Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,039 | Reviews: 2,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Package: 1 pint, 6 oz. (22oz.) crowned, brown bomber. Brightly colored label instantly calls to mind a favored childhood cartoon, Speed Racer. (Yes, Ive bought the DVDs). A shadowy checkered flag backs the red and yellow letters spelling out Racer 5. Label describes this as an ...aggressive styled India Pale Ale. Also specifically marked as bottle-conditioned. No date, but this was from a new shipment. 7% ABV.
Cost: $3.49 at Finger Lakes Beverage
Presentation: Shaker pint glass at ~45º (as recommended on label).
Appearance: As noted by so many others, this is a lovely IPA, with a burnished amber body a bit darker than most IPAs and a voluminous (2-3 finger), dry, barely off-white head which reached a self-sustaining ¾ layer. Very interesting body, which seemed to fall somewhere between Hop Wallop and Two-Hearted Ale. It exhibited fine brown flecks in a colloidal suspension much like Hop Wallop (though the particles were much finer) and a light, luminous haze that was a touch less conspicuous than Two-Hearted.
Smell: Freshly hoppy with a pillow of rich malt, promising nice flavor balance. Still, a touch sharper from the bottle than from draught. I find that most IPAs fall into two categories: the harsh, medicinal ones, and the floral, fruity ones. Thankfully, this is one of the latter. BRs website tells me that this is hopped with Columbus and Cascade. Well, whatever it is, the hops palette plays beautifully off the malts.
Taste: The first thought that comes to mind is of balance. The bright hops are followed as closely by the sweet malts as Racer X followed Speed (or Schumacher followed Alonso last weekend at Imola). One of the rare beers that lives up to its hype. The finish is medium-to-long with a caramel sweetness that softens the aggressive hops. There was the slightest touch of medicinal sourness that Ive only noticed in bottles and not the draught.
Mouthfeel: Almost approaches a double IPA in its sensation of heft and viscosity (a characteristic I like), which prevents the hops from becoming too brittle. The very fine carbonation is excellent, providing an almost draught-like consistency.
Drinkability: Comes close to defining drinkability, despite its relatively high ABV. Joins draught Masala Mama and Celebration, Brutal Bitter (at least the earliest versions Ive had), and Two Hearted (again the better earlier version) at the top of the IPA pyramid for me.
Backwash: After the disappointing Bear Republic XP, it was nice to confirm my draught experience of Racer 5 with a very good bottle sample. I understand that this has reached the East Coast for the most part (except New Jersey). All of my purchases were either from The Chapter House (draught) or Finger Lakes Beverage (bottles) in Ithaca.
NB: The bottles all exhibited a slight medicinal hint, not present on draught. Score the draught ~0.25 higher overall.
Serving type: bottle
04-25-2005 21:18:57 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle into snifter
A: Half finger white head sitting on a hazy, unfiltered looking brew. Fine sediment, light/fine carbonation, body appears medium – lacing is moderate and retention is good.
S: Sweet and resinous simultaneously, strong presence of grapefruit with undertones of pineapple and mango. Somewhat of an astringent aroma that is clean as well as mildly dry. Light agitation coaxes out a sterile lemon zest with notes of pine.
T: Clean taste, lemon and grape fruit provide a crisp astringency. Pine needle presents toward the middle mouth and dominates the resinous feel. The middle mouth packs a lot of citrus zest and is drier than I expected. Sweetness arises on the palate as the beer warms, letting on mild notes of mango, honey, and muddled mint leaf. Quite bitter, but well balanced, even a bit tart. The finish has hints of coriander and ginger; hop florals and freshly cut grass.
M: Medium to light body, fine carbonation, good balance between juicy and dry – aftertaste has a coriander soapiness and is again rather dry. Pretty decent drinkability
O: If I did a blind tasting of this, I would think it’s a solid IPA. That being said, I had heard some pretty high praise of this beer and I don’t know that I completely vibe with that. Good drinkability, good full flavor, but I was looking for a juicier palate. Overall, I like this beer, and I like it better warmer.
Serving type: bottle
07-28-2014 01:41:45 | More by ZagZagg
British Columbia (Canada)
3.51/5 rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75
$8.60 plus deposit for a 650 ml bottle at the 8th Street Liquor Store at New West station. This liquor store advertises a selection of over 200 bomber of craft beer, and yes, it is a pretty good selection. I was already in the mood for IPA when I noticed their helpful list of top-rated IPAs that they carry. Based on the list, I picked out this one and a few others.
This beer pours a murky amber with one finger of head. The aroma is fairly mild, fruity and sweet, with a bit of orange, but not heavy on citrus or pine, like many IPAs. It's maybe a bit floral. Overall, on the milder side.
Upon tasting, it seems to me that it's on the low end for IBUs for an IPA. I want more hops! How many IBUs is this? Not enough. Mouthfeel is a bit flat. I see that the alcohol content is 7%, and after drinking half a bottle, I feel that, but it doesn't taste like it.
I'm kind of disappointed with this one. I mean, it's certainly not BAD, but I can't see why it's rated so highly. I guess maybe I should just stick with Fat Tug. To be fair, I'd probably like this beer more had I not known it was so highly rated. If I wasn't expecting the next best West Coast IPA, I'd probably be considerably less disappointed. (That said, Fat Tug is still way better.)
Serving type: bottle
07-25-2014 05:49:57 | More by souvenirs
3.81/5 rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
12 oz. bottle coded 1/10/15 poured into a goblet. Deep orange-gold with slight haze from yeast in the bottle. Orange/citrus hop aroma with pine, somewhat subdued, with Chico yeast twang. Little malt character. More pine as it opens up. Tastes similar to its aroma, then almost pine-sol like hops burst through after initial balance. Aggressive bitterness, long hoppy finish. Medium-full mouthfeel. I would love a little more hop aroma and slightly less bitterness, and less of the yeast character.
Serving type: bottle
07-25-2014 00:16:20 | More by natron002
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,039 ratings.