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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,914 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,914
Reviews: 484
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 330
Gots: 126 | FT: 5
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,914 | Reviews: 484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a fresh cask at Toronado, served in a pint glass.

The beer pours a glowing shade of pale amber. The head is dense but settles to a thin film in time, leaving sticky lacing down the glass.

Hops are huge on the nose, redolent of mango, guava, papaya and pine. The tropical fruit character is incredible. There's subtle sweetness beneath the hop bouquet.

Hop flavors mirror the nose, heavy on juicy, citrusy tropical fruit. Guava and papaya hit the tongue first, but it becomes more resiny toward the finish. It's light and dry, just barely malty; there's a touch of breadiness mid-palate. Bitteness is at a perfect level, and the overall balance of the beer is impeccable.

I've had Racer X dozens of times, but never on cask before. It really brings the beer to a different level.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No picture - tap only me hearties!!! Got the old school Bay Area DM playing: Possessed!! Just saw that Blind Illusion is playing a show with Skitzo nearby in a week or so. HELLZ YEAH!!!

Pours a deep clear amber with minimal carbonation. Nice half-finger of soapy head dissipates into a tiny, Natalie Portman in Black Swan thin wisp of foam at the edge of the glass. Decent lacing. Huge, West Coast IPA aromas of grapefruit, pineapple and piney hops. Some hint of sweetness in there in the form of a caramel note but mostly dominated by hops. Not super unique. Big, bold hop flavors right off the bat. This is your standard, West Coast Double IPA and fulfills all expectations of the style. Nice malty backbone is sublimated to the hop character throughout. The carbonation is nice and dances on your tongue for a fleeting instant, then shuffles off to Buffalo. There's a flowery, sugary note in the flavor profile that kind of hides in the shadows and flits out every now and again. I like that. I got a growler of this for $24, and it's like 5 beers I think, so it's not cheap. I believe it's about 8% ABV, and the alcohol is well hidden. Good beer although pricey.

What I like most: The excellent, complex flavor profile (for a Lefty DIPA)

What I like least: The price and lack of unique qualities in the aromas or appearance.

Verdict: Very good example of the Lefty DIPA and worth trying if they are pouring it.

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Blind Tiger, NYC, NY

A: Golden brown color with a soft white head.

S: Hoppy, citrusy, some grass and herbs.

T: Nice and hoppy with crisp citrus and grassiness.

M: Medium body with some carbonation. A slight bitter aftertaste.

D: Quite drinkable, but still not quite as good as the Racer 5.

Photo of callmescraps
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been searching for this forever. We're just never in the same place at the same time, like Clark Kent and Superman.

Appearance- A deep copper, almost amber color. A half inch of soapy white head. Laces well. Darker than expected.

Smell- Nice aroma. Fruity. Hops, grapefruit, stickiness. Like candied hops.

Taste- Follows the nose. Nice hops, a big bitter blast at the end. Definitely maltier than I'd prefer. Lots of pine and earthy floral hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy. Very nice. It almost seems like its on cask.

Drinkability- Nice and easy, although the bitter finish is a little tough.

This is a nice beer, but now that I've had it, I probably would go for something else on tap.

Photo of hophead247
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange color topped by a small, bubbly off white head that leaves some random spots of lace behind. The aroma shows the sweet toffee and caramel malt backbone to go with fresh floral and grapefruit citrus hops. The flavor follows with the striking bitterness from the fresh floral and grapefruit citrus hops, and balanced out by the sweet toffee malts and honey grains on the backend. Full bodied and sticky from all the hops with ample carbonation and a lengthy bitter finish. There is a touch of heat from the alcohol on the finish as well. This is a really tasty and well done IIPA...

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Racer X certainly has the look expected from a great IIPA. The dark copper body has a massive off-white head that looks rock solid. The retention is ridiculous, and the lacing pretty much covers my glass. Impressive.

Huge hops in the aroma. Bitter citrus notes include orange and grapefruit, along with pine resin. A hint of sweet malt comes through from underneath.

The flavor does not disappoint either; Racer X is a top notch IIPA. The hops from the aroma are back to dominate the flavor, pairing a moderate amount of bitterness with an absolutely huge citrus flavor that once again includes notes of orange and grapefruit. After the fruity hops die down a bit, another burst of hop flavor in the form of pine resin takes its place. When all of those hops have finally subsided, a slightly spicy hops flavor comes through for just a second, followed by a touch of sweet malt backbone.

Racer X has a solid mouthfeel also, with a big, creamy body.

I like Racer 5, so when I saw this at the growler station of my local store, I decided to give it a shot. What I found was similar to a "double racer," but also much better than I had expected. Although the price-tag was high, this beer was a joy to consume.

Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tap at Grapevine. From notes back in August.
Orangy golden pour, nice amount of bright white head.

Balanced aroma of pine and malt. Some citrus in there as well.

Taste-Herbal, spicey piney hops. A malt backbone, but just barely there. Finishes quite dry and bitter-crisp.

Very smooth mouthfeel, bubbles just tickle the tongue. Just a hint of stickiness to it. Abv hidden very well. Dangerously goes down like water.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY on 9/25/10, served in a tulip glass.

L - not quite clear copper color with a big foamy white head that hung around as a layer leaving parfait-like lacing.

S - wonderful aroma, tropical fruit and piney hop resins.

T - delicious brew, tropical fruitiness and bittering pine with enough malt to hold things together, hiding the alcohol very well.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - it's good and drinkable but the 9% abv will make me drink this in moderation.

Photo of TommyW
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Clear gold with a hint of darkness, thin and dense white head.

S- Nice hoppy aroma of citrus and herbal notes, malt presence is slightly noticeable.

T- Pretty big hop profile with strong herbal and citrus notes, lots of bitterness towards the finish that lingers on the tongue for a bit.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation.

D- A really easy-drinking DIPA; really a great beer that goes down easy for all the big elements of the beer (abv and hops).

Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Buckeye Beer Engine. I was thrilled to see this one on the board and made it my first beer of the evening. Arrived to the table in a pint glass. The beer is an orange/copper color a and has a nice head that eventually fades but provides some great lace. Looks really nice, more like a DIPA from the west coast than an American Strong like Arrogant Bastard, for example. (although BA has this listed as a double IPA, I believe Bear Republic considers it an American Strong. If I'm wrong, disregard the DIPA comments)

Smell is a hop lovers dream. There is a nice caramel/Slightly toasted malt component that sets the stage for a citrus and pine forest hop explosion. There's a ton of pine, grapefruit, tangerine, and orange peel. This perfume is nectar of the gods and I could smell it all day.

The taste is also awesome. There are no surprises here, pretty much straightforward sweet caramel malt, slight toast, and a huge bitter hop explosion. The grapefruit and orange hop notes are accompanied by some sweet pineapple and apricot and spicy pine. The mix between sweet and bitter makes it so enjoyable. Just a great beer, again, more of a DIPA than anything else IMO.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It could use just a touch more carb to make it really crisp and clean. Finish is bitter and lingering but never too ruinous. This is an awesome beer and one I'd like to enjoy more often. Just fantastic!

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to thagr81us for the growler

64oz growler poured into my pint glass

Appearance is a semi dark orange with ruby mix. Huge three inch off-white frothy head. Good head retention that subsides slowly leaving scattered lacing clinging to the sides of my glass.

Nice aroma of citrus flavors with mango, grapefruit, pineapple, and mandarin oranges. Very good aroma of ripe fruit I must say. I do not detect much malts except a little bit of caramel.

Upfront taste is a smack to the face with a very sharp bitterness that leads way into a semi grapefruit citrus flavor with some tangerine. Following is a bit of caramel and bread like finish with the alcohol pretty detectable and is not too much masked.

Mouthfeel is bitter and dry with high carbonation. Alcohol taste is very present in the finish and aftertaste making it feel a little boozy.

Overall a good beer but I expected more. My only complaint was it needed more balance and tasted too boozy, which it shouldn't haved. I Still recommend to try this

Photo of thagr81us
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from growler into an Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale shaker. Pours a clear red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, hops, and pine resin. The flavor was of malt, hops, and citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was quite an excellent IIPA. Not one of the best IIPAs that I have had, but definitely in the Top 10 for sure. This one could use a little more complexity in the aroma to be great and a little more in the flavor as well. Just seems to be generic IIPA flavors without anything extra to set it apart from the rest. Worth trying for sure if you can get you hands on it.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.21/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Photo of Soonami
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at City Taphouse in Philadelphia.

This is the only time I've ever seen Bear Republic Racer X on tap, so I wasn't going to miss out. I ordered one from the bar as soon as I saw it and it did not disappoint. The hop flavor was immense in this beer, tasting a lot of typical pine and citrus as well as a mango/lychee fruitiness. The bittering was solid and the malt contributed rounded body, caramel flavor, and bready sweetness. Very good beer that is substantially thicker than the general IPA trend lately for light bodied, pale, thin hop bombs.

Photo of Chico1985
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a long day of work, going to Dirty Truth and finding this on-tap was a nice surprise. Also saved me a trip to Armsby Abbey tomorrow to try and get it.

Hard to tell in the low light here but looks like a reddish-orange color, small white head turns to a thick ring, leaves some stringy lacing.

Smell is faint overall, nice scents of fruit and hops, but really had to try to get it.

Hoppy! Tons of grapefruit mostly, citrus and some tropical notes as well. Very nice light toast/caramel malt/biscuit malt, especially in the aftertaste. Alcohol taste is a little high.

Medium carbonation, creamy but alcohol taste in every sip hindered the greatness overall I think.

Although this was very good, I prefer Racer 5. Glad I finally got to try this.

Photo of Lukafer
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Brew Ha-Ha in Cincinnati. Thanks to the lady who gave me a full glass when you were only suppose to get a 3 oz. sample.

Served to me a golden color with just a trace of off-white head. Smells are malts, a lot of piney hops and some citrusy hops. Taste is malty, pine hops, some grapefruit and some green apples. Kindy sticky but really smooth. Drinkability is good, especially with this high of an ABV.

Photo of steve8robin
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Armsby Abbey. Let's review this baby...

A: Golden bronze color with a nice creamy white head that leaves a nice lacing on the brew. Very good.

S: Some nive floral hops followed by sweet malty citrus. I also get some faint apples. Good.

T: This is an excellently balanced IPA! Perfect blend of malt and hop! The nailed this balance. Sweet at bitter floral citrus hops with hints of toffee, caramel, apple, and some piney spice all blended in. Perfect!

M: Leaves a nice hop stickiness on the palate with low carbonation. Good.

D: Once you get past the complexity of flavors, this goes down great. Very good.

All in all, this was an excellent IPA! Perfect balance of hop and malt. This is definitely a must try if you get the chance.

Photo of philbe311
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dense copperish gold color with a faint haze... Sluggish carbonation... A creamy thin slightly off-white head sits atop and shows solid retention...

S - The small is fairly subuded but comprised of a Euro hop profile and a sweet rich toffee malt base... Earthy... Outdoorsy... Even slightly musky.. Refined and not overpowering in the slightest...

T - The expected British hop profile is present and collides with a sweet citrusy California based hop profile... The result is wonderfully refreshing and complex... Mango... Mandarin oranges... Grapefruit... Piney hop resins... Cracker... A slightly sweet malt base of caramel and toffee...

M - Medium bodied... Sturdy... Slightly resiny and oily... A mild chewy factor... Smooth... Creamy... Slightly rich... Consistent...

D - An outstanding IIPA that is bursting with flavor and is deep in dimension and complexity... I would drink again in a heartbeat and highly recommend... A wonderful balance of European and CA hop profiles that hold together nicely and give way to stellar results... Quite simply this one was yummy...

Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a lovely golden amber color with a creamy off white head.

S-oily piney hops hit right up front with bready biscuity malts behind. tons of orange peel and citrusy hops take over with a nice raspeberry aroma, a little rough on the edges but very fruity.

T-the flavor is similar, oily resignous pine up front with just a hint of slightly burnt toast, lots of orange peel, mango, and appricot, notes of grapefruit, hints of raspberry with a moderate bitterness that lingers for quite some time.

M-good medium body, very syrupy and oily, somewhat resignous and grainy in the back, lighter carbonation but the finish is clean and the bitterness is still present.

D-this is an interesting imperial IPA, big for sure with some interesting flavors going on. its a little raw and messy but overall pretty solid.

Photo of jskoog
4.95/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

DIIPAs just don't get a lot better than this in my opinion. I love a lot of DIIPAs, but this one is up fighting for the top spot.

A: Pours a golden orange.

S: The nose is full of hop aromas in the form Citrus and Tropical fruits.

T: Just like the smell. This is like a milder Ruination with a great citrus and grapefruit explosion followed by a great malt balance.

M: The feel is smooth with medium carbonation. Just what I want in this type of DIPA.

D: One or two of these is probably the perfect amount, but I have to admit I closed out the Growler. The more I had the more I wanted. I would probably rethink that (or at least try) the next time around.

Photo of steelerguy
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at capones.

A- comes to me with two fingers of light tan creamy head. After some time the head settles leaving some nice lace and a small cap. Burnt orange copper in color with a slight haze.

S- big sticky hops and citrus oils. Bright grapefruit and tangerine. Caramel malts and brown sugar.floral and bright as the brew warms.

T- huge juicy explosion of citrus fruits, with ruby red grapefruit, oranges, tangerines. Boldly bitter and astringent. Deeper caramel malts that add a good amount of sweetness but only enough to keep things in balance. Toasted bread and brown sugar.

M- medium to full in body and nice creeper carb that starts out low then builds to lift and carry the brew off.

D- this is a beast and the flavors are stellar. This is one of those brews that keep me coming back. Hell the burps are even tasty.

Photo of Mavajo
4.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Filled up a growler at Green's in Greenville, SC.

Pours a surprisingly dark copper color. Moderate white head and lacing. Crystal clear body.

The nose is a complete hop assault. Hop bliss. Heavy notes of pine and grass. There may have been citrus in there too, but I have a hard time detecting it behind the brilliant attack of pine and hop notes. This smells exactly how you want a DIPA to smell - the prototypical DIPA smell. Tons of resiny goodness too.

Not to be outdone, the taste follows through just as brilliant. This is one hoppy, bitter bastard. The pine and grass appears again. Along with that hop blast, however, there's a massive malt backbone. But Racer X doesn't fall into the same trap as many other DIPA-wannabes do - the malt backbone plays the supporting role here, and doesn't push past the feature player: the hops. This is a perfect balance. There are only a couple other beers I've had that so perfectly taste like a DIPA should - Oracle and Pliny the Elder are the ones that immediately come to mind. Fairly dry taste.

The mouthfeel is great. Carbonation supports the beer perfectly and the mouthfeel is appropriate - medium bodied.

This is one bad ass beer. I'm gonna be grabbing a growler of this brew any time I'm passing through a state that has distribution. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,914 ratings.