Racer 5 IPAMarch 1, 2007
Available: AZ, CA, CO, DE, IL, KY, MD, MA, NY, OR, VA, WI
I’m well familiar with this ale, having supped it on a few occasions in the Healdsberg pub at which it was until recently brewed, and out of the bottle it evokes the same memories. The hop aroma is fresh and perfumy, with fragrant orange peel mixing with the green leaf and florals. Although notably hoppy, the body is nicely balanced, with orange, peach and light toffee notes providing a tasteful base for the citrusy bitterness. The finish is a little sharp, but that means it will make a good foil for bold flavors like spicy curries or a juicy bacon cheeseburger.
- Stephen Beaumont
Very funny — I just happened to see an amateur video this afternoon on YouTube called “The Hopfather.” The beer featured was Racer 5 IPA. Coincidentally I find myself with a bottle. Indeed a classic American IPA with all the hop aroma and flavor that define this style. Well balanced, with a great malt foundation. Bitterness is nice and worthy of “The Hopfather” and all youse uders. Don’t need to go into superlatives — the beer speaks for itself. To know it is to enjoy it.
- Charlie Papazian
This has a burnished gold color and stands up a well-sustained rocky head. The aroma is freshly, pungently, gloriously hoppy, the effect of sticking your head into a burlap bag of fresh hops and sweet oranges. The bitterness has a clean, sharp, crackling attack, the malt is big enough to hold it in place and it finishes with a clean mineral bite. A truly excellent example of West Coast IPA, executed with verve. Thai-spiced soft-shelled crabs, a whole plate of ’em.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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