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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.

2,254 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,254
Hads: 7,270
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 315
Gots: 1,123 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 2,254 | Hads: 7,270
Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of my friend Joe B.

Poured a rich gold color. Thick off white head of fine bubbles. Nice lacing that sticks around.

When I first smelled it I got the distinct scent of honey. This gave way to a citrus laden cascade hop aroma. Almost like sweet pink grapefruit.

The taste had a sweet malt undertone, but followed by a big grapefruit rind bitter punch. Piney hop resins with a hot alcohol finish on the exhale. Again, I could not shake the clover honey flavors as well.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Some sharp carbonation.

Drinkability is good. At 7%. Pretty big for a regular IPA. This however would not stop me from finishing my bomber. An excellent IPA. Would love to be able to get this on a regular basis.

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

This is "just" and IPA??!?!?! All indications lead towards a DIPA. Tons of yeast carbonation, cloudy body and circumference lacing. Pungent orange and citrus flavors, and a nice alcohol kick (DIPA again). Nice and hoppy, slight bitterness towards the end. Chamomile and spice accent its warming alcohol.

Not at all what I was expecting. On the east coast we hear so much about his hop bomb or that "extreme" beer. IMO, this is the one beer that qualifies as both. Great beer.

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

Double deucer bottle fills a glass with a first pour as crystal clear amber hues, carbonationless, topped with a sticky khaki tightly packed head cap, leaving impressive lattice lace in the glass. The last pour was loaded with scrod chunckers floatin' around.

Initial scents of a bold floral bouquet. Huge scents of cotton candy sweetness, ambrosia marshmellow and jello aromas.

First swigs: Citrus orange pel and Pez candy tart. A sizzle of thick piney hops. Dry lingering finish with a dusty citrus sizzle. Robust floral nose compliments the bright hop characteristics. This is darn near a double IPA, really.

Feel is full bodied for an IPA. Thickness stems from the hop content loaded to the max.

Last swigs:
This tastes fresh! No freshness date. What a cheap treat! $3.99 a 22 oz'er.

Beer is good. Happy big hops IPA beering.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, copper color with a finger and a half of head that sticks around fairly nicely. Nose is nice and hoppy, with good sweet citrusy and some sharper piney notes. It is balances by a modest caramel backbone. Flavor is dominated bot the hops initially. More sharpness in the pine flavor than sweetness from the citrusyness. The sweet caramel backbone comes through more after the swallow, followed by a moderate hoppy bitter that grabs and hangs on, drawing me back for more. Tasty beer. Feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. Nice and chewy. Just looked at the ABV. 7% is nowhere to be found. Burps are much stronger in the caramel than hoppyness. This bomber is going to find its way to empty very fast. Enjoyable.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Stunning honey-orange color that almost glows. Huge fluffy white head that leave chunks of clinging lace on the side of the glass. Now that's a pretty beer!

Marvelous nose. Very clean, sweet aroma. Extremely floral, perhaps rivaled only by NBB's Trippel. Would make a great perfume.

Big hoppy flavor hits your tongue right away. Almost immediatly afterwards, you notice a wonderful honey-sweet malt backdrop balancing everything out. Incredible. More floral esters are noticable as well. Some lingering bitterness remains on the palate, but this finishes pretty dry and clean. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Very soft and light mouthfeel. I would go so far as to call it poetic. This really is incredibly smooth for such a highly hopped brew. Ideal carbonation level.

I've been meaning to try this for a some time, and now I can't believe what I've been missing out on! This is perhaps more floral and less spicy than your traditional west coast IPA, but who cares? This is one outstanding beer. My hat's off to Bear Republic, I was truly blown away.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: i just a got a tulip glass (finally!) so i figgured i'd try out with some racer 5. Wrong glass for style but hey, this one special IPA. looks a dark orange to deep amber color... held to the light it lightens up quite a bit. I would have liked to see the head last longer but it lasts a few minutes. the lacing was pretty good on this one..

Smell: my that's good. you really get a great hop smell on this one. reminds me of pliny the elder. yet this is from a bottle. the hops smells very fresh and quick glance at the website shows that the aroma hops are columbus. mmmm columbus. yes i smell the grapefruit people talk about. also orange..not much trace of the malts...but they aren't missed.

taste: there are the malts. sweet malts that balance right with the hops. the aftertaste washes over you with a mild bitterness. yep this is a balanced beer. there is enough complexity here to keep things interesting. it really feels like the malt and hops are dancing on my tounge....
mouthfeel: just the right mix on this one... watery and chewy at once. i can't of anyway else to say it but yeah....
drinkability: for an ipa this is a sipper....not like say...celebration ale which is a beer that is gone after two sips. no, this an ipa to drink like a beligum and slowy enjoy.
This beer is like a double ipa in character...it's just so well put together. It justifies being only in bombers. (actually in sonoma i saw it in 6 packs but that ruins my point :) i toyed with giving this all 5's since it probably the best ipa i've had...but i guess there is a hair of room for improvment.

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Photo of Terp96
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My old standby for IPAs, this is one of the best. I can only get it in 22 oz. in MD. Pours a hazy orange/yellow color with slight head. Nice bouquet. Orange peels, pine and yeast. Hoppy taste with a nice malt and yeast finish with is a welcome change from a lot of IPAs. A very balanced and drinkable beer. The higher abv doesn't show up in the taste making this one a little too drinkable. Another hit from BR.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome IPA!

Poured a gold color with orange highlights. Thin, fizzy white head, very good nice lacing.

Very strong hop aroma, powerful. Woke me up when I took a whiff.

Awesome malt flavor, very smooth. Hard hitting hop finish, so bitter that it's sweet. Nice cirtus, like grapefruit in there.

That hoppy bitterness sticks to the back of you tongue. I like this one.

This is one of my favorite IPA's. Nice balance, very drinkable.


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

I've sampled the Racer X on cask, so I expected this to be a smaller, less hoppy version - and it is - though I expected a bit more hops overall. Pours a golden amber from the bomber, very sweet floral citrusy aroma, hops are noticeable but not overpowering. Flavor is initially sweet, with vanilla and pineapple flowing. Hoppiness is present throughout, though not with a lot of bitterness and actually a butterscotch, malty caramel presence seems to take over in the finish. Very thick and coating and a bit heavy for an IPA. Carbonation is light and reminiscent of a hand-pulled cask pour. The big malt profile balances this quite nicely. As a hophead I still prefer the more hoppy, bitter X. However, as a west coast IPA, this is quite tame in terms of hops, and could be a great crossover IPA.

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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.

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Photo of robertp1024
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy/hazy orange or amber color with nice head. Head had decent head retention. The aroma is strong. Hops show through as expected and are citrus slighty floral. The taste is bold and hoppy as expected, however not overpowering or too much bitterness. Great hoppy finish.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A decanted pour from a 22 oz. bomber reveals a slightly hazy apricot colored beer with a tall 3-finger long lasting head.

Aroma is wonderfully layered but still solidly in IPA territory. Hops and caramel dominate, but their interaction produces intriguing undercurrents. What starts as pine resin and citrus (grapefruit/tangerine) gives way to peaches and cream, some honeydew, strawberries and a hint of mild spices. Alcohol shows its head after a bit of swirling.

The palate is agressively bitter but ultimately well balanced by a generous helping of caramel and residual malt. Citrus peel makes another strong impression, but some of the fruit comes through as well. The finish is long and lingers on the resiny hop qualities and maybe a hint of spice. Alcohol has a presence, albeit unobtrusive, throughout.

This is a beer to be enjoyed as well as respected. It is big in a lot of ways and you will feel it by the end of a bomber.

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

bomber purchased at corporate foods, i mean whole foods, in Madison

appearance: hazy orange/peach, thick foamy white head with very impressive lacing, lots of sediment in the 2nd half of the bomber

smell: mmm hops...i can tell this is going to be good from my first smell...very floral hops, especially heavy on the citrus, nice pine scents as well

taste: very hoppy, just the way i like it. Nice fresh citrus hops balanced out by the piney taste. Its a taste bud explosion with very juicy and bitter hops...light malts help balance it out. alcohol well hidden

mouthfeel: juicy and bitter, clean finish

drinkability: no issue downing this bomber

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Photo of orfeu
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber from a 22-oz. bomber with a nice frothy head that quickly dissipates from about an inch to a quarter-inch.

Aroma is citrus zest with an earthy hoppiness. A peachy sweetness creeps in as well.

The taste and mouthfeel are great on this one. I get orange pith with peach nectar and a creamy bready-ness with a slight alcohol fizzle at the end. Aftertaste of grapefruit. The hops are profound, but not overbearing or too bright. A nice balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

The drinkability is a no-brainer. Smooth and spicy at once, I could go for a couple of these 22-ouncers in an evening. Perhaps this is because I've been all about Double IPAs lately and a regular old IPA would just seem like water. I don't think so, though, because this one is quite bold -- indeed, plenty strong -- but still very easy to quaff.

This one's going on the "get again" list.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous hazy orange copper with a nice airy(and weirdly uneven) cream colored head and mezmerizing layered lacing. The smell produces a WOw! Fresh citrus smells and an assload of hops w/light malts. The taste bitchsmacks you with hops right away but I also enjoyed the slight matly sweetness all in the same taste. There is definately piney goodness and a hint of caremel in all that sweetness. I know it is only 7.0 abv but this warms my throat right away for some reason. So Smooth. The mouthfeel is awesome and creamy, I could drink a million of these. Sorta syrupy though. Really dissapointed this isn't served on tap at my local MacGregors anymore.

By the way the head ROCKS! Right now there is a frickin cavern developing above the beer. Hard to describe but amazing. haha actually i want the foam to fall down and become beer.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. with no freshness date. Pours a bright orangey/copper with a fairly thin off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing. It becomes cloudy on the second pour. Mostly tropical and sweet in the nose - pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, a strong sweetness, and a bit of nostril-burning alcohol in the back. The flavor is about the same with a hefty sweetness and grapefruit, pineapple, leafy/oily hops, and some nutty/biscuity malts. It is both quite sweet and bitter at the same time with both lingering for awhile. At the beginning it has a medium body but it becomes thicker and creamier as the beer warms up. A solid IPA that I could easily make a session out of.

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Photo of bruachan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from arrowine

gorgeous amber color...i feel like there should be some dinosaur DNA in it. gravelly white head
sweet. real sweet. in fact, a little too much for me. the hops make up for it, but otherwise i'd award a 3.5 for taste. something to hold onto while hanging out with hops is nice, but this is almost cloying. the hopping is nice...website says cascade and columbus. i get the columbus aroma, but i would have picked amarillo for flavor

tasty, but i couldn't drink too many because of the aforementioned sweetness

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Photo of ReebShorts
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin orange in appearance, nice frothy white head. Chunks of yeast are floating around in it. Slell is citrusy orange and grapefruit, hops are detected.

Ahh, the hops do a nice job mellowing out the citrus, but still let just enough come through, pretty tasty. Also was surprised by how creamy this went down. This is a pleasure on the tongue.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber
Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a decent sized off-white head. Lacing is impressive and retention is just okay.
Smell is caramel, biscuity malts, and loads of fruit. Hops are alo present in the aroma.
Taste is sweet malts, loads of biscuity character, some sweet fruits (peaches, cherries, pears) and a whole bunch of bitter hops. Not too much citrus character, but plenty of hop flavor.
Mouthfeel is not oily or anything like that, quite refreshing actually.
Overall, an exceptional IPA. Not anything particulary stand out, but definitely solid and definitely worth drinking if you can get it.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The aroma is totally juiced citrus and cherries. It's a lovely clear amber interrupted by steady flows of tiny bubbles. Carbonation culminates in a healthy meringue that would do egg whites proud.

Good god! Huge biscuit drizzled with grapefruit icing served up with a side of tart berries. Drinks like an egg cream. Awesome! From the company whose motto is "Bigger is better" what would happen if they made an IIPA, huh?

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Photo of DogFood11
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic doesn't dissapoint with this monstrous offering. everything you'd expect from an american original...the bold american IPA. Big hoppy smell that is countered by a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Amazingly it finishes "fairly clean" for such an overhopped beer. This is pre-night cap material. Like the setup man in the bullpen this is an eighth inning Tom Gordon style or for the west coast folks this is a Brendan Donnely. I found this beer to get a bit harsh on the throat as it warmed up...whatever thats getting pretty petty in my book..The only downfall I would say is its almost a double in taste...if your gonna be an IPA be an IPA....fundamentally sound.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle via guezedude. Many thanks.

Aroma shows nice grassy hops with a pleasant malt sweetness. Fairly simple but really pleasing.
Unfortunately poured with an excessive head that settled slowly. A very golden amber and clear. Nice lacing with receding head.
More matl than I expected and it dominated at first (it seems sweet with a slight toastiness). Bitterness follows and gradually builds in intensity through the finish. Balance is nice.
Amazingly flat feel with is fine with me. Appropriate moderate heaviness. Great softness.
I like the mix of flavors and the balance of them. Great blending.

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

Reddish copper with a big frothy head and some suspended yeasty bits swirling in my pint glass. Lots of floral and citric hop aroma, some yeasty notes and just a little malt sweetness. The aroma is good but seems a little subdued. Tastes great. Grapefruit hop bitterness mixed with quite a lot of fruityness gives me my needed hop fix. A bready malt character evens things out a bit and makes it very drinkable. Vinous, lingering bitter finish, alittle on the oily side. Well balanced but still hop forward.

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Photo of Wonka
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6FL OZ

Appearance –gold body; frothy, long-lasting white head; great lace; just a touch cloudy; particulates abound

Smell – grapefruit and pine; bit of spice; biscuity sweetness

Taste – grapefruit rind and pine; light caramel and alcohol; biscuity malts emerge to nearly meet the level of hop; more balance than many top contenders; great hoppy aftertaste

Mouthfeel – slight crispness on the tongue throughout; more substance than the average IPA; pleasant hop oil at close; a light bit of dryness in transition

Drinkability – the aftertaste and ‘afterfeel’ draw big marks here

Damn. I love the 5 but not enough to match the score to name. Racer 4.x doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but Racer 5 is certainly built for it.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally crack open a bottle of Racer 5. I had made a trip to Bottleworks a few weeks back to pick up a training kit for my chiropractor (she really wanted to work over the Corona hump she was stuck on, so I offered to help her out). Since she was an amateur for all intents and purposes, I set my sights to the pale end of the spectrum, with two criteria:

1) I had to have tried them, and

2)They had to be available in at least some supermarkets of Western Washington.

So I ended up with a two pronged approach. Side one of the pick a six was Naughty Nellie's (Pike), Wild Salmon Pale Ale (Fish) and Wildcat IPA (Snoqualmie). Side two was Locomotive Ale (Iron Horse), Nightwatch (Maritime Pacific) and Red Seal (North Coast). The point of all this blather is that I wish I had tried Racer 5 before, as I would have substituted out the Wild Salmon (which I don't personally care for, and neither did she) and inserted one of these. This is a perfect bridge beer for those people trying to move from lighter ales (like blondes and goldens) and lagers into the slightly hoppier realms of pales, reds and IPAs.

Appearance: Simply wonderful, and almost the best part of the beer. The color is that color that for no reason at all makes me start singing the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song ("BLACK gold! TEXAS tea!"), and a gorgeous, fluffy and stubborn white head sitting atop that beer simply refuses to leave no matter how many drinks I take. Good work.

Smell: Sadly, I smell almost nothing. Warm, cold, it's all the same. I smell no malts at all and smell what I think might be hops, but wouldn't bet my sons on it.

Taste: First taste (admittedly cold), put me off. All finishing hops and very little in the front and middle. Way too hot (if I may steal the word from my man BeerPanther. Great adjective, brother. I love it.) on the first kiss. So I let it sit for five minutes or so (it's 90 fucking degrees today, so the time is compressed for de-chillification), and come back for a second try. Ahh...much better. There are the malts I'm looking for. Now I get just a mild malt presence right at the front, the hops are MUCH more subdued, and then the malts and hops slowly dance around each other on my tongue as the finish slowly drifts away. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Here, I'm a little confused. I've had an awful lot of Imperial IPAs lately, so my viscosometer might be busted. It feels a little thin to me, but I don't know if I'm really reading this beer correctly. I want to give it a 3.75, but since that doesn't exist I'm going to grade up, because that seems like the right thing to do.

Drinkability: Very, very good. I like this beer a lot, I just wish it had a nose to match its taste. I do wish I had another.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,254 ratings.