Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Red Racer Imperial IPA - Central City Brewers + Distillers

Not Rated.
Red Racer Imperial IPARed Racer Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 149
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 38
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 52 | Hads: 149
Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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 Jeffo
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Rutager this past summer. Cheers for the amazing box of happiness man!

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 90

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Head recedes to a splotchy wisp and ring. Hazy burnt orange with slightly higher levels of carbonation. A faint, swirly wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malts, honeydew melon, pineapple and tangerine fruitiness, as well as some light floral notes. Really like the fruit on this one. Bold enough as well.

TASTE: Pale malts again, honeydew melon and some piney hops come out first. The flavors really come out nicely after the swallow as well, with pineapple, tangerine, sweet melon, as well as some bitter grapefruit and citrus lemon notes. Very fruity for sure. Some bitter piney hops and floral notes round it out, with just a hint of light sourness adding an interesting touch. Very flavorful, complex and interesting. A real treat from the west coast.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating and oily. Good feel that supports the flavors.

OVERALL: This was really nice. A load of fruity flavors, nice aromas, and a creamy, oily body that supports it all. The light sour touch was a little different and that may have kept it from being a perfect score in flavor, but nevertheless, this was outstanding and I'd love to have a fresh bottling of this again at some point. Really nice stuff that comes highly recommended. Thanks again Rutager. One of the better DIPA's I've had.

 1,621 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
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 beertunes
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 810 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
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 papat444
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.44/5  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.

 847 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Derek
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Rutager
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
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 FondueVoodoo
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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 DaftCaskBC
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
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 wordemupg
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
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 +8.3%
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 mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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 chickenm
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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 StephenRich
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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 Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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 kwjd
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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 peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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 LazyL
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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 spree92
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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 H1N1
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
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 bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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 ritzkiss
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
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

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Red Racer Imperial IPA from Central City Brewers + Distillers
92 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.