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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.

52 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 52
Hads: 149
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 38
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: 149
Photo of tbeckett
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Photo of SebD
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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