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Railbender Ale - Erie Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

685 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 685
Reviews: 315
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 19
Gots: 58 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 685 | Reviews: 315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonkers
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer has a deep golden hue with a moderate white head, decent lacing. The aroma is malty, bready. The flavor is weak, bready, and ahint of smoke, IMO it could have used more of each. The beer is light to medium bodied, average to light carbonation. I think this beer needs to be bigger to hit the style better.

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

Appearance: slightly hazy,orangeish light brown in color. thin light brown tinted head that disaptes guickly leaving a thin lace.
Aroma: strong complex malt aroma. slight roasted notes followed by a strong sweet caramel aroma. no hop aromas are present.

Flavor: sweet caramel malt followed by a medium to strong roasted flavor. I understand that scotish ales have roasted notes but I think it is overdone just enough to mention. Its not bad but I would have dropped the percentage a little bit. The hop bitterness is very mild & done just right to balance the sweetness of the complex malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Full in body, rich in malt, light to medium carbonation (good to style), water is fairly soft.

Overall: this is an average scotish ale. Full body, rich malt profile, proper use of hops, low/medium carbonation, soft water. The only minor complaint I have is that the roasted notes are overdone just a little bit. Is this worth buying? Absolutely. I've had better & I've had much worse.

Photo of wac9
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

its so hard to find scottish ale in my part of pa. what a great beer found a six pack in wegman wish i had a case of this beer. the beer has dark reddish color .perfect scottish ale color. the frist taste takes your breath away its that good. a good scottish ale beer made in pa. hope to have more of this

Photo of GoalieRon33
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- reddish brown tinted, with an overall see clear, filtered opaquness

s- toffee, with some heavy maltiness. Woody, almost smoky even

t- heavy maltiness, a bit smoky/woody flavor. slightly hoppy finish

m- medium body. Not too heavy, but still enough to let you know that you are not drinking a light beer

d- wonderful beer that is easy to drink. Heavy taste that would be wonderful for chilly days and nights

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of philbe311
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
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...

Photo of wiseguy142
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
3.64/5  rDev 0%
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.

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.

Photo of mwagner1018
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of nickfl
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
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!?

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.

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.

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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of tgdigital
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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

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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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.

Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.