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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,266 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,266
Ratings:
7,343
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
328
Gots:
1,193
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: 2,266 | Ratings: 7,343
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.36/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 9/12/2007 (bottle):

Pours an amber clear yellow colored body, with a big foamy head w/good lacing. Has a hoppy aroma, sweet, almost grapefruity, citrusy. Has a sour sweet taste, a little too bitter, but the aftertaste is clean. Pretty good for a West Coast IPA.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 13 May 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. This is a nice drinking IPA. It is certainly better than average with a good hoppy nose and flavors. Others (Stone, DFH, Victory, Bells) are better, but I wouldn't pass this one up

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very cool 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Deliciously golden orange, great color. Lot’s of fun junk floating around. Beautiful froth. Looks great!

Smell: Clean citrus hops. Mild scents of inorganic salts, acid, and alcohol. Coarse.

Taste: Mild hops, mildly bitter citrus, oven baked biscuits

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Mildly warming. Not very exciting.

Drinkability: High. Very, very easy to drink only I won’t be drinking much of this one. I can think of at least 5 IPAs that are better and more affordable.

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Photo of Gribbs23
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pour into your run o' the mill pint glass.

Initial sniff after pour was fantastic- got that really piney hop hit. Golden color with minimal head. Admittedly surprised at all the hype given to this IPA because I honestly didn't get it in the taste. Malty with some floral and pine hop aftertaste- expected more. Overall a decent enough IPA, but somewhat middle of the pack for me.

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Photo of beertunes
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a lovely orange/yellow with a thin white head that left lots of sticky lacin

Crisp citrus hops greet the nose, and the flavors are very similar. I didn't find this IPA to be as good as BRs Hop Rod Rye.

The body was solid, which gave the hops something to cling to, a pleasant change from most thin west coast IPAs. A very drinkable beer, especially for an IPA, I recommend this beer, but find Hop Rod far superior.

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Photo of Maltenbach
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle. Pours golden with a frothy head that dissipates to a one-inch rocky head. Good retention. Nice aromas of pine and citrus, but also biscuit, caramel and herbal tones. Upfront flavors of butterscotch, herbs, leather and grapefruit. Finishes with a hint dried apricot, citrus and some resiny notes that are less than pleasing. Noticeably higher alcohol content. There are some significant herbal flavors in this beer that don't seem to work too well. I was expecting a traditional IPA, but this is maltier and not as strongly hopped. Creamy mouthfeel that leaves a syrupy coating on the tongue. Not your typical IPA, and not the best IPA I've had. Not a bad beer, but it's almost as if this beer can't decide what it's supposed to be.

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Photo of CJ526
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is almost golden in color and lighter than I would expect. The flavor is good but not too hoppy for an IPA. It goes down very smooth and the hops are more pronounced at the finish. I could see this being a good IPA for warmer days or for social gatherings. I would drink this again and the price was good as well.

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Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bold hops in a medium bodied ale. The big spiciness is the best features. Flavors flatten out more than you might hope for. Some bitter marmelade flavors, more grapefruit than pine. Bitterness is under control. Golden amber in the glass with a head that dissipates before too long. Not overly carbonated in the mouth.

From a 12 oz bottle. Seems like a pretty average IPA after half a glass. The hot spiciness mixed with the hoppy bitterness gives a long, intense aftertaste.

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Photo of awmiller
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

These IPAs are starting to appeal to me! This brew poured up a cloudy/hazy golden-orange body with a frothy head possessing excellent retention and lacing. Loads of aromas of citrusy hops with just a tiny hint of roasted malts. It has a good sharp bite all the way through followed up with just enough sweet malts to smooth it out for a nice, crisp, clean finish with no harsh aftertaste; almost like a mixture of flavors of cotton candy and caramel lingering on the finish. As it warms the hops and malts blend so much more ‘flavorfully’.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). $5.99. Served in my faithful $2 Goodwill snifter. I can't find any freshness date.

A- clear golden yellow w/ 1.5 finger white head. Fair amount of pretty white lacing. Nice lookin brew.

S- floral hops. Admittedly my sniffer isn't as refined as most reviewers' but I'm just not getting much.

T- pretty good hop barrage after a little bit of biscuity malt. I'm not getting much depth. It's quite tasty but maybe this is an older bottle?

M- medium to light body. Faint carbonation. It could use a liytle more carbonation.

O- pretty good but there are plenty other widely availabe IPAs that will keep me from seeking this out. I'm glad to try it (& will again, most likely) but I fear my review may have suffered from drinking an older bottle. I'd like to try some fresh sete if I ever male that beer trek out west...  

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Photo of sfprint
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Almost medicinal light orange, uniform but sparse rising carbonation, transparent.
S: Plasticness blended with an ipa top, but under that is a darkish wood tone.
T: Very different than most west coast IPA's I've had. Woody, hops aren't as forward. Small degree of plastic. But overall smooth and even. Pretty good.
M: Fairly soft but also fairly uncarbonated. Mediumish body.
O: Different in that it is simple, and has good qualities, but it's not one I would jump for.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.44/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale gold colored IPA with a large foamy head. Aroma is malty and spicy. Lightly malted, heavily hopped. A highly hopped IPA, yet there is a definite malty overtones. Nice balance of hops and malts. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter with some malt sweetness.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.44/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale copper with fine, active carbonation. Puffy, rocky, quickly fading slightly off-white head. The lacing is oddly thin for a 7% IPA.

Smell: Good morning! Booming pine resin right off the bat with a wonderful bright citrus fruit scent throughout. Dense and sweet pineapple notes dominate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Not what I expected. The hops are huge and delicious up front, but the flavor trails off badly mid-pallate. The majority of the flavor is a rather unpleasant grainy, slightly soapy tang. Moreover, the mouthfeel is fairly thin and "dead"; there's none of the pillowy, chewy feel that the hop oil in a big IPA usually provides, and the carbonation doesn't add much. The finish is piney and bitter with a slightly spicy aftertaste.

Drinkability: For a 7% brew, it's very thin, but the weak middle flavor would me me think twice about drinking too many.

This beer is something of a legend here in NorCal, and I was very much looking forward to a controlled, objective tasting, rather than the usual drunken Healdsburg post-wine tasting pallate cleanse. Sadly, not impressed. Bought this 22 at a Napa gourmet mart, so it should have been fresh; glass should have been clean. This might have been the victim of some soap residue, but the beer seems the most likely culprit. Not awful, but not interesting--Stone Ruination blows its door off.

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Photo of aquaphiliac
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer for $9.99.

A: Nice dark gold color with a decent head. Very Pretty

S: Smells of hops mostly; some sweetness in the scent.

T: Kinda the opposite of the smell... dominating malt sweetness and a little bit of hops. Still pretty bitter on the finish, I guess I was expecting something totally different. Not bad though.

M: Perfect body IMO; on the full side.

D: Didn't really want more than 2 of these in a row, definitely not the most drinkable IPA I've tried.

Overall decent value but will probably not buy again just because I'd appreciate a little less malt.

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Photo of ebin6
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my staple beers, not going to go too in-depth on this one. It doesn't pack the best punch for an IPA, but is better than average IMO and for the price is better than say, Stone IPA; definitely a mid-range IPA. I am happy to see that it is becoming more and more available in Southern California at places that are not necessarily "beer bars". The beer zeitgeist moves forward...

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Photo of dbalsock
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light caramel color with about one finger of white head.

Smell: Very citrusy, although I couldn't pick up any grapefruit like I was expecting. Also, the hops smelled raw, like they were still on the bush. Pretty interesting, but not overly enticing for me.

Taste: It tasted much like the smell, except it was more balanced than the nose let on. A malty sweetness creeps along the palate, definitely adding to this IPA by giving it some balanced character.

Mouthfeel: This brew was light bodied and bitter. Nothing in the mouthfeel stood out to me.

Drinkability: I found this fairly drinkable due to the balancing in the taste. Also, I didn't detect a lick of alcohol, which is pretty impressive for a 7% abv. For some reason I get the feeling that this is better from the bottle.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear gold liquid and an inch of thick creamy head. I could probably stand on this.

S - Big raw pine obliterates anything else that might be in here.

T - Again, pine is the biggest flavour here, followed by a healthy dose of throat losenge. This is powerful stuff. Quite sweet as well with a healthy boozy touch.

M - Silky smooth.

D - Not my favorite. Actually does remind me of throat medicine somewhat. I know it's an IPA, but the hops are harsh, coarse and tough to handle.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, pale golden yellow. Fairly frothy and large off white cap that has excllent rentention.

Aromas are basically non existent. Faint pale malts and citrus. Doesnt smell bad or good. Somehow, just nothing there.

Tastes good, but nothing crazy either way. I read Chinook hops. I get that. Mainly just in the form of being bitter at the end. Othherwise, just a lot of muted flavor malt, pine, citrus.

Body is nice. Full and slightly creamy.

I am not sure of the age of this beer, but it was in a cooler. I say this because it is nowhere close to the ratings for me. I know I am in the minority. It just doesnt offer me anything other than not being offensive in any way. I would score this better as a pale ale truthfully.

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Photo of adamette
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Purchased a few months ago at Giant Eagle in Painesville, Ohio. The second of 4 Bear Republic beers that I bought a bomber of and will be drinking and rating this week.

A Nice orange brown body under a brief but creamy head. Good lacing too. Solid IPA look. 4.0

S Typical grapefruit hops, maybe some malt. One of maybe 30 of these IPAs that all smell the same really. 3.0

T Malt, hops, both with high concentration. Grapefruit and citrus is strong in this one. Reminds me of a Bell's Two Hearted but is more citrusy, more tart. I prefer the Two Hearted for sure but it is in the same genre. 3.5

M Full with big tastes, hops and malt. 4.0

D Maybe a bit above average for the style. 3.5

Notes: I decided a while ago to continue to try all styles but I am really getting bored of IPAs. To me they are too one dimensional and frankly, don't taste good. This one is a solid IPA with big tastes in the genre of Bell's Two Hearted but I am bored.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orangeish/gold in color, with a thin but persistant head. Big, tart citric hop aroma -- very crisp and lemony, with an underlying caramel sweetness. Flavor too is big on hops, citric in flavor with a very bitter finish and an aftertaste combining biscuity malt and fruity hop flavors. A bit of a solvent-like flavor mid-palate, which is a bit distracting, and unexpected for a beer whose alcohol level is quite moderate. Crisp and drinkable, but not one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of tburkhart
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice golden color with decent head that disappears quickly. What little head is left laces the glass very nicely throughout the beer.

Smells of citrusy hops, can't quite put my finger on the type.

The taste is right on for an IPA. Hops linger on the tongue for quite some time.

All and all not a bad IPA, it has been quite a while since I've had one, but this one may get me back on that horse.

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Photo of MillySox
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchase in 22oz bottle in a liquor store in Chicago. Not used to seeing too many CA beers in these parts. A dark golden IPA with a medium white head. Nothing to wrong with this IPA. On the flipside, nothing to distinguish itself.Smells of plenty of hops. A very balanced beer. Enough malty sweetness to match big hops and kick.

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Photo of derekmorris7
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim..been eyeballing it everytime i hit the wine nation store. Very average in a good way.

A- golden with light soft head..haha

S- not a heck of alot of noticeable notes..lil floral

T- kind of bland lite hop kick

M- clean with a lite cling of pine

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a hazy gold with a big soapy white head that sticks all around the glass. Good looking IPA. Aroma is strong in the hop oils, some citrus and pine sap in there with a touch of brown sugar. Taste was a bit of a letdown. The hops are there and there's a bitter aftertaste but none of the flavors really jump out. There doesn't seem to be enough malt to offset what is essentially a hop concoction. Beer has a nice bitter aftertaste but it also slightly watery.

I'm a bit disappointed with this brew, I was hoping for a big-hop experience, but i though it paled in comparison to their Hop Rod and XP, both of which were superior. Not a bad brew you should turn down, but there are many better IPAs out there.

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Photo of marvin213
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It looks like your average IPA: the browner side of yellow permeates my glass. A bubbly foam resonates down the sides of my glass, a slothy track left in its wake. My descriptive leads me to clarify my opening...Racer 5 looks like your average West Coast IPA. It's like the liquid can tell you it shared ground with palm trees, oranges, and grapefruit.

I've written before about the extent to which these kinds of beers can smell like Pine-Sol--there's the chemical, artificial characteristics vs. the woody, citric pine notes distinctive of west coast hop bombs. This one, unfortunately, leans more toward the former. It's like so citrusy that it smells amost sour.

My initial reaction is that this beer is overly malted. It makes me wonder if the beer is fresh. I struggle to find anything persuasive enough to justify a good or better rating. Right in line with my appearance assessment, this tastes like an average West Coast IPA. It's good enough to enjoy--even on a relatively often basis--but it's never going to be the best IPA available.

The mouthfeel is the same as everything else--it's lower-case good. You taste and feel a West Coast IPA. The problem, however, is nothing distinguishes itself.

Drinkability is almost good: I would enjoy it just about any time, but I'd almost always prefer something better.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.