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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,375 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,375 | Ratings: 7,333
Photo of SerialTicker
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 3/11 and poured 3/22. Thanks to Tony for picking this up for me when in Tampa for Hunahpu Day. Needless to say... I've wanted to try this beer for as long as I can remember. Looking forward to this almost as much as the Pliny!

Appearance: Sexy. Dark amber/orange in color with a finger of head that lingers. Nice bit of lacing. There's maybe a very slight haze to this beer.

Smell: One-of-a-kind. I know I'll get hate, but it smells slightly adjuncty. I get a corn vibe in there with spiciness... it's really hard to pinpoint. It's certainly distinct. It almost smells like a sour, dare I say? It has a sort of funk to it that I can't describe. I say this admirably -- it sort of has the aroma of old people. Truthfully tough for me to put into words. I will say that I enjoy it. It obviously has piney and some fruity hops in there (as well as a surprising amount of malt), but there's something else that I can not quite explain.

Taste/feel: Like the smell in many ways. It tastes like it smells (uh... like old people, I guess!?). There's a malt character as much as hop. Honestly, to me, this could be an APA with an ABV "oomph." It has the malt character I'd expect in an imperial IPA. The taste is hoppy and dank as all hell, but it has a dark -- not quite caramel, not quite roast -- malt flavor that makes it stand out. It almost comes off as rye? What an interesting IPA. The feel is just about right on -- moderate with a nice, active carbonation.

On the whole, I dig it. It's probably among my preferred IPAs. I really enjoy that it's more different than many other IPAs I've had, but it's not entirely a good thing. I almost find like this drinks like liquid pot. Is that a bad thing? I guess that depends on who you ask. It's quite piney at times depending on temperature, but there's not enough of a fruity flavor for me. Regardless, this is a beer I'm quite certain I could pick out in a line up, and it's one that I do enjoy. Recommended, for sure.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange with a massive head that dies down to a tigerstripe surface and sticky matt lacing on the glass.

Aromas of strong pine sap and light bready malt at first, then it turns lightly dank.

A melange of grapefruit, floral, and herbal notes, maybe orange blossom, and a strange bitterness, in a sort of industrial tropical vein.

I've had this several times now, including fresh on tap at the brewpub, previously when the father in law brought some up, and just now in cans at home. My preference for it has changed over the year. There is an almost sourness I never got before, smooth but less so than I remember it, and dry.

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Photo of citizencane
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks like an IPA should. Solid head when poured from can, and it sticks around. Juicy taste, refreshing but sticky mouthfeel. If you like the tropical fruit taste pineapple sculpin but want something not flavored, here is your beer, and it's delicious!

EDIT: halfway through pint. How is there not fruit in this? Love it and may go out of my way to track down a case. On par with Ballast Point's Sculpin and Big Eye.

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

Can into a snifter. Vibrant gold/orange with moderately good clarity. Good carbonation, and topped with a 1 finger head of fluffy, sticky, white foam. Beautiful notes of citrus, grapefruit, mango, hops, pineapple, and light malt on the nose. Super juicy aroma. The taste follows perfectly, bringing tart grapefruit, sweet citrus, slightly bitter hops, and all with a soft, delicate malt backbone. This beer is not complex, but it is masterfully well-balanced. Super juicy and wet, the only way this beer will disappoint you is if you over-hype it in your head to be something it's not. This one is amazing.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another winner. Florida has shown me a bunch.

The one is a more typical aipa. Deep yellow with fine head. Hoppy aroma. Hoppy profile that hides most of the malts. Great after taste.


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Photo of Mateo2699
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned date was 2 months ago. Relatively fresh poured into a tulip glass.

L: mild orange, slightly opaque with finger width white head
S: wow this is great. A dreamsicle smell. Candy orange, papaya, mango, hints of pineapple.
T: initial bready malt, then slight pine comes through then the hop bitterness hits. Really wish the taste was similar to the smell (more tropical)
M: pretty high carbonation, hop bitterness coats tongue moderately.

Overall good beer. Wish the taste was as tropical as the nose, but I would definitely drink again.

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Photo of CayseyW
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer, but I was a little disappointed once I finally got a try it (yes, fresh). Very pretty beer but the smell is a little boring. The taste is a decent blend of citrus and tropical flavors that are overpowered by malts. Feel is nice enough, but a little too sweet and boozy for my preferences. Glad I finally got to try it, but I doubt I will go back for more.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Orange, with just a tough of copper. Smell is malty with some citrus notes beneath the sweetness. Taste is Orange candy. Much better than the smell led on. Little bit of stickiness on the feel.

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Photo of Kev239
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This has been my go to IPA. I still branch out and try new stuff one actually topped Jai Alai for me. I've been drinking IPA almost a year now and can't really tolerate mainstream beer like bud, bud light, miller etc..
Jai Alai has a good IPA taste without being overwhelming like Goose Island IPA.

Highly recommended along with most of what Cigar City brews up.

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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 Dankenstein716
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very smooth and remarkably well balanced for containing six hops. Found it to have a pleasant aroma upon opening. Maintains your average IPA mouth feel.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a mildly hazy golden-orange with a white head.

S: Citrusy and resinous, with bready malt, a bit of gooseberries, melons and papaya.

T: Malty with citrusy and piney hop flavors. Bready malt with a hint of caramel. Medium-length bitter finish with flavors of grapefruit rind, cantaloupe and doughy bread. Starts off malt-forward, but there’s a nice puckering hop character present as well.

F: Medium body with just below average carbonation. Some chewiness and slickness in the mouthfeel, and a hint of warmth in the finish.

Thoughts: Solid, fairly easy to drink IPA. On the malty side but with a nice puckering hoppiness.

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Photo of KenSkyHopper
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tie for my favorite extra hoppy ipa. I may be a little biased as it is regularly available in local stores and bars and is brewed and bottled just down the road in Tampa. Had my first one with a fish taco...the taco was good but the beer was absolutely tasty. Totally agree with most reviews re..orangey, floral, honey, hoppy, delicious! Very bold but really easy to drink. A little pricey at about $10 for a six pack locally, but worth every penny. If you get the chance, try this little slice of heaven.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden hue with good foam. Aroma is high of floral hops, very delicate & enticing with notes of honey blossom & tropical citrus. I found it to be a very elegant & well balanced IPA. The notes are predominantly tropical citrus with passion fruit & mango being detectable. There is some hop bitterness through the end but it isn't over-the-top. Overall this is an excellent, eminently drinkable IPA, one of the best

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This IPA really hits the senses! Very noticeable scent of pine and citrus fruits with taste that matches. Great lacing head and mouthfeel. I'm not going to say it's the best tasting IPA I've had, but it's very well balanced!

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Photo of oldn00b
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally found this in VA. Canned 1 month prior.

Poured into an IPA glass. Dark amber with gorgeous white cap. Zero lacing.

Nose is a touch on the sweet side, floral notes on the hops.

Flavor is nice - maybe not quite fresh enough for me to fall in line with the higher scores but it's a really nice IPA that a month + canning and no idea if it was kept cold, is still juicy, fruity, and floral. Malt doesn't come through big at all.

Great mouthfeel - full, round and soft for an IPA like this. Very nice.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored, white head, sticky lacing. Smells sweet with orange blossom aroma and caramel. The taste is sweet caramel orange and flowery hops. Medium body with medium caucusing. Dangerously drinkable beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. can served in a shaker pint (thanks Mike!). Canned 01/06/16. Pours a lovely golden orange with a tight, half-inch, cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid 1/8th cap. Light spots of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose is somewhat subdued - evidence of citrus notes and yeast as well as a kiss of tropical fruit. Taste expresses citrus, an earthy/herbal quality and a trace of caramel malt. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a carbonation just shy of lively and a light acidity. Overall, a decent IPA - I'd be happy to have this as a readily accessible offering; however, it didn't knock my socks off.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can. Bright clear orange, thick creamy white head with good retention and coating lace. Sweet fruity citrus aroma. Juicy tropical taste, like biting into a tangerine. Just enough cracker malt balance. Medium slick mouthfeel. Such a clean taste, get this bad boy any time I go to the Sunshine state.

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Photo of lealintern
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A really nice IPA from cigar city, a little high on the abv, bordering a double, which is not a bad thing. Super juicy hops on taste and aroma, a must have if in FL

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Photo of pinyin
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Canned 1-11-16.

Poured from the 12 ounce can at 39F into a 16 ounce snifter.

Color is a dark copper orange, slightly cloudy and yeasty.

Scent is bitter melons, pine, citrus.

Flavor on the palette is malty, piney with some slight citrus and melon notes. A little bit too sugary. Seems as though this is a fast fermenting ale, and as such the finish is too sweet for the malt and hop blend. I would tend to prefer a much dryer finish with a longer fermentation.

Mouthfeel is somewhat abrasive. Lacing is clean and head retention is abundant. I think CC might benefit from using less carbonation sugar to decrease the head on this 7.5% ABV ale, and this would inherently keep the finish more dry.

This is the fourth time that I have tried/purchased regular Jai Alai since 2013. to me this ale really feels like a direct competitor to Bell's Two Hearted, although I think Two Hearted is a much better product.

I also really liked the dry hopped versions of Jai Alai, and I think those had more fruit, resin aromas and flavor profiles with less abrasiveness.

Jai Alai is most likely much better served on draft in Florida, no doubt, and I think it suffers some yeast stress coming from the tropical climate of florida all the way to the arctic tundra temperatures of NYC in the middle of January.

Might be a better purchase during the summer months where the temperatures are somewhat equal.

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Photo of CCsog1
4.98/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I love this IPA, I have tried IPAs in 47 of the 51 states and prefer one from my home town over anything I have ever tried,\. I am on my fifth one this evening. The Jai Alai is smooth and I like.

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Photo of teromous
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the can: Canned 01/15/16 Made in Tampa 12918

Appearance: Dark copper body with good transparency. The head is a short white cap that maintains itself without fading too much. Good lacing on the glass.

Aroma: The aroma has a good reach out of the glass sending out a strong sweet tangerine scent. It has a sugary sweet smell. It's very nice.

Taste: It has a light orange pith flavor with a some very nice grapefruit flavor and after this fades out a bit a bit of the malt flavor comes in as a hint of bread crust. No alcohol comes through.

Mouthfeel: Off-dry with a light body and an aftertaste that lingers shortly on the palate. Very good middle of the road bitterness. A very drinkable beer.

Overall: Beers like this make it so easy to review. It is obviously an outstanding beer. It's like a well made machine that just works. Everything is just where it should be and it's enjoyable to drink. I would highly recommend it and I would drink it again.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful, slightly hazy golden orange color with a two finger off white head. Retention is decent and there are many rings of lacing. Smell is orange, tangerine, mango and pine with a little bit of sweet and bready malt to balance it out. Taste is the same, but very complex. The flavors really blend together in quite a magical way. There is a good deal of bitterness on the front, but the finish is sweet and so smooth. Feel is light side of medium with excellent carbonation. Overall a great IPA. This to me is a perfectly balanced beer. The malt compliments the bitterness perfectly without getting in the way of the hop flavors.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

COD 1/2/16. Pours a clear orange/amber. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Quite outstanding nose of orange, mango, pear, passion fruit and light biscuit. As it warms, subtle notes of tangerine and pine emerge.

Heavy light body with a smooth texture. Superb carbonation with an effervescent middle and a prickly finish.

The flavor profile is quite outstanding and had it been a bit more intense, it would be world class. The flavor is quite complex, perfectly balanced and mildly bitter. It begins with the flavors of the nose in blended fashion, citric at first (tangerine, orange) then flowing to the sweeter tropical aspects. The middle is very mildly bittered for the style and the resultant sweetness shines at this juncture through the finish. Here is where mango, pear and passion fruit take center stage over a soft bready biscuit with rich caramel notes. The finish just hints at dryness and leaves you with a slightly sweet fade of tropical hop flavor. Take your time with this one. The closer it gets to room temperature, the more intense the flavor becomes. Consequently, I'm scoring this world class in flavor.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,375 ratings.
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