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Jai Alai IPA | Cigar City Brewing

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1,394 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,394 | Ratings: 7,431
Photo of olmatty
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours an exceptionally clear (very good) light amber color with a very low head (not so good). It took a very aggressive to get any head.

Smell-Hop bitterness, but very light. More spicy than anything else.

Taste-After a dubious opening this beer gets down to business with some pretty interesting flavor. A deep but unidimensional malt flavor laden with lots of spicy and vegetal hop flavor with a dry finish and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-chunky and palate filling.

Overall-The right a amount of hops, but this beer would be so much better if some of these bittering hops were pushed into the later stage of the boil, producing a more aromatic and flavorful hop presence with less raw, harsh bitterness.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An extra received in a trade with swellbrewer, thanks! Poured vigorously from the bottle into a snifter.

A: The body is transparent medium orange in color with a big frothy off white head. Retention is nice and some scattered lacing is evident on the sides of the glass. The head recedes to a lingering bubbly coating that remains for some time.

S: After letting the beer open up a bit, the most prominent hop characteristic is navel orange flesh with a little grapefruit and tangelo. The malt is just as pronounced as the hops, so I guess I'd call it balanced. The malt reminds me of a cross between caramel and baked bread. It's only slightly sweet. There's an earthy note that's redolent of spruce, with accompanying floral aromatics.

T: Moderately bitter up front, with a nice orange and tangerine presence. Malt adds a bit of balance, imparting caramel, biscuit, and faint bread notes. Hops are somewhat resinous, but that characteristic isn't as pronounced as the citrus. Bitterness waxes a bit in the drying finish that exhibits a little spiciness, alcohol, and lingering orange and tangerine. Smooth throughout, with no harshness or astringency.

M: Lower medium in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry, sticky, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty nice IPA, though too heavy on the malt for my taste. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing the freshness of this bottle, but it doesn't seem too old.

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Photo of Deadheadbill
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden color with a nice white head and very good lacing. Very nice aromas of hops, citrus and some malt. Medium bodied with nice bitter citrusy hop flavors balanced by malt, citrus fruit and some sweetness.

The amazing thing about this beer is that it always stays in balance with a lush mouthfeel and the hops always winning out in the flavor battle. CCB has done something few brewers can do, they have crammed all the flavors of an Imperial IPA into their regular bottling. This is without a doubt one of the best IPA's available.

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Photo of RashyGrillCook
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jai Alai (said like "hi lie") is a game with origins traced back to Basque and was once a big part of florida. This brew pours a deep copper with a medium head of bone color. Lacing is top notch, excellent. Smell is enticing, to say the least, with great attributes being sweet, fruity, spicy HOPPINESS! The taste is clean and fresh with huge floral hoppy notes. Its bitter but the best kind of bitter. I liken it to wasabi(the heat is intense but leaves quick without a trace). Doesn't linger around on the palate like some other well known IPAs. Feel is incredibly smooth, refreshing with a perfect light carbonation. I can't say enough about this beer, easily the best IPA I've had to date. Highly recommended to anyone who likes hops and even those who don't.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into stemmed glass with a clear, copper-gold color with an excellent white head. Aroma is hoppy and fruity with a gentle notes of apricot and orange. The hops smell fresh, but might need a bit more quantity to really pop.

Flavor is big and bold with enough bitterness to really overpower the caramel maltiness. Hop flavor comes throughout with a floral, leafy character. Medium bodied mouthfeel with not enough dryness to accentuate the hops more, but still having a relatively weak malt flavor.

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Photo of stageseven
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ap - The beer pours a hazy copper with a one finger off-white head. There's a fairly substantial amount of lacing left in the glass even though the head dissipated to a thin dusting on top after a few minutes.

Ar - The aroma initially has a strong citrus hop character up front, but it does seem like the malt comes through as well. A lightly toasted bread scent wafts through the thick resins to blend and provide a certain level of sweetness.

T - The first sip of the beer has a distinct biscuit quality to it, giving way to some hop resin flavors. After swallowing a decently bitter aftertaste swells up in the mouth. The citrus comes through somewhere in the middle, striking a balance between the bitter and the sweet. It's somewhat of a creamy citrus quality, like an orange creamsicle rather than a tart and sharp citrus flavor. The flavors are robust, although the bitterness is a little sharp.

M - In the mouth, the beer has a medium body, with a high level of carbonation. In the mouth it has a decent amount of coating from the resins. It's refreshing and a little malty rather than dry.

O - Overall it's a very good IPA. While not the best I've had, the flavors are a little different from the standard citrus-bomb. It's bready, a little sweet, and has a substantial bitterness in the back. Definitely a hop-forward beer, but they managed to balance the malt in as well.

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Photo of iadler
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a six pack from a buddy who came up to visit me from Florida. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy and somewhat murky dark orange with a one-finger head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a nice lacing.

S: Funk hits immediately with some grass and hay, followed by some pine, grapefruit, orange and lemon and lots of toffee.

T: Toffee malt and Belgium candy hits first followed by big and bold citrus hops that finishes with some pepper spice and bitterness which slightly prick your taste buds.

M: Medium carbonation, pretty smooth and finishes fairly dry.

O: A little too much sweetness IMO for an amazing IPA, but it’s easily drinkable and very flavorful as well as one you can have a few of in one night. First time having Cigar City, but look forward to trying their other brews.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big off white foamy head that hangs around for a long long time. leaves huge amounts of gobby lacing. very cloudy as well.

The smell is of big piney hops up front and a light grapefruit like undertones. lots of alcohol in there too. not very strong malt presence, though tons of hops. a little bit of funk.

the funk is much more up front in the taste, then comes the fruity citrus punch of some serious hops, after the citrus comes the pine. a very strong and pungent dry finish.

the mouthfeel is creamy and dry with some very light carbonation.

this is a damn drinkable beer for a 7.5 percenter.

like the cedar aged version better but this one is a bit more drinkable version of that.

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

We pour a somewhat hazy, tawny colored brew. It supports a fluffy beige head of two fingers which, as it slowly recedes, leaves thick lacing around the glass. Head retention is nice, as big bubbles sit amongst the rest of the cushion. There is no sediment noted, and carbonation appears to be standard. In the nose, sweet Simcoe hops, in all of their piney glory, sing off the top. They also give a foresty, woody vibe, but not as strong as something that is barrel aged, by any means. Other hop varieties are noted, with a souring citrus sitting strongly through the belly of the scent. Sweetness is enhanced by pings of tropical fruit, but for the most part earthiness is retained. As we sip, bittering hops hit up front. There is also a syrupy sweetness, and thickness that is palpable immediately. This is lent from a white sugar quality, fruity esters, and honey. Malts come to balance through the middle, but sweetness persists to the peak of the sip. We finish cleanly, with slight bittering from citric hops, and a cooling plastic phenolic character. The phenols breathe through in the aftertaste, along with deep malts, almost caramel, and of course with bold hops. The body is medium and the carbonation is medium. There is a thickness to the feel of each sip, which gives a nice froth and slurp the whole way through. The mouth is left fairly dried, but is otherwise happy. The abv is on the higher end for a “single” IPA, but drinkability remains high.

Overall, what we found most enjoyable about this brew was the sweet inclusions in both the aroma and the taste. While it was clear that the hops were the stars of the show, the supporting cast was beautifully sweet, without going overboard. To make things even better, the source of that flavor seemed to be multifaceted, with fruit and malts all playing their equal roles to give us a unique production.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to sendsilk for including this one in a trade. Thanks a lot Matt! Been wanting to give this one a go for a while now. Bottled on 4/13/11.

Appearance: Jai Alai pours out an extremely murky caramel color with a lighter orange tinge around the edges. About 1.5 fingers of slightly off-white head forms that has good retention, and just okay lacing. Really, I would not call this a beautiful looking beer. I find clarity preferable in my IPAs (or at least not deep murkiness).

Smell: Primarily I get a big bitter citrus and grapefruit (rind) component, perhaps a bit of honey-like sweetness to balance. Also a good deal of fresh, juicy hops bring out the bitterness as well. This IPA is fairly high in ABV, and I can tell on the nose. I definitely get a good deal of alcohol. All in all though, pretty good.

Taste: Mirrors the smell for the most part. A touch of honey sweetness up front, followed by a lot of bitter grapefruit rind and other citrus components. Dank hops and noticeable alcohol on the back end, and a very bitter, dry finish. I can tell this one is fresh, lots of great fresh fruit and hop notes.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The body is just a touch under medium, and the carbonation is very fine. It comes close to syrupy-feeling in the mouth. I'm a fan of IPAs with some substance, so it suits me just fine. Overall, this beer didn't disappoint at all. Very flavorful and one of the more bitter IPAs I've had in a while. I liked it a lot.

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Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a Ridiculous two-inch foamy head atop a clear orange/light-red beer. Awesome drink-by-drink lacing clumps left on the glass and the head retention equals one of the best I've seen on an IPA thusfar.

S- Sweet citrus.

T- First thing that comes to mind is "oranges!" Also (dank) grapefruit. Bitter hops (piney?), great caramel malt backbone. Slightly boozy. Wow.

M- Medium mouthfeel...a little of the syrupy side for an IPA even.

D/O- Overall I loved this one. Going in I knew it was rated as a top tier IPA and it totally lived up to that. Treat this as a special IPA because it is. Cheers to Cigar City and thanks to TATURBO.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

And the earth turns on its axis, another day that we went on and dreamt of all the things we wanted to be, all that we wanted to make... the cargo in the sandboxes, a sliver of meaning to our bleak ineptitude. A beautiful beer set before me, a frothy, orange, lacing beer. and we dream of the days that were or will be or wish will be... this longing, you know? longing inside you, inside me, for something... a longing to go home, a nostalgia for somewhere we've never been, a homesickness for those moments of love and ecstasy, those moments of euphoria when the music hits just the crescendo we had hoped for... but even then the beauty is not in the thing itself. The beauty is in something deeper, somewhere deep under our felt longings, something that tugs at our souls and gives us that notion that we need, and we need deeply, though we know not what.. it's a sadness, a distance, an ache that needs fulfilling... and we breathe in beauty and breathe out carbon dioxide, and we give the trees life, and they give us life, and there's something much deeper, something much more meaningful, you're certain of it, but it's just there on the edge of your brain, like a memory of a word that you're sure you know but you can't seem to just draw it out...
And we breathe in the beauties of floral craftsmanship, of this delicate flower that wields such a bite, but is so sensuous that we only desire more of it... we breathe in the mango and the tropics, the memories of that island that we may never have been to, those beaches we see in the movies where it's only the loving couple.. does that ever happen in the real world? So the mango and citrus and the greenery swaying in the breeze... we breathe all this in, and taste the delights of a grapefruit funeral, the little fruit bled itself dry for your enjoyment, and it transports you to one of those states when longing for you know not what overwhelms you... and the prickly and dry dances on the tongue, and lingers with the pure flavour of our favourite flower, the leaves of which we dream of at night, the juice of which we've had in oh so many ways but they never fail to delight us, when they're used carefully, they stir our hearts and remind us once again that we are human, we are ravenous, we are still searching and longing for something that seems to be just beyond our edge of thought, something nothing in the world seems to ever satisfy, a longing that is itself the deepest, saddest, most intense joy we have on this earth, and the thought springs eternal from somewhere beyond our thought...

perhaps we were not made for this world.

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Photo of Agold
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from sendsilk.

Pours medium amber color. It has a nice dense 1 finger head wich leaves sticky lacing down the glass. The beer has a distinct citrus piney hop presence. I'm fortunately missing a lot of the sweetness that a lot of people have noted. Mild caramel backbone with big citrus and piney hops in the forefront. The taste has a bit more of a sweet presence than in the aroma. The hop profile is the same combo of citrus and pine. The beer is a little under-carbonated for my liking and is also a little more body than I would like. Really solid example of an IPA. Happy to get to try this one.

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

Big props to my boy Colin (Alienoqium) down in Sunny Florida for keeping these tasty treats coming! Poured from a bottle into snifter.

Appearance: Pours a great copper/peach color. Yes, peach. Nice two finger lasting head.

Nose: Heres where it gets interesting. I sense some light sweetness, molasses like, with minimal hop nose. Very, very intriguing!

Taste: Yes, this is a top quality IPA. Awesome balance. Good resinous hop texture that mixes well with the sweet caramel body.

Mouth: Great mouth. Not heavy, great carbonation. Good sweet/sticky after taste.

Drink and overall: Fantastic IPA. I wish I could grab this whenever I want. Once again, thanks Colin!

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Typical light bronze IPA colored, just barely hazy. Nice head that lasts and tons of visible carbonation.

S - As one could imagine with this style, hops. Mostly citrus. What I like about this aroma is that there is a solid caramel backbone from the malts to back it up but it's not predominant at all. Wonderful balance.

T - The hops are a little more of the Earthy and resin flavors than the aroma, but it works. The caramel flavor backbone is still there and helps support and balance the beer out wonderfully. The aftertaste is a medium-strength bitter left on the palate. I reviewed this from the bottle and had it several times on tap from the brewery so I do notice a little hop fade, but not much.

M - Straight up medium body with the correct amount of carbonation in my book. Alpha acid resin lasts a while during the aftertaste and the alcohol is hidden. Oh so smooth, too easy to drink.

Very easy to see how this beer put Cigar City on the map and I'm fortunate enough to travel/work in Florida frequently enough to get my longing for this beer filled!

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Photo of rka758
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
$3.50 at Connecticut Wine and Liquors

A: Pours a deep golden color with a nice 1/4" inch head which settles to about 1/8"
S: Sweet hop aroma. Nice and balanced.
T: Sweet hoppiness with citrus fruit back.
M: I like it. It's much thicker than I'm used to my IPAs being. Almost chewy.
D: Good. At 7.5% watch out though. A good choice for a sunny day outdoors.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was our annual trip to Tampa...the night before THE BUCKEYE CRUISE AGAINST CANCER!!!! The better half and I walked a couple of blocks down from our hotel and found a wonderful spot to taste numerous different brews. The second beer I tried, thank to the suggestion of our server...was Jai alai IPA...WOW. This was quite AWESOME!! The color was a rich cloudy amber. The nose inclued a combination of hops, cirtus, and pine...what else would you expect!. This of course fed into the taste of the beer which was WAIT FOR IT...citrusy....and piny. I could drink this....wait for it....give it to me Lionel...ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!

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

Presented in a 12 oz. brown bottle at Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille and poured into a chilled (groan) pint glass.

Pours a tobacco amber color with a thin head that quickly dissipates. Good lacing throughout. Pleasant nose: aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, brown sugar and pine.

Big malt opening with suggestions of brown sugar and caramel followed by instant push back from the biting hop bitterness. Light effervescence. Moves into tropical fruit territory with a fine melange of ruby red grapefruit, juicy pineapple and tangerine. Earthy pine enters the fray with a side of citrus rind. Finishes dry with a blast of marmalade bitters.

Pairs well with raw oysters on the half shell, cerviche cocktail and stone crab.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a darker than expected orange. Cream colored head that fades, but never entirely dissappears.

S- Slight pine, citrus, sugary candy.

T- A bit disappointed with the sweet candy taste, but nice citrusy flavors- Orange and lemon mostly.

D- A bit sweet up front, but no bitterness and very smooth.

O- Overall a nice IPA, but the West Coast Style has ruined/influenced me too much.

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Photo of krisandajt
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Scored a couple of bottles of this from the NEPA Beer Club's latest split...

Appearance: An easy pour, the brew is a cloudy, dull amber color. Not too much head, but I'll chalk that up to the girly pour. Retention is good, though...slick and soapy along the sides of my Shorts pint glass.

Smell: A light, citrusy hop smell balanced nicely with some malt. Not too shabby for an IPA, though I do prefer them to be on the hoppy side.

Taste: A sweet sort of citrusy taste with a little bit of resiny pine thrown in. Reminds me of really over-ripe tangerine, which is still slightly bitter yet slightly sweet. Unique, certainly, but good.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice medium body.

Overall (Drinkability): Not a bad drinking IPA. Got some good hoppy flavor, but is drinkability balanced. I've had better, sure...but I wouldn't turn this one down if it was offered to me.

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Photo of GrandCruDrew
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle. 4/21/11

Appearance- Poured into a Pint glass. A dark golden, caramel or light Amber color with a thick 3 finger head.

Smell- Usually what I'm afraid of in an IPA...too much sweet maltiness coming through. But, that usually happens with the oak-aged IPA's I've had. A little of the hops come through as citrus.

Taste- Some of the pine and citrus comes through. Definitely dominated by the malts, oak and sweetness. Caramel, turkish apricots, kumquats, and grapefruit zest sit on my tongue.

Mouthfeel- A good creamy, lingering mouthfeel with slight bitterness.

Overall- Good for this style. I prefer traditional American IPA's. Give me my hops! Keep the Malts!

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Photo of jwhancher
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 10-oz. draft served in a tulip shaped glass at City Tap House. Poured a hazy-like light orange copper color with nice bright white finger width head. The foam clung to the sides of the glass with each ensuing sip. Smelled nice & hoppy, mostly citrus-like, but not too overwhelming. Tasted great - not too overly bitter, but enough to satisfy just about any hophead. Overall, a pleasant surprise. Had previously never heard of this brewery before, but I'll definitely give this one (and other brews from their lineup) another try.

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Photo of JMikeQJr
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer from Cigar City Brewing Co. Overall a quality beer. Nothing stands out as exceptional, but it drinks smooth and has a nice finish. Nice color with a surprise slight smokey finish, that may be the oak aged coming through. I would buy this beer again.

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

The hazy amber brew, measuring about 26 degrees Lovibond, doesn't develop a very large head, but the one it does is creamy and has pretty decent retention.

The smell is fat and juicy with citrus and pine balanced with caramel malts. The hops carry into the flavor with more resin coming out on the tongue and attacking the back with a bitter wash. Hop heads will like this one. The malts show some more character on the tongue with a sense of toasted wheat bread.

A little heavy for a single IPA and quite bitter and resinous. A really over-the-top IPA worthy of the Left Coast.

Personal note to myself...this one is a bit out of my tolerance range for bitterness. A great example of the American IPA style, but a bit too assertive for my taste.

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Photo of DNICE555
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 pack from Deciccio’s in Brewster. Had on the train to grand central with Jlynn and some college girls… Giggity.

A – Unfiltered golden color with off white head.

S- Hoppy citrus aroma with a certain malty sweetness to it.

T- Nice hoppy citrus base with a syrupy malty sweet backbone

M- Full bodied ipa with decent carbonation

D- Interesting ipa. I usually like mine hoppy but the syrupy malt backbone complimented the citrusy hops very well. Cigar City does some very cool stuff.

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Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 7,431 ratings.
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