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Railbender Ale - Erie Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

635 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 635
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 17
Gots: 33 | 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)
View: Beers (15) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 635 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I remember pounder returnable bottles of this brew in college showing up all the time at parties. Was surprised to see the beer in Rochester and bought a bottle to see how it tastes now.
Im sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a clear copper hue with fizzy off white head of .5 cm foaming up and fading rapidly to a thin edge layer.
Aroma is grainy malt and a bit of brown sugar. No real hop presence. Overall mild on the nose though.
First sip reveals an average body with fine fizzy carbonation and smooth silky and slightly syrupy texture.
Flavor is as nose suggests with all malt caramel and toffee and some brown sugar, no real hop presence. I also dont get the 6.8% ABV. A well crafted beer that is easy to drink. Good stuff for those maltys out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 02:05:18 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of iceball585
iceball585

New York

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish orange amber color, thin white head

S- Fairly fruity auroma of apples, oranges and lemons

T- Good malty taste w/ strong hints of oranges and lemons

M- Medium bodied, smooth, little carbonation

D- Easily drinkable

This beer has a great taste. Not too much to offer in smell or appearance. I have to say that the alcohol really creeps up on you in this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2007 10:58:14 | More by iceball585
Photo of InandOutBeerGuys
InandOutBeerGuys

Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Honestly, not overly impressed here. Kinda seemed thin all around for a "BIG" altbier. Not nearly as malty as the appearance suggests & where the hops go? Was worth a try..had in a variety pack with the even more average Mad Anthonys Pale Ale, (what is it 31 or 51 IBU's?) and their pretty decent Presque Isle Pils, again not very floral or spicy but this is about Railbender...overall its just an average amber ale that I probably wont bother with again, and if someone from Erie reads this- you're on to some thing here just add some hops please.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2007 13:52:02 | More by InandOutBeerGuys
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange amber with a decent initial head that fades to a healthy cap and leaves some pretty good lacing. Aroma is toasty with dry malt, a touch of honey, pineapple, and with quite a rich breadiness. Taste is a little softer, but still has a lot of that dry malt flavor and perhaps some orange marmalade flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth and polished and easy drinking. By far the best of their bottled beers that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 16:56:41 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of shirfan
shirfan

New York

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange-copper with a thin layer of white foam and lots of small particulate matter.

Juicy, fruity aroma -- warm rich malt, overripe pear, baked apple. Almost a whiff of turpentine.

Flavor is rich, thick, juicy, sweet. Caramelized malt mingles with some fruity, almost Belgian notes, yet stays *just* in the scottish ale realm instead of becoming a frankenbeer. Pear, caramel chews, a touch of pepper in the finish. Very sweet but not quite cloying, and just smooth enough to not be a slow sipper.

I guess there's more to Erie PA than walleye fishing and gas stations.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 23:38:04 | More by shirfan
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured nicely into me glass. nice head and carbonation. good lacing as i drank. very good malt smell, not overpowering but nice. i enjoyed the malty taste. nice balanced taste for me with some bitter hop finish. i only had one of these but wish i could have enjoyed a couple more.

good beer. suckem up and movem out!

giblet

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 11:35:17 | More by giblet
Photo of Porkchuck
Porkchuck

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a local Beer Distributor. Good beer! Good price! So far a considerable change in color when chilled in the beer fridge. Basic clear amber to clowdy amber. Thick head with smooth finish and no harsh bite or tang. The moderate alcohol content would infer a bite....but not so bad. Good beer/good price.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 01:37:31 | More by Porkchuck
Photo of KFaulkner
KFaulkner

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer at the 2007 Hagerstown Beer Festival. An otherwise high note in a disappointing beer festival environment. The next thing I knew, it was available at Hagerstown's Wooden Keg. Awesome.

I like this beer. It's definitely middle of the road, but meeting the staff, it's clear that they're as passionate about beer as anyone else. While this is their flagship beer, and a little high in ABV for it's style, I think they have a lot to offer as a fairly new brewery.

Give it a try; they're relatively small market, and I suggest trying their "Cease and Desist."

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 00:39:25 | More by KFaulkner
Photo of cichief
cichief

Virginia

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD. Pours a deep amber, almost brown, with a light brown head. Smells malty weet, a slight smokieness underneath. Tasted very sweet, almost cloying, some smoked malt in the background. Medium on the tongue, but overall very sweet. I may enjoy more of these if I wasn't drinking any other beer, but they were rather sweet for my palate.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2007 01:38:57 | More by cichief
Photo of RDAdams
RDAdams

Maryland

2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
A very clear, amber, a decent off-white head with moderate head retention..

Aroma:
Nothing to write home about. Low malt aroma with a hint of alcohol.

Flavor:
Again not much except an unbalanced combination of mils malt and alcohol

Mouthfeel
Surprisingly good body with a moderate carbonation and the clean, crisp, finish of a lager.

Drinkabilit
This is a very good session beer, But the alcohol will snwak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 23:05:23 | More by RDAdams
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a mix case of Erie Brewing Company beer several weeks ago at Chester County Beverage. 8 each of Mad Anthony's Ale [awful] Presque Isle Pilsner [pretty good] and Railbender Ale [really good]. So for $29 it is almost a worthy purchase for 2/3rds of the case.

This is a simple sweet Scottish Ale. Easy to drink.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber copper brown color with a light tan head.

Smell: Toffee, caramel smoke and nuts, with a melted browned butter, bread and earthy hop aroma as well.

Taste: Brown sugar and sweet bread on the tongue. Simple. Delectable. A little bit of fruit and then gently the hops poke through right before the finish and in the aftertaste a mix of so fruit that fades and then a hop bitterness cling to the cheeks and tongue.

Mouthfeel: It is light in the mouth but the light dryness hit the spot late this evening.

Drinkability: This is the one from the mix case that I wish I had more of. I want to find a case of Railbender alone.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2007 08:51:09 | More by Phatz
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an English pint glass at fridge temperature.

A: Interesting copper color. Very clear, showing morderate carbonation. Poured a two inch off-white head that slowly dissipates into a film on the surface. The color is not quite what I expected for an "old ale," although I don't know that it is necessarily out of style.

S: Nose is slightly musty and buttery, with a hint of English or perhaps Continental hops. Some sugar notes. Very pleasant.

T: The taste is different than any beer I've had before. Treacle or some other sugar syrup seems to dominate the flavor, with some diacetyl present as well. The finish is slightly hoppy, but a buttered popcorn character is detectable too. Nothing unpleasant.

M: Medium mouthfeel with some carbonation providing a tickle. Appropriate for the style.

D: Not hard to drink, but unusual enough and strong enough that one or two per session is probably plenty.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer and would certainly buy it again. If you think of Old Peculiar as the standard against which to measure old ales, this may seem way off base. Of course, I'm not at all sure that Old Peculiar really is the standard for an old ale, and this interpretation is both interesting and quite nice to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 00:07:26 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of jmp491
jmp491

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into glass, with very little head.

The appearance was a darker amber color. There was a malty smell, maybe with some hop presence. The beer had a light but malty taste. Had a carmel or honey smell. At first, there was a flavor of carmel or malts. But the aftertaste was a bit more bitter, you could sense a small hoppy presence. It had a slight alcohol aftertaste, but a good finish. Smooth going down overall, had a medium dry mouthfeel. It's a decent drink, but nothing special that I would go out of my way for.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 02:40:34 | More by jmp491
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- amber/orange body with small white head that fades quickly.

S- malt with some small carmel undertones.

T- initial taste of carmel and malt. slight bitter aftertaste but overall clean finish.

M- medium carbonation and medium body. fairly smooth.

D- high ABV is hard to detect and its pretty easy to drink overall.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 00:56:56 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of jbm5
jbm5

Missouri

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

Drank out of 12oz bottle I bought at a local micro shop.
A: Dark amber with little head that dissipated quickly with little lacing.
S: Small amount of aroma, but a little malty with some caramel undertones.
T: Malt comes through well initially with a sweet undertone, but leaves a bitter aftertaste that lingers. The higher alcohol volume is not evident, which is nice. Found the bitter aftertaste to be a bit overbearing the rest of the flavors.
M: Feels medium bodied. Not overbearing, but you know you are drinking a beer.
D: Ok and a beer you can drink easily without tasting the alcohol. Not a beer I would seek out, but ok.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 03:14:33 | More by jbm5
Photo of perfectkaos
perfectkaos

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First met this beer as part of a microbiology field trip to the Erie Brewery. Pours an amber color with a thick foamy head with good retention.

smells sort of bready, with some hop notes as well

nice balanced taste of malts and hops with almost no hint of the 6.8% punch. though once it warms up a little it gets harder and harder to drink.

Awesome beer during the old $2 Thursday special days at the bar. Good enough to buy a case of every once in a while, but nothing overly spectacular. Definitely better from the tap than from the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2007 05:56:21 | More by perfectkaos
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

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

Poured a hazy deep amber color with creamy off-white head.
Smell is lightly of malt with a much stronger hop presence (grassy, piney) showing through.
Taste also shows lots of hops, moderate malt and a mild alcohol note, especially as the beer warms
Finish shows more alcohol.
An OK beer. Really enjoyed it to start, less so as the glass emptied.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 23:44:22 | More by tgbljb
Photo of ndekke39
ndekke39

Ohio

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

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Pours a hazy honey color with a small white head. Smells of bread, orange, lemon, and salt. Very complex aromas. Nice grainy taste to it - what I love about the style - with a bready aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Very drinkable beer. Would gladly have another.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 23:09:03 | More by ndekke39
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears a transparent honey toned gold with a 2 finger fluffy white head that quickly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is grainy, grassy, along with cake that's been drizzled with honey...interesting combination to say the least. I'm getting the feeling that this isn't the "Scottish Ale" (as BA claims...should be an English Ale as another reviewer posted) that I was getting into.
Taste is of bitter skunk weed with sugar and dishwashing soap. What the hell happened here?
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth, sweet up front before becoming bitter with a gritty, semi-dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 14:56:27 | More by weeare138
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2007 02:54:17 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It had a malt smell, that was about it. Maybe some of the wheat this is made from with a slight alchohol presence. It appears draker orange, with little head and smaller lace , and a little cloud. Mouth was thick at the start, rolled around with a little hop bitterness then swallowed thin.

I got around to tasting and absorbing the flavor, and it was like the scotch ales I've had. Malt was front and center with a hop bitter to offset the sweetness of the malts and the alcohol is there but blended in.

Well rounded brew. Not my style, but good for a change up once in awhile.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2007 07:40:27 | More by Ricochet
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured rather nicely with an amber color and fairly thick head. I really couldnt distuingish any great hop aroma but detected a slight malty character in the nose.
As far as the tasting, well average is the best I can give it. The mouthfeel was very average, carbonation good but any detectable hops or malts were pretty much left for the guessing. Kind of reminded me of what one of the " Macros" would market as a "craft beer" in disguise.
Very drinkable for sure but nothing I would go out of my way for.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2007 19:13:29 | More by dmamiano
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Finely flecked kumquat with multiple streams of tiny bubbles leading up to a richly creamy cap that is somewhere between ivory and palest ecru in color. I'm not sure the beer looks all that Scottish, but then I'm not sure that Scottish ales have a typical look. Thin, sudsy sheets of lace are beginning to appear on the glass. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

I pick up just a hint of earthy maltiness in the nose... and very little else. Again, there's nothing here that is especially Scottish. Actually, the brewery calls this an English old ale. Since that isn't a style recognized here, I'd say it fits English strong ale better than anything else. Maybe I'll change my mind once I actually taste it.

Now I'm not sure what the hell to call it since there's almost nothing of interest on the taste buds. Give me more to go on Erie. Railbender is caramel malt-dominant with a touch of earthy, probably English, hoppiness. It's sort of bock-like, but I'll still have to go with English strong ale for $100 Alex. A noticeable alcohol presence is further confirmation of that style choice.

Nothing really stands out within the flavor profile. There's more flavor than aroma, but the beer spins its wheels on the palate and can't seem to get any traction. It seems that an overhaul is in order. I'd keep the name and the cool looking train engine on the label though.

The mouthfeel impresses more than everything except the appearance. While it could stand to be a little more chewy (especially for the style that I've now bestowed upon it), it's smooth enough and supple enough to get me through the rest of the bottle with ease. The quiet carbonation is loud enough.

I can now say with finality that Erie Brewing Company beer is not to my liking. I bought three bottles during my last trip home to Ohio. After being disappointed by the first two, I placed what little hope I had left in Railbender. Unfortunately, it failed to meet me halfway. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 15:14:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2006 05:24:07 | More by watermelonman
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The ale is a hazy golden color with a thin head that does lace very nicely in the glass.

S: The ale has a strong malty aroma that has a strong undertone of sweetness. The sweetness is not from the malts but emerges from the alcohol and hops.

T: The unique aroma continues into the taste, providing a sweetness that accentuates an alcohol presence and a smooth hoppiness. The sweetness is unusual but good, a real change of pace in an ale.

M: The mouthfeel is very difficult to describe, as the sweetness is unusual and very flavorful.

D: The beer is odd, different in a good way. Well worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 23:07:30 | More by akorsak
Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.