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Railbender Ale - Erie Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

656 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 656
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 20
Gots: 39 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 656 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue Tulip. 6.8% ABV, no date.

Thanks to NeroFiddled for the cool-labeled brewski!

A - The appearance would be similar to a melted caramel block that's clear. Redish-orange. Little head popped up and fell back down quickly to a thin right. No lacing on the glass.

S - The great aroma starts with a toffee burst that's quickly overtaken by a caramel sweetness. Toasty caramel malts are everywhere on this and there is a light hoppy finish that doesn't interfere with the malty balance that's going on.

T - Forget the quick toffee burst in the nose, it's not in the flavor. But what is, is the caramel toasted malts galore with a stronger hop presence on the finish to balance the maltiness out. The hoppiness is floral and a bit fruity (could also be from the malts). Not as good as it was foretold by the aroma.

M - Medium in body, it's rich with malts and very dry on the finish from hops. Also, it has a mild carbonation bite to it making it feel lighter than it really is.

D - The difference between the aroma and flavor is interesting. It's a good Scottish ale that I'll keep sipping away at but it's not incredibly drinkable by any means. The alcohol isn't noticeable though so a few may sneak up on you just a bit.

BeerFMAndy, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First off, congrats to Erie on the GABF medal for Railbender... As a result, I'm slightly more excited in popping this one open...

A - Half a finger of loud fizzy pale khaki colored head comprised of varying sized bubbles fades away in rapid fashion leaving only a modest milky way like lacing in the center of the glass... Loads of small moderate paced carbonation bubbles swirl throughout... The color is not as dark as expected and is a light caramel color with a strong orange hue...

S - Gooey caramel syrup... Toffee... Ripe dark fruit... Raisins... Brown sugar... Enticing, but overall rather subdued...

T - Bready malts... Golden raisins... Diacytel... Slightly medicinal finish... The flavor is good, but similar to the nose, again rather subdued...

M - Aggressive biting carbonation hits the tongue hard... On the thinner side of medium bodied... Heavy but watery at the same time...

D - A very sessionable scottish ale... Lacks the full flavor and rich mouthfeel associated with better Scoth and Scottish Ales, but there is something charming and memorable about this brew...

philbe311, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown with little head and a viscous looking texture. Aroma is bready with some caramel. I couldn't recognize this as a Scotch Ale.. seemed like a really good British Strong Ale to me but it's definitely within style guidelines. Very sweet in the taste with most of the flavor coming from the caramel malt. Extremely drinkable. This is something I'd want to have a keg of at a party. Unbelievably smooth. Had on tap at Murphy's Law in Rochester.

wiseguy142, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on October 7, 2009. The pour on this brew is amber-copper but quite hazy. There was limited to almost zilch head on this one. Sweet caramel and malts lend themselves to the aroma with added strength followed by a little bready, overripe fruit on the tail end. The mouthfeel is smooth and honey-like, a mouthfeel that is always appearing to me. The taste is mainly of sweet malts, caramel, and toffee with neutral hops to balance it out. But it leaves a rather malty aftertaste. I would not go out of my way for it but I would drink it again if the opportunity arose.

puboflyons, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: red/brown. copper cloudy

smell: slight sweetness of caramel but not much

taste: taste like a less sweet bready fat tire. Easy drinking. little hops at all and semi sweet. probably the least flavored 6.8% beer Ive ever had.

mouthfeel: light bodied???

drinkability: an alright beer but I wasnt expecting much.

CampusCrew, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of mwagner1018
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- copper, reddish color, little to no off white cap.

S- Brown sugar, significant malt sweetness, caramel.

T- Medium bitterness (more than I would expect for the style), decent balance that I would expect, malt back bone, toasted sweet candi taste to it, nice bite, medium dryness.

M- Slight residual sugar note, thick and malty.

D- Not all that impressed, 1 is enough of this one, very basic.

mwagner1018, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of nickfl
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - One finger of off-white head on a hazy, copper colored body. The foam settles quickly and leaves nice lace.

S - Light malt sweetness and some caramel. A hint of british hops and a big dose of butter.

T - Slightly sweet, heavily toasted malt up front with musty hops. Some sour grainy flavor and a lot of diacetyl. Lingering english hop flavor in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not good. This is kind of a strange scottish ale. It lacks in malt richness, just a one dimensional toasted quality. There is more hop character than one would expect for the style and the excessive buttery notes do not in any way redeem it. This might come across better if it was presented as a bitter or mild, but even then its not very good.

Update: This POS just won a GABF gold medal!?!? WTF!?

nickfl, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish body, with both orange and brown highlights depending on the light. Level thick finger of slightly fuzzy white foam.

Aroma is heavy with caramel, and a slightly burnt sensation.

Thick caramel opening coats the tongue. Earthy hops nibble at the outside, and though noticeable, do not really ever capture full attention. Bit of belly warmth.

Smooth, thick mouthfeel. Goes down ok but I'm not in a huge rush for the other three.

RonfromJersey, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a decent one finger head. The smell is of some floral hops over a bready malt. The taste has a malt backbone with floral hops over the top, however, not very bitter. The mouthfeel is of low carbonation and is slightly creamy. Drinkability is good, it is smooth and easy drinking with a good malt backbone.

goblue3509, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, Pittsburgh.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and decent lacing.

The smell featured a side caramel malt and an earthy hop.

The taste consisted of a smooth soft malt, caramel and a grassy earthy hop.

The mouthfeel was smooth on cask.

Overall a decent and easy drinking Scottish Ale.

plaid75, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of ppoitras
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 6 pack at either Party Source or Brilbeck's, Syracuse, NY.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy dark amber brew. Head recedes gradually, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is rich, a touch of smoke, and a slight undercurrent of sour. Taste follows the nose, with tartness coming on at the close more than one would hope. Mouthfeel is soft on the tongue, and drinkability is pretty good. Wouldn't mind trying this one again.

ppoitras, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of tgdigital
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of my go to beers. It's not going to completely wow anyone anytime soon, but it is a beer that I personally find incredibly palletable and hyper-drinkable. The beer itself looks like a standard amber ale with a nice frothy white head. Mainly caramel in the nose with light floral hops. The taste is rich caramel sweetness which is balanced nicely with floral hops. The mouthfeel is good but not exceptional finishing sweet. This is definitely a session beer that is easy to forget that there is almost 7% alcohol.

tgdigital, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from a variety 1/2 case poured into pint glass. Case purchased from Wegmens in Warrington.
Pours a frothy ivory head with a clear amber body. On the nose some floral hops. On the palate; softly sweet and hint of caramel maltiness blended with a nice hop flavor.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of mtstatebeer
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours an orange-red color with a fair, frothy off-white head, pretty decent lacing. Aroma is of caramel malts, nutty, bread, and a hint of earthy hops. Flavor is again caramel malts, nutty, and a little bit of a fruity hop flavor. Mouthfeel is light-to-medium bodied with a touch of bitterness at the end. Pretty good beer, doesn't strike me as a scottish ale, but whatever....a little too sweet, maybe.

mtstatebeer, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Fox and Hound in da 'burgh for the Stanley Cup finals game 7. Amber color with a good thick head with average retention. Didn't get much from the smell and frankly I don't remember much. Chocolate and roasted malt in the taste made me think this was a light colored porter. There was a touch of breadiness. Overall, twas a good beer. Pens win!

4.0 A
3.5 S
4.0 T
4.0 M
4.0 D

DavoleBomb, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of yuenglings
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: First off ya gotta love that dark golden red color. Has a thin head that leaves a good amount of laceing

S: Sweet rosted malts with some nutty bread to it.

T: Sweet malts up front whith the slighest little bit of hops in the end

M: Very smooth and creamy with low carbonation

D:A very drinkable beer these go down very smooth and you cant taste the alc. at all. I can see my self buying this agian many times.

yuenglings, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Translucent brown body with burnt orange edges. Slight tan head that leaves one or two spots of lacing on the glass.

All malt in the nose, which is no surprise. Some caramel, some chocolate.

The taste is the same as the aroma; both chocolate and caramel flavored malts that are equally strong in flavor. A little bit of boozy alcohol in the finish. Overall pretty good, but a little less full flavored than I would want.

Mouthfeel is a little light for the style, with about moderate carbonation.

Overall not a bad beer, especially for the price.

Hojaminbag, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a fizzy red with brownish tints with a quickly dieing, but rather large, head. Nice mix of caramelized malt and hops, although a little more hoppy than I expected. Good blend of sweet malt and earty, citric hops as this beer seems to pop on the tongue yet pass down smooth and easy. A little sticky at times but for the most part easy to drink and not a bad beer to try.

clayrock81, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Overlord
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Solid little brew. Thanks Crazymac!

Pours an orangeish amber. Two to three inches of white foam head. The smell is basically nutty malt. That's it. One of the most straightforward pleasant aromas I can imagine.

Taste is, again, just malt with a bit of earthy nuttiness to it. Mouthfeel a bit too thin, but it tastes good, and is certainly quaffable. This is a beer that knows what it wants to be and wastes not time getting to it.

Overlord, May 31, 2009
Photo of FickleBeast
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle pouted into a Smuttynose pint glass

A - Hazy caramel colored, one finger of head with large bubbles that don't stick to the glass

S - It just smells malty... I don't know how else to describe it.

T - a lot of sweetness - heavy with crystal malts - highly unbalanced, I can't taste or smell a hop anywhere near this beer.

M - it feel like it is coating my mouth, but there isn't a great flavor to back it up. At least there is flavor, but nothing that I've thrilled with.

D - gotta score low on this one - a malt bomb for sure, but I can't imagine having more than one of these.

There is a time and a place for this beer, unfortunately the time is not now and the place is not in my mouth... Just too sweet and heavy for a May evening.

FickleBeast, May 24, 2009
Photo of Kraken
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Kraken, May 23, 2009
Photo of beerman207
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got hooked up with this from Bamadog - Thanks!

A- This beer has a deep copper color along with 1 finger head that quickly dissapates.

S- I get some buiscut and nuts coming through the nose

T- malt and nutty flavor coming through.

M- Medium carbonation - very nice

D- A good beer - not my favorite but still a good sessionable beer and the alcohol is pretty high but very well masked

beerman207, May 15, 2009
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber with an offwhite head. A bit hoppy for a scottish ale. I'm not getting any of the good peaty malt flavors either. Just kind of bready and the yeast is a bit powerdy. Little bit of brown sugar or cane sugar sweetness. Tad nutty and earthy. It's a bit watery and some fusal alcohol in here, not the best drinker, and at 6.8 is nowhere near a session brew.
It's okay, though in almost every way forgettable. Nothing off in the flavor, just blah.

SurlyDuff, May 13, 2009
Photo of PorterLambic
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice brown with gold throughout. Small head drops fast leaving no lace.
Smell is almost completely non-existent, just a slight malt note and nothing else.
Taste is much better. Malt, smoke, vanilla, caramel with a hint of peat.
Medim bodied with good effervescence. Aftertaste is a nice, fading malty one. A good beer but keep your nose out of it, you'd just be wasting your time.

PorterLambic, May 12, 2009
Photo of scottro
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I too had heard a lot about this particular beer. I live an hour from the brewery, and I enjoy local beers, so tonight I finally gave it a try.

It pours a coppery amber with very little head. On my second bottle (which I'm drinking now), I tried to get it to head a little more. Nothing. Like half a finger at best, slightly eggshell.

the nose was unremarkable, almost like it's trying too hard to be a tripel or something. Hints of unremarkable spice, a little toffee maybe . . . nothing stood out.

Mouthfeel was fine. I didn't find it as clingy as others have.

Taste was decent, but nothing that I've not tasted in other beers before.

Overall, it seems to be OK for the session tonight on a rainy cool spring evening, but I'll probably not buy it again any time soon.

scottro, May 11, 2009
Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.