Racer X Double IPA | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

508 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: 508 | Ratings: 2,153
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at O'Brien's, or where I seem to try everything on tap. This keg lasted longer than I thought it would, much longer than Expo. I guess this was review #100. Woohoo?

Appearance: Amber-orange with a frothy white crown of head that hung on pretty well. Lacing was nice too; nothing ground-breaking here, but impressive.

Smell: Very, very hoppy. What else is to be expected? Major pine and grass, with only a little fruity ester peeking through. Some pineapple is weakly there, but this is all about the dank, wet, piny, grassy, glorious hop.

Taste: As my roommate so eloquently put it: "This tastes like a forest." And it does. A huge wave of hops are there, with other maniac grasses and hops coming for round two, immediately after the first retires. There is a little more fruit here than in the nose, but the more reviews I read, I'm surprised the citrus was as muted as it was. There is a slight caramel sweetness there too, but this is all about being a huge, grassy hop bomb.

Mouthfeel: Not enamel-eroding bitter, but among the more bitter in the style, and that's saying something. Resinous, thick, and carbonated about how you'd expect while being on tap. Finishes like you just swallowed lawn trimmings, and I mean that in the best way.

Drinkability: I have to say, this is one of those times you understand, though, why more malt backbone may need to be there. It's an amazing hoppy beer, cured my desire for a hop fix right up, but in all, this is just a bit too much of one dimension to be really drinkable. I'd imagine if bottled this beer wouldn't be much fun. The freshness of the hops are excellent and fun, but even fresh, a full 16oz pint of this was more than enough for the day's hop fix, and left me wanting something different. Still, an imperial IPA through-and-through, and while not as good as Expo or Hop 15 in my opinion, still a very great example of a huge, bitter, hoppy imperial IPA.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.76/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on-tap at the Falling Rock. Thick orange color, decent lacing. Smells kind of hoppy but faint and muted. The flavor had a some nice bitterness and fruit flavors but it was all overpowered by the alcohol taste, smell, and astringency on my tongue. You could instantly tell this was a very strong beer, very dissapointing given how good Racer 5 is.

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

Wow - probably the best double IPA I've had. Pours a pretty dark amber / copper with a fluffy off white head - nice lacing. Smell is straight hop deliciousness - citrus rind, pineapple, tropical fruits, and hints of pine resin. Taste is well balanced by a malt sweetness - nice hoppy finish with that signature grapefruit bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied and a hint syrupy. Drinkability is up there for the style - awesome stuff!

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Photo of jnn4v
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler poured at CBX in Charleston earlier today. Reviewed within an hour of when the growler was originally filled.

A: Amber color. Much darker than I had originally expected. No sediment or haze. Head filled about 1/5 of the glass.

S: Some grapefruit, copper, and sugary sweet scents are the first three. A bit of pungent, herbal hop scents on second smell. The color, hops, and scent remind me a bit of a big imperial red.

T: Excellent balance. Very good sweetness, yet also very good, clean bitterness, and some nice citrusy flavors with a hint of resin / herbal bitterness on the tail end.

M: Not as thick as some DIPA's. Moderate carbonation, which is more than average for the style. Helps contribute to the overall well-balanced nature of this beer and keeps it from seeming to sweet or syrupy.

D: 9% ABV is definitely noticeable. However, it's got very good flavor and is such a rare treat that I have to force myself not to race through Racer X.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice and dark double IPA. Great lacing and three finger, medium beige head. Very sprucy in the smell and taste, some citrus to back it up but very bitter citrus peels. Very tasty and piney with a big dose of floral notes. Definitely lopsided towards the piney side but the bitter citrus rears its head in the beginning. Mouthfeel close to perfect. Fantastic experience I only wish it was bottled.

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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 vacax
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Racer X. The elusively tasty member of the Bear Republic lineup. Pours a light amber with some red tones in it. Thick white head of one-finger in height lives on in a carpetlike existence.

Nose has grapefruit, candied orange, and pine. Tastes piney, spicy with white pepper, sappy, maybe even a hint of chocolate or lactose in the finish. Hop forward and unbalanced in that respect, but it still has lots of nearly imperceptible malt influence. Medium mouth feel and a matching level of carbonation leaves lots of sticky hops in the mouth.

Heck of a tasty beer chaps. Just avoid putting it on a pedestal just because the kegs are few and far in between.

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Photo of bonbright7
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This great looking amber IPA was great addition to my fridge's collection of beers from the rockin' beer store next door. Racer X was good name for this big brother of the regular Racer 5 as its depth is both greater and it's aroma is more fragrant with malts, hops and fruit. I didn't even bother to pour it into my usual 50 cl glass of many reviews from before as the clear 750ml growler was just another big bottle.

Relaxing with the beer and the Falcons-49ers game, I dove into the volume of nuances. I wished had read the AHA brewing guidelines to further extol the great taste I was enjoying with a fat roast beef hero. In any event, it was a great ale to enjoy while watching football.

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

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - If you like hop aroma you'll love the the nose full of citrus hops

T - Its like drinking a pint of fresh squeezed cascade hops and I for one enjoyed the taste

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - If you like hops you'll like this beer its very easy to drink for a DIPA its worth a trip to your local beer bar if they tap it

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Photo of champ103
2.94/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a reddish/orange color. A two finger off-white head forms with good retention. Some lace is left behind.
S: Cascade hops all the way. Grapefruit bitterness. That is it.
T: Again, I am drinking liquid cascade hops. Bitter grapefruit dominates. Some light malty sweetness comes out as this warms up.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Dry and crisp. For me the high alcohol and bitter beers are not easy to drink.

The typical DIPA. I had high hopes for this because Racer 5 was a great well balanced IPA. This, however, is not. Hopheads will enjoy this though.

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

A- Came in a tulip glass at Sacbrew. Deep clear Copper in color 1.5 finger head, lots of lacing in the glass.

S- Big piney hops in the nose. Lots of fresh forest pine smell with a good amount of citrus. Sweet malt comes through towards the end.

T- Very good DIPA hope taste. Lots of Pine and citrus just like the smell. The Taste is a quite pleasing balance of pine and citrus when the sweet malts start to kick in. The finish is a sweet malt with touches of hop spice.

M- Medium-Full Body, Plenty of carbonation. Finish could be a touch more dry to improve

O- This is a very good DIPA, It will give you the bitter fix you need and has enough malt back bone to keep it standing up.

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Photo of peterjk
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy dark orange, no head

S: Big time skunky earthy hops a hint of pine rosin and hint of citrus. Not much malt smell a tiny note of tangy dried fruit.

T: Good balance for a beer with this much hops. Salty and earthy right at the start, the flavor moves quickly to sweet malt (brown sugar, light creamy orange) and then to earthy and herbal hops. Obviously finishes rather bitter.

M: Carbonation dominates the mouthfeel. Dry on finish but some sweetness also.

D: Very drinkable for an insane imperial IPA. One glass only for me though, my mouth was still bitter after I brushed my teeth.

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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 2Stout4u
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I'm sitting at 185 enjoying this offering from tap. I'm getting more impressed with my drinking skills for I thought the bartender said an IPA from Racer and upon me first sip I knew I was dealing with a double. A very fine double at that, more drinkable than Stones Ruin. As drinkable as a double could be. It's hoppy goodness no balance here, and that's fine by. If you have never tried and your a Hop Head do it!!!!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to Wespatrick for this brew.

Pours a very awesome clean/clear golden orange, very nice carbonation, HUGE three-finger creamy/thick/foamy head, with tons of thick/creamy sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, bitter, sweet, malty, lots of citrus/pine notes. The taste is incredible, hoppy, bitter, sweet, slightly malty, very nice citrus/pine notes, and some caramel. Medium body, slightly syrupy, chewy. Very drinkable, probably the best DIPA I've had to date. Highly recommended. Thanks Wes!

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just going off some mental notes from last night's pint at Woody's in City Market.

Rich copper color topped with a one-finger super creamy-looking head like it was poured from a nitro tap. Huge citrus hop aroma that I could smell as soon as my server set it on the table. Major hop bomb - in a good way. Taste is hoppy and citrusy with just a touch of caramel malt. Very resinous. Where is the 9%? Feels like I am drinking something around 7%. Dangerously easy to drink. Full bodied. The creamiest IPA/DIPA I have ever had. No tannins detected. Just thick, creamy hop goodness in a glass. There seems to be some richness to the malt though - maybe Maris Otter base malt? This is exactly what I want in a DIPA.

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Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was on tap at Amsterdam Ale House as a part of New York City Craft Beer Week. I was surprised and thrilled to see this beer, which i'd hear so much about, to be featured here on the east coast. It has a little too much alcohol hotness that Double IPA's can have and not as good as the Racer 5, but a good double ipa none the less. Good copper color, carbonation and smell. Taste and drinkablity are a little intense.

Had this again on tap at Amsterdam Ales House and was equally disappointed this time. You would think that the brewery that makes arguably one of the best single IPA's could make a double that was just as good. Once again. the heat was too intense and the malt and hops didn't stand out for me in any way.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A: Copper color, with a thin head that laced fairly well.

S: A little more intense grapefruit/mango/pineapple essence than Racer 5, balanced out with even more biscuit. Good mix, but still lacking a hop-bitter presence.

T: Same as the aroma. Definitely more flavorful than Racer 5, but I found this one to be a little more dominated by the biscuit maltiness rather than the citrus essence. No hop bitterness until the dry aftertaste. Also picked up the alcoholic presence in the finish.

M: Creamy, non-carbo feel.

D: A little too thick/malty and strong to be a sessionable beer.

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Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at City Beer Store in SF. A VERY legitimate DIPA. Had this side-by-side at City Beer Store with 21st Amendment Double Trouble IPA, which is also very solid and this domo'd it.

A - Great orange-copper appearance with a lasting creamy off-white head.

S - Lots of crisp piney, resinous hops and sweet malt to balance.

T - Sweet caramel malt, excellent piney, citrusy, resinous hops. Like Racer 5, but with more malty, hoppy goodness. A little alcohol present, but less than you'd expect.

M - Medium bodied for the style with average carbonation. Hop bitterness lingers and oils coat the palate.

D - For what it is, this is very drinkable. Pint went down before I knew it. This one could be dangerous.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Woody's in Raleigh.

A very enticing copper ale with good clarity and a sturdy white head. The aroma is heavy with floral and citrusy hops but there's also a little caramel mixed in. The flavor is a blend of rich hops and solid malts. The hops are citrusy and floral with a nice grapefruit bitterness that really lingers. The malt flavors include caramel and biscuits. Some alcohol comes through but not enough to indicate that its 9%. The texture is smooth and creamy and the carbonation is low. The inside of the glass becomes caked with a think lacing as it empties. Racer X is a rich and flavorful beer but it's extremely smooth. It's much more balanced than other west coast DIPAs but I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of westweasel
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from a trade with khiasmus. What a trader - fantastic, generous extras!!!

Poured from a growler into a New Belgium snifter.

The aroma is filled with oranges, peaches, mangos, toasty malt, and some hints of pine and grapefruit.

The beer is a brilliant orange/light amber with a small beige head. Belgian lace is left along the glass. The mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

The taste starts very briefly with some toasty malt - but it is quickly engulfed by a strong lemon/grapefruit bitterness. You get a substantial lingering citrus bitterness after the swallow.

This is a very drinkable DIPA. The peach and mango aroma is unique. The slightly harsh lingering bitterness keeps me from giving it a full five.

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Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Having unsuccessfully sought this beer at various spots in the Philadelphia area, I was thrilled when I finally happened upon it at Rattle 'n' Hum in New York, on tap alongside several other evasive Bear Republic beers, seemingly as part of a BR/Speakeasy event.

The appearance is about as clear and refined as I've seen this side of the ale/lager divide: a colorblind person could be forgiven for mistaking it for a pilsener. I'm pleased, however, that I have the visual capacity to appreciate its splendid orange radiance, which, emanating from the confines of its voluptuously-shaped vessel (a tulip), seems all the more majestic against the backdrop of the dimly-lit tavern. The head, while not abundant, is snowy-white and souffle-like, yielding a robust lace pattern.

As my olfactory nerves kick into gear, my first thought is that I have encountered this aroma before: indeed, this beer shares many characteristics with its lesser-ABV sibling, Racer 5, not the least of which is aroma, but this is by no means to its discredit. In fact, it can be argued that the brewers only improve upon an already stellar product. The nose on this one is complex and intriguing, and a description, no matter how lengthy or wordy, can do it only a disservice, as there are scents and floral whispers that are not easily translatable from the olfaction to the keyboard. Having said that, here's my best shot: piney, sprucey, resiny, very floral but all in all very subdued; incorporating terms like "blast" and "smack" into this description would be entirely inappropriate: the aroma, like a bouncer at a fashionable club who oozes professionalism, is assertive without being aggressive and authoritative without being menacing. In a word, it is balanced, to a degree that many IIPAs can only aspire. Some sweet caramel malt is also detected in the nose, as well as hints of citrus (especially lemon and lime, some grapefruit) and tropical fruit. Unlike a bouncer, the fragrance doesn't act as much of a hindrance to one's enjoyment of the beverage itself.

Like finally gaining admission to an exclusive club after a long wait in the queue, however, there is a degree of disappointment. While many of the same characteristics of the aroma are echoed in the taste, I find the booziness of the beer to be rather repellant and in many ways to overshadow the positive attributes of the flavor, namely that zesty lupulin so prevalent in the nose. Otherwise, there is more of a grapefruit/tangerine component to the flavor than was noticeable in the aroma, but a complex medley of citrus fruits is still on display. Some sticky sweetness too, but that alcohol is just too much of a factor to be overlooked.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied, somewhat oily but counterpoised by a crisp effervescence.

Although I am a lightweight and was on an empty stomach, the all-too-noticeable alcohol content in this one made it difficult to put away even a single ten-ounce tulip. This would probably work best as an extreme sipper, but even then I wouldn't be able to help but grimace.

Whether or not you're a fan of building on an already-existing product to create a new one, there's no denying that Racer 5 is the foundation onto which more malt, hops, and general amplification are grafted, yielding Racer X. The former is a fantastic IPA, and it stands to reason that a IIPA made in its image would be likewise fantastic, but the booze factor is just too much of a distraction from an otherwise ambrosial drink, and, at a seemingly manageable and maskable 9%, ultimately inexcusable.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic night at the Hulmeville Inn. Poured a hazy copper color with a nice thick fluffy white heading. Tremendous lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is hoppy but not overpowering,malts come in for a nice balanced aroma.

Taste is much more maltier than expected. Sweet caramel malts begin with a citrus blast kick somewhere in the middle. A sugary fruity kiss is follows and then back to a well balanced taste of sweet caramal malt and hop.

Mouth has nice retention medium-full bodied with that great bubbley effect in the belly. Finishes clean and hoppy.

Drink is very good for 9% ABV this is one of the very best of drinkability higher ABV beers. I sure could have a few more.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, Woody's @ City Market, Raleigh, NC

Served a nice deep amber color with a thick, dense white head that frankly would not fade. It held at least a one finger head for better than 5 minute, so needless to say, but very good retention as well as some very nice lacing.

Aroma was good and strong, citrus and flowery hop aroma. Personally, I thought that the hop aroma was a little overpowering, but to put into context, the DIPA is not my favorite style.

The taste was good, followed the aroma very well, big and hoppy with the lightest hint of something sweet.

Full bodied beer with a bitter, dry aftertaste and overall it was a little to much like syrup for my taste. For me the beer suffered on drinkability due to the thickness and the overpowering hops, as this is not one of my favorite styles. I can appreciate the style, but I would rather drink a straight up IPA than a double.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sac Brew.

A - Pours a solid copper with 2 fingers of orange-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Honey, flowers, slight citrus hops, and bittering hops.

T - Honey, flowery hops, light bittering hops, and a hint of alcohol.

M - Full-bodied, slightly hop dominated and slightly dry.

D - Great overall. A really good beer, looking forward to my next taste of this.

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Racer X Double IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 2,153 ratings.
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