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Red Racer Imperial IPA - Central City Brewing

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Red Racer Imperial IPA
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

134 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 35
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Central City Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: astout on 09-26-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 50
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed 12 oz. on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. What a great place, truly. Arrived in a stemmed glass, a dark reddish amber color like strong herbal tea with around an inch of beige foam. High, high expectations going in, as this brew's little brother Red Racer IPA is one of the best hoppy craft beers in Canada (my opinion of course ... I think I can back it up). Red Racer smells very floral and piney, and this beefed-up take follows suit nicely. What are really striking though, on both nose and palate, are the heady tropical fruit notes. I get a shit ton of lychee, mango, and papaya, along with some classic American hop gooseberry "funk" and orange breakfast crystals. Mellow pine resin, peach, pineapple, salt water taffy, bergamot orange like Earl Grey tea, tobacco flower, fruit roll-up ... All kinds of layers here. Many of these elements can be traced to Citra hops, applied with a lavish hand. Some orange peel flavor adds citric character but in all honesty this is one of the more perfumed and tropical DIPAs I've had, with these components trumping the citrus and pine. The malts take a back seat to the hops but do provide some light toast and caramel flavors, just to remind you that this does indeed contain barley. As the tongue acclimatizes to the fruit flavors, more molasses and pine come through and a pleasant lingering bitterness emerges, almost medicinal like gin. Fairly fizzy but this somehow works, syrupy but smooth. Awesome and nearly beyond reproach. Maybe some will want more pine. This one is juicy and the booze is almost perfectly obfuscated. It is as if someone took Red Racer, kept much of the aggression, but rounded off some of the corners and layered on more tropical fruit.

Photo of chickenm
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Central City brewpub. Pours a deep copper orange color with a nice fluffy white head. Big aroma of citrus and pine, and just a touch of malty sweetness. Great taste, a big hit of orange rind, pine, and grapefruit; quite bitter but incredibly balanced. The mouthfeel is great too, this has a thick body with carbonation that is spot on. Insanely drinkable, the alcohol is barely noticeable. All in all, it's an exceptional beer!

Photo of biboergosum
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, rebranded for the time being to benefit autism research, with 5 dollars per bottle going to said cause. The label's imagery sort of suggests that this beer is the 'missing piece(s) of the puzzle'.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and fairly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some nice gnarly, Sleepy Hollow forest lace around the glass as things progress southwards.

It smells of acrid pine needles, bitter grapefruit and orange rind, sugary, toffee-like caramel malt, and more floral hops, that when combined with the lurking alcohol, get rather perfumed in nature. The taste is more big citrus peel extract and pine resin astringency, a bready caramel malt infused with brown sugar and tropical fruit - pineapple, lychee, and papaya come to mind - all further tempered by a soft field honey sweetness, and burgeoning alcohol warmth.

The carbonation is more or less subdued, but not quite inert, the body a sticky, at times syrupy, and decidedly hefty medium-full weight, with a quivering smoothness that the tacky hops have the temerity to poke at. It finishes on the sweet side, as the bitter side of the hops collapses under the barrage of pudding-worthy malt and across the board fruitiness.

A proper big brother simulacrum to the more famous Red Racer IPA, this offering duly amps everything up, all without losing the subtly and complexity that makes little bro so universally adored. Add in the closer to the heart charity work going on here, and there is certainly now no other reason to avoid buying, nay, stocking up on this one, eh?

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange body with sticky white head, and its Lacy. Smells great. This is a bit similar to the regular Red Racer with a lot more hops, fresh and very high and good bitterness from C-hops. A West Coast IPA but without a melange of hops just for bitterness. Malted down, but its spot on the style because of in-face bitterness.Above-average mouthfeel.
Growler from Brad.
Much better than the Autism bottle I had 2.3 years later, which was still good.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap @ the brewery

Nice looking beer - bright clear amber with a health bit of head. A very well crafted and balanced DIPA that would likely draw a lot of criticism from American hop-dorks as this one doesn't bash you over the head with hops. Pine is fairly pronounced, caramel malt balance, some candied citrus. I enjoyed, but I think I prefer the Red Racer IPA more.

Photo of H1N1
4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours golden amber with a finger and a half of fluffy head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Big pine and citrus hopes. I can tell right away that this beer is gonna be good. It reeks of quality. A pleasant amount of balancing malt. VERY well balanced. Excellent start!

T- HUGE taste! The hops jump out and kick my tastebuds right in the neck! Citrus and the trademark Red Racer IPA strong pine. Grapefruit comes bursting through the pine. The alcohol is so well blended in this beer also! It's there just enough to enhance the beer. Not overpowering at all. For 9%, it's impressive.

M- Full bodied for the style. Ithe big body suits this big IIPA. Pretty much perfect carbonation, which accentuates the hop bitterness.

O- Unreal! When I asked the bartender for a growler fill, he looked excited. I asked "How is it?" He pretty much ran to the tap to get me a taster glass of it. "Just try it" he said. But what I got from the way he said it was "Hold onto your socks!" When I tasted it, I understood. It was a huge beer with a huge taste. The best thing I've ever tasted to come out of Canada!

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at a fairly recent 'tap takeover' by Central city at Beer Revolution in Calgary (from notes taken at the pub)
A - Very hazy orange, thumb of head, plenty of lacing
S - Plenty of citrus, some earthiness and a biscuity malt support
T - Lemon citrus, resin earthiness with some perfume, nice caramel malt support ads a nice sweet-bitter balance and a woody note to finish
M - Semi creamy, with a medium dry and bitter
O - big fan of the IPA, and their DIPA lives up to and surpases its bretheren, hop heads only need apply

Photo of Rutager
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time available in bottles, came out last week. Labeled "Central City Imperial IPA", 9.5% Alc./Vol.

Appearance. Pours a clear gold-amber with a finger+ of thick off-white head that fades fairly quickly, but leaves some beautiful lace.

Smell. Huge citrus fruits; ripe red grapefruit, bitter yellow grapefruit and oranges, chopped up complete with rinds. Plenty of pine and some cedar in there too with sweet caramel and nice toasty malts.

Taste. Big juicy citrus fruits, mango, peach and then comes the pine, waves of bitter pine sap and oily citrus rinds. Some sweet caramel malt in the middle there, but this is all about the hops and I love it. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Just below full body with low+ smooth carbonation.

Overall. A beautiful big sipper of an IPA. Loved this on tap for years, love it in a bottle.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy amber/orangey color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of citrus hops with quite of bit of residual sugars. Taste is also a good mix between some citrus hops with light piney notes and some residual sugars with a solid malt backbone and some toffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nice hops-heavy IIPA thought a bit too much residual sugar in the background for my taste.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Rutager for this fresh bottle. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Translucent medium orange/amber colour. Half a finger of off-white head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Citrus and pine hop aromas up front with a fairly prominent malt sweetness adding balance and caramel aromas.

T - A big bitterness up front. Pine and some citrus and herbal flavours. The hop flavours don't come through as much as I would like but they are defintiely there. A huge sweet caramel malt backbone dominates and somewhat drowns out the hop profile.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - This one didn't live up to the hype for me. I don't prefer balanced DIPA, which this definitely was. But even in terms of balanced DIPAs, this one lacked the nice citrus hop punch that I like. Still happy to try this one.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks for this one, went over quite well with the group, reviewed from notes.

pour was very nice with a rich light golden amber. Smooth and very cloudy, this thing looked like it was about to kick my ass, and as I was about to find out, it was defintley going to. Lots of ripe grapefruit and pineapple hops that just tore through the air as soon as I leaned in to it. Huge notes of hops dominated the entire flavor as well. Sharp flavor here as the resin like hops took all the moisture out of my mouth and left me parched, dry and looking for more. One of the best finishes I have had in a big IPA in a very, very long time. I would love to try this one again and will defitely be on the lookout to try it again.

Photo of StephenRich
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brad for showing up at a northyorksammy tasting with a growler of this stuff. MMMmmm no such thing as too much good beer! So, you gotta love a big imperial IPA, how cant you? Thing is, there are sooo mannny bad DIPAs out there, as well as a ton of great ones. So you never know what you are going to get. I've had the Regular Red Racer though, and it has always made me smile, so I had high hopes for this big boy version.

Poured thick and brashly building a amber and oak coloured beer with a thick opaque head. The beer was slightly murky with distinct burnt copper colour - I like! I looked big and bold, but raw and real at the same time. The nose was very nice, but not as unique or defined as I like. It was big and earthy with a punch of bitterness and hoppy must, but came off more bitter than aroma. I had a hard time trying to pinpoint the aromas, I got a waft of west coasty cascade, but not as fresh and citrusy as I prefer. They were nonetheless potent.

The first sip kind of eased my concerns in a way. I got a bigger, more distinct hop punch that added rich earth, funky citrus, must (again), earth (again) and that slightly piny character I am used to from Simcoe hops. The malt was pretty thick bringing caramel and slightly darkened brown sugar along to balance out the hops. I tired to dig in for more malt, but the bitterness is pretty bold, and overpowers the beer (appropriately so). Still, it left me looking for something, not sure what. I am sure than I like this beer, but I am also sure that I don't love it. I will look forward to trying it again.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle leftover from CBAs this year, shared thanks to a generous BA.

Pours a rich orange with hints of amber, not a lot of head but it leaves a little sticky lacing.

This is a terrifically balanced DIPA with lots of heft in the malt and loads of hops. Pithy grapefruit and orange rind, lemon, pine, just a hint of tropical fruits. Sticky caramel malt, some toast and a hint of minerally dryness. Moderate to heavy bitterness with a pleasing long finish, alcohol just peeks a bit but it's so smooth. Sticky, thick mouthfeel which balances the blast of bitterness. This DIPA is just plain awesome.

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes accumulated since the birth of Zoe.

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle, no mention of Red Racer on it.

Appearance: A nice copper body with a huge head (lopsided) and it very slowly recedes while remaining at 2-3 fingers. Spotted lacing and a fat ring on the glass.

Smell: Fresh grapefruit, a bit on the sugary side and some cedar plank as well.

Taste: Intense right off the bat. Hops charge right through. Sweet touch of brown sugar, lots of cedar, some grapefruit, caramel, green hops felt in aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Insanely balanced yet the bitterness makes itself known. Starts medium-bodied but fills mouth and is very drinkable.

Overall: Not over the top and a tad sweet but certainly a worthy DIPA.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear deep amber with about 1-2 fingers of head which dissipates to a lacy trim around the glass.

S: Scent of caramelized grapefruit rind together with floral notes. A mix of fresh pine needles and resin round out the scent.

T: Hoppy bitterness pops in the front followed with the acrid pairing of grapefruit rind and fresh pine which adds a touch of earthiness. The alcohol is nearly undetectable. Malts and hints of vanilla are present which adds a good balance to the hops. Aftertaste of smooth grapefruit rind.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a somewhat syrupy coating.

O: This is a hop forward IPA but has a well rounded finish. It is dangerously drinkable given it is 9.5%. Definitely worth searching for.

Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bottle from the Orleans LCBO for $9.50 ($5 towards charity according to the bottle)

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5-6 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and hops. There is also some grapefruit/pineapple fruity notes and a bit of a booziness. It ends with a quite bitter hoppy sweet aftertaste.

Overall – It tastes like a beefed up version of their IPA.. which it should. A very good beer that is pretty drinkable given the high ABV. It's probably the best beer I've had from this brewer.

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Rutager, cheers man! 650ml into a tulip.

Filtered orange body, offwhite head. Light film and a thick collar. Lots of malt in the nose, some biscuit. Hops are a little muted, but are mostly tropical in nature. Perhaps a bit of earthy/herbal as well. Taste is underwhelming to say the least, malty with a bitter citrus finish. Some orange and citrus wood cleaner, clementines and citrus zest. Sweet malty body, and almost comes across as a thinner American barleywine. Light booziness and medium low carbonation. Not really to my liking in any regard for the style - too malty and the hops aren't prominent enough.

Photo of SebD
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice clear orange/amber color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, grapefruit, piney resins and sweet caramelly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some nice citrus notes, grapefruit, alot of piney resins and sweet toasty/caramelly malts. Very nice lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger off-white head that slowly fades leaving a very good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Pine hop nose and flavor is nice balance of pine hops and sweet fruit, higher ABV is hidden. Decent IIPA. $10.20 for a 22oz bottle from a Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, ME. Bottle label is Red Betty IIPA but the ABV is still 9.0% so I think this is the same as Red Racer IIPA.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a bottle labeled as "Imperial IPA for Autism," poured the beer into a true pint. The beer is a ruby-copper coloring, slightly hazed, with a filmy, sparse, surface coat of off-white head. Aromas of roasted caramel and toffee sweetness, with grapefruit tart and sweet, pine resin, and a floral highlight. Smells rich and robust. Flavors are malt forward, with a biscuit and butterscotch blast on the forward tongue, mango and pineapple fruit sweetness, and a pepper and basil spicing. Resiny hops presence at the mid-tongue, but overpowered by the fruit blend and malty backbone. Malt bomb in this glass...to the point of being unbalanced. The body is smooth and slick, supporting the flavors well. The aftertaste is cloying sweet of fruit and caramel, with the hops profile once again being outgunned. The finish is slick, with a sweet linger. This one started out strong, but spiraled a bit out of control/balance as it went along. At least the purchase was for a good cause...

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 11.27.13

A - Pours a clear, very dark orange with a large tan head with great retenion.

S - Very hoppy pine and citrus. Some bready malt also.

T - Tropical fruits, melon, floral.

D - Medium body with a good carbonation, sweet finish.

O - Solid and very hoppy, some sweet malts balance out the finish.

Photo of Derek
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First round of bottles, 9.5%. I've had it before but didn't feel it lived up to the hype... but I'll finally review it.

A: Deep gold with a white head, thin ring of retention leaves some nice lace.

S: Sponge toffee, pine, candied pineapple, apricot, papaya and mango. Not huge hoppy nose for a DIPA, but it's nice.

T: Plenty of dried mango, papaya and pineapple, some sponge toffee, good bitterness to back it up, plenty of piny resin on the finish. It certainly doesn't come across as 90 IBU or 9.5% abv.

M: Light residual sweetness has a slight hop acidity and drying alcohol finish.

O: Really balanced and drinkable for its weight. A well-crafted brew, and not a palate bruiser. I'd say this is more of a blonde barley wine than DIPA... but what do I know?

Another huge thanks to Rutager!

Photo of dar482
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

The beer comes in a rich red amber.

The aroma has big sweetness, resinous pine with a hint of citrus.

The flavor hits of a big sugary sweetness that sticks on the lips, but not too heavy of malt. Lots of spicy hops and resinous pine. Hints of citrus and grapefruit.

A big sweet and sticky DIPA, if that is for you.

Photo of LazyL
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, get a pint while you still can!

Bright orange with red tinge, and crystal clear. Small white head with reasonable rentention.
Very appealing pine and grapefruit nose that begs you to have a sip as your mouth curls into a slight smile.
The bitterness is very mild and fades to a sweetness, then nice toffee malt flavours before returning to a nice hoppy bitterness.
Feels a bit chewy, so there is nice body here. You would not know this was more than a 6% IPA except for the bolder boozy sweetness that comes and goes. Lots of layers of flavour here and it goes down oh so easily.
This is a fantastic brew and I am both happy and proud that it is local.

Photo of jrenihan
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the LCBO, labelled as Imperial IPA for Autism ($5 from every bottle goes to autism research). I don't see a date. It just went on shelves on the LCBO, so hopefully it is fresh, but you can never tell!

Beer is clear and amber in colour with shades of maroon. A good-sized off-white head. Pretty good retention.

Smell contains caramel, pine, grapefruit. More malt heavy than expected but a nice big scent.

The smell is a good indicator of what follows flavour-wise, but with a bit more hop dominance. Lots of juicy citrus, a dose of pine and a big caramel backbone. Bitter, but there is some sweetness from the malt. Very good.

Full bodied, quite oily, moderate to high carbonation level. Booze is more prominent than expected.

Overall, a very good DIPA. Very happy this (somehow?) made it to the LCBO, as I didn't expect to get to try it without a big dose of luck and travel.

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Red Racer Imperial IPA from Central City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.