Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,054 | Reviews: 2,173 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Racer 5 IPA offers a reasonably good nose, with just a faint whiff of trpoical fruit, and pours relatively clean with a small white head that doesn't hang out too long. The flavors are also clean and enjoyable offering your palate a moderate amount of hop goodness,but despite the the hype of the mix of hops utilized, the overall taste is one dimensional and not outstanding. Clean comes to mind, but not an overly bitter aftertaste that one gets from a lip smacking tropical fruit bomb. My expectations are high for a $14 six pack, and Racer 5 is just another West coast IPA letdown with exceptional ratings: far too bland and not enough lingering bitterness.
For an extra few bucks, the slightly sharper tasting Ballast Point Scuplin IPA comes closer to that degree of excellence so hard to find in the six pack format. On the other hand, for a few dollars less,Lagunitas Sucks offers alot more bang for the buck and a more interesting flavor.
The West Coast continues shipping a staggering array of brand names and styles to the farthest reaches of the East Coast, and most meet the level of mediocre or slightly better.
Not sure why these Bear Republic offerings are getting such excellent ratings for a relatively run of the mill IPA from the West Coast. You may want to try the bomber before shelling out for another pricey six pack.
Final Note: it may help selling the initial six pack by writing on the Racer 5 label "bigger is better" in terms of hoppiness, but they don't back that claim up especially when comparing it to other IPAs in the price range. They are blowing their horn about awards this beer won 4 years ago: lots of great brands have surfaced since that time.
Serving type: bottle
04-06-2013 04:56:06 | More by Hendry
3.86/5 rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
7% ABV confirmed. Bottled 03/21/13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some great beers from this brewery before, and this has a great reputation - plus it's fresh.
Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a two finger vibrant beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. About what I'd expect from a good beer in the style, though the colour could be fuller and more vibrant. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Excited to try this. No overt flaws in the appearance.
Sm: Lovely varied floral hop notes. Hop oil. Nectary hops. Pale malts. Grassy character. Light pine. The oily hop character (Columbus) is dominant - just what I want from a good IPA. Well hopped and balanced. Pleasant, fresh, appealing. This is exactly what an IPA should smell like. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.
T: Great stuff. Oily hop notes mix well with lighter nectary hop notes and moderate floral hop character. The body is simple flavorful pale malts, lending it a refreshing taste. It lacks the citrusy gush I want it to have, but it's well constructed and damn well balanced across the board, with hardly any hop bitterness coming through at all. What little hop bitterness there is comes through just a bit on the climax and in the third act; it's not perfect balance but it's impressive. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. Lightly grassy, highlighting the pale malts. Love the hop choices here - especially columbus. I'd like to see what amarillo does to the flavour profile. Beautifully balanced, beautifully executed. A tasty IPA with good depth of flavour, complexity, and subtlety. This is how you brew an IPA.
Mf: Soft, smooth, oily, a bit nectary, and wet. Refreshing. Lightly crisp. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Perfect carbonation. Very well executed, evoking care and effort.
Dr: Damn drinkable. I'll definitely be getting more of this and will happily buy it by the six pack. If I bought beer I'd already tried on a regular basis, this would be right up there - or probably above - Lagunitas as my IPA mainstay. Up there with Sculpin in terms of quality and availability. Bravo, Bear Republic. I'm beating myself up over waiting so long to review it. This is how an IPA ought to be: balanced and flavorful, with subtlety and complexity. Very well done.
Serving type: bottle
04-05-2013 04:01:08 | More by kojevergas
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,054 ratings.