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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,290 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: 2,290 | Ratings: 7,507
Photo of T100Mark
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A "full pour" at the brewery.

Appearance - A little bit hazy/opaque. Not much head. Good (but not great) lace. Surprisingly pale.

Smell - Big hop hit! Orange peel.

Taste - Hoppy (obviously). Citrus. Tart. Clean.

Mouth - Wow! Tingly.

Overall - A bit much for me. I wouldn't call it balanced. This ale is so crisp it reminded me of Listerine.

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Photo of spoony
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (with a code of some kind...I couldn't tell what it meant) into a globe glass.

A-This is a decent looking brew with a nice copper, orange golden color. There are some minor bubbles visible, but not much in the way of head; a thin white, slightly shiny head devolves quickly. A touch of lace is left behind.

S-The smell is a balanced mixture of buttery, toasted malts and fruity, lightly dank hops. The hops are sweet and orange flavored, but a little underwhelming. A slight hoppy oiliness comes out as the beer warms up to room temperature.

T-The taste, like the smell, is uh (read: uninspiring), balanced and there is more malt here than I would've expected. The hops are citrusy rather than pine-oily-dank, but there is a mild, peppery, spice in the finish. The flavors are a touch coarse.

M-The feel is creamy for the style with mild, fine carbonation and a medium body.

O-This brew hits the meh button for me. It wasn't unpleasant, but I expect an IPA with 7% ABV to provide a little more flavor firepower than this. Perhaps my bottle was old, but I felt like the hops had faded, almost into oblivion, and the result was a so-so brew that did not measure up to other examples of the style.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellowish orange, with a quickly receding head, and leaves little spots of lace. The smell is grapefruity pine from the hops, with a subtle hint of musty groudcover, kind of like fresh mushrooms. The taste is, interestingly, strong with peanut flavor. There is a brief hint of syrupy sweet hops right before the peanut kicks in. The flavor melts into a blend of all these tastes, with a slightly astringent bitter taste. The beer feels both dry and lightly syrupy on the tongue. An interesting beer to be certain.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My tasting followed an Avery IPA - and the prerequisite cleaning of the palate; so this reveiw should be considered in that light.

The head is about 1 inch and dissipates quickly; there is some lacing that does evaporate over time. The nose did contain some banana ester following a 10 minute temperature acclimation. (It was served rather cold - another factor to consider.) There was a noticable hint of orange as well and this was followed by a hearty hop aftertaste, one that lingers upon the tongue.

All in all, a fine IPA. Though my particular pint was a little less overwhelming than anticipated, I have had superb brews from this Left Coast craft brewer. Perhaps, I just need to drink some more ....?

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Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange brown in color

Smell: citrus hops, pine hops, and brown sugar

Taste: floral hops, slight pine hops, bread, and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweetish start with a moderately bitter middle and end

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these. A decent IPA that is very true to style.

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Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Citrus hop aroma, hints of orange and pineapple. Pithy and aggressive. Just a slight hint of sweet malt.

Not surprising hop forward flavor in the west coast style. Not much flavor from the malt. Hop flavors include citrus with subtle hints of grass and mint. Bitter finish. The flavor is just not that complex or interesting.

Not abuntantly carbonated but that was probably because of a day in a growler. Medium bodied.

No doubt a well made beer that perhaps did not show its best to this drinker. Just not enough complexity to excite.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 oz bottle from sams in durham (the only place in the region that, to my knowledge, you can buy anything from bear republic.

upon pouring the beer had a relatively cloudy, thick appearance (noticeably more so that the founders double i had had the previous day). there was more of a malt undercurrent to the beer than i was expecting and a result the beer had more of a smooth taste than the crisper finish that i usually like in IPA's.

obvious bitter aftertaste and, due to the smoothness, easy to keep drinking. still, as a whole i was a little dissapointed, as i had fonder memories of this beer from my trip to southern california a few months earlier.

all in all still an anjoyable enough ipa, but there are a good many i would choose before it.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent IPA, but not something I would want to drink alot of. The hops kind of have that crushed aspirin flavor. Good in small doses, but not refreshing, which is a quality I tend to look for in an IPA.

The beer pours to a clear golden blonde color with a wispy white head that recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Lacing is alright as well.

The smell is good. Lots of grapefruity hops. Not much else. Sweet and malty. The taste is syrupy and grapefruity with a big crushed aspirin amarillo flavor. Doesn't seem to be too bitter, just very sweet and citric. Would probably be bitter with a little less malt (and thus a lower ABV). This formula seems to do well for them, however. Whatever.

The body is fairly light, but it has a sticky, syrupy hop flavor that dries out somethin' fierce. Not something I'll be drinking again, unless it's just a small sample.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A- Pours a clear golden orange with a little bit of an amber tint. A big frothy head stays quite well and leaves a nice bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A nice bit of pine with some citrus fruit in there. A nice malty backbone helps balance off the nose.

T- A bit of grapefruit, some pine and a little bit of sweetness from the malt. Hops are somewhat subdued in this one. I was expecting more of a west coast hop bomb. Not bad nonetheless.

M- Medium bodied brew that has a bit of a smoothness to it. There is hardly any bite on the tongue meaning not too much bitterness.

D- This is a pretty easy drinking IPA. It is not bad but there is nothing that really distinguishes it from other IPA's.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UPDATE 11/23/11: Had this on tap again lately, and it was a more pleasant experience, with 2 notable points since last time: 1. the head retention and lacing was much better; 2. much more citrus midpalate (yet a thin'ish finish).

This review was for a 22oz bottle poured into an American pint glass, but I have also had it on tap, with varying results. As such, my big knock on this beer is inconsistency.

A: Orange/amber, with a thin head that dissipated quickly and laced spottily.

S: Very subtle citrus on the nose with an earthy/pine undertone. (The pint I had on tap was much more pronounced in citrus diversity.)

T: Ditto the aroma. Very lacking in citrus flavor, with earthy/woodiness dominating. Too much so for an ipa. Hoppy bitterness doesn't enter the equation until the dry aftertaste hits you. (Again, this was better on tap as well.)

M: Creamy, like most of the BR offerings, yet lightly drinkable.

D: Light to throw a few back, but needs more flavor. Again, the big knock on this beer is inconsistency.

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Photo of Greggy
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a 1/2 finger sticky off white head with some clinging lace. The body is light orange/honey colored with ample yeasties holding still in suspension.

S- Good bits of pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of green apple skins, also slightly herbaceous.

T- Starts out with a very balanced malt and hopiness with notes of pine, some breadiness, alcohol is felt prior to the finish. The finish has a bit of dry maltiness but a lingering bit of anise which is kind of odd.

M- The body is big but the carbonation feels a bit low.

D- Overall, a decent IPA. I wouldn't likely have again.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint.

Pours a medium honey color with a moderate head that leaves plenty of lace. Tiny bit of murkiness adds to the character.

Aroma is fresh hops and big malt. Earthy piny hops and toffee with buttered rolls. Sweet candy sugar and doughnuts.

Taste is upfront hops, bright and floral. Citrus hops are not very big here but piny earthy and floral tones are huge. Malt is there as a supporting actor and could be bigger. It's a shame it's not more represented, as the malt flavors in his beer are delicious. Vanilla cake and caramel with a touch of oakiness. Creamy milk-like characters of the malt are intriguing and good.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, slick and oily the malt has body without a ton of flavor which is a shame.

Wow, this beer would be in my top five if the malt were bigger and balanced the huge hop hit more. Even more so, as the malt character that comes through is very good.

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Photo of dubc19382
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the Racer 5 IPA had a nice golden/amber hue with a head that fizzled out after about a minute.

Good taste for an IPA, but I have had hoppier beers that were considered an "IPA".

As for drinkability, it is highly reccommended, but I would at least try it on tap first. Like previous comment(s), I wish it had a date on it as to when it was bottled. Perhaps it might have been affected by the long ride east.

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Photo of smanders
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden with a white head. Spiderweb lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Unlike any IPA I've ever inhaled. What is that smell?

Taste: Lemon! That's it! Spice, grapefruit, and lemon. Very unusual but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Pretty creamy for an IPA. Not as biting/oily.

Drinkability: Not as aggressively hopped as IPAs I'm accustomed to, but not a bad example of the style. Unique. I will enjoy this brand again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle has a code of 06 03 09

This pours a hazy bright orange colour with a 1 finger head of foam. There's some nice lacing to go with this very good looking brew.

The smell is very hoppy with big notes of citrus and lesser of pine. It's not without some malt as I get a bit of caramel sneaking in as well as an earthiness.

The taste has a good grapefruit bitterness with some earthy tones which I'm not all that fond of, a light touch of pine, but not much of any sweet malt. This is pretty bitter....I don't remember it being this bitter from the times I had in the past, which must be a few years now. Oh well. It's still pretty good with the flavour.

Fairly light bodied, it has medium carbonation and finishes decidedly bitter with a long lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability? For me, it drinks stronger than the 7%abv it carries and the flavours don't tickle my fancy that much so....it will probably be a while before I revisit this brew.

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Photo of snpub540
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very light copper hue that was clear with a slight haze. Nice carbonation. There was a fluffy off-white head that left some very clingy lacing down the whole glass.

Aromas were all hop related citrus and grapefruit being the most evident. Also some floral hops in the nose.

Taste was mostly hops. Citrus is the dominant flavor with a piney after taste. A bready malt backbone adds a nice balance to this brew.

Mouthfeel was medium-bodied. Drinkability is great as this beer has a very clean flavor and it is not harsh at all. The alcohol is not present at all.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very cloudy orange color, with a very substantial head that goes the extra mile. Smell is lively west coast IPA all the way, pine & citrus. Taste is typical, nothing out of the ordinary. Big, cloying nugget hops dominate. Mouthfeel is rich and sticky. Not in love with this one. It's well-executed and all, but pales (sorry) in comparison to offerings from some other west coast micros. I loved the Hop Rod, but found this rather one-dimensional and not terribly interesting.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Very orange in color, looks kind of like a Blue Moon. Good carbonation. 1 finger's worth of foam.

Smell - Very citrusy, but I couldn't make out any other distinct aromas.

Taste - Typical IPA taste, very hopy, but with a good balance, probably from the citrus taste. It really hits the top front of the palate.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light, not too creamy.

Drinkability - Pretty good beer in general, maybe a little too IPA for me though. But a worthy beer nonetheless.

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Photo of wofat
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This IPA pours golden with a slight amber tone with a constant, champagne-like strands of carbonation from the bottom of your glass, culminating in a large, frothy head that sticks around longer than expected.

The aroma is a full on assault of fruit-like hops. I was hoping that the flavor would somehow meet up with my expectations after smelling this beer, but it starts with a moderate carmel maltiness transitioning to a too mild hop flavor and overdone bitterness. I personally would have liked a bit more hop flavor in this IPA, rather than just the lingering bitterness that this brew provides. The bitterness of the aftertaste in this beer is a bit overwhelming to the mild sweetness of the malt.

This is a tasty IPA, but fell below my expectations. Drinkability suffers due to the lack of real hop flavor and hearty, lingering bitterness.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber into a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy golden orange with a thin head. Settles to a surface cap in a couple minutes, then a surface ring, and offers light lacing throughout the pint.

Citrus and pine notes on the nose with some malt lingering in the shadows. A bit too clean however with notable dead spots. Rather rich and malty on the tongue, particularly given the color of the pour. Reduces to a rather simple IPA, and somewhat sweet as the carbonation diminishes too fast.

Have had this on tap a number of times. Anywhere from blah to beautiful, this brew is too unpredictable to buy again. It's all over the place and too dependent on carbonation for success. I'll stick to more reliable options in the future, and this 'bottle conditioned' serving seems no different. Buttery, sweet and unpredictable in the hops/carbonation/feel.

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Photo of Kisejohn
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:  Subdued grapefruit aroma with a hint of malt.  Was hoping for more.

Appearance:  Honey gold color with a half finger of head.  Head dissipates quickly leaving nice lacing.

Flavor:  Grapefruit rind and some caramel malt predominate.  Lingering bitterness in the finish.  Was hoping for more hop flavor.  Hop flavor is limited in comparison to other west coast IPAs.  

Mouthfeel:   Light body with good carbonation.

Overall:  This is a very good IPA for any hop head.  The hop aroma and flavor are fairly subdued in comparison to leading west coast IPAs.  Enjoyable IPA, but not my favorite.

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Photo of jsanford
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Lodge in Hilton Head on 5/12/10

A - Golden in color, perfect clarity. Small head with nice lacing

S - Didn't get a very strong nose from my pouring. Small amounts of grapefruit, pineapple, apricot. Typical of an IPA.

T - Almost a "wheaty" sweetness to it, nice grapefruit finish

M - Light-bodied, went down pretty easy

D - Overall a pretty solid IPA, if a bit "entry level". I will say I had a fresh Maharaja prior to this brew so perhaps my tastebuds were blown. May have to re-visit later.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: low to no head, amber, good clarity

Aroma: passion fruit and pine needles, caramel, devil's food cake, hint of roast and an even smaller hint of diacetyl

Flavor: up-front lime peel bitterness concedes to a mellow caramelly malt flavor, green and grassy hop flavor, nicely layered hop profile, finishes pretty dry with a long-lingering limey bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, gentle carbonation, smooth, some warmth

Overall Impression: Quite balanced. Better than I thought it would be (wasn't impressed with Hop Rod Rye... the only other Bear Republic beer I've tried). This is an IPA's IPA. Very recommendable!

22 oz. bomber delivered by LBB and tasted by myself and BelgianBeers.

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Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark orangey apricot color with a beige thick, oily looking head that clings to the sides of the glass. Aroma is of hops, honey, pear, and alcohol in equal amounts. Flavor is not very hoppy, but has hints of orange peel and honey and some floral notes. There is a distinct alcohol flourish in the back of the tongue in the finish, and it also lingers afterward. Mouthfeel is a little watery, a bit low on carbonation. Tasty beer, but needs more balance. The flavor is overpowered by the alcohol.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this for $1.99 a single. Nice all around, but nothing to special. Grapefruit notes, some alcohol warmth, but easy enough to consume. Less malt balance than some other seven percent IPAs. However, nothing blew me away but would try more from Bear Republic.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,507 ratings.
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