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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,293 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,293 | Ratings: 7,514
Photo of KarlHungus
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color. The head is large, thick and somewhat creamy. The lacing is thorough and thick. The aroma is pleasing and rather complex with citrus and pine both being prominent. The taste leans a lot more toward pine than citrus. The mouthfeel is exceptional for an IPA. It is medium bodied and very creamy while still being very lively carbonated. Overall, this is a great IPA, one I wish was available in Minnesota.

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Photo of swanny28
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a frosty pint glass with a one inch head. This beer has been reviewed hundreds of times by many with bett palates than mine. It is the fresh tasting hops exploding on the tongue that keeps me coming back to this ipa.

A: Nice clasic amber look with slight red hugh

S: Fresh hops hit the nose but not to much else

T: This is what makes this beer, the hops explode on the tongue the dryness combined with the bitterness are very complex

M: Again the bitterness hits the mouth from the first second. classic ipa in the mouth

D: Very easy to drink if IPA is your style of beer. Leaves a wonderful aftertaste.

This beer is an awesome IPA and lives up to the bill of one of the best IPA's that is readily available on the market. Happy to have it tonight.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a light straw gold with a finger of loose white head. Very nice aroma dominated by floral hops and pine.

Moderate carbonation and a refreshing, light mouthfeel. Extremely floral character for an IPA with a mild, subtle honey malt sweetness to balance. Just enough citrus bitterness on the finish to keep you coming back.

Wish I hadn't waited so long to try this IPA -- really nicely done!

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Photo of uberabr
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Found this bad boy at my local wine store. I hadn't heard too much about it and decided to give it a try...

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. A hazy golden-brown amber with minimal head retention but decent lace. Carbonation is excellent.

Smell is very nice and quite strong. The hops are overwhelming and of the Western grapefruit/cascade variety...there are definitely a few types of different hops working together here. Some peach, mango, and of course grapefruit, along with a subtle buttery biscuit as well. Overall a very fresh and woodsy quality that's hard to describe and present in all of my favorite pale ales from Cali. Very nice.

The taste is a virtual explosion of hops that starts with a fruity pine and ends with a bitter grapefruit bite, along with a creamy, buttery aftertaste that was present in the nose. It's very complex and very well rounded, a noteworthy combination...giving a bold quality that is ideal for this style of IPA. Mouthfeel is perfect: Full and bubbly and easy all the way down. Drinkability is great too, although this brew is definitely more of a sipper because the taste is so rich. I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of bignick
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Publick House in Brookline 4/20/06. Served in a pint glass.

This is a huge kick-in-the-mouth American IPA. The smell incredibly pungent; the stong citrusy hop scent foreshadows what's to come. The taste of hops really nails the palate, and it is uncompromised in its dryness. This is one hell of a west-coast IPA, and has long been one of my favorites.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Orange and hazy in the glass. It's a bit opaque.

Smells so piney and citrusy. The malt comes out in the aroma slightly.

The taste is the best part, though. There's pine, citrus, orange peel, butter, clove, slight caramel, and burnt candy. These last two are so subtle but make this beer what it is - a wonderful tasting IPA.

Medium mouth feel with a oily sickness as it goes down. The hops contribute to a sharp bite on the back end.

One of my favorites. In style and overall.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep gold color almost orange. Huge clumpy head that slowly dissolved with peaks and valleys. Deep piney citrus aroma. This IPA is impressive right out of the gate Sweet malt body and mouthfeel with an intense bitterness that dominates but is still balanced. This is a killer IPA that gives you everyting= Killer aroma, great malt body with a wide variety of hop aromas, flavors from the beginning to the finish. This is my first beer from Bear Republic and I am impressed. Almost sessionable for hop-heads and at 7%, not too alcohol heavy. A CHOICE offering.

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Photo of Bluetick
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep Golden

S - Pine Hops

T - Complex Hops. Biting at first with a very floral finish. Kind of a sweet flavor as well.

M - Surprisingly light for 7.00 ABV

D - Extremely drinkable. Easy to slam a few of these on a hot summer day. Very smooth.

Perhaps one of my favorite IPAs. I regularly get these for home.

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Photo of baiser
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me start by saying: I love Bear Republic beers. They make top notch west coast style ales, that are packed with flavour over and over. This one is no different. Excellent IPA. Pours extremely hazy, amber orange colour, with a large, fluffy white head that lasts the entire time. Great lacing. An explosion of hop aromas. Pine, citrus, toasted malt. Juicy, oily, and well full of cascade hops. Somewhat balanced. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Genuine
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Hangars in Amherst, MA.

cloudy orangish red with a finger of offwhite/slight yellowish head.

Smell - pine and citrus notes, along with grapefruit. Very juicy.

Taste - so glad that the flavors of this one match right up to the nose. I was met with some very pleasant pine and citrus notes right off the bad. It vaguely reminded me of the way ghandhi-bot's flavors were. Very chewy, pine cone hops are more than present and the malts fill in the rest of the flavor very nicely.

mouthfeel - medium and chewy. the carbonation is just perfect for this IPA.

Drinkability - this is one drinkable IPA. Very delicious, and I would not have a problem having a few of these in one sitting. I can't wait to pick some up the next time I go for a beer haul.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my first 3 Bear Republic beers, so when I spied the Racer 5 IPA hiding behind a Stone IPA (of all the beers!?), I snapped up a couple of Bottles.
A 1 Pint 6 fl.oz Bottle, with a ¾ wrap around paper label that has the BR Bear and a big Red 5 pinched off the front of someones racing car no doubt.
Head is massive, beautiful just-off-white color, it later settled down to a more manageable 1” deep honeycomb. The lace left on the glass walls was fabulous and so reminded of that I saw left on the slate walls of Yorkshire Square Fermenters towards the end of the fermentation cycle. Large bubble laced, crispy, rocky spatterings, that when dried - need chiselling off.
Nose is – Wow, yes definitely HOPS. Freshly harvested hops, mixed with a smell of freshly mown lawns. I am sure there will be grassy hop stains on the inside of my nostrils. A deep cloudy* peach/orangey amber hue showed off some very fine particles of yeast, and no doubt some hops fragments, when illuminated by incandescent light. The head has now settled to a workable ½” rock-pool encrusted collar.
* The haze is most probably 100% attributable to my childish impatience - I couldn't wait to let it settle when I got back from the Beer Store - I just cracked it open as soon as I got home.
Immediate mouthfeel is medium. As a Hophead, I found the taste is anticipated by a highly excited tongue, long before the beer even enters the oral cavity. Superb. Highly hopped but not excessively, as I find some beers are. There is no “shock hop” here, just an aggressive IPA that will suit the more discerning hop-head palate, rather than the beginner. Finish is dry, with soft spices lingering in the end. Carbonation was quite low, very akin to many English Real Ales so I did not find this to be a problem at all. Drinkability is high, very high - I love this beer, refreshing and very morish.

California has some incredible Breweries that produce stunning high quality craft beers, and Bear Republic is most definitely one of them.
Highly Recommended. Another Great CA-IPA (Yet Again!!!!).

P.S. S**t, I've just realized this beer is 7% - Take Care!

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Photo of number1bum
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber pours a light orange amber color, great clarity with some soft bubble action and a huge, rocky two plus inches of off-white creamy head. Retains more than just a lace, it's quite thick and leaves lots of stick.

Smells of pine and grapefruity citrus hops, very fragrant, with a little bit of an indication of caramel malt for balance. Hops smell fantastic.

Taste is super fruity with lots of hop flavor. Very citrusy, lots of grapefruit flavor and plenty of pine also. Some caramel malt sweetness but not a huge malt backbone. It does the trick though because the hops have so much flavor, and although the hop bitterness is pronounced it doesn't overwhelm.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy, soft carbonation is very nice. Good medium body.

This is one hell of a drinkable IPA. Great flavor, manageable bitterness. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of diamondc
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Six pack bought for $10.99. No freshness date, just some obscure numbers on the bottom of the bottles.

A: Classic (unfiltered) IPA appearance .. golden, hazy, with a lot of yeast floaters dancing. Not that much head retention, yet there is some nice lacing clinging on every sip.

S: Citrus-y, tangerine & orange skins, grapefruit. Not much pine or floral hop characteristics in there, if at all.

T: More citrus goodness .. hops leave a pleasant bitter grapefruit skin aftertaste. Not the most complex IPA I've had, but they really nailed the fruity/citrus thing down.

M/D: The most drinkable IPA I've had so far. Alcohol is near undetectable. Carbonation is spot on, with bitterness kept to a minimal level. Only after two, I actually felt a slight buzz going on. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Al's of Hampden, served in a Nonic.

The color is golden hued with amber accents and thick collar of light white w/ a light yellow accent. The clarity is lightly hazed and the bead is very fine. I love the array of fruit odors this ipa presents - very citrus and tropical tinged yet is has a moderately high amount of pine from the hops too. I like the grapefruity presence -it is so pungent it is like smashing your face into a pile of grapefruits. The feel is both bitter and yet smooth at the same time, plenty of natural carbonation with a blend of yeast and softness from the oils of the hops giving a slight dry and the malt body adds a gentle sweetness level.

This IPA is delicous, just so tangy and citrus flavored with some herbal elements giving a well round flavor of bitter orange/grapefruit notes that aren't hampered by the malt. The taste of the malt is very dry, only enough sweetness there to compliment the slight pineapple quality. The bitterness level is optimal with a low level of astringency and the hop goodness lasts for a while after the swallow. I could enjoy a quart of this IPA it is so drinkable on cask, I have enjoyed it equally in each delivery method -tap, bottle and now cask, just delicious in every way. I would prefer it on cask as the hops seem so much more vibrant and fresh this way.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice ambery copper color, somewhat hazy with little floaty things, hop leaf bits probably, finger high off-white head of thick bubbly froth, fades slowly to a thin haze and a ring which remains present the whole glass. Lace is sticky in large webby sheets. Aroma is oh so nice with lovely hops of piney deepness and citrusy oils with a soft, round caramel maltyness. Straight up IPA nose from the West coast eh, quite nice, could smell it at arms length. Taste has a nice piney sense with a mellowness thats welcoming; increasing citrus of dull orange oil and grapefruit mixed with a touch of woody dryness and a nice even bittering hop bite thats resin filled and quite nice the whole way through. Caramel malts keep a sweeter notion overall on the under side. Feel is solid medium bodied with a nice little creamy smoothness and fluffyness that slides right down. This beer clinched it for me. I love hops!! I've held back on wanting a hop fix, but no longer, I'm going to start hoarding hop heavy beers dammit! This was a very nice IPA! The bomber was gone in no time! And I thank Drewbage1847 for it!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Golden in color with a sturdy head.

S-Citrusy hops and a doughy malt combination. Quite fruity.

T-Delicious fruity hops. Swell bitter taste gives way to a thick dough malt. The fruity hop taste lingers exceptionally well.

M-Medium bodied. Light enough to consume several, heavy enough to make you remember its a beast.

D-One of my go-to brews. Love the taste. Not too much booze. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this one up outside of LA at Liquorama while there to do a job. Time to give this one a try.

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with an aggressive 1" of off white bubbles on top. The head is thick and looks like it is going to be around for quite some time...especially since there are boat loads of bubbles rising to maintain it. A couple minutes after the pour, there is still a huge head on top of this one. There is boo-coo's of lacing left on the glass after drinking leaving sheets on the glass.

Aroma: I get a whole bunch of citrus in the nose with lemons and grapefruit in particular. Deep within it, there is a bit of caramel malt, but the hops are in charge of the aroma through the massive head.

Taste: The flavor has a big introduction of hops with all of the citrus that I got in the nose, but there is a big malt presence to this beer also to give the hops some resistance. There is big malt here, but even bigger hops. The malt never takes control of the flavor profile, but only compliments the hops. It is interesting about this beer in that there is a big floral hop contribution that is apparent late in the finish to go with the citrus hops and the alcoholic warming. The finish of this beer is never aggressively bitter, but there is still a boat load of hops in this one. I like the fact that they actually let it finish hoppy, yet not really hugely bitter and dry with a chalky feeling on the back of the throat. As the beer warms a bit, the malt comes out a bit more and leaves you with a mildly syrupy impression on the back of the throat to enjoy late in the finish.

Opinion: I am not a hophead, but I am really impressed with this beer. Yea, it has the essential huge hop character, but it still remains drinkable. I don't really know what else to say. This is a pretty fricking good beer, and I would certainly drink it again. Nuff said!

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Photo of HopNelius
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served out of a bottle and into a pint glass.
Appearance-golden amber, with a two finger head and some carbonation.
Smell-pine and malts.
Taste-Nice pine hops hit you upfront followed by some maltiness and it finishes with a lovely notes of grapefruit.
Overall-I find myself gravitating back to this IPA whenever I see it. This is a great IPA and one that you could drnk a few of. It is well balanced between the malts and the hops but also has a unique taste.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes 1/19/2011

A: citrus, hops, and a small hint of malts

Ap: golden orange with a 2 finger offwhite head, head lingers, awesome lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, very crisp

Af: hops, malts on the back-end, very clean and dry

O: a very drinkable IPA


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Photo of bobsy
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint at Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House in San Francisco, an extremely odd mish-mash, which in one way didn't work, and in another totally rocked my world.

Copper body with a large, fluffy white head that has good retention and leaves great lacing. Very floral aroma with lots of citrus. Abundant grapefruit and pineapple in the flavour, which brings a delightful bitterness. There's also great balance provided by the malts, which come through with caramel and honey notes. Medium-light mouthfeel and a medium carbonation work well for the style and make this exceedingly drinkable.

This is a damn good IPA, full of bitterness, but also finely balanced. I could drink this all night!

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Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic makes really good beer. Racer 5 is really good beer. I would give it a perfect 5 if BeerAdvocate didn't break up scoring into categories. The beer isn't perfect in all categories, but it is greater than the sum of its quite excellent parts. Racer 5 should be on tap at every pizza place and burger joint in the country. It's perfectly balanced and probably the most drinkable beer that I've ever had. Usually, I'm able to ponder a beer as I write my review, but this 22oz bottle is already nearing its end.

The beer has a great color, a deep gold or light amber that pretty much nails my mental picture of how an IPA should look. The head could stick around a bit longer, but that's really quibbling over details. The beer smells good. It's not as overtly hoppy in taste or smell as Hop Rod Rye, Racer 5's cousin, but it has some nice citrus notes, which Hop Rod doesn't. I feel a bit silly talking about each category for this beer, so I'll sum up my feelings quickly. The taste is well-balanced and dry. The mouthfeel is very nice with great carbonation that plays an excellent supporting role. Finally, it's just exceptionally drinkable. The beer is sweet, hoppy and dry. The flavors don't linger and the bitter aftertaste is just right. For me, Racer 5 is a perfect storm of drinkability.

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Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a 1.5l hefeweizen glass (I know, but I like the scoring inside it for the head/bubbles).

Appearance: Medium golden amber, light to medium head that thins out but hangs around a bit with a steady 1/8" head and lacing. Good looking beer as it should be.

Nose: Big hops of course, as an IPA should be. Some citrus/grapefruit in there, and a touch of something sweet? Malts? A little pine for good measure as well.

Flavor: Booyah! Good hops attack immediately, followed by a citrus tone and even slightly sweet (not sugar sweet) with some yeasty malts in there! Interesting! Finishes very clean and leaves a sweet lemon presence. Wow. Going through the glass as it warms, definitely the malts come out a bit more and it gets slightly sweeter. Again, not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is OK, just enough. Slightly thick at first but dissipates fast leaving me wanting more. The hops, while strong, also dissipate fast. Almost...creamy, like an imperial IPA...

Drinkability: Dangerously so! As it finishes so clean it is very easy to grab another mouthful. I would never know that this is a 7% abv beer. Surprising, I thought it would be a slower drinking IPA.

Summation: I like. I like alot. I am still learning IPA's so I guess I expect the good ones to be very similar, then something comes along and surprises me. This IPA seems simple (in a good way) but actually there is more there than meets the eye (or palate). The character changed over a 20 minute period, maintaining the original presence but getting more complex at the same time. Nice. I give this a very solid 9. YUMMEE.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber serving, been saving this one for a while. Glad that tonight is finally the night to break it out.

Beautiful pour! Golden/amber body with a slight haze to it. Huge frothy sticky white head that lasts and lasts. Curtains of lace, really impressive. To me, this is, in terms of appearance, a perfect IPA.

Nice hop nose, sharp and invigorating.

Taste is very nice indeed. Spicy and tasty hops are the flavor leaders, balanced with a proportional malt base. This is a very interesting IPA with a variety of fruity, piney and tart citrus flavors to consider. There is also a curious spiciness that kind of reminds me of SNCA. An instant classic in my book. I'm giving it top marks.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy with lots of great carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Could be a great session beer. Just a little too costly and somewhat hard to find around here. I will grab this one again.

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Photo of Jordan
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly fresh sample, tap-like presentation, fluffy white head that endures, frisky carbonation. An aggresive hop profile, many complex herbal notes, subdued honey sweetness.

Heavy, filling, robust.

A superb example of living beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label offers the brewery's motto "bigger is better". While that's not always the case, I will never argue to the contrary. "Bigger" definitely describes the head I got from the pour, a huge fluffy cap of cream on top of what the label very correctly describes as "golden". Easy enough.

Aroma is a thing of wonder, especially if hops are your thing. Big piney presence in the nose, with plenty of malty sweetness balancing it out, and lighter, more delicate flowery spices dotting the aroma. Almost a gingerbread thing lurking around there somewhere.

Flavor is generally big, rich, tingly and sweet. If you know the finest IPAs and Double IPAs, then you'll know what this is all about. This is a DIPA-leaning IPA, with the hops winning out in assertiveness and sharpness over the gooey malts that try their best to balance. Nice spicy/herbal accents throughout. Malty sweetness carries over into the finish, rich and caramel-like. Then once again trumped by a sharp layer of prickly, piney hops.

Mouthfeel is maybe a little too tingly, perhaps a little rough for the richness of flavor. Because it almost tastes like a double IPA, I expected that level of creaminess, but this is actually drier and more like your typical IPA...but there is enough buttery roundness to give a hint of creaminess.

Really, really good IPA, one of the best ever, up there with Bell's, Stone, and Green Flash versions of the style (among exalted others). Yum.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,514 ratings.
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