again light fruity notes make me think of English Ales- non descript but fruity nonetheless.

Medium creamy and medium sweet, the beer starts out with a hearty malty tone that waits until the last second to crispen up and dry out. Still, the finish hold onto a lot of sweetness and weight despite the adequate carbonation. The aftertaste brings an alcoholic and hoppy-dry memory of the beer; I just wish this had happened at mid-palate and then carried through.

Its quite remarkable the effect that these deeply citrus and tropical flavored hops have with the embedded starch and yeast all have on this new wave IPA taste. Its a smoother and more balanced approach will appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers- even those who have traditionally steered away from hoppy beers.

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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 EveningCordial
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured from can into snifter.

A- Pours a nice light amber. Medium amounts of carbonation and lacing. Small half finger white head.

S- Tropical and citrus fruits. Super fresh and fruity. Lots of pear, mango, even some orange. Not much pine or grass, but some resins very lightly detectable.

T- Just like the smell, this ale is very fruity. Lots of tropical layerings giving it a very fresh and drinkable taste with just the right amount of lightly detected malts and resins. This IPA is super juicy but the light bitterness reminds you its def an IPA.

M- Light bodied, some detectable carbonation, otherwise Id be slamming these like juice boxes. Crisp and clean finish.

O- Lives up to the hype. I hope I run into more of these, as they put a smile on my face. Great warm weather ale, as its very refreshing. A home run by Cigar City.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a quite hazy, copper-orange with lots of carbonation. Also, a white, foamy head that leaves lots of lacing.
Citrus hop abound! Also a resin smell and floral. Awesome!
Taste is amazing! Follows the nose. A wonderful combination of citrus hop and malt in which the hop comes through. Mouthfeel is creamy for an APA. Also hoppier than most APA's. It kind of reminds me of some food dipa's with the slight funk.

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Photo of illpass78
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint on draft at Brass Tap in Oldsmar, Florida.

Appearance: Pours a murky copper/gold with a short white head. Ringed lacing.

Aroma: Huge citrus presence. Oranges, mostly.

Taste: Delicious, citrusy, slightly resiny IPA. Classic hop bitterness. Oranges and fruit dominate up front, while a solid malt backbone and hop bitterness kick in on finish.

Mouthfeel: Dangerously sessionable at 7.5. Definitely an easy drinker.

Overall: Excellent IPA. Find it and enjoy it. Stands up to some of the best.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An outstanding beer and an outstanding IPA. Significant amount of carmel malt. Very, very juicy and sweet. Tons of orange and tropical fruits. A unique flavor and associated aroma that I can't pinpoint, but would describe as kind of musty/earthy, but not an "east coast" thing necessarily. More like a dank, wet pine tree. Low bitterness in the finish. Comes across a little more balanced than some others in case you are looking for a hop bomb. Reminds me of Deshutes Fresh Squeezed a bit. I also have found that I enjoy this more from the can than poured, which I have only had happen with a few beers. I think it is because the aroma is a weaker point, where the flavor is significantly better. A world class IPA, but be warned, it does seem to fall off drastically after a few weeks. Finding it fresh never seems to be a problem though.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am generous on reviews at times but I have reserved the really high scores for outstanding beers. This one is one I have wanted to try for a long time and thanks to a fantastic trade I have acquired this one. I might have to keep this one hot on the pipeline! Jesus its good!

Look: Perfect color for an IPA in my opinion, they range from all over the place but this one sits on the darker side of that fence and I tend to like those better. This one is a reddish amber color with a bit of copper in there. Head remains pretty solid throughout the pour.

Smell: Sweet not overly so, you can detect some malts in there, but this beer is fantastic in the aroma. Nice tropical fruits, mango, papaya, guava, maybe some passionfruit in there as well. Its not as intense as the flavor will give up.

Flavor: Holy shit this is the best tasting IPA I have ever had no doubt. It blends everything I like in this style of beer. Its sweet but not overly so, its got a nice resinous quality to it, but its balanced by the malts, this is a hugely balanced beer. Its on the assertive side more than pseudosue or Zombie Dust, but then those are technically Pale Ales. This beer is not too bitter but bitter enough. Super enjoyable great mouthfeel, not sticky but not overly drying either. I want a case next time I go to the beach!

Overall: Thus far this is the best IPA I have ever had. No doubt. It is rated highly and for good reason. I have a few more CCB beer waiting for me, but those are a completely different style, but if this is indicative of what this brewery can do, I am happy to trade again for just about anything! This is truly an outstanding IPA!

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

My first Cigar City beer and unsurprisingly it's a very malty east coast IPA. Resinous hop and citrus flavors make themselves present at the front of the tongue and finish with the creamier malty characteristics at the back. A very nice change of pace from some of the west coast hop bombs.

 290 characters

Photo of McGiblets87
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a truly amazing IPA. After a few years of wanting this beer finally had a trade go through for Jai Alai and the year of so of waiting was well worth it.

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a can into a pilsner glass at Trump's place in Doral, Florida. I would say this is one of the three best IPAs I have had the pleasure of drinking. Wonderful juicy hops with tons of tropical fruit but also a dankness that reminds me of our storm/canning/pickling cellar when I was a kid in Oklahoma. That part seems more like a DIPA and is always welcome in any IPA I drink. If you haven't had one, put it on your bucket list. You'll be glad you did. CIGAR CITY...send it to Houston!!

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Photo of Winzlow
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding example of the IPA class of beers. Living near Tampa, I receive very fresh samples of Jai Alai (pronounced: "Hi Lie"). Last sixer was 7 days in the can - wife says that tonight's sixer is dated 7 days old as well (she called from store to ask if date was OK). From the pop of the top - you KNOW this is going to be something special. The aroma fills the room! Fruit - citrus and wow! I understand that CCB uses Ahtanum hops for aroma - and one can tell. Head is off-white and lacey. Taste has to be experienced.... It is the World Class IPA that other IPSs try to be - just like the Bros say. A deliciouse beverage that is up there with the ABV pushing the IIPA boundry - but it is not noticed due to the sensory experience of the beer. A bit pricey - but worth it. Not my everyday beer - but a sixer on Friday is to be expected in my home (and it IS Friday!). This is my favorite IPA.
Drink fresh. Drink Local.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is all fruit and hops. There are layers of citrus, tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango, and a nice hop presence on the back end. Not a super hoppy IPA, but a great representation of the fruit forward side. My favorite type of IPA.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: pale amber body, slightly hazy; fat tan head as high as you wanna make it; lace drapes left behind

S: like the bitter pith of pale and tropical and citrus fruits; some sweetness like of caramel

T: slightly chewy, fruity and lightly bready; milk caramel sugar sweetness under a well-balanced hop front bringing lots of mildly bitter citrus notes

M: a solid medium body with an incredible smoothness despite the crisp hops; fuzzy carbonation, very refreshing and clean-finishing

O: another top tier IPA - all accolades are appropriate - if there weren't so many great IPAs I could rave, but suffice it to say that this is right there with many of the best in the style, such as AleSmith's IPA, Union Jack, and Flower Power.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Cigar City Jai Alai India Pale Ale has a thick, off-white, spongy head, a mostly clear, very bubbly, deep amber appearance, and significant lacing left on the glass. The aroma is bold- strong, piney hops and vibrant sweetness. Taste is of a out-front, piney hop bitterness, sweet, white bread malts, and and maybe sugar. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Cigar City Jai Alai finishes crisp, bold, and not alcohilic. Great and wonderful!


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

The beer pours a nice and white bubbly head that dissipates quickly but leaves a bit of white stuff on the surface. The beer itself is a clear pale amber color that looks wonderful in the light.

The beer smell is pretty good and fairly balanced even if it is a little on the hoppy side. The smell has a strong and diverse hop note with different kinds coming through. The most noticeable hop note is a strong pine smell and the other notes are mainly citrusy with a slight tropical hint. The hop notes are accompanied by a nice sweet caramel malt note that complements the tropical and citrus hops perfectly.

The taste is just as good as the smell in terms of strength and quality. The hop note is fairly strong and mainly comes out as citrusy and tropical with a slight pine note towards the end. The caramel malt taste is still there but not as strong as the smell.

The feel is pretty good. The beer has a smooth feel and the carbonation gives a slight texture that works very well. Slightly dry finish.

Overall, a very good IPA and I can see why it's considered to be one of the best. Get it.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quick review. One of a kind IPA - deep citrus & tropical fruit aromas envelop you on the nose & carry over remarkably well to the palate. Carb & mouthfeel are perfect. Just enough malt to offset the fruity, slightly resinous hops.

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Photo of gopens44
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing from notes - had it a good while ago. Family traveled to Florida and brought me the sixer back. Used to be available on a hit or miss basis around here, but haven't seen it in a while. With all said.....

Good looking beer, copper with a thick luxurious head (judging by my glowing use of luxurious, I'd bet it wasn't' my first beer on rating day....)

Expected a knock out fruit smell but got a little more grassy than I thought which muted the grapefruit a little

Taste follows the nose, as it has grassy into that fades to grapefruit while giving a little too much maltiness to go on.

Fairlyu smooth finish, no lingering aftertaste

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Photo of thehoppylady
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Legit local beer, lucky gal right here to get freshies daily. 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.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Single can purchased at United Ale House in Ft. Myers. Pours a golden, copper, amber hue, with moderate frothing. Strong aroma of citrus zest with notes of lemon, grapefruit, and pine. Very similar flavor, with strong pine presence. Extremely well balanced and very drinkable. Recommended.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I paid way too much for a single on-tap pour of this earlier tonight at a Rays game at Tropicana Field that my wife and I went to with some friends of ours during our currently ongoing vacation in Sarasota, FL. We have to leave early Friday morning, so I figured this might be the only chance I get to drink this awesome beer this time around, so I went for it since I do really like this beer and haven't reviewed it here yet. Served to me in a plastic pint glass cup, this beer draws a slightly cloudy/hazy, medium copper color. The color and level of haziness/cloudiness of this beer reminds me a lot of apple cider, only the beer's color is slightly lighter than apple cider typically is. Had a head that was a good 2/3 inches thick when first served to me that settled eventually to a medium sized cluster swirl of foam floating around in the middle of the beer's surface along with a fairly thick ring of foam lining the inside of the glass. Has a slightly bready/biscuity, somewhat toasted sweet caramel malt aroma that immediately gives way to a big citrus and mango hop aroma. The taste is pretty much exactly the same, only even better than the aroma, with a bit of a bready/biscuit, fairly toasted caramel malt sweetness along with pungent citrus and mango hops. The hops certainly dominate, but the pungent, juicy hop flavor is not overly bitter either by any means. An excellent flavor profile indeed! Has a fairly crisp, yet smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a very nice aftertaste. A real winner of a beer here!


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Photo of Mehinaman
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic IPA. Not too bitter or hoppy and very drinkable. Would be a very good IPA to introduce someone who has never had th style to. Either way, this is one of the very top IPA's I have had so far. Wish it was available locally as I would buy it all the time

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a can which was 2 months old so have to do this review with a grain of salt, so to speak. Beautiful copper color with huge head. I really looked forward to the tropical fruit aroma and of course citrusy smell / taste go a long way with me in an IPA anyway. maybe it was because this can was 2 months old but it was very hard for me to pick up any significant citrus and tropical fruit notes from start to end. Just sort of there is all. have to have when super fresh to do a proper comparison but I would say just pay attention to the canning / bottling dates when pursuing just like any other IPA.

Update: Got some cans dated 2/27 only a few weeks old and my score has changed drastically. Freshness obviously matters a lot but especially with this beer, it seems.

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Photo of Bis4beer70
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The second micro brew i got while in florida...loved it! Quite possibly among the best AMERICAN india pale ales i've ever had...shared one w/my brother in-law,Bob (he enjoyed it too,& that man KNOWS beer-even lives in the PNW too!)...One of the highlights/best things to say about it,is that the Jai Alai has a fine, non-lingering after taste & is one of the top two beers i had while on vacation in 2015...tampa beers! cheers!

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Photo of NAGamecock
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful IPA. It is less citrusy than your average American IPA, but there is a subtle grapefruit that comes through. I pick up a nice malt balancing out the hops with a hint of tobacco. Overall, this is an excellent ale that will be a part of my regular rotation.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 7,430 ratings.
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