Mar 6, 2014

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Cigar City Brewing is a company that’s I’ve know about for a while and had followed since their initial planning several years back. They quickly became one of the “it” breweries and their products highly sought after and, often times, award winning. Through all of it, however, they remained out of my grasp, not delivering to Virginia until late last year.

Needless to say, spying stacks of their Jai Alai IPA in local shops was more than exciting. But I worried. Would my expectations and the overall hype associated with the company and this IPA in particular satisfy? After a few cases all to myself over the past couple of months, I can safely say that this succulent IPA does indeed.


Jai Alai IPA pours a golden amber n color with a frothy crown of tawny foam.

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA


Pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, pine resin and a hint of grain stream from the surface of the glass.


Loads of resinous pine and tropical fruit flow smoothly over the tongue as a surprisingly balanced malt backbone supports the forward hop profile. Grain, subtle bread notes and herbal, earthy hops notes persist throughout. The bitterness is of a moderate-to-high level and wonderfully balanced by the malt presence and a slight sweetness. The 7.5% ABV is masked well as the beer lingers for a good long while in a semi-dry finish.


What surprises me most about this beer isn’t the tropical fruit flavors or the moderate hop bite — it’s just how well this beer is balanced. Yes, the hops are first and foremost Jai Alai’s presentation, but the brewery has done well to round everything out with a decent amount of malt. This makes for not only a multi-dimensional beer, but also one that drinks incredibly well. As long as it keeps showing up in stores, I’m going to keep buying more of Jai Alai IPA.

Rating: 4.5/5

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