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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,376 Reviews
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,376 | Ratings: 7,342
Photo of BrokenEdge
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap. Hazy orange amber in color with a fluffy white head, left a lot of sticky lacing. Smells resinous, citrusy, and with some malty sweetness. Taste is more malt forward than I expected, with the hop flavor and bitterness developing across the palette. Big orange, tangerine, and mango flavors, sweet enough to counteract the strong hop presence. Feel is smooth with a sticky aftertaste, lots of lingering bitterness on the finish. Overall this was a good IPA. I don't think it QUITE lived up to the hype for me, it wasn't the runaway winner of the "best IPA in my life" award. But it's still a very good beer. Somewhat hard to find in PA, so I probably wouldn't go out of my way to have another.

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Photo of mcann2pu
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to madtrixter787 for the trade!
Growler date is 04/30/2010
Appearance: pours into pint glass a copper/amber color, not translucent somewhat hazy, with a thin white head, thinck creamy lacing.

Smell: first on the nose is the combination of hops, then of rich fruit,

Taste: Wow, very very good, one the better IPAs I have had in some time,

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel, was a little thicker then I expected, but it really worked with this beer.

Drinkability: Very high, I really enjoyed this one,

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Photo of ELS
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprisingly impressed by this IPA. Living in Florida I've had total access to CCB's line up of beers. I have to say that I don't love them all but Jai Alai Is my kind of IPA. The color is very golden and pure. The aroma is a terrific citrus smell with the familiar pine presence as well. The taste follows the nose with a up front citrus presence followed by the hops to back it up. Just the right amount of hops without getting out of control but enough to keep the hop heads happy. Excellent balance with the 7% abv completely hidden and all you can think about is popping another beer. Overall this is an excellent IPA and is now part of my regular rotation. I only wish it were a little less expensive.

Three years later and this beer is always in my refrigerator. It's the best consistently distributed IPA in Florida.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Savored from a growler (Thank you Federal TapHouse in Harrisburg, PA!) in an IPA glass over 35 minutes.

The pour is an orange-dusted copper with a muted shine to match. It's full of rising carbonation that supports the persistence of a fluffy-creamy off white head that paints the glass with sheets of oil. Overlying lacing is pretty and nicely layered, leaving a few patches behind, as well.

The nose is where this glass of sunshine truly glows. It's like walking into the hop storage room of your favorite brewhouse. It's full of grapefruit and lime, papaya and mango, and also a large dose of earth, evergreen, and even oily petrol slopped over biscuits and softened cherries. There's a nice dank background that comes up as it warms, but doesn't overpower the complexity of all the other bright bouquet elements.

There's an early spicy buzz in the flavor that carries the tartness of lemons along. Then it goes to honied biscuits with a firm malt springboard for all the hops. And those blossoms bring grapefruit, mango and spruce and a nice earthy chew that allows a little bubble gum to pop up, and it comes without clash or complaint. Some spice shines through in the back half of each gulp, including a hint of clove that's nice. It's only the ending that leaves me wanting; comes up just a touch short, though the bitterness is right, I think the blame is to be laid with the mouthfeel.

In the mouth, it's downright sticky, particularly after it warms. Unfortunately, that doesn't lengthen out the flavor profile as I'd have hoped. The carbonation is marvelous up front--moderate to high with those bubbles. It's just a little angular when cold and a little too resin-heavy with warmth. The higher temp does allow spiciness to come into the aftertaste more. It certainly holds on so the earthy complexity of all those hops can work on your tongue and gutters. But something's just not matched up right. Perhaps its the ethanol flaming through, even though its (only) 7.5% might have hidden under all the hop sweets...

I'm thrilled for the recommendation to pick up this beer. It's lively and assertive, and simply fills your nose with joy even before the first gulp. The blend needs some smoothing over. But I love the trampoline shot up into my senses, and I'm going to seek out this high speed game again if given the chance!

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

Enjoyed at the Great Nebraska BeerFest - Papillion, NE...

Appearance: Body is of a copper haze with minor lacing.

Smell/Taste: Sweet fruity / earthy aroma on both the nose and pallet leaving me to assume that the bread malt flavors were there to balance this heavily hopped beer. Skunky is definitely a word that comes through for this beer has a definite funk to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mediocre carbonation.

Overall: This IPA was great. I do wish I could purchase it at will.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. can poured into a tulip glass. Canned in Feb 2016.

L - Nice amber color with two finger head. Ring of foam around the glass. Lacing gripping to glass.

S - No surprise but orange is the dominant aroma. Little bit of orange pulp and peel. Not too aromatic.

T - Orange-pine taste. Citrus almost comes off as the bitterness. Finishes like an acidic aftertaste of orange juice. WOW!

F - No alcohol taste at all. Medium-light body with very little aftertaste. Easy drinking.

O - I would reccommend this to someone who wants to be introduced to IPAs. Deserves to be one of the best IPAs in the country. Must-try, do not put it off!

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Photo of Roland7792
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned dated 8/21 poured into a glass. Outstanding appearance on this. Aroma of citrus, grapefruit and peach or tangerine. Taste follows the aroma with bit of bitter pine and nice caramel malt backbone. I will definetaly be on the look out to get more of this.

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Photo of bhalter8
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer I had on tap a few times in Tampa, even had notes, but am having to finish this growler off before its no good. Previous tastes made me feel very strongly about this IPA. Pours a burnt orange color with a solid 1 1/2 finger head. Nice sticky lacing left on the glass after a few sips. A real pleasant floral hop aroma, some nice pine and a little less bitter grapefruit citrus hints too. A solid bitterness in the taste, much more pine based than the hop aroma would lead one to believe. Well balanced though. I am normally more of a fan of the stronger citrus hop taste, but this pine works very well. Fair carbonization helps lighten up this rather strong & dense IPA. A very smooth drinker, easily a sessionable IPA for me. Obviously freshness of hops is key to IPAs, and this growler was poured at the brewery a few days ago, but wow, I wish we had this locally, I'd buy it all the time.

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

A - Pours a light mahogany color with lighter shades at the bottom of the glass. Two finger head.

S - Citrus, orange, grapefruit. Light bready malt.

T - Starts out with a smooth light malt bill followed by a wave of citrus, piney hops. Alcohol is somewhat apparent in the finish.

M - Medium with average carbonation.

O - Solid IPA from CCB. This starts out so smooth yet by the finish hops smack you in the mouth.

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

C. Clear
H. Gold
N. Strong Citrus Hops

Comments taken from my blog

Yep, Cigar City has done it again. This is not your normal IPA. Jai Alai starts with a nice citrus odor and then slaps you in the face with a great balance of malt and hop bitterness. This is a great tasting and perfect IPA. I have had this beer in bottle and on tap and I can say the fresher that you can get you hands on it, the better it is. This is my type of IPA!

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Photo of olfolxholme
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip (thanks, hdelavega!)

A - Very cloudy copper color. Pours with about 1 finger of white head. Not much retention or lacing, but some. Bottle artwork shows a Jai Alai player throwing a hop cone. There's a brief explanation of why they chose the name, food pairing suggestions, and a bottling date of Dec 2011.

S - First impression is great - smells fantastic even in the bottle. "Classic American hop aroma" that reminds me of Lagunitas. Something metallic/"dusty" in the background occasionally.

T - Classic, resiny, American hops. Super smooth. Perfect balance with the malts. Crazy delicious at first, but did acquire a little of that metallic/"dusty" flavor after it warmed up, and also some pine needle flavor. Still, great tasting overall.

M - Nice medium weight mouthfeel, refreshing for sure.

O - I really enjoyed this. It's really easy to drink fast, and as long as you are being careful, I think that's the way to drink it. There were a few little metallic notes that crept in here and there - I think that this would be more pronounced if you were sipping slowly, writing a review for some website. Bottle was shipped from Florida, so that may have affected it. All in all, quite glad I got to try this. Definitely recommended!

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark orange pour one finger head. Beautiful flowery hop aroma. Citrusy as well. Kind of a candied fruit. Pineapple. Strong malt first sip. Truly balanced. A kind of piney, sappy, bitterness. Bit of a lemony taste. Bitter oranges. Mouthfeel, well carbonated. Kindly of frothy. Overall, like standard oil. This is what most IPAs wish they were.

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Photo of TheWolf
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks great. Copper hazy. Brilliant fluffy white head.

Smells very fruit forward but not typical ipa fruit. This is passion fruit. Orange. And true grapefruit. Not the "natural" grapefruit that others try to pull off. Very strong.

Taste. Not typical bitter ipa sweet but not overly malty. Very fruit forward consistent with smell.

I think falls short on feel. Light carbonation. Very sweet.

Good unique. Glad I had a chance but not elite.

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Photo of prg1976
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No bottling date that I could find, so I don't know how fresh it is.

Poured into my DFH snifter, a slightly hazy pale amber color. Decent whitish head. No lacing, slight retention.

Smell is citrusy hops. Grapefruit, but not very prominant. There's definitely a malty presence, so I'm leaning towards this being a couple months old at least.

Taste is a little more malty with some citrus hops. I can still get the gist of the hops, it's still very good.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, not super carbonated. Pretty smooth.

Great drinkability. the 7.5% is not detectable. Could definitely have a few of these in a sitting.

I wish I could tell how fresh it was....PUT DATES ON YOUR BOTTLES!!!

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Photo of beersensei305
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours a honey gold in color with a perfect one inch white head with great sticky lacing. Very aromatic, sweet and hoppy with hints of herbal citrus. The taste is sweet from honey, loaded with hop, and has a good citrus bite. This IPA has a medium body a bit syrupy. This is IPA is great, one of my favorites and a great example of what IPAs should be.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can into tulip

Appearance- hazy deep gold/orange, good head retention

Aroma- Big juicy hops, grapefruit, citrus, tropical notes of pineapple, mango, pine a touch of malt in the background.

Flavor- grapefruit, pine, firm bitterness, but with very juicy hop component, tropical notes not as powerful here but still there, very drinkable

Mouthfeel- medium, good carbonation, no alcohol heat

Overall- I haven't had this in a while and just started seeing it in cans, its probably in my top 5 American IPA, just juicy hop goodness.

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Photo of HopintheSouth
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

From a can- brought back from Orlando by a friend.

Smell of apricot, orange and tangerine and a slight sweetness of malt. Unfiltered as poured in a glass, looks like rusty orange- almost what you see as the sun rises on a hazy day.

At first taste, hop flow of delicious citrus fruits, bitterness well pronounced and a lingering aftertaste of slight alcohol and orange/grapefruit rind. Sweet malt backbone and medium body.

Like many have said this is a solid IPA. Very tasty, I can almost feel like I'm in Florida drinking it. I would replace my OJ in the morning with this beer every day. Very solid- I hope to try more from Cigar City

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Photo of Brackh
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Beautiful amber color pour. Awesome citrus smell. Fruity, hoppy and freaking delicious. I love this beer. So well balanced. Not too bitter. Super easy to drink. Smooth from start to finish. The only problem with this beer is that I don't drink often enough.

Wife's Review: "Tastes like you accidentally ate something you weren't supposed to. You know like nature."

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can date 5/13/14- pours lovely clean orange with foamy white head.

Nose- stone fruits and citrus, herbal hop spice and pine, bready malt

Taste- smooth and lush fruity hops with nectarines, peaches, tangerines, tropical fruit up front, o touch of hop spice underneath, a little bready/caramel malt with a slight trace of vanilla mint on the back end with more juicy stone fruit,citrus and pine lingering on

Feel- smooth, juicy, fresh, zesty, medium-full bodied

A great IPA. Great flavor profile and perfectly balanced and drinkable. Glad I ha an extended layover in Miami and could snag some

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Photo of Nhmp105
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste the hops from the get go and the finish activates the bitter taste buds towards the back of the tongue. Prefer the taste of A Victory Dirtwolf.

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Photo of firkinhophead
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32-oz growler pour from wine world in pcb.

pours a slightly hazy orange-brown. decent head settles out to thin film with some spotty lace. sheets cling to the side and fall back with each sip.

aroma of herbal, woody funk. this shit is dank. some light brown sugar and tropical fruit as well.

mascerated pineapple, papaya, and woody sap are like a tropical brandy. big hit of orange oil. grapefruit bitterness rises late. dirty sock funkiness is unique and pleasing. bitterness lingers but doesnt bite too hard. lots of complex, resiny hop flavors, with a solid cotton candy sweetness and caramel underneath. bit of alcohol warmth in the back of the throat.

medium bodied and sticky, with just the right carbonation. mouth coating and a bit heavy after a while.

definitely a sipper, but does not overwhelm the palate. well done. seems like another step forward for big ipas.

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Photo of GregA135
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a nice orange amber color with a white head. A great IPA that has awesome citrus and tropical fruit notes! I definitely need to get me a six pack of this great brew!

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Photo of hayesez
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to HeyOhhh for including this extra in a recent trade. It's a perfect time of year for drinking some IPAs! Getting ready for a trip and figured I'd crack open a few beers to help me along. Call this "number one of several."

Pours a medium colored apricot leaving a reasonable one-finger eggshell head. This doesn't stay around long but leaves some clumped lace all over the glass...kinda makes me thing I'm taking a Rorschach test..."I see...an elephant!" (actually, it really does kind of look like an elephant with really big ears). The head reduces quickly to wispy white cap with an outlined elipse-turned-kidney bean sitting in the middle - cool. Bubbles continue to rise from the bottom of my DGH signature glass throughout the session.

Definitely leans toward the sweet, fruity side of the IPA spectrum. Actually, this is quite sweet with varying tropical fruits spanning all the way to mild cotton candy. A slight floral smell peaks out every now and then as well. Few bitter hops on the nose - this one sure is inviting.

Well the hops are definitely in there! Not nearly as subtle on the palate as they were on the nose. Actually quite a bit more hoppy than I would have suspected - they dominate the flavor profile. The sweetness is not nearly as conspicuous as it was in the smell, although there is a caramel maltiness once you get past the hops. This leaves a lingering bitterness but is still quite dry. Medium-bodied and middle of the road "creaminess," I'd still consider this a decent IPA.

Definitely not one of my all-time favorite IPAs, but decent. I wish the taste had a bit more of the citrusy sweetness that the nose suggested it might.

Consumed: 6/19/2010

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Photo of FunkyFibes
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful copper/caramel color that is perfectly transparent. Off white head with a ton of lacing down the glass that clings on pretty much forever, as far as I can tell.

S- Huge grapefruit with a lot of citrus and pine in the background. The smell feels like Florida, which CCB seems to incorporate into beer frequently.

T- There is a ton of hop flavor in this beer. Lots of grapefruit and more of a resin/pine flavor in the middle than was evident in the nose. The hop bitterness is very prevalent, but the malt background keep it from getting offensive. The bitterness sticks around reminding you to hurry up and take another sip.

M- The ample amount of carbonation ties in with the medium body. It is crisp and refreshing all the way through.

O- This beer is a great IPA that really impresses me. I am a little burnt out on IPA's right now, but I would drink this again frequently, but not in large volume. Even if this wasn't local, I would still be as thrilled with this beer.

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

12 oz bottle received from Tanger in Secret Santa 2010, and poured into a Free State pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a very hazy, dark amberish color with a finger of billowy soft head that shows awesome retention. This beer is a lot darker than I had imagined, and it's also a lot cloudier than expected as well.

Smell: Surprisingly malty for an IPA, but not so surprising based on the appearance of this brew. A litte bit of hop bitterness (citrus and a bit of pine), but the most prevalent portion of the nose is reserved for the sweet breadier malts. Some grains of paradise and a bit of toasted wheat also show.

Taste: Exactly like the nose suggest, this is a very solid and filling beer. Initial citrical bitterness is quickly replaced with a heavy bready malt flavor, and rounded out with a sharp pine aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very heavy. I was picturing a nice crisp IPA, and what I've gotten is a, to say the least, a mouthful. It coats the tongue and palate, and it tries to finish clean, but the residual sweetness creates an aftertaste that is both bitter and sweet.

Drinkability: As good as this beer is, I'm not sure that I could have more than 1 or 2 in a sitting. The heaviness and the bit of alcohol warming makes me glad I opened this up on the coldest evening of the year, and I'm definitely thankful to Jon for giving me a chance to try this beer. If I'm somewhere CC distributes, I'll definitely seek this out again.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,376 ratings.
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