Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,288 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,288
Ratings:
7,494
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
343
Gots:
1,291
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,288 | Ratings: 7,494
Photo of Sammy
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For my medal round (higher site honour) I was fortunate to pick a masterpiece. A terrific American IPA of yummy refreshing grapefruity lemon citrus and high hops, little bitterness. Like Marsela Mamma in a fussy mood. Greatly drinkable. balanced aftertaste.
Had on tap very fresh 8.5 years later and this classic with juicy orange this time worked just fine, long finish, lacey.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 1 inch foamy white head that settles to a small cap. Nice tight rings of lace line the glass on the entire drink down. Smell is all about the hops: grassy, herbal, earthy, and some slight citrus zest. Taste is mainly of grassy and herbal hops with a malt backbone to support everything. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA but it features a hop profile that I am not all that crazy about.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lovely clear orange amber with a short white head.

Asssertive nose of cooked pineapple and hints of grapefruit. Some lemon and lemon cream in the nose.

Great big mouth feel, with a medium/heavy body and an almost perfect balance.

Big flavors of bitter pineapple/grapefruit that gives way to gigantic strong but rich pine/pine resin flavors and character.

Finishes with sweet malt that quickly gives way to to strong pine resin finish. An extremely well balanced, flavorful Double IPA. Just great with all kinds of food.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with awesome lacing on a clear bright golden body.

S: Grains and pale malts with citrus and earthy hops.

T: earthy and citrus hops throughout which are tart. Caramel malts form a nice base. A slight burnt toast character to this one.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this one is very nicely balanced. The hop character is not all that complex but it's still good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of those ipas that you just keep on buying, this has everything. it pours mostly clear honey colored with a long lasting thick white head. like marshmallow fluff. it smells like resinous piney hops, bitter, with lighter english malt only in supporting position. full bodied bitter flavor with plenty of forest hops. not citrus or floral at all, just stright hop oil in bitter form. still theres some sweeter element in the finish, the mouthfeel is velvet, and the alcohol is strong enough to buzz you out without too much potency to lay you out for the evening. great carbonation and just an all around aggressive hoppy happy delight. again and again for me

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 was a beer that a friend of mine suggested that I try. I ran to my local Wegman's and grabbed a bomber of it the next day. Opened it up and it poured out as a really nice yellowish gold color. The head a lacing were very nice. The smell of the beer was really hoppy for just a regular IPA. The taste was also much hoppier than I expected it to be, lots of citrusy pine flavors that fade into a strong bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very drinkable. Overall this beer kicks ass. I could drink this one over and over again. I'd love to try Racer X one day.

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Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear golden amber with a thin, white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and the head quickly dissipates into lacing on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of citrusy, piney hops.
T: Like the smell, bitter piney hop flavors dominate the flavors, but these do not overpower the taste and are balanced to some degree by the underlying hops.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is lots of dryness in the finish.
D: If you drink this before it warms up, any hint of alcohol is completely masked. The beer packs a lot of punch in the way of flavor and is very drinkable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am very impressed with this brewery so far. Not distributed to my area, I have to pick these up when I travel to Ohio. So far, every beer from this brewery has been finely attenuated, but rich in proteins and all have supurb head retention / formation. Racer X is no exception. The onset brings a rich, but clean looking copper / amber color, thick foamstand, and lively co2. The beer takes on a rich, biscuity malt character in the aromas and flavors. I was really impressed with the clean attenuation, with no harshness-- a perfect balance. Great hop balance for IPA-- I would prefer a stronger sharper hop influence, but I think I got an aged bottle where the hops have settled out a bit. At any rate, this is a truely expressive, hop-oriented IPA. Citrus notes hinge more on oranges than grapefruits due to the sturdy malt base and ester profile. Very full to the palate, again close to a Double IPA. The finish is very clean, crisp, and cracker-like, but with a long dry hop flavor and a touch of caramel. An extremely nice beer. I'll take a few points off because of the sediment in the bottle which may come from too much age, but look forward to trying a fresher bottle.

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden-amber, transparent with a long-lasting head.

Smell: Citric hops with a sweet, malty backbone - it's like a ripe grapefruit.

Taste: Slightly grainy and bready. Lots of hops, but they're by no means overpowering. They have a nice citrus quality, sharp but balanced, with a subdued but distinct sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for the style. Medium-bodied, very crisp, fine bubbles, not at all harsh.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, but not exactly sessionable due to the fairly high ABV.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a thick, rocky head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Cascade grapefruit and a bit of crystal malt caramel, underneath

Taste: Lays down a malty backbone that is quickly joined by bitter and citrusy tones; a touch of residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body, slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An all around fine IPA; not out there like some more recent IPA concoctions but excellent, nonetheless

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

22oz bottle. I've heard about this brewer being a leader in the West Coast way, so I jumped at the opportunity to procure some of this whilst checking out the retail beer scene in friendly Austin, Texas a few weeks ago. Best not to let the purported goodness of the style fade away by neglecting it, so here we go, into an American pint glass it is.

This beer pours a pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a few fingers of thick, puffy, and rocky off-white head, which persists for a good while, slowly leaving a solid ring of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of big grapefruit and blood orange citrus rind, a slight earthy chalkiness, bready caramel malt, and a little bit of pine resin and leafy green character in there too. The taste is a big ol' smack of juicy citrus and acrid piney hops up front, followed by a sturdy caramel malt, and more testy piney, leafy, and floral hoppiness. dancing the Watusi on my tastebuds, all.

The carbonation is quite moderate in its coddling frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a small airy creaminess coming on-line as things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, with any warming from the elevated alcohol hard to discern: I'm just too warm and fuzzy from an early onset hop coma.

Racer 5 is indeed tasty, and obviously unbalanced (in an arguably good way), due in part to all that hop bitterness. But as I progressed, and became accustomed to it, the sweet malt offset became much more evident. This slow to arrive je ne sais quoi certainly makes for a decent drinkability, once suitably primed, as it were.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (Courtesy of Hogtownharry): Poured a dark beige color ale with a big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of fresh citrusy hops is totally dominating. Taste is also dominated by fresh C-hops and can be best describe as chewing on a grapefruit. This is truly the most ‘’grapefruit’’ I have experience in an IPA. While this is a very interesting beer, it is also a one-dimensional beer lacking complexity IMO.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft countless times at the Maproom, it's a classic IPA in my mind.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tapered Hamms goblet.

Glowing sunset orange, darker in the center, fading to gold around the edges. Slightly hazed with micro sediment, otherwise it has some good clarity. Frothy, sticky head on it, sheets of lacing around the edges. Retains a good skim for the duration of the glass.

Light hoppy aroma, fruity cantaloupe, mellow sweet pale malts.

Fruity notes lead off, melon or cantaloupe again, some resinous bitter hops in the middle giving it a dry grassiness in the finish. The fruit lingers behind it, which is a nice combination. Medium bodied, almost slippery, not too heavy or sweet. Easy to have another if so inclined. Today I just have a single for the purpose of this review. Will drink again many times hopefully...

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Photo of kojevergas
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7% ABV confirmed. Bottled 03/21/13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some great beers from this brewery before, and this has a great reputation - plus it's fresh.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger vibrant beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. About what I'd expect from a good beer in the style, though the colour could be fuller and more vibrant. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Excited to try this. No overt flaws in the appearance.

Sm: Lovely varied floral hop notes. Hop oil. Nectary hops. Pale malts. Grassy character. Light pine. The oily hop character (Columbus) is dominant - just what I want from a good IPA. Well hopped and balanced. Pleasant, fresh, appealing. This is exactly what an IPA should smell like. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Great stuff. Oily hop notes mix well with lighter nectary hop notes and moderate floral hop character. The body is simple flavorful pale malts, lending it a refreshing taste. It lacks the citrusy gush I want it to have, but it's well constructed and damn well balanced across the board, with hardly any hop bitterness coming through at all. What little hop bitterness there is comes through just a bit on the climax and in the third act; it's not perfect balance but it's impressive. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. Lightly grassy, highlighting the pale malts. Love the hop choices here - especially columbus. I'd like to see what amarillo does to the flavour profile. Beautifully balanced, beautifully executed. A tasty IPA with good depth of flavour, complexity, and subtlety. This is how you brew an IPA.

Mf: Soft, smooth, oily, a bit nectary, and wet. Refreshing. Lightly crisp. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Perfect carbonation. Very well executed, evoking care and effort.

Dr: Damn drinkable. I'll definitely be getting more of this and will happily buy it by the six pack. If I bought beer I'd already tried on a regular basis, this would be right up there - or probably above - Lagunitas as my IPA mainstay. Up there with Sculpin in terms of quality and availability. Bravo, Bear Republic. I'm beating myself up over waiting so long to review it. This is how an IPA ought to be: balanced and flavorful, with subtlety and complexity. Very well done.

B+ / VERY GOOD

***
08/24/16 2nd impression:

Racer 5 is a go-to IPA of mine, a stellar brew that bests others in its category.

Fruity without venturing too deep into tropical territory. Floral, balanced, and slightly resinous. Slightly oily hops.

Refreshing and approachable.

B+

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying this beer, been hearing about it forever.

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore. Nice golden orange color, very pungent hoppy smell.. always a good sign. Nice and bitter and the hops are definitely upfront, but manages to stay well balanced and makes for a smooth beer that's dangerously drinkable. A very good IPA and worthy trying for sure.

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Photo of zeff80
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with flecks of red. It had a soapy, white, one-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of floral, sweet hops, almost candy-like. It also had a malty aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet with a citrusy hop kick. It was well-balanced between the hops and malt.

M - This beer was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D- This is a very good IPA. I loved the smell and it was well-balanced, not overpowering.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden with an orange hue; excellent lacing and a good head.

S: Lots of citrusy hops. For an IPA, lots of malt to intrigue what's coming to the palate.

T: Plenty of hops at the outset. A smooth, slightly caramel malt behind all the hops. A bready/biscuit flavor is there, but the hops certainly dominate.

M: Nice and creamy for an IPA. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: Ask for another! This is one terrific IPA, and I can't wait to get out to CA to try more of Bear Republic's brews.

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Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color. There is a two finger off white head of which a layer remains.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate with some mild herbal notes. Some of the sweetness comes from the malt.

Taste: Citrus hop bitterness hits the tongue pretty hard initially. There is some sweet malt in the background. The flavor is a bit peppery and the finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an appropriate level of carbonation. There isn't any dryness at all.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer. I really like the hop profile and will visit it again.

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Photo of oberon
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go speed racer go speed racer go,sorry.Pours a light golden with a orange tint to it as I neared the bottem of my bottle the chunks and floaties came.A very floral aroma poured a foot and a half away from my nose and picked up the citrus and piney aroma very tantalizing and bold.Taste is a hop heads dream but there is a firm malt backbone very piney almost medicinal in its hop character with a light nuttiness coming thru late.A hop fix for me really liked this beer wish I had more.

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Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer generates just under two fingers of off-white head on top of a clear, copper colored body. The foam sticks around for quite a while before settling down and leaving a thick coating of lace on the glass.

S - The aroma is full of pine, grapefruit, and musty, sweaty hop notes. There is also some caramel malt in the background to remind you that it is beer rather than just hop tea.

T - Pine hops and bready malt up front with a little bit of caramel. More malt complexity comes out in the middle with notes of toffee and a hint of honey. The beer finishes with more pine and grapefruit hop flavor as well as fairly pungent bitterness that balances out the rich malt.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very nice, this is clearly an IPA with generous hop character and an emphasis on pine character. The malt, however, is by no means lost in the shuffle. There is plenty of rich bready grain character and just enough caramel to add complexity without drowning out or dulling the hops. Well worth trying, I only with it was available closer to home.

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

I've had this beer before, and its a great IPA, but never reviewed it. I felt like a nice big IPA which I haven't had in a while, so here it is.

A: Pouring into my oversized DFH snifter leaves a nice 1 finger head spread out with lots of big bubbles mid head, making it look like a battleground. It's pretty hazy with a golden pale beautiful IPA color.

N: Mmm, beautiful hop aromas billow out through the tapered top. Its full of citrus, juicy fruit hop aromas, and some pine. A very slight touch of malt and alcohol bite. Great nose, but I like a little more pine and grapefruit on a great IPA, but this is its own beast.

T: Surprisingly it starts with a fresh malt wort taste. That doesn't last long as a slew of hops and bitterness hit. More fresh citrus and juicy fruits, and some earthy grassy hop flavors. Even some piney hops build up and start to gain some ground. A slight tangy hop bitterness also strikes. A very slight malt sweetness and alcohol presence lets itself be known, but its dwarfed compared to the hop presence. A little bit of hop oils come out as well.

M: It has some body and slight oily feel, decent carbonation, and touch of spicy hop presence.

F: Finshes pretty bitter and semi dry. Its not super overpowering on the bitterness, but its presence is very obvious. Some floral hop flavors linger for a bit, and the bitterness slowly rises as the taste fades. A little more bitter earthiness finishes off the finish.

Final thoughts: A nice semi heavy IPA. It's not an imperial or double or anything like that, just a nice hoppy IPA. A slight malt and alcohol presence, and seems like a few different blended hops, but not much on the grapefruit end, so this is a completely different beast than most. But overall a good consistent IPA.

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

12oz bottle into a Stone IPA flute.

Pours a hazy gold with a finger of creamy brite-white head that retains nicely across the surface and leaves some good lacing behind. The aroma is quite hoppy with fresh grapefruit notes, piney esters, light malt, and a touch of alcohol behind it.

The taste is a assertive piney hop bitterness mixed with a splash of grapefruit citrus that only seems to become more pronounced as it warms. This is nicely balanced by a backbone of sweet bready malt that helps temper all the bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an oily texture and easy feel to it.

A very solid West Coast IPA. It has a very pronounced hoppiness to it but the citrus element and malt really help keep things in check and make this one hugely sessionable affair.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A well-stored bottle pours a surprisingly crystal-clear deep amber body (I can see my fingerprints through the glass on the first pour - the second becomes more hazy). The aroma of fresh piney/citric hops greets you immediately. The full and creamy vanilla head needs a few moments to settle just so you can fill the glass; and once calmed holds fairly well. It drops but keeps a solid 1/4" of foam across the surface and leaves excellent layers of lace until the very end. The nose expresses piney/citrusy hops over a gently caramelish malt. It's very nice, and not overdone as some IPAs can be! A moderate carbonation combines with a firmly malty body to leave it creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor re-itereates what the nose indicated with a rich, caramel-soaked malt that's infused with piney/citrusy hops. A firm bitterness balances this big beer without going over the line; and leaves it quite drinkable (still, it is a bit filling). Really well-balanced! It finishes dry with a swiftly disintegrating maltiness followed by a flash of bitterness and then some residual piney hop flavor. An exceptional beer that's well worth seeking out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bold hops in a medium bodied ale. The big spiciness is the best features. Flavors flatten out more than you might hope for. Some bitter marmelade flavors, more grapefruit than pine. Bitterness is under control. Golden amber in the glass with a head that dissipates before too long. Not overly carbonated in the mouth.

From a 12 oz bottle. Seems like a pretty average IPA after half a glass. The hot spiciness mixed with the hoppy bitterness gives a long, intense aftertaste.

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

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled recently as my local store got a fresh case a couple weeks ago. Pours slightly hazy and cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big pine, grapefruit, herbal, lemon, caramel, and toasted bread. Very nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, herbal, pine, light caramel, honey, spiciness, and toasted biscuit. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, herbal, citrus, and honey on the finish for a bit. Great balance of sweetness and bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink at 7%, with only a slight alcohol warming after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent IPA offering. Great balance, hop flavor, and smooth drinking. At 6 bucks a bomber I really have no complaints.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,494 ratings.
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