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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,687
Reviews: 2,206
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 221
Gots: 644 | 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:
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 added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,687 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Hazy medium orange color. Creamy head has average retention. There's some small junk floating around.

4.0 S: Big herbal hop aroma. Nice caramel malt tones as well.

4.0 T: Herbal, citrus, and pine hop flavor balances out a healthy bitterness. Malts play a great supporting role with caramel and slightly grainy flavor.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good carbonation. Creaminess is there, but could be more so. Bitter aftertaste.

4.0 D: Good beer overall, but doesn't stand out.

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this during my last visit to Madison. Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Nice light tan head. The smell was very pleasant, not as hoppy as some other IPA's. I picked up the sweet malt backbone as I was swirling in the glass. Taste was very balanced with a bitter hop front quickly transitioning into a mellow sweetness.
This is a great beer! I wish I could get it in MN, but I guess a drive over to WI isn't too bad.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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.

Photo of redmagik99
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

golden, pretty translucent. last time i had one there was no head so this time i poured vigorously, getting about a 1.5 finger layer of white fluff. Smells like citrus hops - primarily grapefruit and orange, maybe some pinapple. Citrusy hops dominate the taste too. Bitterness is about optimal - not palate-assaulting, but you know it's an ipa. The sweet, biscuity malt that pairs with the hops really makes for a wonderful balance. or at least as much balance as you would want in an ipa. medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Tastes great, very drinkable, yet the bitterness keeps you from guzzling it down. Awesome beer.

Photo of drtth
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard shaker/pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer is a dark burnished gold color with a 1/8" white head that recedes fairly soon leaving a small ring around the glass and a patch of foam on the surface of the liquid. Sipping leaves behind some nice lightly speckled lacing after sipping.

Smell: The aroma is soft, fruity and floral. The fruit is definitely and strongly grapefruit and that is the strongest part of the aroma. The background components of the aroma are floral in character and make the aroma more complex but no more intense.

Taste: The flavor is predominantly grapefruit, which is fine with me as I like grapefrut flavor. There is a floral character to the flavor as well and then up pops a lightly caramel malt sweetness to counter point the bitter flavor of the grapefuit.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied with reasonably good carbonation. The finish is medium long and begins with the malt sweetness and then tapers off into the more bitter portion of grapefruit flavor and ends on that bitter dry note.

Drinkability: I could happily drink more than one of these. (In fact I've done so at least twice in the last week during happy hour.) I'll most certainly be returning to this beer. It is a full flavored, tasty IPA that has just a enough malt backbone to keep it from becoming boring.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass from a 22oz bomber

Pours a light copper color with a white barely half finger head that fades quickly. Active carbonation can be seen as the bubbles rise to the top.

Hints of grapefruit, honey, lemons, citrus smell which is standard for the style. I also get that caramel malt smell with some bread/biscuit.

Upfront hop bitter taste that is combined with a citrus flavor. This mellows out and the caramel malt kicks in to sort of balance it out which does for a quick second until the hops come back into play and leave you with a crisp, bitter finish. As the beer warms a nice floral note is added to this complex beer. Superb!!!!

Medium bodied with high amounts of carbonation(which is good for this beer IMO). Nice crisp slightly sweet bitter aftertaste.

If these were in 12 oz bottles(I have not looked into it)I could throw back a few of these cause its superb in flavor. But one 22oz bomber is more then enough.

Overall the only downside was the appearance but besides that this is a great IPA and I would recommend it.

Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light cedar color. Silky beige head with perfect lacing. Nose has a bouquet of floral and fruity malts over caramel malts. Taste has nice citrus and piney hops over bready malts. Well balanced ale. Nice medium body has a crisp carbonation and lingering bitter finish.

Photo of Mit
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange colour reminiscent of a wheat beer. Heat is pretty short lived.

Has the classic grapefruit and pine notes given off by a good hop bomb IPA.

Mmm mmmm....very nice taste. I had heard that this was one of the more bitter IPAs as far as hops. I didn't find it the bitterest but I did find that it was very balanced. Very nice hop bitterness at the forefront balanced with an underlying malt character. Bitter character stays to the end like a nice spice but doesn't punch you in the face.

Mouthfeel was definitely in keeping with a high ABV IPA. Thicker and you could feel the higher ABV even if you couldn't taste it.

Drinkability would only be hindered by the fact that every time I drink this I would need a glass. This is a bottle conditioned beer and thus it has some yeast leftovers in the bottle that I prefer to drink. You can't have this while you are mowing the lawn....but I could have quite a few after.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter hazy orange with a decent head that left a fizzy cap on the brew.

Nice big citric hop aroma, with big domination of the bready malt behind it.

This one is all hops. Big in your face citric grapefruit rind bitterness, with some light malt sweetness and a light toast/biscuit note. But you cannot miss those hops.

Big slick mouth-coating chewiness. Really neat feel to this one.

With all of that bitterness, you'd almost think you'd have to pace yourself. Not the case. This goes down very easy. One of my favorite IPAs. No funky flavors, and great balance. Try it.

Photo of froghop
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a somewhat hazy orange-yellow with a large egg-shell bubbly head, good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, caramel, citrus, earth, and some pine.

taste is refreshing, grapefruit, touch of caramel, some pine, citrus, very bitter, and sweet malt, end is bitter.

Photo of chaswisler
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Thin pale head stayed around the whole time. Lacey foam all the way down to the bottom of the glass.

A-Looks like a beer should. Beautiful copper sunset color. Carbonation continues to rise throughout the beer.

S-Not much of a smell, but pleasant.

T-Outstanding, Apple and citrus, very refreshing.

D-I could easily down a 6 pack, will definitely buy this one again.

Photo of addmorehops
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just shared a Lenny RIPA and a HOP STOOPID for the first time and although satisfied, I'm jonesing for a Racer5 on deck.

My goto is Bell's 2H, but to all hop seekers who haven't found Utopia, please enjoy an R5 if you can.

It's still in the fridge and I haven't had one since a visit to Yardhouse San Diego months ago, but I will tell you it satisfies everything you need if you love hop slanted monster IPAs.

Photo of TheDoorman
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent orange complexion with a quickly dissipating head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is a bouquet of citric hops. Tangerine, orange, grapefruit. Classic. Taste follows the nose, hops persistent throughout. A gentle tingling carbonation and a soft, oily feel. Dry finish. A classic west coast IPA.

Photo of Florida9
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Hazy yellow gold in color. About a finger's worth of sticky, white head leaves copious amounts of lacing as the beer drains from the glass.

S: Huge citrus hop nose with notes of apple, orange, and floral characteristics. There is a faint sweet maltiness there as well, but it only seeks to accent the hops.

T: Pungent citrus hops on the front end followed by a brief sweetness that develops with increasing bitterness on the finish.

M: Light to medium in body with medium carbonation.

D: Definitely a drinker. Lighter body adds to the drinkability while the fresh citrus flavor makes you want to drink more. A great beer all around and one I'll be visiting again soon.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured light copper, slightly hazy, nice head, great retention, and great lacing.

very floral scents up front. hints of grapefruit and sweet citrus.

very bitter up front and through the finish. hints of white grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and tangerine. slight malt presence at the very end.

very light but full carbonation.

this is one of my favorite IPA's. huge bold flavors but not too huge. i love this.

Photo of GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/22/09. Very excited to see this beer make it to Colorado. Let's see if it's really any good...

Pours into the Sam Adams glass with a hazy pale orange color. It takes some effort to get and head on the pour but stright into the glass seems to work. It's creamy white goodness - nice and sticky.

Aroma is heavenly with lots of great citrus. Sugar crusted orange zest, lemon, and grapefruit all come through. It smells like a perfect IPA.

Taste is seriously hoppy but not overly bitter. It has a great sweetness initially but then the resiny hops come in with lots of pine and citrus. The malts are there to keep it all in check but this really is a showcase of hops all the way. I sense a bit of honey sweetness but it never gets in the way. If anything, it enhances the beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth but between the full body and the massive hops it comes across almost sticky. Carbonation isn't too high and it goes down with just a bit of burn.

Overall this is just a great IPA. Nothing but great things from start to finish. It may seem expensive at $10 a six but it's worth it every time.

Photo of NCBeernut
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy translucent golden amber that gets a nice deep orange color in the middle of the glass. Nice solid dense head, leaving a thick chunk of lace at the top, but not really much more as it works its way down the glass. Nice color. Aroma has some fruit candy-like sweetness. Complex hop aroma, but not potent - citrus with a little grassy earthiness that comes out more when you swirl it. A little biscuity malt, but sweet-smelling. Nice balance, not a puckering bitterness, but not syrupy sweet, but the hops still get to shine. A touch of white pepper spiciness, with grassy, citrus hops that lean toward sugar dusted grapefruit flavors. I'm pretty sure there are definitely some Amarillo in there. Malt is sweet caramel that never gets in the way of the hop show. Finishes with some bitterness, but right in the middle of the dry-sweet spectrum. Perfect amount of carbonation and not too syrupy or bitter to enjoy on a summer day.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, well. A very solid IPA from BR. $5 for a 22oz bottle. Good deal.
A slightly hazed golden, apricot color to the body. Good head, mix of dense and loosened foam. Some chunk.

Aroma is a mix of citrus, pine and resin/earthy. Herbal hints. Has a bit of a musk in the end. It's not powerful, but good and solid.

Malt backbone on the flavor is just barely holding up. Hope are strong, but not over powering. It seems they serve to up the abv and preserve the beer...like an IPA is supposed to do. I get some butteriness in the end. Quite an odd feeling for this style imo.

Good crispness and bitterness. Slight metallic flavor in the end.
A very nice beer. Not surprising from BR.

Photo of BarrelO
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light brown body. Not much of a head.

S: Hops. Mad hops. If SNPA is Exhibit A for the Cascade aroma, this is Exhibit B.

T: A huge citrusy hop punch. Also plenty of caramel maltiness. Pretty much perfectly balanced.

M: A bit resiny.

T: What an IPA. Quite possibly the best in America. At least, the best that I have access to.

Photo of snpub540
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very light copper hue that was clear with a slight haze. Nice carbonation. There was a fluffy off-white head that left some very clingy lacing down the whole glass.

Aromas were all hop related citrus and grapefruit being the most evident. Also some floral hops in the nose.

Taste was mostly hops. Citrus is the dominant flavor with a piney after taste. A bready malt backbone adds a nice balance to this brew.

Mouthfeel was medium-bodied. Drinkability is great as this beer has a very clean flavor and it is not harsh at all. The alcohol is not present at all.

Photo of melagnus
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So a quick background on the tasting atmosphere and parameters at the time, since this might have affected my overall view, though doubtful.

Though I have tasted this beer many times before in the bottle and on-tap, this evening started off with a sampling of the beer when it was poured from a keg that was "on it's way out." The beer was served in a cooled glass and at probably around 35˚F, so there was no doubt some chill haze prevalent.

The second and compared to tasting, was via a freshly tapped keg that was delivered a couple of days prior, therefore I have brought both of these observations into my review.

A - Pale Amber (SRM 9-10) liquid poured into a tall 22 oz. Weißbier-style glass results in a slightly opaque hue that on top forms a thick & foamy white head. The head (2 ½ fingers-thick) seems resinous and leaves behind a tantalizing lacing as the volume recedes, though this occurs very slowly as the head retention is quite impressive! The pour was done in the traditional American-form, which is to pour the beer on the side of the glass at a 45˚ angle until half-full. Carbonic-bubbles escalate to the top, thereby helping to suspend the head. The combination of the cooled glass and chilled beer made for some chill hazing, though this of course disappeared with warmth.

Note: Second sampling came via a non-chilled 22 oz. Weißbier-style glass and both samples were allowed to warm up to at-or-near proper temps before tasting!

S - Columbus and Cascadian hops plume deep into the nasal cavity, with clean & sweet Pale Ale malt undertones vying for recognition. Alcoholic esters can be sense, though the resinous and floral hops mask this nicely.

Note: Second tasting produced a more fresh floral bouquet of hops that did the first!

T - Cool and refreshing! Slightly grainy substance washes over the palate, while sweet malts coat the palate, leaving a bitter (medium-high hops) crescendo that lingers smoothly for a while thereafter. Possibly a tad nutty, though unsure on this.

Note: Second sampling resulted in a more sweet malty flavor in the foreground, though resinous hops still dominate.

M - Slightly warming at the end (7% ABV), this mouth coating and grainy beer washes over the palate nicely with medium body and an appropriately out of balance bitterness. Sweetness, possibly caramel, does play into the equation though.

C - This beer truly never gets old! Each time I try it I am amazed at how timeless it is. Harpoon IPA, Stone IPA, Standing Stone Brewery (Ashland, OR), Mayflower IPA, Dogfish Head 60 and Lagunitas IPA all brew their own incredible interpretations of the style, though despite other scholarly opinions, I must conclude that I still lean towards this being my all-time favorite IPA. There's just something magical about the mixture of ingredients in this brew and the freshness in the bouquet no doubt plays into this fantasy. Bring me a juicy burger and some sweet potato fries and oh yeah Bartender, "I'll have another!"


Photo of Crack1Open
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful hazy orange/amber. Fluffy white head that recedes nice and slow leaving good lacing. A little fine sediment at the bottom of bottle.

S- Nice hoppy, floral, piney aromas with a touch of citrus. Also detect some minor malt aromas at various times. Smell delicious.

T- Hoppy bite up front turns to citrusy malt while still maintaining the hop flavors throughout. Definitely floral/piney flavors with initial hops. Finishes a pleasant bitter.

M- A little sharp at first but eases after initial sip. Not too heavy, pretty light. Light carbonation. Dry finish.

D- High drinkability. Could definitely enjoy a couple of these on a nice hot day. Alcohol well hidden. Definitely recommended.

While this may not be the most complex ipa, it still a great straight to the point one and true to the style. Sometimes the simpler the better. Delicious!

Photo of CHickman
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a gold/copper color with a slight haze and a creamy 2 finger snow white head that fades slowly, leaving good spotty lacing.

Smells of juicy citrus and piney hops, with grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, pine cones, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, floral hops, herbs, light spices and biscuit or cracker; very nice citrus and hoppy notes, with just enough malts and grains for nice balance. The juicy hops jump out and make a statement, but overall the aroma is spot on and very nice for an IPA. Typical West Coast nose that is quite enjoyable.

Taste starts out sweet with the citrus and floral hop taste and smell, followed by a slight spicy hop flavor with piney hops, citrus hops and floral hops mixed with malt that trails off bitter with a sweet ending that brings out more hops and grapefruit, lemon zest, tangerine, orange peel, pine cones, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, biscuit, herbs, spices like pepper and coriander, perhaps even some light cinnamon. This beer works well and is very balanced considering the mix of hop flavors that bombard the senses up front. The flavor has a lot more malt and balance than the nose, and it's very tasty and extremely easy to drink. There is just enough sweet malt, biscuity grains and brown sugar or caramel to even out the taste. There is some lingering mango and coriander that coats the tongue after each swallow, leaving a refreshing feeling. A definite session beer for me, this flows down so easy that the whole bomber was gone in a flash.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and almost oily slick, with a medium chewy feel, very light and almost watery carbonation, with a bitter dry finish, yet the hop combo helps it go down smooth.

Overall a great beer that's packed with flavor and balanced by the slight sweetness, not letting that 7% ABV hit you until then end of the bottle. Each sip got better and brought out more flavor. A great beer on its own or mixed with food, this slides down easy like a fine beer should. A great beer that is steady, always enjoyable, complex and full of flavor; a top notch IPA that is one of the standards for any hophead.

Photo of Martin2D
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Amber with a white head that laces and fades quickly

S - Hop aromas with a sweet backbone

T - Strong sweet malt on the forefront accompanied by bittering hops and a gorgeous floral/citrus note.

M - Medium carbonation and medium in body, lasting finish.

D - Wow, this one knocked my socks off. What a great available IPA. Perfect bitterness and citrus matched with quite a bit of maltiness.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,687 ratings.