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Black Racer | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Black RacerBlack Racer
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
531 Ratings
Black RacerBlack Racer
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Racer™ blends Bear Republic's love of hops with the Pacific Northwest's appreciation for dark ales. Our pit crew brews this award winning ale which boldly defines a new frontier of flavors and always maintains pole position. Race to the Dark Side™.

Bronze 2011 Great American Beer Festival American-Style Black Ale
Gold 2012 World Beer Cup American-Style Black Ale

Added by avaldivia on 07-27-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,504
Reviews:
107
Ratings:
531
pDev:
9.69%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
29
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 531 |  Reviews: 107
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Tap Room. A story of Cascade, emphasizing the hop as opposed to roast. A sipper, as alcohol warming. Piney aroma. Some toothpaste taste, also apple cidery in the finish. 75 IBU Black with lace and some head. Not bad, worth a try, however not the best of the style.

 286 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tan single finger head without much retention on a nice red tinged deep black body. Very nice actually. Coffee, roasted malts, earthy hops and orange citrus for the aroma. Flavor of earthy hops nicely balanced with roasted malts although neither is especially memorable but the combination is excellent. Medium body, moderate carbonation and semi dry finish related to the coffee.

 380 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, burnt cocoa, and subdued hop aromas. Taste is much the same with char and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 556 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Bear Republic as part of our "full list tasting" New Year's weekend.

I have grown a bit bored with the whole "Black" thing. Everyone is now doing a black ale, lager, ipa or some sort of "black thing." I anticipated a typical black IPA and then I'd be done with it. Wrong!

This black IPA is a knock out. It is in my opinion one of the nicest, most complex but most drinkable black IPAs I've tasted. While a bronze winner at 2011 GABF, I'd give it a gold!

Black with a nice tan head that it retains longer than most.

Nose is aggressive hops with grapefruit and pineapple but with a really nice undertone of malt and roasted grain; just a hint but it's layered and complex and nice.

Mouthfeel is medium thin but with nice carbonation and character and with a feel that one wants to just keep drinking it.

Flavors are super. Big light coffee bitter with layers of bitter stone fruit and undertones of malt, carmel and roasted grains.

Finish follows flavor profile to just make this a wonderfully appealing and nice drinking beer.

 1,042 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of nmann08
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown, almost black with an off-white thick head, great head retention.

Smell wise, pulling out molasses, some fruit, pine smell from the hops. There is an interesting smoke smell that is coming through, which I usually enjoy, but this seems misplaced.

It starts with malts, almost sweet, then turns into a bitter piney taste leaving a lingering smoke aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is fine.

Overall, this is an OK representation of the style. Its good, but so many better examples of better American Black Ales out there.

 559 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear but very dark red in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of underlying citrusy hops.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of roasted chocolate malts are present in the taste along with a light to moderate amount of bitterness and hints of pine resin from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malts lend some dryness to the finish.
O: This beer doesn't seem to be as roasty and bitter compared to other beers in the style but is pleasant to drink in its own regard and has good drinkability.

 892 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, bottled Jan 21, 2013. Muchas gracias to doktorzee for carting this back from Cali for me.

This beer pours a very dark mahogany-tinted brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and creamy beige head, which leaves some lovely dense treeline lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of roasted, somewhat charred caramel malt, bittersweet chalky cocoa, aged citrus rind, vegetal pine hops, and some mild spicy pepper notes - which make it hard to shake the idea of mole sauce. The taste is medium baker's chocolate, toasted dark bread, kind of musty, fruity citrus, last autumn's fallen pine combs, a twinge of cold coffee, and loitering vegetable greens. No earthly sign of that 8 points and change ABV.

The carbonation is lightly frothy up front, and quickly settles to a pleasant lilt, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, the dark ale really delivering here, and mostly smooth amongst a wee clamminess. It finishes quite off-dry, the judicious chocolate malt kind of throwing its heft around, while the hops maintain their pithy holding position.

A surprisingly malt-forward example of an ABA, especially coming from this brewery. Not a bad thing per se, but I was kind of hoping to see how these guys approach this hybrid style with their usual arsenal of hopitude. In the end, a decent, mildly hoppy dark ale, with a boozy punch that you sure don't see coming.

 1,405 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Cost was $6.50. 8.10% ABV confirmed. It says brewed in Cloverdale, which I thought was strange seeing as Bear Republic is in Heraldsburg. Maybe I'm just not in touch with Bear Republic's operations as much as I should be. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery.

Served cold, straight from the fridge in keeping with directives on the label. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5+ finger head of nice light khaki colour, good cream, good thickness, and good (6+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent solid black; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Appealing for a black IPA. Pretty much what you'd expect; there's nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Smells like an IPA. There're delightful pine and floral notes. Some oily hops, maybe even some nectary notes. I get no roast at all. A hint of dark malts. Some caramel. An above average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I'm excited to try it.

T: Piney hop notes, hop oil, floral hops, caramel, and dark malts. Thankfully, there's hardly any roast. No alcohol comes through. No yeast character. Fairly balanced for what it is. Cotton candy/candy floss. Not a whole lot of depth of flavour here. Nor is there much complexity or subtlety. Just a decent merging of a hoppy build with a darker build. It comes off forced and unnatural. This is one of the better beers in the style that I've had, but it still misses the mark.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Too thick. The body is too full for the lack of diverse or deep flavour.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but not a great beer in the style. To be honest, few are. But Bear Republic brings a sincere effort to the table and it's not bad for what it is. Even at its pretty fair price point for a bomber, I wouldn't get it again. Hides its ABV decently. I'll finish this bottle, but it'll take me a while. It feels like it has no reason to be a Black IPA - they could just as easily have made an IPA and it'd be better. That don't bode well; the style of a beer should be motivated.

C+

 2,353 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/30/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, floral, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, sticky, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent black IPA! All around great balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,369 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DrBier
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the growler into an imperial nonic a deep garnet color with a blooming lighter beige head atop,aromas are full on pine and citrus over top of roast and bitter chocolatet,the way it should be in my opinion.Sharp and pickly pine hops on the palate with some dryer earthy tone,some roast and bitter chocolate comes into play as well but he pine resin wins out.This is what I want and expect for the style and the left coast once again brings it,love this beer.

 468 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma is really appealing and different. It even smells dark, with the burnt sugar scent mixed with piney hop aromas. It makes me think of roast pumpkin and vanilla. I like this for being less hop-dominant. They call it an IPA, but I think it's correctly categorized as a Black Ale that happens to be pretty hoppy.

Quite dark, of course, with a handsome beige head. Pleasantly sudsy in the mouth. A little sharp and slightly slick. Huge nose of flowery and piney hops. Somewhat fruity, but no single flavor stands out. A little on the dank side but a more open and clean flavor for the most part. The touches of toffee, charred grain, and pineapple upside-down cake add to the complexity. Substantial bitter aftertaste, finally. From the 22 oz bottle for $6.59 at Baron's Marketplace, Point Loma Blvd.

 806 characters

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Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 531 ratings
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