Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beer Review: Jai Alai IPA

Reviewing the Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida. 
Score: 84

Bottle is from the 238th day of 2012 (08/26/12), won in a fantasy baseball BIF. Served in a Founders tulip glass and enjoyed on 10/15/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color with a light flurry of finely ground floaties at the bottom. Three full fingers of foamy tan head at pour settles to a thick ring around the glass and big clumpy island of head in the middle surrounded by a moat of beer. Good lacing, retention and legs. 3.5/5

Smell: Tons of grapefruit and orange upfront. On the "back end" of the aroma is a slightly syrupy pineapple juice aroma -- you know, the cheap kind you make those store-bought frozen "just add juice" Jamba Juice smoothies with? That smell. Sweet caramel and pine too. The nose is surprisingly "syrupy sweet" for an IPA. 3.5/5

Taste: Tons of bitter caramel and pineapple flavor present here. The pineapple flavor tastes just like it smells and lingers after the swallow. There's a touch of orange too, but it's mostly caramel and pineapple flavor here -- though it's not what I would call a "malty" beer. There is a nice and smooth bittersweet balance that lends this beer a lot of drinkability. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, low carbonation. Very oily and juicy. Bittersweet. 3.5/5

Overall: Solid, but nothing spectacular. I imagine this one is better fresher. Oh well.

Recommendation: I'd order it on tap, but I would not seek it out again. Would make a good starter IPA for more casual beer drinkers given it's balanced flavors, not in-your-face hoppiness and smooth drinkability.

Pairings: Pretzels and cheese dip.

Cost: $12 for a six pack.

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