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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,242 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,242
Hads: 7,208
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 311
Gots: 1,057 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002

This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,242 | Hads: 7,208
Photo of MatthewWilde
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Lightly cloudy, very minimal internal carbonation, copper orange, tiny foamy head

S: Not incredibly fragrant, citrus fruits, hops, star fruit, all very light but simultaneously present

T: Light and delicious in flavor, definite citrus, pineapple, some green apple, perfect balance

M: Incredibly smooth, almost water-like in viscosity, easy to drink, refreshing, aftertaste is moderate, a bit lingering and drying however

O: A nice and smooth ipa, not incredibly flavorful and fragrant however, but refreshing all the same

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Photo of IceAce
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light-copper body poured with less than one finger of foam due in large part to a lack of skill behind the bar. Lacing was exceptional (80%) all the way down to the last drop.

Aroma: Hoppy / sweet nose with a delightful citrus undertone. The high quality malt also makes an appearance.

Taste: Very bright foretaste with a refreshing role played by the CO². Light on the palate for an IPA with a very good West Coast style finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice malt / hop balance with a complimentary CO² level.

Drinkability: A pleasure to consume from start to finish...definitely recommended.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Peachy golden, with a faint but fluffy head. It sported a massive amount of chunks, pretty odd for this style. I don't think the bottle was very old, I got it only a few months ago.

Smell: Fresh hop aromas that burst of strawberries then the alcohol creeps in slowly to release notes of pine trees.

Taste: Relatively mellow carbonation, the malt tastes like cookies with a bit of cooked vegetables. The hops show up nice and easy, and slowly grow momentum, without ever going into excess. Almost no alcohol to be found in the taste, somewhat ashy finish, perhaps from the yeast shot. Not my favorite Bear Republic, but a nice sessionable IPA.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale....

Appearance-Brown pour, orange as well, nice head that settles perfectly.

Smell-smokey sweetness, oily hop aroma, heavy alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel-alcohol, slight burn, really hoppy, some juicyness,. Decent taste.

Drinkability-heavy alcohol but it tastes good and is fairly balanced.

Overall-This is a good IPA, I'm not sure it's as knock your socks off as many feel but I can't deny that it's a good beer.

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Photo of charlieos
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this beer hard to approach the first time I tried it. The second time, after warming up with a lighter beer, I found it much more enjoyable. Very nice hop flavor range. Balance is very much on the sweeter side. Pours an orangish color with minimal head. As pretty serious hoppy beers go, this one is on the heavier, maybe even clunkier side. More of a beer for the dedicated ipa person than a generalist.

In all a good beer, but a forceful beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is dominated by hops, some citrus and hints of malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: Average-size head, fizzy, white in color with decent retention. The body is a clear golden yellow. Average lacing.

S: Respectable malt presence of hay/straw. The hops are a mixture of Columbus and Cascade and provide a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange rind, flowers and, odd as it may sound, I picked up on a wild onion grass aroma. There is a pleasant earthy yeast character to add to the aroma's complexity.

T: The alcohol is almost completely masked, but not quite. Very subtle tropical fruit suggestions of honeydew melon, guava and passion fruit. Lightly acidic and leaning towards the bitter end.

M: The Racer 5 is light in body and on the thin side. The alcohol comes through more than one would expect from a 7% brew (and particularly so on the finish). A fizzy carbonation adds some structure to the mouthfeel. Finishes bitter.

D: A go-to/fall-back kind of IPA for me. While it will never offend, it certainly won't excite either.

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Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma - The first note that I get is a nice bouquet of floral, almost fruity hops. The fruit like aroma is not that of esters. This is by far the most dominate characteristic of the aroma, but the malt does come through. This aroma is not complex, but is still quite pleasant for the hop lover.

Appearance - A nice deep amber color with an eggshell colored head. The head poured about 1 finger width, but quickly dissipated to an uneven 1/4 finger width. The lacing is mediocre. There is a slight haze that appears to be from hop resins; always a welcome sign in an IPA. This gives clue that there will be an intense hop character to the flavor.

Taste - Very nice floral and spice hop flavor. The flavor of the hops is quite dominant, but the bitterness level is not very intense. The malt provides a nice balance to the hops, but doesn't make much of a showing in the front of the flavor. The hops are nicely balanced, but probably not intense enough for true hop heads. Some alcohol does make itself known.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with mid-level carbonation. There is no perceived alcohol, and the bitterness is on the lower end of the spectrum for an IPA. The beer goes down smooth. It is somewhat slick on the tongue. There is a small lingering bitterness, but this beer will not "blow out" your palate.

Overall Impression - This is a good IPA. It's very drinkable, and not overwhelming with hops, and bitterness. I see that as a detractor, but many others trying to develop a palate for hops, or who just aren't hop heads would probably love this IPA. The hop aroma, and flavor are very nice. For a 7% abv beer the alcohol is a little to noticeable. This is probably the biggest problem that I have with this beer. Long story short, solid, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear golden color (especially considering it's bottle conditioned), decent sized head but fades fast, leaves a ring of lacing along the glass.

Smell is dominated by piney hops with only a slight hint of sweet malt.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that piney hops with accompanying bitterness controls the flavor, not much balance, bitterness stays for quite awhile and doesn't let up, the lack of balance makes it a bit lower on the drinkability, carbonation is good as it should be.

A bit one sided and on the stronger side for a "regular" IPA, there are better IPA's to get that have more dimensions of citrus and grapefruit, whereas this is all pine.

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Photo of themind
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am a big IPA fan and had read a decent amount about this brew. I picked up a six and went at it. That said I was not overly impressed by this beer. Pliny, Hopslam and others have dominated my taste buds so Racer 5 fell short for me. Don't get me wrong it's a decent brew but I have not sought it out since.

Bottom Line: Decent IPA worth buying if Hopslam and Pliny are unavailable.

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Photo of clingman71
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden with a slight orange/copper hue. It is pretty clear with a generous off-white head that disspipated leaving a thin but noticeable lace. The aroma is of hops, floral, but not overly citrusy. I smell some piney, resiny hop notes. I get an initial hop flavor that gives way to the malt, but finishes nice and dry. The hop aroma builds as I near the half pint mark. This beer has very good everything, but excellent nothing. A very good all aroung IPA, just not quite with the truly great ones.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-yellow gold with a thick white head and some lacing

S-herbs, grains, citrus, and some hops. medium strength

T-comes in with some citrus and some sweet hops and a bit of bitterness, all are equal and slightly dull. the after-taste is of creamy hops and some tangerine. nothing great

M-ceamy medium carbonation with a creamy finish

O-definitely an enjoyable IPA though its not as great as everyone makes it seem to make it. the hops and bitterness seem to be faded. this might only meet hops heads half way.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: disappointing tiny white head fizzled effortlessly to a cap and then down to a ring only seconds later. The brew is amber and golden. At least a cap of head retains and there's a bit of sticky lacing.
S: huge citrus mandarin aromas with caramel malt to balance in the back. The aromas are pretty straightforward.
T: great at first, with huge hop flavors dominating. Citrusy goodness with the malt barely discernible. Then my palate starts cringing just a tad as the Columbus (bittering?) hops become incredibly overwhelming. I like a hoppy beer, but to have this one flavor really be the one to stand out is a bummer. I want mandarins and grapefruits to linger like the aroma promises, and sadly they just do not. With warmth, there's a small bit of wood and more perfumey, but it's just not doing it for me.
M: medium body with medium-high carbonation, which makes those Columbus hops tingle a bit more.
D: it's okay, but I think I'll stick to hop rod rye!

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Photo of hreb
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours orange amber in color, lightly hazed, with a large yellowish-white head. Ample, piney C-hop aroma. Flavor is aggressive and hop-forward, as promised, without being harsh or bitter. Pretty well balanced, with a hint of sweetness in the finish. Just a little bit to the left of fully and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance; clear gold, thin layer of head that actually retains pretty well.

smell; very mild citrus and malt.

taste; pretty sweet, for an IPA. pine and citrus are upfront with lots of malt in the backbone.

mouthfeel; medium body, quite creamy, very mild carbonation.

overall; not bad, worth the 5.99 i paid for it. but wouldn't buy again. just too ordinary

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in a trade with hopz4life. Thanks man!

Straw gold and clear with about 2 fingers of head. A slow dissipation leaves a thick lacing.

Piney and resinous, but still citrusy, like oranges maybe. I expect a sweet taste based on the smell.

Piney for sure, with a very balanced bitterness. Sweet and malty. Not very much booze, but some zest remains in the aftertaste, reminding me of how it feels after biting into a lemon peel. Not sour though.

Full-bodied, lacking nothing. Creamy and not crisp, but very soft.

Reasonable. It's not my personal #1 IPA, but it's very good nonetheless. If I'm looking for hops with less fruit, this is probably the one for me.

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Photo of crossovert
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack, not sure of the freshness on this one.

Pours into my American pint glass with a golden yellow, pliny-like, west coast all the way. THe head is white, tight, and foamy and rises above the brim ever so slightly. It takes a while to recede leaving behind some decent lacing.

Smells a bit Sierra Neavada like, with heavy lemon citrus and some herbally, spicy hops along with some pine and a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste is hoppy and sharply bitter, with more of a grapefruit citrus tinge along with grassy, herbal, piney hops. The malts are more prevalent in this one compared to other west coast IPAs I have had.

Overall it is a decent IPA, I was expecting more, but it is not bad.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished amber colour with off-white head, moderate upon pouring, good retention. Lace is very good indeed. Thick, curtainy, like a funeral veil. Slow bead; yeah looks pretty good.

Smell is citric. Very hoppy with slight resinous notes. Lemon, lime, slight woodiness and a hint of wax. Slight malty undercurrent. Raisiny edge to the malt. Quite nice, but not mind-blowing as an IPA.

Taste is quite nice. Malty for the most part with raisiny edges and an apricot tinge, cake-batter sweetness and then hop notes come in midway. Citric and quite tangy, without a lot of complex hop flavour but provides a nice floral finish that hangs around pleasantly. Again pretty good but could use more hop flavour.

Nice and filling mouthfeel, good texture atop a nice body. Suits the style and the flavour well.

A good solid IPA. It isn't blowing my mind, but there's lots of nice West Coast hop character and a good balance struck for nice easy drinking.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, pint glass at The Iron Mule

A: Amber coloring, some lacing, but little head.

S: Crisp, bitter tones.

T: Ahhh the IPA. Not my favorite kind of beer, but I like the direction this was going with the bitterness.

M: Wonderful.

O: Second time having Racer 5, both were enjoyable.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, hazy golden amber with a small head that rapidly disappears leaving some nice residual lacing.

Smell is subdued with an overlay of hops and a whiff of malty sweetness.

Taste is initially hops with a nice dry finish and a good balancing sweetness.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry.

Drinkability is fine - several of these is no problem. For a hophead, this is a very nice effort from Bear Republic. Bravo!!

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Photo of watkins
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass:

A: Hazy orange-brown with hardly any head to speak of.

S: Smells sweet and malty with a muted hop scent.

T: Nice lemon-citrus notes, finished by a bitter hoppy bite, though not as floral as other IPAs can be.

M: Medium-bodied, great carbonation, for a heavier beer, sits on the tongue lighter than most despite its alcohol content.

D: This might be a once a month or two purchase for me, though I do love IPAs, I've definitely had fuller, more complex ones, namely Coast's HopArt here in Charleston, SC.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from the tap at Sunset in Allston, Ma. Presented to me in tulip glass the beer was a slightly dark golden/yellow color with one finger of frothy white head and little to no lcaing throughout the sample. No other outright signs of carbonation were to be seen.

The nose only has a suprisingly subtle hop bill to it. The aroma is more earthy and slightly floral. Hints of hoppy citrus come through but overall rather tame.

The taste features a hop profile that is bigger in the nose, but still rather subdued for the style. Some associated bitterness but far from a stinging hop bomb. A rather hearty malt balance lends to a slightly sweet taste in the finish with some slightly floral flavors. Overall the taste is well balanced, a characteristic not shown by most beers of the style. Rather mild in body and hop character as well.

Medium body and crisp to the finish.

This beer is certainly enjoyable and certainly very drinkable, but it pales in comparison to others of the style. The beer's balance is quite good. I would have like some more assertive hop character and bitterness with this one. A good beer on the whole, but not high among my favorites for the style

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Photo of Gtreid
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear orangish, copper color. The pour produced one full finger of white sand that left some great spidery lace.

A: Big citrus, with orange, pineapple, and sweet mango. Pine resin and sugary caramel malt are also prominate.

T: Just like the nose would suggest. Big citrus and pine resin. The beer finishes bitter and super dry, just like an ipa should.

M: Medium to full body, good amount of carbonation. But a bit too creamy for the style.

D and overall impression: drinkability is just ok for me. I think it's a little to thick on the palate to be sessionalable, but the flavor is definately there. Overall this is a good beer but I'm not as high on it as some other ba's. Skal.

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Photo of oggg
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gorgeous brown yellow, with a tempting dense tan head. The nose is a little lacking. I get malt and alcohol and a little bit of hop aroma. The hop taste is also underwhelming. Lots of nice malt and a fair amount of alcohol. The hops are complex with a little citrus and little something else. I could not find a freshness date, so I definitely need to try this again, maybe on tap.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass. Bottled on 12/12/08.

A: Golden yellow in color. Quite light appearing. Crisp, bubbly white head atop.

S: Not a lot initially, but after it warms up I get a strong grapefruit aroma. Kind of one dimensional, but solid. I do get some faint sweetness from the malts as well.

T: Hoppy bitterness assaults the tongue initially. Once again, the grapefruit component really shines here. For those who like a grapefruity IPA, this is a great example. I do get some other citrus flavors as well, with a hint of tangerine and even some orange. The bitterness is long lasting and reaches to the next drink. The malts are not really there in this beer however. I am longing for a bit more balancing sweetness.

M: Crisp, light, and clean.

D: A pretty solid IPA. Not the best I've had and definitely not a bad one. I tried this after the Hop Rod Rye, which really overshadows this beer. It is worth a try, but there are some others I would drink on a daily basis before this one.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.