Red Racer Imperial IPA - Central City Brewers + Distillers

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Red Racer Imperial IPA
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

137 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 35
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 52
Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Photo of peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
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

Photo of SebD
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of chickenm
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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!

Photo of TerryW
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of kjyost
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
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

Photo of leaddog
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of polloenfuego
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 650 ml bottle into a pint glass.

Kudos to Central City for donating $5 from each bottle to autism research.

A: a nice hazy amber color, with a two finger head that fades giving way to a nice film.

S: the smell is pure hops. Pine and citrus all over.

T: The pine and citrus hops come through. It is a bit sweet with the malt coming through.

M: medium carbonation and body.

O: perhaps the best IPA I've had in a while. I found the flavor and feel of this beer to be quite nice. I can't usually say that I want to have more than one IPA at a time, but I would like another soon.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Too sweetened but drinkable. Hopped well.

Photo of decimator
3.97/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of StephenRich
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of spree92
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of LazyL
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of durrrr
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of astout
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Red Racer Imperial IPA from Central City Brewers + Distillers
93 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.