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Black Racer - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black RacerBlack Racer

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

488 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 488
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 18
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
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: 488 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RickS95
2.14/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's dark brown, almost black and the head sort of resembles an IPA. A tan, meringue-like head that looks like a cross between a bad IPA and a creamy stout. I assume that's the idea.

Almost completely devoid of smell. I stuck my nose into the drink and only then did I pick up anything. Mostly pine, literally nothing else is there.

I've tried and tried black IPAs and I just don't get it. Not sure if it's an acquired taste, but similar to a kriek, it totally misses the boat for me. It's like two competing flavors that work well individually, but are complete disasters when put together. Some pine and some malt. They just don't work.

Some resiny pine and some char. They provide a bitterness, but not in a good way.

I give up on the style. I can't get used to it. It just doesn't work.

RickS95, May 10, 2014
Photo of sandlansd
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

sandlansd, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Rekrule
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Rekrule, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of t420o
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bear Republic Black Racer

Reviewed April 3, 2013

A- pour produces a 2 finger frothy mocha head with good retention. Beer is brown with chestnut hues. Good lacing. 4

S- toasty, chocolate, sweet, a little boozy, hops are very subdued. 3

T- too sweet, chocolate and molasses, biting bitterness that didn't play that well off of the heavy malts. Boozy. Would have liked more citrus and pine from the hops rather than just bitterness. 3

M- syrupy. Medium body. 2.5

O- I love Bear Republic, and until now hasn't had a beer from them that I felt was a "miss". This definitely missed the mark. I love Racer 5 and Racer X, but won't revisit this one. 2.5

C-

t420o, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.94/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep brown with a nice white cap, good head retention with some spotty lacing and a nice ring around the glass

S: Light toast, chocolate, musty grains, Earthiness and pine needles

T: An initial moderate roast with chocolate, a noted musty grains with ablend of citrus and pine hop presence. The taste of this beer in no way reminded of a black IPA or CDA. I was expecting a more hop forward punch.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated.

O: I love Racer 5 and I really enjoy a wellmade CDA. This is not one of them. The hops seem to have been muted, the roast was moderate but this beer seemed to be sloppy in a way and there was a weird, musty graininess that really had no pop or freshness.

barleywinefiend, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of Rappaman
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Rappaman, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of mikefuski17
3/5  rDev -23.5%

mikefuski17, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -23.5%

ohiobeer29, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of Bonsai
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Bonsai, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of beergil
3/5  rDev -23.5%

beergil, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of goatsby
3/5  rDev -23.5%

goatsby, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of DustinSWB
3/5  rDev -23.5%

DustinSWB, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of tripdout
3/5  rDev -23.5%

tripdout, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of pathead
3/5  rDev -23.5%

pathead, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -23.5%

jenray, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of mquartuccio87
3/5  rDev -23.5%

mquartuccio87, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -23.5%

drummermattie02, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of daysinthewake
3/5  rDev -23.5%

daysinthewake, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
3/5  rDev -23.5%

BarrelAgedBrian, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of mmulebarn
3/5  rDev -23.5%

mmulebarn, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of MaryW
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%

MaryW, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Cost was $6.50. 8.10% ABV confirmed. It says brewed in Cloverdale, which I thought was strange seeing as Bear Republic is in Heraldsburg. Maybe I'm just not in touch with Bear Republic's operations as much as I should be. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery.

Served cold, straight from the fridge in keeping with directives on the label. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5+ finger head of nice light khaki colour, good cream, good thickness, and good (6+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent solid black; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Appealing for a black IPA. Pretty much what you'd expect; there's nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Smells like an IPA. There're delightful pine and floral notes. Some oily hops, maybe even some nectary notes. I get no roast at all. A hint of dark malts. Some caramel. An above average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I'm excited to try it.

T: Piney hop notes, hop oil, floral hops, caramel, and dark malts. Thankfully, there's hardly any roast. No alcohol comes through. No yeast character. Fairly balanced for what it is. Cotton candy/candy floss. Not a whole lot of depth of flavour here. Nor is there much complexity or subtlety. Just a decent merging of a hoppy build with a darker build. It comes off forced and unnatural. This is one of the better beers in the style that I've had, but it still misses the mark.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Too thick. The body is too full for the lack of diverse or deep flavour.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but not a great beer in the style. To be honest, few are. But Bear Republic brings a sincere effort to the table and it's not bad for what it is. Even at its pretty fair price point for a bomber, I wouldn't get it again. Hides its ABV decently. I'll finish this bottle, but it'll take me a while. It feels like it has no reason to be a Black IPA - they could just as easily have made an IPA and it'd be better. That don't bode well; the style of a beer should be motivated.

C+

kojevergas, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of ArrogantB
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $6.99? Dark brown that is almost black but not quite. Aroma of dark malts, bit of citrus. Flavor is more dark malts and slight bit of orange, hops, meh. This sort of reminds me of the collaboration they did with Stone. I honestly expect more considering this is themed like Racer 5. Racer 5 is much better.

ArrogantB, May 07, 2013
Photo of Ego
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.

Ego, Feb 05, 2014
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Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.