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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,268 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,268
Ratings:
7,372
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
333
Gots:
1,225
For Trade:
7
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,268 | Ratings: 7,372
Photo of Wiffler27
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

have had this in bottle and on draft.

this beer just has a great taste and feel. tastes like many other IPAs yet is way better. has a unique taste but seems to be the "model" for IPAs. great in so many ways.

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Photo of Jordan
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly fresh sample, tap-like presentation, fluffy white head that endures, frisky carbonation. An aggresive hop profile, many complex herbal notes, subdued honey sweetness.

Heavy, filling, robust.

A superb example of living beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label offers the brewery's motto "bigger is better". While that's not always the case, I will never argue to the contrary. "Bigger" definitely describes the head I got from the pour, a huge fluffy cap of cream on top of what the label very correctly describes as "golden". Easy enough.

Aroma is a thing of wonder, especially if hops are your thing. Big piney presence in the nose, with plenty of malty sweetness balancing it out, and lighter, more delicate flowery spices dotting the aroma. Almost a gingerbread thing lurking around there somewhere.

Flavor is generally big, rich, tingly and sweet. If you know the finest IPAs and Double IPAs, then you'll know what this is all about. This is a DIPA-leaning IPA, with the hops winning out in assertiveness and sharpness over the gooey malts that try their best to balance. Nice spicy/herbal accents throughout. Malty sweetness carries over into the finish, rich and caramel-like. Then once again trumped by a sharp layer of prickly, piney hops.

Mouthfeel is maybe a little too tingly, perhaps a little rough for the richness of flavor. Because it almost tastes like a double IPA, I expected that level of creaminess, but this is actually drier and more like your typical IPA...but there is enough buttery roundness to give a hint of creaminess.

Really, really good IPA, one of the best ever, up there with Bell's, Stone, and Green Flash versions of the style (among exalted others). Yum.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, vibrant orange with one finger sticky white head with impressive and intense lacing.

S - One of the best aromas I've encountered. Citrusy with pine and grapefruit; yeast is detectable; considerable hop scent.

T - A little bit flatter than I expected but still very stellar. Follows the nose but to a less extreme extent. The pineyness and grapefruit flavor show off more than expected. Pretty hoppy with a nice alcoholic finish.

M - Moderately bodied, not very carbonated - carbonation is overtaken by this beer's considerable hoppiness. Moderately bitter and considerably dry finish.

D - A great IPA. One of the best I've tried. Stone and Victory's Hop Devill are probably of the few that compete with this. Super sessionable.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte, served in a pint glass.

The beer is an amber/orange/copper color with a big off white head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing that cover the glass.

The nose is full of big, in your face, citrusy hops. Just a beautiful aroma. Not much else going on, but really nothing else is needed. I am dying to get a taste of this beer.

The taste does not disappoint. The flavor is big and full of orange and grapefruit with just a hint of pineapple. I also get a second hop profile that is more piney and earthy. The malty base of this beer is small and unintrusive, just big enough to make its presence known, but not enough to detract from the focus of the beer... Citrusy Hops. Medium bodied and well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel and incredibly easy to drink.

A really well crafted IPA, very smooth and inviting. Definately one of my favorite IPAs now.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale forms a head..it "laces" a bit, but this shouldn't be a quality we look for...

The nose is full of hops, citrus, pine, delicious malt...

The tase is overwhelmingly crisp. Not as good as Pliny the Elder, but amazing close. Well defined citrusy/piney hops.. and a nice malt undertone...

Mouthfeel is exactly what you'd expect from an IPA... smooth and sticky hops on the backend...

Drinkability is off the charts... Unfortunately drinking too many of these in a short amount of time will render you incapacitated.

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Photo of shalowlou
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew is simply beautiful. A great appearance really can make a beer so much more appetizing.

Smell: I just love the smell, it's like being in a citrus garden. The hops: zest, grapefruit. The maltiness: orange and dare I say lemon?
Delicious and appetizing.

Taste: Its like Ruination but not on steroids. I don't really enjoy the double IPA style (aka Ruination) This has the perfect balance, I'm not scared of hops, and I can appreciate them, and this brew really helps. It's hoppy, yet balanced, and the flavors just strike the palate. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, and the hops are oh so yummy. This is really a must try for those that really want to taste what balanced is all about.

Mouthfeel: Its really the prefect balance of thickness and brew. It’s not too thick. But it really is filling.

Drinkability: Hey, I got the 22 oz. Bomber, and I like it, but it’s going to be a while before it’s gone. I'm having this with a nice fried lunch including tempura and vegetarian buffalo chicken wings. Let me tell you that this is heaven on earth. Like I mentioned before, it really does taste like Ruination but much more balanced in my opinion, the drinkability is heightened therefore in that balance.

Conclusion: Very very tasty, have it with a fried lunch like a fish and chips or a plate of calamari. Issss so good!

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Photo of ckollias
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a white 2-finger head that slowly dissipates into a frothy lace that leaves a nice trail down the glass.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with slight hints of pine and citrus in the background.

T: Smooth and hoppy and very bitter. Citrus and pine on the palate followed by a biscuit flavor.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent IPA. Very hoppy and bitter yet smooth and tasty.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out of the ubiquitous bomber into the more ubiquituos pint glass. A monster head that sticks around forever and a golden/pale copper color all please the eyes. Not cloudy, but not bright either. Knowing what I know, i would say their are some volitile hop oils clouding up the joint.

Smells like: Oh man... I've been drinking nothing but German beers for a week (studying for BJCP) and holy shit is this refreshing. Why, I smell pine and citrus and yummy west coast flavors. This beer smells fantastic. West Coast IPAs rule.

Taste: Glorisu Cascade, I have forsaken you.Love it. Fantastic bitterness, no doubt from Centenial and maybe some Chinook. You know how the Bros say that "all 5's should be rare?" Well the taste of Racer 5 is a straight up 5. I cannot imagine a better tasting IPA. Just perfect.Good malt sweetness stands up well to the hop monster. Sharp and then sweet and then bitter. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A bit watrery due to soft water and American 2-row. Still, the swallow is superb.

Overall: I am kicking myself right now because I have been so into Hop Rod that I have ignored Racer 5 for years. Far too long at any rate. Wow. I'm going to be drinking MUCH Racer 5 in the months and years ahead.

Outstanding.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is a light amber with a nice white foamy head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit hoppy with some nice cirus hop flavor. Some nice slight caramel feel and a bit of pale malt in the background.

The taste is a nice hoppy poke at the beginning with some nice malt flavor rounding out the flavor and evening out the taste. Some nice hints of citrus and some floral hop. The malt flavor is also presented pretty nicely here as well.

The feel of the beer is a nice crisp taste. A bit sharp at first but not overpowering. Some hoppy aftertaste.

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Photo of shertz
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Pint glass. Real good lacing, nice head. But the nose...WOW!! I went around the house and got the wife, kid, and finally the cat to sniff this baby (Yes, he even licked some foam!!)!! Awesome! Taste, just as good. Beautiful and drinkable, too drinkable. I've had some of this stuff a year ago in a trade, and now it's available locally in PA. Thank the good Lord! I will be gettin' this stuff often. One of my fav IPA. Cheers, shertz

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A-Pours a hazy dark orange with one finger of off-white head

S-Citrus, piney, and floral hop notes.

T- Excellent balance between juicy citrus, piney, and floral hops. This IPA has a very nice bitter hop bite. Good malt backbone on this hop monster. I am picking up on some woodiness as well.

M- Pretty smooth with nice sharp bitterness on the finish

O- This is a fantastic IPA that packs a nice bite and has great balance between all the different hop flavors. This is now one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of Talisker
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The quintessential West Coast IPA. Absolute benchmark for the style, and a pleasure to drink to boot.

Reviewing here a pint glass from the tap, but I've had Racer 5 in all forms - 22oz bombers, 12oz bottles, on tap at the brewpub, hand pump at the brewpub, and even on nitro at the brewpub.

Color is a rich orange, some pleasant haze. Head can be a little meager, but that's the only knock.

Smell is the most beautiful in the world - pure American citrusy hops, with a bit of pine in the mix. Orange, grapefruit.

Enough malt in the taste so that it's not one-dimensional, but not enough to distract from the juicy American hops. This is a hoppy beer, but not a particularly bitter one.

However, in this sample (and others in late '06/early '07) I've picked up an faint, almost acrid bitterness on the finish. Doesn't quite seem to fit, but some might find it a nice complement to the citrus profile.

Mouthfeel full but not sticky, ideal for the style.

What are you waiting for? Racer 5 defines the style.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep golden color, tall, off white head with excellent retention and lacing.
Aroma is BIG piney hop ( centennial Im thinkin) and marmalade on warm toast.
Great citrus and malty grain flavors up front with a sharp hop bite on the tongue. Malt sweetness doesnt hang around long as strong grass and pine needle hop takes over and dominates this outstanding IPA. Fresh raw grain character makes it taste just that; very fresh.
Medium - full mouth feel with a controlled, peppery bitter finish and a warming tickle of alcohol. Tasty hop burbs!

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Photo of Wisconsuds
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that IPAs are usually not my go-to style. More often than not, I reach for a porter or a stout. That being said, on to the review.

I've had this on tap as well, but will be reviewing from a 12oz bottle pour. Settled nicely into my Milwaukee Brewers pint glass. A dark golden orangish glow filled it immediately, with about an inch or so of white, foamy, crackling head. Glorious.

Fruity notes of pine, lemon, and a blast of fresh hops overload my senses immediately. The freshness literally packs a wallop.

The taste, oh the taste. At first, your tongue gives way to a piney citrus character. It sits for a few sweet seconds, then gives way to a sharp, bitter note in the finish. This beer is remarkable. So much complexity upon first few sips. Drinking this beer is like riding a carousel. Hops, sweetness, slight bitterness; repeat. (For best results, do not drink riding on a carousel)

A medium-body to the beer just makes you want to drink more. The perfect amount of carbonation here. Not overbearing as some IPAs tend to be.

By far my favorite IPA. Could drink these forever and not grow tired of it. Alcohol is VERY well masked at 7%. If you can pick some up, I highly recommend doing so.

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Photo of ElJacobian
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The smell is tropical and piney - it has a wonderful aroma, I just wish it was more pungent. It doesn't jump out of the glass like some other IPAs do. I actually think the taste was better than the smell. It has a very tropical fruity aftertaste, with some subtle grapefruit and pine. Not very bitter and I enjoy this beer more and more as it warms up. I will definitely buy it again, as a bomber was only $4.99 here.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light golden with a one-finger white head that quickly fades to a nice cap. Subtle citrus aroma. Grapefruit bitterness hits the tongue first. Pine and sweet malt follow. Nicely balanced. Finishes hoppy bitter but not over the top like other West Coast IPAs. Body on the light side with slight carbonation. An extremely well crafted IPA. Matter of fact, its my favorite West Coast IPA to date!

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Photo of DJED69
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome. One of the finest examples of West Coast IPA I have had. Enjoyed many bottles before this review. Pours a golden amber, lighter than typical. Nose is unreal---fresh juicy hops and tropical fruit. Taste follows suit. It's just flat out delicious. Word to use here is "balance". Perfect harmony of malt, hops and grain. This and Stone are my go to IPA's. A must try.

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Photo of Prufrock
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

bright golden orange with a touch of dust and a foamy inch of white head that leaves perfect lacing

smell is a great mix of hop aromas: candied grapefruit, peaches, citrus zest, pine and herbs.

pleasantly balanced in the taste. sweet, carbonated mouthfeel with a nice piney hop aftertaste. everything in the aroma comes through in the flavor, which is not overwhelmingly bitter but has a strong, complex hop component. nice juicy feel with a prominent grapefruit rind flavor. very drinkable.

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Photo of sloejams
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure how I've never reviewed this beer seeing as now that it is in 6 pack form - it's pretty much a staple in my refrigerator.

This is what a West Coast IPA should be - HUGE hop profile filled with citrus, pine with a slight sweetness. It's glorious.

You have probably had one by now - if not go get one now.

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Photo of twizzard
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Read about R5 on a recent 'top xxx" thread. Went to my local bottle shop today, not necessarily looking for it, but was thrilled to find it nonetheless! Now one of my top 5's. Actually reninded me a bit of ZD(easy, ZD heads). Going back today to grab a another 6 or two...

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Photo of Troyone
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One pint six oz. bottle, poured a true copper color with a three inch head and some carbonation action, clear at first until I reached the bottom then the clearness turned into haze and then hop (minute) flakes.
Smells rich in hops with a sweet malt background.
The taste is unique with hops that has some tea background notes and sweet malt that is crisp with carbonation. The aftertaste does not linger in fact disappears however the hop notes still linger from the mouth.
The mouthfeel is not too syrupy with an even mix of carbonation that is more evident with the aftertaste.
The drinkability is excellent and maybe a session beer until the seven percent is too much before the not too syrupy taste.

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Photo of Darkale
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A magnificent IPA from Bear Republic. Pours a copper-orange that seems like a Florida sunset. Very large head that slowly fades, foamy, uneven, pocked like the top of a root beer float.

The aroma is sweet and hoppy, and the taste is huge malt and hops together, mixed into a creamy swirl. The parting shot is a thin sour bitterness that just makes you want to do it again, like a 12-year old looping ten times through the same ride at the county fair.

Excellent lacing, all over the sides of the glass, and in strange shapes, like pale Rorschachs. The head recedes but stops at about 3/4 of an inch, and lingers longer than you might think possible.

This is a highly interesting beer, reminiscent of HopDevil in its mix of hops and creaminess, but with that added odd twist of bitter. Another winner -- another unique and tempting beer -- from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Schoonerorlater
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a- a cloudy, orange golden brown. nice head with a lovely trail of lace

s- citrus and pine. vanilla and caramel. hint of clove

t-hop bomber! starts off with the grapefruit and lime, pine. Heads for the sweet flavors of vanilla and caramel and finishes off with a nicey bready malt backbone.

m- medium feel. refreshing and crisp.

o- the hops have risen!! hallelujah! seriously fantastic IPA, inspiring and a "I'll be back for another" type of beer.

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Photo of hyuga
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The usual IPA orangish amber in color, and nice and clear. Great white head that stays extremely well! It's well presented. Big points for that. Pine hits you first when you take a whiff of this. A big malt backbone comes through underneath it. As for the taste, it's rather smooth for an IPA. No overwhelming bitterness, but it maintains the big character flavor profile that I like. Hops do play a big role though. In the front, some rind-like and leafy hop character makes its presence known. Malt stays in the background, but it's like a cloud over the sun in Phoenix, you don't pay it much heed but you know it's there making everything more comfortable for you. In the middle and back, malt is ready to come out more, and it's got a very nice "buttery" sweetness to it. A bit bready. The bitterness shows up in the finish, nice and crisp. Well, I think this is a very enjoyable IPA, I'll definitely have it again, hopefully more than a few times. It seems a bit underrated to me. But it's all in one's own taste, right? I'd say definitely give it a try and see for yourself!

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.