Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Railbender Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
329 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
329
Ratings:
762
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
22.5%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
116
For Trade:
0
Railbender AleRailbender Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Erie Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Erie Brewing Company flagship beer features a deep malt flavor, caramel sweetness lingering in a soft hop flavor. Dark Amber.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-17-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 329 | Ratings: 762
Photo of AdamBear
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-golden amber with a nice cream colored head

S-smells like licorice and peppermint. also like light honey and barley. medium strength

T-comes in with a taste of licorice and sweet barley. its a smooth taste. its a simple and balanced taste as well. it has a matching after-taste. some biscuit in the after-taste too.

M-medium carbonation with a sticky finish

O-its fairly drinkable, but i'm not a big fan of this one. its a unique taste but its just not the type of taste i want a whole glass of. it gets old quickly. i'll pass this when i see it

 551 characters

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a tan head.

Smells of roasted malt and caramel, backed by a floral bouquet with fresh berry notes.

Roasted malt bready mouth feel dominates giving way to caramel with some bitter burnt sugar notes. Finishes dry with a slight bitter herb taste. An excellent beer with big malt flavor.

 304 characters

Photo of jsisko01
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a hazy, orange-amber color with a half inch thick, off-white head that dissipates after 2 minutes. Has nice lacing.

Smell - Scotch for sure.. With a subtle sweetness and maybe some toasted malts. That's all I can detect.

Taste - Scotch flavor is the most dominant. Along with a light sweetness and nutty character. Lightly toasted malts and a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Light body with moderate carbonation.

Overall - I don't normally drink this style of beer.. they gross me out. This is the first one that didn't, although I wouldn't drink more than one bottle..

 587 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

 523 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a nice color, looks to be a mixture of golden and amber. There is a minimal head which dissapates quickly and almost no lacing in the glass.

The smell and taste of fruit are heavy; I can't tell exactly which type of fruits are in the brew; perhaps cherries and oranges.

This beer is very sweet, no bitterness at all. It is almost too sweet. Just a little bitterness would have been nice.

The mouthfeel is 'fruity', the brew goes down smoothly with no bitterness or aftertaste. There is no alchohol taste either.

This beer tastes like it would be good in either the summer or winter. Overall I would not turn it down but I won't be going out of my way to obtain more.

 689 characters

Photo of tone77
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some malts are apparent. Tastre is also mild, some malts, a touch of fruit, delicate flavor. Feels light in the mouth and overall this is a mediocre beer.

 252 characters

Photo of brewpig
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got a case from my son for xmas after i told him to buy me a six pack of craft beer (w/my money)...did not even know this beer existed but saw it was a scottish ale and had never had one before so was looking forward to trying it out.

smell was a malty w/maybe some nutty esters and a little scotchy also.

heavy mouthfeel but smooth very little carbonation.

taste was not exactly what i expected...watery w/bitterness and malty aftertaste w/ahint of scotch.

not bad but this is a tad harsh and not sessionable...2 or 3 is about it.

 535 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Shared by nmann08; thanks Nate. 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a transparent dark amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of nuts, caramel malts, fruity malts, and light spice.

t - Tastes of nuts, caramel malts, toasted malts, light cinnamon and spice, light fruit, and roasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Lots of nuts and caramel malts and pretty easy to drink. Would have again.

 557 characters

Photo of y2jrock60
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark red brown with almost no head and lacing. It looks very maple syrup like.

S- Mild malt tones with some sweet and smokey notes.

T- Light sweetness upfront followed by mild malt flavor and a slight smokiness.

M- Medium light bodied with low carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable, this is defiantly one of my favorite Scotch Ales.

 335 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i really like this one. a red ale (not sure why it says scottish?) but its a red through and through, all malty and sweet, but this one has a nice hop kick as well, and a really jivey carbonation which makes it really drinkable. medium body, medium abv, great palate. the nose and taste are both overloaded with amber malt and crisp american hops. i think it is erie's flagship beer. would like to see this one get a little broader distrobution. nice local product for northwestern pa, otherwise a beer wasteland

 512 characters

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle ---> Pint glass. Dark amber. Small white head. Little lacing.

Smell is balanced yet restrained. Nice hop aroma and buttered bready malts. Some maple sweetness and a crisp herbal touch.

Taste is also balanced between sweet roasted grain and fresh hops. The guy at the bottle shop described it as a mix between pale ale and IPA. Nice aroma without the bitterness.

Could throw back a few of these..very nice.

Tasty brew. I just wish there was more info on the bottle

 477 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber. A little hazy. Forms a small 1/8" of off-white head that has very poor retention and quickly reduces down to a minimal surface coating. Minimal lacing as well.

S: Slightly creamy. Some bread and an mild alcoholic "brightness."

T: Creamy, toasty, and bready. Peanuts. Slight, dull cinnamon spice. Flavor fades quickly to a seltzery finish.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is a bit on the lower side. Meaty and slightly viscous.

O: A decent brew. Flavorful, but unexciting. Would have never guessed it was a Scottish ale.

 539 characters

Photo of burnstar
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear copper. Small to medium sized head. Smell is pleasant sweet malt. Toffee. Taste has mild sweetness. Toasty malt. Some herbal and grassy hops. Very nicely balanced and tasty. Very clean and crisp. Medium bodied. Very nicely carbonated. Great feel. Overall, a really nice beer. Very drinkable and sessionable. Doesn't show its abv at all.

 355 characters

Photo of Boto
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy amber color. There was a very small off-white head that didn’t linger or leave any lacing. /decent enough nose. Caramel malt, maybe some traces of fruits, grain and maybe a faint earthiness. The taste is pretty good. Some sweet caramel malt, grain, just a faint bit of roast, bit of dryness to the finish. Maybe some breadiness also. Worth a repeat purchase.

 405 characters

Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark golden color with a moderate head and nice lacing.

S: Mild roasted malt aroma of caramel eith a hint of grain.

T: Caramel sweetness along with some roasted malt. A nice hint of bitterness with a clean finish.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp, very smooth and quite refreshing. Well balanced, no hint of the 6.8% ABV.

O: very easy drinker, had a second with no hesitation. A nother good beer from Erie Brewing.

 426 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head. Clear dirty golden. Lots of lace

S: musty and vinegar like hop aroma. grain and bread with caramel notes.

T: semi sweet caramel malt dominates. Crisp taste. Bread notes.

M: light body. Mild carbonation

Overall: The aroma for be was a little sour and vinegar like which I wasn't a fan of.

 314 characters

Photo of bpw28
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Two finger off white shaving cream head, copper (about a 16 SRM), very good lacing, lots and lots of carb.

Smell: Medium roasted malts, milk chocolate, espresso notes, light floral smell, slight wood. Very clean nose.

Taste: Medium full feeling malts, milk chocolate, light coffee, woods, earthy, bready yeasty, very nice floral hop backbone bitter. Body is medium and slightly chewy, carb a little much.

Final Thoughts: Very nice. This is very malt forward and it showcases some great flavors. It's very nice and tasty. Could be one of my more favorite scottish ales.

 577 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Joe Canal's recently since I had never tried it before. It almost tasted like a Scotch Ale but the alcohol was the strongest aspect to this beer, by far. The aroma wasn't overpowering and the taste was a textbook example of this style as well. For those looking to warm up and be buzzed slightly when drinking a darker beer, this fit the bill nicely.

The pour to this wasn't anything memorable as the head faded quickly and there wasn't any lacing to be seen. The medium brown hue was close to being completely clear and only a bit of dark fruit could be picked up on the nose. The mouthfeel was good - creamy, like liquid butterscotch, and the taste had notes of caramel, dark bread, and just a bit of peat moss. All of this faded into a nice smoky aftertaste just burned just a bit, leading nicely into the next sip.

This wasn't anything outstanding but the alcoholic kick tied in everything together well, since the malt was not grainy enough to be in the foreground. Most people associate this style of beer with the colder months but it's smooth and weak enough to be enjoyed all year round. Fans of Scottish Ales will be pleasantly surprised by the easy drinkability and nice mouthfeel of this take on that style.

 1,241 characters

Photo of Marty30
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter at fridge temp.

A. Pours a nice kind of red body with an orange hue.Clear body with decent carbonation. Leaves a 1.5 finger head that dissapears quickly.

S. Caramel malts and a little bit of butterscotch,followed by faint hints of apricot.A bit of grain.

T. Caramel malts dominate here,I actually taste a small bit of oats, nice hop presence.Not very complex but I like this.

M. Medium mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation stinging the palate.Good hop presence to give it a nice dry finish.

Overall I have drank this beer quit a bit due to my brother liking it.Its not the best example of the style by any means but solid. Drinkability is above average. If you see this around give it a shot.

 746 characters

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with a very small tannish brown head with nice retention. There is some moderate lacing.

S: A decent amount of bread, caramel, smoked wood with some mild earthy hops.

T: Starts off slightly sweet with some nice caramel, bread and some tobacco. In the middle the taste gets a lot more smokey and continues through the end of the beer. Only at the very end there is slight undertone of earthy hops.

M: A little thin, but carbonated nicely. Leaves a smokey wet wood taste on the palate.

O: A nice Scottish Ale. Would like to have had a little less smoke and more of the tobacco flavor, but still and enjoyable beer.

 647 characters

Photo of horshack7
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Topped with about a one inch head that is decently frothy then thins out to a thin layer of lace. Beneathe all that is a clear with a twinge of haziness dark amber beer.

Aroma: Malts show themselves at the start with a earthy tone and dark breadiness in the nose. From the hop side of it those are nicely roasted that do release a little bit of citrusness.

Taste: A buttery smooth mouthfeel. Notes of molasses and caramelized sugar. A little bit of grain in the middle. Hops are roasted to a good happy medium. The flavor is not overwelming form either the hop or the malt sides.

Notes: Very tasty and very drinkable. Cheers.

 640 characters

Photo of magine
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a clear copper amber color. Has an off white small head that settles very quickly to a lace island. Some patchy lacing. Pretty average looks.

Brew smells of biscuit and caramel malts. Slight hops as well. Decent nose.

Brew is a tad bit thin but balanced and smooth as you drink. Has a sharp carbonation in the middle, almost spiced. Finishes slightly dry. Sweet caramel malts, a subtle nuttiness in there as well. Has some dark fruity hops as well maybe. Some biscuit and bready malts here too. All of these flavors are present but just a bit bland and a little thin in terms of flavor and mouthfeel. A pretty good brew.

This is a pretty decent brew, it is a good sessionable brew and has a decent alcohol level. It really is rather middle of the road though as far as scottish ale's go. Pretty good stuff.

 844 characters

Photo of gfreed
2.01/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

As I've said elsewhere, the downside of the current beer explosion in America is the river of average or below-average beer crashing into stores everywhere. The trick is picking out the good beer from the cases of junk. I like a beer adventure as much as the next drinker, but I do get tired of dragging home one crappy beer after another. This brew plops neatly into the crap trap: beef-broth color and beef-broth taste from the beginning all the way to the tired, bitter end. And not good beef broth, either: it's the ick your grandmother used to make from 10-year-old bullion cubes that had been sitting in a glass jar with a red rooster on the label. Avoid. Or, if you must have beef broth, make it from cow bones.

 718 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Railbender pours out as a deep brown color with some red highlights. The smell of the beer gives off some earthy aromas along with some roasted sweet malts. The taste of the beer has some subtle dark fruit sweetness to it that's backed up but a dry toasty finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall it's not the best Scottish Ale out there but it might be worth trying.

 374 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of Railbender Ale for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I haven't had a Scottish ale in a while and one sounds pretty good right now so lets see what this brew is all about. There was no visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok and has a large dark picture of an old school steam engine on it. It poured a nice clear copperish amber color with two fingers worth of white foam that quickly died down to a thin ring.

S- It has a very typical aroma for a Scottish Ale. The aroma is full of lots of caramel malts that smell pretty sweet and are mixed with grain and bread aromas. There was also a nice blend of dark fruits that I always expect from this style, and this one had a great dark fruit aroma to it.

T- The taste starts off with a dominating flavor from the caramel malts that isn't nearly as sweet as it was in the aroma. The malts imparted all kinds of bready and biscuit like flavors. One thing that sticks out about this brew is that the malts seem to be toasted more then most in it's style and I like it. The fruits show up in the middle and are more subtle then I expected but still impart some raisin like flavors. I couldn't detect any hops and there was no bitterness in the flavor, there was also no presence of alcohol.

M- Smooth and medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation, I would have liked some more carbonation in this brew.

Overall I thought this was a slightly above average Scottish ale. When it come to Scottish Ales I tend to like the Wee Heavys but I was looking for something a little lighter this time since I tend to overlook most Scottish Ales and go straight to the Wee Heavys. This beer had all the good flavors I would expect from the style, it was just all together more lighter, subtle and drinkable then a Wee Heavy. This brew seems to be a good match for a stormy spring day. The only things I would change about this brew would be to add more carbonation and add in some more hops to give it a little bitterness to help balance out all the malts. I don't think I would seek this beer out again when Dirty Bastard is much more widely available and a better value, but I wouldn't turn one down if offered one because it is pretty smooth and drinkable. If you tend to like your Scottish Ales on the lighter side and not as robust and strong as a Wee Heavy then this may be the beer to you. I would like to see what other brews Erie Brewing has to offer.

 2,475 characters

Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.