Railway City Dead Elephant Ale | Railway City Brewing Company

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Railway City Dead Elephant AleRailway City Dead Elephant Ale

Brewed by:
Railway City Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full bodied golden Pale Ale which pours with a linen white medium density head leaving spider web lace on the glass.

On the palate the flavour is sweet fruity malts up front (apricot, mango) with a bit of candy, and slight grassy notes which fall away to reveal a hint of biscuit with rather pleasant grapefruit and perfume undertones.

This is a hop bomb, there is no doubt. To the nose there is a mild malt aroma which accentuates the robust floral bouquet which is derived from the hops.

Medium full bodied ale with pleasant lingering hop finish.

46.6 IBU

Added by mrmanning on 09-20-2009

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 181
Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I bought a can of this from Brantford whilst in Canada for my son's hockey tournament. It poured a clear golden with thin white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent is subtle tart fruit. The taste is bitter through but easy to drink. There is some citrus present. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of earthy hops bitterness that is quickly followed by some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
3.81/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear pale golden color with 2 fingers of foamy white head that has great retention. The carbonation looks pretty lively too.

Aroma - The nose is definitely on the maltier side, which is fine considering its an English IPA. Its extremely bready like fresh white bread. followed up by some ligher citrus fruits, Grapefruit orange and melon all seem to be there but very lightly.

Taste - Again as it should the malt dominates, You get Grass, wheat some fresh baked white bread followed by grapefruit and orange. Fairly simple and pretty decent.

Feel - This is definitely a medium bodied beer with creamy carbonation. Bitterness is very light for someone like me used to american IPA's at a measly 46.6 IBU's Very easy drinking.

Overall - This beer is an English IPA not an American IPA. This is very clear when you smell and taste it. Many people rating it low were expecting an american version of the beer. As far as how it stacks up with the style I think it does a fine job. Its nice and malty and very refreshing. Try it out!

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Photo of beersareonme
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A really good "light" ale, light in terms of it not being a stiff West-coast IPA. great pint to go with just about any food, and its relatively local to where I live. Cheers!

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Photo of cosmin
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure where to start... I picked this one up in a can from the LCBO and consumed well ahead of "best before" date. First thing that came to mind was: "is this really an IPA?!" Keep in mind this is an English style IPA. Those hop heads out there who are used to American IPAs (like me!) will definitely be in for a rather unpleasant surprise when trying this one out.

Pale yellow colour. Decent amount of head. Low carbonation. Bland tasting beer with a slightly bitter after taste. Definitely not what I expected from an IPA but then again, it's English Style. I supposed I haven't had enough of these to compare it to others. I will definitely give English Style IPAs another chance however not this one.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear and golden pour. Maybe about half a finger of head with almost no retention. Looks appealing enough, but nothing special about it.

Smell: Light citrusy hops. bit breadier on the back end than other IPAs I've tried. I'm detecting a tiny bit of pine as well.

Taste: very light on the hops. If you are expecting to get kicked in the face by hops, this is not the brew for you. None the less, I'm detecting light orange hoppy flavours on the front end, and a little bit of melon. Like the smell, there is almost a breadiness with a hint of pine on the back end. I could see this beer being exceptionally refreshing in the summer due to its light character. If it weren't almost 7%, it would also be very sessionable (well, I guess it still could be if your end goal was to get drunk).

Feel: Light body, medium carbonation. As I stated before, refreshing.

Overall: This beer isn't going to turn the heads of many true hop lovers. However, it is a nice, light and refreshing brew that I will likely pick up again in the summer. Overall, not what many would consider a "traditional" IPA, but still a nice beer.

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Photo of Tilly
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P: Hazy gold without too much head but a beautiful lacing that sticks to the glass.
A: Sweet, malt, hops with hints of citrus.
T: Melon, banana, hops, Indian spices, hops.
M: Clean, fresh, very little bitterness but some but.
O: Not your typifical IPA, but a decent beer regardless.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

An IPA? This is a joke, right?
Perhaps this is what a dead elephant tastes like.
An embarrassing attempt of something good. I hope the brewers go a different direction.

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Photo of King-Ding-A-Ling
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Citrus hop notes, quite a bit of malt expression for an IPA,cotton candy note which plays into the circus elephant idea. Playful approach, but a little underwhelming.

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Photo of Float_On
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Native brew to my hometown. But not a biased review.

Appearance is a nice caramel golden haze. Not much head retention.

Not as much aroma as expected from an IPA, just some standard citrus grapefruit and subtle maltiness.

Mouthfeel is decent but a little under carbonated.

The finish really takes a lot out of this pint in my opinion. Just when you want that IPA to have a nice heavy caramel finish, this offering just lays down like a dead elephant on the tracks. Has a nice flavor but then just drys up and lacks complexity.

Overall decent. Will try again. All IPA's are different. Find the ones you like.

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Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there recently. Poured into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a clear, pale, medium golden color with a nice white head initially about 2/3 of an inch thick when first poured. the most pale IPA I think I have ever seen. Not sure what that means, if anything, or what I should make of it. Don't think I like it, but I don't think this should necessarily be considered a flaw or anything like that. Its just weird. The head eventually settles to a nice medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass along with a nice big cluster of surface foam. Lacing is just okay. Has a nice citrus hop aroma with hints of malt. Has a good fairly sweet and slightly toasted malt flavor upfront that gives way to the citrus hops. The hop profile is interesting, not as bitter as I would expect it to be. While certainly not the best tasting IPA I have ever had, something about the flavor profile is unique and unlike anything I have yet had in an IPA. It is a subtle uniqueness, but it is sure there. The hop bitterness certainly comes out more as the beer warms up a bit and becomes more apparent. Has a clean finish with a dry aftertaste. Has a crisp, slightly chewy, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This has very nice drinkablity indeed. Certainly worth a try, especially if you are an IPA fan like myself.


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Photo of EvanHarper
2.33/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

473 mL can into pint glass; 3 months before its sell-by date.

Palest IPA I've ever seen; light gold, just a shade darker than straw. Bone-white, vanshingly short-lived head.

The nose is distinctively vinous; there's also a vague fruit-juice character and a hint of sweet malt in the background.

Dry, with a subtler impression of the same vinous character from the nose. Lots of bittering hops up front, with only a bit of indistinct grassy hop flavour. There is a trace of malty sweetness but it's one dimensional and quickly lost between the vinous notes and the hop bitterness. The finish is dominated by one-dimensional hop bitterness with a trace of highly attenuated husky malt.

Thin mouthfeel, moderately low carbonation.

I'm not sure why this is so highly rated - I associate English IPA with a lot more caramel, toasty, or bready malt flavour, not with bone-dry vinousness. The bitterness is objectively moderate but unpleasantly magnified by high attenuation and the lack of complexity and balance. Honestly, it tastes like an adventurous but failed home-brew experiment.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Railway City Brewing Company ("Railway") is located at 168 Curtis Street in St.Thomas, Ontario, and was founded by Al Goulding and Paul Corriveau in 2006. During 2007 they purchased all of the equipment, and one year later all of the necessary renovations were completed. In January 2008, the first test batch was undertaken with the doors opening in April 2008. Railway's Dead Elephant India Pale Ale ("Dead Elephant") is its best selling beer and was created as a tribute to Jumbo the Elephant, who was killed in a tragic railroad accident in St. Thomas in the late 1800's. Apparently, DEA was supposed to be a one off seasonal beer.

Bucky purchased a 473 ml can of Dead Elephant IPA from his local LCBO, which was 6.5% alcohol by volume. There was no visible production or "best before" date on the can. Dead Elephant poured a slightly hazy golden orange colour which became much deeper when backlit. An aggressive pour produced 1" of orange tinted off-white foam which lasted for about 3 minutes before receding to a thin collar and film that left some modest lacing down the glass. Its aroma was quite mild, with caramel malt and grapefruit noticeable...the grapefruit aroma being much stronger in its can than in my glass. The beer's flavour was quite sweet up front, due primarily to the caramel malt, but there seems to be another sweet, fruity flavour in the beginning that I can't quite pin down. The sweetness gives way to a bitter grapefruit flavour, which lingers for a while as an aftertaste.

Overall, a good use and balance of sweet malts and bitter hops...unlike some of the craft IPAs that I've tried lately that seem to be engaged in a competition to see which can take the most enamel off my teeth. I would describe Dead Elephant as a medium full bodied IPA, but slightly undercarbonated for my personal taste. At $2.60 per 473 ml can, Dead Elephant is reasonably priced.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO 473ml can for approx. $3.00. Served at 8deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opened well. Poured clear and light colored.

S- Very little for an IPA. Soapy hint for some reason.

T- Ok but not great. Not a lot of hops. Pretty bland for an IPA. High carbonation

M- Pretty bland. Heavy carbonation props up this beer a bit along with a slight bitter bite

O- Pretty good. Will not buy again but would try the double dead to see what that is like

Food Pairing

This ho hum beer didn't make it to a tasting. Just enjoy anything you would with a Bud


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Photo of DrJay
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear gold with a fine collar of off-white bubbles. Bit of lacing. Citrusy aroma, mostly oranges, a bit floral and earthy with some sweet malt. Bitterness and malt balance each other up front, but malt gives way mid-palate leaving bitterness to linger. More oranges and nutty malt, a bit sugary, mild spice in the finish. Medium bodied, med/low creamy carbonation, a bit of alcohol warmth, off-dry. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

473 ml can poured into a pint glass glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.65 CDN. Can reads 6.5% ABV

Appearance - Clear golden slightly copper color spills into pint glass. Pour yields just over a finger of nice creamy white head which dissipates fairly quickly leaving soapy residue on top of the beer. Great spidery lacing left around rim of glass.

Smell - Some citrus, some hops but mostly very ripe tropical fruit, that is probably a bit overripe. Pleasant smell for some, smells just a bit off for my liking. Also a bunch of caramel and toffee mixed in with the fruit, gives an overly sweet smell for an IPA. This combined with the booziness gives it a smell I don't personally like. Slightly metallic as well.

Taste - Mangoes, bananas and maybe papaya or guava, followed by spruce and pine notes and then a fairly strong bitter aftertaste. Very grassy in aftertaste as well as a touch metallic.

Mouthfeel - Nice level of carbonation and smoothness. Quite a dry finish, a bit more than expected considering the big fruit flavors melded with the malts.

Overall - Ok English IPA, with a twist of tropical fruits. The smell on this beer to me detracts from the experience, if the smells were more to my liking I would say that this is a nice change of pace.

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Photo of mick303
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an crisp clear light gold with a nice solid cap of white head, quite solid retention

S - earthy hops, leather, lemony, also distinct almond/cookie notes.

T - sweet almond cookie malt notes and subtle brown sugar sweetness backed by a fairly refreshing hop profile. Lemon rind, some tropical mango notes, earthy and a bit herbal. A sort of musty/foresty/vegetal IPA. A touch astringent on the finish with a dry dry finish and lots of grassy flavour.

M - moderate carbonation, with a balanced bitterness and moderate-significant body. Gets drying on the finish, as the hops really come and strip the beer. Would make a decent session IPA in warm weather.

Serviceable, and the lack of detectable crystal malt offers some differentiation on this. The clean barley is a winning factor, but the hops fail to impress much, they are there and balance is alright enough to make for a decent session IPA with some half-decent flavour but not something I would seek out deliberately I don't think.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tallboy into a true pint, the beer is a bright, amber-copper coloring with a frothy, filmy, off-white head that coats the surface and the glass. Nose of toffee sweet and biscuit backbone with a tangerine, orange, and grapefruit citrus blend and lemon zest and pepper spicing. Flavors are bitter and roasted on the forward tongue, with a solid toffee backbone balancing and supporting a tropical fruit hops character, with orange, pineapple, and mango characteristics. Grassy profiles and pepper spicing help to cut through the flavors and clean the palate. Smooth and robust in mouth, with the carbonation cutting through to keep it light. The aftertaste is very grassy and hoppy, with a solid citrus profile, as well, with grapefruit and tangerine. Slick, resiny finish, with a tangy sweetness linger. Solid beer, and fairly easy to drink.

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Photo of TwilightTavern
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 473 ml can into a pint glass.

Pours a light amber/dark gold colour, somewhat cloudy with poor head retention, though it doesn't bother me.

Smells bitter and hoppy, but a strong medium roasted malt and sweet fruity aroma is present.

Tastes initially almost like a ginger ale, however the after taste is very grassy and bitter.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin to medium bodied and leaves a nice bitterness on the palate.

Very refreshing and good APA, a very "safe" beer to go for at the liquor store when looking for something in it's style.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 473ml can poured into a nonic pint glass

Appearance - Pours a clear copper colour. Sort of golden with a hint of orange. The initial two fingers of head sticks around for a decent amount of time, leaving behind a considerable amount of lacing.

Smell - Very sweet smelling, likely caramel and toffee malts. Some floral notes as well.

Taste - Caramel dominates, but there are some more subtle notes as well, primarily some fruity-floral hop flavours. There is a decent amount of bitterness, but given the style is quite mild.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, verging on heavy. A decent amount of carbonation leads to a satisfying finish.

Overall - 3.75/5

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Photo of decimator
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Labelled as Dead Elephant India Pale Ale.
473ml can poured into a pint glass. ABV 6.5%.

A - Poured a cleared copper with a 1cm off-white bubbly head. Head reduced to surface bubbles. some lacing.

S - Hint of grains, faint hops, a dash of booze. Rather mild aroma.

T - Light caramel, grains, hint of citrus, tobacco, bitter lasting aftertaste. More flavourful than the aroma let on.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, slight creaminess, a bit sticky, somewhat dry finish.

O - Decent but not a stand out.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to cattersley for sending this as part of CanBIF 2013!

A: Extremely clear, golden copper with a good solid and thick microfilm pad of head across the top. Great amount of lacing.

S: Caramelized malts with pineapple and other tropical fruits. Very sweet floral notes and a noticeable lack of hops.

T: Very sweet upfront, toffee, caramel and rock candy with slight notes of vanilla. Hop present themselves n the backend with pithy citrus. There is a nice lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. There is a very low viscosity that underwhelms and doesn't support the taste, more similar to a pilsner.

O: This is a different take on an IPA then what we usually have here on the west coast in that it is much more malt forward. It is a very attractive beer with a taste and smell that malt fans will appreciate. This could be a great malt forward pale ale if the mouthfeel had a more syrupy presence.

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Photo of HATS4BATS
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full and sharp. Amber in colour. Frothy carbonation that somehow adds to the playful branding. Improves as it warms with a minimal, metallic nose brought on by higher alcohol content seldom yielding notes of toffee, not fully matching the balanced characteristics of this IPA. A drinkable, uncomplicated body that coats the palate with sugared malt, dissolving quickly into hopped bite, settling into a bitter after-taste that lingers longer than necessary.

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Photo of jaz58
2.81/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I always go out of my way to try IPA's. Unfortunately Dead Elephant kinda tells you what you are getting.

The head was thin with a slight carmel colour.

The nose had hints of toffee and weak hints of lemony hops.

Mouth fell was average.

Clear in the glass with a rich reddish gold colour

When quaffed the beer is quite plan. A very flat bitters. No distinct flavour, no hints of tea, grapefruit, lemon.

A ho hum beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy orange glow with little to no head.

Aroma: Was expecting a big aroma (given the description on the can) but to no avail. A little grainy and slightly sweet. Sort of like a Cream Ale or California Common.

Taste: After tasting this one, I'm not 100% convinced it's even an Ale. Tastes very much like a Vienna/Amber Lager. There is some nice hop bite in there but really no hop flavor profile. Bit of a metallic taste in the finish. Very disappointed in this. Was expecting way more hop character.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: The description on the can gave me high expectations for this beer and I was sorely disappointed. All in all, it's a better than average beer, but for the style it is not even close. Would I drink it again? Given that it wasn't actually a bad beer I'd say yes, I would, but only if it was a fresh can and for the purposes of a re-review.

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Railway City Dead Elephant Ale from Railway City Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
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