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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: 7,340
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

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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 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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz swing-top growler from Decicco's in Brewster, NY.

Pours a hazy dark amber with a two-finger head. Retention is average, lacing is solid.

Nose is full of dank, sticky hops, along with a grapefruit-citrus character. Nice.

The flavor is resinous and aggressively hoppy. More woody and dank than citrusy. Bitter, especially on the finish. Malt backbone is rich, providing a certain sweetness. Alcohol is somewhat detectable. Mouthfeel is a bit oily, with medium carbonation.

Really good IPA here, though I'm not sure how fresh the keg from which this growler came was.

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

I tried this beer side-by-side with its white oak-aged cousin, though I'm not letting that impact my review. The bottle was dated August 2011, and so I look forward to trying it fresher at the brewery later this week.

The beer is golden amber with a good amount of carbonation, and the fluffy head ends up as a thin continual layer. It has a classical IPA aroma of hops and bready malts.

The hops and bready malts also dominate the flavor, though the beer has a nice fizz to it, almost more so than the oak-aged version. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth.

I'd recommend this simple and straightforward IPA -- it completely hits the spot -- though it pales in comparison to the more experimental varieties out there.

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Photo of wafers
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A mahogany color with a decent amount of whitish foam head which clings to side of glass
S: Very light aroma-wise, some grassy hops
T: Balanced well, definite tangy hops up front, followed by a distinct sweetness with a hint of bready malts
M: Good texture, not too thick or resiny
O: This is an awesome IPA...not overly bitter...a good amount of sweetness to go along with the grassy hops...I have not seen this often where I live but would definitely drink it again

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Photo of mdagnew
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle bought from MyBreweryTap.com

Poured a golden yellow colour... White head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded to decent light covering... light carbonation... good sticky lacing lines cling to the glass...

Aroma - Light maltiness and tropical fruit mixed with a good dose of citrusy and peppery hops, pine, tart fruits (grapefruit, lemons, apples), very floral, faint honey sweetness, light breadiness, some sea salt...

Taste - Good grassy and citrus hop bitterness, light pine, tart fruits (grapefruits, apples), light sweet biscuit malts, peppery, some salty notes, floral and perfumed...

Feel - Quite smooth with a little bite underneath... light / medium body. Very, very quaffable and refreshing...

Overall - A excellent, straightforward, hoppy IPA... recommended...

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Photo of JMWEB2
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very unique colored body for this beer its like a cloudy orange red. Head fades leaving a thin white foam rim.

S: I smelled the tropical/ citrus sweetness, and hops of course, very pleasing.

T: The tropical fruitiness is present, and the citric hops as well, very mild for an IPA.

M: Medium body, and medium carbonation, pretty easy drinking IPA.

O: A very nice IPA, certainly will enjoy another.

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Photo of Soneast
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color, with a 2-finge thick, white creamy head that hangs around for a good amount of time, dropping rings of lace on the glass with each sip.

Aroma is definitely hop forward, a nice combination of tropical and citrus fruits, tangerine and mango with a hint of orange.

The flavor packs a hoppy punch but is balanced very well, with a clean, relatively dry finish. I get a nice grapefruit flavor up front with hints of tangerine and a decent caramel sweetness for balance, that doesn't hang on the palate.

This is a top notch IPA. Very delicious hop flavors that aren't overpowered by any maltiness, with a nice clean finish that isn't overly bitter. My first CCB beer...consider me a fan!

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Photo of vicsju1991
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from 12 oz bottle into duvel snifter
A - 1 finger white head, beautiful amber body, good lacing and head retention
S - citrusy hops, little pine
T - a little weak, granted i am in pennsylvania, and this is from fla, but still good citrusy hops
M - very creamy and smooth
O - a very very good IPA

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Photo of Nachojon
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


A- Copper haze. Nice 1 finger head. No lacing. Really good looking beer.

S- Sweet, some warm hops and citrus. Not the hop-bomb aromatically that I expected, but a nice smelling beer, a little too sweet orangy for my taste.

T- A lot of clementine, vanilla, and even ginger here. It's not unpleasant, just not what I expected, or hoped for. Not a lot of hops, a little too sweet overall.

M- Stickier than I like my IPAs, none of the crisp hoppy tongue burn I crave.

O- A little disappointing overall. It is an above average beer but not quite as good as I expected.

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

Pours a hazy copper into a pint glass. 1 inch head that stays up for a while.
Delicious bouquet, citrus hops, some tropical fruits, sweet and devious scent.
Sweet on the tongue, 7.5% ABV kicking in along with the hops.
A hint of buttery nice caramel in the background.
Hoppy, but not overwhelming.
A great everyday IPA.
Happy that Jai Alai is now on NYC shelves!
Highly recommended!

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

Got a 6pack from a ratebeer member who filled up his trunk and drove to us poor peeps in MS to let us have a taste of real beer. This was bottled on dec 8th, I doubt I'll ever get it fresher around here.

Pours a nice slightly cloudy amber, beautiful head, laces perfectly

Smells sweet but not a floral sweet, more like a carmelly sweetness, very promising, I get a hint of spices too, but it's faint.

tastes like it smells, carmel, hops hops and hops, slightly dry finish. I usually go for more floral ipa's but this one is delicious, I love the hint of carmel/malt. Really wish this was readily available anywhere remotely close

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