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Railbender Ale - Erie Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

679 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 314
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 18
Gots: 49 | 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 (16) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lepley
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep reddish brown with about one finger of tan head that quickly fizzes out with little to no lacing.
S: Sweet, light, fruity, peach, malty. It has a good strong scent that I didn't even have to lean for.
T: Malty and sweet, grainy, carmel. Slight lingering hoppiness in the aftertaste.
M: Smooth, little carbonation.
D: This is the kind of beer you could drink all night. It has a rich flavor but isn't heavy that it fills you up.

Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, not much sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, with some slight spice, caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, caramel, and some spice thrown in. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew.

Photo of zeff80
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, burgundy color with a soapy, with big bubbles, tan, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet caramel malts with an earthy quality.

T - It tasted very sweet with a roasted malt taste. It had an interesting grassy/mossy flavor.

M - A soft, smooth and somewhat creamy ale. A medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a pretty good scottish ale, but not the best. It is very drinkable, but not the best representation of the style.

Photo of UltraZelda64
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the company's website:
"Erie Brewing Company flagship beer features a deep malt flavor, caramel sweetness lingering in a soft hop flavor."

That pretty much nails this beer. On to my thoughts...

Appearance: First off, this beer's got some pretty cool artwork featuring an old train on the bottle (not to mention, the name is pretty cool...). A somewhat dark, murky, orange liquid poured into the glass. Has a beige-colored head that doesn't last too long. However, with the relatively high alcohol percentage, I can't really fault the beer too much for having a quickly decaying head. Carbonation seems weak; tiny bubbles, and very few of them at that; maybe more of it would have improved head retention a bit. This one just looked so... dead. Can't say I'm all that impressed so far.

Smell: Malty, biscuity sweetness. Maybe a little bit of caramel. Again, not all that impressive, but certainly not offensive.

Taste: The characteristics of the smell also appear in the taste, basically mirroring it. Very strong biscuit/malty flavor, a touch of caramel, light hops. Alcohol seems present, but just barely. It does leave an awkward aftertaste, or at least did; now, with only a small amount left in my glass, the aftertaste seems to have muted. Which is good, because I didn't really care for it.

Mouthfeel: I would say it feels medium bodied. Certainly thicker than water. Not too bad.

Drinkability: This stuff is not exactly one of the greatest beers I've tried, but at the same time it's quite easy to drink. It has a moderately high ABV, 6.8%, yet it hides it quite well. I can imagine drinking *too* much of this stuff for this reason. I'm not sure I'll actively seek this stuff out, though. While this is not a bad beer, I've just had far too many that, in my opinion, surpass this one.

Meanwhile... if you want a decent beer with a good kick to it, definitely give this one a try. Honestly, this beer's greatest strength seems to be its well-hidden alcohol strength.

Photo of kinger
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a bit confused by this brew. The website calls it an old ale, I don't sense much Scottish quality about it and I'm leaning towards a mild American Pale Ale or an English Pale Ale. Either way there is a nice hoppy aroma mildly bitter. Golden copper color with a small head and lots of lacing. Mouthfeel is fine. Nice calm taste. Abundant maltiness with a sharp bitter hop quality. The aftertaste is kind of funky. Overall not bad but it didn't raise my eyebrow.

Photo of dedrinker
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear amber color with a thin white-ish head. I smell some juicy caramel malt stuff and a little UK style ale fruity business. Tatses like it's going in the same direction except I detect a slightly unpleasant alcohol presence. Smooth over-medium body with a little bittering hop finish that does not go well with the aforementioned alcohol notes. I wouldn't come this away again, but it is not particularly bad either.

Photo of cswhitehorse
2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The Railbender poured a reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger foam head and some sea foam lacing.

The smell was comprised of biscuity malt and possibly some chocolate malt. The taste was real chocolately and didn't have much of a hop profile. It was pretty thin in the mouth and left a real odd after taste that I couldn't get over. All and all I won't buy this one again.

Photo of Bockrules
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a light copper-brown with nearly perfect clarity. Looks like root-beer.Two-finger head that quickly turns to a thin ring and breaks apart half way down the glass. Leaves Decent lacing.

S - Moderatare malty-caramel smell. Very sweet.

T - Smooth and malty upfront. The body is caramel cream with a good blend of hops and malt. Finnish is caramely with a touch of bitterness. Leaves a sugary aftertaste. Was delicous with the pretzels I was eating, but rather one-dimensional without the salt in my mouth...

M - Medium-thin with moderate carbonation. Could be thicker.

D - This beer is quite sweet and non beer-enthusiasts will find it accessable. It was the perfect yang to my salty pretzels, but by itself this is simpily an average beer with a carmel taste and I found myself liking it less and less as I went through the bottle. My big brother bought this as a gift. The price on this stuff is outrageous at $9.00 a six- I don't plan on ever purchasing this beer. Still hides it's high alcohol content wonderfully...

Photo of RedBaron
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the third beer I've tried from this brewery. All three beers were acquired on trips to northeast Indiana.

Appearance: Nice sunset orange; translucent; lightly carbonated.
Smell: A cotton-candy like smell. WTF? Nothing close to a peat, smoke or even that alcoholic punch you'd expect from a "Scottish ale". Hmmm.
Taste: Redemption! Quite a complex beer with biscuit and toasted malts playing along side of some nice understated fruity (grapefruit) notes. Finishes a bit fruity sweet (a good trait), and with a pleasant alcohol kick.
Mouthfeel: Malt-accented brew for sure. Leaves a bit of a sticky-ness to the mouth, but worth the effort.
Drinkability: Not the best Scottish-style ale I've ever had, but not too bad either. Again, this brewery seems to find the path of least resistance and goes for it. I wish it had a far better aroma, and I wish the mouthfeel was a bit more flushed out. Still, a decent beer.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of bottles.

Poured a nice golden yellow-orange with little head.

Smelled of sweet malt and caramel.

Taste was a grainy sweet malt, with tons of flavor that changes throughout the mouthfull.

Thought the mouthfeel was very smooth and easy to go down. Could drink a lot of this, and did.

Photo of JDV
2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours copper and clear. Smell is malty and toasty with light grassy balancing hops and a dash of sour milk, somehow... Taste is mildly malty and dryish toasty tartness. Fairly hopped for bitterness without much hop flavor, though. Medium to light bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Crisp. Average.

Photo of hustlesworth
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a hazy burnt amber/rusty/mahogany color with a relatively creamy beige head with bubbles similar to shaken milk. some wispy lace sticks around in quite interesting patterns as the foam settles to a thick ring and crescent moon.

S- caramel malt and a fruity berry tartness and robust musky bowels-of-the-earth type smell akin to old stone, old wood, and dry basement. smells more like an old ale than a scottish and i understand there's been some speculation as to what particular style this beer actually fits into. the website used to call it an old ale but it's been changed within the last few months to a scottish ale with a handy little BA link right below. some milk chocolate aromas also come out along with a creamy tomato soup, toasted nuts & grains, and earthy british hops.

T- slightly subdued and sufficiently bitter, i wouldn't really know how to classify this one, perhaps it's a hybrid. heh. lake water first followed by milk chocolate and burnt caramel with husky grainy cereal flavors mingling throughout. the earthy herbal bitterness of english hops and another unknown cone (perhaps a willamette or something german) intensifies near the end as the aroma and hop flavor seem to coincide while the malt backs off. dry, grainy, and slightly medicinal in the finish, leaves a feeling of some bittersweet cocoa on the cheeks.

MF- interesting feel to this one, sort of an anomaly, it feels lighter than it looks. even with medium low carbonation, the water:malt ratio has more difference than i would have suspected at first glance... most of the flavor seems to come from the hops, which is a-ok with me, but for an ale of whatever 3 different styles it may be, i'd appreciate some more heft and viscosity.

D- lighter body does make for a drinkable drink, another smash for my non-ale drinking family, but i've had some pretty good examples of the style lately and after one of these, i'd opt for something more substantial.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a whim.

Pours a coppery amber, almost 2 fingers of light tan head and quite a bit of visible effervescence. Head slimmed down a bit but lasted the drink life.

Smells like malt and grain, nothing special.

Taste is on par with the style, very malty with a hint of smoke and copper, alcohol is detectable but doesn't detract from the fun. Starts a bit sweet and finishes a tad bitter, not bad.

Mouthfeel is pretty bubbly and refreshing. Weight is middle of the road.

Drinkability is good. This beer was/is worth a shot, especially for the price. Nothing to write home about, but if your in the right situation this is perfect. Would make an excellent session beer.

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

Bottle courtesy of EGledhill, thanks again!

Beer pours a nice clear dark amber color with a thin white head.

Aromas are cereal grain like, bready, and kind of brown sugary sweet.

Taste is of sweet breads, malty, kind of tea like, with a spicy hop kick on the finish. Not a lot of strong flavors, but the flavors are nice, and meld well together in a subtle sort of way.

Mouthfeel is ok. Feels a touch thin upon first sip, but the finish is long and full.

Drinkability is not bad. Not an real powerhouse of flavors, but it's a nice subtle sipper. Definitely an above average beer that is worth a try, and actually pretty easy to drink.

Photo of demitriustown
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: Pours a clear amber/golden color with a huge off white head that lingers around for a while. Aroma is Malty, caramel, and a bit of smoke. Taste is malts, caramel, yeast, bready, and a decent brew. Overall, I think it good not one of the top tier beer that I've ever had but good all around.

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

Medium copper body with golden edges. Solid finger of dense beige head. Decent lacing. Bread pudding malty-ness on the nose. Some fruit (pear, candied apple), butterscotch, and faint vinous notes. Doughy sweetbread malt flavors up front. Light toasted edge. Sugary fruits and caramel malt fill up the palate. Hint of banana and brandy before some light herbal bitterness in the finish. Lingering sweetbread. Medium body, with a soft, lightly-carbonated feel. Not bad, but a little light for an old ale.

Photo of animal69
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a med. copper color with a 1" yellowish-white head which dissipates quickly leaving a moderate lacing in my snifter ; a moderate smell, steely grain mostly, w/ a buttery/toffee/raison note to it ; a rich malty flavor w/ a nutty caramel/date undertone throughout, some woody hops and a touch of metal present as well; a med. bodied beer with a moderate co2 level, almost a bit flat feeling tho ; a very tasty brew, does not drink like a 6.8% ABV brew at all...

Photo of Traquairlover
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter on first tasting/tulip on second. Thanks to adamharbaugh for the first bottle. This is a combined review from 5-18-08 and 11-15-08. I was told this was supposed to be an Old Ale and I originally reviewed it on that basis. Comparing it against a 60 or 70 shilling Scottish Ale expectation, it fared much better.

A = Very clear relatively light orange, one finger bone white head that dissipated medium quickly (not too fast but not long retention either) leaving light bubbles/lace on surface.

S = Some malt, maple syrup smells together with light hops notes, some buttered popcorn and light cocoa scents blend into the syrupy smells. Good balance

T = Light syrup tastes, with a balancing bitterness appearing at mid-palate. Cream soda tastes at mid-palate but those give way to some more bitterness in the finish. Not overly complex.

M = Light-medium bodied, fair mouthcoating, little too heavy carbonation but gives good foam feeling when swished without going overboard.

D = Pretty easy drinking beer.

Photo of shbobdb
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This beer is dangerous. It has a nice cereal character that I really like, but the overall impression is just a nice drinkable beer. The beer has a slight tutti-frutti to the nose, but that doesn't translate to the taste, where the raw grains take over.

This beer is like biting into a nice piece of bread.

I dig it. I could drink this beer by the sixer, which at 7% alcohol is a feat.

Well brewed and delicious.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep, rich amber with a minimal and shorly-lived white head.

The scent was incredibly faint, I picked up hints of caramel and malt and little else.

The taste was similar to the scent, but a little more pronounced. A lot of caramel and malt and alcohol with a nice hoppy finish.

decent mouth-feel, nothing to write home about; a little dry towards the end but nice up front.

Certainly a drinkable ale.

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

A : Pours a nice amber color. Not much head

S : Lots of malt but not much else

T : Good malty flavors with some alcohol breaking through. Some hops on the finish

M : Smooth with good carbonation

D : I enjoyed it and I could see drinking it again.

Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a very modest head that fades to a ringlet with only a few splashes of lace

Smell: Not sure I can put my finger on that aroma; there is some caramel and something herbaciously medicinal; also somewhat bready

Taste: Opens with a blast of caramel that builds and then flattens as some bitterness from the hops impacts it by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors surrender

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbination

Drinkability: Its just OK; easy to drink and easy to forget

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

Beer sent by hojaminbag via a nice trade, thanks guy!

Poured a nice oaken amber, on the clear side, with a small but sturdy ivory head. Sticky in the rim of the Corsendork tulip.

Winter spices pop up in the quaff, amongst the sweet malts. Reminds me of a winter warmer. Tastes like one too, along those lines with a Vienna kick - doughy malts mixed in with the malt backbone. Just a little kiss of smoky peat, and I mean it's subtle.

6.8% brew, this would pass for a 4% session beer - watch out for the sneaky alcohol. Tasty freakin' brew.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poursa a clean orange-ish/ amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, grapefruity hop and a small sweet maltiness. In the taste, sweet maltiness, and small hints of citrus. Quite smooth, and a medium bodied mouthfeel, and a small dry maltiness, and somewhat clean aftertaste. OK, clean, kind of a palate clensor, and hides the alcohol very well.

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

Somewhat pale, hazy orange color. Rather soapy looking head. Not a lot of aroma. Pretty much just "there". Metallic and simply smells of beer. Strong malt flavor. Moderate hop bite to it. Decent enough mouthfeel though the finish is rather dry considering the sweet, malty flavor. A notch above average.

Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.