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Rail Yard Ale - Wynkoop Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rail Yard AleRail Yard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

52 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 132
Avg: 3.36
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wynkoop Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 08-14-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rail Yard Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 132
Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev +19%

Why does everyone seem to dislike this beer? This is the one that launched Wynkoop, and it's still good after all these years. This was one of my first microbrews, and I still come back to it from time to time. It's a typical solid and very drinkable amber, and there's nothing wrong with that. I will say that the packaging they use for the canned 6-packs needs some work, but the beer itself is just as good as ever.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark hazy amber color with thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are good. Bready aroma with hints of tropical fruit. There may be a slight funkiness. My brother in law brought this from Colorado, so I am not sure if that has anything to do with it. That malty, bready taste predominates up front but quickly changes to a tropical fruit like taste. There is a slight funk at the end, but it is overall too fruity. There is virtually no hoppy bitterness to this. Not really one I would recommend. Not really my style, though.

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Photo of SamN
2.79/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Slightly hazy (chill?) rusty orangish hue, lots of active carbonation visible. Head is loose and bubbly, slightly rocky and pitted after a few minutes. Smell is a bit metallic, fruity, sweet and crisp. Not bad, not great. Taste is a a slightly sweet malt upfront, followed by a generic apple fruit taste and ending on a flattened hops bitterness. The flavor profile is somewhat crisp, like in the smell, but somehow the flavors don't really "pop" for me, they remain sort of stagnent and unimpressive. There's also an odd flavor somewhere in there I can't put my finger on; a sort of brief flash of smokey/soapiness? Odd. Mouthfeel is crisp and bit-overcarbonated for my liking.

Eh, not too impressed. I liked their shwarzbier and Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout much better.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
2.14/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Rail Yard Ale – American Ale (5.2%) - Wynkoop Brewing Co. (Colorado)

App: Pours a heavy copper/amber color with a tan one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly with lackluster retention.

Smell: Subtle nose of toasted malt without a strong bouquet. Slight organic graininess with almost no recognizable hops presence.

Taste: Malty and sweet, tastes much like an Oktoberfest. Can states the beer is Oktoberfest malt and hops with English ale yeast. None of the esters I was hoping for, and none of the crispness I associate with German lager. Lot's of raw worth tastes left over. Hops almost totally absent, leaving this beer sweet and unbalanced overall. Aftertaste is a lingering sweetness with no hops. Too grainy for me.

Mouth: A little thin on the body side, but overall decent. Light carbonation fits well with the style.

Home tasting, 12oz can into Pint Glass. 12/15/13

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Photo of MadScientist
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: A slightly hazy light copper colored ale with a persistent ivory colored head.

S: A moderate citrus hop aroma with a low malt aroma that has a light caramel character to it.

T: The the medium hops bitterness is in the forefront backed by a light citrus hops flavor with a moderate caramel flavor. There is a moderate malt sweetness making for a balance that is moderately bitter. The yeast seems like a clean Chico style bring just a light fruit note. The finish is of dry with an quick aftertaste of caramel and citrus hops.

M: A creamy, medium bodied beer with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: A middle of the road ale with a fair amount of hops bitterness and some malt with a pleasant creamy body.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz. can, with no apparent freshness date present. My first beer from Wynkoop Brewing Company, I ordered this beer and two others from LetsPour.com recently and I finally received my package yesterday, so I figured why wait any longer?

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a coppery red / burnt orange colored body with one finger of doughy creamy off-white foam for a head. Head thins out quickly.

S - Amber / Oktoberfest malts are most apparent upon the initial sniff. Some copper, breadiness, peaches, apricots. Not pulling out any hop content from the nose, but otherwise smells pretty on point.

T - Taste reminds me perhaps of a more well-built version of Magic Hat #9. Some sweet tangy apricot / peach fruitiness & copper / caramel malts. Maybe a hint of grassy earthiness & some vague spices, but I'm not really getting much in the way of hops.

M - Smooth, quick, and clean feel. Bit of a coppery, fruity finish, but hardly any flavors lingering around for very long.

Overall, probably not the best effort from Wynkoop Brewing Company, not packing a ton of flavor, but a drinkable, sessionable beer. I will have no trouble finishing off the four cans of this stuff I have, and I look forward to the rest from Wynkoop.

Wynkoop Rail Yard Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of weller1js
3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a cloudy, reddish-brown amber, light effervescing carbonation, no foam to speak of.

S: sweet floral hops, light yeastiness, and notable Oktoberfest-style malts

T: begins very mild and light, with sweetness in the malts again like an Oktoberfest, complemented with the floral notes of hops, yielding to light yeasty dryness in the finish.

O: unique combination style, mild and very drinkable, nothing spectacular, would make for a good session beer.

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Photo of elamericano
2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Medium to large head. Sweet, full-bodied taste reminiscent of Dr. Pepper. At times, noticeable essence of Cherry Coke. Mild Sprite aftertaste. Very smooth overall. Almost doesn't even taste like beer. I would recommend this to newbies to get them started on beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served on-draught into a 5oz taster glass at Wynkoop. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a beige floater; no real head here. Body colour is a clear copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Tame fruit character, with clean malts and subservient vague floral hops. Mild in strength but pleasant.

T: Amber malts, clean malts, light cherry/berry fruit esters, and almost a vague light honey note. Hopping is generic floral and adds little. Not horribly complex or subtle, but nicely layered. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Nicely balanced and built. Somewhat full bodied.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Light on the palate. Suits the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: A drinkable beer, but not a fantastic example of the style. Why is this their flagship? A decent offering from Wynkoop, but far from their best regular offering. Meh.

High C

12.16.14: Truncated impressions from a 12 oz can purchased today and served cold into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

HEAD: 4 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour. Good foaminess and frothiness, with decent creaminess. No lacing.

BODY: Clear caramel-copper. Translucent and transparent. Clean with no visible sediment. Average vibrance.

Looks decent for an amber. Far from unique or special.

AROMA: Caramel. Amber malt sweetness.

Lacks anything of interest. Where's the hop profile? This seems like an imbalanced boring malt bomb. Unappealing.

Average aromatic intensity.

TASTE: Dreadfully boring. Caramel and amber malts. That's it. Painfully simple, overt, and plain. Insipid. On the sweeter side, with no hop profile at all to balance the malty sugars.

TEXTURE: Undercarbonated, smooth, wet, stale, unrefreshing, and slightly syrupy. Medium-bodied but not too thick or viscous.

OVERALL: Downable and forgettable. Perhaps Wynkoop's most pedestrian offering. It confounds me why this is their flagship. I wouldn't get it again, but it's fine as part of the Wynkoop variety box. Meh.


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Photo of Dmart1223
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a good beer. It's just not outstanding.

Rail Yard is a dark, hazy amber with a tan head that fades fast into a dusting.

I smelled sweet malts and something biscuity. Not too overwhelming, but pleasant.

The taste is meal-like -- with good flavor and body. It's very light (no bitterness), with malt sweetness in the middle and dry biscuit and cereal grain taste and dryness near the end.

This, like other Wynkoop brews, is very sessionable. It's not too heavy. It won't ruin your breath or palate. But it's not going to blow any minds, either. Was that the point of this brew? Probably not. Just shut up and drink it, enjoy it for what it is, and you'll be fine.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a modest cap; just a few dots of lacing are left behind

Smell: Very malty, with caramel and toast; a whiff of diacetyl, too

Taste: Toasty caramel, up front, with a buttery and fruity character that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors dry out nicely, making the beer very drinkable

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not surprised at all that this is a crowd pleaser; I'm not a fan of this style but I had no trouble putting this one down

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.53/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

The beer is a pure amber/red color. A light cream colored head ebbs away into a thin film. Really good lacing clings to the glass.

The smell is spot-on for an amber: caramel sweetness and toasted malts.

The taste is delicious, and how I prefer my ambers - loads of sweet caramel. Toasted bread, a nice nutty aftertaste. This is just very good.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a clingy sweetness. A dry carbonation is present in the finish.

Overall, just a solid example of a craft amber ale. All of the right components are there, Well done Wynkoop.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer poured from can into a Nonic shaped pint glass

A - Beer pours with a thick orange-reddish colored body; mild amount of carbonation; creme colored head formed, about one finger in size; held rather well; little lacing formed around the glass

S - Yeasty; smell of mold, ricotta cheese; last bit of the scent finishes with a heavy caramel, brown sugar; I got some of this stuff on my hands and now they smell like cotton-candy; moscato grapes; sour

T - Thin malt flavor; roasted malt and a touch of candy-caramel at the end; not really heavy on any other types of flavoring; slight sour yeast taste; figs; not much of a hop profile here either; white grapes

M - Very effervescent; leaves a nice tingly feel on your tongue and as it washes along your cheeks; not much body to this one, and rather bubbly for a beer this thin; heavy sugar aftertaste

D - Not sure where to categorize this beer, at first I was impressed with its sour cheese nose, but was immediately set back by its lack of flavor and body; I'd kindly recommend it to someone who's interested in trying something unique

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to xraided for this extra. 12 oz. can poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy ruby amber color. Very little head and almost no lacing.

S - Plum, bready malt, brown sugar. I'm not getting any hops here.

T - Starts sticky sweet with the flavors from the nose. I then get a very unexpected sour apple and berry flavor. Finishes with a caramel sweetness. Again, no hops. The striking sour an fruity malt flavors are very surprising, but pretty enjoyable nonetheless.

M - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - I suspect this beer may be pretty old, but no canning date so no way to tell. The flavors I got were sweet and sour with no hop presence whatsoever. Even still, it wasn't bad, just didn't really fit the style for me. Tasted more like a fruit beer than an Amber Ale at this point. I would like to try one fresh to compare.

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Photo of CuBuffsaNut88
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While living on Wynkoop street in Denver for a few years, the Wynkoop Brewery became a common place for me, and the Rail Yard Ale usually filled my growler. It's a solid beer with a bold taste and a hoppy bite and can be paired very well with red meat. Having said that, I also fully understand arguments that claim it is unbalanced, but to each their own. I also believe that it tastes much better on tap than it does out of the can.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i dont know if its because i was high as a kite at the phil & friends show last night in broomfield, but i liked this beer a lot, it really hit the sport for a dry mouth with plenty of carbonation, a nice balanced malty crisp brew with some good hopping in the aftertaste. 5 bucks a can too, for a concert, is a great price on a craft brew. in another setting i might enjoy this less, but the mouthfeel and the crispness despite some flavor complexity made this one a very enjoyable experience for me. i will look forward to drinking this at phil nights 2 and 3 wooo

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewery

A: clear and nice amber color with a single finger head.

S: pungent hops and malt aroma.

T: toasted and caramel malts and some hop notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very drinkable but nothing memorable.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What’s a beer drinker to order when he or she finds themselves all fancied up for a night at the wine bar? Beer, of course. I don’t know the first thing about wine, and can contentedly sip Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon without the slightest idea that it’s anything but swill. When I had an evening out at a wine bar in Denver I opted for a beer off of the very abbreviated beer menu - a brew from the next door Wynkoop Brewery. Their Railyard Red seemed like a satisfactory substitute for a glass of wine of unknown quality (though eye-poppingly priced). I didn’t think about it much; ambers, red’s and beers of that malty ilk never impressed me. However, on a recent trip to Dry Dock Brewery in Aurora, CO I had the chance to munch on some malted barley, and finally learned what real malt tastes like. This caramel rich malt flavor is the taste of the Railyard Red. It’s hazy red-orange body conceals a light scent of malt in the aroma, but the flavor is dripping with rich malt flavors, almost like malt extract straight from the homebrew store. The aftertaste lingers, as unctuous flavors of caramel and roasted malts settle on the tongue. Caramel is the forward and singular flavor here, but it is intense, and wonderful. I never held much esteem for beers in this flavor profile, but my trip to Dry Dock has made me renounce my ways.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at their brewpub

Poured an orange-honey color with a small white head. Sweet, malty aroma, with floral hops and toasted grains. Basically the same in the taste, pretty well-balanced, though not exceptionally flavorful. Medium body with a dry finish, and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of tito42
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from can to an imperial pint. No freshness date on can.

A: Semi-clear and chestnut in color. Thin off-white head dissipates quickly but hangs around and leaves decent lacing.

S: Bready yeast and caramel roasted malt. Apple and plum.

T: Caramel and malt up front with a very dry finish of nuts and peat. Very dichotomous in taste.

M: Somewhat creamy up front, but transitions to an overly dry finish and a somewhat unpleasantly earthy hops finish. Not necessarily pleasant.

O: A very 'meh' amber ale to me. A decent malt base but unbalanced and not very pleasant on the palate.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a single 12oz can at Superior Liquor in Louisville, CO. Really nice store with some mix-a-six deals. Check 'em out.

Looks nice - medium amber, clear, topped off with a frothy white head that fades to a thin ring in a few minutes. Lace is scant, but there.

Smells sticky-sweet, super malty, and really buttery.

Wynkoop claims this beer is half Oktoberfest and half English Ale which means "maltbomb" to me. Every once in a while I like a good old hop-negative, buttery, caramel-sweet, doughy, gooey maltbomb. That's what this is.

Feel is medium bodied, low carb, and slightly sticky. Highly drinkable.

Overall, enjoyable when in the mood for a maltbomb. It's like a mellow Marzen. I would buy this again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yes, I had this in a bottle. Purple, with a trainenginecar on the front. Old school.

Light brown appearance, thin head to it, kind of a nutty aroma, not much going on there.

Malt forward, hops ever slight, still pushes the nuttiness as a flavor component. Not too heavy, although the appearance might dissuade some from tasing it because it might be a 'dark' beer.

Easy enough to drink, pretty straightforward and unremarkable, though doing nothing bad.

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Photo of corby112
2.87/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at the Rackhouse in Denver, CO.

Pours a clear dark copper/amber color with golden orange hues and a 1.5 finger white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Spots of soapy lacing left behind.

Bland aroma with sweet malt notes and faint floral hops.  Hints of caramel, slightly toasty and not much else.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a good balance of sweet malt and earthy hops.  Surprisingly hop forward giving slight dry bitterness that counter the sweeter malt notes.  Still a bit too sweet for my liking with caramel, rye, hazelnut and biscuit.  Not bad but a bit too sweet. Maybe some light fruit apricot and orange.  

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a small ecru head that fades fast to a fine gauze and ring; no lace. Aroma of orange and lemon, some sweet malt, and a little floral/grasssy note. Taste is grassy, maybe even a little waxy; some browned apple note followed by lemony/sour hops. Mouthfeel is full but slightly on the watery side; slight carbonation; somewhat dry.

However ends up being moderately drinkable. Could have a few.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

Describe as having the maltiness of an Oktoberfest lager and joys of a classic English Ale.

Pours a hazy (unfiltered, perhaps), rich, dark amber with a very creamy foam head. Musty, metallic and bready in the nose with a touch of apple and hop leaf. Well-rounded body that's just shy of medium. Quite smooth. Very toasty and bready up front with a mild apple fruit note and subtle raisins in the background. Watery, grassy, hoppy finish. Then every- thing drops and goes dry.

A bit lackluster in our opinion, with no one element deciding to be the backbone that holds the rest together.

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Rail Yard Ale from Wynkoop Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.