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Black Racer - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black RacerBlack Racer

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

491 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 18
Gots: 18 | 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: 491 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, bottled Jan 21, 2013. Muchas gracias to doktorzee for carting this back from Cali for me.

This beer pours a very dark mahogany-tinted brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and creamy beige head, which leaves some lovely dense treeline lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of roasted, somewhat charred caramel malt, bittersweet chalky cocoa, aged citrus rind, vegetal pine hops, and some mild spicy pepper notes - which make it hard to shake the idea of mole sauce. The taste is medium baker's chocolate, toasted dark bread, kind of musty, fruity citrus, last autumn's fallen pine combs, a twinge of cold coffee, and loitering vegetable greens. No earthly sign of that 8 points and change ABV.

The carbonation is lightly frothy up front, and quickly settles to a pleasant lilt, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, the dark ale really delivering here, and mostly smooth amongst a wee clamminess. It finishes quite off-dry, the judicious chocolate malt kind of throwing its heft around, while the hops maintain their pithy holding position.

A surprisingly malt-forward example of an ABA, especially coming from this brewery. Not a bad thing per se, but I was kind of hoping to see how these guys approach this hybrid style with their usual arsenal of hopitude. In the end, a decent, mildly hoppy dark ale, with a boozy punch that you sure don't see coming.

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

Rappaman, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, March '13 release
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours a nice dark brown color. Layer of tan head. Some lacing sheeting. Pretty BIPA.

S: Roast. Chocolate. Hops. Mostly pulling piney earthy hops over the really juicy fruit ones.

T: This is really good stuff here. Up front you get nice pine like hop character. Bitterness isn't too aggressive. Then you get the meshing of the chocolate and roast character. The malt bill isn't too thick and still lets this drink like an IPA more than a hoppy porter. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied.

inlimbo77, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

mdillon86, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of Pecan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Pecan, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of lsummers
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured on tap a pitch black with a two finger light tan head. Sticky lacing that clings.

Smell is pretty well balanced with some nice roasted grain and piney citric hops. Baked goods and fresh grassy notes.

Taste is roasted oats and nutty brown bread with that piney hop forward bitterness. Ends on a burnt brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel is fairy round and sticky, still light enough to not weigh it down to much.

Overall this is a great example of a black ipa. Reminds me of some great porter qualities mixed with that hop sweet bitterness we all love. The blend of qualities is very well balanced.

lsummers, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of Rich540
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Rich540, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of micromaniac129
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brown black with garnet highlights if you hold it to a light. the head is beige and a bit small but it lingers on for quite a while and leaves generous amounts of lacing as it fades.
The aroma is fantastic. Richly aromatic with grapefruit and citrus hops. Floral hops add depth to the aroma which can be detected far from your glass.
The strong hop bouquet pairs well with the taste. It tastes as it smell with a rich and deep hop character. Citrusy hops and floral hops make for a fantastic taste and malts which played a minor roll in the nose are up front and in your face.
malts had a rich roasted taste with hints of molasses and licorise.
The feel is thick on the palate and slick and syrupy, I didn't dig that part. It's only mildly bitter which makes for an easy drink.
A well made well balanced beer thats easy to drink.

micromaniac129, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma is really appealing and different. It even smells dark, with the burnt sugar scent mixed with piney hop aromas. It makes me think of roast pumpkin and vanilla. I like this for being less hop-dominant. They call it an IPA, but I think it's correctly categorized as a Black Ale that happens to be pretty hoppy.

Quite dark, of course, with a handsome beige head. Pleasantly sudsy in the mouth. A little sharp and slightly slick. Huge nose of flowery and piney hops. Somewhat fruity, but no single flavor stands out. A little on the dank side but a more open and clean flavor for the most part. The touches of toffee, charred grain, and pineapple upside-down cake add to the complexity. Substantial bitter aftertaste, finally. From the 22 oz bottle for $6.59 at Baron's Marketplace, Point Loma Blvd.

mactrail, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of mbw314
4/5  rDev +2%

mbw314, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown, almost black with an off-white thick head, great head retention.

Smell wise, pulling out molasses, some fruit, pine smell from the hops. There is an interesting smoke smell that is coming through, which I usually enjoy, but this seems misplaced.

It starts with malts, almost sweet, then turns into a bitter piney taste leaving a lingering smoke aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is fine.

Overall, this is an OK representation of the style. Its good, but so many better examples of better American Black Ales out there.

nmann08, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of eulerthegrape
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

eulerthegrape, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date but released fairly recently.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black pour. Big, fluffy light brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention. Almost solid walls of lacing left behind. Excellent.

S: Lots of pine and grapefruit with a bit of resin. A hint of chocolate but the hops rule here.

T: Again with the pine, resin, and bitter grapefruit. Roasted malt is more noticeable here but still mostly obscured. A little bit of chocolate and char tries to battle it out with the bitterness. Wave of bitterness in the finish. More pine and resin mainly with some cocoa. Lingering resinous hops in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, unremarkable.

O: Nice black IPA. A lot more balanced than your average Racer 5 or Racer X but still the roasted malt barely has a chance to get going. At the same time, doesn't have quite the sharpness and quality of flavors that I get from something like a Racer 5. Not very bitter either. Good but not great. Feel like it's missing something. I still enjoyed it plenty, it's just hard to follow up the act of their other hoppy beers I think.

Dope, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Hopmodium, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, almost black coloring with ruby highlights around the very edges and a thin, filmy, light tan coating of surface head. Aromas of roasted hops, resiny and slightly charred, and a touch of tropical fruit sweetness. Flavors of dark, sweet malt in the backbone, both fruity and a touch of molasses, with a resiny, bitter, slightly fruity hops overlay and a kiss of smoke and roast. Very balanced, on a full, smooth body. Tasty brew. The aftertaste has smoke, bitter hops, and roast, as well as a touch of chocolate. Very layered and dynamic. Slightly bitter, roasty finish that lingers long enough to entice more drinking.

GarthDanielson, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of JohnF51
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

JohnF51, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

twelveinches, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of brotherloco
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

brotherloco, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Bilco, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of terence
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

terence, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev +2%

nkeckhar, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
3/5  rDev -23.5%

BarrelAgedBrian, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of flexabull
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark black color with a very nice light tan colored head.

Aromas are of roasted malts and hints of pine needles.

Taste is malty up front, roasted malts, cocoa beans, and light coffee. Finish is lightly bitter, with pine needles, and mineral hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, with decent body.

Overall, a pretty nice Cascadian Ale, but I'd like too see more hop flavors. Good beer, but second tier compared to others in the style.

flexabull, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev +2%

drgonzo2k2, Apr 13, 2013
Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.