Red Ryder
Erie Brewing Co.

Red RyderRed Ryder
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.87 | pDev: 14.73%
Erie Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Red RyderRed Ryder
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kinger
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scottish Ale eh, don't know about that seems more of a Strong Ale at best. I checked around and the word is out that this seems to be listed as a Scottish Ale, I just don't buy it. Anywho, this beast of burden is decent and packs a whallop. Candy sweet aroma tends to flare the nostrils. Amber pour, head, minimal splotches of lacing. This one bites you on the way down, fuller than I expected and the finish is reminiscent of a good whiskey. Sweet and a tad fruity, this one is candy sugary. Wow, respect the serving and take your time.

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Photo of Risser09
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter - Served at cellar temperature - I found this in Erie, and was informed that because of legal issues (Red Ryder BB Guns), it will be sold under a different brand

Appearance: an aggressive pour gives way to a 1.5 inch head that is tan in color. Large and small bubbles steadily make their way down to the surface of the liquid. The beer has the color of cranberry juice, with some brown in there too. The beer has great clarity and lots of carbonation is heading to the surface from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Big and powerful aromas of rum bread, caramel, cookie crisp and maple syrup. Very sugary in the nose, this seems to be more of a barleywine than a scotch ale.

Taste: Not as sugary as expected. Malt profile, and a distinguishable American bitterness. Flavors are rum, snickers, raisins, wood and brown sugar. I wish that they could match the power of the aroma. If so, this would be a world class brew. Bitter finish from hops is a nice contrast from the malt build.

Mouthfeel: Bitter at first and then a flat malt mouthfeel. Ends bitter and burning with alcohol. This is a throat and belly warming brew. Carbonation is lively at first but then relinqishes to allow clean glup. Very nice.

Drinkability: I like this beer and will cellar the remaining few that I have. I consider it more of a barleywine than a scotch ale. The aroma is superb and complex, but the taste does not quite match it. A good beer than could be great!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark amber color with a thin bone white head that was gone almost instantaneously. Spotty lacing. Aroma of caramel and malt. Medium-bodied with equal parts malt and fruit flavor. The alcohol is suprisingly hard to detect in the flavor. The sweet malt is pretty consistent throughout. The finish is smooth and sweet, with a mild burnt malt aftertaste. Could be better, but still a bit above average.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured with a big, thick, light-tan head that was exploding with CO2 bubbles. The nose was sweet with a lot of alcohol heat. The label notes that it is 9.3 % ABV and I believe it, based on the nose alone. The color was a deep amber with really good clarity. The mouthfeel was somewhat thin and I got a lot of sugary sweetness in the mouth. The finish was kind of hot with alcohol and a bit more than I would have liked. As it warmed, I began to taste butterscotch, which was pleasant. Overall, it might be a bit much for more than a one-and-done.

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Photo of rayjay
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Never heard of this one before; via trade with zrrbrrt (he's turned me on to some other goodies like Surly too). Clear deep red with some particulate; not much head or lace at all. Smells like rich peppery carmel malts, and some alcohol and diacetyl. Rich flavors, almost bourbon-like with a rich dose of malts, and some noble hops that bitter the palate. A bit of a cold syrup vibe. The strength of the alcohol is percieved on the tongue. Thick like a dopplebock, and could stand a bit more carbonation to give it some pep. A fair example of the style, but not as refined as the classics. I'm far from offended, but not quite would suite me fine, but I'd like to see the brewer flex their artistic muscles and make this a more interesting pint. I think it could improve with less alcohol. Cheers!

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Photo of Jessefive
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm glad the photo above shows the label peeling off, because that is exactly how it was for me. I was told that this brewer is revamping their labels soon. Probably a good idea.

There was not much aroma that I could perceive. The first thing I noticed was the bite of alcohol. The abv was very noticeable. It had a thin body and mouthfeel. There was a nice generic sweetness to the flavor, and a little cardboard in the background. More alcohol in the finish. Overall a pretty thin flavor profile.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent, copper toned amber with a small, beige head that quickly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell envokes toffee, light cinnamon, fruit, caramel, cookies, brown sugar, mild cocoa, and freshly cracked grains.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with highlights of caramel and fruit...perhaps an ever so slight touch of smoke is buried deeply in the background.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet & spicy up front, light bitters in the swallow, along with some mild astringency.
Overall, not a bad brew from Erie, PA.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought just one bottle of this from Union Jack's in Glenside, PA. No way of telling from the bottle what style it is. Poured it into a goblet. Poured amber with no head and some little sediment bits floating around. Nose is boozy and fruity. i get tamarind and sugard dates and weakly smoked peat. Smells quite nice. Taste really doesn't give anything away about what the style is (although BA i see calls it a Scottish Ale). Tastes nice though. kind of fruity, some earthiness, vague undefined bitter quality. alcohol warms my throat like a scoth. a very understated beer overall, esp considering its bold label.

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Photo of foureyedgeek
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2005 bottling, received in a trade from Santoslhalper, my local beer buddy.

Pour is red, brown and while not hay, quite opaque, with orange highlights. Creamy tan head, a nice fingers tall falls to a nice, well-retained cap of foam.

Smell is very malty, sweet, with hints of fruit and a note of smoke. Not a lot of alcohol in the nose, which others note, perhaps a result of its year in the cellar.

The taste is sweet malts, raisins, molasses and a lasting hop bitterness. The hops are way in the back on this one, they come only as an afterthought, but linger past the swallow. Definite alcohol in the taste but not at all overwhelming, its more of a compliment to the taste.

Mouthfeel is a nicely bodied combination of chewiness and low carbonation. This beer is not syrupy but definitely has presence in the mouth. Good alcohol warming as well.

Drinkability is good, the high alcohol here is well masked by the beer. Its very smooth, though a sipper for certain, but makes you want more than one. I could see this beer making for a session to remember (or completely forget).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Erie's "Red Rydyer BIG BEER" is exactly what it says, a big beer with a lot of alcohol! It pours a deep chestnut-orange with a ruby cast. The creamy yellowed-khaki head holds well but leaves only minor spots and streaks behind. A combination of malt and fruit and alcohol greets you in the nose (mostly berry-like fruit) and pretty much carries through to the finish in exactly the same way, getting bigger all the way. It's interesting with notes of apple, cherries, berries, plum, clove, light caramel, brown sugar, bourbon, and rum. It finishes dry, drenched in alcohol, and a spicy note of cinnamon lingers with some scorched sugar. Enjoy it at cellar temperature or slightly warmer or you'll miss most of its depth. Full bodied with a zesty, fine-bubbled carb that warms to become softer and more fluffy. Warming! Definitely a sipper!!!

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Photo of dawg
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cool bottle. Nice warmer at 9.3%. Malty aroma, mild hops. Alcohol is prevalent. Nice and meduim bodied. Nice and carbonated. Almost has odd tones and spiceness like my winter favorite AVBC winter solstice. Not nearly as complex though. Drinks well. Really enjoy the bottle. Another winner from Erie.

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Photo of DomErie
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As you can tell from my handle I'm from Erie, PA where this beer brewed. Ordinarily, we shy away from any local beers just because it's always been that way since Koehler Brewing was still made here. Only the old guys drank Koehlers. Now that I'm an old guy I'm smart enough to realize when local is good. This is a great beer. It's complex, smooth and flavorful, and it goes down very easy for a 9.3% beer. Erie Brewing has survived bankruptcy and is making some really superior products. Up until now I considered Southern Tier my local beer of choice but now Red Ryder is the top dog in town.

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Photo of klewis
3.02/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice red color with a tiny bubbly head that quickly runs and hides. No lacing at all.

S: Malty with a caramel aroma and a whole lot of fusel alcohol.

T: Sweet with a strong sugary flavor. More strong alcohol presence.

M: Medium-bodied, sticky, and a bit fizzy.

D: Not bad, but the alcohol is WAY to noticible in this one and the carbonation is a bit annoying. Worth a try perhaps.

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Photo of cooncat
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sample was from a 12 oz. bottle, given to me by my friendly Erie, Pa. beer store proprietor ... Thanks Pete!

A smooth pour produced a very nice sized beige head, which lasted far longer than expected. Color is a deep amber.

The nose is a sweet variety of fruit, mixed with heavy malt notes. The alcohol makes its presence known even in the nose. Initial taste is a wonderful mixture of smooth maltiness and alcohol infused fruit. The alcohol content is very noticeable. I detected a light hoppiness, but the malt and fruit flavors dominate. Mouthfeel is very full and warming. The finish is sweet and smooth, with nothing objectionable. My impression was one of a "Strong Ale", even though its listed as a Scotch ale. My advice would be to enjoy this beer to finish off a session, or as part of a very short session (two beers ... three and you might fall over!) Quite possibly the best Erie Brewing Co. beer I've ever had.


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Photo of garymuchow
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This sample courtesy of SS '05. Thanks guys.

Aroma presents as a nice moderately heavy caramel malt. Pretty simple and quite nice.
Beautiful deep red (brown) that's also almost ruby. Clear. Head was smallish, but had some persistence the the 1/4 inch mark. Tan head with some lacing.
Nicely flavored malt of elegant caramel. A touch of very nice sweetness up front. An intermittant background of alcohol. Hints of smoke and bits of nuttiness. Mild drying bitterness in middle and this leaves on a lingering dryness of some malt character.
Perfect medium, yet soft carbonation lends to an overall soft profile in the moderately heavy drink. Warming in the stomach.
This is outstanding. Complex flavors that are all good. Great feel. Excellent drink.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a stunning, glowing red with a wonderful, two-finger almost beige head. Brilliant clarity, nice carbonation.

Smell: Initially rich and sweet malts in the nose, balanced nicely by English smelling hops. Smells clean and crisp, with a complete lack of alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Rich and malty, with sticky sweet caramel notes at first, followed nicely by clean, crisp hops, finishing perfectly with a little bit of spice and alcohol tinge, with long-lasting bitterness. Balance is dead on, and the mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and full.

Drinkability and Overall: A great beer from an, in my opinion, under-rated micro in PA. This is the fourth new beer I've seen from Erie recently (the others were German Style Wheat, Fallenbock, and Heritage Alt), and it's nice to see them breaking away from what they were doing, and doing some stronger, more flavorful brews. HIghly recommended.

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Photo of jvorisek
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a case of it today while shopping with the wife in Erie. I had expected a tastey beer with a good alcohol kick with it and thats just what i got. I opened the bottle and poured it into my favorite beer glass. Not much carbonation but just enough. The color is a nice clear red-brown. The smell is kind of a mild but sharp malty alcohol smell. It tastes fruity and alcoholic with some bitterness in the aftertaste. A good balance between it all and nothing overpowers the other. With 9.3% abv I expected that it might be a little to strong, but it doesnt burn your mouth at all and is quite enjoyable to drink. The mouthfeel is a high medium body with some sweet malt flavor staying in my mouth. Drinkability is great if you take it a little slower. The 3rd one is almost gone and I enjoyed it as good as the first. I bet it would hurt you if you suck it down too fast though. Overall i am very happy for the 24.99 a case I paid for it

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a reddish-coper color with a small white head, leaving good lacing about the glass. It smelled of sweet malts and some alcohol, possibly sweet fruits and some mild hops. It had a very rich taste, rather sweet and malty, with a bitter hop dryness later on. You could just make out a bit of alcohol, but definitely not the 9.3% it actually has. It had a refreshing and warming feel to it, very smooth and pleasant. I give the drinkability a 3 becuase a few of these and you're sauced. Overall, very well balanced and interesting brew.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at Fathead's. The color was a darker amber, with a wisp of white head. The smell is caramel malt sweet. The taste is a very nice sweet caramel malt, with a slight bittersweetness in the aftertaste, and a noticable but not detracting alcohol. Mouthfeel is very thick. As for drinkability, I could have a few, with its deceptive ABV level likely to catch up to me.

The first time I had this beer was in 2001, at a formal up in Erie at their brewpub, Porter's. Even though I wasn't a beergeek at the time, I still remember enjoying this (well, the first half-dozen, anyway), and I got blitzed simply because it just didn't seem like an 8.5% beer. It's certainly a pleasure to have it again as a reminder of the time I spent up in Erie. Excellent, and absolutely one I'll find and have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It seems that Erie may have had some issues with the Red Ryder trademark and it's now being bottled as Ol Red, that's cool.

Appearance: Caramel ruby amber with a nice sized cream off white head leaves a decent lacing not too bad. Aroma: Rich malty aroma plums and other ripned fruit soaked in alcohol, alcohol is very evident. Taste: Sharp sweet malty overly ripened fruit tinged with alcohol a nice full flavored Scotch ale well done happy to see this one in the Pittsburgh market on tap at Mad Mex. Mouthfeel: Full-medium body malt monster syrupy texure, nice. Drinkability: One is an experience full flavor high alcohol, good stuff overall.

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Photo of aaronh
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber body topped by a generous cream head that shows good retention. The aroma is primarily sweet caramel and is very inviting on a cold winter evening. The flavors repeat the fruity, caramel and brown sugar theme. There's a slight graininess to the beer as well, and then a nice bitterness on the finish. The caramel notes are hinted at in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is solid, but not thick. Carbonation seems well balanced with the body. This is pretty easy to drink. Afterwards, I found out this was 8.5% ABV. I couldn't believe it. Way too smooth for that amount of alcohol. I wouldn't mind seeing this one around more frequently. Heck, I wouldn't mind seeing EBC offerings on tap more frequently period.

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Red Ryder from Erie Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 22 ratings