Racer X Double IPA - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer X Double IPARacer X Double IPA

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,975 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,975
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 334
Gots: 138 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,975 | Reviews: 494
Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to Wespatrick for this brew.

Pours a very awesome clean/clear golden orange, very nice carbonation, HUGE three-finger creamy/thick/foamy head, with tons of thick/creamy sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, bitter, sweet, malty, lots of citrus/pine notes. The taste is incredible, hoppy, bitter, sweet, slightly malty, very nice citrus/pine notes, and some caramel. Medium body, slightly syrupy, chewy. Very drinkable, probably the best DIPA I've had to date. Highly recommended. Thanks Wes!

Photo of NCBeernut
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just going off some mental notes from last night's pint at Woody's in City Market.

Rich copper color topped with a one-finger super creamy-looking head like it was poured from a nitro tap. Huge citrus hop aroma that I could smell as soon as my server set it on the table. Major hop bomb - in a good way. Taste is hoppy and citrusy with just a touch of caramel malt. Very resinous. Where is the 9%? Feels like I am drinking something around 7%. Dangerously easy to drink. Full bodied. The creamiest IPA/DIPA I have ever had. No tannins detected. Just thick, creamy hop goodness in a glass. There seems to be some richness to the malt though - maybe Maris Otter base malt? This is exactly what I want in a DIPA.

Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was on tap at Amsterdam Ale House as a part of New York City Craft Beer Week. I was surprised and thrilled to see this beer, which i'd hear so much about, to be featured here on the east coast. It has a little too much alcohol hotness that Double IPA's can have and not as good as the Racer 5, but a good double ipa none the less. Good copper color, carbonation and smell. Taste and drinkablity are a little intense.

1/23/10
Had this again on tap at Amsterdam Ales House and was equally disappointed this time. You would think that the brewery that makes arguably one of the best single IPA's could make a double that was just as good. Once again. the heat was too intense and the malt and hops didn't stand out for me in any way.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A: Copper color, with a thin head that laced fairly well.

S: A little more intense grapefruit/mango/pineapple essence than Racer 5, balanced out with even more biscuit. Good mix, but still lacking a hop-bitter presence.

T: Same as the aroma. Definitely more flavorful than Racer 5, but I found this one to be a little more dominated by the biscuit maltiness rather than the citrus essence. No hop bitterness until the dry aftertaste. Also picked up the alcoholic presence in the finish.

M: Creamy, non-carbo feel.

D: A little too thick/malty and strong to be a sessionable beer.

Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at City Beer Store in SF. A VERY legitimate DIPA. Had this side-by-side at City Beer Store with 21st Amendment Double Trouble IPA, which is also very solid and this domo'd it.

A - Great orange-copper appearance with a lasting creamy off-white head.

S - Lots of crisp piney, resinous hops and sweet malt to balance.

T - Sweet caramel malt, excellent piney, citrusy, resinous hops. Like Racer 5, but with more malty, hoppy goodness. A little alcohol present, but less than you'd expect.

M - Medium bodied for the style with average carbonation. Hop bitterness lingers and oils coat the palate.

D - For what it is, this is very drinkable. Pint went down before I knew it. This one could be dangerous.

Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Woody's in Raleigh.

A very enticing copper ale with good clarity and a sturdy white head. The aroma is heavy with floral and citrusy hops but there's also a little caramel mixed in. The flavor is a blend of rich hops and solid malts. The hops are citrusy and floral with a nice grapefruit bitterness that really lingers. The malt flavors include caramel and biscuits. Some alcohol comes through but not enough to indicate that its 9%. The texture is smooth and creamy and the carbonation is low. The inside of the glass becomes caked with a think lacing as it empties. Racer X is a rich and flavorful beer but it's extremely smooth. It's much more balanced than other west coast DIPAs but I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of westweasel
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from a trade with khiasmus. What a trader - fantastic, generous extras!!!

Poured from a growler into a New Belgium snifter.

The aroma is filled with oranges, peaches, mangos, toasty malt, and some hints of pine and grapefruit.

The beer is a brilliant orange/light amber with a small beige head. Belgian lace is left along the glass. The mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

The taste starts very briefly with some toasty malt - but it is quickly engulfed by a strong lemon/grapefruit bitterness. You get a substantial lingering citrus bitterness after the swallow.

This is a very drinkable DIPA. The peach and mango aroma is unique. The slightly harsh lingering bitterness keeps me from giving it a full five.

Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic night at the Hulmeville Inn. Poured a hazy copper color with a nice thick fluffy white heading. Tremendous lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is hoppy but not overpowering,malts come in for a nice balanced aroma.

Taste is much more maltier than expected. Sweet caramel malts begin with a citrus blast kick somewhere in the middle. A sugary fruity kiss is follows and then back to a well balanced taste of sweet caramal malt and hop.

Mouth has nice retention medium-full bodied with that great bubbley effect in the belly. Finishes clean and hoppy.

Drink is very good for 9% ABV this is one of the very best of drinkability higher ABV beers. I sure could have a few more.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, Woody's @ City Market, Raleigh, NC

Served a nice deep amber color with a thick, dense white head that frankly would not fade. It held at least a one finger head for better than 5 minute, so needless to say, but very good retention as well as some very nice lacing.

Aroma was good and strong, citrus and flowery hop aroma. Personally, I thought that the hop aroma was a little overpowering, but to put into context, the DIPA is not my favorite style.

The taste was good, followed the aroma very well, big and hoppy with the lightest hint of something sweet.

Full bodied beer with a bitter, dry aftertaste and overall it was a little to much like syrup for my taste. For me the beer suffered on drinkability due to the thickness and the overpowering hops, as this is not one of my favorite styles. I can appreciate the style, but I would rather drink a straight up IPA than a double.

Photo of MisterClean
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sac Brew.

A - Pours a solid copper with 2 fingers of orange-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Honey, flowers, slight citrus hops, and bittering hops.

T - Honey, flowery hops, light bittering hops, and a hint of alcohol.

M - Full-bodied, slightly hop dominated and slightly dry.

D - Great overall. A really good beer, looking forward to my next taste of this.

Photo of Taylor88
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%

Hand pumped (I love the visual) at the Bear Republic brewpub in Healdsberg California. Simply incredible. A smooth silky (double octane) version of Racer 5...
or should I say Racer V

The brewpub itself was a joy. Everybody there was so nice (who wouldn't bbe working for a brewery) Did not get to sample the food menu (they do have food, right?) but I will return in the near future.

Photo of Nesued
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up two (2) growlers from Green's on Piney Grove Road on their first "Rare Keg night". Excellent idea! Keep them coming!

Appearance - Orange glow emits from this brew, a fine/light carbonation feeds the remaining ring of a slight head that formed from the pour. Large bubbles retain after the pour with little lacing as it resolves. A slight haze.

Smell - Lively and big citrus/grapefruit nose. Some bubblegum as well with also a slight caramel aroma. A grassy nose, but overwhelmed by a huge fresh hop aroma. Exceedingly bright, clean and refreshing.

Taste - To say "palate cleansing" to start off the taste review says a lot. Not quite the "tongue-ripper" I was expecting from this huge AD/IPA, but nonetheless you have to fight through the hops to find the finer points of this beer. They are there, sweet malty almost nutty flavor once you adjust. The alcohol is present as well, about mid-way through the sip. Finishes with a crisp bite.

Mouthfeel - Slick and syrupy with a lasting sweet sticky lip feel. Light to moderate density.

Drinkability - Glad I'm not having anything after this offering 'cause I would be hard-pressed to have my taste buds identify mild or malty flavors after this big boy. I tried it. It's not for the malt-lover BA. In my opinion this could have used more balance.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler from Green's in Columbia. Poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear copper color. Three fingers of creamy off-white foam retain well, and leave behind some beautiful lacing.

Big time hoppy aroma screams West Coast DIPA. Piney, resinous hops and grapefruit peel are the dominant aromas, with some underlying malt sweetness.

Not surprisingly, the hop flavor is just as big. There's a pretty solid sweet malt representation, but it still pales in comparison to the big bursts of hop flavor. Seems like there's equal pine and citrus hop qualities. Big bitterness. Drying finish is full of bitter citrus peel and pine.

Medium-full body. Carbonation level is appropriate. Oily hop feel. Dangerously smooth, an easy drinker.

Photo of jbhuxley
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found on tap at Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC. I won't see this one again soon, so I picked up a growler.

Pours clear, amber/orange in color. Pour yields 1" of frothy off white/caramel colored head, which leaves behind abundant, thick, runny lacing.

Huge piney hops smell. Also getting some grapefruit and orange peel. Nice caramel toffee scents too.

Blast of pine hops with a good deal of sweetness, but finishes dry and crisp. Some of the caramel toffee tones are present in the taste too.

Great mouthfeel. Medium body, full but not sticky or chewy. I couldn't get enough of beer. I wish it came around more often.

Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When it rains it pours. After searching for this beer for 2 years I had it twice in less than a month. Growler from Cappones.

A: Glorious looking clear copper color.Poured with a half finger of white head. The lacing was not as good as the draft version but that is to be expected.

S: Pungent hops with a very west coast citrus leaning. A little bit boozier than it was on tap as well but that really does not bother me.

M: The mouthfeel really reminds me of unearthly. Nice and thick.

D: Really drinkable. Wish they would bottle this one day.

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

Served at roadhouse in a goblet.
A orange copper color, with minimal head.
Sweet smelling DIPA, pineapple, pine and citrus. Very floral.
Lots of caramel malt character going on. A very sticky beer with a big rich mouthfeel. Pineapple provides a slight acidic character and citrus plays a role as well. For an DIPA this is a malt bomb.
A fantastic beer that I will have again the next opportunity I have to try it.

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

Served on tap at roadhouse BBQ, just in time for review 600.
A: clear amber body. Semi brillant clarity.

S: citrus and pine. A touch of sweetness.

T: I think there's a pine tree in my mouth, maybe more than one. Sticky and resiny. Tons of flavor but not a lot of hop bitterness almost sweet.

M: light bodied for he amount of hop; but medium bodied overall.

D: much siddernt than I expected but I would definitely drink it again.

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

On-tap at Liberty for $4 a goblet, not a bad deal. My overall impression was that this beer was very drinkable and quite tasty. It's also not too malty, which is a pet peeve of mine in the DIPA category. The aroma is a little light, but the goblet shape probably doesn't help. The aroma and flavor both starts with big, smooth, and juicy pineapple with a hint of grapefruit. The flavor flows into more pine and peach with a mild earthy edge. The beer finishes with a dry citrus aftertaste that lasts and lasts. I'd have another.

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

16oz pint glass on-tap at Capone's.

A - Pours a pale amber with a fluffy and creamy white head. Leaves heavy lacing.

S - An upfront citrus and pine hop blast that is nicely balanced out by sweet caramel malt. Grapefruit, spice notes present.

T- Citrus hops upfront with a nice caramel malt sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter. Very crisp.

M - Medium body, very creamy - one of the best-feeling IPA's I've experienced.

D - Great taste and amazing creamy mouthfeel make it go down almost too nicely.

A really fantastic IPA - hopheads need to check this out.

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at TJ's Everyday, left over from the Ballast Point-Bear Republic cage fight this past weekend.

A: The DIPA is a bright orange color, coppery with just enough reddish tones to be memorable. The glow renders the ale translucent. A small head from the pour didn't linger long.

S: The aroma is a pine forest, laden with thick hops that seemingly show off everything except for the new car scent. Sweeter fruit aromas also waft out of the glass, accentuating the hop-centric nature of the ale.

T: The first sip is a boozy extension of the nose, sweet and sharp but oh so sweet. The hop bitterness retains its pine focus with sweet fruit playing an auxiliary role. Oily hops drop with juices, including sweet peach and full pine. The only drawback is that boozy heat. It follows on the coattails of the hops and isn't afraid to show its strength. The caramel malt backbone is an afterthought.

M: How many hop pellets can be squeezed into one glass? I don't know but this one really wants to settle it. A fragrant, delicious hop bouquet that hits the spot.

D: One snifter was enough for me, the boozy strength is overwhelming at times. The hops, though, will leave you in a blissful state.

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

This beer pours a nice, clear copper color. A nice one finger of white head sat on top, nice retention and left thick lacing throughout. Nose is a combination of piney and citrus hops, a touch of bready malts which caught me by surprise. Taste is really outstanding! The taste starts with a big burst of piney hops, lending way to some caramel malts that gave a sweet character, and finish out with some citurs hops - orange peel is detectable. This beer is amazingly well balanced. Big hop bites with a crisp clean finish, medium bodied, and that 9% alcohol is so well hidden that it could sneak up and bite you in the ass if you aren't careful. This is a highly drinkable beer!

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Publick House,Brookline, 6/7/09.

Poured a golden, pink tinted, amber color similar to that of a peach rind. White foamy head with white foamy retentention that left white foamy legs sliding down the glass like sea foam. Foam.

Reeks of wet, juicey hop stank. Juicey Fruit hops accented by gummi peach rings blend with a floral hop bouquet, sweet caramel malt and errant pine hints. Would make a great car air freshener scent.

Rolling waves of euphoria across the palate. The hop fruit salad comes through first but OMG is there resin. Tastes like chewing on a hop bud that squeezes out piney hop oil. Though hop dominant sweet caramel malt makes a nice showing and rounds out the flavor. Not too bitter.

Though aggressively tastey and fragrant, smooth silky carbonation and sticky resin mouthfeel let you know this beer has laid back roots.

As drinkable as 9% abv can get.

Photo of AltBock
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to try Bear Republic's mighty Racer X on tap at Capone's on 6/6/2009. They served it to me in a Kirin Ichiban pint glass.

This Double IPA poured a hazy golden amber with a great looking creamy 2 inch head of pearl white foam. This head of foam was damn creamy that it looked like the bartender dropped a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of my beer. The creamy head of foam had sweet ass retention that left behind a milky white film and white lace residue around the glass!

I still can't believe how well balanced the aroma was. The aroma started off with a strong hoppy aroma of bitter citrus hops, spruce, bitter grapefruit, yeast, orange peel, and some fresh fruits toward the end. Lying in wait like a Tiger waiting for its prey to run by was the scent of sweet caramel malts. I never would have thought caramel malts could balance out all of these super hoppy aromas, but it sure as hell did! Exceptional aroma!

This Double IPA wasn't playing around. As soon as my taste buds said go, in comes a title wave of bitter citrus hops. The hops were flexing their muscles and it showed it. After the hops felt a little sympathy for the other flavors, the hops then let through the taste of dried flowers, spruce, bitter grapefruit, and a subtle hint of toasted malts. The taste was as strong as the aroma, but it wasn't as well balanced. The hops came in, took over the taste, and it never looked back.

This was a full bodied Double IPA (no duh!), with a nice level of carbonation, and a full flavored hoppy aftertaste bitter citrus hops, spruce, bitter grapefruit, and dried flowers. It was sad to see that the caramel malts couldn't make it to the after party. This strong hoppy aftertaste will linger on for a long time after the sweet nectar has left the mouth.

If you like your super hoppy West Coast Double IPAs, then this beer will clearly satisfy your insatiable IPA tongue. In the end, it was great to look at, a pleasure to smell, and fun to drink. Would I ever drink this beer again? I most certainly would!

Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,975 ratings.