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Café Racer 15 - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

195 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 195
Hads: 1,148
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 20.33%
Wants: 66
Gots: 125 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Café Racer 15 Alström Bros
Reviews: 195 | Hads: 1,148
Photo of Maurizio
3.06/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of Somebody_Else
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I type this as I am drinking my first Café Racer 15 ever. I have avoided drinking this for a few months because a bomber of 9.75% will put me to sleep. I am a huge fan of Racer 5 so I have had anticipation of this event.

It's a beautiful honey-colored pour and quite clear, but I don't tend to pay much attention to a beer's appearance because, WTF, right? Still, it's an attractive and refined appearance.

The aroma not very strong. Fairly typical for a double IPA. Some pine, lots of citrus and apricot. Definitely an attractive and promising smell for the dedicated hop-head.

The taste is what it's all about. I'm not tasting much alcohol at all -- just cranky-ass hops mostly balanced by a smooth malt supporting role. It is delicious. I would have no problem drinking this all night long except I'd be passed out within an hour. I'm a light-weight and I find no shame in that.

Is mouth-feel the same as after-taste? I love the after-taste of the better strong IPAs! A good double allows me to recycle the flavor past my nose and tongue minutes after it has been swallowed. This one does that just fine. Not as much as my super-favorites, but definitely good and appreciated. If there were a down-side, the alcohol is slightly detectable in the after-taste, but certainly not objectionable in any way whatsoever.

I rate this beer high and would never turn one down. Quite excellent. Thank you again, Bear Republic.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper pour with a light, white head.

The smell is rich in citrusy and pine-y hops.

The flavor is just a little off-balance. I guess it's a little TOO hoppy. It's a risk all Double/Imperial IPAs face, where where supercharged hops need a serious counterweight.

If you're a hophead, then you probably won't mind.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a murky amber color with a 1/2 inch of head. The aroma is tangerines, pine, light grapefruit, and orange. Large amount of lacing. The taste is piney hops upfront followed by some honey, toasted malts, tangerine, and grapefruit rind. Tangerine and orane peel near the end. Piney hop finish. Mild alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly oily. Piney, bitter and a bit on the boozey side, this is a solid Imperial IPA. Overall, given the chance I would buy this one again.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium golden with very little off white head.

S: Orange and other, similar fruits in the nose.

T: Orange and pine dominate among other fruits and floral notes.

M: Medium bodied and smooothish.

O: Outstanding. I loved all of their Racer beers at the event.

Note: This was consumed during an event at the brewery. The beers served were those that were headed for the GABF, and were thus at their absolute prime. Also, I tried more than a dozen beers that day, and my memory of it is, understandably, hazy.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: Draft
Glass: 0.25L glass
From: Tiger! Tiger! in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $5.50
Purchased: Jan. 5, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 5, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel, orange murky color with three fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Tons of foamy lacing scattered throughout the sides of the glass. Above average retention.

Smelled sharp grapefruit, tangerine, orange rind, fresh, floral hops, citrus hops and faint tropical notes.

Taste wasn’t as quite as potent as the nose. Got lemon, citrus hops, sharp grapefruit, tropical hops and orange dental floss, all in a bitter form.

Light body. Creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, clean and refreshing finish, hiding the strength of the alcohol.

Just a really good beer. Very smooth and refreshing. Can’t wait to try it again.

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Photo of Larsam123
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle. Sampled on December 27, 2013.

Appearance - cloudy orange/gold with bits of yeast floating around in the bottle. A bit of yeast haze in the glass. Some lacing, low head retention.

Smell - Floral elements as it is opens. Definite apricot as it warms up. Less nose than I was expecting.

Taste - Malty backbone and bitterness you expect from this style. Not too dry.

Overall - Good IIPA. Wish there was a little more on the nose.

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Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep gold with a slight haze and a thin skim of bubbles coating the beer from a gentle pour. Good head retention and longlasting lacing. Big grapefruit aroma, pineapple and fruit juice, sweet tarts, slight pine resin and citrus pith. Smells great. Solid bitterness balanced by malt throughout. Biscuit and caramel malts, citrus, a bit of pine, spicy with light alcohol in the finish. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, creamy texture, mild warmth. Very tasty -- I really like this one.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a big brandy snifter from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a very nice bright orange and copper color with a nice lively dense white head that is about half inch tall.

Aroma is wondrous. Resinous notes of sticky pine and dank herbal character. Then typical Cali citrus hops that are muddled by even more dry and resinous character. Nice malt notes that are also slightly sticky and sweet in the nose as well.

The flavor is awesome. Very resinous and piney and even spicy at times. Good boozy heat mixes well with the hop spice and resinous notes. The brew is pretty dank and delicious with notes of pine and strong grapefruit and tangerine rind. Notes of mild caramel and boozy sweetness are present and compliment the dank and intense. Mild papaya and tropical fruit notes are present in the nose along with some slight sugary passion fruit notes. Mouthfeel is slight sticky but light.

Overall this is a solid DIPA. Its not clean or crisp but it bruises you with the hops. Sometimes that’s what you want.

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Photo of FLima
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber color with a thick head with great retention.
Nice aroma with a pleasant pine and fruity notes of pineapples, peaches and lemon.
Sweet intense fruity and hoppy flavor, bring forward some sudden "Whoa" from me. Notes of pine, booze, grapefruit, biscuit malt, sea water, toasted malt, honey and overripe pineapples. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Full body with low carbonation. Alcohol of 9.75% is harmonic.
Bold and assertive DIPA. Could be a bit less sweet, but I liked its boldness and initial hoppy punch (well, it tuned to 100+ IBUs).

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Photo of humulusphile
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like citrus zest and sweet sugary malt, with some biscuit and oranges.
T: It tasted like bitter grapefruit and citrus zest, with sweet sugary malt and some biscuit. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Ok body.
D: This was a decent double IPA, but probably already past its prime. The scent and taste were more sweet than bitter, and the body was a little weak. The finish was smooth enough, with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Really good, but not top tier.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hey, what's wrong with Racer X? Whatevers, Bear Republic takes up to the next step with Racer 15, I have 22 ounces, so make it good. On to the beer:

Its color appears apricot colored and is topped with an inch of semi-creamy foam which does a fine job retaining on top. Good lacing too. With one whiff of the aroma, I can tell that this is shaping up to be a good journey. The aroma of tangerine, citrus, a "salty" caramel note, and grass is overall exciting.

At just under four months old, the hoppy flavor is sill intact. If citrusy fruit is what you like out of your Double IPA, start asking about Racer 15. First part of the taste is a bitter tangerine peel, and it's not long for the bitterness to writher away and turn sweet and fruity. The tangerine sweetens, notes of apricot arise, and there's a kiss of bittersweet lemonade. A little straight-up bitterness builds towards the end of each. Slightly herbal. As a bonus, much of the alcohol is hidden despite its listed 9.75% ABV. Its mouthfeel is full bodied, on the smooth side with a gentle lift of carbonation which allows the hops to stick around.

Worthy of the Bear Republic name, as well as being part of the Racer series. Tigger yum yum in a bottle.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a couple of goblets of this today (at $5.40 per) at the Whetstone Station in Brattleboro VT

It was a deep golden hue, with a touch of haziness. Carbo was steady, and the head was thin, fine and white. Lacing along the sides was decent. I liked the attractive color. Aroma had some lightly sweet fruit action going on with citrus on top of it. Solidly medium, and fairly smooth going down.

Flavor had light sweetness as well, with a little malt coming forth. Sweet fruits started off, with apricot notes hitting the palate. Soon after the hoppage got rindy and resiny, coating the mouth with lupulins. The alcohol was scarily well-hidden. Quite tasty, indeed!! Prosit!

4.11/5 rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


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Photo of MattyBones
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 22oz bottle last night with Dinner.

Appearance: pored a nice cloudy, golden color with a fizzy white head about a finger thick.

Smell: Picking up some citrus and pine, some sugary sweetness in the nose a bit.

Taste: Like a juiced up Racer 5. A little hoppier with nice tones of pine and citrus with a little stronger malt backbone than Racer 5. It's hoppy but balances out nice with barely any taste of the alcohol. Has a slightly similar taste to Double Jack

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, very smooth

Overall: I highly enjoyed this one. Racer 5 is a classic and I would definitely rate this slightly better for a more pronounced and flavorful profile. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some more.

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Photo of Kendo
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the bomber into a Duvel tulip - carefully, as I saw plenty of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Body is slightly hazy honey-orange with only a small film of whitish head.

S: Nice clean DIPA nose - lemon, grapefruit and even pineapple.

T: Nice malt foundation of sugar cookie cookie dough, then the hops. They're sweeter than expected - think tropical fruits and sugar-dusted grapefruit and oranges. Reminds me somewhat of some "older" DIPAs that are no longer made, e.g. Stone X and Goose Island Imperial. Touch of alcohol heat at the finish. Finishes with a decent dryness. ABV heat felt in belly right away. Bitterness coats the palate (finally) in the aftertaste.

M: Full in body, slightly slick in feel, as carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff. On the sweeter side of the DIPA spectrum, but interesting flavors with a good bitterness lingering on the aftertaste.

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Photo of GJ40
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a hotel glass. Purchased at Bev Mo in San Mateo.

A - Golden with good clarity and a moderate white head. Nice lacing.

S - Piney, citrusy and earthy hops. Very nice.

T - Rich hop flavors and oils with a firm foundation of toasted malt, a lingering kick of alcohol and a moderate bitterness. Nice balance and complexity.

M - Silky with a low carbonation.

O - This is a big, strong DIPA, maybe too big and strong for me, but it's very well done.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Slightly hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of off-white head. Low carbonation and excellent retention. Yeast sediment is suspended throughout the glass.

Tangerine, papaya, lemon, pineapple and caramel.

White grapefruit juice, papaya and lemon pith. Light notes of orange citrus and tangerine. Hints of pineapple, pine sap and Fruity Pebbles. Moderate caramel backbone with hints of toffee sweetness.

Medium bodied, smooth, juicy and sticky.

Perhaps just a tad too malty but overall juicy and very easy drinking for 9.75%.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bright and golden with a one-finger head. Uses Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops for flavor and bittering.

Lots of resinous pine upfront with only a touch of grapefruit.

Flavor is full of grapefruit and pine notes.

Lingering grapefruit and pine resin make up the mouthfeel. Burns going down. Definitely sipping material.

Who needs orange juice for breakfast when you can have this?

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Photo of srandycarter
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty nice, typical IPA offering. Clear golden, nice near white head, leaves fast. Lots of spotty lace. Smell of malt and hops, of course. Taste is more hops driven but does not forget the malt. Good carb, good balance, fairly clean finish. I would have another.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep orange with an off white head. Good lacing and retention.

Smells largely of citrus - orange and grapefruit. Also has mangoe and tangerine. Nice long sweet nose.

Taste similar to racer 5, nice sweet orange and mangoe with bitter orange and grapefruit. This one has a thicker syrupy middle. A nice biscuity malt background is slightly detected. A very solid DIPA.

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Photo of Auraan
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a half-finger white head. It looks nice, but not the best Imperial IPA I've seen. Scents of tropical fruit, caramel malt, pineapple, citrus, some sweet and floral notes, and faint hints of pine. A very fruit and citrus forward DIPA scent, lacking some of the pine of others. It's quite nice and a good change. Taste is hop forward and yet only modestly bitter for the style with the usual flavors of grapefruit pith, some grapefruit, and a bit of tropical fruit, also some hits of pine resin in the background. There is a nice sweet malt backbone backing the citrus and bitterness of the hops, as well as some grassy and floral hop flavors to mix it up a bit. Also a nice hint of alcohol in the background. A very good flavor profile, quite hop forward, yet with some depth to it. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation and an oily finish with a nice burn of alcohol throughout. Quite the nice mouthfeel for a sipping DIPA. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. The flavors I expect in the style are all there and they balance each other nicely leading to an enjoyable drinking experience. Recommended.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium-light orange hue with a little bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy white foam which subsided pretty quickly. Nice.

Smell: bright, citrusy, floral, tangeriney, but not overwhelming. Finely balanced hops over a sweet malt base. I like it quite a lot.

Taste: there's an added earthiness to the flavors of the hops, but the same citrusy brightness remains from the aroma. Alcohol is pretty high, and this is noticeable but not a drawback. Bitterness is pretty low for the style, but I think it works in this formulation. A damn tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a nice creaminess, especially for the style.

Overall: I really like this brew. I could probably quaff dangerous amounts of it.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.