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Racer X Double IPA - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer X Double IPARacer X Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,752 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,752
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 332
Gots: 78 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Racer X is an uncommon Double India Pale Ale which puts a California twist on English brewing traditions by adding an assertive hop aroma and bitterness that compliments the firm malt backbone. Like its little brother Racer 5, Racer X is balance in a bottle.

2009 California State Fair – BRONZE
2009 San Diego International Beer Competition – 2nd
2009 West Coast Beer Fest - GOLD

(Beer added by: xlperro on 01-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,752 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MaltistLupulist:
Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Having unsuccessfully sought this beer at various spots in the Philadelphia area, I was thrilled when I finally happened upon it at Rattle 'n' Hum in New York, on tap alongside several other evasive Bear Republic beers, seemingly as part of a BR/Speakeasy event.

The appearance is about as clear and refined as I've seen this side of the ale/lager divide: a colorblind person could be forgiven for mistaking it for a pilsener. I'm pleased, however, that I have the visual capacity to appreciate its splendid orange radiance, which, emanating from the confines of its voluptuously-shaped vessel (a tulip), seems all the more majestic against the backdrop of the dimly-lit tavern. The head, while not abundant, is snowy-white and souffle-like, yielding a robust lace pattern.

As my olfactory nerves kick into gear, my first thought is that I have encountered this aroma before: indeed, this beer shares many characteristics with its lesser-ABV sibling, Racer 5, not the least of which is aroma, but this is by no means to its discredit. In fact, it can be argued that the brewers only improve upon an already stellar product. The nose on this one is complex and intriguing, and a description, no matter how lengthy or wordy, can do it only a disservice, as there are scents and floral whispers that are not easily translatable from the olfaction to the keyboard. Having said that, here's my best shot: piney, sprucey, resiny, very floral but all in all very subdued; incorporating terms like "blast" and "smack" into this description would be entirely inappropriate: the aroma, like a bouncer at a fashionable club who oozes professionalism, is assertive without being aggressive and authoritative without being menacing. In a word, it is balanced, to a degree that many IIPAs can only aspire. Some sweet caramel malt is also detected in the nose, as well as hints of citrus (especially lemon and lime, some grapefruit) and tropical fruit. Unlike a bouncer, the fragrance doesn't act as much of a hindrance to one's enjoyment of the beverage itself.

Like finally gaining admission to an exclusive club after a long wait in the queue, however, there is a degree of disappointment. While many of the same characteristics of the aroma are echoed in the taste, I find the booziness of the beer to be rather repellant and in many ways to overshadow the positive attributes of the flavor, namely that zesty lupulin so prevalent in the nose. Otherwise, there is more of a grapefruit/tangerine component to the flavor than was noticeable in the aroma, but a complex medley of citrus fruits is still on display. Some sticky sweetness too, but that alcohol is just too much of a factor to be overlooked.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied, somewhat oily but counterpoised by a crisp effervescence.

Although I am a lightweight and was on an empty stomach, the all-too-noticeable alcohol content in this one made it difficult to put away even a single ten-ounce tulip. This would probably work best as an extreme sipper, but even then I wouldn't be able to help but grimace.

Whether or not you're a fan of building on an already-existing product to create a new one, there's no denying that Racer 5 is the foundation onto which more malt, hops, and general amplification are grafted, yielding Racer X. The former is a fantastic IPA, and it stands to reason that a IIPA made in its image would be likewise fantastic, but the booze factor is just too much of a distraction from an otherwise ambrosial drink, and, at a seemingly manageable and maskable 9%, ultimately inexcusable.

MaltistLupulist, Aug 31, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have waited for this one for longer then I can even begin to go into here. After all that time a growler hits my front porch and I am literally floored. Served cold I popped this open at lunch on Sunday to enjoy throughout my day. Consumed on 04/19/2009.

The pour was just how I had envisioned it. Rich, deep copper colored amber with a crystal clear look to it. Big head of off white rises up and over the top before settling down gently into a thin crown that totally covered the top of the glass. Lots of thick and gooey side glass lacing all over the place here.

The smell was soo rich and pungent I nearly fell over. This was exactly what I had been searching for, looking for, in a big IPA. Huge orange citrus notes, resin so thick it clogged my nose, and soo damn fresh, sheesh, I have died and gone to heaven. I go in for my first taste of the nectar and that is just what it is. Sweet, buttery malts that gave me a fall sense of security before the backlash of sticky hops just kills me with bitter orange, pineapple and piney notes. Simply amazing, perfect, wonderful. Medium bodied with smooth, even carbonation and a dry feeling that stuck around forever making me restrain myself from guzzling it.

Overall this was exactly what I had hoped for, wanted, and dreamed about. May possibly be the best I could have hoped for. Balanced and complex, simply outstanding. Everything it should be.

mikesgroove, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the growler station at Consumers in Orchard Park,poured into an imperial pint glass a clear burnt orange with a tight formed pillowey white head that left globs of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Oh blessed hops in the nose intense resiny pine and grapefruit rind with a light but noticeable nutty malt component underneath very fresh smelling.A real hop gem here very resiny concentrated hop presence pine and more pine with a real nutty malt base that hangs kinda well,not as full in the mouth as I would have thought but it adds to the drinkability wich makes it dangerous.Whoa this good and its what I expected.

As I drank more and the beer warmed a bit a noticeable dark fruit presence became more pronounced adding to the complexity and stickiness and well I have to give it a five because there is so much there going on.

oberon, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although I do prefer Racer V as X is a little large for me, I must admit that this is a totally kick ass IIPA. Multiple samples consumed in bottles, at brewery, and most recently on tap at Maduro for $3 a pint. Gotta love those prices! Appearance is simply stunning with a brilliant orange body, slightly hazed with a lot of carbonation and a decent head. Aroma is a punch in the face of grapefruit, toffee malt, grass, and spicy hops. Flavor is equally powerful with full on caramel/toffee malt goodness and loads of hops –hops of all sorts. Citrus is large but grass and pine are here too. Very bitter and acidic with a dry finish yet still fairly smooth and easy and not terribly drinkable.

DaPeculierDane, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of pbsmooth
5/5  rDev +18.2%

pbsmooth, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of DavyJones
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

DavyJones, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

SanFranJake, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SkiBum22, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #64 (May 2012):

Simply put, we dig this beer and love the fact that it is available in 22-ounce bombers. While it's loaded with hops, there's plenty of malt flavor and backbone to balance, it’s got drinkability despite the packed flavors and high alcohol.

LOOK: Clear and copper, lacing has legs

SMELL: Grapefruit rind, spearmint, hemp seeds, shortbread

TASTE: Sweet and sticky, hop bitterness, resin, macerated tangerines, lime pith, juicy, leafy, grassy, crackers, exotic fruit, warming alcohol; bitter, drying finish

BeerAdvocate, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of steelerguy
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very clear amber, nice big and sticky white head, plenty of lacing. Low carbonation like most DIPA but this was a growler so up to the distributor.

S - Lots of citrus and pine on the nose with an underlying malt sweetness...wonderful.

T - Citrus hops dominate up front with pine on the finish. Some light honey like sweetness from the light crystal malts, with a little bread to make it interesting. Finishes bitter with a little too much alcohol taste.

M - Not chewy but definitely some body there, there is a creaminess with a light coating of the mouth. A touch more carbonation would be good to help clean it up. Again, this was a growler, not sure they had enough C02 in there.

D - Sipping beer, lots of flavors, lots to enjoy between each sip. Slight workout for the mouth (not in a dirty way haha) one or two is enough...not even close to a session brew.

steelerguy, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of AshlandNacho
2.25/5  rDev -46.8%

AshlandNacho, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of supa0525
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

supa0525, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of bulldogg915
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of ROBORB
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer, Raleigh, this beer poured a nice copper color. There was a 1 1/2 finger white head that lasted for a long time. The aroma was dominated by pine and citrus. I was expecting this beer to be very bitter but it was not. There was a substainial malt backbone that helped blanace the beer very well. The carbonation was just right to make this beer go down easy. This is a fantastic IIPA and should be had when you can find it.

ROBORB, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of gregmoscetti
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had: on tap at Beachwood BBQ

This IPA is thick, chewy, and delicious. I have had my share of IPAs and I would not hesitate to place this one in my top 3. If you have the opportunity to try this beer, take it. It was Super balanced, had a great floral smell and where most DIPAs can fight their way down, Racer X went down smooth. I would have loved another and will probably have one if I can get back next week.

gregmoscetti, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of NWer
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewery last month during their brewery only release.
PtY one day, X the next. Life doesn't get any better than that.
Pours nice golden in a tulip glass. Tight foamy head retains well. Flowery. Well balanced. Very flavorful. Finish is smooth and very enjoyable.
On of the great West Coast IPA's.

NWer, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Akabufflaobilly
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%

Akabufflaobilly, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Kappakoosh
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Kappakoosh, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of andyfrancis
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Frothy cream, latte foam head on a deep golden body, poured into a pint glass. Looks very appetizing.

Heaps of citrus on the nose, with a faint hint of booze, blowing its Double cover.

Very boozy. I would expect it to be higher than 8.3% for how it tastes.

Boozily thick up front with astringent and oily hop finish.

A good Double IPA, but not in the top echelon. Racer 5 is in my go to IPA rotation, but this is a bit much for anything other than special occasions or tastings.

andyfrancis, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Callmecoon, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

TimoP, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of cincysig
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

cincysig, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Dbrulet
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Dbrulet, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Snikwad1020
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Snikwad1020, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of Beerswag
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Beerswag, Dec 04, 2013
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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,752 ratings.