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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

1,947 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 490
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 334
Gots: 131 | FT: 4
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: 1,947 | Reviews: 490
Photo of TheDudeRules
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler to a Darkness snifter.

Thanks for the hookup Brendan.

Pours a beautiful amber hue. Very little head. A scant amount of lacing remains.

Dare I say this is maybe the best smelling beer I have come across. A waft of sweet citrus and honey. Pine and hop notes follow. Wow. Just beautiful.

Certainly citrus and pine on my tongue. The malty backbone is there and it's quite pleasant. As it warms I'm getting a taste of caramel. Hop bite on the backend, but certainly not abusive.

Carbonation is perfect. Sticky hop oil coats the tongue to my liking.

Coming in at 9% it's certainly sessionable to me. That growler is going down in a blaze of glory tonight. A very good example of a DIPA. This beer is right in my wheelhouse. I regret not sharing this with some buddies, but I'll get over it. Wait. I already did.

Photo of HoganRJ
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very nice amber color with a short head leaving a good lacing The initial smell was pine and citrus. My initial taste was lemon zest. It followed up with a very pleasing hoppieness without being overpowering as many ipa can.

In the mouth it starts a bit oily but finishes nice and dry.

I'm only half way through my first glass. But wow. This is one great bear!

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

outstanding it is -
I almost passed this up because I didn't have my own growlers with me, but I went for the extra cost of yet another glass jug -
pours a clear deep amber/red with a nice ! finger head and leaves an impressive amount of ringed lacing all the way down the glass -
the nose is full of pine and resin with a fresh hop profile - earthy and grassy - a gentle swirl rejuvenates a 1/4 inch head each time - taste is very fresh, hop forward with a proper malty sweetness on the back of the tongue - very smooth - just the right amount of stickiness without sappiness(?) - feels just right -no alcohol burn, it's very well hidden - dangerously drinkable here - wish i had more - yummy - so glad I didn't pass it up!

Photo of CooperEllis
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed this on growler way back for my 13th review. Had it on draught this time and felt it was different enough to warrant a second review.

Into 12oz chalice...

The pour accentuates the ruby/auburn color as the chalice illustrates how bright this ale is.

Out of the growler I felt there was a burnt citrus aroma. Certianly still here, but the pine is the dominant aroma. Big big aroma.

As I wrote before: tasty pine flavor, it is exceptional in the balance between the hop heights and the solid bitter citrus. The flavor is also well balanced with the carbonation. There is a slight oily feel in the front and a bit of water right at the death.

Very tasty but the crispness of the drink allows the taste to stay center. Though I feel the draught had far more heat than I remember from the growler. Draught was quite exceptional for the phyical act of drinking the brew. Still feel this a bit reliant on the pine flavor for my taste.

(92nd)
see also: (13)

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

The first time I had this one it was at the start of my BeerQuest to drink the old BA Top100. Now, more than halfway through it's come back on tap. And oh what a wonderful beer it is. A double IPA clocking in at 9 percent alcohol, it's big on just about everything.

Appearance is rosy amber, clear, and solid save the slight lack of lacing. As it warms the smell gets hoppier and hoppier, plus the malts come out with sweet caramel to compliment the aromatics of citrus and pine. The taste is really what wins the day for Racer X though. A bitter finish comes only after a beatiful hop start and malt middle. True to style, it's as malty with caramel and sugar as you'd want in the middle, but it never leaves the hop category throughout.

Buzzing after a 12oz pour, I can drink the bejeezus out of Racer X til I'm on the floor and it's racing past me. The only knock might a watery back end. But that's not unwelcome - it makes me feel like it's not as big as it is.

Photo of xnicknj
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at rattle n hum in nyc, served in tulip glass

Pours a straightforward copper color with some darker burnt hues. A fluffy off white head bubbles up and retains for a moment before fading into some swirling film, with spotty and patchy lacing on the glass.

The nose is dominated by citrus hops, primarily grapefruit. Light edges of bready malt and sweetness.

An intense wave of citrus right up front. Explosive, juicy hops with grapefruit, orange, and invigorating zest. Just enough of a doughy malt base is present with low sweetness and a drop of caramel. Finishes with lasting dry citric hoppiness and very faint alcohol warmth.

Decent medium body and carbonation, fairly smooth and easy on the palate, slightly dry. Excellent, enjoyable drinking, and the alcohol is masked better than many other similar DIPAs. Too bad this is draft only.

Photo of Lakes
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With 7 hours to kill the Sunday after GABF we headed over to the Falling Rock. The plan was to have a Pliny (the Elder) and then work through a few others doing reviews as we went. Imagine our surprise when RacerX, which we were teased with 1 oz samples of for the previous 3 days, was freshly tapped.

Appearance
Color is a lovely deep copper. It has a lasting fluffy white head. Lacing is more of a death grip on the glass. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Aroma
Citrus and sweet malt.

Taste
This is SO good. Very hop forward with bright bursting notes of citrus, tangerine, naval orange, and pine. The malt compliments the hops perfectly. Resin and if honey could be a citrus product this is what it would be. This is an exceptional treat.

Mouthfeel
Flawless. Carbonation is excellent. Aftertaste is smooth and pleasant

I'm drinking this till they ask me to leave.

Photo of dubinsky
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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.

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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.