Last week we celebrated the end of the week with an imperial IPA from Valiant Brewing Company. This week we headed over to our local bottle shop to grab something to enjoy this afternoon. From experience we know it’s always a good idea to ask if they have anything special behind the counter, and whaddya know – they did. With just two bottles of BearRepublic’s 2013 Racer X left in stock, we knew we better pounce on it while we could.
So, yes, it’s another imperial IPA, but I knew our staff wouldn’t complain – is there such a thing as too much imperial IPA? I think not. BearRepublic’s Racer 5 is a go-to IPA for many of us here, and Racer X is a similarly excellent representation of the bigger “imperial/double IPA” style.
Racer X is a showcase for the famous “Three Cs” that it’s made with: Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus hops. As expected, the hop aromas are big, offering a floral fruitiness composed of orange blossom, tangerine, some grapefruit, a little pine, and some spicy, herbal undertones approaching mint. There’s a caramel malt sweetness underpinning the whole thing too. All of this comes through on the palate, as well, with the robust malts adding enough backbone to hold the whole thing up while delivering a lingering toasty note in the finish. In fact, BearRepublic touts this beer as being well-balanced, and we agree. I’m laughing as I write this because only in our twisted, hop-crazed minds can any 100+ IBU double IPA be “balanced”, but, at least relative to some others in the category, it is – and we like it. A lot. Pick one up if you can find it!