Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

1,446 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 1,446 | Ratings: 7,616
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Big huge rocky seafoam head on a hazy orange brown body. Nice lace rings on the glass.

S- Heavy floral and citrus hops, stinky!

T- Lots of snappy pine sap and a pretty heavy caramel malt base. Floral hops come through as well, very very bitter.

M- Taken aback by the lingering bitterness... wow. This one's a doozy.

O- Good stuff, unique for sure. Don't think I've had an IPA that tastes like this one.

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

A - Very clear golden bronze color. Pours great finger head and really good head retention.

S - The aroma literally filled the room upon pour. Smells very citrusy and sweet. Oranges, grapefruit, and a floral bouqet.

T - Very bitter up front. Spicy hop tastes, not as much citrus as you'd expect from the nose. Floraly towards the end. Wish there was a bit more malt backbone to help balance the very bitter taste.

M - Smooth, well carbonated. Goes down very easily.

D - A great beer, could drink a ton of this any given night.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bronze-orange color with notable clarity.  A large white head sits on top and has decent retention and leaves behind a good amount of lacing.

S: Much less aromatic than I was hoping for.  Modest hoppiness providing slight floral and citrus notes, but pretty toned down.  Just a bit of a malty sweetness manifested in a sweet caramel aroma.  It's pleasant, but very subdued. 

T: Tropical fruit (grapefruit and orange) are up front, but again, are somewhat subtle.  Pretty large malt profile providing a good amount of sweetness. Just a bit of pine resin to finish things off.  What is there is pleasant enough, but I was really hoping for a little more complexity.

M: Light bodied but slightly creamy with a good amount of carbonation.  Pretty drying finish.

D: Very drinkable and an enjoyable IPA, however, it's a little disappointing.  I really expected a bit more from CC based on the other beers that I've had from them, but maybe IPA aren't their thing.  I've got a couple bottles of the oak-aged version, so hopefully that will add a bit of the complexity that I think this one is lacking.  

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy deep orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma consists of citrus notes with loads of floral hoppy notes and a sweet malt base. Taste is a very nice mix between aromatic and floral hops with balanced bitterness and some citrus notes. Malt base is maybe a tad too sweet for my taste though very solid with no watery notes. Boyd is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Very well brewed and something I could drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of DearthVader
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured to my Stone IPA glass.

Thanks for the chance with this one Alex!

Pours a clear copper with yellow around the edges. Fairly aggressive pour produced a 1 finger white head that only stayed around for about 30 seconds. Very minimal lacing is left.

Smell is very weak. Slight grapefruit and I pick up a smoky burnt wood smell. There's not much else to it. Can't smell any hops at all.

Taste is a big change from the smell. Nice citrus and grapefruit base that has that charred wood characteristic towards the back end. Not very aggressive with the hops, but a smooth, wet finish.

Fairly creamy. I'd like this in a bigger DIPA, but it wasn't great for the beer. The alcohol isn't noticeable and it is fairly drinkable, but just slightly too thick for my liking.

I'm glad I got to give this a shot. It was my first CC beer and I'm curious to try some more. I wouldn't mind trying this again, but I won't be seeking it out.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Trevor for this one.

A: The beer pours a clear golden orange color with a couple fingers of white head that clings to the glass and leaves a nice lace on the glass.

S: Decently perfumey with a nice floral note and a lot of orange zest, too. There is a light breadiness underneath the hops and a prevailing, though light, citrus note to it.

T: The flavor is pretty nice, better than the nose. Light pineapple with grapefruit and orange, and lots of orange zest. There might even be a bit of melon. Lightly malty with some bread and a light bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

O: Not the hugest fan of some of the variations of this beer, but this base version is actually decent.

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

Pours a reddish gold with a big persistent rocky head. Smell is a great combination of hops and sweetness. Honey and lemons with some great floral notes from the hops as well. Taste has just a bit of sweetness up front followed immediately by a hit of intense bitterness. Herbal and floral notes develop through the middle. Finishes with a very pleasant grapefruit bitterness that lingers for a while in the aftertaste. Very unique- would be immediately recognizable. Medium to full bodied and well carbonated. Overall a really great IPA.

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Photo of CHickman
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours cloudy orange with a huge 2 finger frothy off white head that didn't move for a while and faded very slowly, leaving excellent frothy lacing clinging to the glass. A great looking beer that was textbook IPA.

Smells of pineapple, mango, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, lemon, piney hops, flowers, floral hops, brown sugar, apple peel, sweet malt, cinnamon, sweet fruit, light spices and faint alcohol; wow, the citrus aroma is just massive and like a fruit salad. A really impressive and great smelling nose that I could smell 6 inches away from the glass.

Tastes of grapefruit, orange juice, pineapple, citrus hops, mango, lemon, piney hops, herbs, floral hops, grass, hay, brown sugar, apple peel, sweet malt, cinnamon, pear, light spices like pepper and coriander, wet bread or cardboard, and faint alcohol that's covered up by the massive citrus hop presence that dominates the flavor. This brew is sweet, fruity and spicy, with a light malt presence that adds just enough balance to help this beer go down smooth. I was splitting a 6 pack with a friend and we could not hold ourselves back from drinking these beers fast; the flavor was much better out of the bottle then on tap, to the point that it blew it away out of the bottle.

Mouthfeel is smooth and oily slick, with light carbonation, a medium body and slightly bitter finish that's on the sour and tart side but leaves a citrus aftertaste like red grapefruit pith.

High drinkability, this was an excellent tasting beer that was much fruitier out of the bottle than on tap. A great beer overall and a high recommendation. An expensive 6 pack, but it was so good that I’m going to stock up on it.

2014 NOTE: Had this out of the can and it was just as tasty and a damn good IPA.

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Photo of stxSS07
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled dated May 25, 2011 into a Duvel Tulip. Just under 2 months old.

A- Pours a golden-orange with a tight bubbled 1 finger off-white head. Nice amount of hop haze with excellent lacing.

S- I get big bitter resinous notes backed up by a small amount of sweet grapefruit/tropical scents. Malt is definitely big in there as well. Not the greatest IPA I've smelled, but not bad.

T- Starts off following the nose with a blast of bitter resins that slowly transitions into a blend of sweet citric notes along with a hint of sugary/bready malt. Finishes with a lingering astringency. Much better than the nose indicated.

M- Medium-light bodied with an aggressive amount of carbonation that massages all lingering flavors (aside from the resinous bitterness) off the palate relatively quickly.

O- I was a bit worried after my initial smell on this one, but the taste more than made up for it. One of the better IPAs I've had. I wonder if a fresher bottle would be less malt-forward?

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Photo of jgurley
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've drunk a lot of this but it's my first review of it. Luminous golden amber in color and produces a thick, high, rocky head that sticks to my snifter as it falls. Getting a lot of yeasty malt and caramel sweetness in the nose. Sweet forward with the hops coming through in the middle. A bit bubble gummy in the middle, with something strangely like a Belgian character just before the hops rush in toward a dry, bitter finish. Good carbonation and a slightly resiny, drinkable mouthfeel. I realize now that I've been drinking much more hop forward beers lately and this is more complex and a bit sweeter than I remember it being. Nice to know this is from my neck of the woods. Good.

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Photo of JayAre46
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a deep orange with a chill haze which already has me thinking, the 1 finger head came and fell to a ring around the edges, while showing delicate lace the way down.

A - subtle fruitiness, malts are thoughout and im getting a leafy tobacco aroma which im thinking is a bit off, the hops are not abundant by any means and not very fresh smelling

T - the taste is much better than the aroma, upfront a thin hoppy bite followed by some melon, grapefruit and a orange peel dryness, a good finishing hop bitterness, alcohol is present and warming.

M - medium bodied, smooth and easy the carbonation is moderate and big gulps will bring it forward at best.

O - very strange experience i will definitely be re-reviewing this one as i feel like something was off with this batch or something happened to the bottle. i expected more in the aroma and much more sharp charaters in the taste.

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Photo of nhindian
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A - At first it appears clear, but after pouring the rest of the bottle into the glass, it slowly becomes a tad cloudy. The body itself is a sort of tangerine color, radiating a warm orange glow. The head is a 2-finger, light tan pillow that has good retention. Lacing is pretty nice as well, covering a vast majority of the glass.

S - The smell is surprisingly more malty than I would've expected, but it's still pleasant. It brings forth a lot of caramel, but it is almost instantly cut with a nice hop bite. Think juicy peaches, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple. As it warms, the dry-hopping fades fast, so definitely smell it while you can.

T - Again, the malt backbone plays a serious role in this beer. It's caramel permeates the spectrum of flavor and lasts throughout. The flavor is hoppy, yet more subdued than in the nose. I'm not sure if it's because the dry-hopping did that much in terms of hop influence, but it's more muddled in the taste. Tasty, but I'm not completely sold. The finish holds a somewhat hot alcohol aftertaste.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It does feel a little bit syrupy in the mouth and could probably use a touch more carbonation, but the feeling it conveys is enjoyable. Nice and creamy texture makes it feel nice on the palate.

D - Drinkability is moderate. A very solid IPA for what it is, but I'm not sure I'd actively seek it out. If I had it available near me, it would definitely be on my rotation, but as I had to smuggle it in my suitcase after visiting Manhattan, I'm not sure I couldn't find something comparable local to me without the hassle. Convenience obviously isn't going to affect the score, just something I thought I'd mention.

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Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My case was stamped June 29, 2011. Not sure if its a brew on/bottled on/packaged date but its fresh regardless.
Poured into my Unibroue chalice and it the head stopped rising about 1cm below the rim, perfect.
It pours an amazing dark opaque amber color that cannot be seen through, The head is about 1 inch and I can already see the lacing forming.

The smell is amazing, a mix of hops and tropical mangos and other goodness. The dry hopping of this beer helps tremendously in this department.

The taste is first a glorious mix of hops that captivates a hop fiend like myself. The flavor then goes to a mango like sweetness and it finishes with just the right amount of bitterness. This blend of flavors makes this beer easy to sip and enjoy even at room temperature.

Overall Jai Alai is one of the best IPA I have ever had the pleasure to drink out of a bottle.

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

12oz shared with Klym, Poured into Stonic Nonic.

A: Sticky orange honey body with some real complex oranges shining through the glass. The slightly off white orange-tinted foam is INCREDIBLY sticky, I mean really sticky thick cobweb lacing smothering the glass. I can't remember lacing like that since a fresh bottle of ruination. this lacing would make a solid foundation for a house.

S: Complex orange flavored toffees with some unusual notes of mellowed chili powers and paprika. There's a real mellow savory blood orange rind plus spices note that puts a smile on my face. There are so many deep fresh spice notes in here that it reminds me to review my spice cabinet for future tastings. Definitely consider that before opening this one.

T: Orange with some tamarind powder. Sweet and salty spices combine for a Mexican candy seasoning that makes me nostalgic. I get notes of sweet chili paste and light floral complexities. This is all maintained in a fairly earthy palate; where none of the flavors are too bright, but blended so well with a great deal of spice. I can really taste an emulsion of a LOT of ingredients here. Deliciously complex. There's definitely a lighter hop. Dried spiced apricots make for a twist on a familiar IPA note.

M: Definitely a lighter bodied IPA, but it works in that the overall sensation is very cooling. I love how this contrasts the flavors. I get Mexican food flavors while feeling very refreshed. I'm loving the contrast, and find myself sipping in rapid succession. Light body works when getting this level of refreshment. Despite the light body, it's very smooth going down.

O: I actually love this beer. I could crush this all day long. The flavors definitely come more from the malt than the hops, but the hops season the flavors in such a way that it's a trip. Unusual sweet chili and tan fruit notes. I love the places that this beer is going, especially with light bodied (but still carbonated) IPA. This is getting all the flavor I need in an IPA, with some interesting contrast -- PLUS a refreshing drinking experience. I'd grab this on a hot day real quick, too bad I don't have steady access!

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Photo of Klym
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone nonic. Thanks to Cavery for the share!

A: Pours a deep golden with some very orange hues. Nice large-bubble filled head with some very frothy lacing.

S: Hops are in the background in this IPA. Perhaps the most forward malty dark-fruit (date, fig, raisin) scents I've gotten from an IPA. Definitely a thickness to the aroma.

T: More hops than I expected. A nice hop bitterness starts off the taste along with dark fruits that turn a little floral and piney toward the end. Dark fruit flavors not as meaty as I anticipated, which is good in my opinion. Mostly a duet between malty dark fruit flavors and hops.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation floating ontop. A bit oily in the mouthfeel and the beer seems to not wash out as well as most on a swallow, which is good or bad depending on how much you enjoy the beer. I actually get a tad of heat in the throat and on the tongue in this, but all in mouthfeel and not in taste.

O: Impressive for a single IPA, good character and flavor packed within. Not the typical flavor profile or mouthfeel I seek in an IPA, especially not a single, but I appreciate it for what it is. Worth trying if you have the chance but I can't recommend going out of your way to try it.

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

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: orange alsomost amber bodied beer with a white gushing head. Lacing is crazy sticking everywhere.

Smell: Big malts, sweet piney smell and some citris.

Taste: This IPA has a huge malt backbone that tastes of bready biscuits and semi sweet caramel. The malts take a back seat to the hops, but you know they are there. Hops impart a lightly moderate amount of bitterness that tastes like pine, lemon, grapefruit, grass and pineapple. It does have a very mild coconut and herbal quality to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Really creamy IPA!

Overall: This is a huge IPA. Lots of flavor and nice complexity. Great balance between the malt and hops. I am a fan of this beer for sure!

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Photo of tetu
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an amber color w/ a nice thick head that becomes thin but lasts. I'm picking up a fruity musty aroma at first whiff. Apricots and sweet grapefruit come to mind along with caramel and malty notes. There is a nice hop bitterness up front with caramel malt taste in the middle that almost reminds me of a marzen (crazy). It ends with some tropical fruit and earthy tones with tobacco and pine at the very end. Tobacco lingers on my palate for a good while after the last sip of this beer. Perfect balance in my opinion and the fact I can't buy this in my state makes it taste even better. This is a great beer to add to any ipa lovers lineup.

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

Received in a trade. Thanks goes out to Duff27!

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a murky orangish/copper color with a white head that measures one finger. Good retention and lacing. Almost has a creamy look.

S: Pretty bold smell. Hops, grapefruit, caramel malt, brown sugar, and of course pine.

T: Caramel malt, hops, and then the strong citrus and pine flavor kicks in. This beer is pretty bold for a standard IPA.

M: Medium to heavier body for the style. Thick and creamy with a nice grapefruit and pine zing.

O: This beer might be too big and bold for someone that prefers standard IPAs. It fits the characteristics more to that of a DIPA. With that said, I wish this was available to me on a daily basis. CCB knows how to make a fine brew.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good looking IPA. It pours a hazed orange that let's a ton of lint through but you just can't see the other side. The head is khaki colored and fast to fade.

The nose is above average but only just so. It has subtle hop aroma in the piney and citrus neighborhood that could be a little more potent for my taste. An extra dose of this and I would bein heaven right now.

The taste is outstanding with big hop flavor despite the lack of presence in the nose. Sweet juicy fruit gum tasting with a mix of tropical fruit, citrus and a steady twang of pine resin. A perfect balance of all those hoppy flavors and still a fair dollop of sweet grains. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is a touch on the rough side with an aggressive bitterness pair with a firm carbonation. I'm all for a hop bite but this Jai Alai gets almost acidic with it's IBU's. But who cares about such a minor inconvenience when you have such a great flavor profile. This is an outstanding IPA and it makes me sad that it's not distributed everywhere.

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Photo of avalon07
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big, bold aroma of hops, citrus, and a sugary quality.

T: Tasted of hops - lots of hops, citrus (mainly grapefruit), caramel, and a bready quality you don't usually find in an IPA. Very complex - more than most IPAs - and flavorful.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: This is one of the best IPAs I've tried in awhile.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Founders snifter.

A nice slightly cloudy amber. A fingers worth of head. Scant lacing remains. Nose consists of caramel malt, some citrus and pine from the hops. Pretty bubbly on my tongue. Kind of like pop rocks candy. I get bread up front. Then the caramel of the malt followed by pine. Slightly sweet I would say. Not bitter at all to me.

Stupidly I drank this after the Oak Aged version. What a dumb dumb. While this beer doesn't fail, it fails in comparison to that version. This is a very solid offering nonetheless.

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

Single purchased at Abe's.

Bold brassy orange with a medium haze. Topped by three-fingers-plus of snow white rocky foam and bubbles of all sizes. Very good lacing.

Good size citrus nose heavy on the orange, with a whiff of pine in the background.

Firm sweet caramel foundation kicks things off. Truck load of juicy fruit. Mild bitterness. Fruit and bitter interplay back and forth throughout, including a long, long lingering finish.

Solid medium mouthfeel flows happily down the tongue.

A well above average IPA, a treat after some recent disappointments. Seek it out, especially in Florida.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

A coppery orange and a relatively large off-white head that sticks around. Spotted and consistent lacing down the glass. There are hazy ribbons of sediment running through the body of the beer.

Somewhat unaromatic, but what is here is nice. It's a relatively sweet and caramelly aroma along with some sweet hop presence.

This beer seems relatively simple, though extremely well balanced. There's some citrus hop presence, a slight amount of bitterness, a touch of biscuity and bready malt component, and caramel sweetness.

Medium mouthfeel. A pleasure to drink in the California heat.

A very well balanced, tasty, though somewhat unaromatic IPA. I'm extremely grateful I got an opportunity to try this.

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Photo of LtCracker20
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy/cloudy deep golden body, almost copper. Great off-white head that's been here for quite a while now. When it does fall, it falls to a pretty thick cap. Lots of sticky lace all the way down.

S- Wow. Amazing citrusy grapefruit aroma right away, followed by a smell that I recognize from other oaked IPAs. Almost orange or tangerine like.

T- Couldn't wait to taste this one. This stuff is wonderful. All the great citrusy hop flavors with some pine flavors in there. Caramel malts are there in the back end, but just to try and balance it out. There's also some biscuity flavor as it warms. Amazing.

MF- Nice full body. Very creamy actually. Seems to just float on the tongue and a hop flavor that seems to last forever.

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Photo of LSUPT
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single brought back from Pensacola, thanks Jake. Hard to read bottle date of 4/23/11 poured to a Stone IPA glass.

Pour yields about a 3” white head that fills the glass perfectly. Leaves pretty good lacing initially. Deep-gold/orange color that is very, very cloudy.

Pear, Orange, a hint of mango and a slight sweetness in the smell, pretty weak but this beer may be past its prime by some standards.

Taste is very good. Lots of grapefruit, pine, pear and mango, bitterness has held up very well and the malt is there to balance. Mouthfeel is good, medium-high carbonation, but it leaves a weird feeling after a while, I wonder, is it supposed to be that cloudy? Bitterness clings to the tongue. Even with the off feel it is still very drinkable.

I was really looking forward to this one and while it was pretty good it didn’t quite live up to my expectations it is still a well above average IPA.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 7,616 ratings.
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