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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,294 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: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,530
Photo of robertp1024
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy/hazy orange or amber color with nice head. Head had decent head retention. The aroma is strong. Hops show through as expected and are citrus slighty floral. The taste is bold and hoppy as expected, however not overpowering or too much bitterness. Great hoppy finish.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A decanted pour from a 22 oz. bomber reveals a slightly hazy apricot colored beer with a tall 3-finger long lasting head.

Aroma is wonderfully layered but still solidly in IPA territory. Hops and caramel dominate, but their interaction produces intriguing undercurrents. What starts as pine resin and citrus (grapefruit/tangerine) gives way to peaches and cream, some honeydew, strawberries and a hint of mild spices. Alcohol shows its head after a bit of swirling.

The palate is agressively bitter but ultimately well balanced by a generous helping of caramel and residual malt. Citrus peel makes another strong impression, but some of the fruit comes through as well. The finish is long and lingers on the resiny hop qualities and maybe a hint of spice. Alcohol has a presence, albeit unobtrusive, throughout.

This is a beer to be enjoyed as well as respected. It is big in a lot of ways and you will feel it by the end of a bomber.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber purchased at corporate foods, i mean whole foods, in Madison

appearance: hazy orange/peach, thick foamy white head with very impressive lacing, lots of sediment in the 2nd half of the bomber

smell: mmm hops...i can tell this is going to be good from my first smell...very floral hops, especially heavy on the citrus, nice pine scents as well

taste: very hoppy, just the way i like it. Nice fresh citrus hops balanced out by the piney taste. Its a taste bud explosion with very juicy and bitter hops...light malts help balance it out. alcohol well hidden

mouthfeel: juicy and bitter, clean finish

drinkability: no issue downing this bomber

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Photo of orfeu
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber from a 22-oz. bomber with a nice frothy head that quickly dissipates from about an inch to a quarter-inch.

Aroma is citrus zest with an earthy hoppiness. A peachy sweetness creeps in as well.

The taste and mouthfeel are great on this one. I get orange pith with peach nectar and a creamy bready-ness with a slight alcohol fizzle at the end. Aftertaste of grapefruit. The hops are profound, but not overbearing or too bright. A nice balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

The drinkability is a no-brainer. Smooth and spicy at once, I could go for a couple of these 22-ouncers in an evening. Perhaps this is because I've been all about Double IPAs lately and a regular old IPA would just seem like water. I don't think so, though, because this one is quite bold -- indeed, plenty strong -- but still very easy to quaff.

This one's going on the "get again" list.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous hazy orange copper with a nice airy(and weirdly uneven) cream colored head and mezmerizing layered lacing. The smell produces a WOw! Fresh citrus smells and an assload of hops w/light malts. The taste bitchsmacks you with hops right away but I also enjoyed the slight matly sweetness all in the same taste. There is definately piney goodness and a hint of caremel in all that sweetness. I know it is only 7.0 abv but this warms my throat right away for some reason. So Smooth. The mouthfeel is awesome and creamy, I could drink a million of these. Sorta syrupy though. Really dissapointed this isn't served on tap at my local MacGregors anymore.

By the way the head ROCKS! Right now there is a frickin cavern developing above the beer. Hard to describe but amazing. haha actually i want the foam to fall down and become beer.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. with no freshness date. Pours a bright orangey/copper with a fairly thin off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing. It becomes cloudy on the second pour. Mostly tropical and sweet in the nose - pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, a strong sweetness, and a bit of nostril-burning alcohol in the back. The flavor is about the same with a hefty sweetness and grapefruit, pineapple, leafy/oily hops, and some nutty/biscuity malts. It is both quite sweet and bitter at the same time with both lingering for awhile. At the beginning it has a medium body but it becomes thicker and creamier as the beer warms up. A solid IPA that I could easily make a session out of.

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Photo of bruachan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from arrowine

gorgeous amber color...i feel like there should be some dinosaur DNA in it. gravelly white head
sweet. real sweet. in fact, a little too much for me. the hops make up for it, but otherwise i'd award a 3.5 for taste. something to hold onto while hanging out with hops is nice, but this is almost cloying. the hopping is nice...website says cascade and columbus. i get the columbus aroma, but i would have picked amarillo for flavor

tasty, but i couldn't drink too many because of the aforementioned sweetness

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Photo of ReebShorts
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin orange in appearance, nice frothy white head. Chunks of yeast are floating around in it. Slell is citrusy orange and grapefruit, hops are detected.

Ahh, the hops do a nice job mellowing out the citrus, but still let just enough come through, pretty tasty. Also was surprised by how creamy this went down. This is a pleasure on the tongue.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber
Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a decent sized off-white head. Lacing is impressive and retention is just okay.
Smell is caramel, biscuity malts, and loads of fruit. Hops are alo present in the aroma.
Taste is sweet malts, loads of biscuity character, some sweet fruits (peaches, cherries, pears) and a whole bunch of bitter hops. Not too much citrus character, but plenty of hop flavor.
Mouthfeel is not oily or anything like that, quite refreshing actually.
Overall, an exceptional IPA. Not anything particulary stand out, but definitely solid and definitely worth drinking if you can get it.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The aroma is totally juiced citrus and cherries. It's a lovely clear amber interrupted by steady flows of tiny bubbles. Carbonation culminates in a healthy meringue that would do egg whites proud.

Good god! Huge biscuit drizzled with grapefruit icing served up with a side of tart berries. Drinks like an egg cream. Awesome! From the company whose motto is "Bigger is better" what would happen if they made an IIPA, huh?

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Photo of DogFood11
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic doesn't dissapoint with this monstrous offering. everything you'd expect from an american original...the bold american IPA. Big hoppy smell that is countered by a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Amazingly it finishes "fairly clean" for such an overhopped beer. This is pre-night cap material. Like the setup man in the bullpen this is an eighth inning Tom Gordon style or for the west coast folks this is a Brendan Donnely. I found this beer to get a bit harsh on the throat as it warmed up...whatever thats getting pretty petty in my book..The only downfall I would say is its almost a double in taste...if your gonna be an IPA be an IPA....fundamentally sound.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle via guezedude. Many thanks.

Aroma shows nice grassy hops with a pleasant malt sweetness. Fairly simple but really pleasing.
Unfortunately poured with an excessive head that settled slowly. A very golden amber and clear. Nice lacing with receding head.
More matl than I expected and it dominated at first (it seems sweet with a slight toastiness). Bitterness follows and gradually builds in intensity through the finish. Balance is nice.
Amazingly flat feel with is fine with me. Appropriate moderate heaviness. Great softness.
I like the mix of flavors and the balance of them. Great blending.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish copper with a big frothy head and some suspended yeasty bits swirling in my pint glass. Lots of floral and citric hop aroma, some yeasty notes and just a little malt sweetness. The aroma is good but seems a little subdued. Tastes great. Grapefruit hop bitterness mixed with quite a lot of fruityness gives me my needed hop fix. A bready malt character evens things out a bit and makes it very drinkable. Vinous, lingering bitter finish, alittle on the oily side. Well balanced but still hop forward.

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Photo of Wonka
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6FL OZ

Appearance –gold body; frothy, long-lasting white head; great lace; just a touch cloudy; particulates abound

Smell – grapefruit and pine; bit of spice; biscuity sweetness

Taste – grapefruit rind and pine; light caramel and alcohol; biscuity malts emerge to nearly meet the level of hop; more balance than many top contenders; great hoppy aftertaste

Mouthfeel – slight crispness on the tongue throughout; more substance than the average IPA; pleasant hop oil at close; a light bit of dryness in transition

Drinkability – the aftertaste and ‘afterfeel’ draw big marks here

Damn. I love the 5 but not enough to match the score to name. Racer 4.x doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but Racer 5 is certainly built for it.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally crack open a bottle of Racer 5. I had made a trip to Bottleworks a few weeks back to pick up a training kit for my chiropractor (she really wanted to work over the Corona hump she was stuck on, so I offered to help her out). Since she was an amateur for all intents and purposes, I set my sights to the pale end of the spectrum, with two criteria:

1) I had to have tried them, and

2)They had to be available in at least some supermarkets of Western Washington.

So I ended up with a two pronged approach. Side one of the pick a six was Naughty Nellie's (Pike), Wild Salmon Pale Ale (Fish) and Wildcat IPA (Snoqualmie). Side two was Locomotive Ale (Iron Horse), Nightwatch (Maritime Pacific) and Red Seal (North Coast). The point of all this blather is that I wish I had tried Racer 5 before, as I would have substituted out the Wild Salmon (which I don't personally care for, and neither did she) and inserted one of these. This is a perfect bridge beer for those people trying to move from lighter ales (like blondes and goldens) and lagers into the slightly hoppier realms of pales, reds and IPAs.

Appearance: Simply wonderful, and almost the best part of the beer. The color is that color that for no reason at all makes me start singing the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song ("BLACK gold! TEXAS tea!"), and a gorgeous, fluffy and stubborn white head sitting atop that beer simply refuses to leave no matter how many drinks I take. Good work.

Smell: Sadly, I smell almost nothing. Warm, cold, it's all the same. I smell no malts at all and smell what I think might be hops, but wouldn't bet my sons on it.

Taste: First taste (admittedly cold), put me off. All finishing hops and very little in the front and middle. Way too hot (if I may steal the word from my man BeerPanther. Great adjective, brother. I love it.) on the first kiss. So I let it sit for five minutes or so (it's 90 fucking degrees today, so the time is compressed for de-chillification), and come back for a second try. Ahh...much better. There are the malts I'm looking for. Now I get just a mild malt presence right at the front, the hops are MUCH more subdued, and then the malts and hops slowly dance around each other on my tongue as the finish slowly drifts away. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Here, I'm a little confused. I've had an awful lot of Imperial IPAs lately, so my viscosometer might be busted. It feels a little thin to me, but I don't know if I'm really reading this beer correctly. I want to give it a 3.75, but since that doesn't exist I'm going to grade up, because that seems like the right thing to do.

Drinkability: Very, very good. I like this beer a lot, I just wish it had a nose to match its taste. I do wish I had another.

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most casual and unrelated-to-beer-like beer label I've ever seen this beer has... Got this bottle by courtesy of another BA based in NY City, Bultrey(Ben), and I couldn't find any best before date or anything like that on the bottle. It's supposed to last for a long time~~I reckon?

Appearance: served in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a slightly cloudy orange amber hue, coming with an extremely foamy, thick, off-white beer head which lasts quite well. Low carbonation detected.
Smell: extremely heavily hopped--profou...ndly perfumy and floral hops exploding right under my nose, along with aggressively fruity (sweet buttery lemon-cake, ripe peach+plum+apples) aroma...it's powerful yet not overpowering, as the deeply-sweet and grainy flavour of malts sustains well following the hop parade.
Taste: oily-hoppy and richly candyish-malty mouthfeel from the very beginning... a bittersweet nutty plus some grapefruit-zesty taste prevails right afterwards, underlined by a rounded, orange-peel oily flavour sitting firmly at the background, leaving a warmish mouthfeel of fruity hops and lingering but not overly strong bitterness. It's so satisfying and settled that almost no particular alcoholic touch is left behind. The balance b/w malts and hops is good, though for me the mouthfeel is a bit overly sweet.
Drinkability: absolutely an explosive and powerful American IPA for me--a delicious present from Bultrey!

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Photo of mentor
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed a couple evenings later in July 2005. Pours a one-finger wicked silky creamy fine clingy head. Light tan that stands over a slightly cloudy light apricot liquid. Smells potently and smooth clean grapefruit pith with some hoppy orange and tangerine. Tastes sweet honey-like malt with moderate hop bitter and strong hop flavoring. The hop flavors are distinct and clean, but supported by underlying malt sweetness. Fruity esters are mild beneath the hops, but are honey-like, with apricot and tangerine. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium body with moderate carbonation. This is a really enjoyable IPA. Great clean hop flavor without

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Photo of karst
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting this after 6 months. Without the competition of 6 gallons of homebrew boiling off aromas of malt and hops.

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date. Waiting in fridge for a special day.
Pours a slightly hazed golden orange, almost white frothy head that persists and laces the Corsendonk tulip glass.

Citrusy hop aroma suggesting a blend of pineapple and grapefruit. Little alcohol hides in toasted malt underneath the overwhelming hops. An unidentified weak clove like spice emerges at finish but is overwelmed by the pungent bitterness that lingers on and on. The yeast from the final pour from the 22 oz bomber softens this as the 7% ABV takes hold.

Still a Big Favorite - hope to clone this one day!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse, part of their recent addition of Bear Republic brews to their tap list. Served in a standard pint glass.
Racer 5 had a clear coppery color, lots of finely wrought carbonation, and a dense off-white head that grudgingly shrank and left thick sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Very attractive.
The nose raised my eyebrows - is this really an IPA, the same one I had out of a bottle 18 months ago? Has it been that long? Racer 5's nose struck me as having more in common with some APA's than what I've come to expect from a West Coast IPA. Yes, there was a definite hops presence, nicely smelling of citrus peels and, to a lesser degree, pine needles. But the malty sweetness seemed a lot more solid and held its own.
Hmm, a few pulls had me continuing to question what was up with Racer 5. It didn't strike me as having the robust hoppiness I've tasted before. The malt profile was more pronounced and in keeping with an APA. The maltiness and sweet caramel flavor carried through to the finish and remained intact up against the citrusy hops bite, which seemed oddly lacking. Even the feel seemed to be missing something, being light dry and not as lively as the level of carbonation would lead me to believe.
Overall, Racer 5 is still a pretty nice IPA; easily quaffable and well constructed. To me, it seemed like the hoppy edge had been worn down to create a more balanced brew. I still recommend it, though.

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Photo of palliko
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one at a local Brew house. Appearance is a cloudy gold with good foam and lacing. Aroma contains a massive amounts of grapefruit hops and malt. Aroma contains hops and sweet malt. Initial taste has bitter hops, lots of malt and crackers. A great IPA.

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Photo of medic25
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a road trip to Halftime beverages in NY. Pours a fairly clear amber color with a whitish head that quickly dissipates. Pleasant hoppy aroma. Taste is very smooth for such a well-hopped IPA, with a bit of a pine-needle flavor. None of the puckering bitterness that you can get sometimes with some of the west coast hop monsters I've tried. The alcohol is subtle, definitely an easy drinker. I only wish that I could find this beer more easily in Connecticut.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like Bear Republic products.
This is not an exception to the rule.
This here IPA could easily stand toe to toe with any IPA out there and probably a good number of double IPAs.
Looks and smells as an IPA should... on the darker side of that color spectrum pouring a honey color.
The aroma grabs your nose and slams it into the pavement a couple times.
The taste is aggressive hops and malts.
This is a ballsy brew.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Long sought after bomber, finally acquired across the Wisconsin border. Pours with amazing clarity, a light bronze color, and a large creamy head that fades after sitting for a minute to a creamy layer. Smell is bursting with citrus hops, lemon zest, and floral hops, an explosive array of hops. Taste starts out with hops, transitions into floral hops, and closes with more hops and some doughiness. Starts smooth, then eviscerates your hops craving. Excellent beer. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, well carbonated and smooth. A very nice beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fantastic appearance when poured. Golden orange color with a perfect two-finger head that's nice and frothy. Lively carbonation, great retention and amazing lacing left on the glass as it ventures into my stomach. The aroma was a little duller than I expected but still pleasant. Piney, fruity, and slightly earthy hops dominate the smell. Great tasting, even better than the aroma. It leaves a slightly bitter finish, but that's expected with all the hops that are used. Drinkability is good but takes a slight hit from the high ABV.

This is a fantastic IPA and I could drink this anytime without a problem. A must try for any IPA fan.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright gold tinged with reddish hues , a solid finger of off-white head and great retention. Smell was more subtle than I expected, sweet malt, orange and grapefruit hops. The taste of this is excellent--nice pine needle hoppiness upfront, a smooth sweet malt balancing perfecting, and an assault of citrus and grapefruit hops leaving a long hoppy finish. Medium bodied with a slick juicy hop-coating feel--feels just like an IPA should. Another very well balanced IPA from the west coast that I could drink all night long.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,530 ratings.
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