Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Racer X Double IPA - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer X Double IPARacer X Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

492 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 492
Hads: 2,057
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 19.34%
Wants: 354
Gots: 163 | FT: 6
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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 01-13-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer X Double IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 492 | Hads: 2,057
Photo of AleWatcher
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber served in an imperial nonic pint.
This is another bottle courtesy of Beerdy-- thanks man!

Clear, dark orange, almost amber in color. Bright white head with huge loose sudsy head. Amazing lacing.

Smells of a pretty hefty, though relatively pretty non-descript malt bill and a pretty sexy hop note of tropical fruits, citrusy grapefruit, and a touch of pine.
Flavor starts sweet with a touch of caramel malt and some bready notes before the hops take over on the finish. Very nice strong bitterness on the backend where it dries out.

Body is a touch on the light side, but carbonation is good.

Overall-- this is a very well-balanced DIPA that has enough malt to balance the huge hops used... I was hoping for a more dry, more hop-forward experience, but I'm impressed nonetheless.
This beer won't melt your face off with pure hop oblivion, but it certainly packs a punch of tasty hops.

 906 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours rusty copper color with a white frothy head into a nonic. Smells oh-so-hoppy with lots of citrus and floral notes. Taste is a hop bomb as well. Lots of cirtus and hop character with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium with good carbonation. I really like this DIPA but Pliny the Elder beats this one easily.

 320 characters

Photo of BenHesk12
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer X is a big step up from Northern California's favorite pop IPA, Racer 5. Appreciably bitter and noticeably more alcohol than it's younger brother, but still that same lovable character. Very well balanced and still comes across as relatively mild overall for a DIPA, yet brings to the table a subtle sophistication that you expect from Bear Republic. Overall a very good DIPA yet perhaps not worth the hefty price

 419 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is dark amber in color with a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of piney hops fill the aroma.
T: Like the smell, there are lots of piney hops flavors, but the beer is very well balanced and the hop bitterness is not that overpowering. A little bit of alcohol presence is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate.
D: The high level of hops can slow you down, but there's a fair amount of malt in this to make it drinkable. However, I couldn't see myself having more than one of these in one night.

 554 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a dark orange to light brown color with a huge foamy white head. The beer is cloudy and there is quite a bit of thick lacing. The odor is a pleasant IPA scent, with grapefruit, lemon, orange, tropical fruits, apricot, mango, pine, malt, resin, some honey as well. The taste is very fruity, apricot, orange, grapefruit, pine, resin, with some bitterness throughout.

 373 characters

Photo of HopDeezy
4/5  rDev -5.7%

A - clear bright orange, 1 inch off white head.

S - citrus, orange, sweet pine

T - sweet malts, oranges, citrus, grapefruit with a nice hoppy bitter bite on the finish

M - buttery texture, smooth, bitter carbonation

O - really enjoyed this double. Drank on 12-10-14 and dated best by 1/30/15 so this may have a few months of age on it but still very good. I'd like to get one a little fresher to compare. I have only a few weeks to do so as bear Republic is pulling it's distribution out of MA in 2015. Hope to see them back in the future.

 547 characters

Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - Vintage 2012 but not bottled on/freshness date (just arrived at Julio's a week ago, so assuming it is fresh) poured into an Otter Creek World Tour tumbler.

A - Pours a deep copper color with good clarity...just a touch of haze and a finger of creamy off-white head sitting on top. Head falls slowly leaving behind light lacing.

S - Quite citrusy - oranges and grapefruit. Hints of pineyness and a healthy dose of sugary sweetness, touch of graininess. Pretty standard aroma for a double IPA...but good nonetheless.

T - Only manages a mid-level bitterness that is rather smooth and well integrated...not at all sharp or overbearing. Solid malt backbone, some biscuity/breadyness, caramel and plenty of sugary sweetness to give some contrast to the hops. Citrus hop flavors - rather fruity/juicy - featuring grapefruit as the primary, some pineapple also involved.

M - On the thinnish side of medium bodied. Carbonation is mid level with a touch of a tingle felt on the tongue. Touch of booze, a healthy helping of caramelly sugar, and lots of juicy hops with a medium bitterness.

O - Been quite a while since I've last had this beer, and the first time I've come across it in a bottle. Maybe my tastes have changed, more/better examples have come out recently, or something is lost on the bottle for this one...but I feel a bit underwhelmed here. I remember thinking this was one of the better DIPA's a couple of years ago and was happy to see this hit the shelves. Still a very good beer, but doesn't really stand out in any particular way...well brewed, solid beer - just finds itself lost in the mix of other great beers I think.

 1,650 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's on Black Friday.

A - Pours copper orange with a small one finger tall white head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of citric hops, pine resin, tropical fruits, and plenty of sweet caramel malt. It didn't smell too bad but it didn't smell great either.

T - Starts off with a big dose of pungent citric hops quickly giving way to a mix of sweet caramel malt, sticky pine resin, and dulled tropical fruits. The sweetness only grows as the beer warms up. The finish is a mix of sweetness and dulled hop bitterness, lingering on the pallet for quite awhile.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, hoppy, feel that clings to the pallet long after each sip.

O - I had this one right away so it had to have been near the top of the keg, yet it just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good beer, but not as good as I was hoping it would be.

 928 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at ACPH. Autumn gold in my glass, it gave off a heady fresh mown grass/roll in the hay aroma. That frothy white head lasts on top too, nice change. Surprisingly medium mouthfeel, I thought tastewise it was a bit mild. Even the alcohol didn't rear its head too much. Mellow, smooth, with a nice bed of malt, and a fluffy but not overstuffed pillow of hops on top.

 373 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hammered copper color with some chill haze. A few meandering streams of bubbles reach the surface where light tan foam with a greenish tint meets them.

S: Faint tangerine, grapefruit rind and distant pine needles. Fairly straight forward.

T: Beings piney and very much malty. Surprising since the aroma had a lot of citrus in it. Whole lotta forest floor and rambunctious dirty bittering hops. Really basic caramel lays the foundation of the backbone of the brew. Lots of resin flavors with alcoholic tastes which don’t bother trying to hide itself. Finishes with more dirty bitterings.

M: Medium body with a bit of carbo sting.

D: Good beer and quite tasty. But lacks a lot of complexity that I like in my DIPA’s.

 723 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear, apricot color with a heady cap of off white head. Decent enough retention and some circles of lacing.

S: Caramel and tropical hops (sugar coated mango and pineapple), and I can almost smell bitterness. I'm not sure if that's a thing or not.

T: Really nice mix of tropical hops (lots of mango) and caramel malt all up front, after which the flavor falls off almost immediately into some lightly bitter caramel. It's like, BAM, then gone.

M: Medium full body and medium light carbonation.

O: Pretty tasty. Somehow this is like a less sweet, tropical version of Racer 5. I'm not sure, then, how this is two times Racer 5. *shrug*

 671 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at Callahan's in San Diego. This brew is a clear and lustrous bronze color with a medium beige head that diminishes slowly. Rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of piney, resinous hops and grapefruit along with notes of sweet malt. Medium-bodied with an assertively hopped character that is balanced well by sweet grainy malt. Touches of caramel are present, and the alcohol slips in every once in awhile too. The finish is bitter with a lingering piney hops flavor. Good all around.

 506 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at The Red in Santa Cruz. Clear brown. Bursting hop aroma with flowers, orange and grapefruit. The flavor is pretty sweet; a little more so than the hops can rightly dominate. Bitter and flavorful hops play with the sweetness of the malt. Pretty nice stuff, but not the target dipa for me. (3.7) Rerate: Draught at the red. Orange/amber color with a sticky head. Oily, citrus and sap aroma that screams fresh, juicy hops. The flavor has a moderate malt sweetness that is pretty pale, with some light caramel and toasted malt. The hops are very green and oily, with a strong Orange/grapefruit and light tropical flavor. Bitterness is pretty modest in balance with the malt sweetness, just enough to win out in the end. Medium-full body with tight carbonation. Nice oily and citrucy DIPA. The balance makes this pretty drinkable as well.

 843 characters

Photo of spoony
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle into a tulip. 2012 vintage.

A-Deep amber and golden brew. Mostly clear with little carbonation. I did not get much head, maybe a finger of off-white, short-lasting foam. There was considerable lacing, however, left on the glass.

S-I smelled some caramel, hints of vanilla, a little pepper, and orange. There was some hoppy character, but I was surprised by the lack of floral or pine notes. Not bad smelling by any means, just not what I was expecting.

T-Taste follows the smell pretty closely. Light malted caramel flavor combined with some bitter, mild (relatively speaking...this was still an IIPA) hop flavors to produce a pleasing, and slightly different style. There were still some citrus flavors, but they were pretty muted. Alcohol was very well-integrated.

M-Nicely balanced. A little syrupy feeling at times, but still medium-bodied.

O-I liked this beer and thought it made a nice fall IIPA. As I mentioned above, the smell and flavor were not the flower/citrus bomb that you might expect from a California IIPA, but it was nevertheless a pretty complex and tasty brew.

 1,105 characters

Photo of GregJ
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow orange. Smells of pine, spicy rye, sweet malts. Tastes of earthy and spicy hops, rye, light grapefruit, caramel. Spicy rye hop resin aftertaste and a medium body med carbonation.

 201 characters

Photo of jhawth
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a DFH snifter. Pours a deep red-orange with a sudsy, two-finger head. Good retention, slowly dissipates to a thin cap of foam.

Aroma: Big hop notes--floral, some tropical fruit--followed by strong sweet malt presence.

Taste: Floral hop notes and bitterness transition to fruitiness which blends into big, sweet malt body. Hop bitterness returns, finishes clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, relatively low carbonation

Overall: Very nice malt-heavy DIPA with solid, primarily floral hop contrast. Nicely balanced, very drinkable.

 561 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a Bomber into a Snifter glass. No freshness date, though I know my bottle shop got it in this week (10/12).

A: Deep carmel color. 1 finger head. Tons of lacing on the glass.

S: Intense pine/piney smell. Some sweet/tropical fruits, and a bit of citrus of well.

T: Sharp pine taste at first, mellows into a more malty taste than I would have anticipated. Getting a little citrus as well. Getting more of a pine finish than a BAM in your face hop finish.

M: Medium to full bodied, which I would have guess by the color but the piney smell is deceptive. I usually associate piney with lighter mouthfeels. Medium carbonation providing some action on the tongue.

O: It is definitely well balanced. I expected a lighter taste based on the strong pine smell, but was surprised by the malty-ness provided. Very balanced DIPA and worth checking out, esp for the price. About $6 for a bomber.

 903 characters

Photo of macktbone
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer almost six months ago and decided to review it today on a rainy California day at a local concord beer bar, E.J. Phair.

Good beer paired with a food sandwich and fries.

Appears as a crisp looking honey ale. Very clean appearance, with little head.

Smells very hoppy, but not the traditional bright hoppy flavor. More of a dark complex hopp smell.

Tastes very hearty. Some fruity notes along with pine nuts. Hits the mouth very far back on the tounge with a sense of hop oil.

Mouthfeel is typical for the style...nothing really special about the feel on this beer, but it doesn't take away from it either.

Very drinkable beer for those that love hard IPA's. I saw this at the bar and had to not only drink one but recommend it to the person we were meeting for a beer trade.

Good Bear Republic offering...one of their best.

 847 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Tops.

Shiny as a gold brick, with just a little haze. The airy head of light tan quickly fizzles away to nothingness.

Dank, tropical and pine in the nose. A good amount of caramel and torched sugar sweetness mixes with mango, pine needles and pineapple.

The flavor gives off hints of mint. Tropical notes are here as well, backed by sticky weed. Pine needles are just a bit more prominent than mango and guava, and the hops are all backed by big caramel and sugars. Fairly sweet, like candied citrus peel.

Smooth, velvety medium body. Gentle massaging carbonation, holds together well. Not much showing from the booze.

To my palate, Racer X isn’t much different from Racer 5. It’s less spicy and more fruity and tropical, but it’s not that huge an improvement.

 800 characters

Photo of far333
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear apricot colored with streams of fine bubbles rising up. Orangey rocky foam with fine bubbles lingers long. Low aroma of honey malt, toffee and tangerine, some orange rind. Rich flavors of bready and honey malt, ripe fruit, tangerine and orange rind, some ruby grapefruit. Very hoppy, but offers a good balance of malty goodness along with the hops. Rich and full mouthfeel, viscous and chewy. Great beer.

 410 characters

Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 3,572 characters

Photo of thirdeye11
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the Falling Rock Tap House while visiting Denver, CO.

Presentation: Poured from tap into a pint glass.

A: This beer looks amazing. Super fluffy/oily cream white 1 finger head that seems to sit atop the beer like a thick blanket. It never goes away the whole time I drink it. The beer is a beautiful medium orange/rust color and laces the glass pretty well.

S: Smell is strong of hops, specifically I smell flavors of mangoes pineapples in this one. Extremely nice, and complex to boot.

T: Taste follows the nose especially in the pineapple on the back side. I don't like that it is more bitter than I'd care for though. Unfortunate because I simply can't knock ANYTHING else about this beer. It just finishes a little bitter for me. Maybe slightly colder I would have preferred it more, but it was served to me around 50 degrees.

M: Absolutely world class. Creamy, oily, perfect weight. No complaints whatsoever. One of the best in this category I've ever had.

D: Hurt by the bitterness, but don't get me wrong. I really loved it. An outstanding DIPA.

Don't miss this if you have a chance to get it. Truly one of the best DIPA's I've had or beers I've had for that matter in many categories.

 1,210 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a sierra nevada pint glass.

A- Racer X is a amber color with some orange spots within. Last year when I had this the head was gigantic and expanding and the best i've seen on a DIPA. This year there was only a mere skim of foam on the top, leaving minimal lace.

S- Big citrus up front with nice grsapefruit and a bit of orange. A big hoppy nose with the malt keeping up. Getting some pine as well with a bitter smell.

T- Great stuff. The hops literally take charge and give off a huge citrus blast on the tounge. This includes grapefruit. Pines are up front as well but to a lesser extent. Big malts to give off a balance but dont reaslly come through in the taste. This is bitter all around.

M- A step above medium in feel with a nice crisp carb addition. After a while the bitterness reallly got to me though. This also has somewhat of an oily feel. I probably would have got blasted away if I took large gulps, so I sipped it.

D- A nice ABV not to high but one pint of this is enough for me. This is a hop bomb and a bit off balanced, a bit more malt would have helped. I will drink this again though, just have to be in the mood.

 1,148 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a red-orange color with a mild haze. Bubbly white head reaches a height of about two inches before it eventually settles into a thin crown. Lacing is wispy and patchy.

S: Orange pith, grapefruit rind, hints of pine. Mango and passion fruit. Slightly plant-like and oily. Subtle tropical esters. Malt scents are bready, slightly crusty, and a touch sweet.

T: Pithy orange, citrus rind bitterness, honeydew melon, oily and green. Bitterness is formidable, and builds slightly. Herbal, planty kick as the hop tastes shift. Fleeting tropical esters. Malt tastes are bready and crusty. Slight toasted grain. Touch of sweetness. Spike of alcohol toward the back end. Finishes with a lingering oily, green hop taste.

M: On the heftier side of medium bodied. Firm, full, and round in the mouth. Modest carbonation. Warming on the swallow. Mild enamel stripping sensation. Great mouthfeel.

O: Great mouthfeel to this one. It has that strong malt texture that I enjoy so much in Racer 5. There is good balance to it for the style, but it almost feels a little overblown and a hair too harsh. It's just one of those beers that doesn't quite come together, and doesn't quite meet expectations. But it doesn't fall very short of those expectations either. Definitely worth a try.

 1,327 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A- Pours a translucent copper with a 2 finger off-white head. Big trails and cliffs of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Caramel, biscuit, pine, and nice floral notes.

T- caramel, bitter pine, some citrus (almost berry-like) flavors, and more pine/grassy bitterness. Bitterness is there but this beer is very malt forward.

M- Medium body and carbonation. A little thin for the style but it has a nice slick/syrup feel.

O- Nice dipa, with floral and pine bitterness and enough malt sweetness to balance it.

 561 characters

Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.