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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.

6,835 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,835
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 248
Gots: 775 | FT: 10
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,835 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of therica
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Talk about impeccable!

A= poured in a clean 1/2 liter glass stein, it was coming out of the bottle in twisted swirls of golden-ORANGE?!?! The stein filled nicely with... ORANGE Ale?!?!? Very little head, probably because I poured very slowly. Orange beer, it looks amazing!

S= hit in the face with huge aroma from a foot away! Amazing. A complete explosion of hops florals and heaven. Mandarin orange. It's literally like getting hit in the head with a floral-hops hammer. After a few minutes this very nice strong scent of bready malts came through, as well.

T= following the Smell, the Taste is ALL THERE. Florals, Mandarin orange, nice hops bitters but perfectly balanced; sweet malts, fruity traits, various come-and-go hints of various candied fruits galore.

M= clean, with slight dryness and light bitters, more fruit and florals than after you eat an apple or an orange or maybe a fresh combo-fruit salad. Lots to savor. I feel like I just ate a fresh tropical fruit breakfast bowl of apple, orange, papaya, mango and grapefruit, topped with shaved coconut. Whoaaah....

D= Bear Republic states that they do everything, huge. And thus they have. However, expect a 6-pack of 12oz bottles to cost you about US$2 more than most other micro's. Worth the treat.

Photo of Brad007
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-copper color with floaties (?) and a thick head that fades down, leaving lacing.

Aroma is full of floral hops and biscuity malt in the nose. Standard for the style.

Taste is full of floral hop bitterness upfront with a strong alcohol warmth and not much else showing up in the middle. Bready, biscuity flavors do make an appearance though.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and malt and alcohol warmth. I'm not sure what the floaties are but they don't seem to affect the taste much as I can tell.

Not bad but it would probably be better fresh. Again, it's a case of me not reading the bottling date before buying. Still a decent IPA though.

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass at 47 degrees. 2.25.09 indicated on the bottle. Poured a translucent copper with a half inch bright white head consisting of a layer of tiny, compressed bubbles. Head eventually settles into a thin, fairly consistent cap. Delicate waves of lacing were revealed during the course of the tasting. Nose consists predominantly of grapefruit notes with some light, floral aromas. Taste follows nose, but a nice malt/hops balance comes out in the mouth - some sweetness up front, with a light kiss of hops bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied and mildly effervescent. A tasty IPA with a well-hidden abv; however, somewhat lacking in the crispness I've come to associate with the style.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a chilled bomber at fridge temperature into a tulip glass.

A-Slightly veiled apricot with a creamy eggshell head that settles rapidly with some decent attractive lacing.

S-Pungent, delicious perfumey citrus hops, with a whiff of malt.

T-Sweet malts balanced by floral and citrus hops with a nice drying hop twang on the back end. Remarkably well balanced in every way. This is one hell of a nice tasting brew, and could very well be the best tasting IPA I have ever had. I keep debating whether to give this a 4.5 or a 5 on the taste, but the 5 wins out due to the sheer balance of this beer. You must hand it to Bear to not to make the IBU's steal the show here.

M-Medium, but slightly chewy, well balanced carbonation and mouthfeel.

D-This is a very drinkable beer. Big flavor without the big ABV. My "go to" IPA, session brew, cooler filler. There are better IPA's out there, but none so drinkable as this.

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

Slightly hazy orange with about 1/2 inch of head that diminishes quickly, but leaves a great sticky web of lacing.

Huge citrus hops in the nose and a slight floral-perfume smell. I caught a little apricot in there, too.

Pungent citrus hops... grapefruit and orange. The transition to the malt is flawless. It's a nice balance and the malt knows it's place and is very submissive to the bittering effect of the hops. Delicious.

Full body and crisp, clean carbonation. Very fresh tasting. The bitter finish is spot on.

Great drinkability. It's smooth, refreshing, and juicy. I could drink these all night.

This is a great example of a flat out quality IPA.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear orange/amber color. Pored a 2 finger light tan head with good retention settling to an even skim. Sticky lacing throughour. Decanted lightly.

S: Floral hops and grapefruit. Sweet malt well in the background. Not really much on the nose.

T: Wow! Big, slightly sweet malts really come through. Floral, resiny hops - in the flavor and in the finish - blanace nicely.

M: Full side of medium body. Balanced carbonation. Smooth and coating, but not syrupy or sweet. Bitter finish provides great balance.

D: Very drinkable. Lots of flavor, but great balance. Disguises the abv well.

Photo of racer2k
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Clear copper color which pours a fluffy cake batter colored head. The head quickly dissolves and leaves some light textured lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus, Grapefruit aroma with a moderately strong hoppy but sweet smell.

T - Hops, citrus and grapefruit dominate the initial up front taste but then the flavor shifts to a sweet malty finish that smooths the ride out. Decent balance with no lingering bitter finish

M - Smooth with moderate carbonation.

D - A nice west coast IPA that is balanced unlike a lot of the strong IPA and DIPA offerings from the left coast. A great beer that I would drink again.

Photo of fbinla
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours white head that dissipates very quickly, amazingly clear light amber color. Nice bold hop smell. Strong but controlled bitterness, then easy malt flavors followed by the pine/citrus bitterness that lingers in your mouth with a touch of sweetness. Mouth feel is good, if the bitterness wasn't keeping it under control you could say it's slightly syrupy. Carbonation is perfect.

Photo of rwrk42
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a decent white thick head. Some lacing on the way down.

Smell: Malts, caramel with some citrus and a nice hop aroma

Taste: Light malt taste, decent amount of hops with a faint citrus flavor. Finishes very nice and smooth

A very good IPA which I highly recommend. One of the best.

Photo of TLove
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: Dark orange with a nice frothy white head, with a nice trail of lace. Retains light lace on the top of the beer.

Smell: Smells like unspiced, spiked apple cider. Crisp, citrus, a tad oily and strong alcohol.

Taste: Strong hops, very smooth, light bitters and a pungent body with hints of apple, orange, and barley residue.

Mouthfeel: Good in the mouth, but descends to overly hoppy and a bit strong alcohol-wise on the back end.

Drinkability: Strong finish, but inherently and unabashedly smooth.

Photo of youngblood
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very golden copper with a huge craggy white head. Looks very lively. This looks amazing and out of control.
Smells very citrusy. Lots of grapefruit and lime rind. Small bit of malt sweetness lying underneath.
Taste follows scent closely with the exception that there is a bit more fresh cut grass taste to it. Wonderful! As it warms, the caramelly malts make themselves more known.
Feels great on the mouth, smooth and slightly sticky. Great drinkability.

Photo of barnzy78
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. I had this previously and wasn't crazy about it. Re-taste:

Rigorous pour revealed a light orange colored ale with some mild particulates. Head was bubbly but thin, off-white in color, and had good retention with decent lacing on the glass. Aroma was terrific - hop presence of pine and citrus, with hints of caramel malt. Tastes were mild caramel malt followed with strong earthy pine and citrus. Seemed to lack complexity, but is well balanced with a bitter, lingering hop finish. Hop resins coat the mouth well, especially towards the end of the ale as it warms. Overall, very good example of the style, but again for some reason I'm not crazy over it.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Racer 5 poured cloudy and dark gold with a thick three-finger head that became a creamy pillow and left a moderate amount of lace. Immediately after the pour, it perfectly filled the glass and looked like a poster-child for how a beer should look.

The smell was very citrusy, like a freshly sliced grapefruit. The flavor, however, was earthy and grassy. I've never experienced such a contrast from smell to taste. Both were wonderful, yet not alike. The best beers get better as they get less cold and the taste of Racer 5 got more complex, more layered, and more better as I eased through the glass. The feel was gritty, aggressively bitter, and dry.

As IPAs go, gritty is a good word for Racer 5, which feels like a dingy, dark dive bar on a chilly and rainy spring day.

Photo of SeattleAdam
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours golden with amazing 1.5 finger foamy white head. Pretty damn clear.

S- Citrus, floral, piny. Everything you want to smell in a hoppy American I.P.A.

T- Takes a second to bloom. Hits cold and explodes into piny, citrus, goodness. Finishes very clean.

M- Effervescent, medium bodied and carbonated perfectly. Not heavy in the least and not thin and fizzy by any stretch of the imagination.

D- Very drinkable. This is a great American I.P.A. This is is my favorite stlye so I'm a little biased but the great crisp, refreshing, piny taste is there. Pour me another please!

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

A) Pours a deep golden with a frothy white thick head.

S) Lots of hop aroma eminating from pint glass.

T) Lots of hoppy, grassy, piney, grapefruit with hints of fruit.

M) Excellent mouthfeel.

D) This is a beer is very sessionable to me. Loved its tase, mouthfeel. A very drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of nectar14
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bomber...
Has a pleasant light copper/gold color and a 1/4 to 1/2 inch white head that does fade rather quickly, leaving decent lacing on the glass. Smells piny and hoppy (which I like). Has a very nice combination of bitter hops on the palate and maltiness. The two balance each other nicely; this is not an over-the-top Hop Bomb. Mouthfeel is also pleasant, and this drinks very smoothly. Very easy to like, and at the moment, this is my favorite California IPA next to the Ballast Point Sculpin... it's wonderfully balanced and very drinkable. I found it for $2.99 for 22 oz, which ain't too bad. Solid.

Photo of gabe23
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper color with a rocky, off white head. It faded quickly and left scattered lacing.

S - Nice fruity, citrusy hop aroma with slightly sweet undertones.

T - Grapefruit bitterness hits up front, but a surprisingly sweet malt backbone balances things out. Sharp hop bite on the finish, but no lingering aftertaste.

M - Very smooth and creamy going down. Moderate carbonation.

D = This is a very good IPA. I always expect anything from the west coast to be a completely unbalanced hop bomb, but that wasn't the case with Racer 5. If it wasn't so damned expensive, this would be in my regular rotation.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is golden with a good head that falls apart quickly. It smells very sticky, piny, citrusy, all things hoppy. Tastes bitter with hardly any malt character. Mouthfeel is good, just enough body. Drinkability is good. I would have this again and again, one of the best IPA's I've tried.

Photo of IMincedTheKing
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is dated 2/25/09. I'll assume that's a "bottled on" date.

Pours a dark gold with a small head that retreats back to a ring of foam.

The pleasant hop aroma is accented by fresh citrus--mostly lime. A light maltiness is there, but the lime has captured most of my attention.

Surprisingly sweet on the palate. A lot of caramel and vanilla. The citrus hops cut in like a knife, bittering the brew but never dominating. There's a good amount of body and light carbonation. The aftertaste is of rinds and mildly astringent--just astringent enough to make me want for another sip.

I'm not too familiar with the style, but this is obviously a quality IPA. I could go for a glass or two every now and then.

Photo of projectflam86
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours golden orange with a slight amber hue. Frothy white foam that leaves nice lacing.

S- Floral pine hop nose with some sweet honey and malt scents. Some typical citrus notes as well.

T- Nice piney hop flavor initially. Sweet caramel malt backbone balances nicely leading to a pleasant finish. Not much alcohol flavor to speak of. The hop bitterness seems to be a combination of citrus esters and pine tastes but balanced very well by the malty sweetness.

M- Medium/light bodied. Smooth and well balanced (all most too much for a hophead).

D- Nice IPA to get someone into the style. The hops are very much present but not dominating.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden with an orange hue; excellent lacing and a good head.

S: Lots of citrusy hops. For an IPA, lots of malt to intrigue what's coming to the palate.

T: Plenty of hops at the outset. A smooth, slightly caramel malt behind all the hops. A bready/biscuit flavor is there, but the hops certainly dominate.

M: Nice and creamy for an IPA. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: Ask for another! This is one terrific IPA, and I can't wait to get out to CA to try more of Bear Republic's brews.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happy to do the 1,001st review for this brew!

A: Pours a pretty pale copper color with a thin fluffy white head that leaves nice sticky lacing in its wake.

S: Nice crisp citrus nose with a touch of pine blended in.

T: Big grapefruit up front with the pine laying low underneath. A touch of malt and a nice hop presence.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Hop oiliness left in your mouth.

D: All night long!

Photo of tronester
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a big tan head. Smell is of toasted sugar and citrus. Taste has a sturdy malt backbone with a ton of caramel and biscuit in the flavor. A nice pine flavor finishes the beer nicely, as well as a hint of citrus peel. Bitterness levels match up with the malt nicely. Mouthfeel is super creamy, very nice carbonation. Bottle Conditioned. Quite drinkable, a good IPA that I plan to drink again.

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

A frothy sunburnt orange into the glass with big head and nice lacing. Cloudy with some sediment floating about.

Spot on American IPA nose, very citrusy with some minty notes coming on in the back

An excellently well rounded brew, the taste and mouthfeel combine perfectly into a creamy bitter blend. There is just enough carbonation to carry the flavor around, with a sweet almost vanilla note on the finish. Great.

I could drink this beer all night, hides the abv well, excellent beer.

Photo of tjsprague
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is a nice dark golden orange color with a pale white head. Nice carbonation bubbles trailing the sides of the glass.

The first thing i noticed when I opened the bottle was a nice floral aroma of hops. The beer keeps putting out a pleasant floral hop aroma from the glass.

The taste is excellent. An excellent hop bitterness throughout the whole sip. A nice malt background. Finishes with a strong hop bite.

Mouthfeel is resiny from the hops and slightly bitter.

I would drink this beer over and over, a great American IPA

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,835 ratings.