Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA
8,352 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 8,352 |  Reviews: 1,613
Photo of sprucetip
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enormous, dense, creamy, off-white foam last for quite a while, and never completely goes away, and leaves some thick patches of lacing as it recedes. The liquid is copper/amber in color and mostly clear.

Fairly balanced but not especially strong, with a little too much booze. Composed mostly of floral and fruity hop notes, the aforementioned booze, and some soft grainy and malty hints coming through underneath.

The taste is where the hops shine brightest, with piny, floral and fruity influences. Bitterness is modest, and the booze cuts sharply across the malty (sans sweet) backdrop. Nicely balanced, flavorful single IPA.

Carbonation level is good, and the rich, medium-full body is luxurious through the middle before fading into a mildly dry and bitter finish.

Really smooth, moderately complex, and quite well balanced. Good looking, flavorful beer with pleasant texture. But the aroma could be stronger and hoppier. I'd get more of it if I could. Thanks to Iowahawk for gifting it upon me and sharing a bunch of other really impressive stuff (including cedar aged Cigar City) in a tasting!

 1,106 characters

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

Cliff's Notes to Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai

Appearance: Hazy orange amber body. Creamy off-white head that holds remarkably well and leaves short but solid walls of lace completely round the glass.

Aroma: Gently caramelish malt base in the nose, infused with spicy/peppery, and grassy/leafy/floral hops. More English than American.

Flavor: As expected, it delivers a rich, round maltiness that offers an edge of dextrinous, medium caramel sugars. The hop flavors cling to that, move through it, and are supported and sprung forward by it. Solid bitterness, but not overly brutal at all. Finishes dry with receeding malt and rising hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full in body. Dextrinous. Crisp but not biting (smoothed by the fullness of the malt).

Drinkability: There are several components that seem to dance in a circle here, continually nodding and giving space to one another, yet existing mainly as one. The malt dominates and steps forward but then needs the hop bitterness and spiciness to keep it in check and steps back. Nicely balanced. Full flavored. Oddly compelling in its heavy-handed finesse.

 1,109 characters

Photo of grover37
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap, out of the bottle, and brought a growler home from the brewery ($4.50 pint, $11 sixer, and $6 quart respectively) - the draft version is significantly better than out of the bottle. This review is of the growler which was split into two imperial pint glasses.

Appearance: Clear, dark orange, amber color with 3/4 of an inch of off-white head which almost reduces entirely to a small patch of bubbles. Lacing where the original head was, but practically none otherwise.

Aroma: Sweet grapefruit, oranges, and lemon. Obviously very citric. A hint of caramel maltiness, but mostly just floral hops. As it warms, a bit more resinous pine and booziness.

Taste: A nice dose of lemon, citric bitterness up front which beats back the sweetness until the finish. An intense juicy citric and fruit flavor in the middle - here's where the caramel malt backbone comes through a bit as well - and a lingering pine flavor with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation. Dominated by the high, but not overwhelming bitterness. Although the flavors are a bit sweet in the middle and finish, the feel is dry in the finish.

Drinkability: Amazingly flavorful, almost too much so to drink a lot of it. The drying mouthfeel sensation makes you want more immediately and the non-existent booze flavor present in the nose does not slow you down. I could drink two or three of these maybe, but not a six pack.

 1,419 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks DmanGTR for the chance to try this brew out!

A: A beautiful medium amber, with tons of fluffy off white head on this.

S: Grassy American hop smell coming out right away. There is a pine aroma to this as well. In the bak there is a little bit of a bread/caramel aroma, as well as a touch of tropical fruit. There is almost a pungent earthy aroma in the finish, as well as something I can't quite put my finger on.

T: Tropical fruits come out right away. Caramel and burnt sugar balance out the hops with a nice earthiness and a subtle bitterness.

M: Medium light in mouthfeel, with good carbonation.

D: Very nice overall. Good strong hop flavor, and fairly well balanced with the malt.

Thanks again DmanGTR!

 724 characters

Photo of zoso493
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Piraat tulip.

Appearance: Jai Alai IPA pours a nice ruddy amber color that is hazy and unfiltered (like an IPA should be). A stern pour only produces a one-finger head that is more bubbles than suds and which doesn't stick around for very long. This is a really appetizing-looking IPA.

Smell: The smell is pretty big on the hops, but it smells as though they might be fading a bit (why can't brewers just date all their bottle?). There is a big fruity and juicy hop scent that is complemented very nice by the sugary caramel malts. This is a pretty nicely scented IPA.

Taste: The taste stays true to the scent, as this is a pleasantly bitter, hop-forward IPA. The fruity, orange peel tastes are perhaps the most prominent and are countered quite nicely by an aptly-applied malt backbone of sweet caramel malts. This is definitely a very nice IPA, but I still can't shake the feeling that this bottle is a bit past its prime.

Mouthfeel: Jai Alai is a nicely weighted IPA in terms of thickness as it has that little bit of added viscosity that lesser IPAs often lack. Nonetheless, the zealously included hops do cloy on the palate just a touch too much for me.

Drinkability: Jai Alai is a really nice drinking beer for sure. There's no trace of alcohol even at 7.5%, making this a very drinkable IPA. The only thing holding it back in this department is the slight cloying from the hops in the mouthfeel:

Overall, Jai Alai is a really nice example of a hoppy American IPA. I suspect that this would be a superb beer on tap. This is my first brew from Cigar City and I can tell already that these guys know what they're doing. I'm about to review the cedar aged Jai Alai of theirs to see how it stacks up, but this is already a good beer in my eyes beer in my eyes.

 1,809 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/light orange color. Huge head when poured down the middle of a pint glass. Off white, maybe light tan in color and 2" tall, retention is great. Still 1" 5 minutes later. Really nice lace too.
Smell is of course hippy with citrus, resin, grass and a grapefruit note.
Taste is hops, grapefruit, an evergreen/resin note, with a faint maltiness in back.
A nicely balanced brew especially in the taste. Aftertaste has the hops toned down with a decent malt presence along with a slight touch of warming in the throat.
While IPA's aren't my favorite, this is a really good one. Carbonation is sharp up front, mellowing quickly. A fuller-leaning medium body. All told, a fine brew.

 694 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jai Alai IPA, 12oz bottle poured in Delirium snifter. Interesting redish amber color with nice solid white foamy head. Head fell quickly but never quite left. Musty hop and carmel malt aroma. Malty, piney hop flavor, slightly bitter carmel finish. Little alcohol presence. Medium bodied and easy drinking. A strong offering.

 324 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden copper in color with a foamy, dirty tan head. Light lacing left behind on the glass. Beer has a slightly hazed look to it.

S - Strong piney bitterness in nose with a surprisingly noticeable caramel backing. Hops certainly dominate the nose though. Pick up hints of tropical fruits as well.

T - Strong bitterness up front with lots of pine and some tropical fruits. Malt comes in quickly and provides some sweet caramel flavors but the hops carry the show throughout. Bitterness is a touch one-dimensional for my liking, but still a pretty good IPA.

M/D - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. As I continue through the drink it actually becomes a little heavy on the tongue. My favorite IPA/ No, not at all. But certainly a worthy contribution to the world of American IPA's and I would be happy to have it again down the road.

 844 characters

Photo of HoptimusPrimeIPA
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a nice two finger head that gives a ton of lacing.

Piney with a tropical fruit sweetness, some nice sweet malts are present as well as some caramel

Grape fruit, tropical fruit and hoppy goodness take center stage with the malts adding a very nice flavor but taking the back seat to the aforementioned flavor. Good bitter finish and almost no alcohol taste even though the beer is 7%+.

Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation

Very very drinkable for an IPA with a 7% ABV. Had to force myself away from this one at the bar.

Serving type: Tap

 595 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 12/14/10. Thank you, zoso1967, for bringing the bottle from PA.

Jai Alai pours murky amber-orange into a large snifter, with about a 3/4 finger head that recedes and leaves a light beige haze, along with some big, clear bubbles. It is hard to see the carbonation trhough the murk, but the bubbles appear to be copious and fairly slow-moving. Lacing on the glass is lovely - very sticky and leaves blotches of all sizes and vertical, squiggly streaks.

The dominant smell is of caramel malt and some mustiness. A grassy and ever-so-slightly sweet citrus hop aroma also emanates from the glass. Sweet breads are another pronounced smell, and sneaking into the profile is just a hint of pine hops.

There is definitely more hop taste than I was expecting after smelling the beer, and, surprisingly, it is mainly a pine hop flavor. I feel like this IPA is backwards compared to most, in that I get a lot of the hop bitterness at the outset of the sip, followed by a coating, caramel malt and bready sweetness. The finish balances out with the malt flavor on the broad of my tongue and the pine, earth, and grass hops biting at the sides of my palate. Overall, this is an IPA that tilts in favor of sweet malts. The beer tastes good, but I am not sure of how fresh the bottle is.

The mouthfeel is creamy and full for an American IPA, which I enjoy. I miss the really biting grapefruit residual flavor that I like in IPAs, though. The carbonation is also quite low.

I would love to try this again, and I will certainly do so soon, as I am moving to the Tampa area in the near future. I may update this review after that. As it is, though, I found this to be too malt forward, which is not my favorite style of IPA

 1,743 characters

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours hazy bright copper orange with a 1+ finger white head that left spotted lacing

smells of ashy bitter hops with some sweet caramel malt

taste is just like the smell - not a strong beer by any sense just solid - a very balanced beer

mouthfeel is a medium body with good carbonation that gives it a very smooth creamy feel

drinkability is good - this was an extra so i dont know the price but i would be game for picking this up if i was in the need for ipa

 464 characters

Photo of IjumpOverU
2.4/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Received this as part of a mixed case. Never been a big fan of IPA but after trying a few other very enjoyable examples I was looking forward to this one. Very unimpressed. Color was of your average IPA, smell was nothing special. First taste was mostly alcohol and overt bitterness (not a good hoppy bitterness either, just sour). Finished with more of the same but some light fruit and pine coming through. After beginning to enjoy IPAs more this one reminded me of what I don't like in an IPA.

 496 characters

Photo of COBeerBuff
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

 1,457 characters

Photo of codewarrior
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Poured into a Chalice

Picked this up in a trade with chcfan, many thanks for throwing this little guy my way.

L: Pours a golden apricot with 2 fingers thick, rich head. Looks a touch thin, but great carbonation on this guy.

S: Musty sweetness with a lot of hops slamming through in the middle. Fades back into a boozy-sweet finish.

T: Just like it smells, balance is a bit on the bitter side, but not overmuch for an IPA. Pretty straight forward IPA with a touch of hard-to-place mustiness (this might just come from having been bottled in Florida).

F: A bit thin, but great effervescent feel outside of the thinness caries this into quality territory.

D: Drinkable for sure, and makes an impression. A touch run of the mill as IPAs go, but everything is going in the right direction here.

 800 characters

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

A: Really nice and clear looking copper color. Two plus fingers of billowy white head. Tons of lacing. This beer is an IPA to the T .

S: Tropical fruit notes. Some floral hops as well. A little bit spicy. The nose is a little bit tight but all the things you expect from an IPA are there. Quite a bit of malt as well.

T: The taste is fairly malt forward for an IPA. Reminds me of 90 min in that regard but it lacks the formers booziness. Nice malt backbone. The hops are there but come across earthy and a little bit spicy.

M: Medium body. Perfect carbonation.

D: Super easy drinking IPA. One of the better examples that I have had recently. Very easy drinking. Really nice east coast IPA.

 693 characters

Photo of morimech
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark amber with two fingers of dense head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Just a little lacing is left on the glass during consumption.

Hop lovers aroma is present. Has a citrus and tropical fruit aroma. A little caramel malt underlies the hops.

A lot of hop flavor without brutal bitterness. This is the way I like my IPAs. More tropical and citrus fruit. The malt gives just a touch of sweetness but does not really add any flavor. No sign of the 7.5% ABV.

Medium body with good carbonation. Looks to be bottle conditioned and is done well.

A good drinking IPA but the high ABV is a concern for continued consumption.

 661 characters

Photo of Stoneyrok
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nice deep murky orange but cleared a little after settling in the glass. Thin head poured into a basic thin walled crystal beer mug which I can't really fit into a glass category.

S - whoa, clean, floral, slightly hoppy, I knew I was about to drink an IPA, smell reminded me a bit of Burton baton. deep, hard to find malt smell.

T - This is an IPA, grapefruit, piney, a little more grapefruit, but what I noticed the most was a wicked bitterness on the first few sips. Did not notice ETOH at all (alcohol) even though it's 7+%. Still a strong bitter, grapefruit aftertaste. Toward the end I could pick up the malt's a LOT better than in the beginning.

M - prickly, great balanced carbonation I thought. Smooth but not as smooth or sweet or floral as Burton baton, and I keep comparing this beer to that dogfish so that is good..

D - well, I was only able to find 4 in Jensen Beach and Port St Lucie Fl. So I will drink these sparingly since I am now home in NC, but for IPA drinkers, I think you could,knock out 3-4 before you are sick of the IPA for the night, and/or have had too much ETOH.

Another sip before wrapping this up, and again, bitter and strong grapefruit.. "I am an IPA and I PROVE IT" is what it shouts at you, not sweet, not dry - I am very malty once you start drinking me!

 1,304 characters

Photo of garuda
2.16/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A rigorous pour into the oversized snifter gets a thin white head that does not stay around long, but some suds do cling to the sides of the glass. Color is a murky deep orange.

S/T - Fairly similar and unimpressive in the same respects. Fully expecting hops off the bat, I'm greeted with malty, dark fruits of the prune variety. The malt body is way too much on this one, with hops taking a back seat. Some pine notes try to make an appearance in the lingering aftertaste.

M - Solid medium body, low carbonation, malty feeling for an IPA.

D - I'll try it on tap to confirm this tasting, but I won't be buying any more bottles until they put some kind of freshness dating on it. There's no way of telling if this bottle was fresh or not.

 740 characters

Photo of AdamGarcia
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

12oz btl served in shaker pint. Big thanks to nerdrocker101.

A: Hazy golden orange. Bright, almost backlit appearance. Fluffy off white head. Good retention. Sticky lace. Great looking IPA.

S: Some caramel malt sweetness. Candy-like hoppiness. Underwhelming.

T: Malty sweet with juicy citrus flavors. Some vanilla. Grassy, herbal hop character. Just a hint of spice. Nice dose of bitterness to offset the sweetness.

M: Smooth and soft. Carb is just about perfect.

D: Interesting IPA. I could have more than one. Drinks a little lower than 7.5%.

Jai Alai is a solid beer. It is not quite what I desire in an IPA, but I can see why others rate it so highly. This is my first offering from CCB and I'm really happy to have tried it.

 756 characters

Photo of flag8r
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA perfect pint glass

A-Amber to gold, huge head, plenty of carb.

S-Lots of grapefruit, hints of pine. Not the hoppiest beer I've smelled

T-Again with the grapefruit, especially towards the end of the drink and lingers

M-Lingers on your tongue, clean

D-A tasty IPA, typical, could drink a few of these

 340 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review of a 12 oz bottle courtesy SamuelJackson45.
A: A dark amber copper, it poured with a mild head that died to a cream collar and slight film.
S: Creamy vanilla macadamia nuts haunt the background of an odd bitterness, which is almost metallic. A very mild smell overall, and not very pleasant at first.
T: Deep caramel and toffee with a mild green leafy hops finish. Again, vanilla and macadamia nuts are present, with a kind of oaky bourbon alcohol. Interesting. It grows on you.
M: Thicker and undercarbonated. It kind of matches the taste, though.
D: Pretty good.

 576 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Ward's in Gainesville for $8.99/6 pack.

A: light brown color, great rocky head
S: nice grapefruit/pine American IPA with malt backbone
T: nice IPA for a drinker that doesn't particularly like over-hopped beers, a bit strong in citric bite but all-in-all good, good malt balance but hops could be a bit less, just a few notches below Sculpin, after initial hop hit the taste became more balanced
M: good with malt and hop balance
D: very nice

 455 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a finger of creamy looking slightly off-white head. This maintains a nice frothy richness to it, leaving back lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass in a creamy cascade. The aroma is sharp, with grapefruit and pine cutting through the nose. This is softened somewhat by notes of tropical fruit, herbal accents, and some toasted grains in the back. Alcohol undercuts the flavors but isn't coming off as overly stiff or stinging.

The taste is once again, fairly sharp and aggressive, being bitter with grapefruit, earth, and pine, which sits against a backbone of rigid grains and some more sweeter feeling tropical character that comes out in a flush from behind the malts. This finishes strong with spice, resins, and bitter rind that linger with a steady dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, being crisp on the edges but then mostly smooth and oily throughout the rest of the body. This is a little warming feeling from the alcohol straight out of the fridge but the balance opens up as this warms and helps cover most of the ABV up.

This is a solid staple American IPA from Cigar City, with an aggressive, yet well balanced, hop presence and a body that maintains a smooth feel despite the ABV being on the higher side for the style. This was nice but I really need to give this a shot on draft as well.

 1,380 characters

Photo of jhtipton
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pumpkin golden in my tasting glass with a generous creamy head. Enjoying it with - A Cigar - Hoyo de Monterey Palmas Extra. It holds its own with a cigar, wonderful smell - piney and citrusy - plenty of grapefruit. Lots of mounds in the creamy head, still. Nice hoppy grapefruit tast with some creaminess - not sure if I should call it hop con leche or not, but it is a splendid flavour. Sweet, low on bitterness but the hops keep it toned down. Alcohol seem lower than advertised, but I'll press the I believe button. Mouthfeel is great, I like the creaminess to the texture, I would say medium bodied. Very drinkable but will wait to see what the alcohol does before I pound a few more. I'll try again!

 712 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Pittsky for sending this in a trade. Thanks Jesse!

A: Poured a cloudy red-orange color, with about a four finger head that stayed a creamy froth until what seemed like a freeze-over of hell.

S: The fruit of choice for this one was... orange! I mean, this was one fruity, orangy mama jama! A bit of pine in the mix, but not in a West Coast IPA sort of way.

T: Sweet, a bit sugary, but not in an offensive way.... more like Florida citrus orange juice way. This one tasted eerily similar to Clipper City's (Heavy Sea's) "Loose Cannon." The finish was very smooth and had a high-end filtered water quality.

M: The sugar content was explosive for sure, and the lacing was extreme, almost to the point of ridiculous. However, the balance between the sugar, fruit, and alcohol was perfect and downright delicious.

D: I have only had one other Cigar City brew beside this one up to this point. They sure have made a great impression so far. Highly drinkable!

 974 characters

Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 8,352 ratings