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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: 2,055
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 19.34%
Wants: 355
Gots: 162 | 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
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Reviews: 492 | Hads: 2,055
Photo of macrosmatic
2.3/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Fat Head's pint glass.

A: Hazy dark gold to light bronze, with a one-finger white head that fades fairly quickly. Good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Primarily an onion and spice aroma from hops, and a bit of bready malt. But overall not a huge aroma. When I work at it, I can get almost a cheesy smell – potentially an "off" aroma?

T: This is pretty bad – oniony hops, strong enough to remind me of garlic, and some toasted bready malts. Moderate levels of bitterness, with a healthy dose of awful. There's almost a rotted onion aspect to this flavor.

M: Full-bodied, good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is noticeable but not hot.

O: This is awful. Given my very high opinion of both Racer 5 and Cafe Racer 15, it's possible (and I'm hoping) that this is somehow a bad bottle. I'll more than likely give it another try, and update if I have a different experience. But this is horrendous, both lacking in aroma and having a very off-putting flavor. This is getting poured down the drain.

EDIT: Tried a second bottle. While perhaps not as offensive as the first, it still is really sup-par. I'm supremely disappointed in this beer and will not be trying it a third time. Cannot recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of BaronRVH
2.63/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have been a fan of Racer beers but this was overly sweet with a very sour after-taste showing an unbalanced, poorly shipped or produced beer.

The XV was much better balanced and travelled well and the Racer is a good representation of a west coast style but the X was very, very poor.

Anyone in Ohio disappointed with their X?

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.76/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on-tap at the Falling Rock. Thick orange color, decent lacing. Smells kind of hoppy but faint and muted. The flavor had a some nice bitterness and fruit flavors but it was all overpowered by the alcohol taste, smell, and astringency on my tongue. You could instantly tell this was a very strong beer, very dissapointing given how good Racer 5 is.

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Photo of champ103
2.94/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a reddish/orange color. A two finger off-white head forms with good retention. Some lace is left behind.
S: Cascade hops all the way. Grapefruit bitterness. That is it.
T: Again, I am drinking liquid cascade hops. Bitter grapefruit dominates. Some light malty sweetness comes out as this warms up.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Dry and crisp. For me the high alcohol and bitter beers are not easy to drink.

The typical DIPA. I had high hopes for this because Racer 5 was a great well balanced IPA. This, however, is not. Hopheads will enjoy this though.

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Photo of dasenebler
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bear Republic Racer X
22oz, bottled in 2012

Pours a rosy, dark amber. Chill hazed, but decent clarity for a DIPA. Good head and great lacing. (4)

Aroma is oxidized, but there's some citrus and hoppy goodness coming through. Candy-like. (2.5)

Really minty and earthy. Big caramel malt presence, though not overly sweet. Finishes piney and bitter. Hop flavor is so-so. Some orange and grapefruit. Alas, this beer is pretty papery and clearly oxidized, despite the positives. Mouthfeel is huge and resiny, with lovely natural carbonation. (3, 4.5)

Reminds me of a hoppier Bigfoot, with a slightly less powerful malt presence. Shows signs of being a good beer, but it's definitely oxidized. I've had much better luck with the freshness of Bear Republic brews in the past. Drinkable, I guess. (2.5)

EDIT: Found the bottling date, I think it's 9/27/12. Three-month old DIPA and it's pretty darn oxidized. Meh. I feel like Racer X should be in much better shape than this for $10/bomber.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful amber colour, didn't notice a strong aroma, no aroma at all. Hoppy brew with grapefruit/citrusy overtones. Taste and mouthfeel reminded me of a summer beer, to quench your thirst. I was not very impressed with this beer, since I have yet to appreciate the high hops content in any brew.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.21/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a tulip at Barley's Smokehouse on 9/6/10

Rather clear in nature, Racer X is pale amber of moderate depth. Pored 1/3rd inch of foam that took several minutes to thin out. Solid lacing is left behind. Thin retention & impressive lace throughout.

The aroma is equal parts dank, sticky hops & assertive caramel malts, making for a dense nose. It smells decent enough, if a little messy. Notes of pine, grapefruit & citrus zest. Notions of biscuit & toasted malts.

The nose being a good indicator, Racer X tastes just as messy; it's a serious cluster of dense, resinous hops & malts. Lots of dry pine offering moderate bitterness, citric zest & toasty caramel malts that are assertive & somewhat sweet. Hint of juiciness as it warms.

Full bodied, sticky, resinous & gritty. Carbonation is just under average for the style & does a good job hoisting the weight of the beer. The messiness of the flavor profile spills over into the finish. Has something of a waxy coating feel.

On the whole, Racer X is aight. Easily in the greater middle of the spectrum. It does get a tad better with warmth. Perhaps it's just my surprise at Bear Republic making an IPA in an east coast vein.

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Photo of Ego
3.21/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2013 vintage
tightly packed cap of foam, a lovely finger size hat, great lacing, clean orange hue with a smattering of carbonation in no sort of hurry to arrive at the top destination, looks good for the style

smells like a souped up amber, spicy malts, some hops (herbal), a bit underwhelming overall

taste etc...
a sharp bite of hops and then it melds into an almost syrupy malt flavor, this has a lingering almost medicinal type hop signature - not your typical west coast hop experience, the ABV is noticeable in the afterglow but not so much in the sipping, this does have a really nice weight to it compared to many DIPAs but unfortunately the flavor lacks a punch I am looking for in the style

bear repub makes some great beers at some usually incredibly reasonable prices... this just isn't one of them

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.22/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Edited on 10/18/2012 after having a fresh batch on tap at SteakOut in Mountain View.

Many of the same notes below apply, but the more delicate flavors and aromas (lychee, tangerine) are muted in favor of straightforward citrus. The beer is dominated by caramel malt and winds up being unremarkable in flavor.

I'm downgrading it to the low-3 range. I can find dozens of better DIPAs in this area; I think this qualifies as mediocre.


On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City, CA.

A: Pours a perfectly clear amber color with dark honey highlights against the light. The head is a fluffy off-white cap of foam that retains very well, leaving substantial sudsing down the glass as it recedes. As I sip, there are thick register marks left behind. Outstanding.

S: Citrus flavors smack you right in the face: a mouth-watering bouquet of tangerine, lychee, grapefruit, orange. Noticeable pine as well, with a lingering note of grass. I'm surprised by how malty it is in the nose, too; I can easily pick out caramel and toast in there.

T: It tastes almost like citrus juice with the amount of fresh hops in here. Tangerine is strongest, followed by grapefruit. There's an orange quality to it, but it is more rind-like than pulpy. A surprisingly strong malt bill reveals caramel and toast in the mid-taste. The finish reverts to a hop-forward flavor, with apricot, tangerine, and just a hint of grass. They pull into a lingering bitter finish.

M: Medium-full bodied; it's nearly chewy, with a generally well-coating (almost syrupy) feel. Moderate carbonation. Definitely a sticky beer, which I normally don't like, but for the flavor profile of this beer, it works well.

D: Admittedly not my favorite DIPA, but a solid one and I'm glad I had it. I won't chase it down at the brewery or anything, but I would get it if it were on tap in the area.

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Photo of Estocker
3.29/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pretty, deep amber color.

Smell is very boring. i thought something was wrong with my nose. couldnt get much of an aroma from it. a little citrus and some malt.

taste is relatively boring. a little boozy, malty and some citrus hop flavor.

8 oz pour. plenty.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.31/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap in a shaker pint.

See-thru light amber body with a creamy head that leaves excellent rings of sticky lacing.

Even served in a shitty shaker pint, the pine aroma jumps out of the glass. A bit of citrus and a substantial maltiness in the background. Hmm...

Pretty tasty, although this is about a substantial malt backbone as you'll find on a west coast DIPA. Bitter as hell, tons of pine, but it seems to be working overtime to beat down the caramel. Lingering bitterness and sweetness together. Citrus definitely takes a backseat to the pine, but it adds a bit of juiciness.

East coast brewers take note: when your final gravity/sweetness is this huge, your IBUs better rip through that caramel like a weedeater. Exhibit A: Racer X. Not top-notch, but worth seeking out for sure.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.32/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, color was dull orange with minimal carbonation or head. The smell revealed the hops and a slight grapefruit aroma. Several reviews mentioned malt notes, but I didn't get that at all. The taste was typical of the style, a blend of citrus and piney hops, but surprisingly little to suggest the 8.3% ABV. Overall not a bad DIPA, but there a more than a few out there that better represent the style!

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Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip.

Pours 1/2 finger of white head. Color is an orange hued dark copper.

Aroma: Big amount of pine hops with a bunch of caramel malt followed bu grapefruit citrus. Way too much malt.

Taste: Again, way to much malt up front and all around. Caramel and bready malt flavors.Pines hops with a citrus blend. Grapefruit sticks out the most.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but creamy with some booze showing. Medium to full bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky with alcohol in the aftertaste.

Overall, I was pretty excited to try this one, but it just didn't live up to the other great west coast dipas I have had. Too much malt, not very drinkable.

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Photo of Philousa
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark, clear amber. Lots of crystal malt. Eggshell colored head is dense and irregular. What's there laces well. Aroma is sweet from hops. Blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry with some pine behind. As it warms the pine takes over and gets pretty potent. Curls the nose hairs. There is some nuttiness and a little bit of alcohol aroma as well. Mild maple syrup reflects what I can only assume will be a somewhat thick mouthfeel. Taste starts nutty and somewhat fruity with malt and hops. The hops are the showcase of the taste as well, as they transition to a peanut like savory flavor and then it gets bitter. The sweet citrus starts the bitterness but it ends up being more of a piney, syrupy, resinous flavor. Feel is slightly viscous with a dry finish.

This one was actually more interesting cold. The abrasive nature of the hop oils came out as it warmed and it turned out to be too much for me. Still a good beer, but with it being a specialty brew, I can find better year round DIPAs in NorCal.

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Photo of nrs207
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Great appearance with an off-white 1 finger head. Golden orange and clear.

S - Heavy malt presence. Smells pretty sweet, but there's some citrus and piney hops in there too. Smells more balanced than it is.

T - Cloyingly sweet and boozy. It's got a nice hop flavor and malt flavor, but it's dominated by sweetness and some booze unfortunately. I at least think it's alcohol, but it could be an off-putting malt presence mixed with a light amount of booze making it seem worse. It's not bad, but it's hard to drink this quickly or a whole bomber of it.

M - Drinkability is low. It's cloyingly sweet, and even though it's 100+ IBUs according to their website, it just doesn't have enough hops to balance it out. Too strong on the alcohol as well.

O - I think this had some promise. When I read the description I was hoping for a better 90 Minute. A more hoppy 90 minute. Instead the hop flavor is pretty similar with less hidden booze and even more cloying sweetness. It's not bad, but at $9 a bomber, I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light haze veils the beautiful orange hue while a white ring covers it all. Aroma is very oily and sprucey, straightforward greenish and orangey west coast hops. A bit sweaty in its evolution, sun lotion like as far as oiliness goes. I must say I didn’t appreciate it as much when it had reached room temperature, but it had a pleasant hop complexity and an adequate earthy malt backbone to compensate the could have been excessive hops. Medium bodied, a bit lip-sticking, bitter, lightly carbonated. Pretty good yet standard take on the style I guess and it's the name of one of the great speed metal bands of all time, so there ya go!

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Photo of curasowa
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange/amber color with some cloudy chill haze and one finger of soapy head that fades with bubbly lacing.

Aroma: Caramel malt, ripe fruit, citrus hops, a bit estery.

Taste: The first hit is surprisingly on the thin side, with bready malt building. The malt is fairly hidden, though, under some pretty intense, pithy hop bitterness. A little bit of sweetness cuts through on the finish, then is overwhelmed by more lingering, pithy bitterness.

The Rest: Not bad, but given the choice I'd take a Racer 5. The balance just isn't there on this beer.

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Photo of JiuJitsuNINJA
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a great DIPA. It is rated World class but it is a bit shy IMO. The color and aroma of this beer is absolutely wonderfull. The taste is is a bit one sided.Plent of pine and grapefruit,with plenty of sweet malt to almost but not completely balance out the dank hops.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic at Gestalt in San Francisco.

Golden, possible orange, it's hard to tell in a dark bar. Good sticky head.

Soft but full hoppy nose with the usual suspects; grapefuit pith and juice, pine, and tropical fruit. When it gets warmer there is a bit spike of solvent alcohol.

Grapefruit, pine, and way more malt than I ever could have guessed. Huge caramel malt presence and fairly bitter.

Full, slippery feel with soft carbonation.

A pleasant enough IIPA, though I actually didn't even realize that it was one when I ordered it. For me, the level of malt is surprising and hampers its drinkability and enjoyment as it is held back from being the palate destroying dry, bitter machine it could be. I suppose the alcohol being hidden in the taste is a plus.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Wally's Wine a few days ago. Vintage 2012. 8.3% ABV. No bottled on or best before date. Expectations are high; I recall enjoying the regular Racer 5. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger head of beige colour, nice thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent hazy dark copper. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Quite hoppy. Floral character is dominant. Some oily pine character. Grapefruit. Resinous. Nectary. An average strength aroma. Not as bold as most beers in the style.

T: Heavy well balanced floral hops. A hop bitterness bite on the climax is lessened nicely by accompanying oily pine and grapefruit. Clean malts provide the backbone. Crisp and flavourful; a tasty beer in the style. Its balance is its best attribute, it doesn't fall into the trap of going for IBU or hop content at the expense of careful balance. Bravo, Bear Republic. That said, it lacks the complexity and subtlety of better beers in the style. It almost comes off as a bit muted in terms of flavour. There's good layering of hops and malts here, but it doesn't evoke all its ingredients. If I had to guess the yeast strain, I'd say WLP 001 - but no yeast comes through in the flavour. Nor does any alcohol, which is an achievement at 8.3%. Oily resins do come through - especially in the second act - which I like. There's some citrusy zest coming through, but not with enough power to really affect the flavour. The grapefruti doesn't feel committed to, and instead comes off half-baked. I do get apricot and tangerine when I look for them, which is a nice touch. Sweet caramel malts provide a decent understated throughline, but don't coalesce into any rewarding climax. The finish is merely clean hops with a bit of leftover bitterness.

Mf: Gloriously smooth. Nicely wet. Good thickness and palate presence. Slightly oily but never overly so. The only problem is the finish, which is a bit too dry and coarse - and even a touch overcarbonated judging by the sharpness. All around, it suits the flavours quite nicely. Well executed.

Dr: A very drinkable and enjoyable beer in the style. Hides its ABV quite well, though it does have a pleasant warming effect in the stomach. I look forward to trying more beers from Bear Republic. This is certainly a solid offering. It's a bit pricey, though. Especially when other better beers in the style can be had for less, and are even more available. I'd recommend it to friends. I don't know that I'd be it again at this price. I wonder if it's really that much better than Racer 5.

A poor candidate for aging. Drink her fresh.

Would go well with spicy food or fruit tart. Grilled pineapple would be a great choice too.

Low B

12/12/13: Truncated misc notes for 2013 vintage:

Superbly balanced and less aggressive than most so-called "West Coast" IPAs. I'm glad I picked it up again and will happily grab it again. I just wish it was priced lower. Good hop choices here with a nice pale malt backbone. Another solid brew from Racer X. I think I like it a bit better than the 2012 vintage.


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Photo of kbutler1
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by Mothman. Pours a clear reddish mahogany copper color with a slight head that forms a nice collar around the glass. Citrus hops in the nose but more malty smelling than anything. Malty start then the hops kick in with a bitter ending. Very citrus rind hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel. Sort of a dissappointment in my opinion. I would have thought this would have been more hop forward than malt forward. Not bad by any means but just not as good as I wanted it to be.

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Photo of mactrail
3.57/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish amber in the big Duvel tulip. Moderate carbonation with a decent head. Nice aroma of piney hops.

Seriously hoppy, but not a total hop burnout. Some mellow malt improves the sharp disposition. However, the aftertaste does dial the bitterness all the way up. The saving grace is the pineapple and pear skins fruitiness. Otherwise I have to call it nearly undrinkable, so hop fanatics can take that as a strong recommendation.

For all practical purposes this is an excellent hop concentrate for flavoring less well-endowed brews. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Ibis Market in Mission Hills, SD.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


10oz consumed on tap at Churchill's in a snifter. The beer is dark orange in the glass with a one finger foam cap, good retention, and very nice lacing.

The aroma is of malt and pine with a little grapefruit. Nothing stands out except the fact that there is too strong a malt presence. Lackluster. Muted hops.

The taste is bitter pine with a strong malt backbone that overshadows the hops and makes the beer rather sweet. Light grapefruit notes are evident. It reminds me of an American barleywine. Alcohol is noticeable in the bitter malty pine finish.

I've had this 4 times now and I've been unimpressed each time.  

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Photo of tastybeerinmybelly
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's been a while since I have had the Racer 5, but I remember it being an above average IPA. I was excited to try the Racer X, but am a little disappointed. Nothing really stands out about this one for me. The hoppiness is kind of one dimensional with a piney taste, but that is quickly replaced with a malty aftertaste. It's not bad, but for the price there are a lot of other double IPA's I would rather have. Good thing it is Christmas and I got plenty of different options to choose from!

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Photo of dubinsky
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap, 12 ounces at SF City Beer Store

This is a review from my notes and memory.

A - This DIPA was poured super cold and was a very clear amber, with a nice one finger, sticky white head with plenty of lacing.

S - Tons of citrus and pine on the nose with an underlying sweetness from the malt.

T - Awesome citrus hopiness dominates up front with a great piny resin on the finish. This beer is also very sweet with hints of honey and bread coming out from the malts. Finishes bitter with a little too much alcohol taste.

M - Medium bodied and creamy. Not much carbonation to speak of, which is typical, but i would have appreciated it on this beer to clean off the tongue a bit. This beer also finished supper bitter, almost too bitter, leaving my tongue a tad numb.

D - A one sippa dipa. Tons of great flavors and aromas, but i found 12oz to be more than enough. Perhaps some more carbonation, less bitterness and slightly less sweetness would make this an top contender.

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