Red Racer Winter Ale | Central City Brewers + Distillers

BA SCORE
87
very good
46 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Red Racer Winter AleRed Racer Winter Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big, malty, and brewed to keep you warm through the long dark days of a west coast winter. This complex amber ale has vanilla and maple syrup undertones, with a warm, spicy finish. Best enjoyed when only partially chilled.

Added by Hornet2003 on 12-13-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
46
Reviews:
29
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of evlu1441
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I managed to snag a can of this from the singles bin at a local liquor store. Hopefully it's as good as the other Red Racer beers I've tried!

It pours a deep reddish amber colour and completely clear, with a foamy head that settles down at about a centimeter. There are lots of bubbles floating up to the top.

The hop aroma is prominent right from the start. Though it is balanced out by some spicy notes of ginger and maybe cloves.

The flavour of this beer is surprisingly complex. It is incredibly smooth, and the slight hop bitterness is quickly followed by some light sweetness. This slowly gives way to some rich malt flavours that are accented by the spicy cloves aroma. This slowly becomes a nice hop flavour.

This is a highly drinkable winter beer! It is dangerously smooth and manages to pack a punch of flavour without being overly intense.

 854 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml can. There's our girl, in 'all' her minimal winter finery, still astride that red hipster ride.

This beer pours a clear, medium brassy amber hue, with two fingers of dense, foamy off-white head, which leaves some random coffee ring stain imprints of frilly lace around the glass as it evenly dissipates.

It smells of grapefruit and orange citrus hop bitters, caramel toffee malt, and an overarching stewed raisin, fruitcake-like essence, which keeps it barely out of straight-up, knockin' on DIPA territory - still, I am breathless with anticipation! The taste is bready, biscuity, and crackery - sweet, all - malt, a more moderated earthy citrus character, and some piney, musty, and somewhat leafy and vegetal hops.

The carbonation subscribes to the don't ask, don't tell model in going about its generally frothy business, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, no complaints here. It finishes clean and very well balanced - the bitter citrus hops still doing enough to cut through a lake of complex malt.

Wow, West Coast Winter Warmer represent! Nothing like a bit of sensory obfuscation, before arriving at the real thing. Big IPA up front, pizza crust (yeah, homemade, herbal pizza dough at this point, at least), and then a still stunned, warming maltster emerges. Quirky, kind of sultry, and quite drinkable - glad I've got 5 more to relive this experience at least a few times over.

 1,418 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 355 ml can. Pours out a gorgeous clear russet copper hue, with a thick creamy off-white head that remains short but retains long.

Rich toffee juxtaposed with sweet grapefruit on the nose. This could easily be mistaken for a DIPA.

Bright grapefruit and tangerine hops burst through up front in the flavour, while the rich toffee pops up in the middle, finishing along with some spicy, pithy hops that linger on into the aftertaste. Quite balanced when all is said and done.

Medium-full mouthfeel, Smooth texture with some brisk carbonation.

One of my new favourite Winter Warmers, not only is it well balanced but the hops add an enjoyable extra dimension without being overwhelming, and the malt delivers a solid performance. Central City is a brewery that delivers the goods.

 788 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BigBry gets big ups from The CANQuest (TM) for not only more CANadian beer in a CAN, but my dear Red Racy to to go with it. In this iteration, she has donned thigh-high white boots, white mittens and white earmuffs as snowflakes fall around her. She is dedicated to that bike of hers, I'll tell you!

From the CAN: "Red Racer Limited Edition Winter Ale. A big and malty amber ale brewed to keep you warm through the long, dark days of west coast winter. This complex ale has vanilla and treacle undertones, with a warm and spicy finish. This beer is best enjoyed when only partially chilled. 'Cheers!'"

I have to cop to being impressed by the effervescence that was immediately noticeable following the Crack 'n' Glug. The pour created over two fingers' worth of dense, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! I do not know what treacle should or does smell like, but it certainly had a very malty/bready nose along with a mild spiciness. Mouthfeel was full and creamy with a taste of cinnamon and clove spices on the tongue. Finish was more spicy than anything, causing me to wonder if I missed out on the vanilla and treacle mentioned earlier. Great Goshadarn, but it was friggin' smoooth! I had run through half the glass like it was nothing! Yum yum! I have nothing going in the winter that involves a cooler, except for Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb), but this deserves a place in the cooler. It was especially welcome on this cold, rainy day in early spring that feels like late fall.

 1,556 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a nice clear red-brown with a finger of yellow, thick and sticky looking head.

Smell. Orange spice, caramel malts, a little herby hops.

Taste. Roasty caramel malt, some nutmeg and spices, easy hop bite.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. A little warm alcohol.

Overall. Pretty good for the style. Not too sweet or spicy and no clove overkill.

 379 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml Can - Thanks Swedes21

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with an above average size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is also some pretty good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was completely gone.

Smell - malts, hops, allspice, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation but it still feels fairly creamy on the tongue. I can taste a lots malts and caramel mixed with hops. There is also a fair amount of allspice flavour. It finishes with a spicy/hoppy bittersweet aftertaste.

Overall - I'm not sure I've had a beer quite like this one. I really enjoyed it and it is a terrific seasonal beer. There were times however, when I was sure I tasted something along the lines of soya sauce, but I'm sure it was all in my head. Bottom line; worth seeking out.

 875 characters

Photo of Swedes21
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a gorgeous clear 'red' coper colour. the head is about 1 finger of off-white fluffy that dissipates fairly quickly. leaves behind some nice island head. not much along the lines of carbonation.

Smell - found there to be a very strong citrus smell, very dominant. there is some nice malts and spices as well. the beer offers a lot to the nose.

taste - unlike the smell, little more malty in the taste along with a slight metallic base. there is a good lasting taste and a slight bitterness near the end.

mouthfeel - not a lot of added carbonation, but very well balanced. Again, there is a bit of a metallic flavour coming through.

drinkability - good beer, not as good as the IPA but happy to have tried and had.

 735 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - red copper clear, average head dissipated leaving respectable lacing
S - herbal and spicy, toasted grains with a citrus and slightly astringent odor
T - gingerbread savoury, herbal and citrus hoppiness, toasty, very light cinnamon
M - generous carbonation, bready moving to spicy and slightly bitter
D - they aren't hiding behind a spice mask like many winters, the flavours are subtle but warm and balanced, the more I have the more I like it

 447 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark ruby red, finger of head which quickly dissipates leaving no real lacing.

S - Sweet cherries with some roasted almonds, caramel malts and some sweet spices (nutmeg, ginger & cinnamon).

T - The sweet fruitiness comes through, followed by caramel, some leafy hops and touch of vanilla that lingers. The spices are also present, but are more subtle.

M - Medium bodied ale, a bit prickly going down, and finishes a tad dry.

D - Overall, a tasty winter ale with some unique flavours, and a nice hop / malt balance. The ABV is reasonably well hidden, and the flavours are subtle enough to make it quite drinkable.

 628 characters

Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not generally a fan of spiced beer, so I hesitant to buy a 6-pack, thinking it'd be in the fridge most of the winter. Well, it's not even Christmas and it's gone...

A: Deep amber with a light tan head, good retention, leaves a little lace.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, roasted nut, candied fruit and a light spicing.

T: There's a light residual sweetness, but it has the bitterness to back it up. Very malty, caramel, biscuit, brown sugar, roasted nut, hints of candied fruit, alcohol is subtle. The spicing is done really well. It's apparent, but I can't really tell what it is. On it's own, the spicing is very well integrated. Having a 'plain' brew first makes the spicing a little more apparent.

M: Moderately full body has a light residual sweetness

D: Very drinkable for it's strength.

 796 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml can from liquor store.

Pours a clear amber, some dark amber hues, very bright, a touch of red, medium sized slightly off white head forms and settles down to a medium ring and layer around the glass, looks good.

Smell is nice, big and malty, some maple syrup and caramel, biscuit, light grapefruit, golden raisins, dry and toasty, lightly fruity and sweet, but a neat spicy component, touch of vanilla, light alcohol, treacle, nice.

Taste is nice too, sweet and malty, big caramel and treacle with an almost tropical fruit kind of sweetness, vanilla, biscuit, raisin, alcohol, a bit of an off almost burnt flavour in the finish, lightly buttery, but the rest is neat.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, light warmth going down. Nice aroma but a couple flaws in the taste.

 804 characters

Photo of koopa
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can received in a trade with EskimoDave thanks!

Appearance: Pours amber with a hint of red. The 1 finger white crown shows little retention and hints moderate lace.

Smell: Stone fruits, bready malt, and a whisper of alcohol.

Taste: Same as the nose but much more bitter than anticipated.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Not something I'd want more than one of but it wouldn't be hard to have more.

 436 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a clear copper with a 1 1/2 inch slightly off white head.

S: Smell is very spicy, cinnamon, clove, alspice. Not overpowering, but definitely there. Some faint hoppy bitterness.

T: Spices continue from the smell with a solid malt backbone. A little bready, but it works well with the spices. Very well balanced. Some sweet notes, a little vanilla. Nice. Reminds me of drinking holiday cinnamon bread.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Easy to drink.

D: Suprisingly nice for a spiced winter ale. Not overpower with a nice clean finish. I thought this was very enjoyable, even six months after release. Another solid brew from Central City.

 701 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleasant, and a good drinker, care of Presario. Pours a little mber with a huge foamy topping. The aroma is neutral at best, initially a bit of cheese coming out of the can. Easy mouthfeel, nicely carbonated. Mostly a malt job, with understated spices.

 257 characters

Photo of EskimoDave
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Central City's Red Racer Winter Ale pours a mahogany with an off-white head that leaves thing rings of lacing as you drink this surprisingly complex ale. On the nose you get moist bread, spices, some kind of fruit - dried berries? and vanilla undertones. There is a lot going here and all these aromas continue on to the taste of the beer with the addition of a barely noticable alcohol presence. It's very complex with a clean finish. Not something you'd expect from a can. I've had quite a few can of this over the winter. Next year I can see the same thing.

 560 characters

Photo of OskarL
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a red/amber color with some cloudyness and a white head that has some ligth brown color to it. The head has pretty good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is spicy bread, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon with some vanilla and a hint of alcohol.

Spicy malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, nutmeg and some alcohol with little bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite carbonated, with a medium body/full.

 411 characters

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

Can as an extra from EskimoDave - cheers man! Pours a clear amber/mahogany with maybe a finger of head that quickly dies to a collar.

Nose is pretty clean, bready caramel malt, hint of dark fruits and apricot, touch of spice - kinda scotch ale-ish. Reminds me a bit of Canoe's winter warmer.

Taste mirrors with a touch more nutmeg coming through, bit boozy in the finish, some treacle, light nuttiness, brown sugar, pretty dry hop finish with a hint of Noble hop bittering and flavor, a little thin and a little too carbonated for the style.

I'm a little ambivalent about this one, take it or leave it. I enjoy the alcohol warming as it progresses, a little fire in the belly. Not bad, pretty dry, could be a little richer. Solid beer, would drink again.

 757 characters

Photo of markaberrant
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can from Winter 08/09, thanks Canucklehead!

A - clear orange/red, thin white ring for head, no lacing

S - malt, brown sugar, vanilla, hint of nutmeg

T - clean malt flavour, not overly sweet, low esters, nutmeg spice in the finish

M - could perhaps be a little creamer and heavier to suit the style better, but not bad, med low carbonation, alcohol warmth is not huge

D - a reasonable interpretation of a spiced warmer, just missing a little something to make it really special.

I hate overly spiced beers, so I like the subdued attempt here. The biggest problem is that the beer is lacking in body, hops and malt character. If just one of these were a little more assertive, it would greatly improve this already decent beer.

My scores are rather reserved, but it is definitely worth seeking out, especially at a very reasonable $12/6-pack.

 847 characters

Photo of lumikuuro
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Central City Brewpub, Surrey, BC. They still have this on tap even though it is May and they have plenty of 6 packs left in the adjacent liquor store at reduced price.

Appearance: Deep amberish mahogany, clear, with one finger creamy beige head receding moderately quickly to a ring and leaving heavy lacing.

Aroma: Classic malty spiced winter warmer aroma. Nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, treacle, alcohol. Possibly other spices.

Taste: Malty with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and clove, with some vanilla and distant coffee. Honey and treacle give it a balanced winter warmer sweetness, and the taste is quite vinous, showing how well brewed this beer is. The alcohol is appropriately noticeable and helps carry this true winter warmer. The finish is long and rich, as the spices and balanced sweetness linger.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full bodied. Manages to be crisp, dry, and silky.

Drinkability: The only thing holding back the drinkability of this beer is just how rich it is. It is a delightfully delicious beer, but after a couple of them, some people may prefer to move on to something less rich. However, if you don't mind the rich flavour of this beer, you won't be worried.

The best winter ale in BC after Howe Sound, and it's not far behind.

 1,254 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky to find a six pack of this in May as it didn't show up at many stores. This is a cross between a Scotch Ale and a winter warmer. Nice and full flavoured with a malt forward taste. There are some spices on the finish but mostly this is a slightly sweet winter beer with a nice balance ( after it warms up up you can taste and smell the hops). Like all the other Central beers this is really well made and very drinkable.

 431 characters

Photo of Hornet2003
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber colour with a creamy white head.

Smell: Spicy nose with cloves, vanilla and cinnamon being the dominant aromas.

Taste: This beer has a great malty sweetness, some alcohol presence as well as a distinct nuttiness. Great spicy character just warms you right up. Cinnamon and clove are the dominant flavours. The alcohol provides a candy sweetness that makes this beer a treat to savour.

Mouthfeel: I gave it a 3.5 because the carbonation was a little too low but there was a great creaminess that I come to really enjoy in a winter warmer. There is a slight alcohol burn as well but very subtle.

Drinkability: As with most of Central City's beers, this is very drinkable. I could polish off a few pints and be happy...Very happy. This stuff is pretty strong at 7% alc/vol.

Overall: A great treat of a winter warmer. This beer reminds me somewhat of Howe Sound's Father John's Winter Ale. Except this one has a much fuller flavour and mouthfeel. Very nice!

 986 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Red Racer Winter Ale from Central City Brewers + Distillers
3.99 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.