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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
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 146
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 4.49%
Wants: 36
Gots: 23 | 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: 146
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
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... (987 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
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. (625 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
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. (847 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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. (317 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of kjyost
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep copper, can already tell it will be maltier than I prefer a DIPA to be. Very earthy / piney nose that continues on the palate with heavy malt sweetness. Needs to be drier IMHO. (183 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Central City Brewing 'Red Racer Imperial IPA' @ 9.0% , originally tasted on tap @ GCBF , this review from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6
A-pour is gold from the bottle to a clear dark amber in the glass with a smallish off-white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-nice smell of floral & citrus & weak hint of pine
T-just ok , lacks something
MF-ok carbonation , big body
Ov-not a great beer , ok /good local DIPA compared to Twenty Pounder , Hopdemonium , 3rd Blind Mouse ....
prost LampertLand (505 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to OKComputer for sharing this one with me. Poured into Chimay chalice. Poured a medium orange-amber color with a very low amount of off-white head that had low retention and no lacing.

The aromas were very good, lots of pine, some weed, and a nicely grainy malt base. The taste was very, very good. The malt showed up a bit more and gave those bright and bold hops a good base to build on. The pine was most prominent, with the weed at the back and just a bit of citrus dryness at the finish.

The body was nicely full and round without being heavy. It was relatively smooth for being so hoppy, a pleasant surprise, and the beer had a great finish. Drinkability was top-notch, this went down as easily as a big, hoppy IPA can. Overall, a great beer from an excellent brewery. A must try if you see it. (810 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the Autism research bottles, a great cause and still pretty affordable at $9.50 with the $5 donation.

Pours a bright. slightly hazed bronze with a huge, pillowy off white head. Head retention is great, lasting solidly the entire glass and draping it with lace. The aroma is of pine and caramel with orangey hops and medicinal booze in the background. The taste is piney and floral hoppiness upfront with an immense malt profile with rum cake, field berry and cookie dough elements making for a complex flavor. Alcohol provides some heat and is always present as you would expect for 9%. The mouthfeel is full bodied and moderately high in carbonation. The finish is lightly bitter with a sherry-like malt character that lingers with alcohol heat in the back.

This is a great DIPA that goes more for balance than pure hop delivery vehicle. Lots of malt complexity balances out the interesting piney/orangey hop profile. Definitely worth a try. (951 characters)

Photo of decimator
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into a mug.

Labelled as "Imperial IPA for Autism". $5 from every bottle is being donated to charity. As Autism runs in my family this caught my attention. I reviewed this beer before knowing this was actually Red Racer DIPA.

A - Poured a clear gold to copper with a thin beige head, head quickly reduced to a ring of bubbles, minimal lacing.

S - Golden sugar, pine, grapefruit. Nice aroma.

T - Some caramel sweetness, pine, grapefruit, alcohol is barely noticeable. Good balance between the malts & hops.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, sticky, slick, dryish finish with some heat.

O - Considering the ABV the alcohol is well masked. Not the best DIPA I've had but it's a pretty good one. (725 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of StephenRich
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (1,589 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  rDev -4%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber with sticky white film. 3.75
Lots of sparkly lemon zest with tang of caramel. 4.25
Toffee biscuit, with lime zest, rosin, and green grass hops with hints of lychee and maybe pineapple. 4
Lemon balm end and long coppery butter linger.
Medium, chewy, crisp. 4

Old school - citrussy C-hops - with a decent malt load. MO shows through but hops cut to end clean. Not quite the beautiful juggling act that is the IPA but the knifing hops and buttery malts are a skilled, lovely match. 4.25 (496 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleased to find this "amped up" version of Red Racer. It is almost ideal for a one bottle night. The elevated alcohol is well masked. This pours with a nice rich colour, the appropriate amount of tawny head, and smells like it means business. The toffee, followed by citrus and piney hop flavours eventually give way as the booziness creeps up on you. (357 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer being sold in Ontario for a very good cause...

An absolutely beautiful beer that pours a brilliant amber, with an oiliness and limited head suitable to its 9% ABV. Deep aroma of caramelized malted barley, suspended by the full spectrum of tropical fruits. Taste starts sweet before crossing that "west coast" hop variety and ending with an impressive bitterness; and hop tones that linger....

A very impressive IIPA and the more we see from Central City in Ontario, the better! (493 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (764 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,723 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.23/5  rDev 0%
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! (797 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.23/5  rDev 0%
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. (885 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle. $5 from the bottle goes to Autism research. Fantastic!

Appearance - Pours a dark amber colour with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - Nice piney hops, toffee, sweet malts, hint of dark fruit.

Taste - Piney hops, sweet toffee notes, dark fruits and tropical fruits. Good clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A great Imperial IPA by Central City. Fantastic that proceeds are going to a worthy cause. Good flavour profile overall and another winner by a great BC brewery. (536 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of TerryW
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Seems as though we have a winner here. A very good beer with lots of interesting things happening.

Pours a finger high head on a red amber brew. Lots of spidery lace along the way, rings where you rest. Quite handsome.

Big grapefruit citrus nose, resiny pine. Appetizing. Sticky, almost oily mouthfeel, Unctuous. very interesting. Big hit of sweet malt and piney hops to taste. Initially a hint of something like licorice, which is odd, but works fine. Pine bitterness that lingers. Alcohol well hidden, but you can feel it pretty quick as you work through the bottle. Approaches syrupy, boozy as it warms up, so get at it while it still has some cool in it.

An interesting, a bit off the beaten track, lots of complexities, subtleties. Worth a try. (752 characters)

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