Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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203 Reviews
Café Racer 15Café Racer 15

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone...

Added by womencantsail on 02-12-2011

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 1,182
Photo of ocelot2500
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy straw color with a frothy white head that leaves a nice ring of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus with some tropical fruits. Big, bright, and aromatic.

Tastes of a nice wave of hops mediated by a solid malt backbone. Grapefruit, pineapple, and a touch of pine comes through. Malts quickly come through and add a sweet element with some sugar cookie along with a touch of bread. In the middle it leans towards more of a sweetness, but ends with a bitter note. Alcohol makes it presence felt, but is pleasant.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice DIPA that is worth a look.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A balanced, big IPA. Step up to this and enjoy.

Poured for me at Meadhall in Boston (great place, btw.) The color is a hazy gold, classic for the imperial ale style. Quite a bit of lacing left by the lingering head.

The nose is resiny hops that shows a proper amount of restraint. You know you're getting an IPA before the liquid hits the tongue,

The mouthfeel and taste remind me of a Bell's Two Hearted. The brewer struck a nice balance here and doesn't take the drinker over the edge of hoppy bitterness. I could have two of these, easily. Well, two if I didn't have to stand up or drive. The alcohol is strong in this.

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Photo of labattblueribbon
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured to glass. Enjoyed this incredible brew with the last episode of Breaking Bad, and god damn was it a perfect pairing. There is almost nothing to dislike about this beer except the nose didn't really show up. Easily the most memorable DIPA i've had in months, great lacing, solid citrus after-taste hanging around, maybe a little spearmint in there as well, no a bit of alcohol to be detected, DANGEROUSLY drinkable. great scott what a bear. Bottom Line an absolute MUST HAVE, get it anyway you can. about $9 for a bomber, i would have paid 30 bucks for this gem.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a cap that leaves some nice lacing

S: Quite hoppy while remaining balanced. Citrus and floral hops stand out along with a light breadiness from the malt

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the hops, which are packed full of citrus and pine notes. Goes into just enough malt to balance. Bitter pine notes continue into the finish

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Highly drinkable for a 9.75% DIPA with 100+ IBUs. It would be nice if it were available in 6-packs or a little cheaper for a bomber ($9.49 isn't too bad, but still high). Great seasonal otherwise

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.91/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an absolute fantastic beer and for me it ranks with Dogfish Head 90.
I don't normally go after Imp. IPA that often because they seem to be just bitter and lacking of hop flavor, plus I can't handle the high ABV's.
Café Racer 15 is perhaps the most aromatic and flavorful IPA I've ever had.
The appearance is burnished orange amber with a smaller bright white head leaving some laced as it fades.
The aroma is fantastic. Smells of candied tropical and citrus fruits, floral and pine resin too.
The taste is equally impressive. Very hoppy with flavors of tropical fruits citrus, peaches and floral notes. Malts are sweet and balance nicely the hoppy onslaught.
Surprisingly, it's not bitter at all. Very sutle alcohol notes at the finish. Drinks smooth and crisp over the palate and is remarkably un assertive for a Imp. IPA.
A very well made beer.

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Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: strawy orange, a bit hazy

smell: very light with notes of citrus and hop spice

taste: light bodied, crisp, hints of mangos and citrus. definite presence of simcoe and bit of the gummy resin flavor from it

mouthfeel: light, clean and crisp. with a little bit oil

overall its an amazing ipa. you can barely taste any of the alcohol. its a just a nice clean citrusy ipa

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Photo of Ri0
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured 22oz bottle into teku.

A - Bright, clear peach orange with a 1.5 finger white head. Thin lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma is wonderful with the Citra and Amarillo hops giving it a juicy citrus tropical character. There is also a wonderful balance of sweet caramel and honey.

T - Follows the nose with the big juicy citrus tropical notes. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, passion fruit are all blended with a nice sweet balance of honey and caramel. The finish is a nice piney bitter.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. A bit bitter and dry on the finish.

O - I'm glad I decided to try this one when it arrived in WI. I really enjoy this style of DIPA. Big on the juicy hops, yet balanced well with the sweetness.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a finger of thick, foamy head on a hazy, straw colored body. Looks great.
The aroma is bright lemon, pineapple and grapefruit. Really good.
The taste starts with bold pine bitterness, sweetens out towards the middle and then finishes with a lemon bitter downslope.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
The taste has great balance.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with a born on date of 8/5/13, into a tulip.
Appearance - gold, bubbly, refreshing. Modest layer of white head. Lacing is extremely strong despite the minimal head!
Smell - hop punch to the face! Citrus fruit, primarily grapefruit.
Taste - absolutely terrific! Follows the nose with hop forwardness; just a hint of malt to help balance it out!
Feel - grapefruit bitterness, but enough malt to ensure this isn't one-sided! At 9.75% ABV, this is incredibly easy to drink!
Overall - great west coast DIPA, exactly what I expected, if not more!

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy dull blonde color with sticky off white head. super piney nose with notes of tobacco, citrus, a touch of tropical fruit and a touch of passion fruit.

Medium bodied but thick feeling in the mouth with light carbonation. Borders on syrupy but saves itself with assertive hop bitterness and bright hop flavors. Starts up with sticky sweet caramel malts which roll into a dry tobacco flavor. The beer slides to the back of the tongue with bright citrus and piney flavors and finishes tropical with a hop reesin bitterness that balances the thick malt body. Bitterness linger deep in the throat with a touch of alcohol heat on the breath and some sweet sticky caramel coated dried tropical fruits.

Pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary or impressive, a bit too syrupy for me and I've had other DIPAS that cover the alcohol a bit better. Still a solid offering with good flavor though. Wish more of that tobacco like flavor came through to change things up as well as that hop resin to dry things out. Leaves a nice after taste from the hops but the alcohol heat on the breath takes away from this a bit.

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Photo of abaer123
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall I like the Cafe Racer 15. I was surprised to see that it is 9.75% abv as it does not taste like it, yet, perhaps I have become accustomed to strong ales!

A - cloudy golden color with promise of deliciousness

S - pine, citrus, what you would expect from an IPA

T - delicious. not overly hoppy, yet satisfying, alcohol does not seem to be an inhibitor here.

M - well rounded and satisfying.

I would consider this among my favorite beers. Those being.... :)
Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Rampant, Double Jack, Hoptimum, Hop Stoopid, and Sculpin.

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Photo of athomasPSU
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle. Bottle date: 7-5-2013

A perfect burnt orange color with slight cloudiness. About one finger size head, which leaves slight lacing as it dies away faster than expected. Powerful citra hops hit you hard smelling this one with some piney aroma. It's also got that sweetness with a rather noticeable hop background. The taste is amazing. So well balanced. The malts and hops just blend together near perfectly which brings out lots of pine, grapefruit, sweet malt that helps calm the bitterness. It feels a little thin to me, but it's feels rather sticky which helps that bitterness linger even more. Overall, this brew is amazing. I'm glad I grabbed the last bottle on the shelf. It's a really damn good DIPA and worth grabbing if you see it.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into tulip at glass half full in sterling va. Golden orange with thick white head and lots of sticky lacing. Huge piney grapefruit aromas with a big malt backbone. Flavors of sweet sugary malt and if course pine and citrus hops. Hop presance is massive. I usually don't enjoy west coast style ipas as much as most but this is nice...must be the Amarillo hops. Its a bit heavy and the abv is obvious.
Nice brew. What I'd expect from a west coast ipa.

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Photo of bpasquini
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a SN IPA glass

A: Nice orangish gold color, slightly murky as well, with a two finger size head, leaves nice lacing around the glass

S: Very nice aroma to this one, can definitely smell the citra hops in it, nice pine smell to it as well, followed with very sweet malts, sometimes the malt overpowers the hops, but it's a good thing

T: Not quite what I was expecting, it is very malty compared to their other IPA's, but you can still notice the citrus flavors from the hops, some grapefruit, pine, and I get a hint of pineapple as well, the malt is present throughout the taste and is a little overpowering in my opinion, would love the flavor of the hops to be a little more present, but it is still a very good mix of flavors, very slight bitterness is left and it doesn't linger

M: Very nice feel to it, to me it's very light, leaves a little dryness at the end, it is also creamy to me

O: Very strong brew, generally I am not that big of a fan of BR, but this is the best beer I've had from them so far, if you love their products I'm sure this one will fit right in, definitely recommend picking this one up if you can

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle that was bottled just about a month ago. Beautiful deep golden color with a slight head. Smell is mostly piney hops without much fruity hop aroma. Taste is awesome! An amazing balance of bitter, piney and fruity hop flavors with a dry finish. Mouth feel is medium light bodied. Overall an amazing West Coast DIPA that doesn't disappoint. Get it if you can.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a murky citrus orange with a couple fingers of greasy light tan head that faded into a wispy scum and left rings of chunky lace down the glass.
S: Juicy grapefruit and orange cream sickles all the way with notes of tropical fruit nectars including mango and pineapple.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of juicy grapefruit, mango, papaya, pineapple and tangerine cream. The finish is sweet and juicy and the aftertaste is leafy and faintly bitter.
M: Full body for the style, greasy and slick body, soft and fluffy carbonation. Easy to drink.
O: Super fresh and juicy dipa. Very flavorful and smooth. Another excellent hoppy beer from an excellent hoppy beer brewery.

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Photo of smcolw
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good, solid head with a slow settling time. Leaves a cross between blanket and ring lace. Neutral gold color with a bit of haze.

Plenty of sweet grapefruit aroma from the plentiful hop. It overwhelms most of the other smells. Certainly not balanced, but for this style, it doesn't have to be.

Strong bitter hop that stands out even on the initial sip. Very dry, particularly at the swallow. Long, astringent aftertaste. Puckering. Notable alcohol throughout the taste. There's enough richness in the malt to give it a base. Low carbonation.

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

Growler purchased in New York and drinking on the same day 9/12
A: medium/deep golden with a offwhite creamy head with medium/small bubbles and sticky sticky lace
S: Pine and floral notes up front and definitely the citra coming through. Great smell what you'd expect from the hop profile
T: pine, citrus, earthy, big and bold flavors with boozy notes toward the back with a nice dry finish. Nice balance
M: exactly what is expected out of DIPA: medium thickness, nicely carbonated, creamy dry finish

Overall: awesome DIPA, highly drinkable, complex with great balance and profile.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 8.5.13

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a nice one inch tan head with good retention.

S - Strong pine and a touch of citrus.

T - Sweet orange citrus, lemon zest, grass, subtle pine.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body, sweeter finsh.

O - Cafe just threw me off, nice DIPA, citrus and pine heavy.

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Photo of Jimmys
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber into SAVOR snifter. no bottled on date.

A: a bit of haze on an orange/golden body. frothy, slightly orange head. head retention is great. fantastic lacing.

S: good hop presence on the nose. a lot of pine. a lot. a little bit of bubblegum. a minor caramel, malt aroma.

T: a lot of pine and hop resins. pretty chewy for a hop forward DIPA. maybe a slight oxidation. bitterness is present, but not over-the-top. definitely can taste some of that conditioning yeast. sort of softens everything up.

M: really creamy mouthfeel. soft and silky. full bodied.

D: very well balanced and drinkable. the booze/heat is manageable. good conditioning, not great as I desire a little more carb. pretty good DIPA, not outstanding in my opinion. I think that has something to do with the fact this may have been sitting around for a couple of months since its release. im sure fresh this stuff is the bomb. all I can say is put bottled on dates on please!

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a dull orange with a frothy, half-inch, cream-colored head. Tiny bubbles adhere to the walls of the glass and lightly effervesce to the underside of the cap. Head eventually dissipates into an oily slick and tiny dribs and drabs of lacing are revealed but exhibit poor adhesion. Nose is somewhat subdued; however, hints of tangerine, cotton candy and a light, resiny quality are revealed. Taste follows nose; however, a little bitterness intermingles with the characters expressed in the nose and there is also a touch of ethanol in the mix. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an even carbonation that leaves a residual prickle at the back of the throat between quaffs. All and all, a solid DIPA, but nothing I would go out of my way for again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Andover Liquors,
Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a huge white head that persists forever. Smells of pine resin and citrus mostly. Light bits of bread and caramel are hidden somewhere in there. The flavor is orangey grapefruit with pine needles, pipe resin, and a solid shot of caramel and alcohol. There is a solid lingering hop bitterness that coats the palette long after each sip. Medium body with a fairly dry finish, moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice IPA but a bit harsh at times and the alcohol is a bit too noticeable for my tastes.

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

An agressive, alcohol heavy beer that attempts to be a big IPA. It's definitely a big beer, with a strong upfront aroma of alcohol and a hoppy taste. Pours with a light orange color, a milky thin head and an aroma familiar to the IPA family. However, the hops overpower the beer and it's too aggressive for my liking. A solid attempt for Bear Republic, who I'd claim is one of the best widely distributed breweries. Still, I prefer their lighter and less intense Racer 5.

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Photo of kevanb
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a honey copper color, hazy complexion, with a short white head, soapy in texture that has poor retention and leaves some spotted lacing behind. The aroma is fairly booze forward, but has nice elements of grassy hops, light fruit and citrus, richer grainy malt at the end, but it's a simple aroma, dominated by hop bitterness and alcohol. The flavors are more enjoyable, the alcohol is less dramatic, lots of grassy, earthy hops, amply bitter, bits of pine, tangy grapefruit, tropical mango with the rich grain towards the end where the alcohol really comes forward. The body is quite rich and juicy, quite smooth on the tongue, medium carbonation that is fairly lively and finishes lightly dry.

Verdict: A big ambitious beer that succumbs to the pitfalls of many high octane IPAs, too much booze, and too aggressively hopped. While the beer does have some nice balance of flavor, between the bitterness and strong alcohol, it's laborious to quaff.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Marin Brewing pint glass. Bottled on date 7/3/13, so almost 2mos old now.

A - Dark burnt orange, clear. Eggshell head leaves pretty good lacing.

S - Peaches, mango, light bread. Not a lot of aroma, especially hop aromas.

T - Peaches, pineapple, mango, catpiss. It finishes with a almost a light rye bread flavor, then dries out with grapefruit bitterness on the end. Interesting. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Spot on for a DIPA. On the thick side of medium w/ medium/light carbonation that gives a creamy mouthfeel.

O - Really good beer. Aroma was a little light, maybe because it was 2mos old? Flavor and mouthfeel are solid. Will definitely be seeking this out on the next release, especially to get a fresher version. This was hiding in the back of the beer cooler behind some other bottles at my local Bristol Farms.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,182 ratings.
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