Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Racer 5 IPA (Bear Republic Brewing Company)

I was introduced to Racer 5 IPA during the News Journal's 2010 beer bracket. (It suffered what I felt was a disappointingly early ejection in the second round, falling to Lagunitas IPA, which went on to lose to Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55 in the Sweet Sixteen.) I have since purchased Racer 5 three or four times, and it has become one of my top favorite IPAs. It's a little flashier than the house staple IPA, Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA, but it has the same masterful balance at its foundation.

The beer pours an apricot-tinged gold in color, with some particulate matter in suspension. The foam is rather white and modest in volume, and it broadcasts a truly delightful aroma of pungent grapefruit, spice, and flowers. If you like American-style IPAs, you will not be able to resist the enticement of this nose!

To the sip, Racer 5 is brightly carbonated, with a medium body. The aromatically foreshadowed grapefruit tartness is there, and rounds beautifully into tropical fruit and biscuit malt body. The taste is big and juicy, approaching the territory of an imperial in flavor dimensions. Within that bigness there is a lot of interplay between sweet malt and bitter hops characteristics, with a satisfying overall balance. The lingering aftertaste is somewhat bitter.

As I say, this has become a rotation beer for me. I'll get to craving the smell of it as much as the taste, then it's all over -- gotta go make the buy. The brewery is out in northern California, but I'm pleased to report that both Total Wine & More and State Line Liquors carry not only Racer 5, but five or six other brews from the Bear Republic line. I look forward to sampling them as well.

Featured beer:

Racer 5 IPA

Honorable mentions:

Lagunitas IPA

Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55

60 Minute IPA

No comments:

Post a Comment