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Red Racer Pumpkin Ale | Central City Brewers + Distillers

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BA SCORE
86
very good
33 Reviews
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Red Racer Pumpkin AleRed Racer Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Crafted with pumpkin and choice spices, this ale is rich, creamy and contains a subtle pumpkin pie flavour. Enjoy this as a great pairing with any holiday feast.

Added by wordemupg on 11-05-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
75
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
19.37%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 75
Photo of Pmicdee
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm betwixt about this one. It doesn't taste like pumpkin pie, which may be a good thing. It tastes more like raw pumpkin. Not too sweet but perhaps not sweet enough. There are better pumpkin beers and there are far worse ones. Average.

 237 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thanks for DaftCaskBC for some canadian love in a can.

a - popped the can and filled my E snifter. poured a clear orange that settled into the glass as more chestnut reddish orange. had a nice finger plus of frothy ipa-like head but less milk shakey lacing. head hung out.

s - as soon as the pour started, i felt a waft of pumpkin in the air. upon closer inspection there it is...that craft store warmth. pretty malty, but beyond the malt is the cinnamon pumkin-ness. very palatable and not in your face. bit of a lager shine.

t - a bit underwhelming. pumpkin is really in the backseat on this beer and it has an american adjunct lager thing that is a bit of a turn off for me.

m/o - a bit funky in a bmc kind of way. pumpkin isn't really in the flavor in a positive way. the nose isn't bad, but if you are into a good pumpkin smell, this is no pumpking or good gourd. glad to try it, but not my bag for a pumpkin ale.

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Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DaftCaskBC for hooking me up with this one. Right upfront, I don't like pumpkin and haven't yet had a pumpkin beer I've liked.

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured an attractive orangeish-amber color with no head or lace. The aroma had a very good "beery" scent, lots of malt and grain, with the pumpkin and spice aspects being barely noticeable.

On the tongue, the actual beer still had the forefront, unlike most of these squash beers, and the pumpkin and spices were very well balanced and blended. They played their minor supporting roles well.

The body was good, crisp and clean, with a nice dry finish. Drinkabilty was pretty good for a beer with flavors I don't care for. Overall, a pretty decent beer. If you like pumpkin beers, you should try this one. If you like a lot of pumpkin in your brew, this may be a bit mellow for you. I wouldn't buy a sixer of this, but I'd split one can a year with someone.

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Photo of biegaman
3.39/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Red Racer Pumpkin Ale has a classy, glossy auburn colour that is perfectly suited to the fall. Cliche though it is to say, the beer's soft, sometimes twinkling amber highlights really are reminiscent of autumn foliage. Preventing a better score for this gorgeous pin-up, however, is the fact that it's utterly flat and without even a wisp of foam.

Ancient merchants would cross mountains and oceans, dangerous journeys sometimes for years at a time, because spices are such spectacular things. In particular, their aromas are sensational. I always expect a wonderful, distinct, even intense fragrance from any beer that uses them; despite the addition of "choice" spices, this bouquet is none of those things.

That it's spiced is evident - specific spices are not. That general chai-like profile is indistinct and watered-down. Anyone who's made a curry from scratch knows there's a huge difference between using fresh ingredients, heated in the pan and simmered over a low heat, as opposed to adding a dried powder mix bought from the store. I don't need to tell you which one this is.

In fairness, they get little help from the malt. Pumpkin Ales often lean heavily on crystal and specialty malts to provide supporting flavours of caramel, toffee, toasty pie crust or even hints of chocolate. This grain bill, however, is thin and plain, at times even a little syrupy. The beer is figuratively flat, but literally as well; there's virtually no carbonation.

A lot of pumpkin ales are made without any pumpkin at all - on this label it's listed ahead of the spices. Unless they're heavily roasted and/or caramelized, however, pumpkins aren't likely to contribute much of any flavour at all. And when they do - like the hint of raw squash in this example - it's not always pleasant. The need for bolder spicing and bigger bubbles is felt again.

A combination of watery, seemingly superficial spice flavour and a thin, cloyingly sweet maltiness leaves Red Racer's Pumpkin Ale tasting less like a cup of artisan chai tea and more like a powdered pumpkin latte mix, less like mom's pumpkin pie cooling on the windowsill and more like the canned pumpkin puree that stays buried at the back of the cupboard. Pass.

 2,215 characters

Photo of souvenirs
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

It's pumpkin time! I'm so glad the liquor stores are now full of pumpkin ales. That said, it wasn't so bad that the only one available for a while was Elysian. After drinking a few of those these past few weeks, well, the standards are higher for what's to come.

This one's a pretty red brown colour, with plenty of light tan head. Aroma: a little bit of spice. Not the best pumpkin ale of had, but it's nice.

 410 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep copper-orange with two fingers of light yellow, sticky looking head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Cloves. A little nutmeg and a hint of floral, sweet pumpkin.

Taste. Sweet cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, hint of sour and some caramel malt in the back.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, nice smooth medium carbonation. Alcohol well hidden.

Overall. The strong spices, especially cloves, are a little much for me. One during the season is plenty for me.

 478 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - clear copper orange, decent off white head left solid lacing
S - sweet & savoury pumpkin with nuttmeg and a herbal note
T - pumpkin and spices are more subdued that the smell, a bready malt and a herbal aftertaste
M - light and bready smooth, finishing with a subtle dry spiciness
D - pumpkin flavour is more true than many pumpkin seasonal, but the herbal aftertaste takes is somewhat out of place, a nice fall seasonal none the less

 438 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper orange, carbonated heavily, and crystal clear. A half finger of light beige head. Looks like a soda.

Smells of pumpkin spices, and toasted malts.

Tastes of pumpkin spices, malt beverage, a hint of toasted pumpkin and a light sweetness.

Light, watery body, lots of soda like carbonation.

Got in Brockville, ON, today. Drinking in New Hamburg. Really a disappointment after having their IPA. Still, it does have some pumpkin qualities. Drank Oct 9th, 2016.

 472 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; dated July 27 2016 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a beautiful, sparkling-clear orange-amber colour, with one finger of frothy, short-lived, off white-coloured head. It dissipates within the next 60 seconds or so, depositing a curtain of lace as it devolves into a bubbly, soapy collar and filmy cap. Looks like a typical pumpkin ale, and the autumn spices on the nose do little to convince me otherwise - cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are all discernible, distributed amongst notes of gourdy pumpkin flesh, molasses, ginger snap and pie crust. Nothing especially unique here, but definitely an enticing bouquet.

It took a few sips before I could make up my mind on this one. Caramel malts, molasses sweetness and pie crust flavours soon give way to notes of pumpkin and spice. Ginger and nutmeg are probably the most prominent spices, although I am also getting hints of clove, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla. Almost a dessert beer, except not really rich-flavoured enough... the spices really dry out the palate on the back end, like gnawing on cassia bark - or it would be, if it weren't for the lingering pie crust malt sweetness. Light-medium in body, with moderately assertive carbonation that has a brisk, crisp and prickly feel on the palate. Easy to drink for a spiced ale, thanks to the low abv, but one bomber is enough for me.

Final Grade: 3.73, a respectable B grade. Red Racer Spiced Pumpkin Ale doesn't break any new ground, but at the same time it doesn't have any particularly unappealing features, either. I have to consider this a fairly prototypical pumpkin spice ale - the gourdiness is there, but downplayed, while the autumn spices are arguably the centrepiece of this otherwise malt-forward seasonal ale. It's good, but it's definitely not great - worth at least one try if you've never had it and appreciate a pumpkin beer now and then, but I wouldn't expect your socks to be knocked off.

 1,949 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bomber poured into a mug. A hazy orange-red color with a finger or so of frothy, uneven beige head like dish suds. Aroma is the expected pumpkin pie, cinnamon heart candy, black tea, and sweet boiled grains. Notably malty, this one, with some hearty brown crust and burnt caramel working to balance the milky pie filling, raisin pudding, and cinnamon/nutmeg elements. Interestingly enough a given sip seems to lead with the toasty malts and finish with the sweeter spicy notes. I want to say I taste seeds as well but that could be the power of suggestion at work. Reasonably heavy-bodied and the carbonation isn't shy either. Finishes with a semi-dry seed spice bitterness. Certainly a "pie style" pumpkin brew but not a sugar bomb either, with a malty robustness and legit raw pumpkin flavor adding some depth of character.

 832 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a clear amber color with a tight, white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

Tastes of the spices with a sweet malt backbone. Spices lead off with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of allspice. Sweet malts come through next and add caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Bready malts fill it out leading to a fairly balanced feel to it.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty good pumpkin beer.

 498 characters

Photo of psiweaver
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Hair of the Dog Tulip from the can.

Pours an orangish copper color with a soft off white head.

Has a good smell with lots of pumpkin and spice, not as aggressive as something like Pumking but very good.

Taste was good, i think that it would be better a bit fresher as I noticed that the pumpkin was somewhat faded from what I would normally expect. I'll be excited to try it fresh next year. good amount of spice though

easy smooth mouthfeel very easy drinking and tasty.

 492 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers, again, to joemcgrath27 for the hook up.

A - Pours a nice copper colour, thin layer of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Earthy pumpkin masked by nutmeg and cinnamon scents, some caramel and banana bread.

T - Less spice than is implied by the scent, with the earthy gourd coming through complemented by bitter leafy hops, caramel notes, and a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - A bit on the watery side, lacking a carbonation 'lift', but goes down smooth and doesn't finish overly dry.

D - Overall a tasty brew that would be recommended to any pumpkin ale fan. Glad I was able to get my hands on this one. The spices don't overpower the beer, which makes it easily sessionable. A bit bitter on the finish, but not overly offensive.

 759 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Central City 'Red Racer Spiced Pumpkin Ale' @ 5.0% , served from 'the new' 650 ml bottle purchased for $5.50 & sampled on tap @ GCBF'14

A-pour is dark gold from the tap/bottle to an orange/amber in the glass with a big frothey off-white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint/sampler glass

S-spicey pumpkin pie , nutmeg , ginger & cinnamon stand out

T-sweet as pumpkin pie in a glass , definately spicey , has a certain bitterness on the swallow

MF-ok/decent carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , good pumpkin ale , deserve's more love butt the bottled version can't come close to tap @ GBBF'14

prost LampertLand

 624 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a copper orange with two fingers of frothy beige head.

Smell - pumpkin spices (clove, cinnamon, ginger), subtle pumpkin, hint of earthy hops.

Taste - Starts with the blend of traditional pumpkin pie spices (predominantly clove, cinnamon and perhaps allspice), then a bit more of the actual pumpkin flavour towards the finish. Earthy hops round out the flavour profile.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A pleasant pumpkin ale that showcases the pumpkin pie spices along with the pumpkin itself. Definitely a stand out in the pumpkin ale category.

 598 characters

Photo of OskarL
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear red/orange color with a disspates fast and leaves little lacing.

Smells almost like a pumpkin pie with the spices. Pumpkin, nutmeg and clove with some sweetness

Tastes pumpkin with spices, a little sweet malt and a little hops.

Creamy mouthfeel with a light/medium body and some carbonation.

 302 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a tulip glass. Picked this up in February in Vancouver in a sampler pack.

A: Pours a clear orange with some amber tints. Solid two inch, compact off-white head that disippated fairly slowly.

S: Surprisingly nice. Smells like a very mellow, low-spice pumpkin pie. Typical pumpkin pie smells, like pumpkin (duh), cloves, cinnamon, all-spice, etc. But the spices aren't overwhelming.

T: Obviously, pumpkin continues from the smell. Spices play a more dominant role, although still not overwhelming. Base beer tastes solid, with limited bitterness and a light biscuity malt backbone.

M: Light body and higher than average carbonation. While maybe a touch light, I think it worked. So many pumpkin ales are big to the point of being syrupy. After tasting this, I would rather have a pumpkin ale on the light side than heavy side.

D: Pleasantly surprised by this. Not generally a pumpkin or spiced beer fan, but this one was quite good. The pumpkin and spices are not over-powering. This is a sessionable beer that could easily be enjoyed beyond just the holiday season.

 1,098 characters

Photo of Long813
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this via trade from wordemupg.

G: Pint Glass

A: Clear dark orange body with one inch white head which had pour retention. Leaves very little lacing

S: The pumpkin is very strong with spices of nutmeg and cloves faintly in the background. I do enjoy the emphasis on the pumpkin over the spices as it's a nice change.

T: Strong pumpkin flavour up front with distint spices following.

M: Medium light body with medium carbonation. Has a creamy feel that ends with a spicy finish.

D: Very well made pumpkin beer. It focus more on the pumpkin than the spices which is new for me. I feel it should have stronger spiced flavour though.

 648 characters

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

2009 is the year of the Pumpkin Ale in BC this Fall. While the best one has to be the Imperial Pumpkin from Howe Sound Brewing this is a contender. Not as big as Howe Sounds offering this is more malt and dare I say Pumkin than spice. The beer is very drinkable and sits well in the finish. Close to the Winter Ale in mouthfeel and malt backbone ( not hopcentric like the PA and the IPA). Limited release but found in the Winter Mixes case which is great.

 455 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Can from Winter 2010 Medley pack purchased from the Central City brewpub. Pours a clear copper color. There is an aroma of pumpkin and spices. Great pumpkin pie taste, although it is a bit too watery. A pretty good pumpkin ale, I would try this again.

 251 characters

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed pack that my uncle brought for me when visiting.

Poured from a 355ml. can, canned Oct. 25, 2011 (Lot J2511).

Appearance: An amber-orange body with 3-4 fingers worth of head. Gradually recedes but leaves lots of lacing all around.

Smell: Good pumpkin meat, spices, cloves. A bit of a metallic twang. Aroma gets stronger as it warms.

Taste: Some fall spices, pumpkin pie crust. Slight metal twang (same as aroma) that is slightly distracting but thankfully disappears as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and pretty full bodied.

Overall: Nothing overpowering or extravagant here. Good all around.

 619 characters

Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-amber with a light tan head, good retention & lace.

S: Light spicing, cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger or mace?

T: Cinnamon, a little nutmeg, vanilla, biscuity malt, balanced bitterness.

M: Smooth moderate body is almost creamy.

D: A great drinker.

 255 characters

Photo of EskimoDave
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Racer Pumpkin Ale pours, an unsurprisingly, orange-copper. A tan head leaves some lacing. The aroma is of a cold pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. When you taste it the spices found in a pumpkin pie pick up. This beer does taste somewhat like a pumpkin pie with hints of caramel. It's smooth drinking and quite enjoyable. I'd had a sample of a pumpkin beer that tasted exactly like a liquidized pumpkin pie. It was no good. Oddly Red Racer Pumpkin Ale didn't go well with a pumpkin pie that my sister had made.

 513 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 traded her skirt, garters and Mary Janes for a cowboy hat and boots and a pair of Daisy Dukes, plus a pumpkin is lashed to the carrier above the back fender. Yeehah, let's go ridin', girlfriend!

From the CAN: "Central City Brewing Co. Red Racer Pumpkin Ale is a once a year creation crafted with the addition of pumpkin and select spices producing a premium ale of intense flavors and rich, creamy warmth. A great pairing with any holiday feast. 'Cheers!'"

The Glug netted just better than a finger of deep-tan head with good retention. I could smell the spices almost immediately. Color was a deep-coppery, orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was rich with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove. It smelled like pie fresh from the oven. Mouthfeel was medium with a riot of spices on the tongue. Cinnamon and clove really stood out for me and there was some sweetness, but the spices were taking the lead. Finish was pretty daggone dry, thanks to all of the spice. I am unsure of how good it would be at the beach, but on a campout with food roasted on a open fire? Perfect! Let's do this again, Red. I was really digging this beer on a cold, chilly, rainy afternoon in the early spring that felt more like the late fall.

 1,390 characters

Photo of IllNate
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Fantastic orange color. About as close to pumpkin as you can get I think. Good amound of white head. Decent retention. I took a tour of the brewery while they were filtering a pumpkin, they said it was a bugger to filter, haha. Final product is nice and bright and clear.

S - Pumpkin spice (nutmeg mostly and cinnamon. Really excellent.

T - Clean finish. Some pumpkin spice is noticeable but NOT overwhelming (most common mistake in pumpkin beer). This is still a beer, for sure. After the spice you notice a nice malty flavor (octoberfestish), slight bitterness.

M - Good body in this. Nice and creamy. Balancing bitterness.

D - High

Might be my imagination, but I think this beer has improved since last year quite a bit.

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Red Racer Pumpkin Ale from Central City Brewers + Distillers
3.82 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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