Bear Republic's Racer #5 is widely regarded as the best American IPA to touch down on Australian shores for a long time, if not ever! Recently some fresh stock has come in at the beer store, and naturally I jumped all over it!
Somewhat unsurprisingly Richo's here to try this one after a long day at work. My beer guy stressed that this is vastly superior to both Sierra Nevada and Green Flash IPA's, which I am extremely excited about if true. Lets hope the hype doesn't destroy it!
This beer pours a lovely deep golden colour with a smallish off white head. Don't let the size of the head fool you though, as it has amazing retention and laces the glass brilliantly. There doesn't appear to be much in the way of carbonation as I can't see many bubbles rising to the head. It's a really pretty looking IPA although the head could be bigger.
It's the nose where this beer really excels, it promises everything that a good IPA should. There is a huge ammount of citrus and floral hops present on the nose, as well as smaller pine and honey elements. There is also much in the way of fruits on the nose, with pineapple and grapefruit the most noticeable to me. It's a simply stunning smelling IPA!
Racer #5 has a fantastic taste to live up to the nose. As with all of the American west coast IPA's the hops are the main drawcard, and this beer is no exception! There are both floral and citrus hops present which provide ample bitterness to the beer. The pine hops are more present than the nose would suggest and in my opinion really make the beer. There is adequate malt to balance the beer, but this is definitely on the hoppier end of the scale.
This really is an exceptional IPA and lives up to the tag of the best American IPA to land in this country! The hops and stunningly flavoursome and bitter. Those who like a Belgian style IPA will not like this beer as it's a really big hoppy IPA. For those, like Richo and myself, who love their hops you will not be disappointed in this beer. It's a really nice easy drinking IPA with almost no alcohol flavour to speak of. Definitely one to try!
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