Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,426 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: 1,426 | Ratings: 7,535
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cigar City takes NYC event at Rattle 'N' Hum. The regular Jai Alai is a very good IPA. Above average mouthfeel, bitterness. Very cloudy with white head. Grapefruit flavours. Of course more complex on cedar. Good palate cleanser, and good drinker, as many of their beers are sippers.

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Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jai Alai IPA, 12oz bottle poured in Delirium snifter. Interesting redish amber color with nice solid white foamy head. Head fell quickly but never quite left. Musty hop and carmel malt aroma. Malty, piney hop flavor, slightly bitter carmel finish. Little alcohol presence. Medium bodied and easy drinking. A strong offering.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a white head; full alcohol sweet pineapple nose. Much more alcohol in the nose than one would expect with 7.5%.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy and full with a nice big, full feel to it; inviting.

Flavors are much more like a double than an IPA. Big sweet citrus/malt front palate that goes to a very well balanced big sweet bright citrus malt and bitter grapefruit hop character.

Big malty sweet/bitter hop finish. Very drinkable. I'm not convinced that I tried "the freshest" bottle. I'd like to try it again although this bottle was very drinkable and appealing.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light amber, orange hues. single finger off white head.

S: mild pine, grass and hops

T: a little pine and hops. Its not super special in any one way. Citrus notes and mild bitterness in the finish.

M:smooth, medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice IPA. Not the best out there but very smooth and drinkable. Decent amount of flavor complexity.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Canned on 12/27/12.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. There are small bits of sediment seen floating around after the pour. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some tropical fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

have to thank my mom for this one, best fedex package ever! thanks mom. poured a rich coppery red color from the can, with sudsy off white foam that lasts forever. sticky and sweet is the nose, sappy, resinous, and fresh. the hops are very woody, pine-like, but maybe not so aromatic as some of the more spruce heavy IPAs. mid round caramel malt body underneath all the hops. the flavor of this one is huge, super fresh, and unique in the sense that its got a very foresty feel to it, and some mineral richness that are both uncommon for the style. not that location matters, but this feels more like a Canadian beer to me than one made in florida. its got the real sturdy bearded sort of fortuity that I just don't associate mentally with the sunshine state. this is super impressive. big creamy feel that keeps the foam going in the mouth but doesn't get heavy. its sort of soapy in feel, but not in taste obviously. bitterness in the finish isn't very intense at all, almost tranquilizing really, and the alcohol is invisible. I could not have asked for a better sixpack for cold weather drinking on the Furthur lot this weekend. truly one of the few beers that lives up to the hype, this is a gem.

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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 metter98
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured medium dark amber with a thin, creamy head.
S: The smell isn't very strong, but there are aromas of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is very well balanced--there are lots of bitter hop flavors in the initial taste but these become somewhat subdued as the somewhat sweet flavors of the malt backbone begin to appear.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is some dryness in the finish.
D: This beer was very drinkable and I would definitely try this IPA again.

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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 brentk56
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a thick head atop; nice retention and interesting pattern of lace

Smell: Ruby red grapefruit and mango with caramel malt underneath

Taste: Caramel base with grapefruit and mango fruit adding bitter complexity as well as a growing piney resinous flavor by mid palate; after the swallow, the sweetness builds and though there is plenty of floral bitterness, the beer finishes toward the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A Florida IPA to match the best of the west coast - who would have thunk it; a tad too sweet for more than one but still a fine brew

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Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one a couple of times thanks to mfielden; thanks Mark. Dark amber color with a thick white head that retains well. Toasted grain and caramel aroma. Moderately hoppy nose, but leaning toward the malty side; the hops have a resiny, citrusy character with a touch of tropical fruit. The taste is decidedly East Coast, very balanced between caramel malts and citrusy hops, with malts taking precedence slightly. Mango and grapefruit hop flavors appear mid-palate, but never truly shine due to the heavy malt backbone. Bittersweet in the finish. Solid stuff, but not my favorite take on the style.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

CAN: 33cl. Aluminum, with a standard pull-tab.

7.5% ABV.

Served cold into a stangenglas in Tallinn, Estonia. Purchased at the local Stockmann there for ~5 euro (ouch!). Reviewed live as an IPA per the label. Expectations are high given this beer's high reputation, and my past experiences with Cigar City.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3 inches wide. Gorgeous off-white colour. Has a soft fluffy consistency and a great complexion. Leaves even coating lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Thick, full, and lively. Head retention is excellent - ~10 minutes - pretty impressive at this high an ABV.

BODY: Clear vibrant honey-copper. Clean, with no visible yeast or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated. Overall, it's a good looking IPA, but isn't quite unique or special. Certainly conventional and within style specifications. I'm looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: A bit too heavy on the caramalt for my taste, lending the aroma plenty of overt sweetness when coupled with the obvious pale malts. The hop profile is pretty New World, with ample bursts of tropical fruits including tangerine, papaya, guava, and pineapple (a note I despise in beer). The malty sweetness and warm pineapple character lend it a booziness I find unappealing. Redolent of tepache to its detriment.

I'd much prefer a different hop profile - crisp grapefruit, oily resins, fresh orange citrus, floral notes...this just isn't all that appealing.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The clean mouthfeel and near perfect carbonation help present the flavours clearly and distinctly, but the flavours that are there don't really come together to form a gestalt whole. I pick up on boozy tropical fruit including tangerine, pineapple, and papaya, as well as an overly sweet malt backbone comprised of caramalt and pale malts, but there isn't much balance between hops and malts, and the flavour profile overall lacks the intricacy of superior IPAs.

The tangerine is nice when coupled with the fruity ale esters, but overall the hop profile is underwhelming. I have to wonder if this is an old can; it's just not that hop-dominant, and the caramalt sweetness really eclipses everything else - to it detriment.

Mouthfeel-wise, it's aptly smooth, wet, and medium-bodied, and it offers just enough thickness and weight on the palate for the texture to support the beer's flavours without rendering it unrefreshing. Well-executed in terms of texture - I just wish the taste had more to offer.

Lacks the depth of flavour of superior IPAs, as well as the complexity and diversity of hop notes. Flavour duration and intensity are average for the style.

OVERALL: I hoped for more given Cigar City's involvement, and its reputation as one of the best IPAs of all time - but the result is a merely above average beer. The New World hop emphasis isn't great for my personal tastes, and maybe that's what keeps me from loving this. But it's damn drinkable for the high ABV, and everything except the taste seems to be in order. Maybe this just doesn't do it for me because of my aversion to pineapple notes in beer, but I honestly wouldn't recommend this to friends or trade partners - as much as I love some of Cigar City's other output. I know the problem isn't just an old can as I gave this the same rating after trying it at a Zwanze Day bottle share at Jester King...

C+ (3.21)

2nd impressions in January 2016 from an 11 day old can:

Drank easy, with a pronounced but balanced hop profile.

Highly likable, but not a world class IPA per se.

High B-

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy deep orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma consists of citrus notes with loads of floral hoppy notes and a sweet malt base. Taste is a very nice mix between aromatic and floral hops with balanced bitterness and some citrus notes. Malt base is maybe a tad too sweet for my taste though very solid with no watery notes. Boyd is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Very well brewed and something I could drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Eric for this one!
12 oz. bottle dated Jan 13 2012.

It pours a deep saturated orange tone into a tulip glass. A fingers width of white foam rises and slowly settles, leaving a wispy island of skim in the center, and a denser collar of lacing that forms webs down the opposite sides of the glass.

Smells nice and resiny, some herbal pine and hefty malt presence. Seems a bit subdued however.

Resiny hop bitterness in the taste, lingering long into the finish. Leafy green, pine and herbals, some pale malt in the middle. Fairly rough hewn and straightforward. Medium body and carbonation levels. Overall a good IPA, sort of middle of the road.

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Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of fluffy off white head that leaves some very nice lacing.

Smell: Pine and citrus hops with some malt sweetness. The hops smell very fresh.

Taste: Bitter citrus peel and pine hops hit the tongue pretty hard. There is a strong sweet malt flavor in the background. As the sweetness fades the bitterness clings to your tongue through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. This is the second time I've had it, and the first must have been from a not so fresh bottle, much more impressed from the tap. I'd definitely have it again. I enjoy the malt sweetness along with the bitter hops.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color. White head that starts a few fingers high and has pretty good retention. Nose is quite hoppy with pine and citrus taking the front. Taste is strong hops along with a light bit of malt in the background. Good dry, resinous mouthfeel with superior drinkability.

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Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Gtreid for sending me a massive growler of this. Shared this with a few buddies.

Pored into a pint glass.

Color is a bronze copper with a slight ruby hue to it. Pours 1/2 finger of creamy beige head. Leaves some dominate lace.

Aroma: Big apricot and peach flavors up front with a nice citrus touch. A ton of floral hops but everything is blended together well.

Taste: Huge citrus profile. Nice grapefruit taste with a lot of peaches. Bready and caramel malts balance it out. A nice amount of floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, bitter, and smooth. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, a tad sticky but pretty nice for an ipa.

Overall, a damn great ipa. This beer is just delicious. It is drinking easy and the pints are going fast. Thanks Grant for letting me drink a lot of this great beer!

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Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Small, white head with little lace. The body is clear with a copper-brown color.

S - Fruity citrus, lots of pineapple and apricots, balanced by a good dose of caramel and toasted malt.

T - Lots of caramel malt sweetness battles with an equally big hop flavor. The fruity hops blend with malt sweetness and border on cloying. The malt character finished a bit darker that it initially tasted, with a hint of roast barley and tobacco.

M - A moderately thick, oily body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Well balanced and, if anything, a bit on the malty side despite the big hop aroma. Very drinkable, this combines a great hop character with rich, thick malt and almost comes across as an east coast DIPA like DFH 90min.

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

Poured into a standard pint glass a hazed burnt orange with just a really well definded whitemgreat defintion here,it faded slowly into a frothy mass leaving two rings of lace behind as it did.Tropical fruits and some herbal notes in the nose,underlying caramel biscuit.Fresh overripe tropical fruit,some resin,and herbal hops are not in your face they just flow nicely together.There is a bigger sweetish malt base that holds firm to the hops till the end.A very well made IPA with the alcohol being well hidden,I could drink alot of this.

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

12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 11/4/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy bright orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, peach, mango, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, peach, mango, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of pine/citrus peel bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of big juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome IPA. All around great complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; and very smooth and fairly crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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

Cliff's Notes to Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai

Appearance: Hazy orange amber body. Creamy off-white head that holds remarkably well and leaves short but solid walls of lace completely round the glass.

Aroma: Gently caramelish malt base in the nose, infused with spicy/peppery, and grassy/leafy/floral hops. More English than American.

Flavor: As expected, it delivers a rich, round maltiness that offers an edge of dextrinous, medium caramel sugars. The hop flavors cling to that, move through it, and are supported and sprung forward by it. Solid bitterness, but not overly brutal at all. Finishes dry with receeding malt and rising hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full in body. Dextrinous. Crisp but not biting (smoothed by the fullness of the malt).

Drinkability: There are several components that seem to dance in a circle here, continually nodding and giving space to one another, yet existing mainly as one. The malt dominates and steps forward but then needs the hop bitterness and spiciness to keep it in check and steps back. Nicely balanced. Full flavored. Oddly compelling in its heavy-handed finesse.

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Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

served in pint glass; some dark sediment in bottle added with last few drops.

pours a slightly hazy amber with a thick off-white head. Head leaves good lacing. Small amount of pale sediment (added during tasting).

S - both hops and malt evident. Hops smell fresh and dominant the aroma. Primarily citrus-toned with a hint of melon.

T - immediate and lasting hop hit, with a nice amount of malt sweetness to add complexity and reduce the bitterness, particularly in the after-taste. Finish is noteworthy, with a drawn-out and dynamic flavor array.

M - typical for style, if a bit more biting and clean. Nice level of carbonation.

D - well, there is that very hoppy and rather bitter taste some people can't abide, but for us hop heads, this flawless IPA has high drinkability.

My first from Cigar City did not disappoint despite my high expectations. Recommended for all hop heads.

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

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a finger of creamy looking slightly off-white head. This maintains a nice frothy richness to it, leaving back lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass in a creamy cascade. The aroma is sharp, with grapefruit and pine cutting through the nose. This is softened somewhat by notes of tropical fruit, herbal accents, and some toasted grains in the back. Alcohol undercuts the flavors but isn't coming off as overly stiff or stinging.

The taste is once again, fairly sharp and aggressive, being bitter with grapefruit, earth, and pine, which sits against a backbone of rigid grains and some more sweeter feeling tropical character that comes out in a flush from behind the malts. This finishes strong with spice, resins, and bitter rind that linger with a steady dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, being crisp on the edges but then mostly smooth and oily throughout the rest of the body. This is a little warming feeling from the alcohol straight out of the fridge but the balance opens up as this warms and helps cover most of the ABV up.

This is a solid staple American IPA from Cigar City, with an aggressive, yet well balanced, hop presence and a body that maintains a smooth feel despite the ABV being on the higher side for the style. This was nice but I really need to give this a shot on draft as well.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a heavy dose of fruity citrus, along with floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a nice strong bite of piney hops bitterness. Then some sweetness from flavors of citrus and caramel comes in but the sweetness is not as over-powering as the smell would indicate. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this beer has everything you would want in an IPA. This is a beer that I could drink for a whole evening without looking for anything else.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, medium amber-toned body with a tall, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Caramel-scented maltiness rounded out with fruity, citrusy, spicy hop notes and a sprinkle of booze.

Taste: Pale malts with a slim measure of inherent breadiness and lightly coated in a thin veneer of sweet caramel. JAIPA is laden with citrusy hops with additional accents of fruity mango and resinous pine. Minute hint of aspirin-like astringency lurking in there as well. Moderate bitterness. Some warming alcohol sneaks into the drying, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A beer that does a decent job of displaying the natural beauty of the hop plant. It's good, though maybe I shouldn't have gone from trying the Cedar-aged and Guava versions to trying this.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 7,535 ratings.
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