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Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

179 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 179
Hads: 1,084
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 62
Gots: 106 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-12-2011

Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone...
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 179 | Hads: 1,084
Photo of teromous
2.91/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A hazy orange color with a fluffy white head that gives some spotted lacing. Good head retention

S: Lots of pine resin, and a bit of caramel. Alcohol.

T: Much like it smells, it has the taste of pine resin and caramel. It has some alcohol sweetness in the end too. It is fairly low on bitterness compared to many other IIPA's. Lots of sweetness to this beer but not a lot of accompanying flavor. It tastes more like what people consider an East Coast IPA but the malt profile isn't as robust.

M: It has a pretty thick mouthfeel without any real presence, kind of like if you put flour in a glass of water. It also finishes pretty slick.

O: I wasn't a real fan of the beer. I felt that the mouthfeel was pretty bad and that it was lacking in general taste. The hop flavor was pretty weak and one-dimensional, and the malt didn't contribute too much flavor even though it seemed to overpower the hops somehow. I don't recommend it. (936 characters)

Photo of Maurizio
3.06/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: very nice pale yellow.
Nose: crisp, citrusy grapefruit.
Taste: follows up the nose very well until a late residual sweetness that essentially ruined the beer for me.
Mouthfeel: thin, exactly how I like my IPAs.
Overall: big fan of Racer 5, and Cafe Racer 15 was very promising until the odd sweet finish. (316 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a Leffe goblet at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Smooth soft complexion. Nice thickness. Decent creaminess. Good (~10 minute) retention. Beautiful consistent even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes - some of the best lacing I've seen.

Body colour is a murky vibrant copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pungent; very aromatic. Nice balanced yet assertive hop presence: grapefruit citrus esters, floral hops, citrus, some oily/nectary hop character. Clean pale malts. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A crisp and pleasant aroma of moderate to high strength.

T: Nice crisp floral and grapefruit hop profile. Body is comprised of clean pale malts with perhaps a dash of caramalt. Malts are well married to the hops; they made some good choices here. Pretty decently balanced, though some alcohol is noticeable. Quite enjoyable, if simple for the style. Assertive. High flavour intensity. Above average depth and duration of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Crisp. Fairly hot; burns in the stomach. Full-bodied. Thick to style. Lightly oily. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.

Dr: Really doesn't hide its ABV well. I do like it, but I hope for great from Bear Republic and this delivers merely above average. I wouldn't have another, especially at bar prices. It'll scratch the itch of hopheads, but there's definite room for improvement.

C+ (1,552 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale hazy orange. Nice white head with a chunky collar. Leggy.

Smell - Citrus. Grapefruit and some resiny pine. Caramel and toasted malt aroma. Smells a little English.

Taste - Citrusy and sweet in equal measures. Pushing too sweet. Toasty bready malt. Bitter. A little musty.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Decent hop profile, but too sweet for me. (431 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy dull blonde color with sticky off white head. super piney nose with notes of tobacco, citrus, a touch of tropical fruit and a touch of passion fruit.

Medium bodied but thick feeling in the mouth with light carbonation. Borders on syrupy but saves itself with assertive hop bitterness and bright hop flavors. Starts up with sticky sweet caramel malts which roll into a dry tobacco flavor. The beer slides to the back of the tongue with bright citrus and piney flavors and finishes tropical with a hop reesin bitterness that balances the thick malt body. Bitterness linger deep in the throat with a touch of alcohol heat on the breath and some sweet sticky caramel coated dried tropical fruits.

Pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary or impressive, a bit too syrupy for me and I've had other DIPAS that cover the alcohol a bit better. Still a solid offering with good flavor though. Wish more of that tobacco like flavor came through to change things up as well as that hop resin to dry things out. Leaves a nice after taste from the hops but the alcohol heat on the breath takes away from this a bit. (1,113 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at some German bar in Redwood City.

Clear light copper with a white head. Fades to nothing with no lacing. Strong hoppy aroma and not much else; citra and light pine. Bitter, astringent flavor loading up on peach, mango and juicy random citrus. Medium thick and creamy body with low carbonation. Dry, watery finish. Meh, nothing special. (345 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden; eggshell white head that leaves very sticky lacing. This is an orange bomb. Orange peel and orange zest dominate the aromas and flavors. There's also a malty cracker aroma that's blended in the aromas. The flavors are sharp and have a nice bitterness to it. Once again, tons of orange. There's subtle hints of grapefruit. Hints of pine needles. Very subtle amounts of caramel malts, but it's still not too sweet at all. Mouthfeel is nice. Full-bodied; creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's easy to drink.

This isn't exactly what I was hoping for. It's well crafted for sure, but the aromas and flavors just don't get me overly excited. Orange lovers should rejoice. It's not a bad beer at all though, very solid. Well crafted. (832 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Best by Nov 2014. Acquired as an extra from vitese, thank you good sir.

Appearance is a hazy, dull orange-yellow body with a two finger white head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing and high retention.

Aromas of pine, citrus rind, caramel, somewhat oniony and floral. Taste is muted with caramel and pine upfront, finishes floral, astringent like crushed Advil. Somewhat unbalanced. Low carbonation and medium body.

Cafe racer was not my thing. Not very flavorful, and where there are flavors they're big, unbalanced bitter hop notes. (588 characters)

Photo of gabedivision
3.59/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz to a snifter glass * bottle date 8/4/13

A- pours a semi - hazy off orange with a light 1/2 finger head that sticks and slimes all over the place

S- slight orange, sharp grapefruits, citrus all around but drenched in brown sugar, a molasses type smell

T- Tons of malt, alcohol,tons of sugar, some citrus in the middle, some more alcohol, crushed asprin on the finish

M- Sticky. syrupy, sweet as can be

O- Not what i expected bottle was only 2 months old, too much malt, too sweet alcohol all over the place, bear republic usually nails it esp witih ipa's, not with this one. Despite all its flaws it still tastes decent, would want to try it fresh, but 2 months shoudlnt degrade the beer to a maltbomb. (728 characters)

Photo of IncanGoat
3.59/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no date poured into a Chimay snifter.

A: Pours a 1 inch head with no lacing. Golden hazy yellow. Some chunks of trub still floating around.

S: Tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, boozy

T: Pineapple, mango, black pepper, toffy, vanilla

M: Boozy, light carbonation, slight tartness that makes the teeth feel fuzzy.

O: A nice tasting beer but the one drawback to me is how boozy it tastes. I wish the alcohol was hidden a bit more. (447 characters)

Photo of callmescraps
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Never seen this one before. I like, but don't love Bear Republic hoppy beers, but I am confident this will be well done.

App- Light amber, almost hold. Half inch of white creamy head. Nice looking beer.

Smell- Nice tropical fruits. Definitely some citrus and grapefruit, orange rind, tangerine. A little candied hop, almost sweet. Indicates strong malt backbone.

Taste- Sigh. Some candied hops, for sure, but the malt is more than a backbone. Its a touch sweet. The citrus from the nose does not come through. The Larry before this was much, much better. It's not bad just not as good as it should be.

Mouthfeel- A little thick, almost flat. Eh.

Overall- Disappointing. Too sweet, sorry. Just not for me. Sigh, oh well. (729 characters)

Photo of Matthew_Taylor
3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An agressive, alcohol heavy beer that attempts to be a big IPA. It's definitely a big beer, with a strong upfront aroma of alcohol and a hoppy taste. Pours with a light orange color, a milky thin head and an aroma familiar to the IPA family. However, the hops overpower the beer and it's too aggressive for my liking. A solid attempt for Bear Republic, who I'd claim is one of the best widely distributed breweries. Still, I prefer their lighter and less intense Racer 5. (471 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh, didn't love this. The head faded real quick. Maybe it wasn't the freshest but it was very bread like and yeasty. Had solid pine up front but a definite and not great caramel malt backbone. Almost a touch chewy. Must say it is pretty balanced (245 characters)

Photo of humulusphile
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

7/25/13 tap at City Beer Store
This has a fantastic intense flavor, round and deep with pineapple, pine, grapefruit, and earthy leaf. But alcohol is very apparent, it feels bigger than 9.75%, and this is the heavy, sticky finishing style of dipa I'm not fond of. Being July, I can't help imagining this would be better received by all as a winter release like younger. I'd try this again in the colder months. (409 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a honey copper color, hazy complexion, with a short white head, soapy in texture that has poor retention and leaves some spotted lacing behind. The aroma is fairly booze forward, but has nice elements of grassy hops, light fruit and citrus, richer grainy malt at the end, but it's a simple aroma, dominated by hop bitterness and alcohol. The flavors are more enjoyable, the alcohol is less dramatic, lots of grassy, earthy hops, amply bitter, bits of pine, tangy grapefruit, tropical mango with the rich grain towards the end where the alcohol really comes forward. The body is quite rich and juicy, quite smooth on the tongue, medium carbonation that is fairly lively and finishes lightly dry.

Verdict: A big ambitious beer that succumbs to the pitfalls of many high octane IPAs, too much booze, and too aggressively hopped. While the beer does have some nice balance of flavor, between the bitterness and strong alcohol, it's laborious to quaff. (1,012 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle from Lueken's (Oldsmar, FL). 7.99. Bottled 8/5/13. Served in a Terrapin goblet.

Pours hazy muted gold with about one finger pale head. Retains a foamy halo which leaves nice lace.

Smells of sweet tropical fruits. Mango, orange and malt sweetness.

Those tropical hop flavors are good but muted. Grapefruit, orange and mango with bready malts and cracker. The alcohol is well masked. Tasty but it lacks brightness.

Nice creamy yet slick medium body with fairly light carbonation.

This was on the right track but I fear it may have been past it's prime. Just a little to muted overall without any real oomph. Still an enjoyable quaff that I hope to repeat with a fresh batch someday. (701 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Andover Liquors,
Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a huge white head that persists forever. Smells of pine resin and citrus mostly. Light bits of bread and caramel are hidden somewhere in there. The flavor is orangey grapefruit with pine needles, pipe resin, and a solid shot of caramel and alcohol. There is a solid lingering hop bitterness that coats the palette long after each sip. Medium body with a fairly dry finish, moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice IPA but a bit harsh at times and the alcohol is a bit too noticeable for my tastes. (599 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Any time I see a Bear Republic beer that is new, I am ready and willing to try it.

The sweet tone on this is odd to me. Seems way overstated with the hop character adding an uneventful spiced tone. It's...not what I would expect from Bear Republic. Or, hope to get from them. Oh well. On to the next I suppose. (311 characters)

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Oranges, mangoes, apricots, pickles, and brown sugar. Alcohol is palatable. On the palate, oranges and pine mixed in with dark rum. Medium bodied which feels light in the context of such bitterness. This is a good beer, though boozy, not sure why I keep buying IPA's over 8.5%, forgot to check I guess. Still, though too heavy for me, well made and complex if you're into such monsters. (386 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On Tap

Slater's 50/50
San Diego, CA

A hazed light copper and amber with a very persistent, somewhat thick, resilient khaki-colored head. Leaves the glass sticky on the way down.

Hop forward aroma with some definite malt backbone sweetness accompaniments. Some stinging citrus flesh and zest notes and caramel and mild toffee sweetness. Approrpriate and well balanced.

Fairly bitter throughout, but doesn't get in the way of the nice flavors present. Again, stinging and sweet citrus notes, bready and sweet malty, caramel flavors. Mild pine.

Nearer to full in body for the style with moderate carbonation.

A bold, big, somewhat sweet DIPA from Bear Republic. Happy I tried it! (682 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A loud roar of hops of every description. It's a circus of hops. Color is that rusty orange tinted amber, even darker than most IPAs. Smell is something like melon and a little cat pee. It's a nose and a half.

Bold malt with lots of sweetness and a honey tang. Bready, tending to dry out. Sharp and volatile. Starts out with the mango and overripe peach, and shades into the pine and grapefruit. Quite bitter from start to finish, but the endless fruit and aromatics keep it drinkable. A powerful and boozy fruit bomb. Almost a dessert beer, if you like a pine pitch custard.

Plenty sudsy in the big Duvel tulip. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego for $8.25. (682 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down a bit, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops—oranges in particular—stand out in particular along with hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts along with notes of grapefruit and pine resin hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be maltier compared to other Imperial IPAs but has an interesting mix of hops that lend some. complexity to the smell and taste. It is rather drinkable considering the strength as the alcohol is well masked from the taste. (799 characters)

Photo of rodlavers
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bottle, poured into a snifter. Date on bottle "appears" to be 03/05/13, although I am unable to confirm that because the "03" is very much smudged out, leaving what is only the top/right side of a "3" or an "8." I am hoping for the latter, but presume the former based on appearance, smell, taste, etc.

Despite the sediment that I saw floating around in the bottle, this beer does look outstanding. It is hazy, but I do not mind that, plus the color is rather inviting for a double IPA; burnt creamsicle orange/yellow, with a nice fluffy white head, some decent, fine, lacing. Again, it's fairly opaque/hazy.

The smell is what made me believe it's a March bottle. The hops are not terribly faded, but the malt is way more present than I'd expect. I do not find the aromas off-putting, just not as hoppy as I would expect. Still, it's sweet and caramely.

The taste is very similar, providing further evidence that this is a March beer. Sweet and malty, with a caramel candy taste to it.

Feel has not suffered terribly; it's smooth and syrupy; not as bitter or biting as expected.

Overall, is it unfair to judge what I expected to be a very good beer unfairly because it was bottled over six months ago? Is this beer expected to change that much over the period of six months? I do not know the answers to those questions, but I did enjoy this beer, even if it was "old." That said, it was the floaties that gave away the bottling date. Cheers. (1,455 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cafe racer 15 on tap at the BR brewpub in Healdsburg CA.

Good head. Slight haze. Medium amber. Some sticky lacing.

Aroma is hoppy with a hint of honey.

Citrus and pine hop mix is pronounced but tamed, especially re bitterness, by the malts. Easy drinking for a DIPA. (271 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orangey color with a medium size, slightly off white head. Head retention is average, some thick lacing on the glass.

Strong aroma of citrus hops..mostly grapefruit and oranges. Flavor is more balanced. There are citrus and piney hops flavors but also a balancing caramel malt/bready malt backbone. Hops are more noticeable but the malty blance is still there.

Mouthfeel is very good. A somewhat oily piney hops presence along with an overall crisp, bitter feel. The malty balance is noticible here too...not just a hop bomb but a well constructed hoppy beer.

Another good one from Bear Republic. (612 characters)

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.