Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

205 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: 205 | Ratings: 1,188
Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a shaker pint glass. Pours a light amber color. Smell isn't overwhelming. A little citrus with some pine (a lot like Racer 5 with a little added earthiness to set apart the citrus). Little foam with next to no lacing. Decent amount of carbonation. Tastes like it smells. Citrus, resinous pine, with a dry sticky mouth-feel. Good balance between hops and malt. Alcohol is hidden pretty well for a DIPA. Overall solid beer. Would buy again.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours a lovely orange, mostly clear. There is a thin amount of head that lingers along with the lace-producing head at the rim. Smell is a little orange-Creme candy, melon, maybe some pineapple. I am finding these smells in a variety of beer and have trouble placing them exactly. Often I find others describing it as tropical, but I notice the sugary nature as much as the fruit in these.

The taste does start of slightly, nicely sweet (not overpowering). Definitely some tropical notes, I get papaya, orange, maybe a hint of ruby red grapefruit in the back. The mid taste, as always in a well crafted IPA, does turn on the bitter, grapefruit and woodiness (light pine). This sweet/bitter combo yields a medium feel to me; the carbonation is more on play than you might think from the look. The alcohol can be picked out if you are looking for it, but is basically well hidden.

The taste basically slowly fades, leaving you to enjoy a swig for a while. The final tastes are a tad piney, without being drying, which is not what I normally experience.

This beer for me does almost everything right. I am stuck in a relative rating conundrum here, because this is near the top of my list, but feel the beers I like better should be above this. Will have this when and where I can.

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Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cafe Racer 15 on tap at the BR brewpub in Healdsburg CA.

Good head. Slight haze. Medium amber. Some sticky lacing.

Aroma is hoppy with a hint of honey.

Citrus and pine hop mix is pronounced but tamed, especially re bitterness, by the malts. Easy drinking for a DIPA.

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Photo of brureview
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive golden color in a Spiegalgau glass with a 4F head.

Aroma: piney, mostly citrus and some funk.

Mouth feel: well carbonated as usual for the style.

Taste: excellent citrus.

The finish on a beer, especially a DIPA, says it all. A spicy, bitter hoppiness enhances the character rof this beer.

Overall: a top DIPA. The best by date for my bottle is 10/14, yet the hops and the spiciness are strong.

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Photo of McStagger
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy orange. Two fingers eggshell head. Retention is stellar, as is lacing. Beer is full of floaties, as I unwisely turned it on it's side. When I purchased it it had a layer of sediment in the bottom of the glass.

S: Big burst of aromatic grapefruit. Seriously, this one smells like cutting open a ripe grapefruit. Bready malt sweetness underneath. Bit of evergreen, slight hint of alcohol, tangerine and just a hint of tropical fruit. Very fragrant.

T: Delish. Big citrus pop up front. Mid palate, the malt takes over sweetens things up a bit. Juicy grapefruit, tangerine and bready sweetness make up the mid palate. Slightly spicy mango and pineapple notes, as well. Finish is more of the tropical notes, with the aftertaste taking on candied ginger and sugared grapefruit rind. Finishes with a slight hint of alcohol and a touch

M: Soft and pillowy, this one glides down. Medium bodied, the carbonation keeps the malt and alcohol from completely dominating, but in no way distracts. Slight alcohol warmth in the aftertaste, but it's just a gentle reminder not to chug the living hell out of this thing.

O: Bear Republic rules. While they may not have the acclaim of Russian River or the availability of Lagunitas, they still make a goddamn delicious beer.

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Photo of RobertClevenger
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - 22 oz bomber poured into extra large tulip

A - Light amber, slightly opaque, 2 fingers of pearl white head with nearly solid lacing

S - Fresh citrus and hops, lots of orange, maybe lemon peel

T - Very fresh, smooth citrus flavor, light pine and malt, very well balanced

M - Great body, not too heavy.

O - Very drinkable for a nearly 10% beer, gonna drink it while I can. Hopefully you can find one and enjoy it as much as I did.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I paid 9.99 for this bottle and it was born 9/5/13 2 days before my 31st birthday. I found it in Ohio still on the shelves, and knew I missed it the first time around. However, I still hadn't had this beer from Bear Republic. If it's so gone because of the aged hop profile I'm not going to knock it, but I have to try it. This should have been gone the first week it was out!!!

It appears a clouded apricot golden glowing orange hue with an off white head forms fine bubbled carbonation, impressive look to say the least.

However, the aromatics are consumed with aged hops and a mild citrus note, dank marijuana and the whole nine.

Gladly, the flavor is amazing the hops being aged don't damper my experience at all, big malts, big alcohol, and big hop flavor come across. Earthy, citric grapefruit peel, candied sugar notes with all of those expressive hops.

Mouthfeel isn't cloying at all, clean excessive hop bursts add a drying quality to the profile. Drinks way to easy on the palate, clean aggressive and still going down great.

Overall, I hope to God that I never find this fresh, because I might not be able to handle may blow my mind, because this is super fucking good on the palate.

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Photo of vitALEity
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy golden. Head dissipates rather quickly but leaves a lot of lace

S: A lot of bright citrus. Mostly oranges.

T: A lot of orange, grapefruit and pine (what did you expect?)

M: Medium. Not super oily/resiny.

O: Its a really, really, good beer.

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Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense, tan head. Color is a cloudy amber. Has a thick, creamy and sweet middle with a resinous wrapping. Candied sugar exists and some syrup is left on the lips. Some orange rind is in there as well. Alcohol is sharp. Big, slow and brilliant drinking.

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Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down a bit, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops—oranges in particular—stand out in particular along with hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts along with notes of grapefruit and pine resin hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be maltier compared to other Imperial IPAs but has an interesting mix of hops that lend some. complexity to the smell and taste. It is rather drinkable considering the strength as the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of Maurizio
3.06/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: very nice pale yellow.
Nose: crisp, citrusy grapefruit.
Taste: follows up the nose very well until a late residual sweetness that essentially ruined the beer for me.
Mouthfeel: thin, exactly how I like my IPAs.
Overall: big fan of Racer 5, and Cafe Racer 15 was very promising until the odd sweet finish.

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Photo of Somebody_Else
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I type this as I am drinking my first Café Racer 15 ever. I have avoided drinking this for a few months because a bomber of 9.75% will put me to sleep. I am a huge fan of Racer 5 so I have had anticipation of this event.

It's a beautiful honey-colored pour and quite clear, but I don't tend to pay much attention to a beer's appearance because, WTF, right? Still, it's an attractive and refined appearance.

The aroma not very strong. Fairly typical for a double IPA. Some pine, lots of citrus and apricot. Definitely an attractive and promising smell for the dedicated hop-head.

The taste is what it's all about. I'm not tasting much alcohol at all -- just cranky-ass hops mostly balanced by a smooth malt supporting role. It is delicious. I would have no problem drinking this all night long except I'd be passed out within an hour. I'm a light-weight and I find no shame in that.

Is mouth-feel the same as after-taste? I love the after-taste of the better strong IPAs! A good double allows me to recycle the flavor past my nose and tongue minutes after it has been swallowed. This one does that just fine. Not as much as my super-favorites, but definitely good and appreciated. If there were a down-side, the alcohol is slightly detectable in the after-taste, but certainly not objectionable in any way whatsoever.

I rate this beer high and would never turn one down. Quite excellent. Thank you again, Bear Republic.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper pour with a light, white head.

The smell is rich in citrusy and pine-y hops.

The flavor is just a little off-balance. I guess it's a little TOO hoppy. It's a risk all Double/Imperial IPAs face, where where supercharged hops need a serious counterweight.

If you're a hophead, then you probably won't mind.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a murky amber color with a 1/2 inch of head. The aroma is tangerines, pine, light grapefruit, and orange. Large amount of lacing. The taste is piney hops upfront followed by some honey, toasted malts, tangerine, and grapefruit rind. Tangerine and orane peel near the end. Piney hop finish. Mild alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly oily. Piney, bitter and a bit on the boozey side, this is a solid Imperial IPA. Overall, given the chance I would buy this one again.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium golden with very little off white head.

S: Orange and other, similar fruits in the nose.

T: Orange and pine dominate among other fruits and floral notes.

M: Medium bodied and smooothish.

O: Outstanding. I loved all of their Racer beers at the event.

Note: This was consumed during an event at the brewery. The beers served were those that were headed for the GABF, and were thus at their absolute prime. Also, I tried more than a dozen beers that day, and my memory of it is, understandably, hazy.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: Draft
Glass: 0.25L glass
From: Tiger! Tiger! in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $5.50
Purchased: Jan. 5, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 5, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel, orange murky color with three fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Tons of foamy lacing scattered throughout the sides of the glass. Above average retention.

Smelled sharp grapefruit, tangerine, orange rind, fresh, floral hops, citrus hops and faint tropical notes.

Taste wasn’t as quite as potent as the nose. Got lemon, citrus hops, sharp grapefruit, tropical hops and orange dental floss, all in a bitter form.

Light body. Creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, clean and refreshing finish, hiding the strength of the alcohol.

Just a really good beer. Very smooth and refreshing. Can’t wait to try it again.

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Photo of Larsam123
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle. Sampled on December 27, 2013.

Appearance - cloudy orange/gold with bits of yeast floating around in the bottle. A bit of yeast haze in the glass. Some lacing, low head retention.

Smell - Floral elements as it is opens. Definite apricot as it warms up. Less nose than I was expecting.

Taste - Malty backbone and bitterness you expect from this style. Not too dry.

Overall - Good IIPA. Wish there was a little more on the nose.

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Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep gold with a slight haze and a thin skim of bubbles coating the beer from a gentle pour. Good head retention and longlasting lacing. Big grapefruit aroma, pineapple and fruit juice, sweet tarts, slight pine resin and citrus pith. Smells great. Solid bitterness balanced by malt throughout. Biscuit and caramel malts, citrus, a bit of pine, spicy with light alcohol in the finish. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, creamy texture, mild warmth. Very tasty -- I really like this one.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a big brandy snifter from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a very nice bright orange and copper color with a nice lively dense white head that is about half inch tall.

Aroma is wondrous. Resinous notes of sticky pine and dank herbal character. Then typical Cali citrus hops that are muddled by even more dry and resinous character. Nice malt notes that are also slightly sticky and sweet in the nose as well.

The flavor is awesome. Very resinous and piney and even spicy at times. Good boozy heat mixes well with the hop spice and resinous notes. The brew is pretty dank and delicious with notes of pine and strong grapefruit and tangerine rind. Notes of mild caramel and boozy sweetness are present and compliment the dank and intense. Mild papaya and tropical fruit notes are present in the nose along with some slight sugary passion fruit notes. Mouthfeel is slight sticky but light.

Overall this is a solid DIPA. Its not clean or crisp but it bruises you with the hops. Sometimes that’s what you want.

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Photo of FLima
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber color with a thick head with great retention.
Nice aroma with a pleasant pine and fruity notes of pineapples, peaches and lemon.
Sweet intense fruity and hoppy flavor, bring forward some sudden "Whoa" from me. Notes of pine, booze, grapefruit, biscuit malt, sea water, toasted malt, honey and overripe pineapples. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Full body with low carbonation. Alcohol of 9.75% is harmonic.
Bold and assertive DIPA. Could be a bit less sweet, but I liked its boldness and initial hoppy punch (well, it tuned to 100+ IBUs).

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Photo of humulusphile
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

7/25/13 tap at City Beer Store
This has a fantastic intense flavor, round and deep with pineapple, pine, grapefruit, and earthy leaf. But alcohol is very apparent, it feels bigger than 9.75%, and this is the heavy, sticky finishing style of dipa I'm not fond of. Being July, I can't help imagining this would be better received by all as a winter release like younger. I'd try this again in the colder months.

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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like citrus zest and sweet sugary malt, with some biscuit and oranges.
T: It tasted like bitter grapefruit and citrus zest, with sweet sugary malt and some biscuit. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Ok body.
D: This was a decent double IPA, but probably already past its prime. The scent and taste were more sweet than bitter, and the body was a little weak. The finish was smooth enough, with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Really good, but not top tier.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hey, what's wrong with Racer X? Whatevers, Bear Republic takes up to the next step with Racer 15, I have 22 ounces, so make it good. On to the beer:

Its color appears apricot colored and is topped with an inch of semi-creamy foam which does a fine job retaining on top. Good lacing too. With one whiff of the aroma, I can tell that this is shaping up to be a good journey. The aroma of tangerine, citrus, a "salty" caramel note, and grass is overall exciting.

At just under four months old, the hoppy flavor is sill intact. If citrusy fruit is what you like out of your Double IPA, start asking about Racer 15. First part of the taste is a bitter tangerine peel, and it's not long for the bitterness to writher away and turn sweet and fruity. The tangerine sweetens, notes of apricot arise, and there's a kiss of bittersweet lemonade. A little straight-up bitterness builds towards the end of each. Slightly herbal. As a bonus, much of the alcohol is hidden despite its listed 9.75% ABV. Its mouthfeel is full bodied, on the smooth side with a gentle lift of carbonation which allows the hops to stick around.

Worthy of the Bear Republic name, as well as being part of the Racer series. Tigger yum yum in a bottle.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a couple of goblets of this today (at $5.40 per) at the Whetstone Station in Brattleboro VT

It was a deep golden hue, with a touch of haziness. Carbo was steady, and the head was thin, fine and white. Lacing along the sides was decent. I liked the attractive color. Aroma had some lightly sweet fruit action going on with citrus on top of it. Solidly medium, and fairly smooth going down.

Flavor had light sweetness as well, with a little malt coming forth. Sweet fruits started off, with apricot notes hitting the palate. Soon after the hoppage got rindy and resiny, coating the mouth with lupulins. The alcohol was scarily well-hidden. Quite tasty, indeed!! Prosit!

4.11/5 rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


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Photo of MattyBones
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 22oz bottle last night with Dinner.

Appearance: pored a nice cloudy, golden color with a fizzy white head about a finger thick.

Smell: Picking up some citrus and pine, some sugary sweetness in the nose a bit.

Taste: Like a juiced up Racer 5. A little hoppier with nice tones of pine and citrus with a little stronger malt backbone than Racer 5. It's hoppy but balances out nice with barely any taste of the alcohol. Has a slightly similar taste to Double Jack

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, very smooth

Overall: I highly enjoyed this one. Racer 5 is a classic and I would definitely rate this slightly better for a more pronounced and flavorful profile. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some more.

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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,188 ratings.
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