Café Racer 15 | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

212 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: 212 | Ratings: 1,230
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden orange with a white finger's worth of head. Fair retention, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Decent lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Heavy citrus. Grapefruit pith and orange juice. Light notes of pine resin. Hints of pineapple and white bread.

Taste - Pure citrus juice bomb. Grapefruit character is most abundant upfront, along with lesser notes of orange. Faint pine develops mid-taste and peaks near the finish. Malts add some generic sweetness, and help give the beer it's sweet juicy character. Lingering citrus pith in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with a light syrupy texture and low to moderate carbonation. Goes down easy enough before a dry finish.

Overall - This is pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. Something about it just doesn't quite reach me the way it should, though. Maybe I've had too many DIPA's that are too similar. Maybe it's needing an extra layer of complexity. Probably a bit of both. Solid brew regardless.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malt, tropical and citrus fruit, citrus and mildly piney hops. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus and piney hops with a good resinous character, citrus, tropical fruit, grapefruit rind, finishing with a long, lingering resinous hops bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. This is a well balanced, full malt bodied IIPA with a great selection of hops; pretty much as I expect from this brewery. Really hits the spot. These guys know how to build a flavorful IPA.

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Photo of Celtics17
4/5  rDev -4.3%

It's good, but I've had better. The hops used in this Double IPA didn't out shine the malt backbone. I get the floral, and maybe some peach. Just over powering malt.

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Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Cloudy medium gold with a creamy white head. Great floral hops aroma. The taste is a great blend of light malt sweetness and light floral and pine hops. Body has a great thick mouthfeel and smoothness

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -4.3%

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a large mug. Bottle code is mostly worn off, but it looked like it said "best by 10/27/??". Hopefully that's 2014.

Pours slightly cloudy golden with a medium white head, fades about 3/4 of the way fairly fast and leaves a thick layer of lacing on the side of the glass. Lots of carbonation. Smell is nice. Citrus and flowers.

Taste is sweet, fruity forward, late mild dry bitter finish. Surprisingly bready. Some lemon rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Overall, this is a quite tasty beer.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A- Pours golden with a one finger white head. Very nice lacing.

S-Big aromas of citrus, pine, and floral hops and some sweetness of caramel malts.

T-Taste is awesome which is just the same as the aromas.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced with great carbonation.

O-I was so happy to have get this one. Must get another and also the racer x and compare.

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Photo of 57md
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy straw color with a finger of head that dissipates relatively quickly. The receding head leaves some delicate lace behind. The nose is hoppy and also has hints of citrus. The body is a touch light for a DIPA but the flavor is quite bold, particularly in the hop department. The malt profile could stand to be stronger but that is a relatively small complaint considering this offering is darn tasty.

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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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Café Racer 15 from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,230 ratings.
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