Review: Cigar City Brewing | Jai Alai IPA

Getting intoxicated on a cruise ship with the intention of going on a “vision quest” is not necessarily a decision made in the best of judgment. Quite often, this results in one of two scenarios. Let’s say you are on a trip with your family to visit your grandfather who turns 80 in two days. You and your maternal kin are trapped at sea on a floating firmament of a dying fragment of escapist Americana of the most decadent kind. At least, there’s a ton of booze on credit. You feel that the Hemingway lifestyle is at your fingertips, and suddenly the aggravatingly indulgent pathos of The Sun Also Rises suddenly makes sense as you sip your third margarita at 10 am staring into the wide, blue, empty, passionless, void of the Atlantic. You shut out the world through your headphones.
Alas, Florida is your destination, and cruel reality asserts itself like sales staff at a floundering Men’s Wearhouse desperately praising your tastes in Joseph Abboud and paisley ties. You won’t leave without at least a pair of Florsheims.
Bet your ass on it.
The dance floor calls for you.
You’ve had two Rockstar energy drinks and Gray Geese. It ain’t no Red Bull an’ vocka, but it’s what you need
What you need
What you need
The smoke is heavy.
You’re sick
You’re sad
You’re bored and impulsive.
You’re in a dance circle,
Flailing for your life.
How did you get here?
Why are you seducing the woman 19 years your senior?
Where, honestly, are you going to bring her where she hasn’t been already?
Who the fuck do you think you are?
The sun bleeds against the blanket of the Mexican gulf, over easy, its yolk yearning to break, yearning to burn.
The sun melts into the water, fizzling, sizzling. It smolders slowly, like the ash upon wind of an eight-year-old’s breath, blowing steadily upon the ambers of a summer night’s bonfire.

You’ll have to excuse me; my dear friend Derek got me this beer. I got smashed, and spilled a little–

Rookie mistake–

I once incinerated a frog while playing, poking it with a stick.

It hopped in the fire—I hooked it, shook it into the bay,

–It’s been a while

where it burst to dust upon the water.

Happy Summer, everybody.

A hiatus is defined as a pause within a process. From the Latin …hiatus… It refers to an opening in a material object, a rupture.

I wrapped my hands upon the Jai Alai, and haitussed the fuck out of it.

Cigar City Brewing, out of Tampa Bay, offers this—Jai Alai IPA—as a flagship brew, a true representative of their talent and artistic prowess.
…and it ain’t bad.
Florida, a state known for its lax approach to adult entertainment, overbearing senior living communities, and pythons, offers a gem not available in the cold, boring north of New England.
Jai Alai is an IPA, but it’s more than that.
It’s a deadly sport originating in Basque Spain, played with a large, rubber bullet
Three walls
Baskets for guns
And a live studio audience.

Imagine a renegade,
Hunger games
Squash tournament

I’ll tell you, the beer kinda
Sorta?
Lives up to its namesake.
Jai Alai is Cigar City Brewing.
I finally grabbed one, and… well… It was, sort of tolerable.
Having heard the hype, the nationwide hype, I realized, I cannot use Heady Topper and Society and Solitude as benchmarks for good brews.
It is, however, so very hard not to.

Crawling in at 7.5 ABV, Jai Alai is an American IPA.

Jai Alai is a lot like Mott’s apple juice is appearance. It has the same color, a thin, soapy, moderate head, with some floating particulates. Perhaps, they are some hop residues of some sort… or yeast, maybe? Nearly transparent in nature, it also produces some superb lacing on the glass.
The aroma matches the appearance—apple juice, like momma used to buy, mixed with orange juice concentrate. There’s an obscene amount of tropical fruits. God damned if it doesn’t remind me of autumn, a slight pumpkin spice is on the nose… like some nutmeg… there’s also a Del Monte pear and peach medley going on here. It’s reminiscent of some strong fruit cocktail shit. Big old heavy malt pounds your nostrils. It pounds more than I expected.
Taking a sip, I get some mad apple, mandarin orange, honey, and some bright, floral hops. There’s some stupid heavy sweetness. I suppose there’s a satisfactory balance of bitter hops akin to marmalade… like a marmalade spread on some Jewish rye. There’s a hint of caraway in there… actually, it’s more than a hint. Fat, obese, heavy caraway flavors slightly bordering on anise dominate the middle of the mouth like a cruel mistress. The rye bread aspect is heavy, real heavy. It’s very malty. On the back end, I get some peach and tropical fruits—citrus, kumquat. All in all, it’s a malt heavy IPA.
It’s sticky, almost cloying, with a bittersweet finish. It lingers quite a bit. I wouldn’t say it’s a beer you can drink quickly, or want to, for that matter. It’s slightly dry. From a textural perspective, it’s not the best, but it’ll do.

When you’re out at sea, what are you going to believe in?
When you’re out at sea, when will you finally settle?
When you’re in New England, who gives a fuck?
Just shut up, and drink your Jai Alai.
You literally had to go out of your way to get this beer.

Ugh, go eat a seat cushion, you bitchy freak.

Malt Fiction sucks.

*7.9 out of 10*

 

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