Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

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

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

498 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 498
Hads: 2,091
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 19.34%
Wants: 354
Gots: 179 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 01-13-2003

Racer X is an uncommon Double India Pale Ale which puts a California twist on English brewing traditions by adding an assertive hop aroma and bitterness that compliments the firm malt backbone. Like its little brother Racer 5, Racer X is balance in a bottle.

2009 California State Fair – BRONZE
2009 San Diego International Beer Competition – 2nd
2009 West Coast Beer Fest - GOLD
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer X Double IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 498 | Hads: 2,091
Photo of
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capones....what a great place!

Dark orange/light brown in color. Small, off white head. Couldn't see much legs, left some decent lacing.

Grapefruit and pine, some earthiness. Decent bit of sweetness (caramel/toffee).

Bitter over sweet in taste, but there was a very strong malt backbone. Grapefruit and grass seemed to be the dominant flavors, maybe a little bit of pine. Alcohol was present, but not very noticeable.

Medium + body, with relatively light carbonation. Although this beer has the flavors of a west coast IPA, it is not as dry as the San Diego stuff.

This was a really good beer! Another one of those where you are sad when it's gone, because it's not likely it will come around again anytime soon. Not as light/dry as some of the west coast offerings, but very tasty.

 800 characters

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.

 296 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy caramel/orange with a skim of beige foam on top of my pint glass. Great head retention with streaky lacing. Intense citrus aroma, lots of grapefruit with orange and tangerine notes. Very fresh smelling. Strong bitterness with a boatload of hop flavour, again with a combination of citrus, some tangerine, quite fruity, and then grapefruit rind in the finish. Mild caramel malt provided some balance and the hops ended up giving it a slightly spicy tone towards the end. Full bodied with carbonation a little on the high side. Good texture overall. This stuff was delicious and very easy to drink for a high abv hop bomb.

 625 characters

Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Bottled from a growler purchased at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub, Portland, OR
Acquired in a trade with yllwsmly

Poured a deep, dark and transparent ruddy copper-mahogany. (Very dark for a double IPA.) The tight, bubbly, one-finger, saddle head faded to a bubbly cap of froth and a thick ring of lace. Chunks of lacing clung to the sides of the glass and lasted until the drink's end.

The aroma was very hoppy, yet also sweet, rich and incredibly balanced. Orange peel and spices came through strong (and possibly some potpourri-like notes) along with tropical fruits (mango and pineapple). Brown sugar was apparent as well. A slight booziness became more noticeable as the beer warmed. I was definitely anticipating this DIPA to have a stiff malt backbone.

The taste was quite similar to the aroma. Piney and fruity up front. Orange peel was quite noticeable mid-palate, along with peaches and apricots. The finish was hoppy and very piney with hints of grapefruit and a touch of caramel malt sweetness. The ultra-dry, piney aftertaste left my tongue craving another sip. Very nicely balanced overall. As the beer warmed, a touch of brandy-like alcohol appeared.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied (slightly thinner than expected) with a fine yet lively carbonation. Rich, creamy and smooth on the palate.

Not only was this beer incredibly flavorful and well balanced (especially for a West Coast DIPA), but the 9% ABV was barely noticeable. Definitely a very drinkable example of the style.

Overall, this was an outstanding beer. Unquestionably one of the best DIPA's I have sampled to date.

 1,642 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)

A- The body had a red glow with big bubbles forming most of the head and a soft carbonation of smaller bubbles.

S- The huge fruity green hops had aromas of fresh pine needles and a slightly musty scent followed by a soft tangerine note and a hint of dandelion greens bitterness in the finish.

T- This beer starts with a big dried fruit and citrusy hop flavor followed by more dried apricot hoppy notes. Squeezed in between the hops is some nice sweet caramel malt and honey malt flavors and then it is right back to hops. The full bitterness has almost a skunky quality, in a good way, that finishes up the beer balancing the malt and the floral hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a very slight astringency of hop bitterness at the finish. I was surprised that there was no real alcohol heat noticed but it was probably masked by the big hops.

D- This beer really focused on a nice big aroma of hops with floral qualities. The malt supported that and the bitterness off-set it. It really went down smooth for such a big beer. Delicious

 1,077 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's in a half-liter mug, on to the beer:

IF you like your DIPA's on the bitter, metallic side, than this is for you. Bitter resinous hops for everyone to enjoy with a just a little bit of malt character. Anyone into very bitter West Coast IPA's should try this if they can find this. (Geez, I just realized how liberally I used the word "bitter".)

 369 characters

Photo of Phillyduke
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I took an "extended" lunch one day to visit Capone's before this keg kicked in order to give a more fair and balanced review of a beer I felt didn't hold up as well in a growler as it did in my 4oz. tasting the day I filled my jug.

A: Served in a pint tumbler. Color is a cloudy deep amber color with a one finger head of dense off-white foam. Great retention and phenomenal sticky lacing that clings to the side of the glass all the way down.

S: This beer has an absolutely wonderful aroma. Rich, juicy citrus (superhuge nose of grapefruit) and piney hops are complemented with a nice floral bouquet. For me this is the best part of this beer.

T: Wonderful balance of grapefruit sweetness and piney bitterness. The malt backbone is a supporting player, as it should be, and provides a nice, long aftertaste. You can tell this beer is a hop bomb, but a nicely balanced bomb. ABV is deceptive, and could sneak up on you if you're not careful.

M: Pleasant smooth carbonation, nice refreshing tingle on the sides and tip of the tongue. What I believe to be dead-on for the style.

D: As I mentioned earlier, BR manages to hide the ABV in this beer quite well, making it highly drinkable. Eventually it will catch up with you, so any more than 3 might be a problem for a normal-sized person. Overall I found this to be MUCH better on draft than in a growler. Why? Who knows, maybe my jug wasn't clean enough, maybe I let it sit for too long before drinking it. Either way, I'm glad I went back to do this beer justice, and am happy that I had the chance to begin with. Thanks, Matt!

 1,582 characters

Photo of SQNfan
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful copper in color the beer poured a 1/2" head that slowly, but never fully, dissipated. The nose began with a combination of piney and citric hops followed by carmel and some baking spices. The palate was very well-balanced between the hops and malts and smooth with a nice touch of dryness to go with the bitterness on the finish. Very easy to drink.

 359 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour from a growler purchased at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Thanks to Deuane for picking this up for us.

Pours a hazy, ruby colored amber with a 1/2 finger of creamy off-white head. It has just great retention with a creamy ring around the edges and a big ole' dollop of foam right smack dab in the middle. Naturally, the lacing was big, sticky, and impressive. The aroma is a West Coast delight, with a big piney nose followed by accents of fresh citrus, thick smelling malts, and a touch of alcohol heft.

The taste is just as impressive with a big resinous bite of pine right up front. But this isn't any old pine bite. This is kind that reminds you of eating a pine cone if one actually did that sort of thing. It's just the kind of bitterness and stickyness that works your taste buds over, but in a good way. :) Luckily, all of that is pulled back somewhat by a pretty beefy backbone of sweet malt and some floral feeling citrus notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with only a slight beefy feel considering the thickness of the malts and the ABV.

I wasn't quite sure what to think of this when I first started drinking it, as the pine just dominated so much, I was afraid that it was going to be one-note. The more I drank it though, the more it worked it's magic on me, showing off it's superior balancing act and almost undetectable ABV. Trust me, you won't feel the alcohol in this until after you've had a few. This is a real gem from Bear Republic and I'm very glad to have tried it.

 1,508 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler pick up from Capone's....thanks Matt!

A-Hazy dark copper with a medium off-white head.

S-PINE...and then a bit of sweet malt.

T-Ok ready....PINE, pine, pine and then some more piney hops! There is then a nice sweet maltiness that kicks in after that initial PUNCH from the GIANT pine tree!

M-Medium heavy body with a bit of stickiness...and how could you not see that coming with all of that pine resin going on! Sticky yes, bad NO! Nice bitter aftertaste that lingers.

D-This is as tasty as I remembered! A huge giant pine bomb that goes down with frightning ease. Tasty stuff indeed....beware of Racer X!

 622 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this growler!

A - Hazy dark, burnt orange body with a short off-white head and sparse carbonation.

S - Immensely huge hop aroma with lots of fresh pine needles and some citrus fruit. Sweet malt is also in there, but it's ultimately overpowered by the hops. A bit of alcohol emerged as the liquid warmed up.

T - Piney/resinous hops abound, but are balanced by a hefty malt presence. Overall, the piney hops prevail.

M - Oily texture with very soft carbonation. Moderate bitter finish that lingers for a while, but not as long as I would have expected. There's also a bit of heat present from the alcohol.

D - Highly drinkable DIPA despite the high ABV%. While it is well balanced in flavor, this is a pretty huge piney hop bomb. Perhaps they should call this "Piney the Elder!"

 813 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased at Capones & soon to be split with my brother in law. Pours with a thin head. Dark amber color typical of a big DIPA. Huge nose of piney hops. Tastes extremely hoppy which is agreat for a hop head. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is very drinkable even with the ABV. Highly recommended. One of the best DIPA's out there IMO.

 337 characters

Photo of jmalex
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Capone's. Review taken from notes.

APPEARANCE: Presented in a shaker pint, the beer is a murky amber with hints of golden hues. A sturdy, light tan head sits atop and holds for awhile before dropping to a splotchy patchwork of bubbles.

SMELL: Intense grapefruit and piny hops hit home first and foremost. They're presented as the accentuation to a clean, crisp malty base. Very simple, yet very well done.

TASTE: The grapefruity hops show themselves in the taste as well reaching their full force almost immediately. Across the palate, the hops become slightly resinous before taking on a pungent flavor in the long and lingering finish. Again the clean malt background is just that - background.

MOUTHFEEL: Right in line with where it should be. Medium-full in body with an average-level carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: Very easy for an Imperial IPA as the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Very clean and smooth.

I'd drink this again if I was lucky enough to have the oppurtinity. Nothing stands out about it too much other than that I couldn't really find fault with it. Bear Republic delivers again.

 1,120 characters

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

Enjoyed on tap at Capone's.

Poured a clear rich golden amber color with thick creamy off-white/tan head. Great retention and good sticky lacing. Smells of citrus rind, floral hops, pine, and caramel. Tastes of grapefruit and pineapple up front with a mix of caramel and honey for a sweet backbone, with a finish of pine, grass clippings, and orange peel, with a slight alcohol tinge as it warms up. Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth and sweet with a dry bitter finish, lots of hop presence. Easy to drink, lots of hop character hides much of the alcohol well, wish this stuff were more readily available, great brew for hopheads with a nice sweetness.

 663 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a murky honey amber with a firm and creamy head that was quite lacy.

Smells of crisp, dry pines and a dry rye crisp with a slight tobacco and clover floral character. Beneath is a sour, tart pineapple.

Tastes of sweet peach syrup and pineapple that is overpowered by a steamroller of pine needles that soon fade slightly to a paper and cardboard. This hop bomb left my palate numb.

Felt thick and frothy yet pliable.

A tasty double IPA. I'm glad I got the chance to try this one.

 503 characters

Photo of marcpal
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint poured on tap at Old Bay, New Brunswick NJ

A: Mahogany and dark orange tint. Thin off white head with light lacing.

S: Pine tree hops and a little more pine tree on top of that.

T: Some malt presence early but this one leaves you breathing hop fumes. Definitely some citrus fruit hops as well, but mostly earthy hops. Not as balanced of some other fine DIPAs but by no means a bad tasting beer.

M: Chewy and the thick coating from this one.

D: ABV was a surprise to me, very well masked. Recommended for anyone to try this one out but have to admit that it didnt quite live to expectations.

 602 characters

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Firewaters in Atlantic City, NJ.

A- Thin white film head. Clear amber/ copper body. Some carbonation rising in the glass.

S- All hops. Piney with hints of grapefruit.

T- Hoppy goodness. Piney and citrusy throughout.

M- Medium bodied. Slightly reisiny/oily.

D- Awesome beer. The 9% alcochol can sneak up on you but won't dissuade you from having another.

 381 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ:

The color of the beer was deep copper. There was a small white head.

The aroma was wonderfully pungent. The nose was dominated by an explosive burst of resiny and citrusy hops. According to the brewers, this is a Columbus/Cascade heavy beer, but whatever the combo is has notes similar to Summit in the aroma.

The flavor of the beer was primarily that of citrusy hops (duh) with noticable caramel maltiness to help round things out. The hop profile was powerful without being harsh, but didn't have quite the same depth as, say, PP Hop Suey or RR PtE. The deeper caramel aspect compared to many other west coast DIPAs should be reduced IMO. I prefer light and crisp malt backbones in my DIPAs.

The mouthfeel was medium/light and the carbonation seemed dialed in just right. The beer was reasonably well attenuated and not too heavy.Very drinkable.

 876 characters

Photo of younger35
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on 1/26/08, taken from notes.

Visited Bear Republic with a buddy of mine on a recent little beer trip. I've had Hop Rod Rye in the bottle and it was damn good so I hoped that the other beers would follow suit. Drank out of a Bear Republic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a yellowish orange with hues of a light pink and brilliant clarity. A rather small bright white head forms that recedes fairly quickly leaving a spotty cap and fairly thick collar. Plenty of lacing is left for all to enjoy.
Smell- The nose lets you know right away that it's a DIPA. Loads and loads of fresh strawberries was the first thing that jumped out at me (amazing). A bit of pine sap is discernable but for the most part the nose remains floral. Lilac and fresh strawberries abound. Someone should sell this fragrance to Glade®.
Taste- Not quite as floral as the nose but it is nice and fruity. Bits of grapefruit and pineapple add a bit of a citrus bite that is really nice. Spruce and pine are present as well but definitely taking a backseat to the fruit. The most surprising part about this brew is that as big and hoppy as it is, it's got plenty of caramel sweetness. I wouldn't go as far to say that it's "balanced" but it's got enough toffee there to keep everything in check. The alcohol is also pretty noticeable and shows it's 8.3%; probably the only negative about this brew IMO.
Mouthfeel- Very thick and creamy with a nice oily slick feel with medium carbonation and quite a bit of warming from the alcohol. Nearly perfect.
Drinkability- This is a really really good beer. I had a lot of DIPA's this weekend and if this wasn't the best, it was tied for first. The nose and super creamy, delicious mouthfeel are reason enough to try this. The fact that it tastes awesome is just a bonus! Wish they'd bottle this stuff (if they do, I wish they'd send some up to Boise. Hell I'd take any distribution in Boise).

 1,907 characters

Photo of Homerbag
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange copper, with little more than a off-white ring that laces beautifully down.

Smells of piney, citrusy hops with some malt balance.
Taste is as it smells, nice selection of hop and malt. Does a good job of not being obnoixious with the hops. A lot of these are, "look how many hops I can put in this beer" while the taste suffers.
Feels syrupy like it should, lets the hops soak in and reminds you this is a IIPA.
I will buy this again. I will like this on a more summer like night, not a sub zero night. Well done.

 535 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much like Philo, I tried this at the Anthill Pub in Irvine. Unlike him, however, I found this pretty one note.

Pours a dark, burnt orange. Almost zero head. No real carbonation, at all. Nice syrupy mouthfeel.

Taste and smell are piney, grapefruity hops. Not a lot of malt balance, though I think there is a hint of sweeter fruits in here (orange?). Good, but not my favorite DIPA by far. I've yet to be overwhelmed by any Bear Republic brew.

 443 characters

Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bronze hue with a large two finger which fades into tons of lacing, slightly hard to see through.

S- Super hoppy and sweet with a mixture of predominant pine flavor and underlying grapefruit notes...absolutely exquisite.

T- Taste is very reminiscent of Pliny the Elder but possibly better balanced. Lots of malt which dulls the hop bitterness but there is a good amount of hoppiness in flavor.

M- Thick with a lot of carbonation.

D- This is an absolutely amazing DIPA and a pleasure to drink, perhaps a bit thick for more than one but it's amazing.

 563 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the newly re-opened Anthill Pub on the campus of UC Irvine. Because it is a "strong" beer (i.e., high alcohol), they serve it in a 10 or 12 ounce flute glass rather than giving you a full pint. The color was pretty dark for an IPA--more orange than yellow with a moderate, sticky, lace-leaving head. The smell might have been the best thing about it with lots of floral hops complimenting the sweet malt and alcohol smells. The taste was well-balanced and not nearly as one-sidedly hoppy as I expected. In fact it was slightly less hopped than I would have preferred. For a double IPA I found it rather sweet and a not especially bitter. Not as sweet as DFH 120 Minute, but nowhere near as hoppy as Avery Maharaja or even Stone Ruination. A good beer for sure, but I think I might actually prefer Racer 5.

 826 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Naja's.

Copper color with an off-white 1 finger head. Dense foam leaves good lacing.

Bitter hops in the nose with a balancing sweetness.

Taste starts out with sweet malt flavors and then undergoes a very linear metamorphosis into huge hop bomb territory. Pine and grapefruit blister the tongue, along with a hint of orange zest and pineapple similar to YuleSmith.

Smooth and dynamic enough to keep one interested. Nice rich body. Very drinkable if hop monsters are your thing.

 490 characters

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got down to Naja's to get some Pliny the Elder, only to find that they ran out. Good news was they replaced it with this. I LOVE Racer 5, so was quite excited to find this on tap.

A: Dark IPA, clear orange/red (though tough to tell in the dark...). Not much head, not much bubbles. Really nice lacing.

S: Big bitter hoppy scent. Mostly citrus. My friend told me she smelled lychee, but I don't have a damn clue what that smells like so who knows.

T: Starts with a malty backbone. This is truly a DIPA with plenty of sweetness. Fruity/estery goodness, orange and tropical. Then the hops hit. HUGE hops. Some citrus but pine dominates. The citrus hops are mostly orange to me, but the pine is really the big flavor. The bitterness just lasts and lasts.

MF: Very smooth, doesn't have the bite that many IPAs have. Carbonation is pretty low. Sticky and syrupy, coating the mouth and leaving a nice bitter film.

D: Talk about a helluva consolation prize. This is a well crafted beer. Starts off more like a strong ale, but the bitterness is huge enough to slightly overbalance the sweetness. So smooth and tasty. Easy to drink, I wanted to go back for a second round but too long of a drive home to do that...

 1,218 characters

Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 498 ratings.