Black Racer - Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 486 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
3.09/5 rDev -21.2%
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.
04-07-2013 02:35:35 | More by kojevergas
3.64/5 rDev -7.1%
650ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. I take it this is either new, or is seasonal in a season I've never been in California before, because I can't believe I've not had it otherwise.
Pours a deep dark nondescript colour somewhere between brown and black, with tinges of ruby at the edges. Head is wonderful: fine, mild and creamy in colour, pocked with bubbles that give it a liveliness. Body looks pretty tame for 8.1% ABV: quite light and very fast moving. We'll see how it holds up.
Nose is lively at first, with a strong, pungent citrus aroma permeating everything. This settles down once it's been swirled a bit, with the volatiles dematerialising quickly. There's still a dusky orange character, backed up with some faint nutty grain characters, and perhaps a little spiciness, although it may just be that zesty orange rind character. It was powerful when first opened, after it settles, it's decent, but it's not wowing me.
Taste is again, decent enough, but a little by the book. Mild entry with some hop presence running from front to back: but it's generic hoppiness, some bitterness, some citric bite and it doesn't develop as it goes along. In the end the hops just drop out, leaving an empty graininess standing awkwardly by itself. I think it's a little embarrassed.
Feel is fine. Light, but with some support.
Overall, it's a decent beer, really. But I was expecting something so much better from Bear Republic. Really, this should be setting the standard for a West Coast IBA, but it really feels like this is a phoned-in effort, and much more of a follower than a leader.
05-05-2013 03:09:28 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.45/5 rDev +13.5%
Transcribed from notes dtd Su, 14 July 2013
I had problems with my wireless internet, really with my home land line which I use for wireless internet and so the day became old-school pen-and-ink time as I really did not want to try and write my review through my phone. Needless to say, when my carrier tells me that they only have a skeleton staff on weekends and the problem will be fixed by 1900 h. on Monday, they are getting 86'd!
This was a gift from Ms. Vaccaro on my latest visit to Mari's 6-Pac 'n' Mor in Reading and I promised her that I would not drink nor review it right away. I guess that I have waited long enough.
From the bottle: "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."; "Brew Master Notes Keep cold, respect life, real ale is alive, yeast is good, serve at 45 - 50 [deg.] F."; "Sonoma County Ales Come visit us at our pub & brewery".
My pour netted a dense finger of light-brown head with good retention as the light faded in the gloaming. Color was cola-brown with light penetration only at the edges. Nose was roasty and smoky with an underlying mintiness from the hops. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was liquid Andes chocolate-mint candy! Finish was liquid York Peppermint Patty. Taste the sensation while it is still available in limited release. This was probably one of the best of this style, IMHO.
07-16-2013 20:55:33 | More by woodychandler
2.94/5 rDev -25%
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.
03-30-2013 21:59:45 | More by barleywinefiend
3.95/5 rDev +0.8%
Bomber bottle, $7.99 at DeCicco's in Mohegan lake, NY.
I see no bottled on or best before dating, although one reviewer did refer to this type of info...
Pours near black, under a large and lasting cafe au lait head. Gets frothy, and then leaves thick bands of stick, some sheeting and continued froth.
Milk chocolate, burnt toast and dark grains on the nose.
Tasty dark ale, they call it an IPA on the label, and the hops are clearly present but not really bursting onto the palate. More dark grains, smooth chocolate and again some char on the palate. Smooth, creamy and satisfying on the tongue.
Quality and highly enjoyable offering.
Glad to spot it and give it a try. Well worth seeking out.
08-30-2013 13:50:41 | More by Billolick
3.89/5 rDev -0.8%
Clear black colored beer with a tall light brown colored head.
Smells strongly hoppy with scents of pepper and pine with some carrot and smoke.
Starts out mildly sweet with a malty flavor of mostly patent malt. Medium bitterness with a taste of carrot and onion. Pretty much an Imperial IPA with Dark malt added.
Mouthfeel is good.
Overall and OK beer, Onion flavor doesn't belong in this style though.
04-13-2013 01:46:29 | More by Zorro
4.1/5 rDev +4.6%
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.
09-20-2013 03:37:05 | More by superspak
3.8/5 rDev -3.1%
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.
12-24-2013 00:59:41 | More by DrJay
3.96/5 rDev +1%
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.
04-16-2013 22:04:47 | More by GarthDanielson
3.44/5 rDev -12.2%
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.
11-03-2013 03:24:05 | More by Brad007
4.16/5 rDev +6.1%
Bottle opened on 7.7.13
A - Pours a dark brown with a smaller dark tan, fine bubbled head with good retention.
S - Roasted dark malt, hoppy citrus and pine.
T - Roasted chocolate malt with a hint of hoppy orange and grass.
D - Silky smooth body with good carbonation.
O - Chocolate up front then a hop punch in the finish. Not my favorite style, but I enjoyed this one.
07-29-2013 17:14:39 | More by HuskyinPDX
3.73/5 rDev -4.8%
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.
09-21-2013 22:35:06 | More by Alieniloquium
4/5 rDev +2%
Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark ruddy brown with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Nice lightly herbal, piney hops, hints of malt and citrus. Flavor follows, with piney, citrus hops, light and toasted malt very well balanced and integrated. Lingering citrus hop and light toasted malt finish. Medium body with light creaminess. A somewhat understated black ale, but the mellow balance of the hops and toasted malt is very nicely done. A great tasting alternative from some of the more assertive hop-forward black ales. The hops are pleasantly fresh tasting. I like the mouth scourging hop bombs, but I will definitely buy this again too.
04-09-2013 03:22:25 | More by LiquidAmber
Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.