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Red Racer Imperial IPA - Central City Brewers + Distillers

Not Rated.
Red Racer Imperial IPARed Racer Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

52 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 147
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.57%
Wants: 36
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 147
Photo of H1N1
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
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! (1,097 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was going to ask for a second helping of the IPA, but the bartender at Central City Brewing told me that a Double IPA was on-tap at the moment. "Do you need to taste it?", asked the bartender. Me: "No, I'm confident I'll like it". So I got my 10 ounce helping for $5, and, well, on to the beer:

It's a dark orange amber color, but it looks like it's glowing. The lacing left in the glass is good, and so is the head retention. The nose is absolutely awesome! Tropical and citrus fruit everywhere: mangoes, tangerines, yet all balanced and potent.

Even more goodness arrives in the mouth. Here they come in generous doses; mangoes, citrus, caramel, pineapple, all being carefully balance, and all while the 9% ABV is buried like a treasure map. With the medium body and extremely smooth feel, this Double IPA is stupidly easy to drink! So stupidly, that I asked for another helping of this gem.

Stunning, simply stunning! I had no idea what I'd get out of Central City Double IPA, and then this beer shocks the heck out of me. A beer that puts me on my knees. A beer that knocks YuleSmith and Péché Mortel off my personal list for highest beer score. And a beer that needs to be canned, or at least shipped out of the brewery in kegs to other bars across greater Vancouver. (1,280 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at Beer Revolution 12/5/12

A hazy dark copper with just a few bubbles that look like their struggling to make their way to the top through the thick liquid, just a thin film for head with just a random patch of lace

S now were talking, massive nose of grapefruit, pine and spruce, there's some candied pineapple and tangerine everything is very strong except for the booze and I could smell this before the server put it down on the table

T heavy pine resin and grapefruit rind with just a little toffee I didn't smell, just a little booze but still nowhere near the 9%, a small step back from the smell but still near perfection

M thick with more bubbles then what was visible giving it a slightly creamy feel. Bitter? umm... ya enamel stripping shit going on here turning your mouth inside-out and leaving a fair bit of grit behind, close to sandpaper and I love it. A massive aftertaste like your chewing on pine needles and grapefruit rind, no heat going down and even my burp taste great

O what an awesome DIPA going on here, this is what I want in the style and this on will hurt you if your silly like me and slam a few of them back in a short time. I have little too complain about and lots too praise, what a kick ass beer

If this was canned like their IPA it would be near the top of our counties top 100. This is what a West Coast DIPA should be and I'm stoked to try it on tap in Calgary, nice work hoser and Beer Revolution for getting to my lips. (1,475 characters)

Photo of durrrr
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap this week at Central City Brewpub.

I heard this was one of the best beers in British Columbia and it didn't disappoint. The appearance is a rich deep orange with some haziness. Smell is very hop forward and crisp with grapefruit, citrus and pine. Loads of hops as you take a sip. Great carbonation level, very clean and crisp with bitterness and hops from sip to finish. There is a hint of malt but is so well balanced it is hardly noticeable. Mouthfeel and finish are both fantastic. It reminds me a bit of how PTE finishes. It isn't long and lingering and doesn't leave the taste of malt or alcohol that creeps in on many DIPA's with this abv. Extremely drinkable with the alcohol very well hidden. This is a must try for those seeking the very best in DIPA. Worth the drive to Surrey if visiting Vancouver or British Columbia. (845 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of RedSunRising
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into an IPA glass. Purchased for ~$9 at B's Craft Beer Lounge in Langley, BC.

Appearance - slightly cloudy amber with a nice, thick white head. Great lacing.

Smell - Big hop smells. Citrus, pine, tropical fruits, grainy caramel/toffee. Mouth-watering.

Taste - Very juicy. Big hop flavors. Maltier than the nose hinted, with caramel toffee and sweetness coming through. Not outshining the hops, though. Tropical hop flavors dominate the palate - mango, passionfruit, pineapple, tangerine with strong pine and grapefruit also present.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full body, good carbonation

Overall - Fantastic Imperial IPA. Big and juicy, on the sweeter side. Would buy it again and actively seek it out. (727 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a palate wrecker but rather a lovely nuanced DIPA that has a lot of hops but is all about the balance and finish. Probably the classiest and most complex DIPA in BC it is a treat to see in the bottle and hopefully we will see more special releases from Central City (269 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Red Betty" Imperial IPA, 9.0%, PROD Nov 05 2013

L - hazy darker amber ale topped with a persisitent, frothy, ivory head that leaves a thick coat of lacing down the glass
S - huge waft of tropical, piny, and spicy hops fills the room; upon closer inspection, caramel, grapefruit, toasty grain, mango are also present
T - bold flavors with excellent complexity: caramel, bread, toasted grain, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, super juicy; excellent blend of flavors!
F - fuller body, creamy, finishing dry with a lingering piny, spicy finish
O - I really wanted to buy this, but was hesitant because of its $8.79 price tag. Super impressed with this phenomenal DIPA from my homeland, Canada. Glad I splurged, it was worth it! (728 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Central City Imperial IPA has a dark, concentrated orange tone but sits aglow like embers of a fire. It is perfectly clear too, despite the rich, deep colour. Its head is fine but the lacing deposited is strong and found in abundance. Frankly, the beer appears exquisite and, rare though it is for a style so strong and bitter, it actually drinks as elegantly as it looks.

The aroma isn't intense enough to call 'extravagant' considering the style is expected to smell flamboyantly, overwhelmingly hoppy. But it is majestic (and also somewhat distinct) in its own right. The combination of pine resins, pineapple juice, grapefruit soda, tangerine, lychee liqueur, wildflower honey and creamy caramel is utterly sublime. It's like reaching hop nirvana.

The beer drinks like a giant fruit cup; syrup-soaked flavours of lychee, mango, tangerine, papaya, peach and pineapple are so big and vivid they feel fleshy. I really enjoy the spotlight of more uncommonly tasted fruits as opposed to the conventional grapefruit-and-orange profile (though there are elements of those too). The flavour turns deliciously bittersweet on the finish where it blends with notes of pine, creamy caramel and wildflower honey.

Though it's commonplace (and expected) for DIPAs to taste reminiscent of fruits, few can actually emulate the sensation of drinking fruit juice in the way that this one does so remarkably. The texture is thick and pulpy, finished off by a refreshing burst of acidity. Again, I really appreciate the emphasis on tropical (as opposed to citric) fruits. This features the least conspicuous 9% alcohol and the least palpable 90 IBUs I've ever tasted.

It is my opinion that Red Racer IPA is one of the best IPAs not only in Canada, but on the entire continent - the same can be said for Central City's Imperial IPA too. It has a certain refinement and dignity that is incomparable to most DIPAs. And the fact that more than half the costs of this bottle ($5) are going to autism research makes it an even more charismatic beer. BUY IT! (2,042 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review from the first bottling of the limited edition series.

A: 1/4" cream coloured head over orange amber liquid with excellent clarity and visible carbonation.

S: Citrus mostly, with grapefruit, tangerine and pine along with the malt base coming through.

T: Pine, grapefruit, earth, lemon, grass... its all here. The hop taste is complex and it comes in waves with the first sip quite different from the finish.

M: Medium viscosity with a resiny feel and a medium level of carbonation.

O: This is a hop bomb alright, and its drinkability is good. It seems a little more earthy than I remember it, but its still a great beer nonetheless.

Edit: spoke with one of the brewers who said that more citra hops were used in this rendition of the Imperial IPA. That makes sense considering more citrus on the nose and more earthy flavours in the taste profile. (869 characters)

Photo of chickenm
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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! (441 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (737 characters)

Photo of LazyL
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stoked to finally try this one. Available now in the LCBO, labelled as Imperial IPA for Autism.

A - Pours a nice hazy dark gold colour. Good carbonation. Two finger thick beige head. A wicked wall of lace remains with a good finger of retention.

S - Big grapefruit, boozy pineapple, some pine. Really juicy citrus.

T - Really nice grapefruit and pineapple again. A little bit of boozy syrup soaked fruits. Really solid. Mango juice and some serious maltiness for balance. It's balanced, but definitely let's the hops shine.

M - Nearly chewy. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Wild pineapple, grapefruit bitterness in the finish.

O/D - One of the best of the style made in Canada. I could drink lot's of this. Avoids being boozy and packs a giant hop punch without being too aggressive. Good stuff. (802 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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 (535 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of astout
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was so stoked to find this at the Brew Pub today, a real treat since their IPA is one of the best I've had and definitely the best in BC (maybe Canada). I grabbed a growler of this as well so I may review that later. ABV was told to me by the server, if someone else hears something different or has more accurate please add, although she seemed fairly reliable.

Poured a rich Copper colour with good carbonation and a nice frothy head that slowly dissipates into a decent rim around the glass.

Huge grapefruity hop aromas up front with a resiny component coming through after, not much in terms of caramel or bready malt type thing here.

On the palate I'm hit with a bright grapefruit pith bitterness that leads in to a more caramel malty taste mid palate. Finishes with a ton of thick resiny pine flavours that really drys out the finish and lingers for quite awhile.

Has a great thick and heavy mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation, keeping it weighty to carry the high abv but not so much that it becomes difficult to drink.

Surprisingly sessionable IIPA in my opinion and definitely something I will need to make the trip out to Surrey for again. (1,175 characters)

Photo of kwjd
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Sammy for getting this growler to Ontario! I was excited to try this since I love the Red Racer IPA. Pours a bright orange colour with thick white head. Really nice head retention, lots of lacing around the glass. Smells of strong citra (I think) hops, lots resiny pine. Grapefruit/citrus comes more in the aftertaste. Lots of pine all the way through. Bitterness is very noticeable, yet this is still quite balanced. I was enjoying this more as I went along and poured myself a 2nd glass from the growler not too long after the first. (542 characters)

Photo of spree92
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Central City Brewery. Looks like a real I2PA should. A cooper ale with a nice yellow tinge. There was some good lacing that was left behind. The first thing I did when i smelled this was smile. I knew I was going to like what was about to come. The citrus hops exploded in the sinus and on the taste buds. The first bitterness of strong hops was supported by a mellow malt profile. The perfect balance. 9%. Couldn't tell by drinking it. The alcohol was buried under a beautiful, heavy, strong IIPA. (510 characters)

Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to try this one, which was a leftover bottle from the Canadian Brewing Awards, where Central City performed admirably.

Pours a burnt orange with a skiff of white head that laced well. Big citrus nose, but with more than enough caramel to provide balance. Intense, with a slight hit of alcohol. Flavour delivers in spades, but remains expertly balanced. Lots of grapefruit, orange, tangerine and pine, but again with enough caramel and biscuit to balance it out. Nice bitterness and a dry hot finish. Heavy luxurious mouthfeel. Nicely done! (546 characters)

Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: A strong mango-peach nose with some ruby-red grapefruit and pine. Some malt sweetness is detectable but the hops are bursting from the glass.

Taste/Mouthfeel: THe flavor is similar, lots of tropical notes, citrus, and peach. There is some pine as well. The bitterness upfront is smooth and the malt presence is somewhat sweet, adding to the tropical notes. I would not call it a sweet finish, it is more toward the drying side.

Overall, a stellar DIPA, my favorite beer from Central City, which is saying a lot. If you are looking for a very citrus foward or tropical IPA, this would be a pretty good one, but be prepared as it may be difficult to tame with such a substantial bitterness. (697 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Sammy for landing this one!

Pours a deep orange colour, nice white sticky head, nice thick lace on the glass. Smells hoppy, pine notes citrus grapefruit and a big chewy malt presence to balance it all out. Taste of lush malt, pine, citrus, lemon notes. grape like quality in the finish, dry like finish but not too dry, just right in that department. Good mouthfeel, slightly creamy, full body and as a whole quite nice. Very drinkable brew, right up there with the regular Red Racer nice addition of hops, good bitterness throughout. I could drink this all night easily, awesome stuff. (597 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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? (1,617 characters)

Photo of SebD
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (322 characters)

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Red Racer Imperial IPA from Central City Brewers + Distillers
93 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.