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Jai Alai

Jai Alai

Judges Rating: 
87
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
34 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

A forerunner of the resurgent Florida brewing scene, Cigar City Brewing has quickly developed a reputation for crafting tasty beers. Jai Alai IPA bounds with aromas of ripe tropical fruits, Florida oranges, and chewy, sweet caramel. The aroma’s fruitiness took Tom by surprise, but he complimented the mélange of mint, green cardamom and earthy notes prowling below the surface. The hops struck Lee as “nettle-like with hints of pepper,” and he enjoyed their interaction with the sweet toffee malt aromas. Both felt the nose would benefit from more prominent hop aromas. Pouring a substantially hazy gold, Jai Alai IPA throws a small, off-white head that lingers to the end. Tossing handfuls of caramel and toffee, the flavor is malt-centric and hops play a supporting role. Rick found some initial sharp bitterness and felt the “ensuing malt assuages some of the sharper points.” Under the sweet caramel, he did tease out some crackery malt and hints of Malabar peppercorns. Tim liked the “sweet malt underpinning with notes of caramel and toasty wood,” as well as the “gobs of ripe mango and papaya.” Rick and Tim both felt the beer was well-balanced between bitterness and sweet malt, but Tim found himself wanting some hop flavor to lend complexity. At 7.5% ABV, you wouldn’t want to drink this one before your jai alai match. Softball game? On a sunny afternoon? Definitely.

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