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Black Racer | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
107 Reviews
THE BROS
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Black RacerBlack Racer
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
107
Ratings:
529
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
9.69%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 529
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours very dark. Moderate light penetration. Slighter tanned head leaves plenty of lacing.

S-Surprisingly modest. Lacking the intense hoppiness I was expecting. Lots of roast and even some char. But its decidedly lacking in the hop category.

T-Shockingly similar here. Lacking the power I want from my greens. Bear Republic always brings the boom with the hops...except here. Strong roast instead.

M-Drinks easy, no booze. Pleasant carbonation. Semi-soft bitterness.

O/D-Sort of a disappointment. Anything else with the word 'Racer' has been an absolute stud. This one is the runt unfortunately.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a bad price $7.99 for the bomber from Halftime beverage.

A - Well it's pitch black that's for sure with a 1/2 inch of fairly deep mocha head. If I didn't know any better I would think this is a stout.
S - Citrus and tropical hop sweetness mixed with some mild roasts and some cocoa poweder. It doesn't smell too roasty which is a surprise.
T - Balanced is the best way to describe it. Some citrus and piney hops, somewhat resinous clinging to the palate after each sip with a mild bit of chalky yeasts and a touch of roast. If anything I would say it could use more roast balance and give it more complexity but it's kind of good the way it is.
M -Smooth, hides the ABV well, a very well crafted Black IPA.

Overall it's a shame this is a limited thing it's a very smooth IPA with some roasty compliment taste. Nothing offense, or light about it just a damn good beer.

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Photo of DrJay
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, nearly opaque, but faintly clear with purple/ruby highlights. It had a thin skim and collar of tan foam that produced long lasting lace and showed good head retention. The aroma was full of roast, caramel, citrus, chocolate, and toffee -- very nice. Citrus bitterness cut through the malt, but notes of caramel and toffee, with a roasty finish, were still evident. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation and faint alcohol warmth, plus slight astringency/dryness from the dark malts. Very tasty. It had a bigger malt profile than I expected, but this matched well with the hops.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at The Local Miami. Served in a Sweetwater pint glass.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 3/4 inch light brown head that bears great retention time before slowly winding down to a

S- Interesting aroma full of hops and mocha. Slightly musty with notes of pine, lightly roasted coffee and a tad of smoke.

T- Very different from other black IPAs I've had. The emphasis is mainly on the roasty malts than the hops though it is still bitter. The result is a more balanced black ale that's very straightforward in its execution and not very complex, though very drinkable.

M- Semi-bitey from the hops and mild booze. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A unique take on the Black IPA. Not as amazing as Bear Republic's other offerings but still quite tasty.

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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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 7.7.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a smaller dark tan, fine bubbled head with good retention.

S - Roasted dark malt, hoppy citrus and pine.

T - Roasted chocolate malt with a hint of hoppy orange and grass.

D - Silky smooth body with good carbonation.

O - Chocolate up front then a hop punch in the finish. Not my favorite style, but I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Belmont Station. It's been a long long time since I've had a Bear Republic beer.

Essentially black with very dark brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is solid. Moderate pine aromatics with some citrus (valencia oranges) are present, mildly resiny with a nice pine oil-like pungency. Behind that, there is a rather pronounced malt complexity - creamy, roasted malt characteristics, a touch of charred malt and some dark chocolate. The combination of the hops and the roasted grain is intriguing, but this really is closer to a hoppy stout.

The palate opens with a moderate sweetness, grainy, caramel-like and unmistakably so, with a mild bitterness and moderate hop flavor. The juiciness from the hops coupled with the chocolatey sweetness from the grain really does bring to mind a stout with citrus peel. Coffee and cream are prominent, especially on the mid-palate. A little bit of a cola-like sweetness is present on the finish. Mildly sweet and with a moderate pine bitterness on the finish, this medium-light bodied beer has a fantastic creamy carbonation. Unfortunately, though, the palate is just a hair watery. While the alcohol is higher than it needs to be, it is not particularly noticeable. A solid effort.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a DFH signature glass. About six weeks old?

A: Moderately creamy/sparse head atop a black beer that is immune to light.

S: Hops! And nutty, smoky scents.

T: Beautifully balanced and well-made. Roasted malts are hugely dominant, especially on the lingeringly bitter aftertaste, but aside from the charred, roasty flavours, there is a subversive American hop element injecting a disconcerting citrus into the mix. Overall, it's really great.

M: Creamy and robust. I'm a big fan.

O: A wonderful beer that comes highly recommended. Interesting, drinkable, and -- most importantly -- tasty.

 625 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.

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Photo of Durge
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid black in appearance with a fair tan head that breaks up to a firm ring leaving a solid trail of lace. The aroma brings out intense brown bread charcoal malt and vegetable pine hops with a minty grass edge. Nutty and leafy malt and hops jump out on the flavor. These a sharp pine idea here so the hops definitely come forward. It seems a touch astringent in a sort of chemical sense after a while but generally it holds up well. The body is medium or better and the feel is fairly chalky dry with tiny bubble providing an effective carbonation. This was enjoyable although it faded on me a bit with the hop recipe here.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a fading, light-tan head.
Nose shows piny and grapefruit hops. Also some roasted malt.
Flavours are more aggressive with roasty bitterness, sharp pine and grapefruit. Some alcohol shows too.
Too highly carbonated for this kind of beer.

 259 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured at The Top in Gainesville. Black pour with super thin white head. Aroma of dark roasted malt and pine hops. Pretty straight forward aroma. Flavor follows aroma exactly, buy with a thickness to the beer I was not expecting. Hops cut through the thick, somewhat chocolatey, malt making it pretty easy drinking. Nicely done black ipa, but outside of Wookey Jack this style can only excite me so much.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap served in a pint glass

A - Black with a slight ruby tint, with a 1.5 finger ecru head with excellent lacing and good head retention.

S - Big hoppy citrus notes of grapefruit and orange with a lot of pine and some malts and toasted oats. Very nice.

T - Follows the nose, excellent flavor with chocolate and roasted coffee but a lot of hops. I really like this.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation.

T - One of the best at this brewery!!!!

Had it again at the first ABS meeting (second season) bottled, man this beer is awesome. I can tell my palate continues to evolve, I love this one even more the second time around.

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Photo of Pencible
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black garnet with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry dark chocolate and some coffee with a little citrus hops.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and citrus zest and dark chocolate, with a little copper and espresso and honey. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a solid black IPA. The scent was good, the taste was better, and the body was great. The finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Yum.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two fingers of tan head on the darkest brown body.
The aroma is roasted malt, pine and a little grapefruit.
The taste is nicely pine bitterness throughout with the roasted malt keeping it in check. Great profile.
The texture is smooth.
Really enjoyable.

 259 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into SN ipa glass.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a large three finger, rocky, light tan head that took forever to fade into thick chunky film leaving streaks of sticky lace down glass.
S: In your face bright hoppiness. I get pine, grapefruit pith and slight mint.
T: Follows the nose, super fresh and bitter pine, leafy grass and citrus with a minty finish. Aftertaste sweet with fruit nectar and a tiny bit of deep dark roasted grain.
M: Medium body, clean, bitter, slick and oily mouthfeel, soft even carbonation. Drinks well.
O: One of the best most hop forward black ipas I've had. Could hardly tell this wasn't a normal dipa.

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Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date but released fairly recently.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black pour. Big, fluffy light brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention. Almost solid walls of lacing left behind. Excellent.

S: Lots of pine and grapefruit with a bit of resin. A hint of chocolate but the hops rule here.

T: Again with the pine, resin, and bitter grapefruit. Roasted malt is more noticeable here but still mostly obscured. A little bit of chocolate and char tries to battle it out with the bitterness. Wave of bitterness in the finish. More pine and resin mainly with some cocoa. Lingering resinous hops in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, unremarkable.

O: Nice black IPA. A lot more balanced than your average Racer 5 or Racer X but still the roasted malt barely has a chance to get going. At the same time, doesn't have quite the sharpness and quality of flavors that I get from something like a Racer 5. Not very bitter either. Good but not great. Feel like it's missing something. I still enjoyed it plenty, it's just hard to follow up the act of their other hoppy beers I think.

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Photo of prototypic
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Racer is a dark chocolate fudge color. It’s not pitch black. Plenty of light cuts through and reveals burgundy highlights throughout. Nice color nonetheless. It’s capped with an off-white head that rises to about a finger in height. Relatively modest. It scales back to a surface covering quickly. As it descends, it leaves a lighter, sticky coat of lace trailing down the glass.

It certainly smells good! Starts out with a mix of chocolate and citric hops. It’s a good mix. The malt base smells like cocoa, dark chocolate, light caramel, and perhaps a touch of roasted malts. It’s more diverse than I expected. Roasted coffee or espresso is definitely in the mix. Smells a little burnt. The hops have a mix of citric and piney scents. Grapefruit and orange are the strongest. The malts and hops complement each other really well. Alcohol isn’t all that noticeable. Smells really good!

The flavor starts out with a blend of light caramel, dark chocolate, and cocoa flavors. It’s a little sweet, but not all that much. The chocolate flavor is definitely more of the darker variety rather than sweet milk chocolate. It tastes a little burnt, like espresso. That’s nice a nice touch. It’s subtle, but is a big positive. The hops are very flavorful, featuring citrus grapefruit and orange flavors primarily. There is a bit of pine that follows. It’s definitely bitter. Despite the wealth of malt, there’s not much balance. It’s honestly a bit resiny and perhaps too bitter. All of the flavors come together really well. This is good stuff. Alcohol is there, but never comes across as very strong. Finishes with a blast of citric hop flavors and cocoa. Did I mention it’s dry? Very dry?

The body is medium. Carbonation seems light and soft. It’s pretty smooth and easy drinking for a big beer. This bomber won’t be much of a problem.

Black Racer is good beer. It’s one hell of a bitter, hoppy Black IPA…that’s for sure. If you’re looking for balance here, keep looking. Having said that, it is tasty beer. Really tasty. Easy recommendation.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: black, tan colored head, plenty lace.

S: some pine, citrus, roast and chocolate.

T: pine and bitterness, mild citrus, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and flowers.

M: medium body, low carbonation.

O: nice ABA with pleasurable pine notes. Original racer definitely better, but this is good.

Thanks Alex!

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Photo of arizcards
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber in mid-July from Total Wine for $5.99. Bottled on .4.30.2013.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of roasted malts and citrus.

Taste is very well balanced between the roasted chocolate malts and the citrus hops. I suspect there was some hop fade over time.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a delicious beer. I will need to try this earlier next year to see how the hops truly are. Delicious beer nonetheless...rates up there with Odell, Stone, Uinta, and Firestone Walker's versions. Recommend.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown to black, but with some opacity when held up to light. Full finger of head and some lacing on the glass.

S: Hoppy, yet malty.

T: Crisp hops up front give way to a full malt flavor towards the back. Mocha flavoring comes through nicely. Well balanced and very enjoyable.

M: Generous hopping keep it somewhat lighter but this is still a very full bodied beer.

O: Really nice and hope to see this one more.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - pours a cola brownish black. A nice finger of mocha on top, sticky and full-bodied. A hint of mahogany/red through the body.

Aroma - fairly roasty, an early light pithiness that fades into roasted grain. Sets up all dark and toasty.

Taste - dark roasty opening, almost ashy grain. A brief but tasty glint of piny bitterness. The burnt graininess returns, a nice blend of the two flavors. The aftertaste goes dry and moderately bitter, nice balance for a big flavored brew.

Mouthfeel - a touch of smoothness, plenty crisp, nice sturdy body.

Overall - excellent black ipa, glad to have picked this up.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the Avenue in Allston.

Appearance: This beer poured a small mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Super nice mocha lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted notes, chocolate, smoke, citrus, and resiny piney hops.

Taste: Same as above with burnt flavors, ash, and bitterness in the end. Pretty characteristic of black ales.

Mouthfeel: light camp fire notes, a little chewy, full bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty nice black ale. Another one to add to the lineup.

 619 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 flexabull
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark black color with a very nice light tan colored head.

Aromas are of roasted malts and hints of pine needles.

Taste is malty up front, roasted malts, cocoa beans, and light coffee. Finish is lightly bitter, with pine needles, and mineral hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, with decent body.

Overall, a pretty nice Cascadian Ale, but I'd like too see more hop flavors. Good beer, but second tier compared to others in the style.

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Black Racer from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.
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