Racer X Double IPA | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

507 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: 507 | Ratings: 2,146
Photo of
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capones....what a great place!

Dark orange/light brown in color. Small, off white head. Couldn't see much legs, left some decent lacing.

Grapefruit and pine, some earthiness. Decent bit of sweetness (caramel/toffee).

Bitter over sweet in taste, but there was a very strong malt backbone. Grapefruit and grass seemed to be the dominant flavors, maybe a little bit of pine. Alcohol was present, but not very noticeable.

Medium + body, with relatively light carbonation. Although this beer has the flavors of a west coast IPA, it is not as dry as the San Diego stuff.

This was a really good beer! Another one of those where you are sad when it's gone, because it's not likely it will come around again anytime soon. Not as light/dry as some of the west coast offerings, but very tasty.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Brand new bottling. ABV in the bottle is 8.3%. Served in a tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy golden-amber with about a finger of beige foam. Dissipates pretty quickly leaves mostly a ring.

Aroma is pine and pine for days. Orange and grapefruit citrus are present as well. Hints of dankness. Sweet caramel malt is nicely balanced in there. No real detectable alcohol.

Big blast of those assertive hops right up front in the flavor. Same balance of pine and citrus with the addition of bitter flowers and perfume. Malt backing matches the aroma as well. Sweet caramel and toffee are very solid and nicely balanced. Bitterness lingers for a bit in the finish and transforms into a subtle smokey, almost scotch whisky like flavor. Alcohol flavor plays a part in this finish, but is overall very well hidden.

Medium-full bodied with medium-sharp carbonation. The overall feel has a strong bite.

Overall a delicious and juicy DIPA. A couple of sharp edges keep it from scoring higher, but it is damn good. Thank you Bear Republic for finally bottling it!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a bright orange/copper body supports a filmy head that seems to just ooze hops. The aroma is fresh citrus and tropical fruit, slight brown pine. I think of Breckenridge's Small Batch as an example of a piney IPA, this is a good example of a citrus IPA. Mouthwatering. Flavor is dominated by those citruses. A bit of soft fruit (peach?) gives it a thicker flavor in body. Carbonation is just right; it doesn't take away from the hops and gives it a little extra zing to it. Would like to have some cheese with this one. Darn. ABV makes this a one pint (maybe 1 1/2) and done. Zowy.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, burnt orange. Almost zero head. No real carbonation, at all. Nice syrupy mouthfeel. Taste and smell are piney, grapefruity hops. Not a lot of malt balance, though I think there is a hint of sweeter fruits in here. Good, but not my favorite DIPA by far. I've yet to be overwhelmed by any Bear Republic brew.

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Photo of Nickls
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Darker orange/copper color; poured with a thinner slightly tan, solid looking head. Good retention and lacing

S - Great hoppiness; a bit cedary; some sweetness comes along as well

T - Wow, wonderful stuff here. Pretty aggressive hops that are actually tempered really nicely with the malt presence. Not as sweet as I was expecting from the nose (which was great IMO).

M - Medium MF, lightly carbonated, and well enough to carry the flavors over the entire palate.

D - Perhaps one of the most drinkable DIPAs that I've sampled. Alcohol is completely masked, and the deliciousness of the brew makes for a blissful drink.

Overall, this is an utterly fantastic brew and DIPA. Truly enjoyable in every respect, and highly recommended.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into my tulip.

A – Poured out a nice amber color with a full two finger slightly off white head. Nice looker.

S – Citrusy and piney right out of the gate. Grapefruit with a bit of orange. Floral hops. Smells great.

T – Sweet malts and floral hops all around this one. Lot of fruit flavor in here as well with definite grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime and so on. Not overly bitter at all with just enough sweetness to make it perfect. Honey? Delicious!

M – Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O – This is damn fine. I did make a mistake of starting this one too cold and it didn’t grab me right away however when it warmed it was fantastic. I mean damn fantastic. I wished I had another bottle. This one is a huge win.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into ale glass. No fresh date scen on bottle.

A-Burnt orange body. Half a pinkys fingers width beige/white head. Lacing is minimal and like the head disappears quickly.

S-Has a great inviting aroma. Earthy citrus with a piney twist. Hop resin, grapefruit, pine needles. Caramel/sugar malt is hidden behind the huge hop aroma.

T-Very good and balanced(for a 2x ipa). Up front you get the sweet, biscuit malt back bone and than the hops come in. Like the nose it has a citrus/piney mashup. Tangelo, melon, resin, lemon/orange rind bitterness. Caramel is definitely through the whole palate but becomes more and more hidden as the hop flavor and bitterness come into play.

M-Medium bodied with a puckering bitter finish that leaves a great after taste. Nicely carbonated for the style.

O-Overall a very good beer that does a great job being the imperial version of Racer #5. Only thing this beer was slacking on was the appearance which does not bother me. I drink for the aroma and flavor, not if the beer has a ridiculous foamy head with nice lacing. Buy it and drink it. You will be happy you did.

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Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Buckeye Beer Engine. I was thrilled to see this one on the board and made it my first beer of the evening. Arrived to the table in a pint glass. The beer is an orange/copper color a and has a nice head that eventually fades but provides some great lace. Looks really nice, more like a DIPA from the west coast than an American Strong like Arrogant Bastard, for example. (although BA has this listed as a double IPA, I believe Bear Republic considers it an American Strong. If I'm wrong, disregard the DIPA comments)

Smell is a hop lovers dream. There is a nice caramel/Slightly toasted malt component that sets the stage for a citrus and pine forest hop explosion. There's a ton of pine, grapefruit, tangerine, and orange peel. This perfume is nectar of the gods and I could smell it all day.

The taste is also awesome. There are no surprises here, pretty much straightforward sweet caramel malt, slight toast, and a huge bitter hop explosion. The grapefruit and orange hop notes are accompanied by some sweet pineapple and apricot and spicy pine. The mix between sweet and bitter makes it so enjoyable. Just a great beer, again, more of a DIPA than anything else IMO.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It could use just a touch more carb to make it really crisp and clean. Finish is bitter and lingering but never too ruinous. This is an awesome beer and one I'd like to enjoy more often. Just fantastic!

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Photo of drseamus
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at roadhouse BBQ, just in time for review 600.
A: clear amber body. Semi brillant clarity.

S: citrus and pine. A touch of sweetness.

T: I think there's a pine tree in my mouth, maybe more than one. Sticky and resiny. Tons of flavor but not a lot of hop bitterness almost sweet.

M: light bodied for he amount of hop; but medium bodied overall.

D: much siddernt than I expected but I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY. Yipee!

Pours a firm head of super-creamy, ultra-fluffy foam, on top of a hazed rust orange liquid.

The smell is unsurprisingly hop-centric, although not really intense...more on the fruity side, and nearly as tropical smelling as it is citrus smelling, as fruitiness goes...

Flavor is hoppy (no kidding?), on the piney side while still plenty fruity; some grapefruit pith, a little orange zest, and a generous sweet malt backup in the form of bright sugary caramel. While all this sounds like it could be a bitter and sweet car wreck, it's just the opposite: controlled, balanced and utterly delicious. The lack of astringency/grassy bitterness and the nearly undetectable alcohol presence helps a lot too.

The texture of Racer X really brings it all together, and having it on tap can, of course, give a creamier, smoother feel, and that's exactly what this beer deserves. I can't think of a better feel for a beer of this type. Pretty much perfect in this department.

I appreciate how balanced this is. It's a fine DIPA that's not a novelty of a tongue-ripper (although I dig those too). This is a beer I had been hoping to stumble across at some point, and I was rewarded (and totally surprised) to find it pouring in Syracuse the whole week I was there. And it met all the hype and high expectations.

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Photo of mikey711
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Boy was I excited when I saw this.

A: Vibrant amber color with no cloudiness at all. The head poured an inch thick and retained quite well, simmering to a quarter of an inch after about two minutes and leaving gobs of lace in its wake.

S: Nice hop aroma, some spicy and grassy, others are grapefruit and maybe some melon citrus. It does not have the same burst of hoppy aroma as say pliny or sculpin, but still nice

T: Super balanced for a DIPA. There is plenty of hop bitterness but enough caramel sweetness to back it up. It starts with a pine bitter note that transitions into a bit of melon and mild grapefruit.

M: Ultra smooth. A great amount of body is present with a good lingering bitter note. It is full without being heavy. No booze is detectable at all.

D: This is by far the best beer from Bear Republic that I have ever had. WHile some of the others can be too piny and bitter, this one goes down very smooth and is deceptively light.

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Photo of gciccarelli
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pint glass on-tap at Capone's.

A - Pours a pale amber with a fluffy and creamy white head. Leaves heavy lacing.

S - An upfront citrus and pine hop blast that is nicely balanced out by sweet caramel malt. Grapefruit, spice notes present.

T- Citrus hops upfront with a nice caramel malt sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter. Very crisp.

M - Medium body, very creamy - one of the best-feeling IPA's I've experienced.

D - Great taste and amazing creamy mouthfeel make it go down almost too nicely.

A really fantastic IPA - hopheads need to check this out.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchill's

A- yellowish orange body with white head and great lacing

S-nice hop smell that I can't distinguish

T-nice citrus taste. Only real flavor I get. Very smooth

M-medium body and smooth

O-nice dipa. Would definitely drink more if avalible

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Photo of khiasmus
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I suppose I'll write you a love note since I wish you were here beside me, sharing this moment.

The heat outside is unbearable, so it's in here amidst the laughter and vocabulary questions, in here where i dream of you and miss you, as always, but not for too much longer...
I hope this will be one of your favorites. It has all the trappings of the stuff that you love... a burnt orange colour and lace, a wistful clarity of softness with just the hint of a fog, such as the nights by the river, hand in hand, laughter and tears, the stuff life is made of, of course.
And the usuals come in on the tongue, a prickly pineapple and sappy resin, a light bitterness that neatly overrides the hint of biscuit or honey-rolls, but it's the balance of the thing, the give and take, the realization that no one side needs to ultimately triumph because they're in this together, it can only be perfect if neither overwhelms it. The bitterness is there, to be sure, but the beauty is in the combination. Just the bitter, like just me, and there would be nothing to speak of. It's the sweetness, it's you, that makes the whole thing possible.
Silky, of course, and clean, though an almost coca-cola feeling lingers at the back of the throat... that distinct acidic dryness that's peculiar to that beverage, and why I prefer the other, though I opt for beer over soda any way, as you know.
The fact is, the balance is what really makes this great. The way the parts comprise the whole. The way in which the unique elements bring their own twist, their own flavor, to create a masterpiece. The way that it just gets better and better. Every sip, every moment, every new challenge and compromise.

Here's to it.

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Photo of TommyW
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Clear gold with a hint of darkness, thin and dense white head.

S- Nice hoppy aroma of citrus and herbal notes, malt presence is slightly noticeable.

T- Pretty big hop profile with strong herbal and citrus notes, lots of bitterness towards the finish that lingers on the tongue for a bit.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation.

D- A really easy-drinking DIPA; really a great beer that goes down easy for all the big elements of the beer (abv and hops).

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Photo of HopDerek
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at Capone's.

Poured a clear rich golden amber color with thick creamy off-white/tan head. Great retention and good sticky lacing. Smells of citrus rind, floral hops, pine, and caramel. Tastes of grapefruit and pineapple up front with a mix of caramel and honey for a sweet backbone, with a finish of pine, grass clippings, and orange peel, with a slight alcohol tinge as it warms up. Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth and sweet with a dry bitter finish, lots of hop presence. Easy to drink, lots of hop character hides much of the alcohol well, wish this stuff were more readily available, great brew for hopheads with a nice sweetness.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a slightly hazy golden yellow color, kicked up a great big thick three finger head, great retention and lacing. Lots of nice tiny carbonation bubbles to hold the head as well.
Smell: Flowery, fruity big aromas.
Taste: Great citrus and tropical fruit flavors, nice sweet malt backbone as well.
Mouthfeel: thick and creamy, nice bite also.
Overall: such a great beer, as are all of the racer series from Bear Republic.

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Photo of koopa
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transparent copper body with a 1 finger khaki crown that shows a touch of retention and moderate lace.

Smell: Beautiful nose....Lively and pungent floral hops, citrus hops (grapefruit and orange), sugar, and sweet malt.

Taste: Same as nose. Really works well but it is just too sugary for my personal preference. Small touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Could use a touch more carbonation, but still a nice chewy med-thick body.

Drinkability: the sugar is what keeps me from scoring this one higher, but besides that it is delicious.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Awesome deep clear copper with one finger off-white head with good head retention and good lacing.

S - Rich aroma with primarily citrus hop notes and some sweet malts.

T - Almost perfect balance of hops and alcohol. This is one amazing Imperial IPA. Very complex and satisfying.

O - One of the best IPAs in California and one of the best Imperials I have had.

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Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Bottled from a growler purchased at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub, Portland, OR
Acquired in a trade with yllwsmly

Poured a deep, dark and transparent ruddy copper-mahogany. (Very dark for a double IPA.) The tight, bubbly, one-finger, saddle head faded to a bubbly cap of froth and a thick ring of lace. Chunks of lacing clung to the sides of the glass and lasted until the drink's end.

The aroma was very hoppy, yet also sweet, rich and incredibly balanced. Orange peel and spices came through strong (and possibly some potpourri-like notes) along with tropical fruits (mango and pineapple). Brown sugar was apparent as well. A slight booziness became more noticeable as the beer warmed. I was definitely anticipating this DIPA to have a stiff malt backbone.

The taste was quite similar to the aroma. Piney and fruity up front. Orange peel was quite noticeable mid-palate, along with peaches and apricots. The finish was hoppy and very piney with hints of grapefruit and a touch of caramel malt sweetness. The ultra-dry, piney aftertaste left my tongue craving another sip. Very nicely balanced overall. As the beer warmed, a touch of brandy-like alcohol appeared.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied (slightly thinner than expected) with a fine yet lively carbonation. Rich, creamy and smooth on the palate.

Not only was this beer incredibly flavorful and well balanced (especially for a West Coast DIPA), but the 9% ABV was barely noticeable. Definitely a very drinkable example of the style.

Overall, this was an outstanding beer. Unquestionably one of the best DIPA's I have sampled to date.

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Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this one for a while.

22oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a clear coppery amber w/ a big frothy head, nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is pungent citrus & pine. Dank and sticky.

Taste follows nose. Harshly bitter resinous hops, grapefruit, pine. Copious pale biscuity malt holds it all together nicely.

Mouthfeel is chewy, oily, w/ a sharply bitter finish.

Overall an intense, powerful DIPA. Comparable to Hoptimum, Pliny the Younger, or Ruination 10. Well done, Bear Republic.

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Photo of Giovacchini
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the first bottling of Racer X into a snifter.

A- a dark amber color with little head.

S- tropical fruits, banana, mango, citrus, bubblegum.

T- fruity pebbles, mango, very small malt profile, grapefruit, pineapple.

M- mild carbonation with a nice bitterness.

O- This is my first time trying this beer. It is also the first time this beer has been bottled. I am really enjoying this beer and it helps that is is super fresh. The only downside is that I payed 9 dollars a bottle....otherwise awesome flavor and drinkability

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Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Craft Ale House.

A-Pours a beautiful clear golden peach with a fluffy white head and lots of lacing.

S-A hop explosion, mostly grapefruit and pine. Also some orange rind.

T-Bitter, delicious hoppiness right from the front of the tongue. A huge grapefruit bite, then strong pine hops, a peppery hop note and then a surprisingly nice sweet finish.

M-Medium bodied and a bit oily.

D-It's been a long wait for this one, which I last had almost three years ago at the brewpub. This beer lives up to the memory; can't wait to have it again.


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Photo of jxmichael
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -Bright orange copper, slightly hazy with moderate lacing.

S - Pine, orange peel.

T - Malty caramel up front mixed with hoppy/bitter undertones. I'd say it's 75% IPA, 25% english malt.

M - Medium mouthfeel, almost syrupy with somewhat dry malt finish.

O - Overall a very enjoyable brew different from your traditional IPA. I'm usually not one to enjoy English malt but the hops play well off the malts making for something unique and delicious.

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Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Sierra Nevada shaped pint glass. Poured a beautiful dark amber, almost copper in color. It started with a foamy white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head faded after a minute or so but it left some great lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a very nice and intense floral, citrusy and tropical hoppiness to it with some grapefruit, pineapple and pine all coming through. Excellent hoppy aroma overall, one of the best.

The taste is also not surprisingly hoppy. It has some great tropical citrus flavors to it along with a bitter grapefruit, pine flavor. It was sweet and fruity up front with a strong bitterness coming in the finish and lingering for a while. Excellent range of hoppy, sweet and bitter flavors going on.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is very good, it's an excellent hoppy beer. It's definitely one of the best DIPA's I've had. It had a great range of flavors and really showed off the hops very well.

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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 2,146 ratings.
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