Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Red Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter | Central City Brewers + Distillers

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Red Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial PorterRed Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Maker's Mark bourbon barrels.

Added by DaftCaskBC on 09-28-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 23
Photo of biboergosum
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, day 20 of the Parallel 49/Central City Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown.

This beer pours a brown-tinged black, with murky basal cola edges, and a teeming tower of puffy, frothy, and tightly foamy beige head, which leaves a broad array of chunky and sudsy bike chain lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sour black fruit (cherries and prunes, mostly), acrid whiskey barrel - more wood than any liquor or caramel/vanilla perceived sweetness - Nordic anise, chalky dark cocoa, gritty pale and charred caramel malt, and hard to discern earthy, leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet toasty caramel malt, wet dark bread, bittersweet chocolate, stale dime-store licorice, a much-lessened barrel-borne woodiness, a suggestion of rye whiskey booziness, still sort of tart 'n muddled orchard fruit, and a trying to push through the mire earthy, weedy hoppiness (60 IBUs, people!).

The carbonation is adequate, given its initial outburst sequence, and generally supportive in its frothiness, the body on the light side of medium weight, an effect I blame squarely on the barrel, and sort of smooth, the alcohol and a minor overall pithiness taking their few ounces of flesh. It finishes off-dry, sure, the bready caramel malt and middling chocolate esters holding fast, but a certain sour yeastiness always seems poised just...so.

Yeah, given the spurious bubbles action, and unnecessary sour characters, what we very well may have here is a touch 'o the infection - one that goes beyond the disease we beer aficionados are currently suffering through (alas, we). Oh well, this offering seems to have the chutzpah to endure such an ailment, and I'm not one to shirk giving credit where it is due, so, I guess, whatever didn't kill this brew, somehow makes it, um, stronger?

 1,800 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 220z bomber into a dimpled mug. This is the 9% version.

Appearance: rich, deep-dark brown with plenty of haze and two thick fingers of pillowy tan foam that stick around exceptionally long. There's a nice lace left on the glass as well, but this head retention is stellar for the style.

Smell: well, it's woody and bourbony. Not bad, but the wood and bourbon outshine any of the classic porter elements. It's still pretty good, but I would have liked either more strength to the porter or a little more restraint on the bourbon.

Taste: big and strong bourbon flavor with a lot of piquant oak. The finish has a nice roasty element with a little coffee character to prove that it's a porter, but here it's mostly about wood, vanilla and bourbon. So, good, but it could be more porter-y and nuanced.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an absolute mega carbonation. This may not be to everyone's taste, but I like the creaminess it brings out even though this style does not strictly need it.

Overall: good, but a bit too one-dimensional with the wood and booze.

 1,079 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip 3/12/14

A dark cola liquid that explodes into foam when it hits the glass, even a gentle pour gives me half a glass of foam that has great retention ans leaves lots of random lace, some legs make me wonder about the alc% picked up in the barrel

S a fair amount of bourbon barrel, chocolate, licorice, char and a little dark fruit, hard to tell if I'm smelling some sourness that often comes with the style or if an infection is setting in

T more of the same but more barrel and I'm now certain its picked up an infection from the barrel, not as bad as it sounds though, a little sour and funky, I don't dislike it but I doubt its intended

M thin considering the color and it just explodes in the mouth, woody finish

O even with an infection setting in its OK and drinkable, I wouldn't sit on this stuff though, drink now before you have a gusher on your hands

It's a bit of a let down as this was the beer I was most looking forward too out of my advent calendar, I'll give this one another go from a bomber and see if this was an isolated incident

 1,094 characters

Photo of Jeffo
1.74/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

TASTE: This is definitely oxidized, unfortunately. There’s some oak up front and in the finish with notes of bitter cacao in there, but the metallic and cardboard flavors are pretty much all over the place. Oxidized flavors and alcohol linger on the finish.

PALATE: Light body with higher levels of carbonation. Foamy on the palate, goes down airy and finishes a bit mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Not good. This is definitely old and oxidized at this point. The weird “born on” date on the bottle doesn’t help me figure out when this was actually brewed, but after putting it at the two and half year mark, you’d expect it to be in much better shape than it is. This one has seen better days, which is unfortunate, as I have generally enjoyed Central City beers. Would love to see a more recent vintage of this one again, but the 10th Anniversary bottling is past its prime.

 882 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Central City 'Imperial Porter' @ 9.0% (Bourbon Barrel Aged) served from a single 330 ml bottle purchased for $4.75
A-pour is a light cola brown from the bottle to a almost black in the glass with a big tan head leaving a streaky lace along the snifter after every sip
T-bourbon , a big tasting porter
MF-lots of carbonation , big full body
Ov-ok beer , glad I got to try it & not the whole calendar ,
thanxs Spinnakers Merchant West for selling single beers
prost LampertLand

 488 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Central City.

A: 1/8" off-white head which dissipated quickly over black liquid.

S: Someone boozy smell of bourbon with some toasted and coffee malt.

T: The taste was kind of disappointing this time. The Makers Mark bourbon was somewhat boozy and uncohesive with the rest of the porter. Midway through there was nothing to entertain the palate and in the finish the toasted and coffee malt flavours were somewhat faint.

M: Thin viscosity and a low level of carbonation.

O: Originally I fell in love with this beer, but after having more of the style and reviewing it again I was less impressed. Maybe it was a quality issue, maybe it wasn't fresh, I'm not sure. Either way it seemed different than before.

 720 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells of booze and dark fruit, not that much body to it but the taste is the best part of the beer.bit smokey and cant detect much of the chocolate, pretty good brew though, not one of the best in its class, however.

 217 characters

Red Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter from Central City Brewers + Distillers
3.6 out of 5 based on 23 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!