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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.

6,899 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,899
Reviews: 2,236
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 256
Gots: 808 | FT: 11
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: 6,899 | Reviews: 2,236
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
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
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
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
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
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of matt062286
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden copper with a smallish white head. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Very citrus-y, fruity hops. Almost floral in ways. Definitely what you would expect from an IPA.

Taste - Very much like it smells, a very sweet and flavorful IPA. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, probably since similar hops are used, but this one is less bitter.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, but not watery, and a good amount of carbonation here as well.

Drinkability - A perfect session beer for a warm summer day in my opinion. Pretty good ABV and a smooth flavor make for a good combination. Will look forward to having this one again.

Photo of stockingcpl
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This is a bottle conditioned brew that has a HEAVY layer of sediment. Keep this in mind when serving. Head is minimal to non-existent. Carbonation threads are not observed. Color is a nice deep honey. Clarity is high (if sediment is left in bottle). Not overly impressive.

Smell: There is a huge aroma. The hop basis behind this selection is evident even when pouring this brew. Hop-heads will love the aroma. I detected aromatic hops in addition to bittering hops. Malt detected but mild due to heavy hop presence.

Taste: Flavor curve is moderate in length. There is an initial hop and carbonation bite that tapers slowly. Hop bitterness is infused during the totality of the curve. I liked the hop presence. The design did not rely upon sheer power, there are some interesting hop flavor interactions that make this quite an interesting IPA.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation bite. Hop bitterness is aggressive but not cloying. Interesting overall impression. An experienced drinker will appreciate the blended hops.

Drinkability: This selection is heavy in flavor but is not heavy on the stomache. I found that after a single selection, the palate was exhausted due to the hop flavor. However, this is not unusual for an IPA. Overall this is a great brew that would match well with big flavored food.


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.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,899 ratings.