Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,436 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: 1,436 | Ratings: 7,578
Photo of kaips1
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An extra from CaptianRedBeard thanks man, 12oz into an av snifter
A-dark murky orange with a lively one finger frothy head, my gf says it looks good so that's a plus, on closer inspection it still has a good amount of bubbles forming
S-lots of citrus, possibly some grapefruit, smells delicious
T-lots of hops upfront,amazing, very citrusy a lot like the smell, it's delicious
M-lots of bitter and tingle all over the place except the end of the drink, the wet finish was a bit of a surprise
O/d- it's a great lite session type of ipa, maybe not an all dayer for most but I'd like to spend a whole day drinking this.

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3.09/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip.
A: The head formation is rocky and very sticky. The body is a deep orange/copper hue. Nice and hazy, with good carbonation presence. The lacing is left in large swaths.

S: The aroma is a bit weak for this IPA, I am finding a earthy, herbal aroma, but still very faint. With no bottling date, I really have no idea how fresh this is, although it is from Florida.

T/M: The first impression is a full bodied IPA, with nice creamy undertones. A nice smooth piny hop flavor, but a bit faded. Malt smoothness and balance is nicely done. The mouthfeel is a creamy sensation, although the linger ends with a dry character.

O: I find this to be a possible faded IPA and will look forward to finding (hopefully) fresher batches. But still a nice average IPA, with a nice hidden ABV.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the Foodery, Northern Liberties.

Pours clear, light copper with a thin head of white that dissapated to a partial skim coat.

Aromatics lead off with chewy malt, piney, tropical hops, and a hint of oak. Nice combination but fairly subdued and light for the style.

Medium bodied with a slightly tacky mouthfeel. Softish and creamy.

Sweet malt, pine resin, and some oaky tannins start the palate. Crisp and drying beyond some sweet mango and apricot. Medium bitterness adds some great drinkabilty.

Finishes with lingering fruit and plump malt. A trace of warmth brings up the rear.

Nice beer but the nose is lacking and this beer is probably not the freshest. Would like to revist a freshly drawn pint.

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

This beer pours a dark amber, burnt orange in color with a one finger soapy white head. It's mildly cloudy and has constant bubbling from the bottom of the snifter. It smells of dry, sticky, sweet, piny hops, some light citrus and bubblegum. The flavor too is pretty top notch. It features a nice array of piny hops, sweet and sticky malt, and citrus and bubblegum in the aftertaste. It drinks well for the style, is both sweet and bitter but like most IPAs it gives me cotton mouth. This is a really good IPA and very drinkable. I had a few on the beach last week and it was perfect. I'd highly recommend it and I'm glad it's one of their year round releases.

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Photo of betsona
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gtreid for this 32oz growler poured into a shaker pint glass and split with another BA.

A- Clear lightish amber color that had a two finger fluffy white head with good retention throughout the entire drink. Plenty of visible carbonation. Modest lacing on the glass.

S- A lot of citrus hops (grapefruit and hint of lemon) come through when the beer is cold. As it warmed up I picked up a tiny amount of dried hay. Primarily the citrus hops which added a slight sweetness combined with a whiff of caramel.

T- Mixture of sweet ripe orange with not so ripe grapefruit. Some sweet bitter caramel comes through with a lot piney resin bitterness. Long lasting bitterness on the tongue. Not a hop bomb, but as close as good be.

M- Medium body with correct amount of carbonation. Made my cheeks pucker ever so slightly. Easy to drink.

O- This was a good beer. Easy to drink with a nice taste. I could easily put a few of these back without much thought. Nothing all that overpowering about it, yet the lingering bitterness made me want a palate cleanser after a while, be it food or water. Will gladly have another of these when I see it.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Pinocchio's in Media, PA. Thanks! No bottle date listed, but purchased in early April with understanding it was "fresh" (to them at least). Poured into DFH pint glass.

A: Hazy amber color. Thin one finger white head that disappears really quickly. Good, not great carbonation. Some lacing.

S: Citrus hop aroma from the nose. I do get some OAK notes, even in the nose. I am surprised that others didn't mention this, but obviously every palate is different.

T: Delicious flavor but definitely different from other American IPAs I have been drinking recently (Blind Pig right before this one). I get the citrus hops but there is most certainly a hit of alcoholy oakish flavor there. Interesting when following the Pig. There are nice hops but the oak and malt take over in the middle.

M: Nice, mouth coating IPA. Sticky hoppiness.

D: This is a very drinkable IPA, but that ABV could definitely sneak up on you. I felt it after drinking this and the Blind Pig (16oz).

Overall, glad that I was able to try this one. I had been searching for a while. Big shout outs to Tim and Dan at Pinocchio's for getting this in.

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Photo of MufflnMan
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is one gorgeous looking brew. Dark copper color that looks very lively with a great white foamy head.

Smells of all the different hops thrown in there. Very flowery with a hint of citrus.

Taste is... well... a nice kick in the face with hops. Flowers/herbal, lots of citric flavors - mainly grapefruit which leaves it acidic and just a little bit of malty caramel in there to weigh down the hops a bit.

Mouthfeel is good with some slight carbonation, wish it had a bit more.

Really well balanced IPA. I'm not much into hops so I usually have to make an effort to keep these IPA reviews fair, but this one was nice and easy. Still very hoppy, true to IPA style, but just a little bit of malt to soothe my buds a bit.

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Photo of medic25
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First tried this at Dos Caminos in Fort Lauderdale. Amber-orange appearance with a nice white head. Aroma is a very citrusy scent. Taste was fantastic; I occasionally drink a beer that makes me stop and say "wow", and this was one of them. Incredibly refreshing citrus/grapefruit hop character with a little bit of pine; perfect bitterness. The hops are perfectly balanced with the malt flavors; it avoids pushing over in the hop bomb type of brew. After drinking this in Florida I was incredibly disappointed that we couldn't get it in CT; didn't take me long to make a NY roadtrip to stock my fridge!

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Photo of EkimGram
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams "Perfect Pint". Colour is a light tannish-brown. 2-finger head, slight visible carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, hoppy. Nicely balanced aromas, actually a little soothing.

Taste: Rather bitter upfront with some wheaty notes. Hoppy and a little boozy, just a hint of spice. A little citrusy, mostly grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, moderately carbonated. A little bit of a sticky finish.

Drinkability: This brew is definitely a hop bomb, but a tame one at that. Flavours and aromas are very nicely balanced.

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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 sjccmd
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lerxst!

Pours slightly hazy amber. 2 finger head that recedes pretty quickly. Leaves sticky lacing around the glass.

The aroma is mostly citrus and pine with sweet honey and malt. Slight spiciness to the hops. Quite sweet smelling. Big whiffs reveal a slight alcohol warmth. As it warms, the hop aroma fades slightly, and there's bit more sweetness and alcohol. Not overwhelming though.

The taste initially is a boat load of grapefruit peel, pine, and more citrus. This is balanced quite nicely with honey and caramel malts. Finishes with bitter hops and a sticky (but not cloying) sweetness.

Medium carbonation, maybe it could be a little more carbonated to bring out more hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is quite full though, and it coats the mouth nicely with hop resin and caramel malts with a slight alcohol spiciness.

Overall, I find this to be a unique example of an IPA being that it has a significant malt presence rather than just a punch in the face with hops. Not to say it isn't hoppy because it certainly is.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance : clear copper orange color a good half inch white head

Smell : great overall aroma,strong citrus aromas dominant smells like an orange peel also subtle pine aromas

Taste : tons of great taste- great hoppy bitterness not a whole lot of sweetness this beer is very hop forward

Mouthfeel : medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation

Overall : this was a very good beer if you love hops as I do this is a great beer to seek out. I love the orange peel aroma. There is something very unique about this beer!

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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 DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at my local Gateway grill for 4 bucks. Since I never seen a Cigar City beer I bought it up. Glad it's a grade "A" beer!

A - Nice clear amber with an inch of bubbly frothy head that sticks around. Looks to be forming a nice lace and carbonation is plentiful.

S - A nice strong hop presence that is more pine that fruit hop forward so it might be bitter yet balanced. Malt smells strong enough to manage.

T - Hops are bitter but wow are they tasty. Not sure the variety but I am digging how in your face yet subtle they are on the palate. The malt base is fantastic giving the body an almost candy like base without being sweet (if that makes sense) Man is that tasty.

M - A very well balanced IPA that drinks with a solid medium body. Sipping to savor the flavors.

Overall I just knew the name and now I have a beer to that name. A bountiful hop presence, extremely balanced malt body, and low detectible ABV make this an overall great beer. If I was ever in the Florida area I would snag a case but in the meantime I hope I can someday find a cheap sixer since now it's pretty expensive IPA. Looking forward to more offerings guys! If they can do this well with an IPA I can't wait to see what stouts they offer.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Brian44556 for the awesome trade.

The basics: no idea on price and 7.5% ABV.

Looks great: nice orangish-amber, fluffy, persistent head. Well carbonated. Excellent lacing. Top notch on looks...

Lots of pineapple-y grapefruit-y goodness in the aroma profile. Not a lot else, but these are nice.

Wow, very East Coast flavor. Lots of piney hops. A sweet malt backbone. Very thick in the mouth. Carbonation helps somewhat to stem the hoppy tide, but it washes over your tongue like a hop tsunami. Very good beer, but a veritable hop bomb.

What I like most: Purty appearance.

What I like least: The overpowering nature of the hop profile.

Verdict: Good beer, but not for the noob to the hop world. A touch overpowering.

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Photo of beagle75
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Mellow Mushroom in Orlando.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and bubbles rise in a few tight streams.

S: Piney and citrus hops are clean and focused in the smell.

T: Begins sweet, with juicy citrus hop aromatics, significant astringency, and restrained acidity that is never out of balance. In the middle the astringency and sweetness decrease, while hop flavors turns toward that of pine foliage and bitterness slowly begins building. Astringency--and sweetness, to a lesser degree--returns in the finish, where bitterness is bracing at its peak and new flavors including husky caramel malt and lingering grapefruit peel are also detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate with occasional mild astringency also felt, and with moderate carbonation.

D: Understanding the many varietal beers of Cigar City Brewing involves getting to know the base beers--this being one--that do the heavy lifting in many of the recipes. Jai Alai IPA is an aggressive example of the style, and its standing somewhere between the typical IPA and DIPA is surely by design. Sweetness is cloying early and wherever sweetness appears, so does astringency. This beer is cleanest and most enjoyable in the middle, where some dryness is allowed in while astringency takes a back seat. It reminds the drinker of its immensity and importance with every sip, but it also has the palate-fatiguing potential of a strong ale. While it may not be the best choice for an approachable, everyday IPA, it does suggest at Cigar City's ability to one day brew a big and impressive APA.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really pumped for this one. All I hear about is how Cigar City is a great brewing company but difficult to get. Also wanted to try this one b/c I used to live 3 minutes away from a Jai Alai stadium, does this game still exist? Lucky for me I got a 6er. Lets try this out.

Appearance-Amber/Brown, really nice looking. very similar to the dogfish 90 minute. Excellent head, about 2 fingers, as it dwindles down theres a farm stickly lacing.

Aroma-After popping the cap instantly get a ton of aroma. Nice amount of Sweet malt and a nice amount of hops. Can also pick up some citrus.
EDIT: Text Day, about 22 hours later, I couldn't figure out what I was getting after doing the side by side with Two Hearted, but you get alot of barleywine characteristics in the nose.

Taste-In some ways I keep comparing this to dogfish 90, only better. Sweet malt, lots of dry hops, citrus, pretty good amount of spice. As beer warms you really get some of the earthy tones, lots of pine. This beer is a party on your palate. Alcohol is non-excistant.

Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall-If there were a beer that was categorized between a IPA and IIPA this is it. This beer is absolutely exceptional. Going by the style, being an IPA and not a double, probably the best beer for the style I've had in 2011. Extremely drinkable.

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

Bottle courtesy of northyorksammy. Thanks!
Clear, coppery orange with a thick, 2 inch cap of light beige foam. Tons of sticky lace, clumpy, with great head retention. Bubbles of carbonation rose slowly through the beer, making it look viscous. Citrusy sweet aroma, oranges and grapefruit, tangerine, fruity. More earthy, spicy hops notes and caramel sweetness as it warmed. Nice balance for an IPA, plenty of hop flavour (still very citrusy, but with more pine than the aroma) and sturdy bitterness tempered by caramel/crackery malt. Slight pineapple and spicy alcohol towards the finish. Medium bodied, lowish carbonation, nearly creamy in texture with a bit of dryness. Overall, really quite tasty. I'd love to try this on tap.

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Photo of CMB2012
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date. Acquired in Orlando, FL at Knightly Spirits. Poured into open mouth wine glass.

A- Pours a clean orange, reminiscent of dark orange jello. Thin white head dissipates pretty quick leaving nice frothy bubbles. Good lacing. This beer looks good!

S- Strong hop presence for a single IPA, sweet hops, a little bubblegum. Orange citrus (my mind is on jello now, so I smell that too), lemon, grapefruit, and pine. I detect oak up front which appears mellow and sweet in nature, possibly some vanilla. Toffee and caramel malts, then a peppery spicy character, followed by a little alcohol burn in the end - not surprising considering the high ABV, and by no means overwhelming.

T- Tasty... Subtle, mellow oak works perfect with the resinous piney hops, sweet toffee malts, and it culminates into a citrus ending that is both crisp and refreshing. The citric aftertaste lingers and melds into a musty, woody character.

M- Velvety and full(ish) up front, the medium carbonation lightens up the palate and finishes crisp.

O- I would like point out that no where, except on the bottle: "Pair Jai Alai Oak-Aged India Pale Ale with..." is there any mention of this beer actually being aged in oak. Cigar City's website mentions nothing, and neither does BA. However, I certainly can detect subtle hints of what can be described as woody and oaky characteristics in this brew. If it isn't oak, then either my palate is off and/or these hops are more complex then I give them credit for. Either way, I really enjoyed this beer and wish it were available in Chicago. I would definitely drink a lot of it.

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

Bottled march 15th 2011(fresh)
Poured into my cigar city pint glass

A-pours a rich amber color, decent white head and clear as day.

S-citrus sweetness, caramels grapefruits

T-great grapefruit hoppyness, tons of sweet malty goodness, clinging bitter sensation and lots of fresh floral notes.

M-great carbonation as expected by a good ipa, refreshing, clean and very drinkable.

O-one of my top ten ipa's. Very well hopped and great anytime I can get it.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Amber body with a small off white head. Smells kind of fruity, citrusy with something strange that I can't put my nose on. Tastes more citrus with a good amount of bitterness in the finish,not much hop flavor just bitterness. Once again there is just something off about this beer that I just can't name. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I would expect with a decent amount of carbonation. I dunno this one just isn't for me. Not as much hop flavor as I'd like. Very strange considering White Oak Jai Alai was one of my favorite IPA's I've had. I'll try this again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of kevinv
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Many thanks to a great new trader, Belthor, for sending a bottle of this my way as an extra.

A - Pours a dark murky copper/orange with a 1.5 finger creamy off-white head, which retains very nicely by the way... Solid lacing is left on the glass as you enjoy this one.

S - Pungent aromas of floral and tropical notes. It smells like oranges, tangerines, and mangos. Slight caramel undertones. If you have the willpower to savor this beer without just gulping it down, the aromas really begin to shine as the beer warms a bit.

T - Very orange-y type fruits like you get in the smells dominate the flavor. Delicious. Slight maltiness is more noticeable when the beer warms a bit. Mild hop bitterness up front with a nice drying finish. No presence of alcohol. Piney notes in the aftertaste.

M - Good medium bodied brew with a well balanced mild carbonation.

D - This a great IPA that I'd love to have over and over. My glass was empty before I knew it and I was left craving more. Solid.

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Photo of Charlotte09
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Color is cloudy, rich, and a dark orange amber color. Head is about a finger width thick and creamy white in color.

S: Smells balanced of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

T: Beer starts off pretty malty with caramel notes. Followed by some citrus hops and continues through with a slight bitterness and grapefruit finish

M: Feels pretty smooth on the pallet, not very carbonated, slightly bitter and alcohol is pretty balanced.

O: Good beer overall, enjoyable to drink, like the variety of flavors and look foreword to trying more Cigar City Brews

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

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard Shaker pint glass. Picked this up on a recent trip down south. Label is a sticker type and depicts a jai alai player throwing a whole hop cone. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles slowly and just slightly, still maintaining a fluffy cap and nice, sticky lacing coverage. The beer itself is bright amber and slightly cloudy. A fair amount of sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong piney hop aroma with hints of floral dry hopping and a citrus finish.

Taste: Sharp hop bitterness upfront followed by a slightly sweet, bready caramel malt. Hints of honey linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good; very nice creaminess.

Drinkability: A well balanced IPA that highlights the hops well. Unfortunately, won't be getting any more of this in my neck of the woods.

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

From notes, 3-25-11, edited 6-26-2011, from live bottle (labelled May 19)

A - nice crisp amber body, mostly clear.very small amount of white head, just a thin film and medium ring.

S - Nice earthy citrusy hops, mild vegetal aroma, floral/perfumy notes.

T - dry and bitter earthy hops, not getting much citrus or floral notes.

M - medium body, fairly smooth, a bit dry.

O (D) - over the course of my glass, it definitely grew on me. pretty tasty. A nice change-of-pace from the normal IPAs I drink. Not my favorite, but it's very good.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 7,578 ratings.
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