Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
7,641 Ratings
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
Ratings:
7,641
Reviews:
2,318
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.55%
 
 
Wants:
350
Gots:
1,383
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,641 |  Reviews: 2,318
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 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 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 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 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 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.

 536 characters

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.

 465 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

 964 characters

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.

 490 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

 1,112 characters

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.

 486 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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.

 1,767 characters

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.

 1,152 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass.

A - clear (top of bottle) becoming hazy (bottom of bottle) golden with creamy white head that, as is typical for IPAs, has limited retention.

S - strong aroma of hops; fresh, piney/sprucy, floral and nicely complex. There's probably some roasted malt lurkering in the aroma too, but the hops just jump out.

T - Frankly, the strong piney hop aroma, while very pleasant, is a bit forbidding as it suggests an intensely bitter and piney taste. Such is not the case. This is a refreshing, easy-to-drink IPA that has modestly strong hop flavor together with a quite strong aroma. Moderately bitter grapefruit/pine finish and aftertaste.
Very nice!

M - good body and carbonation

O - an outstanding Amer. IPA, particularly suitable for those who prefer a strong aromatic contribution from hops more than a strong flavor or pronounced bitterness. Quite different than, but overall about on par with, the local Sweetwater IPA I had (for about the 20th time) earlier this week.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint, but is mostly of caramelized malt & citrus with a light background of hops.

T: The taste is excellently balanced with flavors of floral hops, citrus sweetness and caramel. The hops bitterness isn’t as strong as most IPA’s but it good enough without overpowering you. The malt character is on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry and very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, nice kick, good representation of style, this beer is certainly on the lighter side for an IPA, but it works very well. I could definitely stick with this beer for a full evening.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.15/5  rDev -1%

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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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,641 ratings.
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