Central City Red Racer Winter Ale

Reviewed by on February 4, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Central City Brewing

  • Origin: Surrey, BC, Canada

  • Rated On: March 4, 2013

  • Best Before: April 26, 2013

  • ABV: 7.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Suburban Vancouver’s Central City Brewing has quickly built a reputation as the IPA-kings of Canada, and have made likewise inroads into the United States, all while packaging their wares in attractive throw-back aluminum cans, adorned with a cartoonish brunette riding the titular red bicyclette.  Here, we have their winter ale, and there’s our girl, in her winter minimal finery, still astride that red hipster ride…

This 355ml can pours a clear, medium brassy amber hue, with two fingers of dense, foamy off-white head, which leaves some random coffee ring stain imprints of frilly lace around the glass as it evenly dissipates.

It smells of grapefruit and orange citrus hops, caramel toffee malt, and an overarching stewed raisin, fruitcake-like essence, which keeps it barely out of straight-up, knockin’ on DIPA territory. Still, I am breathless with anticipation!  The taste is bready, biscuity, crackery – sweet, all – malt, a touch of molasses, a more moderated earthy citrus character, and some piney, musty, somewhat leafy vegetal hops.

The carbonation subscribes to the don’t ask, don’t tell model in going about its business, the body a solid medium weight and generally smooth, no complaints. It finishes clean and very well balanced – the bitter citrus hops still doing well to cut through a lake of complex malt.

Wow, West Coast Winter Warmer represent! Nothing like a bit of sensory misdirection, before arriving at the new real thing. Big IPA up front, pizza crust (yeah, homemade, herbal pizza dough at this point, at least), and then a still stunned, warming gooey maltster emerges. Quirky, kind of sultry, and quite drinkable – well worthy of stocking this six-pack in the fridge all winter long.

Brady White

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