Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
Of the southern breweries unavailable in Cleveland, Tampa Bay’s Cigar City is one of the most intriguing. Founded only a few years ago, this craft brewer is a rarity in a state where frozen drinks are king. And CCB wasted no time however getting the beer world buzzing.
In addition to creating exciting new brews like their recent Imperial Milk Porter that was aged in whiskey barrels, CCB has partnered with the Bruery on a collaboration Belgian ale, and started two innovative series. One of these began by tapping into the Ybor City cigar rolling history. This upstart created a limited line of beers aged in cedar known as the Humidor Series. One of the first to get this treatment was their regular IPA, the Jai Alai IPA. For our first Cigar City tasting we decided to hold off on the fancy wood-aged stuff and try the regular, available year round version of the Jai Alai IPA to give us a taste of what CCB is starting with. On a recent trip down south we decided to pick up the Cigar City Jai Alai IPA to see what the Google+ like excitement was all about.
Made with 6 different hops, this is an American styled India Pale Ale without question. The hops are huge and the alcohol by volume at 7.5% is much higher than most AIPAs. The malt load is sticking closer with tradition however. A small brewer shooting for world-class greatness in craft beer fans favorite style. Did they achieve it?
Steve’s Take: Big white head gives way easily. Bouquet is a blast of citrus and herbs. Taste is a wonderful delight of ….hops and a balance of sweet almost bready malts. Finish is a biting. A hop lovers delight.
Dave’s Take: Tropical fruit/grapefruit hops. Nice balance. Good drinkability and mouthfeel. A solid IPA.