Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

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Jai Alai IPAJai Alai IPA
8,447 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
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Ratings: 8,447 |  Reviews: 1,629
Photo of nickthegun12
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

nice color its def. a darker colored ipa....but still transparent...nice little white head...and ok lacing...

the smell is def. malt heavy in the nose....the hops are present as well....

taste totally different than the nose....very very well balanced ipa...not over the top bitterness either....nice piny hop flavor....with a solid malt backbone....

great feel in the mouth....feels good and wet ....not dry at all....

pretty good drink ability....only 7.5% abv....with small hop bitterness....so that doesn't get to you...

great all round beer!

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter

A: Pours a hazy amber with a nice head that gives way to thin lace.

S: Fruity hops are certainly present as well as SImcoe hops. however I can still detect the malty body to the beer as well.

T: Very balanced between the various hops and malts. I detect the usual grapefruit, apricot, and other fruit flavors but also a hint of nutty or toasted malts.

M: Has some body and feel to it, which I much prefer to thinner IPA's

D: The alcohol content is higher than a normal IPA. Very drinkable, although not necessarily something you'd knock back a bunch of at one sitting

Between this and the other Jai Alai variations I've had (Humidor Cedar aged and Oak Aged) I'd have to say the Oak Aged is the best (and one of my favorite IPA's) but this original is pretty great too.

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

Pours out a really clear very effervescent light amber with two fingers of very foamy suds and there is lacing here.
Smell is light malty caramel sugars. Very mild hoppiness. No alcohol is present in the aroma.
Not a citrusy smell at all, but the yeast/hop does burn the nose just a bit.
Taste is slightly bitter at first with some sugar. Then the dark black bitterness hits and it is all bitter hop for about 45 seconds followed by the booziness that you would expect from a 7.5%er.
Mouthfeel is clean at first then as the alcohol comes forth you get a blackness that goes all the way down the back of the throat.
Drinkability is pretty good but I think it needs just a tad more sweetness. Still a great IPA.

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Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

brought back from a recent trip to FL, courtesy of JW3477. thanks john!

12oz bottle. sampled oct 27/2010.

pours hazy orangey amber, more reddish at its darkest points and amber toward the edges. a thin layer of fine cream coloured head forms, quickly retreating to a ring around the glass and leaving plenty of spotty lace.

aroma is great. a nice mix of tropical and west coast hops. orange, tangerine, grapefruit, mango, pineapple. bit of candied fruit character. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. hint of winey caracter. caramel.

taste is good. the hopping seems more unified than in the aroma. candied orange and pineapple. caramel and a bit of toffee. hints of pine. white bread and cracker. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. medium body with a pretty dry finish. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance, hiding most of its alcohol. i only wished that the flavour had retained some of the depth that was present in the aroma. still, a damn tasty ipa.

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Photo of argock
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed clear glass wine goblet. No freshness date. Single purchased at Knightly Spirits (Orlando, FL) for $2.29.

A: Lightish amber with ample 1-finger off-white, tightly bubbled head with good retention and above-average lacing.

S: Thick resinous pine off the top gives way to grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas. Malt is sweet caramel and toffee. Very bold, aggressive hoppiness to be sure.

T: The flavor carries the same pattern of strong resin and pine up front, followed by more grapefuit, lemon, and fruity flavors. The maltiness is substantial with a lot of sweet caramel and nougat to go around.

M: Coating and slick at once with excellent low-medium carbonation and a resiny aftertaste.

D: A very impressive IPA with West Coast aggessiveness combined with more muscular hoppiness and more caramel in the malt bill. It tastes a lot like PtE Jr. would taste. A top-tier IPA without a doubt and I am glad I had a shot at it this trip.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange-amber with a one finger white head and good lacing.

Nose consists mainly of citrusy hops, mostly lemon and orange peel, and some bready malt.

Taste is not very aggresive. Some citrus hops followed by a little bit of piney hops and and balanced out well by some sweet malty to finish. Leaves a nice sweet floral hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Aftertaste is dry, but not aggresively.

Drinkability is high. Light enough and mild enough to knock a few back.

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Photo of PurpleCloud
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, translucent amber with a thick, white, persistent head.

S: Hoppy with a pleasant citrus nose, very fresh.

T: A great hops blend with hints of citrus and lavender. Very pleasant and fresh, in sync with its nose. It has more body that most IPAs which is a really great aspect of the brew.

M: Not dry at all.

D: Goes down easy and it's quite good!

Overall: Jai Alai IPA is a great brew. It's got a lot of body for an IPA and combines hops and citrus very well. It doesn't have that bitter hops bite that many IPAs produce. I was surprised by the thick head, but it was a nice aspect to the beer. Overall, a good brew!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler filled 2 hours ago at Cigar City
A solid pour into my Cigar City Snifter produces a frothy, palely tanned head that starts out two fingers in thickness. The beer is a pretty, amber-cranberry color that shows a brilliantly clear cranberry tinged, gold color when held up to the light. From a distance the nose smells of lychee and tangelo zest, while my first focused attention to the nose has me noticing a piney, spruce tip citrus kind of note. As the beer warms, essential citrus oil aromatics mix with a hemp oil like dankness that lightly spices the nose of this brew. Brightly hoppy, though at times not quite as expressive as I would like it to be, it makes me wonder if that Mikkeller collaboration called Gypsy that I had 6 hours ago ruined my nose.

A nice biting bitterness starts out from the get go and only grows as the beer rolls across the tongue; the bitterness never gets harsh, though does really grip on with a clean, bright, loud bitterness in the palate lingering finish. There is a certain spiciness to the finish as well that is sort of peppery and seems to be from a mix of alcohol and hop contributions. A solid herbal note leans towards pine, perhaps a touch of menthol and just plain, green, herbal, yet clean hop flavors. There is a lot of hop fruit character to this beer as well, much of it becomes more prominent as the beer warms up a bit and as my palate adjusts to the hops. Flavors of super ripe tangelo zest, big lychee, candies citrus zest, super ripe-floral peach notes, kumquat and dirty grapefruit zest. This last gets dirty because this does have a certain dank, herbaceous, or should I say "hemp" like green quality to it that nicely helps to add complexity and balance to the other hop notes. There is actually a fair amount of malt character to this brew, not so much that this isn't nicely drinkable with only a medium'ish body and heft, but it does have a soft caramel backend and a slightly more noticeable biscuit like maltiness that subtly influence and balance this hop dominated brew.

I can't believe how brilliantly clear this beer is, I don't know whether to marvel at how pretty and shiny it is, or to cry over all that lost hop character that is stuck in a bed of DME somewhere; but this last is not really much of a complaint, as the hop character that made it into the beer is aggressive enough to satisfy any hop head. This is a thoroughly enjoyable IPA and the perfect night cap after driving a total of 3 hours on the road and spending 12 hours helping brew a double batch of beer on the CCB pilot system; I am so happily satisfied right now.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Sexual Chocolate 2011.
Pours a deep yellow orange color with a thick yellowish white head and a ton of lacing. Smells of piny hops and tons of oranges. Tastes of piny hops, yeast bread, and orange. Mouthfeel is very nice and has a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of Avantyawn
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden , rich, clean, frothy thick impressive creamy head.

S: Sharp yet subtle and light citrus and tropical fruit. Slight bready malt, underwhelming, yet interesting.

T: Wow! This is a masterful tasting tart and bitter brew! After the slightly disappointing aroma, I was pleasantly surprised by it's novel and noble flavors with a traditionally bitter IPA bitter affect. It almost has the tart sweetness of cherry and holds a gentle malty backbone which is restrained and masterful. Almost tastes of an exotic and interesting Belgian brew. The end of the sip, fruity bitter joy!

M: very light, tart, malty, thin bubbles, almost champagne like.

D: Man o man, this beer rules and I could drink 4 of these much too quickly.

Note: This is my first sampling and I am hooked! I rarely see this in NY but I will actively seek it for a nice change of pace from the typical American IPA. Bravo!

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Photo of GarrettM99
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful deep copper orange with a nice 2.5 finger head that is accompanied by great lacing.

S: Citrus. More specifically orange peel.

T: For me it was instantly bitter, more so than mos IPA's. It has a nice hoppy taste with citurs and floral kicks.

M: Medium body with pretty good carbonation.

D: Overall I like it, maybe not as much as I like Sierra Nevada. I think the bitterness is too high for an IPA (i think thats just me). I could enjoy a few of these.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep copper, clear dark gold/light brown; about a 2.5 finger head that slow bubbles down, leaving great lacing and latticework

S: Heavy on the dry-hopped bitter side; grapefruit and fresh-cut grass also very present; maybe a touch of bittersweet lemon-limon, orange peel smell?

T: Surprisingly less bitterness than I expected; of course, the bitterness is there, but not nearly as dry-hopped as I expected; the grapefruit bittersweetness appears for a moment, but is quickly replaced with a deep, mildly sweet malt undertone

M: medium body, almost creamy mouthfeel; stringent alcohol taste can't be ignored; a great finish of crispness and lingering creaminess

D: I'd probably drink 2-3 of these if given the chance; overall, fairly easy to drink for a beer with 7.5% ABV

I like this one

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Photo of 321jeff
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with hints of amber in the middle. A thin white head that fades to a ring leaving some sticky looking lacing.

Aroma is some fresh bread dough and just mild hints of piney hops. Not particularly strong, perhaps this bottle has some age on it.

Taste has some sweet citrus up front with bread malts in the middle and a bitter finish.

Medium in body with a good bit of coronation. Overall, a nice IPA that is more balanced than others and not super bitter.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip

Pours a translucent SAC Amber color. Brilliant clarity, no trace of hop haze; soft wisps of carbonation meander up to the foam. I only get about one finger's worth of soft, buttermilk colored head. Tremendous, jagged lacing. Good stuff.

I really enjoy how Jai Alai manages to have aggressive aromas presented with a soft touch. This is not a huge, bold nose. But the individual aroma notes -- grapefruit peel, pine needles, lawn clippings, flower petals, Dole Orange-Mango juice, cat pee, tobacco -- are potentially-dominant smells. This beer delivers a balanced mixture of those notes; a soft, small amount of each. Underneath the bountious hops is a sweet malt backbone: mostly crystal malt, caramel malt for sure (but not overdone). This is complex and intriguing, but not aggressive; like the quiet, confident kid in the back row of class. Some of the fruitier aromas begin to take over as the beer approaches room temperature, so the beer is best appreciated when chilled.

The taste of Jai Alai follows the nose to a T. The hop attack is grapefruit peel & grassy, floral flavors. Like a distilled garden; very much some garden action going on. It reminds me of the month-and-a-half old Pliny the Elder I had once, actually (much too old for a Pliny, but not half-bad regardless). Sweet, biscuity malts make their play on the mid-palate before yielding to a splash of mango and orange zest on the finish. Some ashy, sort of tobacco leaf flavor comes on at the finish too, and it lingers for about a minute. Nothing here blows me away, but I find the balance to be pretty remarkable. This is a greener example of the IPA: not particularly piny or dank or citrusy. It's got grassy, floral flavors for days, though.

If you read my reviews then you know that I like my IPAs about as thin as you can get them. "Hop juice" is the mouthfeel aesthetic that I'm going for. Jai Alai comes somewhat close. It's a touch thicker than perfect, on the light side of medium-bodied. The carbonation is soft, and the size suits the malt backbone pretty well. Jai Alai is 7.5% ABV and damn drinkable for its alcohol content. The balance that this beer achieves makes it an ideal six-pack candidate. You have to like the green, garden flavors (which I do) to be able to appreciate multiple bottles in one session, though.

I was expecting something more aggressive or assertive. I'm glad, though, that what I got out of Jai Alai IPA was a balanced, well-conceived IPA that highlights the underused, underappreciated grassy & floral hop flavors. I'll buy this again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

This ale puts its foot on the border of IPA and Impy IPA, a blurring of the lines. Clear copper hue, impressive lacing but coming from a highly hopped beer ... not a surprise. Big hop stink, heavy citric of ruby red grapefruit and tangerines ... faintly catty with some taffy undertones. Hops smack down hard, though some caramel and biscuity flavors from the malt appear; aside from that, it is a full-on palate bashing of citric, earthy pine, tobacco and wild herbs with a tropical fruitiness to compliment. Seriously epic beer, we can only hope a pint of it is waiting for us at the gates of hop heaven.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a hazy orange color with an inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, fruity malts, light grapefruit.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, fruity malts, pine, orange. A little bitter but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good IPA with some nice citrus. Would have again.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Al's of Hampden

A- an orange red color that is hazy. Minimal head and no lacing. Simple yet beautiful.

S- orange, melon and floral hints. toasted malts asl well. smell isnt as hoppy as an IPA normally is.

T- hop explosion hits the mouth of orange and tangerine. taste is def that of an IPA. a strong floral backend as well.

M- dry and hoppy. light bodied and fluffy.

D- a very decent IPA I still think the Bell's hopslam is one of the best and the nugget nectar but this is a nice top 5 IPA for me. i would do a sixer.

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

Pours a light caramel color, very small head of white dust sized bubbles.

Smell of strong citrus , great bouquet of floral oranges, tangerine and pale malts.

Taste of a very well rounded India Pale Ale. Not overly bitter and not overly sweet. A lot of the IPAs out right now have a little too lopsided of flavors on the hop side ; this is not in that category. Bits of grapefruit mixed with toasted sugars. Everything that I like in a barleywine only at a lower level. This is a great IPA. Medium bodied and light to medium carbonation levels make this very drinkable. A great IPA that tastes remarkably fresh considering it had to make a trip up the east coast to get here.

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Photo of kagent777
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the tasting room in early November of 2010. Poured into goblet.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper, the head settles slowly into islands of foam and lacing that last. Very nice.

Smell: Citrusy and fruity hops. I also sense some alcohol warmness. After it warms for a few minutes, the toasty malt bill begins to take over the smell.

Taste: While this is a IPA and hoppy, it is only somewhat bitter. The bitterness is earthy and balanced against a strong malt bill. The flavors all balance really well. I get toasty malts, citrus hops, and some earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The flavors coat the mouth nicely, with nice amounts of carbonation to back it up.

Drinkability: I could have several of these, if CCB distributed to Utah.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Thanks to Jefe73 for this one!

A: Big, bubbly, white head sits atop a hazy pour and boasts decent lacing and retention.

S: The smell is piney up front, followed by some maltiness.

T: A slight floralness up front, piney hops next, which aren't dominant. This is followed by a nice caramel malt character. The dry aftertaste is also subtle, but nice.

MF: Very light with a slight carbonation

D: The alcohol is masked nicely, very refreshing.

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Photo of shand
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This is a great looking IPA. It pours a fairly clear copper color with two fingers of thick head. It retains and laces wonderfully, leaving a white dusting all the way down the glass. The smell is predominately very tropical hops. Pineapple being the predominant fruit. There's also some pine and grapefruit character in here, par for the IPA course. It's also a very good tasting IPA. At first, this tastes like it's going to be a hop/pine/grapefruit bomb of the highest degree. And, to be mostly fair, this is a very hoppy beer. But some smooth, sweet malts and tropical fruits come in, along with just a little hint of alcohol to help balance out the bitterness. Don't get me mistaken though, this is a very bitter brew. A great and unique IPA.

The mouthfeel is probably a little bit too thick (perhaps due to the relatively high IPA,) but is otherwise good. The drinkability also suffers just a little bit due to the thickness and sticky aftertaste, but is otherwise pretty good. This is a great and unique IPA that's worth seeking out, especially for fans of the style looking for something a bit different.

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Photo of TaddyPorter
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of a couple of beers I picked up at Fairway on a recent "cabin fever" day trip to NYC. I've heard good things about Cigar City, but this is the first beer I've actually tried from them. I'll be on the lookout for more from them when I'm back in Florida in the summer--not to mention when I'm back in New York!

Dense, frothy, billowy off-white foam sits solidly at three fingers for a few minutes, then settles in to a sturdy half-finger cap of froth, laving behind a web of frothy lacing that doesn't stick for too long. The color is a really enticing glowing wooden mahogany--like a sunburst Les Paul when held up to the light.

Fruity, juicy, tropical hop aromas jump out--pineapple and mango dominate, with a juicy tutti-frutti base carrying them along. A little bit of light, sweet biscuity malt sneaks through, but the juicy tropical fruits are in charge here. A bit of yeasty esters are also swept quickly into that current.

Juicy tropical fruit hop flavors float atop a powerful undercurrent of resiny hop bitterness. Dried pineapple and mango sweep through first, and a deep layer of dank bitterness stays behind on the tongue. Grain is in the background as it was in the aroma, providing a bit of a doughy biscuit note deep beneath the levels of hoppiness. The fresh hoppiness is the reason to seek this beer out, but it's not a one-note hop bomb; nicely balanced, juicy and somewhat light tasting even while throwing around 7.5% ABV and some serious bitterness.

Lightly carbonated juiciness sweeps over the tongue, leaving behind an almost tangible cap of hop oil--not in a bad way!

I found it utterly more-ish...I could drink these very regularly; the missus said it was very good but she wasn't really overwhelmed by its flavor. Reminds me of a really hoppy west coast IPA, but with particularly juicy tropical-fruit flavored hop varieties. I would definitely recommend it and would like to see more from Cigar City.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A friends Uncle Bob shipped it from Tampa. Pours a copper orange with a white 3 inch sticky head. Very cloudy in my 13 oz tulip glass,with awesome lacing that sticks around the whole time. Smell is nice, but fairly mellow for a IPA with 7.5ABV. Some citrus and piney hops. The taste is wonderful oranges, pineapple, and pine. Not overwhelming but bitter. Plenty off carbonationand great mouthfeel for a IPA, one of the best I have had. I think this a wonderful IPA. So glad to have a beer from Florida. Wish I had more.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to David for the opportunity.

Medium orange with nearly two fingers of fluff that sticks around and plenty of lace that spider webs the glass

Smells like sticky citric bitterness

Sweet caramel drizzled zesty orange peel with a prickly pine backing. Balanced but neither tempered nor mellow. Both the caramel from the malts and the orange citrus play strong and bold roles here.

There's an effervescence in the mouthfeel that permeates into the jawline, while the citric orange and bitterness lasts long into the aftertaste and sits on the tongue on a long lingering finish.

Feels more like a double with a mosh between west coast aggression and east coast balance that works well. A nice, slightly different IPA.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a nice orangy copper color with ample offwhite head that laced nicely. Smell is of pine with some citrusy grapefruit background. Taste is citrusy with some caramel malt notes. Good smooth, medium bodied feel with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall a great IPA that has quickly become one of my new favorites.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 8,447 ratings