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Brad Darnell's picture

Judge's Review: 89 Rating - Racer 500 by Bear Republic Brewing Co.

May, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Racer 500 by Bear Republic is an “Indy Pale Ale” and is being evaluated as an IPA (2015 BJCP Category 21A) offering according to BJCP guidelines. For this style expect a hoppy and bitter beer with balanced malt character. These are bolder than American Pale Ales and present a hop-forward balance, a clean fermentation profile and a dry finish. The malt, while present and balancing, allows the myriad hop varieties and their diverse character to shine through.

Fragrant, fresh pithy grapefruit and tangerine hop aromas emanate from the glass at initial pour and leave little room for the slightly fruity hop character and light, grainy-sweet malt. This sample pours hazy golden straw with a medium-sized, bubbly white head, receding to a thin film shortly. Crisp, light grainy malt supports the moderate hop bitterness. The hop flavor is piney, resiny and lightly herbal. Hop bitterness dominates into the aftertaste and leaves a dry finish. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Further decomposition yields slight grassy and resin hop aromas, definitely secondary to the volatile citrus hop notes at the start. Within the flavor, orange notes alongside slight fruity, hop-derived esters enter late, particularly as the palate adjusts to the hop bitterness. The hops contribute to a lengthy dryness. Light alcohol warmth awakes the belly.