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Red Racer Pumpkin Ale | Central City Brewers + Distillers

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Red Racer Pumpkin AleRed Racer Pumpkin Ale
Very Good
77 Ratings
Red Racer Pumpkin AleRed Racer Pumpkin Ale

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml can. The label depicts our girl still riding her red bike, now clashing with the orange seasonal background, and clad in her stereotypical hipster cowgirl finest.

This beer pours a clear, and slightly bright medium copper amber hue, with a multitude of puffy, densely creamy, and foamy ecru head, which leaves a cross section of sedimentary lace around the glass as it evenly settles.

It smells of spicy ginger and nutmeg, actual raw vegetal pumpkin flesh, bready caramel malt, brown sugar, metallic cinnamon, and a hint of earthy, leafy hops. The taste is doughy, biscuity caramel malt, more zippy allspice, cinnamon hearts, dried ginger, and nutmeg spice, lightly roasted pumpkin meat, and mildly bitter earthy, and appropriately dead leafy hops.

The carbonation is average in its lilting frothiness, and thus generally unobtrusive, the body just on the light side of medium weight, but solid enough in its gourd-enhanced smoothness. It finishes off-dry, with a nice (I know!) vegetal pumpkin pie crust and somewhat bewildered hop character.

A somewhat different pumpkin ale than the norm, that's for sure - the hops and the eponymous vegetable sticking out, instead of the focus being on a heavy malt. It's all deftly balanced, as well, and quite enjoyable in its reflection of what I expect to be happening around here in a few months' time.

 1,355 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +8%
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 Erik-P
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
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 spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the lcbo for around $6.

35 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.39/5  rDev -9.8%
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 wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml can poured into 400ml dab glass nov4 2009

A clear orange amber that has a two finger head after a hard pour and quickly falls to a 1/4in film that leaves decent lace

S unlike most pumpkin ales I smell more pumpkin then spice. having said that there still is a fair bit of you typical pumpkin pie spice, but a nice balance

T this is a pretty good beer perhaps the best pumpkin ale I've tried (I think that's the fourth time I've written that this year) the flavor mimics the smell and that's not a bad thing

M has a nice creamy feel from the carbonation

D several small things add up for a high grade in this department, a well rounded pumpkin ale

my only major complaint is not finding this east of BC and it's not easy to find there either. If you do see it by chance pick it up it's a wonderful pumpkin ale

 832 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

 929 characters

Photo of Howlader
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of cosmicevan
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

 922 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 andrenaline
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
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 bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
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 schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of patre_tim
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
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 DaPan
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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 joemcgrath27
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
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 thehyperduck
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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 IronDjinn
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml can. Pours out a clear amber hue, small creamy beige head.

Aroma has sweet earthy pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and a curious floral character that is a nice added touch.

Perhaps showing a little sign of age, but nothing seems off with it. Earthy character up front in the flavour, while the spice tends to quickly overlap it. Finishes on a hoppy note, although difficult to pick out what varieties through the spice presence.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, although the texture comes across fuller than it is while staying slick, with moderate carbonation.

Nice take on the style, the extra hops work with this recipe, and once again Red Racer pulls off an enjoyable and highly accessible rendition of the style. Looking forward to the Fall when they bring this out again.

 783 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
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 LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
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 GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Red Racer Pumpkin Ale from Central City Brewers + Distillers
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 77 ratings
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