Racer X Double IPA | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer X Double IPARacer X Double IPA
2,172 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,172 |  Reviews: 512
Photo of oggg
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful tawny ale with a huge hop bouquet that hits you from a long distance. Grapefruit and christmas tree hits the nose til the last drop. On the tongue this beer is hugely bitter, and only in my double IPA heyday could I say this beer was anything less. Punishingly bitter, now that I have had a hop vacation. Super juicy citrus hop flavor. Juicy and mouth watering, mouth puckering heaven. And yet late in the taste there is a great toasted maltiness that brings it all together.

In my top 3-4 double IPAs.

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Photo of carln26
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve been waiting to have this beer for a long time. Racer 5 is a favorite of mine, and I anxiously awaited a chance to have this double. I got the chance when I recently visited the Bear Republic pub in Healdsburg. It poured mildly hazy gold to copper with a light white fluffy head. Mild grapefruit aroma with no detectable malt. Taste is a punch in the mouth grapefruit, with a nice bitter kick mid drink. It finishes with just a hint of sweetness that tastes of (call me crazy) kiwi. Slick, full mouth feel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This arrived as a nice deep amber color with a small head. It left minimal lace.

The smell is huge, floral, and full of hops. The taste is good too, with plenty of malt to back the bitterness. The mouthfeel is good and heavy, while the drinkability is pretty good for the substantial content.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GABF2004... Poured a golden color with a small and sticky off white head and light lacing on the glass. Piney and citrusy hop aroma. Taste was lightly bitter, lots of citrus fruits including tangerine and grapefruit. One of the beers I got multiple samples of at last year's GABF.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at ACPH. Autumn gold in my glass, it gave off a heady fresh mown grass/roll in the hay aroma. That frothy white head lasts on top too, nice change. Surprisingly medium mouthfeel, I thought tastewise it was a bit mild. Even the alcohol didn't rear its head too much. Mellow, smooth, with a nice bed of malt, and a fluffy but not overstuffed pillow of hops on top.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

@ the moan and dove double ipa jam session thingey

reddish orange and quite clear, foamy. lacing with no head. dense. bright and attractive. smell is burnt sugar and candy apples with fresh hops coming in second sensation-wise. equally sweet and bitter with bursting berry flavor and a lingering spread-even bitterness. delicious and refreshing, a bit too thick for my tastes.

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Photo of Truh
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gained position on the outer turn with this one on 6/10/2005. 12-oz.(?) pour at the [AC]PH in a big-ass goblet.

Nice ½-inch of cumulous foam at start with only a minimal amount of stick. The hue was a cross between deep, dark orange and a light purple with just some hints of action bubbling throughout. Big hop crank on nose, though citrussy, and combined with some lemon zest, light fructose, and candy sugar. Actually, quite light on the mouth with some more malt playing through the foursome of hop ahead of it.

Very, very drinkable, but I would grab a Hercules before this.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed one of the last few pints of this beauty at the Publick House last night...during the pre-party to the ABF.
Arrived a slightly-worn copper color in an oversized wine glass with almost three full fingers of fluffy off-white head...lacing was tight and stuck to the side of the glass for the duration.
Sweet malt and fruity hops are in your face at first smell.
The taste was phenomenal...so well balanced for a double.
Citrus hops w/ mainly oranges up front...caramel due to the malt keeps this one sweet, but by no means too sweet. Bitterness is there, but balanced nicely w/ the sweetness that makes this one higly drinkable. Mouthfeel is fairly thick but not sticky...carbonation is perfect. I could easily make a session out of this one, but would not know what hit me...the alcohol is so well hidden, it never really made an appearance.
Thanks to Dave (Liefman) for a chance to try this brew...one of the best doubles I've had.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bear Republic.
Dark amber and murky, with a thick, off white head (bordering beige).
Full on malt and pungent lupulins, alcohols lurk.
Citrus pith and pineyness. Chewy, doughy, cooked hop loaf.
Thick and juicy on the pallet. Hops and a rather large malt body for style. Not screaming freshness, and the malt is a bit muddy.
Bitterness is well balanced with the wort soaked hop cones.
Alcohol very well hidden.
Finishes a bit sweet and non aggresive.
A bit dissapointing. Racer 5 is a masterpiece, and have had fresh beauties here on the right coast. Racer X fell short of greatness for me. Maybe a fresher example would make all the difference.
>>Edit- 6/28/05
On tap at Redbones, had a cleaner, brighter malt character and very good. A bit drier.
Better than it was at Bear Republic.
I did miss my 16oz glass though..

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light haze veils the beautiful orange hue while a white ring covers it all. Aroma is very oily and sprucey, straightforward greenish and orangey west coast hops. A bit sweaty in its evolution, sun lotion like as far as oiliness goes. I must say I didn’t appreciate it as much when it had reached room temperature, but it had a pleasant hop complexity and an adequate earthy malt backbone to compensate the could have been excessive hops. Medium bodied, a bit lip-sticking, bitter, lightly carbonated. Pretty good yet standard take on the style I guess and it's the name of one of the great speed metal bands of all time, so there ya go!

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Photo of longpondbeerman
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY, I brought home a couple of growlers and I was not disappointed. The Racer X pours a slightly cloudy dark reddish amber--sort of the color of root beer--with a thick soft white chocolate head. The lacing was sticky and ringed the glass as I downed this brew. There was excellent balance in the aroma, redolent with sweet malts, florals and citrusy hops. The taste was similar, with an undercoating of prunes to complement the growing bitterness. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy, and I could hardly notice the alcohol (not necessarily a good thing).

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Photo of meathookjones
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the Capitol Ale House Innsbrook location. This came out with a deep amber body with about an inch off white foam on top. The head stayed around for a bit lacing the glass with rings foamy lace. As the glass was put in from of me I could smell the huge citric and floral aromas rising up and a strong pine scent. Surprisingly there was a slight fruity sweetness lurking about to tame the hops a bit. Taste was of strong citric hoppiness with underlying fruit notes. Quite an excellent smack of hops to the face with a refreshing sweetness keeping it from going overboard. A nice hoppy bitter aftertaste ended this awesome brew off. Great mouthfeel with a nice coating hoppiness and a creamy feel to it. This has awesome drinkability as I went through about 4 or 5 23 ounce glasses of this and still wanted more. I was surprised how much more balanced this was than I expected but it worked out nicely. This is one of the best double IPA’s out there it packs a strong hoppiness without completely shredding your palette. It listed this as 7.8% there not the 9%, I believe it was closer to 7.8% considering that I was still pretty functional after so many.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a fresh growler brought straight from the brewery back to Los Angeles.

Ahh.. the first time I can have the power and the glory that is Racer X in my home. Poured straight into an imperial tulip pint.

Aroma is potently hoppy with a catty piney tone that really crawls up through the back of your nose to tickle the brain. Yet despite the initial all about the hops approach, the malt comes in to soften the initial blow and slowly a fruity apple clears it up.

Taste is brisk with a tarry bright bitterness that runs all through the tongue with a just sufficent malt sweetnees to prevent the beer from totally destroying the palate.

Overall, this is just a top notch brew. Wonderfully hop laden without being painfully beyond the pale of reasonable bitterness in the structure of the beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed in October 2004 from the Toronado on tap. In my search for the best double IPA, I decided to try this one. My favorite so far had been Oggi's Hop Juice and all the double IPA's I have been comparing to this. Poured an amber red color with a decent head and decent lace. Had an awesome vinous hoppy scent too it. Almost fruity, maybe strawberry-kiwi? I could have smelled it all day. However, the taste was a bit sharp. Not as fruity and mellow as some of the other double IPA's I have had. Not really bad, but I prefer the IPA's with a fruity mellow taste. Maybe a dry taste is what I have tasted. A pretty good double IPA, and I have many more to taste, so this one may get re-reviewed if others pale in comparison.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm starting to think of the advent of these double IPAs are really just different forms of lobotomy for hop-heads. You can't get enough of the hops but the alcohol gets enough of your body. And when they're fresh, they're especially medieval on the skull. Racer X fits this formula; wildly hopped, but malty sweet and booze-laced as well. Some of the shitty d.IPA's are just a nasty malt liquor / hop juice experiment. This one is the Bentley of all double IPAs.

Amber hints in a glimmering gold pint glass. Initially impressive head for style fades to tiny suction-cup lace blots.

Lightly carbonated to the point, but so thickly chewy in mouthfeel, this felt like a cask ale though it wasn't. This is a rare-example of a double IPA that I would love to age and then enjoy - there's that much going on. The malt is chewy but stapled in to the alcohol and warming hop.

I love the initial hop jolt. You think you've been teased and then the hops are back, winning over the overall prize. But the malt-foundation is never forgotten, making this an uncharacteristically balanced disciple.

I should've growlered this in BR's hilariously low-brow plastic growlers, resealed, and aged. Damn shame.

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Photo of Gavage
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange / copper in color with a 1" head. Some nice lacing developed. The aroma was extremely floral. The flavor was thick malt well balanced with pleasant hop bitterness and citrus notes. Some caramel tones were buried in there too. High alcohol levels were slightly noticeable in the taste.

This was a medium-heavy bodied brew with decent carbonation levels. The mouthfeel was smooth with a slight crispness at the start but finishes smooth with a long lasting pleasant bitterness on the tongue. This is a great Imperial IPA that is nicely drinkable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear, though perhaps a light haze, copper color that is topped by an off white head. An intense aroma of American hops wafts from my pint glass: lychee, grapefruit, a bit of grassiness. it is just smells so incredibly fresh. This beer is packed with hop flavor. Damn, this is both refreshing and palate cleansing. There are notes of apricot and a light malt sweetness that pushes the hop character to another level. This beer has a good fruit presence that is contributed by the hops.

Quite incredible actually, I had forgotten how good this beer is. It is just fresh and in your face at the same time. Just a very well balanced attack between the hop aroma, the hop flavor, and the malt backbone which brings this beer to another level.

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Photo of Gusler
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled @ Strong Ale Fest San Diego

The beer has a clear amber color on the pour with a modest sized head that is semi-creamy in texture and an off white color, with a decent sheet of lace to cover the glass. The nose is dominated by the hop floral aroma with sweet malt at the back, crisp and clean to the senses, start is sweet with a nice malt profile, top is middling in feel. Finish is delectable in its acidity and the hops pronounced in their spiciness with a bitter-sweet aftertaste that lingers on long after the beer is gone, had a few of these, yummy.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bartender at the Liar's Club insisted that I try this and I'm sure glad he did. I had inquired as to the tap beers and his recommendations. He said that this is rarely available and I can now see from the other reviews here that this is true. Liar's lists it as a Double IPA at 9% and that is consistent.

This is, quite simply, one of the best looking IPAs in my experience with the style. The great looking tawny amber body is crowned by an enormous dark cream and creamy head that lasts decently and creates huge lace rings down the pint glass. The nose is big and gives less-than-subtle hints of piney hops. As the brew warmed in the balmy Mission Beach air the nose took on some malt sense as well.

The flavor is also huge with the early part of the glass killing taste buds with great big citrusy hop waves that finish much less bitter than expected. The malt base must be significant in order to limit the overall hops profile. A small bit of caramel malt does kick in near the end of the glass.

This beer has a great feel as well. The creamy and full sense is balanced by a very real snap to the finish. Drinkability is limited by the high ABV, but this killer is one of the best drinks I've ever tasted.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried the Racer X on draft at the Bear Republic brewpub last week, and was very impressed. I also sampled the racer 5 and the X is definitely a much bolder sibling. Apperance is a nice rich reddish brown, just a little bit of head, actualy fairly dark in color for an IPA, even an "imperial". Nose is of fresh resiny hops, with a healthy helping of malt and a little spice, definitely mouthwatering for the big IPA fanatics, myself included. Taste is nice and hop bitter at first but very well accompanied by a good dose of malt to round out the profile. Lingering tastes of vanilla, and a little caramel sweetness, and of course strong hints of it's alcohol content. Good stuff, wish they bottled it!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saturday 31st May 2003 was spent at the 6th Annual San Diego Real Ale Festival, & amongst a plethora of Beer Engines, several beers for me stood out from the crowd, this is one of them.

As xlperro explained to me after I sat down to sample it, it is the rarely seen bigger brother of the Racer 5. I am very surprised to see it listed as an IPA; I was under the impression that this is more of a Double IPA.

Presented in the special Festival Pint glass, it was officially a 5oz sample purchased for just 1 of the Red Tickets. As I got back to the Table, it was more like 8oz when it finally settled, plenty to concentrate on!

A dark looking brew, a mixture of dark brown and auburn that reflected the sunlight extremely well with a deep ruby light strike. The color really surprised me at first; I expected something much lighter (I don’t know why!) - Even xlperro noted it was a little darker than he remembered in the past. I am not sure if the cask had had the proper time to settle because it had a light hue to it, but it did not detract from the appearance too much. The head was a smooth looking one, light tan colored & a tightly packed frothy mass borne of the Beer Engine, you cannot beat that. It proudly sat atop the well-conditioned beer, and the head lasted much longer than the beer sample did!

The Nose was awesome; it was tugging at my nasal hairs as soon as the serving landed on the Bar, and all the time whilst I walked back to our BA Table. Huge pine oils, spicy hops, and all the freshness of alpine coniferous forests mixed with a light tar-like bituminous aspect at the back end. A stunningly powerful nose and quite complex with all of its multiple facets.

I have had very few Double IPA’s up to now, but this is exactly what I imagine a good exponent of the style to taste like. Malt is the dominant flavor at first, set amidst a congealed emulsion of a pungent hop-bitterness and spicy bitter finish that can have you smacking your lips at times.

For all its potent 9 ABV Horsepower, it’s a very drinkable brew and deceptively strong. It did not take me long to finish my half pint at all.

This was my second favorite beer of the Festival and one, that despite its strength, I chose to sample early on in the festival as it is rarely seen. It did not last too much longer into the afternoon before it ran off, if my faded memory serves me right.

Another high quality, excellent beer from Bear Republic.
Damn, I so wish they would Bottle this Monster!!!

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Photo of Mark
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This big beer is a dark copper, head was minimal as was lacing. Bear Republics beers are much more visual pleasing from the bottle. The beer had wonderful clarity though and smelled of fresh hops. Taste was tart and very hoppy, not over the top but just right. This brewery makes damm fine beer and is easily one of my four or five favorite domestic breweries. At 9.0abv it's a potent brew but still very drinkable. It's not offered all the time at the brew pub, so when you see it, give it a go.

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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 2,172 ratings