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 TurdFurgison
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Naja's in Redondo Beach (served in a pint, $7). The beer was murky copper color with very little head. The smell was very west coast hops, lots of grapefruit and some pine needle resin mixed together. The taste is aggressive with afore-mentioned hops while having a serious amount of malt thrown in for balance. This is comfortably a DIPA, but it rides the line close to barley wine territory. The body is fairly thick making this seem a significant beer, easy for me to finish the pint but it forced some nursing.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Pours a cloudy apricot-amber color with a rocky off-white head. Nice citrus aroma of grapefruit and orange. Bold yet generally balanced taste starting with the citrus and becoming more bitter hop flavors. Medium bodied and generally smooth with mild carbonation. A strong beer, but nice and drinkable.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this as a gift beer from pimpp. It was a recent growler trade of his and he was nice enough to share. The format of the beer I received was a hand filled 12 oz brown bottle and the initial growler was poured a week ago today.

Appearance: Suprisingly, the beer still had a nice foamy off-white head on the pour! She's clear and true amber in color. As I agitate the beer to evoke more aromas, I see long and stringy lacing forming. Looks like a thing of beauty.

Smell: Smells of pineapple, oranges, grapefruit in the front, trailing with caramel malts. To be honest, it smells like Bell's Two Hearted tastes - strange!

Taste: Wow, this is a great tasting IPA! Like I mentioned earlier, this is reminiscent of Two Hearted Ale to me. I bet there's lots of centennial hops brewed in this one. Hop resin is all over the place, but balanced by the toasted malts in such a way that they aren't overly bitter, but more like "sweet and sour" almost. Other flavors detected include honey, tea and an undefineable sweet berry of some kind, (maybe strawberry or blackberry?). The beer finishes with a hoppy, waxy residue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a shockingly good amount of carbonation remaining, being that it was poured, packaged, shipped from CA to OH, poured into hand filled bottles, then sat in my beer fridge for 24 hours!!! Aftertaste is waxy, as mentioned earlier.

Drinkability: This is a fine example of a DIPA. Flavors were gracefully blended together. I didn't get hops punch to the face either... For what it's worth, I'd love to see this in bottle format and sent to Ohio with the remainder of Bear Republic's lineup! If you're a fan of Centennial hops beers like Two Hearted, this is definitely a close competitor. Highly recommended.

Thanks again, pimpp - you rock!

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Photo of weeare138
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a cloudy amber with steady streams of CO2 rising to the top with a fluffy, two finger beige head that never fades. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of biscuit, caramel, grapefruit, orange, and spice.
Taste is of the aromas with more caramel covered biscuit that's been spiced with grapefruit zest.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter, spicy, and slick in the finish with hop oil.

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Photo of pwoods
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Reed415 for another great growler trade.

64oz. growler poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy copper apricot color. Pretty, and I like the glowing haze, but I'd like to see a brighter, more vibrant color. Not bad, though. A 1/2 finger head forms and dies within a minute or so. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Nice citrus fruits with pungent acidity. Great west coast pine scent with that little touch of pepper. Super sweet, but not thick or syrupy, malts to lightly balance.

T/M: Bitterness is at a nice level. Packs a punch but not tongue killing and lightly balanced from the malts. More of the citrus but a little muddled, nothing really standing out. The pine and hop resin take a lead role. Maybe a touch of tea flavor right in between the hops and malts, just as the bitterness dies before the lingering finish. Malts are very sweet, again, but pleasant.. Not syrupy as it can sometimes be. Malts have a tasty toasty and nuttiness and the alcohol really shines in the latter half of the drink. Body is medium full but without thick chewiness or syrupy texture. Carbonation has held up nicely.

D: For a DIPA and 9% ABV, it's more than reasonably drinkable. I'll fill 2 hand bottles and probably finish the rest tonight.

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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 csmiley
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to prototypic for the chance to try this one.

A - Pours bright copper / orange in color. The head is slow to rise and looks good when finished. Didn't stick around for very long though. The resulting lace looked very nice.

S - There is a smack of hops that comes into the nose first. Starts out thick with resin and flows smoothly into some fruity goodness (orange, grapefruit, cherry). Notes of tobacco and leafy undertones round out the hop profile. There is a solid malt base that holds its own against the hops but never tries to steal the show.

T - Starts out with some pleasing citrus flavors. Mostly orange backed by some grapefruit. Leaf and pine pop in next and stay pretty mild. The initial hop bite is strong but mellows eventually to reveal some caramel and bread flavors from the malt. Alcohol is present but it remains warm and soothing.

M - Medium to full bodied with excellent carbonation levels. Finish starts out pretty bitter and works into a smooth feel. A touch of dryness hangs out at the tail end.

D - Drinkability is excellent. Smells and tastes great. This is what I would look for if I were going to purchase a DIPA. It has the typical "death to tastebuds" sensation but is not as harsh as others of the style. Why this beer is not bottled is a mystery to me. Excellent beer that I would highly recommend.

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Photo of prototypic
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Reed415 for the growler. Much appreciated.

Appearance: It's hazy and golden brown in color. Head was a little off white and about a finger and a half deep. It was quick to dissipate and left a light lacing on the glass.

Smell: There's an initial wave of citrus grapefruit and orange that's sweet and refreshing. Hops are aggressive, piney, and citric. It even features a slight, floral or grainy element. There's a good bit of malt in there. Smells like a mix of caramel and pale malts. Alcohol is not noted on the nose. Faint yeasty presence. This is an excellent smelling beer that's not to be understated.

Taste: Citrus sweetness is strong up front. Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange primarily. Hops kick in shortly thereafter and are very piney and bitter. Caramel and pale malts stabilize the hop attack a little, but not much. Malts have a nice, sweet taste to them. Ultimately, it remains piney and bitter. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but not much. Yeasty flavor clings to the palate a little. Finishes sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has an excellent, creamy feel. Very, very smooth. Carbonation is great and it's very crisp. Excellent drinking for summertime. Drinkability is pretty damn high. It's 9%, but doesn't taste or feel quite that big. I've got a growler and I'm more than happy to give it my all tonight.

Racer X is damn fine. I can't say that Bear Republic's come up with something really unique or different here. But, it is extremely well done on all fronts. Too bad they don't bottle and distribute it. It's a really nice DIPA. Check it out if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer store.

I usually dont review beers on tap but will make an exception for this one.

Pours a beautiful deep orange, classic looking DIPA. Nice head, lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells Citrus Citrus Citrus. Like smelling those citrus bags of ludens. Great sweet malt smell to it.

Tastes fricking great. Not overpowering but lets you know "I got fruity pebbles"

Lingering resiny piney aftertaste like a good DIPA should. The alcohol just creeps up, you'd never know until you start thinking your gods gift to everything.

Hadnt had this in a couple of years. Balanced, creamy, sublte, yet dominant. Sounds like a good round of sex. Love this beer.

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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 thequeen711
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful amber colour, didn't notice a strong aroma, no aroma at all. Hoppy brew with grapefruit/citrusy overtones. Taste and mouthfeel reminded me of a summer beer, to quench your thirst. I was not very impressed with this beer, since I have yet to appreciate the high hops content in any brew.

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Photo of DrJay
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy caramel/orange with a skim of beige foam on top of my pint glass. Great head retention with streaky lacing. Intense citrus aroma, lots of grapefruit with orange and tangerine notes. Very fresh smelling. Strong bitterness with a boatload of hop flavour, again with a combination of citrus, some tangerine, quite fruity, and then grapefruit rind in the finish. Mild caramel malt provided some balance and the hops ended up giving it a slightly spicy tone towards the end. Full bodied with carbonation a little on the high side. Good texture overall. This stuff was delicious and very easy to drink for a high abv hop bomb.

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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 rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)

A- The body had a red glow with big bubbles forming most of the head and a soft carbonation of smaller bubbles.

S- The huge fruity green hops had aromas of fresh pine needles and a slightly musty scent followed by a soft tangerine note and a hint of dandelion greens bitterness in the finish.

T- This beer starts with a big dried fruit and citrusy hop flavor followed by more dried apricot hoppy notes. Squeezed in between the hops is some nice sweet caramel malt and honey malt flavors and then it is right back to hops. The full bitterness has almost a skunky quality, in a good way, that finishes up the beer balancing the malt and the floral hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a very slight astringency of hop bitterness at the finish. I was surprised that there was no real alcohol heat noticed but it was probably masked by the big hops.

D- This beer really focused on a nice big aroma of hops with floral qualities. The malt supported that and the bitterness off-set it. It really went down smooth for such a big beer. Delicious

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's in a half-liter mug, on to the beer:

IF you like your DIPA's on the bitter, metallic side, than this is for you. Bitter resinous hops for everyone to enjoy with a just a little bit of malt character. Anyone into very bitter West Coast IPA's should try this if they can find this. (Geez, I just realized how liberally I used the word "bitter".)

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Photo of Phillyduke
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I took an "extended" lunch one day to visit Capone's before this keg kicked in order to give a more fair and balanced review of a beer I felt didn't hold up as well in a growler as it did in my 4oz. tasting the day I filled my jug.

A: Served in a pint tumbler. Color is a cloudy deep amber color with a one finger head of dense off-white foam. Great retention and phenomenal sticky lacing that clings to the side of the glass all the way down.

S: This beer has an absolutely wonderful aroma. Rich, juicy citrus (superhuge nose of grapefruit) and piney hops are complemented with a nice floral bouquet. For me this is the best part of this beer.

T: Wonderful balance of grapefruit sweetness and piney bitterness. The malt backbone is a supporting player, as it should be, and provides a nice, long aftertaste. You can tell this beer is a hop bomb, but a nicely balanced bomb. ABV is deceptive, and could sneak up on you if you're not careful.

M: Pleasant smooth carbonation, nice refreshing tingle on the sides and tip of the tongue. What I believe to be dead-on for the style.

D: As I mentioned earlier, BR manages to hide the ABV in this beer quite well, making it highly drinkable. Eventually it will catch up with you, so any more than 3 might be a problem for a normal-sized person. Overall I found this to be MUCH better on draft than in a growler. Why? Who knows, maybe my jug wasn't clean enough, maybe I let it sit for too long before drinking it. Either way, I'm glad I went back to do this beer justice, and am happy that I had the chance to begin with. Thanks, Matt!

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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 Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour from a growler purchased at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Thanks to Deuane for picking this up for us.

Pours a hazy, ruby colored amber with a 1/2 finger of creamy off-white head. It has just great retention with a creamy ring around the edges and a big ole' dollop of foam right smack dab in the middle. Naturally, the lacing was big, sticky, and impressive. The aroma is a West Coast delight, with a big piney nose followed by accents of fresh citrus, thick smelling malts, and a touch of alcohol heft.

The taste is just as impressive with a big resinous bite of pine right up front. But this isn't any old pine bite. This is kind that reminds you of eating a pine cone if one actually did that sort of thing. It's just the kind of bitterness and stickyness that works your taste buds over, but in a good way. :) Luckily, all of that is pulled back somewhat by a pretty beefy backbone of sweet malt and some floral feeling citrus notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with only a slight beefy feel considering the thickness of the malts and the ABV.

I wasn't quite sure what to think of this when I first started drinking it, as the pine just dominated so much, I was afraid that it was going to be one-note. The more I drank it though, the more it worked it's magic on me, showing off it's superior balancing act and almost undetectable ABV. Trust me, you won't feel the alcohol in this until after you've had a few. This is a real gem from Bear Republic and I'm very glad to have tried it.

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Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler pick up from Capone's....thanks Matt!

A-Hazy dark copper with a medium off-white head.

S-PINE...and then a bit of sweet malt.

T-Ok ready....PINE, pine, pine and then some more piney hops! There is then a nice sweet maltiness that kicks in after that initial PUNCH from the GIANT pine tree!

M-Medium heavy body with a bit of stickiness...and how could you not see that coming with all of that pine resin going on! Sticky yes, bad NO! Nice bitter aftertaste that lingers.

D-This is as tasty as I remembered! A huge giant pine bomb that goes down with frightning ease. Tasty stuff indeed....beware of Racer X!

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Photo of ffejherb
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this growler!

A - Hazy dark, burnt orange body with a short off-white head and sparse carbonation.

S - Immensely huge hop aroma with lots of fresh pine needles and some citrus fruit. Sweet malt is also in there, but it's ultimately overpowered by the hops. A bit of alcohol emerged as the liquid warmed up.

T - Piney/resinous hops abound, but are balanced by a hefty malt presence. Overall, the piney hops prevail.

M - Oily texture with very soft carbonation. Moderate bitter finish that lingers for a while, but not as long as I would have expected. There's also a bit of heat present from the alcohol.

D - Highly drinkable DIPA despite the high ABV%. While it is well balanced in flavor, this is a pretty huge piney hop bomb. Perhaps they should call this "Piney the Elder!"

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased at Capones & soon to be split with my brother in law. Pours with a thin head. Dark amber color typical of a big DIPA. Huge nose of piney hops. Tastes extremely hoppy which is agreat for a hop head. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is very drinkable even with the ABV. Highly recommended. One of the best DIPA's out there IMO.

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Photo of jmalex
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Capone's. Review taken from notes.

APPEARANCE: Presented in a shaker pint, the beer is a murky amber with hints of golden hues. A sturdy, light tan head sits atop and holds for awhile before dropping to a splotchy patchwork of bubbles.

SMELL: Intense grapefruit and piny hops hit home first and foremost. They're presented as the accentuation to a clean, crisp malty base. Very simple, yet very well done.

TASTE: The grapefruity hops show themselves in the taste as well reaching their full force almost immediately. Across the palate, the hops become slightly resinous before taking on a pungent flavor in the long and lingering finish. Again the clean malt background is just that - background.

MOUTHFEEL: Right in line with where it should be. Medium-full in body with an average-level carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: Very easy for an Imperial IPA as the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Very clean and smooth.

I'd drink this again if I was lucky enough to have the oppurtinity. Nothing stands out about it too much other than that I couldn't really find fault with it. Bear Republic delivers again.

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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 DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a murky honey amber with a firm and creamy head that was quite lacy.

Smells of crisp, dry pines and a dry rye crisp with a slight tobacco and clover floral character. Beneath is a sour, tart pineapple.

Tastes of sweet peach syrup and pineapple that is overpowered by a steamroller of pine needles that soon fade slightly to a paper and cardboard. This hop bomb left my palate numb.

Felt thick and frothy yet pliable.

A tasty double IPA. I'm glad I got the chance to try this one.

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Photo of marcpal
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint poured on tap at Old Bay, New Brunswick NJ

A: Mahogany and dark orange tint. Thin off white head with light lacing.

S: Pine tree hops and a little more pine tree on top of that.

T: Some malt presence early but this one leaves you breathing hop fumes. Definitely some citrus fruit hops as well, but mostly earthy hops. Not as balanced of some other fine DIPAs but by no means a bad tasting beer.

M: Chewy and the thick coating from this one.

D: ABV was a surprise to me, very well masked. Recommended for anyone to try this one out but have to admit that it didnt quite live to expectations.

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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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