India Pale Ale
Origin: Tampa, FL
Style: India Pale Ale
Joey Redner decided that Tampa, Florida needed more tasty hand-crafted beer, and in 2007 he started in on the job. Joining forces with Brewmaster Wayne Wambles, Cigar City Brewing bottled its first brew in the first days of January 2009. Starting with Maduro Brown Ale, CCB has put in the time to make 8 permanent beers appear on the slate, along with a handful of seasonals. Cigar City Brewing has great respect and affinity for the Spanish game of Jai Alai. Brought to the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century, it has enjoyed cycles of popularity. But the Jai Alai IPA will stay popular as long as beer drinkers can crack it open and enjoy. The Jai Alai IPA combines six different varieties of hops to build a beer with powerful floral and herbal character and a serious kick at 7.5% ABV. Serves well at 8°C and should be cracked soonish.
Pours a deep honey colour with slightly hazy body and medium carbonation. A thin ring of off-white foam will form on the head, clinging to the glass, but only a thin ring.
The combination of hops borders on riotous, with a few aromas competing to box the others out. The floral character of the hops tends to get in front, but a green, leafy aroma clings around the edge.
The Jai Alai is mostly a hop ride, with little of the malt coming through - it borders on tasting like a drier rice-beer style as a result. The hops are interesting, trading places and doing a bit of a dance. The floral is weaker on the palate than on the nose, with the green and earthy flavours taking the lead. Focus is needed to pick out the interesting flavours among the more bitter notes.
Bitter and with a lot going on - land on some spicy but keep it simple.