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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,268 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,268
Ratings:
7,377
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
333
Gots:
1,231
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: 2,268 | Ratings: 7,377
Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Al's of Hampden, served in a Nonic.

The color is golden hued with amber accents and thick collar of light white w/ a light yellow accent. The clarity is lightly hazed and the bead is very fine. I love the array of fruit odors this ipa presents - very citrus and tropical tinged yet is has a moderately high amount of pine from the hops too. I like the grapefruity presence -it is so pungent it is like smashing your face into a pile of grapefruits. The feel is both bitter and yet smooth at the same time, plenty of natural carbonation with a blend of yeast and softness from the oils of the hops giving a slight dry and the malt body adds a gentle sweetness level.

This IPA is delicous, just so tangy and citrus flavored with some herbal elements giving a well round flavor of bitter orange/grapefruit notes that aren't hampered by the malt. The taste of the malt is very dry, only enough sweetness there to compliment the slight pineapple quality. The bitterness level is optimal with a low level of astringency and the hop goodness lasts for a while after the swallow. I could enjoy a quart of this IPA it is so drinkable on cask, I have enjoyed it equally in each delivery method -tap, bottle and now cask, just delicious in every way. I would prefer it on cask as the hops seem so much more vibrant and fresh this way.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice ambery copper color, somewhat hazy with little floaty things, hop leaf bits probably, finger high off-white head of thick bubbly froth, fades slowly to a thin haze and a ring which remains present the whole glass. Lace is sticky in large webby sheets. Aroma is oh so nice with lovely hops of piney deepness and citrusy oils with a soft, round caramel maltyness. Straight up IPA nose from the West coast eh, quite nice, could smell it at arms length. Taste has a nice piney sense with a mellowness thats welcoming; increasing citrus of dull orange oil and grapefruit mixed with a touch of woody dryness and a nice even bittering hop bite thats resin filled and quite nice the whole way through. Caramel malts keep a sweeter notion overall on the under side. Feel is solid medium bodied with a nice little creamy smoothness and fluffyness that slides right down. This beer clinched it for me. I love hops!! I've held back on wanting a hop fix, but no longer, I'm going to start hoarding hop heavy beers dammit! This was a very nice IPA! The bomber was gone in no time! And I thank Drewbage1847 for it!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Golden in color with a sturdy head.

S-Citrusy hops and a doughy malt combination. Quite fruity.

T-Delicious fruity hops. Swell bitter taste gives way to a thick dough malt. The fruity hop taste lingers exceptionally well.

M-Medium bodied. Light enough to consume several, heavy enough to make you remember its a beast.

D-One of my go-to brews. Love the taste. Not too much booze. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this one up outside of LA at Liquorama while there to do a job. Time to give this one a try.

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with an aggressive 1" of off white bubbles on top. The head is thick and looks like it is going to be around for quite some time...especially since there are boat loads of bubbles rising to maintain it. A couple minutes after the pour, there is still a huge head on top of this one. There is boo-coo's of lacing left on the glass after drinking leaving sheets on the glass.

Aroma: I get a whole bunch of citrus in the nose with lemons and grapefruit in particular. Deep within it, there is a bit of caramel malt, but the hops are in charge of the aroma through the massive head.

Taste: The flavor has a big introduction of hops with all of the citrus that I got in the nose, but there is a big malt presence to this beer also to give the hops some resistance. There is big malt here, but even bigger hops. The malt never takes control of the flavor profile, but only compliments the hops. It is interesting about this beer in that there is a big floral hop contribution that is apparent late in the finish to go with the citrus hops and the alcoholic warming. The finish of this beer is never aggressively bitter, but there is still a boat load of hops in this one. I like the fact that they actually let it finish hoppy, yet not really hugely bitter and dry with a chalky feeling on the back of the throat. As the beer warms a bit, the malt comes out a bit more and leaves you with a mildly syrupy impression on the back of the throat to enjoy late in the finish.

Opinion: I am not a hophead, but I am really impressed with this beer. Yea, it has the essential huge hop character, but it still remains drinkable. I don't really know what else to say. This is a pretty fricking good beer, and I would certainly drink it again. Nuff said!

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Photo of HopNelius
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served out of a bottle and into a pint glass.
Appearance-golden amber, with a two finger head and some carbonation.
Smell-pine and malts.
Taste-Nice pine hops hit you upfront followed by some maltiness and it finishes with a lovely notes of grapefruit.
Mouthfeel-wonderful
Overall-I find myself gravitating back to this IPA whenever I see it. This is a great IPA and one that you could drnk a few of. It is well balanced between the malts and the hops but also has a unique taste.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes 1/19/2011

A: citrus, hops, and a small hint of malts

Ap: golden orange with a 2 finger offwhite head, head lingers, awesome lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, very crisp

Af: hops, malts on the back-end, very clean and dry

O: a very drinkable IPA

Cheers!
The CPJ

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Photo of bobsy
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint at Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House in San Francisco, an extremely odd mish-mash, which in one way didn't work, and in another totally rocked my world.

Copper body with a large, fluffy white head that has good retention and leaves great lacing. Very floral aroma with lots of citrus. Abundant grapefruit and pineapple in the flavour, which brings a delightful bitterness. There's also great balance provided by the malts, which come through with caramel and honey notes. Medium-light mouthfeel and a medium carbonation work well for the style and make this exceedingly drinkable.

This is a damn good IPA, full of bitterness, but also finely balanced. I could drink this all night!

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Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic makes really good beer. Racer 5 is really good beer. I would give it a perfect 5 if BeerAdvocate didn't break up scoring into categories. The beer isn't perfect in all categories, but it is greater than the sum of its quite excellent parts. Racer 5 should be on tap at every pizza place and burger joint in the country. It's perfectly balanced and probably the most drinkable beer that I've ever had. Usually, I'm able to ponder a beer as I write my review, but this 22oz bottle is already nearing its end.

The beer has a great color, a deep gold or light amber that pretty much nails my mental picture of how an IPA should look. The head could stick around a bit longer, but that's really quibbling over details. The beer smells good. It's not as overtly hoppy in taste or smell as Hop Rod Rye, Racer 5's cousin, but it has some nice citrus notes, which Hop Rod doesn't. I feel a bit silly talking about each category for this beer, so I'll sum up my feelings quickly. The taste is well-balanced and dry. The mouthfeel is very nice with great carbonation that plays an excellent supporting role. Finally, it's just exceptionally drinkable. The beer is sweet, hoppy and dry. The flavors don't linger and the bitter aftertaste is just right. For me, Racer 5 is a perfect storm of drinkability.

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Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a 1.5l hefeweizen glass (I know, but I like the scoring inside it for the head/bubbles).

Appearance: Medium golden amber, light to medium head that thins out but hangs around a bit with a steady 1/8" head and lacing. Good looking beer as it should be.

Nose: Big hops of course, as an IPA should be. Some citrus/grapefruit in there, and a touch of something sweet? Malts? A little pine for good measure as well.

Flavor: Booyah! Good hops attack immediately, followed by a citrus tone and even slightly sweet (not sugar sweet) with some yeasty malts in there! Interesting! Finishes very clean and leaves a sweet lemon presence. Wow. Going through the glass as it warms, definitely the malts come out a bit more and it gets slightly sweeter. Again, not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is OK, just enough. Slightly thick at first but dissipates fast leaving me wanting more. The hops, while strong, also dissipate fast. Almost...creamy, like an imperial IPA...

Drinkability: Dangerously so! As it finishes so clean it is very easy to grab another mouthful. I would never know that this is a 7% abv beer. Surprising, I thought it would be a slower drinking IPA.

Summation: I like. I like alot. I am still learning IPA's so I guess I expect the good ones to be very similar, then something comes along and surprises me. This IPA seems simple (in a good way) but actually there is more there than meets the eye (or palate). The character changed over a 20 minute period, maintaining the original presence but getting more complex at the same time. Nice. I give this a very solid 9. YUMMEE.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber serving, been saving this one for a while. Glad that tonight is finally the night to break it out.

Beautiful pour! Golden/amber body with a slight haze to it. Huge frothy sticky white head that lasts and lasts. Curtains of lace, really impressive. To me, this is, in terms of appearance, a perfect IPA.

Nice hop nose, sharp and invigorating.

Taste is very nice indeed. Spicy and tasty hops are the flavor leaders, balanced with a proportional malt base. This is a very interesting IPA with a variety of fruity, piney and tart citrus flavors to consider. There is also a curious spiciness that kind of reminds me of SNCA. An instant classic in my book. I'm giving it top marks.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy with lots of great carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Could be a great session beer. Just a little too costly and somewhat hard to find around here. I will grab this one again.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

have had this in bottle and on draft.

this beer just has a great taste and feel. tastes like many other IPAs yet is way better. has a unique taste but seems to be the "model" for IPAs. great in so many ways.

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Photo of Jordan
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly fresh sample, tap-like presentation, fluffy white head that endures, frisky carbonation. An aggresive hop profile, many complex herbal notes, subdued honey sweetness.

Heavy, filling, robust.

A superb example of living beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label offers the brewery's motto "bigger is better". While that's not always the case, I will never argue to the contrary. "Bigger" definitely describes the head I got from the pour, a huge fluffy cap of cream on top of what the label very correctly describes as "golden". Easy enough.

Aroma is a thing of wonder, especially if hops are your thing. Big piney presence in the nose, with plenty of malty sweetness balancing it out, and lighter, more delicate flowery spices dotting the aroma. Almost a gingerbread thing lurking around there somewhere.

Flavor is generally big, rich, tingly and sweet. If you know the finest IPAs and Double IPAs, then you'll know what this is all about. This is a DIPA-leaning IPA, with the hops winning out in assertiveness and sharpness over the gooey malts that try their best to balance. Nice spicy/herbal accents throughout. Malty sweetness carries over into the finish, rich and caramel-like. Then once again trumped by a sharp layer of prickly, piney hops.

Mouthfeel is maybe a little too tingly, perhaps a little rough for the richness of flavor. Because it almost tastes like a double IPA, I expected that level of creaminess, but this is actually drier and more like your typical IPA...but there is enough buttery roundness to give a hint of creaminess.

Really, really good IPA, one of the best ever, up there with Bell's, Stone, and Green Flash versions of the style (among exalted others). Yum.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, vibrant orange with one finger sticky white head with impressive and intense lacing.

S - One of the best aromas I've encountered. Citrusy with pine and grapefruit; yeast is detectable; considerable hop scent.

T - A little bit flatter than I expected but still very stellar. Follows the nose but to a less extreme extent. The pineyness and grapefruit flavor show off more than expected. Pretty hoppy with a nice alcoholic finish.

M - Moderately bodied, not very carbonated - carbonation is overtaken by this beer's considerable hoppiness. Moderately bitter and considerably dry finish.

D - A great IPA. One of the best I've tried. Stone and Victory's Hop Devill are probably of the few that compete with this. Super sessionable.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte, served in a pint glass.

The beer is an amber/orange/copper color with a big off white head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing that cover the glass.

The nose is full of big, in your face, citrusy hops. Just a beautiful aroma. Not much else going on, but really nothing else is needed. I am dying to get a taste of this beer.

The taste does not disappoint. The flavor is big and full of orange and grapefruit with just a hint of pineapple. I also get a second hop profile that is more piney and earthy. The malty base of this beer is small and unintrusive, just big enough to make its presence known, but not enough to detract from the focus of the beer... Citrusy Hops. Medium bodied and well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel and incredibly easy to drink.

A really well crafted IPA, very smooth and inviting. Definately one of my favorite IPAs now.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale forms a head..it "laces" a bit, but this shouldn't be a quality we look for...

The nose is full of hops, citrus, pine, delicious malt...

The tase is overwhelmingly crisp. Not as good as Pliny the Elder, but amazing close. Well defined citrusy/piney hops.. and a nice malt undertone...

Mouthfeel is exactly what you'd expect from an IPA... smooth and sticky hops on the backend...

Drinkability is off the charts... Unfortunately drinking too many of these in a short amount of time will render you incapacitated.

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Photo of shalowlou
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew is simply beautiful. A great appearance really can make a beer so much more appetizing.

Smell: I just love the smell, it's like being in a citrus garden. The hops: zest, grapefruit. The maltiness: orange and dare I say lemon?
Delicious and appetizing.

Taste: Its like Ruination but not on steroids. I don't really enjoy the double IPA style (aka Ruination) This has the perfect balance, I'm not scared of hops, and I can appreciate them, and this brew really helps. It's hoppy, yet balanced, and the flavors just strike the palate. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, and the hops are oh so yummy. This is really a must try for those that really want to taste what balanced is all about.

Mouthfeel: Its really the prefect balance of thickness and brew. It’s not too thick. But it really is filling.

Drinkability: Hey, I got the 22 oz. Bomber, and I like it, but it’s going to be a while before it’s gone. I'm having this with a nice fried lunch including tempura and vegetarian buffalo chicken wings. Let me tell you that this is heaven on earth. Like I mentioned before, it really does taste like Ruination but much more balanced in my opinion, the drinkability is heightened therefore in that balance.

Conclusion: Very very tasty, have it with a fried lunch like a fish and chips or a plate of calamari. Issss so good!

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Photo of ckollias
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a white 2-finger head that slowly dissipates into a frothy lace that leaves a nice trail down the glass.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with slight hints of pine and citrus in the background.

T: Smooth and hoppy and very bitter. Citrus and pine on the palate followed by a biscuit flavor.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent IPA. Very hoppy and bitter yet smooth and tasty.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out of the ubiquitous bomber into the more ubiquituos pint glass. A monster head that sticks around forever and a golden/pale copper color all please the eyes. Not cloudy, but not bright either. Knowing what I know, i would say their are some volitile hop oils clouding up the joint.

Smells like: Oh man... I've been drinking nothing but German beers for a week (studying for BJCP) and holy shit is this refreshing. Why, I smell pine and citrus and yummy west coast flavors. This beer smells fantastic. West Coast IPAs rule.

Taste: Glorisu Cascade, I have forsaken you.Love it. Fantastic bitterness, no doubt from Centenial and maybe some Chinook. You know how the Bros say that "all 5's should be rare?" Well the taste of Racer 5 is a straight up 5. I cannot imagine a better tasting IPA. Just perfect.Good malt sweetness stands up well to the hop monster. Sharp and then sweet and then bitter. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A bit watrery due to soft water and American 2-row. Still, the swallow is superb.

Overall: I am kicking myself right now because I have been so into Hop Rod that I have ignored Racer 5 for years. Far too long at any rate. Wow. I'm going to be drinking MUCH Racer 5 in the months and years ahead.

Outstanding.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is a light amber with a nice white foamy head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit hoppy with some nice cirus hop flavor. Some nice slight caramel feel and a bit of pale malt in the background.

The taste is a nice hoppy poke at the beginning with some nice malt flavor rounding out the flavor and evening out the taste. Some nice hints of citrus and some floral hop. The malt flavor is also presented pretty nicely here as well.

The feel of the beer is a nice crisp taste. A bit sharp at first but not overpowering. Some hoppy aftertaste.

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Photo of shertz
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Pint glass. Real good lacing, nice head. But the nose...WOW!! I went around the house and got the wife, kid, and finally the cat to sniff this baby (Yes, he even licked some foam!!)!! Awesome! Taste, just as good. Beautiful and drinkable, too drinkable. I've had some of this stuff a year ago in a trade, and now it's available locally in PA. Thank the good Lord! I will be gettin' this stuff often. One of my fav IPA. Cheers, shertz

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A-Pours a hazy dark orange with one finger of off-white head

S-Citrus, piney, and floral hop notes.

T- Excellent balance between juicy citrus, piney, and floral hops. This IPA has a very nice bitter hop bite. Good malt backbone on this hop monster. I am picking up on some woodiness as well.

M- Pretty smooth with nice sharp bitterness on the finish

O- This is a fantastic IPA that packs a nice bite and has great balance between all the different hop flavors. This is now one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of Talisker
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The quintessential West Coast IPA. Absolute benchmark for the style, and a pleasure to drink to boot.

Reviewing here a pint glass from the tap, but I've had Racer 5 in all forms - 22oz bombers, 12oz bottles, on tap at the brewpub, hand pump at the brewpub, and even on nitro at the brewpub.

Color is a rich orange, some pleasant haze. Head can be a little meager, but that's the only knock.

Smell is the most beautiful in the world - pure American citrusy hops, with a bit of pine in the mix. Orange, grapefruit.

Enough malt in the taste so that it's not one-dimensional, but not enough to distract from the juicy American hops. This is a hoppy beer, but not a particularly bitter one.

However, in this sample (and others in late '06/early '07) I've picked up an faint, almost acrid bitterness on the finish. Doesn't quite seem to fit, but some might find it a nice complement to the citrus profile.

Mouthfeel full but not sticky, ideal for the style.

What are you waiting for? Racer 5 defines the style.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep golden color, tall, off white head with excellent retention and lacing.
Aroma is BIG piney hop ( centennial Im thinkin) and marmalade on warm toast.
Great citrus and malty grain flavors up front with a sharp hop bite on the tongue. Malt sweetness doesnt hang around long as strong grass and pine needle hop takes over and dominates this outstanding IPA. Fresh raw grain character makes it taste just that; very fresh.
Medium - full mouth feel with a controlled, peppery bitter finish and a warming tickle of alcohol. Tasty hop burbs!

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Photo of Wisconsuds
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that IPAs are usually not my go-to style. More often than not, I reach for a porter or a stout. That being said, on to the review.

I've had this on tap as well, but will be reviewing from a 12oz bottle pour. Settled nicely into my Milwaukee Brewers pint glass. A dark golden orangish glow filled it immediately, with about an inch or so of white, foamy, crackling head. Glorious.

Fruity notes of pine, lemon, and a blast of fresh hops overload my senses immediately. The freshness literally packs a wallop.

The taste, oh the taste. At first, your tongue gives way to a piney citrus character. It sits for a few sweet seconds, then gives way to a sharp, bitter note in the finish. This beer is remarkable. So much complexity upon first few sips. Drinking this beer is like riding a carousel. Hops, sweetness, slight bitterness; repeat. (For best results, do not drink riding on a carousel)

A medium-body to the beer just makes you want to drink more. The perfect amount of carbonation here. Not overbearing as some IPAs tend to be.

By far my favorite IPA. Could drink these forever and not grow tired of it. Alcohol is VERY well masked at 7%. If you can pick some up, I highly recommend doing so.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.