Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA
8,448 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,448 |  Reviews: 1,630
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
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 StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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 acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
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 kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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 jaydoc
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
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 Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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 GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
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 djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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 Taphouse_Traveler
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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 WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | 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-

04/29/18 impression from a can:

Bold hop notes are big on citrus and creamsicle. The malts answer with sweet caramalt and pale malt, resulting in a balanced but hop emphatic beer.

Absurdly drinkable.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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 oline73
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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 emerge077
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
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 zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can. Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a large, off-white head of foam. It smelled of pine, orange peel and roasted malt. Piney hop bite with a citrusy kick. Strong roasted malt backbone with caramel.

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 8,448 ratings