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Red Racer Imperial IPA - Central City Brewing

Not Rated.
Red Racer Imperial IPARed Racer Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 36
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Rutager on 02-19-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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 olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
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 mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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 biboergosum
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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 DoubleJ
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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 biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
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 GarthDanielson
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
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 PEIhop
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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 beertunes
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.29/5  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 TheSevenDuffs
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
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 wordemupg
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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 spinrsx
4.18/5  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 barnzy78
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

Photo of tbeckett
4.44/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of canucklehead
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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

Photo of andrenaline
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Rutager
4.4/5  rDev +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.

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Red Racer Imperial IPA from Central City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.