Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,376 | Ratings: 7,336
Photo of cradke
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice crimson/ amber. Pours a beautiful fine head over an inch thick.

Smell: Not going to lie, i'm really unimpressed here. Maybe it's my recent sampling (within the week) of some massive DIPA's like hopslam and abrasive, but there is almost no hop and just a little pine here. Maybe a little wet cardboard almost. There is a little sweetness, but really flat. I smell more malts and caramel than I do hops. I have another bottle and I hope this is just an anomaly.

Taste: Well, with what I was let down with the smell, it was made up for by the taste. Fantastic hops, not abrasive or bitter but nice and well rounded. A good hop profile that comes out but does not overwhelm like a DIPA. Good sweetness and with a noticeable amount of alcohol. A well really well done IPA.

Mouthfeel: Nice and foamy with a good amount of thickness for an IPA.

Overall: A really great taste and a really average and underwhelming nose. I hope the nose was just an anomaly as the taste was fantastic. I have another bottle and I can't wait to try it out and compare.

Serving: Bottle poured into Bells tulip glass.

 1,113 characters

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

12 ounce bottle dated Dec. 2011 courtesy of markwise poured into a pint glass. Opaque bronze color with a sticky tan head. Smell is rich in malt and hops alike, with gobs of caramel weighing down a piney citric hoppiness. Flavor is along the lines of your typical ’balanced’ IPA, plenty of crystal and caramel malt notes with a complementary hop profile instead of a showcase. Nice big bitterness in the finish, with a chewy mouthfeel that dries out well. A perfectly adequate IPA but I’m left wanting more hops.

 518 characters

Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep Orange/copper with amber hues and an off-white head. Huge aroma of pine and citrus hops with some sweet malt and caramel. Taste is a citrus hop bomb that has a hint of tropical fruit with a touch of pine and grassy hops coming through in the finish with a touch of sweet malt and caramel. Medium mouth feel with a moderate to strong amount of bitternees and well hidden alcohol. Freakin delicious. This reminds me more of a Double IPA, full flavor.

 466 characters

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

From notes on 12/13/11:
Bottled: Sept. 2011; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white billowy head; Semi-hazy, orange hued caramel color; Nice lacing left all around the glass

S - Very inviting sweet and hoppy smell; Notes of pineapple-like tropical fruits and citrusy, grapefruits; Very light caramel aroma

T - Prickly up front with a good dose of hop flavor consisting of apricot, grapefruit, pineapple, and a touch of pine; Moderate bitterness during the taste that lingers; A bit of sweetness in the aftertaste

M - Moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Oily, bitter film left in the mouth, leaving it somewhat dry

O - I'm surprised that I even found this in Virginia, so I was pretty happy to try it regardless of it not being too fresh. Even after being bottled for three months or so, this beer was quite delicious and had a good bit of tropical and citrus fruit aroma/flavor. Even with the moderate presence of bitterness, this was still super drinkable and enjoyable. There's no doubt that if I saw this beer around here often, it would be one of my go-to IPA's for sure.

 1,107 characters

Photo of cps98
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a trade, and all I can say is wow!

A – Poured a really beautiful sunrise yellow with a really healthy 2 finger head. Great lacing was seen for the entire drink.

S – Lots of citrus and piney hops.

T – Great citrus hop flavor with some grapefruit thrown in.

M – This was a really nice smooth medium bodied IPA. Everything meshed really well and the beer was carbonated perfectly.

O – This was really nice and paired perfectly with the spicy stew I was eating. I would highly recommend this IPA because it was not overpowering just really good.

 584 characters

Photo of atomicbeer
3.27/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pilsner glass at Bonefish Grill, Plantation, Florida. Pours an orange gold with a thin head. Aroma is passion fruit and sugared grapefruit. Taste is a bit rough - grilled grapefruit skin, no sweetness here. Paired decently enough with my grouper and mango salsa. However, this will not be a go-to IPA for me. Plenty of much better stuff out there.

 359 characters

Photo of diesel59
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

very nice ipa... be sure and leave about an inch in the bottom of the bottle and swirl vigorously to get all that cloudy goodness @ the bottom... i also like the 7.5abv for it being marketed as only a straight ipa and not an imperial... oh damn... not enough characters... how about now?

 287 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.71/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear copper color with no head or lace. Tha aroma is of bread crust and grapefruit. The flavor begins with grapefruit and caramel notes with an overpowering hop bitterness in the finish that's almost medicinal. There's a strong bitter aftertaste long after it's gone. The mouthfeel is medium-light. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA is a so-so beer that fits the style ccriteria. Not recommended.

 395 characters

Photo of MONKandTUCK
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've avoided evaluating bottled versions of IPAs because it is a style that needs to be enjoyed fresh. Being that bottled beer seldom reaches the drinking glass fresh, I can't consider my tastings fair source for evaluation. This is an exception.

A - Light gold. Nice head. Has the same makings as a good girlfriend.

A - simcoe is prevalent, but not offensive. Citrus and pine flush the senses. This beer is noticed from across the table.

T - juicy, oily, soft caramel sweetness. Enough said. The citrus isn't rind bitter, the pine isn't scalding hot. There's no cat piss. Flavorful, while inoffensive.

M - its as strong as it is because it finishes dry. Of course It's not grainy or too thin.

O - Not my favorite beer ever, but got dayum ... Is love to have this one in tap.

 780 characters

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

Aroma is nice, I immediately pick up citrus and pine on this one. Nice sweet tropical fruit on this one too.

Beautiful looking beer, it's a nice moderate amber topped with a fluffy white head made of big bubbles. Lacing is good on this one too.

Love the taste on Jai Alai! It has all those wonderful fruit notes from the nose with a nice sweet, malty background. It's bitter enough to be considered an IPA, but the malt plays a huge role in the taste of this one.

Mouthfeel is okay, loads of carbonation but not overt. Nice medium body.

Overall, this is probably one of the best East Coast IPAs that I've had. Easy drinking, but it's defiantly a sipper. Great job Cigar City!

 679 characters

Photo of Bobheed
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper, sort of rust color, with a finger size eggshell color head. Lots of lingering carbonation

S: Nice, citrusy type of bitterness, with some earthy elements, and something like cantaloupe.

T: Lots of fruity hops right upfront. A bit of some kind of earthy funkiness to it also. Near the end of the mouth I also get a little bit of strawberry.

M: Quite good, very carbonated and very thick, which goes well with the flavors in this one

Overall I thought it was pretty dang good. I acquired a few bottles in a trade, but I can see if I lived in a market that sold Cigar City, this could easily be a "go-to" IPA

 619 characters

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!

 1,283 characters

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

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a big, medium looking, off-white head with very good retention. Hazy tenne orange in color with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head is very persistent, but eventually fades to a large foam cap that sticks around forever. Head finally recedes to a good cap and coats the glass with lacing all the way down.

SMELL: Big, wonderful nose on this one. Pale malts, honeydew melon, grapefruit and citrus notes. Floral hops as well, but this one is a big, citrus bomb. Grapefruit, lemon and orange peel everywhere. Very bold and fruity.

TASTE: Pale malts and caramel up front with a citrus forward and bitter hop finish. Grapefruit and lemon with some bitter flower hop notes as well. Bold and persistent aftertaste is plenty bitter with citrus and flowery hops and a touch of melon sweetness to balance it out. Very nice and flavorful, though oddly enough, not quite as impressive as the nose. A little more up front would help, but this is so close to a 4.5.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Very nice here as well.

OVERALL: This is really, really good. One of the better IPAs out there, and it throws a lot of flavor at you while keeping the ABV to a modest 7.5%. Could have the flavor profile of a double IPA in that regard. Another quality brew for Cigar City, this is definitely one I could drink regularly. Recommended.

 1,506 characters

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

Pours a clear golden amber with a good cream head. Good head retention, but no lacing.

Smell is bitter piney hops, tropical fruit, and slightly sweet caramel malt.

Taste upfront is lots of piney hops. Light bready and toasted malts barely cut through the hop bitterness in the middle. Hoppy finish of citrus, pine, grass, and some tropical fruit sweetness. Little oaky and dank. Lingering bitterness of tropical fruit and pine.

Medium body with low to moderate carbonation. Slightly oily.

Nice piney hoppiness. Surprisingly different from a lot of other IPAs. Reminds me of the Valley IPAs a bit.


 612 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FishGetter for grabbing me my first Cigar City brew. Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce bottle. Thanks again Shawn.

Appearance: Jai Alai IPA pours out a dark, almost copper color that is a bit murky looking. Really nice color. A somewhat easy pour yields about two solid fingers of off-white, dense foam. Head settles rather quickly into a thin skim coat of foam atop the beer. Some thin, webby lace was left clinging to the glass. A really nice looking brew.

Smell: Hops, of course. Nice floral hop aromas. Seems to be a generous bit of Simcoe in there. Bits of caramel pop up. Seems to have a sweet smell to it, more than from just the bready malt. Slight graininess is picked up. Some nice citrus notes sneak out of the background. Nice, kind of different.

Taste: Nice full flavor. Quite hoppy, but seems the hops are a bit held back for some reason, but works with this beer. Citrus flavor is very limited. A nice thick, bready malt backbone. Some hints of aspirin, leather, and maybe some faint hints of fine pipe tobbacco. Finishes quite dry and hoppy. Just the slightest bit of alcohol is noticed in the finish. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Resiny, oily, just about chewey. Moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall: A pretty enjoyable IPA. Can't wait to try some more of their offerings.

 1,365 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orangish-amber with a half an inch of dense, foamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is citrusy and floral. The flavor is citrusy, piny and floral with a strong malt base. The malt is slightly bready and a little sweet and the hops are mostly floral but there are noticeable notes of grapefruit and there is a strong pine, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is solid IPA. The hop character in the flavor and the nose really hits a wide spectrum. The malt is strong enough to hold up to the heavy hops. The mouthfeel is what you would expect from a good IPA. Overall, I really enjoyed this.

 662 characters

Photo of afdempse
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Super excited to be in Tampa trying these beers!

Pours a very nice copper color with off-white head. Head gradually winds down to cover the liquid in patches of froth.

Very strong fruity aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, herbal evergreen, citrus peel.

Bitingly bitter with multiple layers of citrus and spice. Piney, floral, and fruity. Cracker-like malt flavors come through in the finish. Alcohol comes through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Medium-low carbonation helps bring out the hop flavor without being harsh. Drinkability is high despite the strength of flavor and alcohol percentage. Clean hoppy finish that invites you to have more.

One of the best east coast IPAs I've had, hands-down. Would love to see this start making its way up to D.C.

 768 characters

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

A: Pours warm copper with a medium large off-white head, kind of soapy but still nice-looking. Dissipates quickly into nice lacings.

S: The hops knock me out, lots of both floral and citric - pineapple, grapefruit and orange sezt, even some lemon juice. Sweet caramell malt in the back. Bitter citric marmelade.

T: At first bitter hops followed by sweet, slightly roasted caramell malt. Then the floral hops kick in; pineapple, grapefruit (red) and lemon (juice). Bitter orange marmelade. Some peaches. Well balanced.

M: Lovely long bitter aftertaste. Body is more full than usually for this style. Carbonation is handled with utter discression.

O: This is one of the most complex and best balanced American IPA, I've had.

 727 characters

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

Thanks to dulwich for sending this.

This beer pours a hazy apricot color and has fairly low carbonation. Nice punchy nose offers grapefruit, lemon peel, and breakfast cereal flakes.

Nice flavor here. Good malt and hop balance that tends to lean more towards the sweet side (I'm not sure I like that). The end result is flavors of sweet marmalade and pineapple along with a slight graininess that is not too unpleasant. At over 7%, there is a slight booziness at mid-palate, but it doesn't detract at all from the beer. Nice firm mouthfeel, perhaps a tad syrupy.

This is a good IPA, but I'd have to put it one or two levels below my favorite go-to IPAs (Founders Centennial and Bells Two-Hearted Ale). Still, I'm glad I had a chance to try this.

 747 characters

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a 3 floyds pint glass. Bottle Date Dec 2011.

A- Pours a one finger head, cloudy, brownish yellow straw color, splotchy lacing nice bubbly layer on top.
S- Really nice aroma, tropical fruit, peach, mango, citrus, slight pine, nice malt to balance it out.
T- Interesting, not as sweet as the aroma, a lot more bitterness in the taste, grapefruit, citrus, nice malt backbone, bready notes, really balanced.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, crisp finish, really easy drinking, smooth.
O- Really impressive IPA from Cigar City, the aroma was fantastic, really easy drinkability could drink this one all day.

 635 characters

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

12 oz. bottle dated Dec 2011 - which I hope is the bottling date and not the "best by" date, although it wouldn't be too old. Pours a clear copper/amber body with a solid nearly two-finger white head. Good lacing and retention.

Strong tropical hop notes come out immediately. Pineapple is prominent and some grassy and pine resin notes follow. Some caramel malt blends in as well.

Excellent flavor blend that follows the aroma fairly closely. But, the more bitter notes come through more in the taste than the aroma. Also, the sweet malt backbone is solid and gives a nice balance.

Medium texture in the mouthfeel with a bit of oily hops noticeable and a very smooth feel for an IPA. I almost hate to say it, but if I could get this regularly, it would clearly rival Two Hearted for place in my beer fridge. Highly recommended.

 831 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Batch 5 Oct 2011.

It pours a clear amber with a big off-white head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

The smell here to me at least isn't world class. It is nice though. Definitely some pineapple, passion fruit, grassiness. It is very candy-like. I don't usually get these scents form Simcoe which it lists on the bottle. Odd.

The flavor is unique. It is very tropical. I am starting to get even this coconut scent and flavor. There is also banana runt and some grapefruit bitterness in the finish. The malt is very honeydewish with some sweetness.

It has candy notes all over it, not sure where it is coming from. I can see why people dig this one, it is definitely unique among IPAs and tasty to boot.

 721 characters

Photo of BucBasil
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on top in a pint glass at the Cigar City tasting room in Tampa.

A: Orange with off white head.

S: Citrsuy, all around solid. Lightly hoppy and balanced. Really nice.

T: Resiny, bitter. some citrus, pine. Average. Very drinakable.

Overall, a good balanced IPA that is great for drinking with friends, but still has a good taste to it.

 345 characters

Photo of sloescher
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber, white head that drops gradually and leaves sparse lacing.

S: Flowery smell with some citrus. Not an overwhelming hoppy smell.

T: Citrus/fruit & floral hops first, followed by sweet caramel malt, then growing bitterness that lingers. Excellent taste and not overly bitter but balanced.

M: Medium/high carbonation and medium body; neutral or slightly dry finish; little alcohol warming.

O: This is an excellent IPA and very enjoyable. Very solid example of a good balanced IPA.

 495 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served in a FFF Anniversary pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden straw with amber highlights in the body. A thin white head forms on the pour and subsides to a thin film that leaves nice sticky lace down the glass.

S: Lots of fruits, mainly tropical, with a mango pulp sticking out in the forefront. Some light bitterness as well.

T: The mango heavy body from the nose is much more subdued in the taste. Good combination of citrus fruits and nice sweet malt body. Slight alcohol taste is present.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation and lingering bitter hop on the palate.

O: This was a nice beer, but nothing stood out. The mango pulp body in the nose was different than any other IPA I've tasted.

 720 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.