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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,230 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,230
Hads: 7,123
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 292
Gots: 989 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,230 | Hads: 7,123
Photo of ZDub
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Duvel glass. No best by/bottled on date.

A - Pours a very clear golden straw color. A nearly white two finger head reduces to half a fingers width after a minute and leaves minimal lacing.

S - Smells of pine-resin-hoppiness with some floral notes. Possibly a hint of sweetness. Not overly complex but nice and inviting.

T - Very nice. It has a good balance of hops to malt. It's not cloying at all but it is sweeter than I expected. The hops are there, but they don't hang around long.

M - Medium mouthfeel. Very crisp, refreshing, and smooth.

D - Very drinkable. Perhaps this bottle is a little old. That could explain the mellowness of the hops. Of course, having been drinking mostly imperial IPA's lately my palate could be off. No matter, this is a very good beer. (787 characters)

Photo of PeterLemonjello
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 12 oz bottle. appearance was a crystal clear honey color. quickly evident that something wasn't right. zero head, zero carbonation

S - nice aromas of citrusy, lemon rind hops with a touch of pepper.

T - flavor follows aroma but doesn't really explode. nice bitterness, even without any carbonation to help deliver, and just a touch of caramel, biscuit malt flavors.

M - solid medium body but certainly not the best example without any CO2

D - very drinkable. lots of hop flavor/bitterness and not too chewy to make for a nice session IPA

Big fan of Bear Republic. Hop Rod is an outstanding beer. Even though I got, what I think was, a bad bottle...would seek out again based on other beers I've had from BR and reputation alone. (752 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a bomber

Caramel/deep copper in color with a slight haze.
2 fingers of dense off white head that lasted.
There was an insane amount of lacing.

Aroma was malty sweet and did not have a fresh hop aroma.

The flavor unfortunately matched the aroma.

The flavor was Malty/Caramel/sweet with a cooked/dead hop bitterness.

I don't think this is very well balanced at all and our tasting group placed this near the bottom of the IPA & DPA's that we all sampled.

If you are a hop head, look elsewhere. (509 characters)

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. (1,325 characters)

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

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. My rather fancy 100 year anniversary Shiner pint glass if you care to know.

First pour was clear, second was cloudy due to the yeast in the bottom of bottle. Small head consisting of tiny bubbles reminiscent of a nitro bottle. I cannot concur with most reviewers of this beer, I just feel that there are too many IPAs that are better than this one. Sure there are citrus notes and carmel notes, but they are a little subdued up next to the bitterness. To me, the test of a truly awesome IPA is whether or not the beautiful flavors that define the style can come through and coexist with the bitterness. Here, I think, the bitterness takes too much of the stage. I want bitterness, don't get me wrong, but I feel there is a perfect medium where IPA flavors live in perfect harmony with bitterness. And this beer doesn't achieve that.

All the while, its still a beer that many enjoy and I agree that it is a well crafted beer. I have my first Hop Rod Rye in the fridge and look forward to trying it soon and I hope it surpasses the Racer. If you are an IPA lover, you do want to get your hands on this. If not, there are better beers out there. (1,192 characters)

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

Picked this up while on business in Maryland. Fair amount of hops in th earoma, but not a whole lot. Has a different hoppiness that most other IPAs, in my view, even though there is a lot of grapefruit present. Head disappears quickly.at recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Can't say that I would want to pick another of these up. (339 characters)

Photo of trevorjn06
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 20th 2011: The first time I had this beer I hated it and it got my lowest rating of all the beers I've reviewed, however this is a highly rated IPA with a lot of hype around it so I decided to give it another shot.

Pours a golden/light copper color with a thin head the recedes to a fothy layer on the surface.

Aroma is quite nice, lots of fresh hops, grass, fruit, citrus, flowers, pine, spiciness and a bit of pungent-ness make up the nose. There is very little malt showing up here, but it's a strong IPA so to be expected.

Taste is some pale malt, grassy/hay-like hops and plenty of bitterness (though not so much as to overpower the sweetness). There are some pungent, flower-like flavors and a slight hint of caramel. The finish leaves sweet, grassy hops, spice and bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with average carbonation.

Overal this is a much better beer than the first bottle I reviewed. It is not quite up to the hype that I have heard but it is an inexpensive 22 oz. Bomber at $4.50. I would drink this again but wouldn't seek it out.

June 22 2010: Pours a nice IPA color :P It's golden/amber with one finger of head that recedes quickly.

Smell is up front West Coast hops with citrus, grapefruit and pineapple. There is a distinct cheddar aroma that I find very unpleasant, it seems to overpower most of the malt aromas though I detect a bit of sweet maltiness back there.

Taste is pretty well balanced, lightly sweet and grainy with moderate hop bitterness (for the style) and some nice floral and citrus notes. HOWEVER the cheddar aroma comes through here too, it's just not pleasant. There is a bit of pine on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall I was very let down by this beer, I had high expectations and there are some good things going for this brew but the cheesy/cheddar thing ruined it. I bought a bomber and couldn't finish it. (1,923 characters)

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 (269 characters)

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. (722 characters)

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. (480 characters)

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. (410 characters)

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. (328 characters)

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. (737 characters)

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. (1,020 characters)

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. (582 characters)

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... (385 characters)

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. (812 characters)

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. (485 characters)

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. (262 characters)

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. (1,383 characters)

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. (473 characters)

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...   (873 characters)

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. (476 characters)

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’. (543 characters)

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. (526 characters)

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,230 ratings.