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Railbender Ale - Erie Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

696 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 20
Gots: 71 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Erie Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-17-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 | Reviews: 321
Reviews by sevenmoist:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a big seller last night at the Pizza Plant quite popular with the patrons,poured a dull lighter amber with a thinner off white head.Fruity malt and brown sugar in the nose with some lighter sweet dough notes as well.Lightly sweet and somewhat fruity definently malt tilted,some brown sugar and cookie dough in the finish.Hmm not a bad ale quite good but seems its just misisng something to make it a real winner but still good as it is.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

A bit surprising to see a year-round Old Ale--surprising in a good way as most brewers use this style for one-offs or winter seasonals.

Decent foaming action from a medium pour, the head does dissipate to a thin lacing but still sticks to the glass. Clarity is a touch hazy but it's more of a temporary chill haze as it does become completely clear when the beer warms up. Big caramel toffee note in the front of the house, smells a little bit like taffy but the faint alcohol and bready grain brings the aroma down to beerdom. Very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel, malt flavor comes across as very pleasing right from the start.

Fresh-baked bread with caramel tones, a little nutty and a faint husky note in the back. Hops drop a little bit of bitterness and a kiss of herbal flavor. Fruitiness is kept to a minimum with a trace, dried plum flavor. Finishes semisweet with a long lingering malt flavor on the palate.

This beer is just more proof that great beer comes from PA. Beware of its drinkability.

Photo of elinash
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber colored hue with light head, disappearing quickly. Medium to light bodied for a scotch ale. Comparatively less dense than Old Chub or Belhaven. A very flavorful session/ pub beer. Warming with spices and slight roasted flavors up front. It's chestnut season, so maybe I'm reading into it...but there's a nuttiness in there. Nice lingering spicy finish. Perfect for late fall/ winter.

Photo of shapudding
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very cloudy and unclear amber, looks like home brewed iced-tea. Good amount of milkshakey almond froth went away disappointingly quick, with no retention. -Left as quickly as it had piled up and left only a very thin dusting in a minute or two. Warm scents, just a bit of alcohol floating up from it, I kind of think I am imagining the slight aroma of scotch in the background... then mostly oranges. Nice citrus flavors, but not too intense. Kind of like having one of those odd fruit cups where you get the grapefruit, pineapple, and oranges... but they have been soaking together too long to be able to taste which is which with your eyes closed...? They all taste good, but the same. Just a bit of peppery grapefruit rind countered with a bit of honey sweetness at the end. The carbination is noticable, it foams up over your tongue and creates a bit more of a medium body. Decent flavor, bit sweet in the lingering flavors... left with a candi-sugar...maybe even artificial sweetner flavor?... on the tongue. Bit of darkened toast... There is just alot of flavor left sitting around in the mouth. This is not one I would really go back for again, but I do think it is more of a summer drinker than one to have had when it was 18 freakin' degrees out.... I will have to come back to the Erie's again.
I did grab this case of mixed for my Dad, since this was his birthplace and made a fun gift for a split with him, in his venture into following me into the world of craftbrew.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a light golden color into the glass. Almost no head of loose almost-white foam quickly disappeared into just a hint of lace on the surface. Beer is rather cloudy and a light apricot-orange when held to a full-spectrum light.

S - Freshly, lightly toasted malts. Caramel, with hints of butterscotch and lighter dried fruit, like apricots, and a touch of orange marmalade. Alcohol pushes its way into the nose. Overall, a soft nose.

T - Taste is rather muted. Light whole-grain bread and lightly toasted malts. Caramels appear as it warms in the glass. Touches of a tangerine/apricot Jolly Rancher. It seems to want to be a bigger beer, but the taste profile is really turned down and washed out.

M - Somewhat fizzy. Certainly more carbonation than the pour suggests. Rather crisp. Structure is on the lighter side and a bit thin. Almost no finish to speak of, but what's there is rather dry - it looks like most of the sugars went toward pushing the ABV up.

O - The flavor profile of this beer has promise, but everything about it is so muted and soft, except, perhaps the ABV, that it seems a shadow of what it could have been. It's inoffensive, and definitely not at all hoppy, so it might be an acceptable introduction for someone wanting to move up from BMC and see what the craft fuss is about, but a more experience pallate is likely to find it wanting. It's classified as a Scotch ale, but it strikes me as recipe that started out as a slightly flavored wheat beer, and when they went to brew they discovered they were out of wheat, so they used golden toasted malts instead. Once this six-pack is gone, I can't imagine buying this one again.

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling date indication. Pours clear, dull coppery amber. The head is slight, light khaki and quickly goes bye bye. Leaves just the faintest of tiny bubble films and minor bits of lace. The nose is equally non impressive, with just a moderate wiff of malt picked up. Malty brew, smooth and easy enough to knock back. A bit of smoke, a bit of earthyness and a respectable, maple tinged malt carraige. Easy drinking malty ale. NOthing earthshattering going on here, but decent enough. Would work as a stronger sessioner. Good to keep some of this type of sweater brew around for the base of a meaty marinade

Photo of tigg924
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy, orange/brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: peat, caramel, and earth

Taste: strong caramel, earth, peat, and some florals

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet, light body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice and malty Scotch ale. Nothing horribly out of the box, but a solid beer I could have a couple of.

Photo of brewman1526
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good beer from Erie... who would have thought? Pleasant maltiness, gentle alcohol warmth, a slight hop presence... this is not representative of most Scottish ales I've had, which I'm pretty sure is what it's intended to be, but still an enjoyable beer.

Photo of Kraken
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, consumed 5/15/09
Poured from a standard 12oz bottle into my gold rimmed Stella glass. Firm pour conjures a short lived 1/8 inch head. Head falls quickly and leaves a barely perceptible scant of lace around the edge of the glass. Color is a deep and enticing copper.

Nose- Rich toasted nuts, specifically almonds and pecan. Burnt caramel, and peat.

Palate- Some bitterness, initially, like eating the skin from a peanut only less intense. Followed by a substantial nuttiness again with almonds and pecan. Some burnt caramel and peat come through with a hint of hop bitterness in the end. Finishes on the long side with lingering nuttiness, some toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel- Dry with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- Very good. I find myself wanting more. This is a very nice beer.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this off of a trade from a local friend of mine. poured from 12 oz. bottle at cellar temperature into pint glass. pours a copper, almost dark copper, amber color, with a tiny bit of off white head that faded almost immediately to just a thin ring of foam on the outside of the glass. pretty much no head retention. hardly any lacing as well.

not a huge aroma, but there is some maltiness there. caramel notes coming in as well. slightly earthy.

the taste is pretty pleasent. very reminiscent of most amber ales ive had before. rich maltiness greets you at the begining of the sip and finishes with an earthy caramel malt finish. also some nuttiness in there. slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

medium body, with average carbonation. pretty drinkable beer, but i couldnt see myself buying this all on its own. its worth a try, but i wouldnt suggest going out of your way to pick this up.

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an american pint glass.

Appearance: copper colored brew with a modest head
Smell: malty and sweet; very unassuming; typical to style
Taste: great balance; nice malty sweet taste up front with a lingering malt finish. The malt is there but not over dominant, just the right balance. Very tasty.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and a nice level of carbonation which lends to it's drinkability
Drinkability: the more I drink the more I like it. This beer is so well balanced and as the beer hits it's optimal drinking temperature where all the depth of the malts come out. great stuff

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was pleased to see this one flowing on draft tonight at Lancelot's in Wintersville, OH...appears a copper amber tone with an off white cream head leaves nice lacing around my glass even with each sip. Aromatics mild caramel and warming nutty edge very light herbal hops rather clean with a slight mineral character as well. Flavor is clean with a good mix of hops and malts nutty caramel tone with a clean mild herbal hop finish. Mouthfeel is in the light to medium body range with moderate carbonation very nice stuff. Drinkability is really good stuff not the most complex brew but quaffable beer from up in Erie...one of my first bottle reviews I take it back not bad at all.

Photo of chinchill
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

undated 12 oz bottle served in a Laughing Skull pint glass. Some sediment in the bottom of the bottle -- added mid-tasting.

Pours a deep amber with a moderate off-white head that has limited retention and only leaves a small ring of lacing on the glass.

The smell is malt, with hints of musty earth, floral soap, peat and a trace of smoke. The taste is better, with more toasted malt, no mustiness, and some caramel and nut flavors.

M: enough carbonation to impart some crispness; somewhat smooth; slight dryness in finish; body is too thin and watery for style.

O: a decent brew, despite the poor nose. Higher ABV evident in feel but not the flavor or aroma.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a clear deep aged copper colored body with a thin light tan head that fads to spots in the middle. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles that pop to the surface.

S- The soft toasted biscuit malt aroma has hints of chocolate malt and darker toast in the background with a pretty clean aroma overall.

T- This beer starts with a nougat note that leads into some brown malt and club soda flavor to the biscuit malt. There is a dull pine hop note at the finish.

M- There is a medium mouthfeel with a big fizzy finish that dilutes the little bit of hops in the flavor.

D- This beer has some nice malt flavors but there are some off flavors that take away from the flavor and the hops are kind of dull that make this beer taste a little drab.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Medium amber with marked clarity and an offwhite head that settles rapidly.

S-Some caramel malts and what smells like adjunct grains. Scottish ale? Not picking it up here.

T-Sure ain't no McFoochies, Old Chubb, etc. In fact, I'm not even going to review this in style, because I don't care what anyone says, this is not what I think of as a Scottish Ale. Malt biased, it is, but the grainy, adjunct like flavor leans far to the American Macro side. Caramel malts predominate and hops are nearly non-existant. 6.8% AVB? Can't be...impossible... While coming up way short in the flavor department, I guess this would be a good summer sessioner....no worse than a PBR, but that is about the best I can say. Don't get me wrong...this is really not a bad beer, but I guess I just wanted to get my Scotch Ale drink on and this was so far off mark that it really let me down.

M-Medium-thin with balanced carbonation.

D-I guess if one were so inclined you could pound quite a few of these back. Think keg parties, quarter toss, beer bong, beergammon. That is the role of this brew. Thanks guys, I'll pass....don't wait up, I'm going out to fill my tulip with something savory with a bit of flavor...

Photo of watermelonman
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This arrived as a deep orange and gold. The head was medium in size, lasted well, and left a fair amount of lace.

The smell is mostly of malts but not very strong. Some alcohol and hop flavor comes through too. The taste is of amber malts all the way through, with some hops and a bit of fruit coming through in the finish. The mouthfeel is somewhat flat, while the drinkability is fairly good.

Photo of JacobJustus1
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into an average drinking glass (No beer mug available atm).

A: Lighter that I was expecting. Decent head, amber color is mostly clear.

S: Bready pale malts at first, some fruity notes peek through. A little spice in there too. Not a huge nose, but this could be due to it being pretty cold.

T: Crisp hops hit the tongue, then malts, with a solid bready, light caramel taste. Sweet malts, and grains. After a few tastes, I am definitely getting a lot of apple on this one. Not totally overpowering, but very present. Quite sweet. I am tasting some a mild woody taste as well. It's definitely on the sweeter side of things, but very quaffable.

Finishes dry, with some woody, herbal, grainy, and apple aftertaste.

M: The carbonation and light but assertive fizzy-ness does complement the flavors. I don't know how I'd like it without that carbonation.

O: This would pair nice with food. I agree with the person who said that this could be given to Macro-drinkers. It is a pleasant beer, but at 6.8%ABV, I wouldn't want more than one. I probably will not be returning to this beer soon, but it is a good effort, and it would pair good with food.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Erie- Railbender

A- Light copper caramel brown with a small filmy white head. Clear and bubbly.
S- Light smoky caramel malt with molasses and earthy hops.
T- Sweet brown sugar/ molasses, and caramel malt with a light dry earthy leafy hops.
M- Thin sweet malt with a light smoky dry earthy hop finish. A bit watery but smooth and evenly balanced.

Overall- Thin body, well balanced.

Photo of jdspears41
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this at a local gas station and decided to give it a shot after a long days work.

A-I poured this into a pint glass and noticed it his a light brown color with a small head of foam.

S-Not a very strong smell but it has a faint smell of hops.

T- Great taste with a great after taste...Has a small smoke taste to it...

M-Has a small bite to it with a little carbonation.

Give it a try!

Photo of QXSTER1
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, lovely dark amber, with an off white head that thins and laces down the glass. Crisp toasted malt flavors lead to a subdued but balancing hop finish. Plenty of malt and true to style, but leans towards the hop accented Scottish Ales. A tasty pizza and wings beer.

Photo of asabreed
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite little-known beers, if you will. Goes for around $20 a case, which in my opinion is surely a steal (though I seem to say that a lot I feel).

Appearance: Not the most impressive in the world, but pretty good overall. Decent white head that dissipates quickly. Amber and copper color, while on the lighter side and also has pretty full carbonation.

Smell: Good balance of hops and malt in the nose, or at least that's what it smells like. Kind of sweet, but welcoming, not overbearing. Smells of fruit also.

Taste: Very fruity and complex, with some hop bitterness lingering, though the malts are more present than anything. Alcohol presence is more evident as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation. Pretty good overall.

Drinkability: At 6.8% it can be deceiving; though the alcohol is evident, it's not overpowering, and it can be a pretty wicked (in the good and bad sense of the word) session beer if you let.

I realize the Erie Brewing Company is small, but if you have a chance to try it, definitely do. I feel it's their best beer (though there are few), and it should get more hype than it does.

Photo of haddon
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- the color is dark light amber in color with not much of a head. light amount of carbonation

S- brown sugar, molasses & caramel. the malts actually become more pronounced as the beer warms

T- not much on the palate. little bit of caramel with a floral note that ends on a hoppy bitterness. kind of bland. not nearly as flavorful as other Scottish Ales I have tasted

M- light to medium body. a little thick on the tongue with not much carbonation.

D- not much flavor and quite honestly, a little boring. not sure I would drink again.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orangish amber with a thin layer of loose, soft, off white head that lingers. The nose has notes of caramel and butterscotch as well as some faint fruity aromas. The flavor is heavy caramel with some faint butterscotch notes and a mild bitterness in the finish. It has a medium body and is very smooth though a little heavily carbonated.

This is a very refreshing beer. It's easy to drink and offers a very smooth, balanced flavor. It's a little more carbonated than I would like, but nonetheless, enjoyable.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rosy red with ok carbonation or lacing. Lacing is definitely better than anything else in this category.

Smell: Pine hops and caramel malt. Some spiced apple or dark fruit as well. Not sure exactly what, but there definitely is a fruity aspect to this beer. Maybe some smoke as well?

Taste/Mouthfeel: One of the oddest beers I've tried. It starts out kind of boring and flat. However, the complexity comes out later. Definitely a great sipper with somegood smokey qualities as well as some fruit, and caramel malt. I also get a good amount of pine hops as well. Pretty smooth with a nice alcoholic bite that comes out if you sip.

Drinkability: Would be better if it were a bit more consistent throughout.

Overall: A good, strange beer. See above.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rough pour brings up a full, frothy ivory head over a clear, deep reddish-amber body. The head holds fairly well, then drops to a nice creamy collar, and leaves some nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma offers some nice soft fruit and gently spicy & floral hops above a mildly sweet malt. The body is medium with a very fine & moderate carbonation that leaves it creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor offers a softly sweet & gently caramel-tinged maltiness that's well-balanced by a thread of grassy hop flavor and a supportive bitterness. A touch of alcohol is sometimes noticeable but actually seems to add to the character of the beer rather than distracting from it. It finishes softly with a mild drying alcohol, a dull bitter note and a sticky maltiness. Nicely done, and actually quite unique. There's much more to this beer than the first impression gives. Worth trying.

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Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.