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Brad Darnell's picture

Judge's Review: 95 Rating - Fastback Racer by Bear Republic Brewing Co.

May, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Fastback Racer by Bear Republic Brewing Co. is a Double IPA and is being evaluated as a Double IPA (2015 BJCP Category 22A) offering according to BJCP guidelines. For this style, expect intense hops and sufficient supporting malt that stops short of the sweetness of an American Barleywine. While presenting bold and assertive hoppiness, this style should not be harsh or heavy.

The thick head subdues the immediate aroma but what comes through shows a lightly sweet dried fruit character. Once the head breaks somewhat the moderate piney and citrus (orange, tangerine) hops show up, supported by medium-sweet bready malt. Pours hazy harvest orange with a huge, thick and creamy off-white head that lasts quite a while. Medium-light smooth alcohol greets the palate and paves the way for medium-high piney and juicy citrus (tangerine) hops. The hop bitterness is medium-high and leaves a dry finish with a slightly pithy aftertaste. Medium-full body, medium carbonation and alcohol warmth.

Upon further consideration I find some fruity, hop-derived esters (pear, cherry) on the nose and even fainter esters in the flavor. The malt is straightforward and provides nice support for the bold hops. The alcohol, while prominent, remains smooth and adds complexity.