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Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter) - Central City Brewing

Not Rated.
Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter)Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 26
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Central City Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The use of crystal malt lends to this beer’s flavour and colour profile. Packed with hops from the North West and United Kingdom this is our original take on the classic English bitter.

(Beer added by: canucklehead on 10-13-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EskimoDave
5/5  rDev +22.9%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of maplesyrup76
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

maplesyrup76, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of stagger
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Alibi Room, as part of a three-round face-off between a number of different draft selections there.

In three rounds of four beers each, the ESB clearly came out on top, ahead of perennial favourites such as Red Racer IPA and Driftwood Farmhand. A well-rounded, extraordinarily favourful and balanced bitter, equally suited for savouring and sessioning. As fine as their IPA is, it pales (no pun intended) in comparison to the ESB.

If they can get this into bottles (correction: cans, I suppose) I'd drive across the border regularly to get my fix. Well done, Central City!

stagger, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Idrankthat
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Idrankthat, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of beerhaver
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

beerhaver, May 08, 2012
Photo of sclitch
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

sclitch, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of fizzyted
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

fizzyted, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of lgmol
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

lgmol, May 30, 2014
Photo of rogerdandy
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

rogerdandy, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of DerekM
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

DerekM, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of jrempel
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

jrempel, May 10, 2013
Photo of Tivlavrie
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Tivlavrie, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of IllNate
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich copper colour. Finger of off white heat, decent retention. Subsides to web/lacing.

S - Great aroma on this. Rich English pale malt aroma mixed with a fairly prominent hop component. Citrus and herbal hops.

T - Taste follows with an excellent rich maltiness with good balancing hops (mostly citrus). Might be just a tad on the bitter side for an ESB (otherwise a solid 5).

M - Creamy and smooth with a good amount of bitterness.

D - Wonderfully balanced, really a great beer all around.

IllNate, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of Seanstoppable
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring into a glass results in a hazy darker amber. Somewhere between a regular amber and caramel. Plenty of fluffy white head that leaves lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is hoppier than a regular ESB, but oh so good. Hops are a bit piney in nature.

Taste is awesome. Plenty of piney flavor from the hops, with some nice smooth malty background. A decent core bitterness throughout the entire drink. Technically off balance for an ESB, with the hops being more dominant than the malts, but many is it tasty!

I won't lie, while this was available locally, I bought a six pack whenever I stopped by where it was being sold. My favorite Red Racer beer overall.

Seanstoppable, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Long813
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From: Premier Wine & Spirits
Dated: NA

A: Hazy orange body with two fingers of off white head. Retention is fine and leaves nice lacing.

S: Nice mix of citrus malts and bread. Nothing off the typical ESB

T: Fair in malt content, has a notable spice to it and a load of hops. Very pleasing.

M: Light bodied with high carbonation making for a frothy mouthfeel. Very bitter and dry finish.

D: A tasty ESB, not as malt forward as English styles.

Long813, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of papat444
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a mixed pack that my uncle brought for me when visiting.

Poured from a 355ml. can, canned Nov. 1, 2011 (Lot K0111).

Appearance: A brass colored body with 3 fingers of foam, a bit lopsided and with good lacing.

Smell: Biscuity, malty, hops and ripe fruit.

Taste: Only a few drops on my tongue and i taste immediately orange & grapefruit. Further tasting reveals the plush fruit mixed with some earthiness. Quite flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Gritty just a tad, solid with just the right amount of dryness & bitterness.

Overall: A well balanced ESB that exemplifies the style. One of the best of its class.

papat444, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of chickenm
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Central City brewpub. Pours a clear copper color with a medium white head. Aroma of citrusy hops and caramel malt. The flavor is fairly hoppy, but nicely balanced with the malt. Medium-light body with good carbonation, and a mild bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable, this makes a great session beer.

chickenm, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml can poured into pint glass jan3 2010

A clear reddish copper with some slowly raising bubbles feeding a thumbs width of beige head that slowly falls to a thin film leaving a few patches of lace

S some citric hops with some caramel, bread and faint pine

T again lots of hops but plenty of malt to go with it, slightly metallic with some toffee, good balance with this brew quite enjoyable

M full for the color and enough carbonation to give it some life

D very easy to drink and a well rounded beer, no complaints in any area

not what I was expecting after reading they use UK hops on the can tastes like high alpha acid hops too me (maybe I need to research this topic) this just seems like a toned down version of their IPA and that works just fine for this hop head

wordemupg, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of djoprahwinfrey
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A : a dark amber pour with 1/2 finger of white head which dissipated rather quickly leaving a thin lace

S : lots of hops, fresh pine, some mango, quite floral

T : very nice, potent pine and hops, caramel malts, some orange/grapefruit citrus, a slight bitter finish

M : big body, higher carbonation, creamy and crisp

O : very tasty beer! this has a similar character to the red racer IPA but this seems more relaxed flavor/aroma wise, perhaps better balanced or 'better refined'. i would have a really hard time choosing one over the other as both are excellent!

djoprahwinfrey, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - clear bronze, tall soapy off white head, some sticky lacing
S - strong herbal and citrus aroma, bready and peppery
T - herbal hops and bready malt up front, quickly moves to spicy lemon zest hop notes and rich nutty malt
M - strong carbonation, thin and a very tart bitter finish
D - strong hop flavour with plenty of malt balance, carbonated for easy drinking

joemcgrath27, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of TCgoalie
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having the IPA, this ESB confirms that Central City is a really good brewery.

Pours a peach color with a decent head. The lacing is very good.

Smells of peach, pine, and orange make an inviting statement for this brew.

The solid bitterness consists of pine and orange creating a nice backing to this brew. Some additional tastes of peach and grapefruit round out the taste.

The mouthfeel is full with a lot of carbonation. Some stickiness comes through at the end rounding out a delicious drink.

This is an excellent beer in which a serious beer drinker could have several of. Central City is turning out to be one of the best Canadian breweries in the great north.

TCgoalie, May 13, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my kind of Christmas Eve! I am watching the Rams/Stillers game on TV and thanks to my CANadian trading partner, BigBry, I have a new CAN of CANadian beer to add to The CANQuest (TM), plus it marks the return of my old buddy, Red Racy! Frequent readers of my salacious reviews CAN tell you that I am unabashed in terms of my redhead fetish and the boys in Surrey, B.C., CANada seem to be catering to me. Ride on, Red Racy and happy holidays to you, doll!

From the CAN: "The use of Crystal malts lends Central City's Extra Special Bitter its flavour and colour profile. Tempered with hops from the United Kingdom, this English bitter is an appetizer on its own, or a great accompaniment for any hearty dishes. 'Cheers!"

I had an exciting Crack & Glug as I was overanxious to see Red Racy and I nearly had an overflow as the head rushed up in the glass. The tawny head was the stuff of which dreams are made - three (!)-plus fingers topped by peaks resembling the top of a meringue pie or whipped cream atop an ice cream sundae with excellent retention. Red Racy never disappoints! Color was a deep-orangish copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a welcome piney bitterness, very appropriate for a home sans tree. The lacing that began to appear was going to require a jackhammer to remove. Mouthfeel was medium and the coolness of the hops was intense at first, but nicely balanced out by the presence of a malty sweetness. The finish was quite dry, breathtaking, literally, thanks to the intensity of the hops. Oh, Red Racy, I love you! Thank you for riding by on Christmas Eve 2011 and I look forward to more run-ins next year.

woodychandler, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of nighthawk
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355mL can with possible date code stamped on bottom of can.

Pours a nicely clear orange-y amber with a ton of visible carbonation feeding a firm, just-barely-off-white head. Good retention and nice lacing left down the glass.

Aroma has nice tropical and citrus fruits, much like their IPA, but turned down a notch or two, and tempered by some caramel and biscuity malts.

Going from the aroma, I was worried this might be just a milder, slightly bready version of their tasty ipa. There's some nice complexity here instead; yes those beautifully fruity hops are there in spades, but throughout there can be tasted a nice caramel and biscuit malt backbone, complementing the citrus hops with some fruity esters. Great balance of the sweet, but never cloying crystal malt and the bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, with a nice little kick of carbonation to give a bit of verve to the finish.

Great balance makes for a wonderfully drinkable brew, I'd really enjoy having several of these in an evening.

nighthawk, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

FadetoBock, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of mremoquillo
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

mremoquillo, Mar 25, 2014
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Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter) from Central City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.