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Thursday, October 11th 2012

Jai Alai IPA
(Cigar City Brewing Company)

It is truly an honor to be able to crack open a can of Jai Alai IPA that was canned less than a week ago. Thanks a ton to Geiger Powell down at Tampa's Cigar City Brewing Company - who also happens to be the talented artist behind the artwork that graces many of Cigar City's bottles and cans. Jai Alai IPA is the first of the brewery's beers to be canned with their Maduro Brown and Hotter than Helles Lager soon to follow. Having had this beer in bottles and on tap - as well as their Cedar-Aged version in their "Humidor Series" - I'm certainly excited to see how well this heavenly hopped brew has held up in its new aluminum packaging. Cheers! 

From the Cigar City site:

"Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with Beef Empanadas, Deviled Crabs and other spicy dishes."



The first batch of Jai Alai IPA cans make their way down the line...


Here we go...

 

Pour - darker honey color in appearance, clean and clear with nice carbonation leaving a thick, rich, white head.  Some clingy lacing sticks around as things settle.


Aroma - big whiffs of pine needles, freshly cut grass, pineapple, sweet citrus aromas and some other tropical fruit notes. Very aromatic, this screams green and sticky. 


Taste - that first sip brings about a mouthful of big, juicy hop flavors. Loads of tropical fruit notes like pineapples and mangos. This is followed by a bitter hop kick with some citrus flavors. Balanced with a nice malty sweetness that plays well with the hop profile producing a lot of those sweeter tropical flavors. 

 

Overall - such a great IPA - and now available in a can! It is sort of scary how easy drinking this is at 7.5%. Where did those 12 ounces go? Jeez. If you've yet to try this world class IPA you'll need to make some friends down in Florida or make a road trip to Tampa - actually just fly into Tampa's airport as they've got a brewpub their too! These guys make amazing beer - seriously.

 


Note - there used to be a number of Jai Alai "frontons" in the US. Many have closed in recent years. The first "fronton" opened in the US was in St. Louis and operated in the early 1900s. The fasted recorded speed of a Jai Alai ball, known as a pelota, was recorded at Newport Jai Alai in Rhode Island. The speed was clocked at 188 miles per hour. The Jai Alai fonton that operated in Tampa closed in the early 90s. Only seven Jai Alai fontons are still in operation in the US - six of them are in Florida and the other is in Connecticut. You can watch a LIVE feed of the Jai Alai Fonton in Connecticut HERE. Very cool.



Jai Alai 101



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
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Jai Alai IPA
Style: American IPA
Brewery: Cigar City Brewing Company
City: 
Tampa, Florida  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 70
Date: October 11th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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