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Black Racer - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Black RacerBlack Racer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

454 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 454
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.18%


Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Racer™ blends Bear Republic's love of hops with the Pacific Northwest's appreciation for dark ales. Our pit crew brews this award winning ale which boldly defines a new frontier of flavors and always maintains pole position. Race to the Dark Side™.

Bronze 2011 Great American Beer Festival American-Style Black Ale
Gold 2012 World Beer Cup American-Style Black Ale

(Beer added by: avaldivia on 07-27-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 454 | Reviews: 98 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 6oz. bomber into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

The color is dark black with slight dark highlights. The head is two fingers of foamy brownish/tan head with some webby lacing left on the glass.

The smell is hoppy at first then has a dark malty aroma that pushes out. There seems to be a fight between which will be first, hops or malt. The aroma seems to be leaning toward the dark malts and gives off a biscuit aroma.

The taste is malty again with that same bready flavor. There is touches of fig and raisin in there as well. Toward the end the malt fades back to give off a citrus hop flavor that was a pleasant surprise. The end comes back with some dark malt but also some bitterness that gives an earthy spin to the flavor.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied with a nice easy drinking feel which is a slight surprise since it is an 8.1% ABV beer. It’s smooth with a nice aftertaste that hangs but does not linger. This beer has been better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 01:32:09 | More by Duhast500
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a gorgeous deep black with a thin off-white head. It looks quite nice and true to its style. Scents of licorice, caramel malt, molasses, some smokey aromas, some faint muted pine and notes of citrus. A muted aroma compared to many hop forward beers but quite nice, very unique and enticing and quite different from other black IPAs I've tried. Flavor begins fairly sweet, with big hits of caramel and some chocolate. Moves into slight pine and citrusy hop flavors with a moderate level of bitterness, IPA level, alongside roasted malt and more chocolate. The hop presence is largest at this point. The finish is pine resin bitterness, with some chocolate, roast malt and black coffee. Aftertaste is pine resin, roast malt and black coffee bitterness mingling nicely. A good flavor profile, combining the roasted, chocolate and coffee flavors of porters/stouts with the caramel malt and intense hops of an IPA and doing so in fantastic fashion. Very nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, resinous and sticky with a semi-drying feel and a moderate level of prickly carbonation. A very nice feel that aids the drinking experience nicely. Overall this is an excellent black IPA. It combines the best aspects of IPAs and the porter/stout family into a very flavorful, uniquely aromatic and drinkable experience.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2014 04:43:07 | More by Auraan
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look pitch black minimal ruby highlights peaking through when held toward the light, mocha tan head forms thick and lasts quite awhile, fine even lacing strung around my chalice as it dwindles. Aroma has dark chocolate notes, herbal earthy hops, along with some anise notes. Flavor has a milk chocolate, dark herbal notes, bitter baker's chocolate mild coffee roasts in the dark malt notes. Very strange mix going on here bitter baker's chocolate again, roasted malts nearly burnt marshmallows, herbal tea like bitterness dank earthy character from the hops seeping through the dark malted IPA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly resinous dry finish from the dark malts and bitter hops. Overall very easy to consume a great Black IPA compared to most versions out there I'm usually telling myself this just tastes like a hoppy porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 13:13:46 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark tan, black with a nice foamy, thick 1 inch head, tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Piney, grapefruit hops, orange, smokey malts. A little cocoa and molasses, but not as strong as previous black ipa's ive had.

Taste - Starts out with a nice smoked malt profile, mixed with some sweet citric hops and sugars. Cocoa and molasses are prominent throughout the drink. Coffee and a licorice flavor add some boldness that works well with the orange and tangerine.

Mouthfeel - At first the tongue gets loaded with malts, cocoa and coffee. After a few sips the citric fruits come out on the palate, along with more malts and cocoa. Aftertaste is smoked malts, cocoa and citric fruits.

Overall - Very tasty and easy to drink. Has a unique flavor that other black ipa's don't have. The smoked malts and cocoa are a dominate flavor with strong citric fruits at the backbone. A nice, pleasurable drink that im glad I got to try. Bear republic keeps its rolling...

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 02:46:17 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of GBallHead
GBallHead

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in a trade, prefer reviewing most extras (that I havent had) rather then drinking and forgetting like most beer.

From Bear Republic [Independent since 1995(I think)]
Black Racer IPA

Amazing beer, its a black ipa but seems to drink almost like a session or pale ale.

The hops are definitely there (my favorite styles of beer are stouts and ipas so this was an excellent beer to try and review) I mighttt have been a little intoxicated before drinking this beer but this bomber went down much quicker then any 12oz would.

Was not expecting this taste at all, thoroughly enjoyed this beer and its definitely worth a try, no matter what styles are your go tos.

I know this isnt the usual review everyone is looking for, but I didnt have the oppurtunity to pour it into a glass I left it in the bottle so most of the categories would be tainted depending on when/how it was tasted etc.

Points I awarded.
appearance 4.0
smell 4.0
taste 4.0
mouthfeel 5.0
overall 4.0

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 21:53:33 | More by GBallHead
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle code:
48661550
04-03-13 (so fresher the hops probably would pop more but this was bought from a good store that has zero sunlight getting in)

eyes...
basically black, kind of really a super dark ruby tone if you hold it up to the light, quick one finger of head, I literally turned around to change the channel on TV and the head was gone except an O-ring clinging for dear life up the sides of the perimeter of the glass, oddly
lacing is quite good, a pretty good looking brew

nose...
licorice and molasses, muted pine notes, dry cocoa... reminds a bit of dark Caribbean rum

taste etc...
pretty full bodied, slightly prickling carbonation, kind of chalky cocoa and almost ashy (in a good way), the hops are muted but noticeable under the choco blanket, the flavor of chocolate/mild coffee lingers for some time, you also get some warming in the gullet from the
kicked up ABV

verdict?
I didn't love this beer. It was quite good enough to keep sipping but yet I never stopped and said "that pops" (you know, like buddy christ), so... I prefer this style to have a deeper flavor. This is not a bad beer by any stretch so I recommend trying it as it's take on the style might be more up your alley.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 05:36:58 | More by Ego
Photo of Vec2267
Vec2267

Florida

3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark brown to black, ample beige froth with large bubbles, nice lacing

S - Cocoa and char dominate

T - Cocoa up front followed by piney bitterness, subtle roast/char on the finish

M - medium, creamy but not syrupy

O - An interesting balance and interplay between the sweetness of the cocoa and bitterness of the hops and the char. This is an interesting diversion from some of the more common styles, but nothing compelling.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 22:28:03 | More by Vec2267
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a creamy light brown head.

S: Citrus, some lemon, but mostly orange in the nose and a bit of grass and pine.

T: Roasted malt, orange, some other citric and floral notes as well. A touch of vanilla.

M: Medium bodied and smooth enough, especially for the style.

O: The Black IPA/Black ale, whatever you want to call it, is my favorite style of hoppy beer. An excellent example of the style. I've never had a hoppy beer I like more than this one. That said, I had this on tap at the brewery, from the batches they were going to send to the great american beer festival.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2014 00:26:27 | More by BierJager89
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, nearly opaque, but faintly clear with purple/ruby highlights. It had a thin skim and collar of tan foam that produced long lasting lace and showed good head retention. The aroma was full of roast, caramel, citrus, chocolate, and toffee -- very nice. Citrus bitterness cut through the malt, but notes of caramel and toffee, with a roasty finish, were still evident. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation and faint alcohol warmth, plus slight astringency/dryness from the dark malts. Very tasty. It had a bigger malt profile than I expected, but this matched well with the hops.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 00:59:41 | More by DrJay
Photo of ryannosaurus
ryannosaurus

Arizona

3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, light tan head settles down quickly to a light lace. Intriguing aroma notes of caramel and hops, taste has a bold bitterness, caramel, burnt sugar, herbs and roasted grains. Mouthfeel is sharp and cleanly wet. Overall, a nice mix of hop bitterness with both highly roasted and some sweeter dark crystal notes. I'm good with the 70 IBU bitterness, the hop flavor is indistinctly herbal and not really engaging me. Aroma just keeps getting better as the beer warms. Not typically my favorite style, but well crafted enough I will certainly try it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 02:06:27 | More by ryannosaurus
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the growler into an imperial nonic a deep garnet color with a blooming lighter beige head atop,aromas are full on pine and citrus over top of roast and bitter chocolatet,the way it should be in my opinion.Sharp and pickly pine hops on the palate with some dryer earthy tone,some roast and bitter chocolate comes into play as well but he pine resin wins out.This is what I want and expect for the style and the left coast once again brings it,love this beer.

Serving type: growler

11-25-2013 23:19:51 | More by oberon
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Belmont Station. It's been a long long time since I've had a Bear Republic beer.

Essentially black with very dark brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is solid. Moderate pine aromatics with some citrus (valencia oranges) are present, mildly resiny with a nice pine oil-like pungency. Behind that, there is a rather pronounced malt complexity - creamy, roasted malt characteristics, a touch of charred malt and some dark chocolate. The combination of the hops and the roasted grain is intriguing, but this really is closer to a hoppy stout.

The palate opens with a moderate sweetness, grainy, caramel-like and unmistakably so, with a mild bitterness and moderate hop flavor. The juiciness from the hops coupled with the chocolatey sweetness from the grain really does bring to mind a stout with citrus peel. Coffee and cream are prominent, especially on the mid-palate. A little bit of a cola-like sweetness is present on the finish. Mildly sweet and with a moderate pine bitterness on the finish, this medium-light bodied beer has a fantastic creamy carbonation. Unfortunately, though, the palate is just a hair watery. While the alcohol is higher than it needs to be, it is not particularly noticeable. A solid effort.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 04:44:55 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of jjboesen
jjboesen

Maryland

4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this over lunch during a recent visit to Baltimore Alewife. Upon receiving this beauty, I was impressed: the body is an impervious tar black crowned with a splotchy cap of vanilla. There is a wispy scent of a cinnamon bun. The palate is slathered with dark chocolate syrup with small motes of Nestle Quik; all to be supplemented with minor bits of malt and charcoal.

As one who has come to enjoy this style, I found this one to be exquisite, cripsy and light with some hoppy chalkiness on the mouthfeel. Great quaff from the West Coast to be sure. As a bear might agree" Grrrr...! Now Boo-Boo let's go get that Pik-a-nik basket.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2013 01:10:09 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a frothy brown head into my glass. Nice amount of lacing. So dark, that it compliments my glass.

There's just a touch of spicy hops in what otherwise resembles an imperial stout. Cocoa, cream and coffee. Hmm.

Flavors remind me of an odd snack that I enjoyed as a kid: potato chips and chocolate syrup. They tasted delicious together but they don't make much sense. Piney hops clash with stout characteristics.

Leaves an imprint of cocoa, coffee and cream at the back of the throat. Hops? They faded before long.

I may have some harsh words here but keep in mind, anything that's hoppy by nature should always be consumed as fresh as possible. I had a chance weeks ago to pick this up. That's my fault. It shouldn't deter you from enjoying this beer though.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 03:24:05 | More by Brad007
Photo of gillagorilla
gillagorilla

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's (from notes).

A: Black with no lacing.

S: Sweet malts and roasty pine. Tiny bit of citrus. Smells like a barleywine.

T: Mainly pine and malt. A bit roasty. Kinda like an old IPA or bad barleywine. Nice flavor though. Malty with a sweet finish.

M: Slightly crispy.

O: Good, but not one of the better Racers.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2013 00:36:56 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello

Ohio

4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Very dark brown with a one-finger tan head
S: Lots of pine hops, a bit of molasses and citrus
T: Matches the nose. Distinct pine initialy, then a fair amount of citrus, a touch floral and roasted malt to round it out
M: Medium-bodied with a nice crispness
O: Very distinct, especially with the pine. If I didn't see the color I would almost peg this as a full-bodied DIPA. I like it

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 05:50:39 | More by ONUMello
Photo of CA_brewster
CA_brewster

California

3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very very dark brew basically black with a very thin tan head. Light carbonation. The aroma is deliciously hoppy, picking up on a lot of molasses and alcohol. The taste is nice. It's an intense beer but the flavors are good. Lots of hop and alcohol bitterness. Malty molasses flavors are prominent but they are nicely balanced by some good hoppy characteristics.

Overall another great beer from Bear Republic. It reminds me a lot of Big Bear Black Stout though, they are already very hop forward with their beers. They really should have hopped the shit out of this one so it could be on it's own level. A good beer worth drinking though!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 04:58:30 | More by CA_brewster
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Monde, enjoyed chilled from a goblet chilled from the 22oz bottle shared with tenderbranson69.

The color is black with opaque appearance with 2 fingers tight bead and streamers of lace with good retention. The smell is very good with floral, citrus and tropical aroma of hops dominant with a nice malt aroma and a hint of alcohol but no real roasted odor. The feel is very good with moderately bitter feel and moderate carbonation, low sweetness and resinous hop texture with a semi-dry finish.

The flavor has a mild pine tinge with slight hint of char in the background with moderatly citrus flavored hops with a slight yeast fruitiness and light raisiny element but pine and grapefruit outweighs the malt strongly with some pithy flavor which makes the finish seem bitter toward the end with mild alcohol warmth. Overall I like this a lot, pretty great example of the style and I was pleased it met my expectations considering I think highly of the original Racer 5 IPA. I recommend this to those who like hop forward black IPA's

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 15:35:57 | More by Slatetank
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber in mid-July from Total Wine for $5.99. Bottled on .4.30.2013.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of roasted malts and citrus.

Taste is very well balanced between the roasted chocolate malts and the citrus hops. I suspect there was some hop fade over time.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a delicious beer. I will need to try this earlier next year to see how the hops truly are. Delicious beer nonetheless...rates up there with Odell, Stone, Uinta, and Firestone Walker's versions. Recommend.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 23:19:06 | More by arizcards
Photo of ssteakley
ssteakley

Washington

4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After I poured this into a glass I checked to make sure it was an IPA. Yep...First thought after the first taste was chocolate. Very satisfying after taste pleasantly lingers. This one I will keep to myself unless it is a special occasion. Perfect beer to drink when the Longhorns are winning...gotta love it!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 01:09:32 | More by ssteakley
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into an oversized snifter. Bottled 4/30/13. Didn't check at the store. Doh.

Appearance - Black, but brown at the edges. Small khaki head. Settles quickly with some legs inside the glass.

Smell - Muted grapefruit and pine hop aroma. Resiny. Chocolate roast.

Taste - Chocolate and hop flavors seem to alternate. Hoppy up front. Grapefruit first. Chocolate kicks in with some sweetness and then hops come back, but more of a resiny pine flavor. The very back end is coffee malt bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy body. A little sluggish. Medium carbonation.

Overall - I'll need to revisit this when it's fresh. Not bad, but certainly not what it should be, I'd hope.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 22:35:06 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/30/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, sticky, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent black IPA! All around great balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 03:37:05 | More by superspak
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid black in appearance with a fair tan head that breaks up to a firm ring leaving a solid trail of lace. The aroma brings out intense brown bread charcoal malt and vegetable pine hops with a minty grass edge. Nutty and leafy malt and hops jump out on the flavor. These a sharp pine idea here so the hops definitely come forward. It seems a touch astringent in a sort of chemical sense after a while but generally it holds up well. The body is medium or better and the feel is fairly chalky dry with tiny bubble providing an effective carbonation. This was enjoyable although it faded on me a bit with the hop recipe here.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2013 03:28:39 | More by Durge
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this bottle in a Belgian Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark blackish hue with some ruby highlights and an tan head frothy head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass leaving a great trail and solid lace.

S: Hoppy bitter aroma with a raisin malt backbone

T: Tart and bitter hoppy flavor up front that mellows out a little and ends on the hoppy side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent brew – complex flavors and aromas and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 01:25:27 | More by ckollias
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: Dark chestnut brown; pours with a sticky, medium sized off-white head.

s: A nice combination of roasty cocoa and piny, pithy grapefruit.

t: Tastes as the smell suggests it would only more so. A surprisingly strong roasty char for some reason plays extremely well off the earthy, pithy citrus from the hops. There is a lingering charred pine tingle that I really enjoyed.

m: Heavy for an IPA I guess and just about right for a stout this size. Worked fine for me.

o: A style I tend to avoid, but I really took to this one. I think this drinks more like a hoppy syout than other Cascadian Black whatever whatevers I've tried. Regardless of why I liked it so much, the point is that I did.

Serving type: growler

09-09-2013 22:31:39 | More by DIM
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Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 454 ratings.