Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout | Central City Brewers + Distillers

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Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread StoutRed Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout
83 Ratings
Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread StoutRed Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout

Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This full bodied Irish-style Stout is smooth, dark and creamy with pleasant notes of baked gingerbread on the nose and palate that will make this an instant holiday classic. The use of oatmeal and ginger in the mashtun adds silkiness to the texture and body of this ale. Hints of roasted barley, chocolate and crystal malts combine with a warm lingering finish of ginger and cinnamon that pleasantly round out one of our richest creations to date.

$1 from each 650 ml bottle sold will be donated to local BC food banks.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
Photo of ThinkAgain
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle - nice to see Central City's marketing folks pay a direct ode to the ginger lovely so long portrayed on their various offerings' labels. Strange that this wasn't part of the Parallel 49/Central City Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown ADVENT calendar - waitaminute!

This beer pours a pretty solid black hole in terms of colour, but with prominent basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and densely foamy beige head, which leaves a stellar array of Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it evenly bleeds away.

It smells of well, gingerbread - candied ginger root, brown sugar, a bit of yeast, and, yeah, dark flour cake - alongside a bready (sigh) caramel malt, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, with a wee earthy hoppiness and even more sedate warming alcohol. The taste is more spiced stout, than anything overtly gingerbread in disposition, the bready caramel malt and coffee-tinged chocolate sweetness easily overpowering the various seasonal spices, even the ginger zestiness, and maybe even the late-arriving cinnamon. Ok, so not really, but you get the idea.

The bubbles are rather understated, providing a pleasant frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, with the oats successfully creaming things all up! It finishes not as sweet as I might have been anticipating, but that just lets those spices back in the door, and 'a flooding they come - ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, for starters, um, I mean enders.

An agreeable college try at recreating that most pervasive (ok, second-most - fruitcake, ech!) of love 'em or hate 'em holiday confections. It begins well, falters in the middle, but picks it back up towards the end. Can't front on that, and so I can recommend this if you actually like said guest flavour (and beer, don't forget the Irish stout side of things, which is why I won't be offering this to my otherwise game wife and toddler).

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle poured into a mason jar mug. Very dark opaque brown with four fingers of dull tan head. Looks inviting enough. Wait until you give it a whiff. Oatmeal cookies, chocolate pudding, Irish cream liqueur, raisins, the expected pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg or mace mainly, but there's some dry ginger in there), molasses ... Incredibly rich and sweet aroma.

The good news is that it tastes nearly as good. Some cinnamon stick, butter tart, dry cacao powder, chocolate-covered raisins, marzipan, ginger molasses cookies, damn near an entire bake shop. Does not scream Irish dry although there is that characteristic chalky mouthfeel. A cinnamon heart sweetness lingers for what seems like it could be days. Some of the darker roasted flavors (coffee, slight ash) do emerge as the palate acclimatizes to the spices.

Full-bodied as advertized but not overly heavy. Smooth and I'm tempted to say airy. I don't typically actually TASTE oats in beer (and few individuals truly do, I suspect), although here I'm certainly leaning that way. A wintergreen hop note emerges late. This is a busy brew ... Perhaps the time is right, but I'm riding the wave and appreciating it. I often find bold spices off-putting in beer but this particular package makes it work. Smell is sweeter and more aromatic than the rather darker and more dry taste.

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Photo of BCborn
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chickenm
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Photo of MJ63
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle from LCBO. This style is a thinner stout with ginger up front and chocolate. Not the most drinkable for me. Liked the chocolate more than the ginger.

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Photo of jcubz
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for $5.95 for a 650ml bottle. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high brown head that lasts for nearly 5mins before film out. Very dark brown colour.

S- Has a cinnamon scent to it. Good malt base

T- The gingerbread hits you right away. Has a decent malt backbone. It is a good malt with an additive to it. Rather dry and has a chocolate goodness to it with some smokiness. Thought an Irish stout would be closer to a Guinness but it's much better.

M- Creamy. Very creamy to say the least. Not the Irish stout I expected.

O- Very good blend. The gingerbread gets on you after half the bottle but it's a refreshing change from the every day

Food Pairing

This pretty good little brew went well with........ Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Chocolate overload!!


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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some cinnamon notes. Taste is a mix of cinnamon with quite a bit of residual sugar, light lactose and some light dry roasted malt. Body is light with some creamy notes and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Not bad but maybe a tad sweeter then I would have liked this bee to be.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured black with a thin layer of mocha coloured head that quickly dissipated.

S - A big vanilla aroma up front, giving way to nutmeg and ginger notes. Roast and some sweet chocolate notes are also present.

T - Sweet up front with chocolate, roast and molasses notes that quickly give way to the spice profile that includes cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The finish has a slightly bitter roastiness.

M - Medium body. A touch thin for what I expected. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of MattCampbell
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joesi
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Carbonation: low; medium body.

I don't rate beers on smell or apperance, but I must say that the smell from this thing is amazing. It's like the smell of liqueur-filled chocolates (none in particular since I don't know them well, but perhaps something like Bailey's), and maybe a bit of spice (still no ginger as others suggest).

Bad name in my opinion. Where's the ginger? I don't understand where people are getting the ginger from... what the heck? There's strong flavors in this beer so it would be hard to find if it was mild, but I couldn't notice it at all. Even with Granville's Ginja Ninja I could at least notice a hint of ginger taste (although it is a much milder beer so would be easier to find). I did notice a bit of spice in general after a long time looking, but not ginger (nutmeg, maybe? I suppose clove as well). I suppose that it's the clove that people taste —which is the main taste in molasses cookies/gingerbread— but personally I found it hard to even notice that (despite easily noticing it as a major flavor in Unibroue's La Resolution)

That said, this is a great stout, and it's certainly true to it's beer Irish dry stout category I would think. There's a very strong dry, bitter, woody taste at the end, which is really even too strong for my taste, since it somewhat hides the great flavors in the beer.

Speaking of which, I enjoyed the flavors quite a bit. No ginger though. Roasted malts seemed high up there, just a little bit of coffee (I don't like much coffee so that's a pro for me), and what felt like a heck of a lot of chocolate/cocoa— especially for something that doesn't advertise it. If it wasn't for all the woody bitterness at the end, this would have been like some sort of cocoa heaven in my opinion. Am I crazy?

Overall a very good beer, but the dry woodiness/bitterness is just a bit too much for me despite being a fan of stouts in general. Oh yeah, and based on my experience, I'd say don't try this for the ginger since there wasn't any (for me). Not even much gingerbread (go to Unibroue's La Resolution if you can find one)

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Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ikidunot
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CurtisD
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of papat444
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark color, average lacing. Aroma is spot one; gingerbread cookies galore. The flavor however is different and i'll explain why: i'm getting a lot of ginger root in the taste and not much baked sweetness. The aroma held promise but the roasted notes are few IMO. It is still a good beer but i've had GBS so the bar is high and this one doesn't reach it.

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours from the bomber a near-cola, pitch-black, capped by some nice head that recedes to a few millimetres, but leaves some lacing.

Smells . . . like heaven. Gingerbread. Molasses. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. God, this is basically a liquid gingerbread house with a bit of a roasted, toasted malt base. A bit of coffee, a bit of chocolate.

Based on the smell, the taste is a bit of a let-down. But a bit of a let down in the sense that it tastes, more or less, just like a nice Irish-style stout. Dry, roasty, malty. With only a slightly gingerbread backbone. Still, it's nice. Carbonation is perhaps a touch high, but the body is fairly balanced.

Man, though--that smell. It's *gorgeous*.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RedAleMan
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LampertLand
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Central City 'Red Racer Gingerhead Stout' @ 6.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6
A-pour is cola brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with a medium size frothey beige head leaving a streaky lace along the pint
T-somewhat smooth , dry finish
MF-good carbonation , medium body
Ov-ok beer , weak Irish dry stout
prost LampertLand

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled Sept 25 2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep-hued mahogany brown colour; very dark, for sure, but not quite opaque, as I can barely make out the bulb outline as I hold my glass up to the light. One finger of puffy, creamy-looking, light beige-tinted foam is situated atop the liquid, showing impressive retention - in fact, it continues to creep upwards for a few minutes, producing a lumpy dome that rises above the lip of the glass. Its dissipation is a long, drawn out process that exceeds 20 minutes, leaving behind plenty of delicate lacing rings. Very enticing aroma - gingerbread is, unsurprisingly, the central feature, but it blends beautifully with notes of dark chocolate, treacle, vanilla, cinnamon and spicy candied ginger root.

A tasty, rich-flavoured spiced stout that is quite nicely balanced. Caramel and molasses sweetness, together with that unshakeable gingerbread flavour, give this stout a hearty, generous feel - sort of like a cake, or perhaps a (gingerbread) muffin. Nuances of chocolate and roasted malts dwell mostly in the background. Cinnamon and ginger spiciness provide an added kick on the tail end, with suggestions of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts, which effectively dry the palate. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation levels that weakly nudge the tongue; the mouthfeel is smooth and soft, thanks to the oats, but still a tad thin. Highly quaffable.

Final Grade: 4.12, an A-. Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout is a seriously well-made stout that should pair perfectly with your Christmas dessert of choice. Its flaws are minor and generally forgiveable - the body's on the thin side, and the roasted malts don't come through as well as I'd hoped. The spices have been added in precisely the proper quantities - strong enough to complement and add complexity, but not so strong that they drown the other elements out. Excellent stuff; I'll be buying another bottle or two for later enjoyment.

 1,975 characters

Photo of boyntonliquors
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional beer made southeast of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is nice and malty backbone gives the ginger just the right amout of snap. Definitely a beer to shared during the holidays with friends and family.

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Red Racer Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout from Central City Brewers + Distillers
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 83 ratings