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Racer X Double IPA | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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501 Reviews
Racer X Double IPARacer X Double IPA

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Racer X is an uncommon Double India Pale Ale which puts a California twist on English brewing traditions by adding an assertive hop aroma and bitterness that compliments the firm malt backbone. Like its little brother Racer 5, Racer X is balance in a bottle.

2009 California State Fair – BRONZE
2009 San Diego International Beer Competition – 2nd
2009 West Coast Beer Fest - GOLD

Added by xlperro on 01-13-2003

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Reviews: 501 | Ratings: 2,115
Photo of 0110x011
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear amber with a thin, but dense head (bar pour leaves little room for head...). Nice, sticky lacing.

S - A hoppy sonofagun, as expected. Super piney & resiny, with some citrus, wildflowers, and caramel malt for good measure.

T - More malty than anticipated, but hop-forward is still an understatement. Piney, resiny hops abound, with the citrus and caramel still playing a supporting role. A bit of biscuit in the back that I didn't notice in the nose. Solid bitterness, but not overpowering.

M - Medium-full body. Nice, fine carbonation. Smooth & slick.

D - Good balance keeps it high for a DIPA. I wish this stuff turned up more often.

A very solid DIPA. Doesn't really stand out from the pack, but is in the upper echelon of the standards. Try it if you come across it.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the newly re-opened Anthill Pub on the campus of UC Irvine. Because it is a "strong" beer (i.e., high alcohol), they serve it in a 10 or 12 ounce flute glass rather than giving you a full pint. The color was pretty dark for an IPA--more orange than yellow with a moderate, sticky, lace-leaving head. The smell might have been the best thing about it with lots of floral hops complimenting the sweet malt and alcohol smells. The taste was well-balanced and not nearly as one-sidedly hoppy as I expected. In fact it was slightly less hopped than I would have preferred. For a double IPA I found it rather sweet and a not especially bitter. Not as sweet as DFH 120 Minute, but nowhere near as hoppy as Avery Maharaja or even Stone Ruination. A good beer for sure, but I think I might actually prefer Racer 5.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz to standard pint
*notes taken on 11/30/12

BD of 09/27/12

A: Thick froth of khaki cream with ample stay sits over a hazy golden amber colored brew. Each sip brings some light etched lattice upon the glass.

S: Aromas comprise of dank pines and candied citrus peels. I get wafts of grapefruit and tangerine zest with just a bit of pineapple flesh. I know this brew to have a fair amount of malt character however hops just dominate the nose. Really nice.

T: Tastes of juicy orange sherbet. Loads of tangerine meets sappy pines with some soft floral accents. An underlying caramel malt sweetness rounds out the brew nicely. There is a leafy herbal bitterness to the beer that is just resinous. A bit of toffee with some hidden biscuit. More dried herbs in the finish. Faint alcohol character introduces a soft warming to the palate. Super hoppy and deliciously balanced. Not too sweet for my tastes at all.

M: Medium body with a nice smooth creamy feel. Has an overall wetness to it with a light drying towards the end. High bitterness constricts the palate as it gathers up at the top and the lingering hops wax long after the finish.

D: Overall this is a really nice DIPA with some big juicy hops and a complementary malt backing. Great citrus and piney flavors.
Definitely worth picking up again.

Speed: "I thought we made a good team today. It felt like we've been doing it for a long time."
Racer X: "If you say so."

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Photo of b3shine
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to snifter. I have to admit before I start this review, I've been waiting to try this one for some time...and anticipation never works to the favor of a beer in its review. Looks good; burnt-orange in appearance. Smells great. The hops kick you in the sinuses. Tastes good. His is where my anticipation hurt this beer. There are very few "A" beers in my mind, and I had hopes that didn't quite match up. Mouthfeel is good too, but a little warm. Overall, a good brew...just not a phenomenal one.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Beachwood on 4/11/09 and poured into a 16 oz. pint glass.

A: Exhibited a beautiful deep amber or copper hue with a decent 1-inch white frothy head, which seemed to dissipate after a minute or two. One of the qualities I didn't like was the lack of lacing that most epic DIPA's typically possess.

S: An extremely well balance DIPA...strong piney/leafy aromas that mellowed down by the very sweet and somewhat spicy (perhaps a cinnamon) malt backbone. Strong alcohol presence was detectible as well.

T: More malty than I was expecting, giving a slightly sweet characteristic that made this beer unique in it's flavor profile. What I also liked was that the malts didn't take away any of the potent hop qualities that good DIPA's have.

M: Just about perfect....good amount of carbonation, medium body, and subtle dry finish.

D: The alcohol was definitely easy to pick up, but the beer as a whole was beautiful. I would love to have over and over again.

Overall: Very impressed...but not blown away. This beer is really good and a definite try if you see on tap anywhere. Cheers!

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Photo of dakid618
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Stable in St Louis. Poured into imperial pint glass. Pours a deep dark red with an inch of frothy head. Smell is very piney. Taste is kind of a shock, not nearly as hoppy as I was expecting. Dry pine and slight citrus flavors are mostly concealed by the biscuitlike maltiness. This beer tastes great but it wasn't what I expected. Medium mouthfeel that really dries out your tongue. Good drinkability. A very good beer but I expected a little more.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hop Devil Grill.
Hoooo boy that's hops. Abrasive, burnt carbon hops. And some more hops on top of that... at least at the start as it was served a bit cold so some of the more subtle attributes were muted. Gets a bit smoother as it warms but hops still are too dominant to make this as classy as some other examples of the style. By comparison, I think I enjoy Racer 5 more, but I'd certainly like another crack at Racer X.

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Photo of woemad
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of the 2012 vintage, purchased at Mid Columbia Wine & Spirits in Kennewick, Washington.

Poured a slightly hazy orange color, taking on a slightly lighter hue when held up to light. Featured foam was an inch or so of off-white head that dropped fairly quickly, leaving spotty lace.

Lots of grapefruit and pine notes in the nose. No mistaking this for a pale ale.

Surprisingly large malt flavor, but after a brief showcase moment, it’s then buried under a biblical deluge of citrusy hops. Dry hop zap at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a mouthfeel that could use a little bit more carbonation. Besides the less than perfect appearance, it’s this beer’s only weak spot.

A DIPA that could only be improved in a meaningful way if it had a little more carbonation, I’m glad to have finally come across this beer. While not my favorite of the style, I’d definitely drink it again.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ:

The color of the beer was deep copper. There was a small white head.

The aroma was wonderfully pungent. The nose was dominated by an explosive burst of resiny and citrusy hops. According to the brewers, this is a Columbus/Cascade heavy beer, but whatever the combo is has notes similar to Summit in the aroma.

The flavor of the beer was primarily that of citrusy hops (duh) with noticable caramel maltiness to help round things out. The hop profile was powerful without being harsh, but didn't have quite the same depth as, say, PP Hop Suey or RR PtE. The deeper caramel aspect compared to many other west coast DIPAs should be reduced IMO. I prefer light and crisp malt backbones in my DIPAs.

The mouthfeel was medium/light and the carbonation seemed dialed in just right. The beer was reasonably well attenuated and not too heavy.Very drinkable.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Rate #1,000! Vintage 2013 poured on 1/17/14, so not optimally fresh (bottle date 10-21-13). Pours a dark orange color, clear, with a small off white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Big floral aroma of citrus grapefruit and pineapple, light pine, and sweet caramel malts. Flavor is very malt forward as expected for the age on this one, but still a nice beer. Floral tones alongside bright grapefruit and lemon rinds, a touch of mango, and sweet mealtimes in the backbone. Mouthfeel is slick and resinous, near syrupy, but still with a lightly dry finish. Carbonation on the low side. Overall a nice beer that I want to grab fresh as this is trending toward barleywine. Nevertheless this is still rather yummy.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured off tap at The Boathouse in Conshohocken into a Chimay chalise glass.

A: A deep amber orange color with miminal off white head. Medium carbonation.

S: Smells of grapefruit, citrus and pine with a nice malty sweetness underlying.

T: I got more grapefruit this time on tasting the Racer X with hints of pine and grass and massive bitterness. The malt is eveident when drinking as you get a nice underlying sweetness and this tap version seemed a bit hotter with the acohol than my taste off growler. Still a very complex an flavorful beer.

M: Medium with a warm alcohol feel that seems heavier this time around. Maybe this keg was fresher, but anyway more alcohol was noticable for sure in this one. Light carbonation.

D: Medium only because I was getting the alcohol kick. Still, a great DIPA that I would gladly drink anytime.

Overall this is a very good beer. The west coast style is alive in Racer X and we are lucky to have it available here in PA. Kudos to Bear Republic for making another outstanding beer.

Update: 6/23/2008. After just recently tasting some fresh Pliny the Elder and a bottle of the Port Brewing Hop 15, the Racer X has fallen a bit on my scale of top CA DIPAs. I rate Pliny and Hop 15 squarely ahead of this beer, and I'm a huge Bear Republic fan.

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Photo of gibby
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler from capones for 6/2 phish show. Been looking fwd to trying this beer for a while now. Poured into a standard pint glass in the parking lot. Darker color than I expected, very amber, reddish. Thick soapy 2 finger head after the pour. Smelled very hoppy, citrus, toffee, orange, sugary, really nice aroma. Semi thick mouthfeel, seemed a little syrupy and boozy at times. Carbonation was very nice for being in a growler for a few hours, I had no complaints. Had 3 pints and I was feeling good, which was my plan. Not sure what the abv % is but it packs a punch after a few. As it warmed I could taste the alcohol more and more. Overall it was a very good offering. I am a big fan of the racer 5 so I was glad to try the double. Looking fwd to having this again at the TJ's ballast point vs bear republic face off. the racer X is a nice find for the hopheads out there, recommended. Cheers.

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Photo of popery
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap, City Beer Store. Good beer but not quite up to my insanely high hopes. The beer pours a reddish amber-gold, hazy, with a small white head. The aroma is mostly pine resin hops with some nice citrus and grassiness. It's a good, strong hop aroma with a definite caramel malt note underscoring things. The flavor is fairly dry but mostly bitter with a grapefruit rind hop flavor. The malt is a bit less noticeable in the flavor than aroma. Not as much hop delicacy as I would prefer. Good feel.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful copper in color the beer poured a 1/2" head that slowly, but never fully, dissipated. The nose began with a combination of piney and citric hops followed by carmel and some baking spices. The palate was very well-balanced between the hops and malts and smooth with a nice touch of dryness to go with the bitterness on the finish. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of craytonic
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice brown-amber color. Much darker than I expected it to be for the style.

Smell: Straight fresh hops, smell is _almost_ as good as pliny the younger. Lots of grapefruit and lychee. Very fresh, although it is a very fresh growler. Fun growler to bury your nose in.

Taste: Good taste, fresh hops, grapefruit, pine resins, citrus, etc. It is good, but is more bitter and less hop when compared with the two plinys. Nice caramel malt, but not quite enough.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy mouthfeel; surprisingly not oily.

Drinkability: Good, but no like pliny, the increased bitterness is a limiting reagent.

This is a good beer, maybe even a great beer - but it doesn't top pliny the younger (or elder), extremely bitter.

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

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a mini snifter.

A: Opaque golden hue. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles pretty quickly leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Decent spider web lacing.

S: Woody hops, orange citrus, grapefruit, honey, and coriander.

T: Pungent hop tone. Wood chips, plenty of grapefruit and a little orange. Nice sweet balance of honey or agave nectar, and a little savory spice.

M: Thick and syrupy texture. Pungent throughout. Dry, bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Foamy head, and some decent lacing. Nose is woody and hoppy, with some great citrus notes, sweetness, and spice. Pungent hop tone with a strong woody character, balanced with citrus, spice, and sweet components. Very well done. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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

fresh batch of this just hit shelves, but I was lucky enough to score some on tap. its blonde honey colored beer with lazy white lace head and lots of frantic bubbles heading for the surface. high alpha and intensely bitter hops notes assault y nostrils, and there is a very light malt base for how much hops are packed into this. the flavor sings with all the glory of delicious west coast hops, this is a defining example of the style. its citrusy and has a fruit punch quality, but certainly not at the expense of bitter, which is the dominant sensation through this whole beer. the alcohol is invisible, and there is almost a rye malt spice to the finish, but I think its just a side effect of how bitter this finishes. high ibu content for sure. its in many ways more robust than the café racer 15, less gentle, less citra maybe, more aggressively bitter. I would love to be able to drink this fresh all the time, its a big ipa and one or two glasses is enough for me, but I love the way this is built. medium bodied and carbonated enough to keep it moving, long hoppy finish. excellent nectar here from bear republic. I wish more of their beers made it into this market.

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Photo of ElSid
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: "Vintage 2012"

A: Golden orange with a good amount of sediment and a scant of off white head which leaves behind little lace on the glass.

S: Bright nose with fresh grass, pine, juicy grapefruit along with tropical fruit notes. Background sugary sweetness.

T: Big palate of pine needles, ruby grapefruit, and spicy bitterness interspersed with touches of pineapples and even mango sweetness. Backbone of bready, sugary malt with a faint warming alcohol finish once the hop bitterness fades.

M: Moderate body with ample carbonation and linger.

O: A lot of excitement giving this brew a first time go after picking it up at a local Whole Foods. A great showcase of big hop flavors. I hope to see this brew out in bottle form more often. Bear Republic is one of the stand out NorCal breweries which puts out excellent, worthy ales.

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Photo of jsanford
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Lodge in HH on 7/7/10

A - Hazy dark-copper with a chunky white head and medium lacing.

S - Lovely (but fairly typical of the style) notes of grapefruit, pineapple, pine resin and caramel malt. Still nice tho ;)

T - More grapefruit, pine resin and pineapple. Crisp and juicy!

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Slightly sticky with a nice prickly carbonation that I love my beer to have in July.

D - Very drinkable yet dangerous at 9% ABV. A very solid DIPA, but just can't stand up to the big-boys in the category. Still, a treat if you can find it!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

A: A slightly-hazy orange/copper color with a good white head.

S: Lots of tropical and citrus fruits here, with a little bit of pine coming in as well.

T: A little too much malt for me going on here, as I was expecting something a little more over-the-top. At the same time, I suppose that Racer 5 itself is fairly malty for a West Coast IPA, and thus this might fit right in. Other than that, the hop bill was quite nice.

M: Medium body and slightly creamy with a little bit of an alcohol touch.

D: Quite drinkable given the balance.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 32oz growler fill while picking up some growler fills for trades (thanks Big Z for the continuous amazing offerings on tap!). This was a big want from the old top 100, now that the system has changed, it has fallen off, but let's see if it was worthy of it's old spot...

A - Through the growler almost looks like apple juice...nice deep dark center with a lightening along the sides of the glass. Poured into my oversized snifter still plenty of carbonation from the fill last weekend...a very thin foam (almost quad-like) head. Beer looks a bit deeper and richer in my glass than the growler. Clear, attractive, not syrupy looking like most IIPAs I've tried.

S - Candied hops. A touch bitter, but mostly sweet. Reminiscent of PtE, but a bit more piny and bitter smelling. Earthy.

T - WOW! Excellent balance. Nice sweetness, bittery hops...not very in your face. Starts off sweet, finishes bitter (but not overly so). Leaves a bitter aftertaste. Malts are in the background, but noticeable.

M/D - A bit watery for a IIPA, but medium bodied...subtlely bitter aftertaste. More earthy feeling. Overall, this is a great IIPA, but I had some higher expectations. All in all a beer that I would be more than happy to get again, but I was expecting something a little more mind bending based on the glowing reviews and spot in the former top 100...but then again I'm not a hop head and I tend to like the more malty and subtle IPAs. Gotta say though, the booze is not in your face at all and it goes down the gullet quite easily.

notes from further along in the growler...
gotta say, the more i drink this beer, the more i dig it...however, it is definitely on the bitter side, but way more like a traditional ipa than a iipa except for the ABV. definitely worth the taste and glad i got to try it (top 100 or bottom 100)

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Photo of scottfrie
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First release of the bomber, poured into Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a darkish clear amber color with a billowing and greasy off-white head that faded into a thick collar leaving sticky lace down the glass.
S: Huge notes of grapefruit, citrus, and fresh cut leafy hops. Very leafy, ‘green’, and citrusy smelling, albeit a bit soapy. I get a bit of orange-cream Popsicles and a hint of pine resin as well.
T: Sweeter but also more bitter than the nose, but still very leafy and citrusy. I get big notes of leafy hops mixed with bitter grapefruit pith and citrus rind. Caramel comes through as well along with some honey sweetness, and unfortunately so does some alcohol. Flavors are a bit boozy and rough around the edges.
M: Heavy, greasy mouthfeel with soft carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable but not too distracting.
O: A bit too sweet and boozy for me to love it, but the huge leafy hop flavor and citrus bitterness was awesome. Good flavor just not as smooth as I was hoping because of the rough edges. Despite all this I say it's better than most, and I would gladly drink this again.

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Photo of JohnnyCards
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into snifter a brilliant copper with a late forming foamy head. The nose was deceptively mild with no single dominating scent. Tremendous body lending toward a tounge-twirling experience. A dark caramel syrup fairly well balanced with striking booziness. The aftertaste is phenomenal, very warm and smooth with a powerful kick and slow dissipation. Cheers Bear Republic!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this beer for a while but always seems to miss it. 2013 vintage served in a tulip. Pours a translucent burnt orange with a loose, quarter inch, cream-colored head that dissipates into a frothy slick that coalesces around the edges. Some spots and a random swath of lacing are present during the tasting. Nose expresses citrus, rind, spice, an earthy character as well as a suggestion of Summit hops. Taste consistent with nose; however, less earthy/oniony than anticipated and also a faint candied citrus quality. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even carbonation that falls short of lively and a light acidity and a slight oiliness. Overall, a very good DIPA with a nice balance; however, I tend to like more tropical fruit in my DIPAs.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rich amber body, nice sized fluffy white head. Good retention and super lacing.

S: Blasts of pine and grapefruit. Some booze shining through toward the end.

T: More pine and grapefruit. Unfortunately, much more booze than the nose. Strong bitter finish.

M: Moderate body. Strong bitter finish. Booze is kind of astringent.

The flavor and nose are enough to make up for the slightly disappointing feel and strong booze presence.

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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 2,115 ratings.
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