Racer 5 AND Sculpin

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by raynmoon, May 12, 2013.

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  1. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (720) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    We've beat this sculpin horse many-a-time, but I feel like these two beers are so inconsistant that it makes me mad.

    Both beers, when proper, are delicious and worth seeking out, however, I am now having what you guys call as the "inconsistant ballast point". It just tastes super malty and bitter and off-putting. It was only bottled about 2 months ago.

    Both Racer 5 and Sculpin seem to be like this for me. When it's good, it's AMAZING, when it's bad, it's... well, bad.

    ay yai yai.
    Topher78 and rgfellow like this.
  2. mverity

    mverity Defender (669) Oct 6, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Never had any issues with Sculpin. I've had about 4 six packs now, and about 5 pints on tap. Racer 5 I've only had about 3-4 times on tap, and I thought it was fine. And all of this was here in Florida, not exactly around the corner...
  3. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    I've had Sculpin in the bottle, and Racer 5 on tap. I thought both were extremely fine beers.
  4. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (511) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've had both at least 5-6 times, and I never had any issues with quality. They were both great each time.
  5. hornsup

    hornsup Disciple (324) Nov 29, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I've heard from a few the cans have been less than stellar if thats what you're talking about. Otherwise, everytime I've had both in bottles sitting on shelves here they are pretty damn good
  6. TheBadger0289

    TheBadger0289 Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2008 New Zealand (Aotearoa)

    I agree about the variable nature of the Sculpin, but I think most of my issues come from the travel time over to NZ. We just don't often get them fresh enough. I finally saw what everyone else saw in the Sculpin when I had it on tap in LA - spectacular. I've had the Racer 5 a few times, but have always thought it was a tad dated by the night it got into my mouth...so I don't really have a proper point of comparison there.
    BlastBeats likes this.
  7. Obsidian

    Obsidian Aspirant (214) Dec 9, 2012 California

    Agreed. Sculpin is usually good regardless, but sometimes not amazing. When you get a great batch you know it. My most recent (batch #244 cans) was not amazing. I had bottles about 2 weeks prior that just blew me away. I don't even think the issues with Sculpin are related to age. Some batches are amazing, some are not (though still very good).

    Racer 5 is much more hit or miss than Sculpin as far as I'm concerned. The last bomber had was not good.
  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (559) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Heard that from a friend who loves sculpin. My local shop just got the cans in so I knew they were fresh but when I called my buddy to tell him he said "no, don't do it. The cans have an off taste." I didn't buy them so I don't know. Otherwise, I can't say I've had a bad sculpin or Racer 5. I love them both. Racer 5 got me into IPAs.
  9. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (720) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    It's sad to see these great beers get destroyed by their environments.

    However Sierra Nevada seems to avoid this mess... strange.
  10. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,188) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Sculpin hasn't been good for years.
    Rollzroyce21 likes this.
  11. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Sierra Nevada = $$$$$$$$ Quality Control. Which isn't taken lightly. Quality is priority #1 with their product. RESPECT.

    I've never found Racer 5 to be the same beer it once was (Before Pliny was in bottles)
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  12. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (720) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    love love love sierra nevada.

    everything they make is beyond words.
  13. DmouthCaliBrewz

    DmouthCaliBrewz Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2013 New Hampshire

    Sculpin is consistently good, occasionly mind blowing. Racer 5 is consistently Really good, but rarely Amazing.

    IMHO of course. But both fresh are so good. In a world of ├╗ber IIPAS, ya gotta love the single IPAs that can hold their own. Both are paradigms of the style.

    Fuck it, I'll just have myself a Pliny
    JDizzle, raynmoon and RBassSFHOPit2ME like this.
  14. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,476) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Not even close. Sculpin is one of the top IPAs out there. Racer 5 is extremely mediocre. Too much malt, boring malt profile, lack of bitterness. I've literally left it from tap on the table because of how bad it was. One of the few beers that I consider extremely overrated.
  15. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    And Sculpin isnt? ;-P
    rgfellow likes this.
  16. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,476) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Not at all, Sculpin is one of my favorite IPAs. And hey, I'm not willing to say I'm 100% right. Maybe in half a year, I'll try both beers again and adjust my opinion. Until then, I've surely had both Sculpin and Racer 5 two to three times each.

    My preference is quite strong, for now at least.
  17. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (720) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've had both multiple times throughout the years and and like Sculpin more. But have found beers to be inconsistant.

    that is all.
  18. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (532) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    The problem is that prior to the dating on the bottles, both of these had dust on them as they sat on the shelf because everyone was blowing their wads on Pliny. Racer 5 and Sculpin are solid beers. Really solid beers. That only get hurt when they sit on the shelves. Which is why if I can't tell it's new, I just pass on them.

    Though I recently saw racer 5 at Costco, which seemed like new brews and for under $4 per bomber, I had to buy a couple and was pretty damn happy about it.
  19. Kreko7

    Kreko7 Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2013 California

    Never had a problem!
  20. RockAZ

    RockAZ Disciple (371) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Racer 5 is a sturdy IPA that I don't choose often enough on draft because there are some more interesting choices at the bar, Sculpin being among them. I have had both of these in my kegerator and will again, although I have had too many Sculpin bottles that were just not right for me to trust it. Never had a Sculpin can, don't think they are available here yet.
  21. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,528) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I've had Racer 5 once and if given the opportunity will have again for sure.

    I've had Sculpin maybe 4 times and they were all Meh. I will try it again but only at the brewery.
  22. imbrue001

    imbrue001 Aspirant (213) Aug 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    See, there's your problem, you're drinking it at two months. Can't do that with Sculpin and expect anything more then meh. Gotta get under that two week threshold.
  23. ESeab

    ESeab Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    I concur, of the 6 times I've had sculpin, there was only one time that I thought it was even close to the hype. Racer 5 on the other hand has been more consistent for me.
  24. eammmbeer89

    eammmbeer89 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 New York

    I've never had an issue with Sculpin, but Racer 5 I find to be inconsistent/sub par to Sculpin.
  25. penniwisdom

    penniwisdom Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2010 California

    The Sculpin 6 pack I got with a best by 8/12/13 was a total diacetyl bomb. Felt awful to go to beer store, see 1 week old sculpin (back when I bought it), get excited about it, drop $17 or so and then get home and it is utterly undrinkable. I now have 5 bottles of diacetyl sculpin I can't bring myself to give to even my worst enemy. It's just gross. Too bad. I have had great Sculpin as recently as 3 months ago.
  26. alwaysplayin

    alwaysplayin Disciple (331) Feb 27, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Sculpin blew my mind the first couple of times I had it 18 mo or so ago, and that experience propelled it into my favorites... Since then I have definitely had a couple of mediocre bottles, and I am a bit gun-shy now. I am in So-Cal, too, so not terribly far from brewery.

    /hums "Memories"

    Had Racer 5 once and it didn't change my life. Need to seek it out now...
  27. CoachC

    CoachC Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2012 Florida

    Agreed. Bought a six pack of Racer 5 not too long ago, and it was a malty mess only 7 weeks after bottling. Sculpin has always been good to me though.
  28. whiterabbit

    whiterabbit Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2010 Ohio

    This year's Sculpin not as good as last years, and this year's Racer 5 is better than next years..........
    EdTheEdge likes this.

    SMITHAND Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2013 Oregon

    Ive only had Sculpin a few times, but that and Racer 5 have always been delicious in my experience.
  30. tbrascojr

    tbrascojr Disciple (343) Oct 15, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The truth is that usually the variations in taste are affected more by your diet than by the breweries variations in batches. People are far more variable than beer.
  31. hosehead83

    hosehead83 Poo-Bah (1,631) Nov 19, 2008 Ohio

    Where I live Sculpin is much harder on the wallet-so all things being equal-Racer 5 gets the nod
  32. luisc123

    luisc123 Initiate (173) Oct 20, 2011 California

    Don't have Racer 5 that often. I've never had issues with Sculpin on tap, just mainly when I buy bottles of it. But the new canned Sculpin were awesome. It was like Head Topper Lite, which is a good thing.
    dar482 likes this.

    SMITHAND Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2013 Oregon

    The fact that I cant get Sculpin in Portland is ridiculous. Very frustrating.
  34. fatsnowman22

    fatsnowman22 Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2011 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    Blame the handler. Total wine (insert your large beer/wine store) will sell beer a year after its been made including ipas. Ballast does printed best by dates. It is important to look for these dates on the bottle and support breweries that do date their beers.
  35. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    I have had both twice. First time they were amazing. Second time... meh. not sure what happened, freshness perhaps.
  36. alwaysplayin

    alwaysplayin Disciple (331) Feb 27, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    There are bottles of Sculpin in my local TW&M from 2011--case in point.

    That said, I deeply love that store.
  37. Whatdyisit

    Whatdyisit Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2010 California

    Sculpin's reputation ruins Sculpin for me. My expectations are too high for it every time I get a bottle. I thought maybe it was just my taste for it but last time I was at the brewery and tried it without knowing what it was (shared a sip off my wife's glass), I thought it was amazing. I really should do a blind tasting with some of my other favorite DIPAs.
  38. RangnaR

    RangnaR Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 California

    That's funny, because when I was in Honolulu earlier this year, I grabbed a bomber of Torpedo, and it was not good at all.. and I like Torpedo.
  39. dougfur

    dougfur Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 New York

    I often wonder how much of the variation we taste in beers, is due to us. The fact is that what you've eaten, drunk, chewed, etc. affects your taste and there are probably other things that do as well. I've found that to get a good sense for a beer, I have to drink it before eating dinner, or much later. It also matters how hungry/thirsty I am. This sounds nitpicky, but that's exactly what we are with these beers, so...
  40. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    My guess is that you're not getting fresh Racer 5.
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