Durango Brewing Derail Ale | Durango Brewing

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Durango Brewing Derail AleDurango Brewing Derail Ale

Brewed by:
Durango Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Double Golden Ale"

Added by Mitchster on 08-11-2004

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 49
Photo of Scottyd22
4.99/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz poured in a pint glass. Pours a dark golden color. Nose is definitely some caramel and toffee with a hint of tropical fruit. Medium bodied beer, some malt on the front fishing very smooth and well balanced. Imperial golden to me. Hides the alcohol well with a slight malt sweetness and clean crisp finish to it. Outstanding strong ale. Easy to tell why it was a back to back gabf gold medal winner!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy golden beige color, with a small silky head. Aroma of tropical hops, caramel, smoke and toffee. In the taste, complex malt, wood like hops and toffee. Hop bitterness and flavor is moderate, but does an admirable job to stand up to the malt bill. There is a faint lingering citrus and toffee. Full bodied ale and has a medium level of carbonation. Overall, there's a reason why this has won beer medals; this is delicious stuff.

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Photo of coldriver
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a cloudy medium amber with quickly fading head. Nose is caramel dominated, with grassy hops, and a hint of peaches. Alcohol is well hidden, leaning towards the malty side, but pretty well balanced with a grassy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation and thick, with drying finish. The American Strong Ale category seems a bit ambiguous to me - if we wanted to really get accurate with this one I'd call it an Imperial Amber. Certainly one of Durango Brewing's better offerings.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip)
A- This beer has a touch of hazy to an apricot colored body and a sticky foam of bubbly light beige that is supported by a slow tiny carbonation.

S- The nice fruity hops has qualities of unripe apricots and some light toasted malt notes with just a touch of sweetness and caramel malt in the finish.

T- A nice malt profile has taste of honey malt, with some light dry toasted malt notes and a fresh pale malt flavor coming through. There is a fresh sweetness and some soft floral green hops that turn more woody pine as it opens up. The aftertaste has a touch of hop bitterness that grows as the beer warms.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a mellow creamy texture and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a nice balance of fresh malt with some nice hop character for such a big ABV. I would describe this as a “white barleywine” in that is has lots of fresh full malt but not a big sweetness and the hops help to balance it and give it more character.

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy/cloudy apricot-copper with a small white head. Be sure to swirl the bottle just before emptying. Very interesting aroma, all kinds of stuff going on here. Very sweet fruitiness -overripe apples, peaches, apricots, oranges- along with a strong boozy fig and a hint of balsam and orange blossom. Soft entry, then definitely hit with the ABVs. Unexpectedly not sweet and a bit flat. Taste is woody, boozy, slight fig. Bottle claims 44 IBUs - where? A decent enough Strong Ale but really just average with an interesting aroma.

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Photo of samie85
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden color with two fingers of white head.

Pineapple and pine notes with some sweet grain.

Follows the nose with pineapple and pine notes with caramel backing.

Sticky feel with low carbonation and medium body.

This is decent beer but I feel as though I've had it before, only that it was billed as a IIPA.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear light copper color. A 1.5 finger head quickly fades to thin bubbly head. Thin lacing.

S - Slight sweet fruit aroma. I really was unable to detect any other aromas. Pretty bland actually.

T - Similat to the aroma I sensed a light fruity character and not much else. It was quite thin and pretty disappointing. Very thin caramel flavors and not much bitterness or hop character detectable at all.

M - Very thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

D - It's ok.

Overall, I don't think I'd call this an IPA. I don't know what I'd call it honestly. It didn't have much character at all. It's a high abv but that's all I found it brings. Pretty disappointing.
It's a good beer nonetheless and may make it to my fridge as a regular stand by beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-21-2011 03:48:12

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Photo of Bockrules
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Plain bottle cap - classic small town brewery

A - Pours coppery orange. A few bubbles here and there rise to the two-finger, off-white head. The yeast moves around in the glass to form intricate patterns. Head barely manages to stay intact all the way down. Leaves behind a few large blotches of lacing.

S - A decent punch of floral hops with a little bit of caramel malt and yeast. A few orange and grapefruit notes as well.

T - Orange and sweet upfront - almost like a wheat beer. The body is fairly mellow and with orange and yeast notes playing well with the floral hops. Orange creamsickle sensation as the beer passes over the back of the tongue, followed by a mild bitter- orange finish.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation yet providing incredible creaminess and smoothness.

This is one deceptive and potentially dangerous beer - mixing the incredible drinkability of Shock top with the alcohol content an average barely wine or Russian Imperial Stout, plus enough hops to keep all but the largest hop heads satisfied. A solid deal for $2 a bottle - I certainly will be coming back to this one for certain occasions.The delicious taste and incredible smoothness make this beer easy to get a nice buzz going without even realizing it. No wonder the train was derailed!

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a NG flute type glass (supplied by Dan C). Poured a pretty bright golden color with minimal head; no lacing. Picked up sweet malt and a little citrus on the nose. Taste was sweet malt, a small amount of citrus, and biscut. No bitterness at the end. I would like to visit this one again; thought the brew was very quaffable.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a chilled Cervoise glass.

A: Very pretty! Thick yellow edges surround a burnt-orange core. Opaque. No head. Gentle lacing.

S: A promising nose is cut short by an unfortunate laundry smell -- mildew and detergent. Upon informing my waitress, she emptied the glass into a (non-chilled) pint glass. Inexplicably, the smell improved drastically. Fruity with hop flourishes.

T: Whoah, good. Smooth and fruity -- peaches and overripe oranges. Moderate bitterness, great hops, heavier malt, clean finish. The aftertaste is more or less dry with lingering fruits. This tastes much more like a double IPA than the listed American IPA.

M: Substantial, but eerily smooth. It could perhaps benefit from greater carbonation? Chewy and great!

D: A pretty awesome beer. I heartily enjoyed drinking it and would have another. Recommended, especially for those who like less bitter DIPAs.

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Photo of chicano4craft
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear golden with a small white head.

Nose is sweet and malty, Not expecting that considering the appearance. Toffee and caramel. Not really picking up any hops. Where's the 44 IBU's? Maybe in the taste.

Nope. Not in the taste. There is some bitterness in the aftertaste, but sweet malt dominates here. Not sure why, but I pick up a little peach! Biscuit malt with honey. Sounds like decent breakfast.

Overall, this is no IPA. I've tasted some IIPA like this but that was after they were way past there prime and the hops were pretty much spent. I think this is more of a light barleywine. I found it very interesting. The look has nothing to do with the taste.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dirty dishwater yellow with a touch of amber. Cloudy, but with decent head retention. No visible carbonation. Very muted aroma. Some floral hoppiness and a bit of malt sweetness. Taste is alcohol sweetness with very limited complexity. Floral/earthy hops show up in middle and end and are this beers best taste characteristic. In the end, the balance leans towards the hops without enough interest in the malt to make for a decent balance. This with the alcohol heat make for a less than interesting micro. Medium to slightly heavy mouthfeel.

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Photo of JamisonM
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: orangeish golden color small head does not stick around too much

S: not much in smell slight hop and slight malt smell

T: alcohol is masked well but pretty unremarkable taste here

M: med mouth that stings with carbonation

D: I cant drink this very fast the after taste stops me i guess

overall: for me its a disappointment I was really hoping for something better.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, well, well....Durango eh? Neat-o label on this one (not pictured..must be new)

Pours a polished copper body that is nicely clear. A two finger head, white, settles to a foamy collar with some top clouds. Lacing is thin, and I would like to see some chunks...oh well.

Pear aroma struck me first, and quickly. Then light caramel and honey roasted malt. Not too sweet, more toasty. But not burnt. Some pine and alcohol clear the nasal cavity a bit. Smells strong and assumes that resin will be in the flavor

but it's not. The flavors are actually kind of light. The caramel is thin and malt is spread out. a quick hit of pine comes in to introduce the hops, but they bite and leave. I don't pick up too much citrus in the hops, and if this beer had more minerals to it, I could call it an English IPA. Or if more malt was present, perhaps and APA, but an AIPA I'm not too sure of. No matter.

It's a good beer nonetheless and may make it to my fridge as a regular stand by beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looking through some of the reviews for this one, I notice that folks are disagreeing with the BA distinction of IPA; I wholeheartly concur. Pours a nice sunny golden color, with a decent white head. Aromas of lightly citrusy hops and sweet caramel malts. More of the same on the palate, with a little brown sugar. Nicely balanced between the hops and malt. A pretty nice effort.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was not really sure what to make of this one as it sat in my fridge, so I just decided to grab it and find our what it was all about. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/28/2009.
The pour was very nice and typical for a brown ale. Rich hazelnut brown in color, with a nice bit of clarity and a inch and a half of foam covering the top. Nice retention and smooth, lace like foam down the sides. Aroma is nutty at first, rich, roasted malts come through nicely on the initial pass, but as it warms some nice balance of sweetness starts to pick up and hints of brown sugar, bready tones and a nice herby hop presence show them selves off quite well. Very nice, clean, and smooth flavor here as well. Starts off very sweet and mellows quite nicely with a good balance between flavors. Long finish is semi sweet and loaded with delicate tones of chocolate and roasted nuts. Light hop bite at the end is just enough to dry it out and leave me looking for another sip to follow this one.
Overall a very solid ale here and not at all what I was expecting. I would have no issue at all with having this one again any day. Really a great example of the style here.

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Photo of CrestwoodG
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Forewarn - this is my first review on BA!

This beer just arrived here in Birmingham, and I had heard great things about it. I heard from someone that it actually arrived here by mistake, although Durango beers have been here for a while since we - the voters! - finally changed the ridiculous ABV laws.

A - Very nice golden color. Not much foam at all - maybe a finger's worth

S - maybe I'm congested, but I got very little aroma initially. After about halfway, I definitely pick up the caramel hints. Nothing overwhelming.

T - Very smooth. At 8.7% ABV, I expected a bit more alcohol taste, but again it's very smooth. Not a strong hop taste, IMO.

M - Seemed a little "liquor-like" to me. Not much carbonation.

D - I like it! I could drink lots of this stuff.

My comments above may not reflect it, but I really like this beer. It's very, very enjoyable. I'm primarily an IPA fan, and this isn't the typical IPA. But, I like it and I will buy it again, if the distributor screws up again!

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Photo of webbcreative
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color with a white 2 finger head. Aroma = big sweet caramel malt, not really picking up a hop profile though, i think its too sweet smelling and gets lost. Taste = well as I expected from the nose, big caramel malt taste,I have seen others call this more of a DIP than an IPA, and I think it probably falls somewhere in between the two, It has that big maltyness you would expect in a DIPA, but the hop flavor is more that of an IPA. Mouthfeel is thin-medium, and the alcohol is present, but not as much as I would have thought for a 8.5% abv beer.

Overall, I think it needs to decide what it wants to be, its too sweet and hot for a IPA, but the hop aroma and flavor is to weak for a DIPA, its a decent brew, but nothing I would track down.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for the sample.

I third, this is not an IPA.

Pours a clear golden body with a thin white head. The aroma is mild with semi-sweet caramel notes, a touch bready with a hint of fruity hops. The flavor is malty, not much hop flavor, maybe a little floral and fruity with moderate hop bitterness. I find it rather generic, not much to say about it, though it is boozy. Medium to full body.

A decent strong ale, not my cup of tea, but a solid brew none the less.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second the not an IPA vote, they won 2 GABF golds in the past two years (2007 and 2008) according to the brewer in the other strong ale category I believe.

A- Very pretty beer, golden Amber in color and slightly cloudy with a great head. lacing the whole way through.

S- Smelled like citrus and pine hops as well as a stronger malt backbone than it looked. A tad bit of alcohol as well but with 8.5% ABV I think this is standard for a strong ale.

T- Killer, actually one of the best beers I have ever had, no alcohol great balance of hops and malt (A little more hop centric) Clean with American Ale crispness and a tad fruity (not a funky belgian which can be fun though)

M- Very good and light considering its strength, perhaps a little to carbonated though.

D- Most session-able Strong Ale I have ever had, man this could be dangerous, it tastes so good you want more and some how is light enough to not fill you up. No wonder it won two golds.

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Photo of kgotcher
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, definately NOT and IPA. At 18.8 Plato and 8.5% ABV this is more of a DIPA variety.

Hazy pour with thin sticky head. Big aroma of citrus hops and malts. Med slick mouthfeel with smooth carbonation. Finish Not as bitter as some IPAs. A bit too much alcohol warming.

Nice beer, so far my favorite from Durango Brewing. Strong but flavorful. Wonderful balance between an IPA and DIPA although the alcohol is a bit too apparent. Maybe needs a tad more hop bitterness to offset.

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Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd say this 8.5% beauty is an old ale not AIPA, but that's my 2 cents (review based on notes)

Pours brown with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Caramel & some breadyness

T: Caramel, breadyness, a touch of grainyness & grapefruit hops up front. Honey malt as this warms, along with grapefruit & dryness. Finishes with pineapple & breadyness

MF: Creamy, skews malty

Drinks too easy for the ABV & style. I hope I can find this here in six packs!

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Photo of benito
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Durango Brewing's beers only started making it up to the central mountains in the last year, so they remain one of the few breweries in Colorado whose brews are a mystery (more or less) to me. I did visit the brewery early this summer when driving through Durango, but I only sampled their wheat (a sort of cross between a wit and American pale wheat beer) and the IPA. Derail Ale, their strongest beer and a sort of double IPA with strong ale overtones, is better than either of the ones I tried at the brewery. Neither the brewery website nor the bottle claim a style for this brew, but it is certainly not a standard IPA...

It is a hazy orange with a small head and lots of fruit in the bouquet. Honey and very strong alcohol overtones compliment the citrus nose, yet the hops are wholly restrained in the palate itself. Rather this is a beer that mixes very sweet (brown sugary) with peppery. The finish is so dry and spicy that there is no way that they (the brewers) could have been going for a DIPA.

The pepperiness causes an overall imbalance in the beer and the finish texture wise is fairly watery, but these are flaws that I can live with given that the rest of the body is full and flavorful enough to make me interested in seeking out the other Durango brews.

Again, it's nice to see another small craft brewery from western CO bottling their wares and getting them to a broader audience in the state. Certainly worth a look if not more than once.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Surprised that I am the first one to review this, as my girlfriend picked it up for me on a whim while out in Colorado, and she doesn't really know which beers are rare or not. Comes in a 650ml, bottle and states on the side "We let the gauge go a little high on this one. What results is Durango Derail Ale, a full strength high gravity ale with more alcohol than our other fine beers. Take notice of the beautiful golden color and hoppy aroma and heed the government warning about operating machinery (and trains!)". Unknown ABV.

Pours out to a thickly hazy copper, forming a small white head with good retention and sparse sticky lacing. Carbonation is mild, with barely a "pssht" upon releasing the cap, and requiring a vigorous pour to achieve a head. Aroma is quite nice, with lots of ripe fruity esters, most notably apples and pears, soft yet pronounced fresh fruity and floral hops, caramel and oranges. Mouthfeel is very soft and creamy with a dense, chewy body. Taste begins with the soft, yet tasty fruity and floral hops, followed by a malty sweet body, oranges, some alcohol esters are peppery and spicy towards the finish. The bitterness is mild and lightly herbal and the finish is semi-dry. As it warms, the haze disappears. No yeast in the bottle.

This is an interesting brew...I think of it as a sweet hybrid between an IPA and an Olde Ale. The bittering hops aren't as intense as one would expect for either style, but the flavor hops lean toward an IPA, and the malty body and fruity esters are suggestive of an Olde Ale. The alcohol is a little strong at times but overall, this is an enjoyable brew and I would purchase it again.

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Durango Brewing Derail Ale from Durango Brewing
3.76 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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