Central City: Red Racer ISA (Canada: Session IPA: 4% ABV)
Visual: Light grain to yellow. Thin white head and some carbonation.
Nose: Lemon. Quite dry. Peach.
Body: Lemon and cream. Light crisp bitterness. Lager like crisp texture. Lightly bready. Slight dried apricot. Light honey and lime.
Finish: Bready. Lightly earthy bitterness. Light lime. Shredded wheat. Honey touch. Pineapple.
Conclusion: Session IPA. Session IPA. Grrr. Then again, Central City has done so far with their Red Racer IPA range while I have been trying them here in Canada. Might as well see what they can do with this often hard to pull off style.
Actually, this is very solid. While it has that bready, shredded wheat backing in common with a lot of session IPAs, one that doesn’t seem quite as drinkable as the style should be – it benefits from the fact that it isn’t nearly as highly attenuated as most seem to be. They manage to keep a light honey sweetness and an easy drinking lager style crispness that combine to be enough to keep the beer flowing freely. A vital element in a session beer I am sure you will agree.
It feels kind of like a highly hopped lager, which is not entirely a bad thing. The hop flavour comes through very clean and citrus filled, less so mid body but it just plain explodes in the finish. The hop character is not excessively bitter but does have this very fluffy feeling. It gives the impression of a lot higher bitterness than there actually is – an impressive trick for a session IPA.
Downsides? Well the aroma really doesn’t sell the beer very well, and while it has nice flavours it doesn’t quite rock the range of Beavertown’s Neck Oil – but I still rate it very highly for a session IPA.
Red Racers continue to race ahead.
Background: Yay, I got to try one of the Red Racer IPA range! Technically I got to try several, but this was the one I did tasting notes on. This is cool for me as I always got Red Racer from Central City, and Racer 5 from Bear Republic mixed up. Now I’ve tried both. This was drunk in Dubh Lin Gate in Whistler. I was confused, Irish theme pubs in the UK are nigh invariably shit, yet this place was highly recommended. Turns out to be a good pub. Huh, everything is different in Canada. ISA stands for India Session Ale by the way, took me embarrassingly long to find that out.