Black Racer | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Black RacerBlack Racer
BA SCORE
3.92/5
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:
#6,289
Reviews:
107
Ratings:
531
pDev:
9.69%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
29
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 531 |  Reviews: 107
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 ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $6.99? Dark brown that is almost black but not quite. Aroma of dark malts, bit of citrus. Flavor is more dark malts and slight bit of orange, hops, meh. This sort of reminds me of the collaboration they did with Stone. I honestly expect more considering this is themed like Racer 5. Racer 5 is much better.

 318 characters

Photo of Ego
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle code:
48661550
04-03-13 (so fresher the hops probably would pop more but this was bought from a good store that has zero sunlight getting in)

eyes...
basically black, kind of really a super dark ruby tone if you hold it up to the light, quick one finger of head, I literally turned around to change the channel on TV and the head was gone except an O-ring clinging for dear life up the sides of the perimeter of the glass, oddly
lacing is quite good, a pretty good looking brew

nose...
licorice and molasses, muted pine notes, dry cocoa... reminds a bit of dark Caribbean rum

taste etc...
pretty full bodied, slightly prickling carbonation, kind of chalky cocoa and almost ashy (in a good way), the hops are muted but noticeable under the choco blanket, the flavor of chocolate/mild coffee lingers for some time, you also get some warming in the gullet from the
kicked up ABV

verdict?
I didn't love this beer. It was quite good enough to keep sipping but yet I never stopped and said "that pops" (you know, like buddy christ), so... I prefer this style to have a deeper flavor. This is not a bad beer by any stretch so I recommend trying it as it's take on the style might be more up your alley.

 1,208 characters

Photo of OneSundayMorning
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Dcunicelli
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of VBWharfRat
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of beagle75
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, dark brown color with one finger of light beige foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Restrained chocolate roast is balanced with equally mild piney hops. Weak overall, but showing potential. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with slightly scorched malt that otherwise lacks roasted qualities. Hops aromatics consist of a combination of floral herbs and grapefruit peel that are apparently muted and transformed by the proximate malts to end up as a flavor close to dark berry. Acidity is mild into the middle where malt is decidedly brown-cakey and slightly unctuous. Aromatic pine persists in the mildly bitter finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly creamy and astringent on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: It is difficult now to avoid comparing new black IPA recipes to Firestone Walker's outstanding Wookey Jack--and in this case, the comparison is not a favorable one. Black Racer underwhelms the senses for such a strong beer at 8.1% abv. It is not a matter of errors, but rather a misbegotten role of easy-drinker being forced upon it. Racer 5 may be able to pull off such a role, but this beer seems caught in no-man's land.

 1,264 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of gferg10
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of oglmcdgl
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Brad007
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a frothy brown head into my glass. Nice amount of lacing. So dark, that it compliments my glass.

There's just a touch of spicy hops in what otherwise resembles an imperial stout. Cocoa, cream and coffee. Hmm.

Flavors remind me of an odd snack that I enjoyed as a kid: potato chips and chocolate syrup. They tasted delicious together but they don't make much sense. Piney hops clash with stout characteristics.

Leaves an imprint of cocoa, coffee and cream at the back of the throat. Hops? They faded before long.

I may have some harsh words here but keep in mind, anything that's hoppy by nature should always be consumed as fresh as possible. I had a chance weeks ago to pick this up. That's my fault. It shouldn't deter you from enjoying this beer though.

 785 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a big creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts with some rye notes.

The flavor is some sweet chocolate malts with a lot of acidic roast bitterness with some pine. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a decent black IPA.

 340 characters

Photo of ElSid
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Beers of California

#88

A: Black like the name with hues of deep brown in the light. Foamy coffee toned head with variable sized, persistent bubbles.

S: A vein of brown sugar and dark bread run through the nose with notes of flowers, citrus, and mint.

T: Shakable foundation of brown sugar and bread which attempts to support the dank nugget of floral, piney, and citrus hops. Strong bitter finish with a mineral-like edge in addition to moderate warming alcohol.

M: The usual medium feel and supporting carbonation. Hop oiliness gives the feel syrupy linger.

O: Obsessed with the IPA, the west coast continues to spew out variations to keep the public interested. This Black IPA lacks malt complexity and sports an average hop profile. Overall, a lackluster offering from Bear Republic.

 797 characters

Photo of ryannosaurus
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, light tan head settles down quickly to a light lace. Intriguing aroma notes of caramel and hops, taste has a bold bitterness, caramel, burnt sugar, herbs and roasted grains. Mouthfeel is sharp and cleanly wet. Overall, a nice mix of hop bitterness with both highly roasted and some sweeter dark crystal notes. I'm good with the 70 IBU bitterness, the hop flavor is indistinctly herbal and not really engaging me. Aroma just keeps getting better as the beer warms. Not typically my favorite style, but well crafted enough I will certainly try it again.

 562 characters

Photo of rob133
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of aengleman
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of JasonFromLA
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Drink_LocalSD
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of bambam2517
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Mersh
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of pisano
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

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