Railbender Ale
Erie Brewing Co.

Railbender AleRailbender Ale
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #112
Ranked #39,991
3.67 | pDev: 14.17%
Erie Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Railbender AleRailbender Ale
Notes: Erie Brewing Company flagship beer features a deep malt flavor, caramel sweetness lingering in a soft hop flavor. Dark Amber.
Reviews: 346 | Ratings: 834 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tzbel013
tzbel013 from Tennessee

4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Every time I go back to Pittsburgh PA I have get some. It's a very smooth easy to drink scotch style with a malt forward taste and only a slight hoppy finish.

Aug 06, 2020
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A very lovely dark caramel pour with abundant tiny bubbles and a nice, but shortlived head. There's no glass lace and I don't expect it from this style. The first sign of disappointment is the lack of any aroma. The taste is thinly sweet, only the latter description acceptable for this style. There's some hop presence, probably just the right amount. The mouth feel suffers also from the lack of overall depth of the malts.

Jul 06, 2020
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EMH73 from New York

3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy copper color with a thin white head that left no lacing. Smell is sweet malts, light nuttiness. Taste is dominated by sweet malts, molasses, caramel, fogs, very mild hop presence. Light bodied and carbonated, watery mouth feel. I do not see this as a scotch ale at all.

Oct 26, 2019
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Trillium pub glass.

Look is a hazy copper with a thin off white head.

Aroma is a dark stone fruit.

Taste is extremely sweet fruity molasses.

Oct 16, 2019
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c014572 from Illinois

3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

OK beer, taste is like a normal pale ale. Not at all a scotch ale to me, no heavy malt bill, smoky tones. Mouth feel is too thin. Very drinkable, just not a scotch ale to me.

Mar 15, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Going really good with cheese and crackers!

Bought during a recent trip to Erie. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Golden brown color with great head and lacing. Slightly sweet floral smell. Nice malty taste and smoothness. A pleasant hint of bitter. Good beer!

Aug 03, 2018
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Fee from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional Scottish ale. The perfect blend of malt and hops. A sweet floral scent greets the nose before a smooth but slightly hoppy bite reaches the toungue.

Jul 18, 2018
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ovaltine from Indiana

3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love trying flagship beers, especially from a brewery new to me. This pours a cloudy amber color with a tan head. The nose has a significant caramel component, as well as some stone fruit. I am beyond “intrigued” and into “mouthwatering” territory.

The taste is all rich caramel and stone fruit, with a bulky mouthfeel. If I was local, I’d drink this all the time, because it’s just a really solid scotch ale, which I always enjoy.

Apr 23, 2018
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Harrison8 from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with two fingers of khaki foam on top. Head retention is good, with fair lacing left behind. Aroma is roasted, caramel, lightly bready, and nutted malts, with light toast, and molasses. Flavor profile is roasted, caramel, and nutted malts. Malts have a heavier presence in the flavor profile, giving it a semi-hearty feel. Additional notes of molasses, toast, and caramel give it a little sweeter taste. Mouth feel is medium in thickness, with a velvety, fizzy feel. Overall, a solid plain Scottish ale. Nothing fancy, but it isn't bad.

Served in a 16oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Mar 06, 2018
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feuematt from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head. Taste is caramel malts and honey. Overall a very good beer that I would recommend to try at least once.

Jan 08, 2018
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scots Ale not my style, with Gubna being probably top of my list.
a) Too flat, not enough lace on top of a pretty, but light amber/copper/brown body.
s) A bit of vinegar, but mostly honey, toffee, butterscotch, sweet. No hop.
t) Sweet mostly, with honey, toffee, biscuits, gingerbread. Too sweet for me. Also lacking malt and hop for me.
f) Medium bodied, sweetness not balanced enough, not that refreshing.
O) Sweeter side of Scotch ale - which is too sweet to begin with, but worth a try. Not badly made, but sweet.

Mar 05, 2017
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SomethingClever from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A: very little to no head slightly off white tiny in nature. Slightly murky bright brown almost amber in color.

S: Lots of honey, toffee, a little butterscotch, sweet.

T: Soft honey, crackery, toffee, almost a little like gingerbread. Fairly sweet good bit of doughy malts.

M: Medium bodied lightly clings to the tongue on the end.

O: This is a solid beer, nicely sweet lots of honey very smooth. All the way around easy drinking if you like a scotch ale you will enjoy this one. It is on the sweeter side.

Nov 11, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Today is the eve of All Hallow's Evening, aka Hallowe'en, and my treats for the remainder of the day will consist of beers from (e)Erie Brewing Company in (e)Erie, PA. No tricks, hopefully just treats and plenty of eerie goings-on as I work on the systematic eradication of my bottle backlog.

From the bottle: "enjoy erie brews".

I Pop!ped the cap and since nothing suggested otherwise, I went with a fairly heavy-handed pour, producing a quick finger of fizzy, foamy, tawny head with modest retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very sweet with loads of caramel. Hmm. Well, tomorrow is the day for sweets, so I will press on. This is apparently a part of the style, but not my cuppa tea. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was unquestionably caramel, but (thankfully) not as sweet as the nose had led me to expect. The Beer Styles section mentions "smoky characters", but I was reminded of not being especially careful in HomeEc when making caramel and nearly allowing it to scorch. It was less smoky than towards burnt, but that would not be a fair characterization, either. The sweetness was held in check by a flavor that I could not put my finger on, but I would be very hesitant to assign it to the hops. Interesting. The finish was in that nether-realm straddling semi-sweet & semi-dry. It was not a malt bomb, which is also allowable, but nor was it as smoky as I might have liked. It was kind of a one-and-done for me.

Oct 31, 2016
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dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a cloudy amber with a thin, coarse, off-white head. Initial impression is fruit (pear) and maybe melon, plus vanilla and a light touch of caramel. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Kind of high ABV for the style, but very drinkable. Smooth and slightly sweet, fruity finish. Not bad but not a really great representative of the Scottish Ale style.

Oct 11, 2016
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Catena724 from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful red amber into a standard pint glass.
This is a full bodied, dark amber , malty ale that has a great mouth feel, a slight hop and enough alcohol to make 2 of these equal to 3 Firehouse Red by North Country in buzz factor. Is that a thing? it is now, since I have had 2. : )
I still like Firehouse Red, but prefer the Railbender for several reasons. Bottled, instead of canned. Besides the higher alcohol content, the Railbender is bigger on flavor, and a fuller bodied beer. The head on both is on the shy side.

Discovered this by accident in a mixed case from Erie Brewing with Derailed Black Cherry Ale ( the beer I wanted), other beers in the mixed case were Mad Anthony IPA, and a pretty good Pilsner. I loved the Railbender !!! Have bought 2 full cases since, and still have a bottle of the Cherry left. I am trying other Scottish and Irish red ales, but this is by far the best of what I have tasted to date.

Sep 27, 2016
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a narrow glass: color is copper to amber, head is light tan with small bubbles and presents about 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a small top with light lacing.

Smell is a pleasant blend of toasted and caramel malts, light raisin/grape notes, bit of toffee and rum like flavor.

Taste from this bottle seems a bit lighter and less malty than in previous tastings and on draft (which they consistently have at the Moon & Raven in Williamsport, PA). Even still the malt flavor is high quality and delicious, the lighter quality in this bottled selection makes it very drinkable. Flavors are similar to the aroma with light toast/caramel/toffee malt, lighter hints of grape/raisin.

Mouthfeel is pleasant with crispness and moderate carbonation, the bottled version seems to have a higher carb level than many of the drafts i've had.

Overall, this is a great beer with great focus on high quality malt presence with moderate hoppiness and great drinkability. I'll look to re-review with a draft version to adequately describe this beer.

Jul 28, 2016
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed, tulip style glass. I enjoy Scottish Ales, but did not find myself enjoying this one. In my mind, I kept thinking "malt bomb", with the amount of malt forwardness on this beer, as expected, but it remained all the way through in the aftertaste. I was not getting any sweetness or hint of hop.

Jul 09, 2016
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DATE: May 5, 2016... OCCASION: a cold night is the right night for a Scottish ale... GLASSWARE: Celebrator Doppelbock pokal... APPEARANCE: pours a bright copper color with sparse effervescence... the off-white head fizzles to a pencil-thin ring... AROMA: peat to start, with sweet bread and toffee-sweet richness... PALATE: medium-bodied and more lively than expected... sweet at the the lips and staying power at the finish... sneaky strong at 6.8%... TASTE: rich caramel and toffee strike a powerful 1-2 punch... toasted malts overtake any hop suggestions... the fruity esters are pear, maybe, and faint citrus... peat late... not enough impact to be considered a strength OVERALL: a solid offering that maintains the genre’s integrity... highly drinkable... hearty and warming, to boot--not a bad introduction to the Erie mix case, and a flagship that might not be worth revisiting in a sixer...

May 06, 2016
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baconfromwalmart from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Amber brown, some lacing after soft pour that disappeared quickly.
S: A fresh and very slightly tart malt.
T: Fruity esters mid sip, finishes with smooth malt. Not what I was expecting and a little weird, but not bad.
F: Low carbonation, pleasant thin mouth feel.
O: Not quite sure what to make of this.

Mar 18, 2016
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Dr-Baltar from Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Not in a glass I am comfortable judging from, so automatic 5!

Smell - Smells malty and a little sweet. A touch of smokiness

Taste - It is well balanced. It is not a robert the bruce or another very forward beer. Malty, caramelized, a little roasty, a touch of hops. Very nice

Feel - Nice carb and a little heavier.

Overall, it is a nicely balanced beer. I wouldn't mind a little more malt and hops, but still very nicely balanced.

Feb 28, 2016
Photo of jp32
jp32 from Michigan

3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: Auburn colored in the glass. Transparent. Not much head retention.

Smell: Caramel-covered sweet nut bread.

Taste: In the front it's sweet and big on caramel and toffee. A certain nuttiness is present. But all of this quickly fades into a finish that is insanely bready. That bread-like aftertaste lasts and lasts, at times almost becoming the most assertive aspect of the flavor profile.

It's medium bodied. The carbonation and mouthfeel are smooth, seemingly right where they should be.

I enjoyed this beer, and I hope to enjoy more from Erie Brewing again soon.

Feb 27, 2016
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Smk54 from Ohio

3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Clear Amber copper color with thick light brown head that dissipated quickly into good lacing. Mild malty bread notes. Smooth malty taste. No bitterness but not sweet. Hint of root beer aftertaste. Very good ale. Probably the best I've had from Erie Brewing.

Feb 15, 2016
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scotorum from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


Another from the beer club subscription Christmas gift from my daughters. We don't get Erie brews in my state.

a: Clear copper with an initially inch thick white head which receded quickly to a few small patches of surface foam and no lacing.

s: Mild bready-caramel.

t; Follows the nose but overpowered immediately by a fairly sharp bite. Bready finish. Mellows out later to a bready-caramel sweetness.

m: Medium with good body and heavy carbonation tingle.

o: Decent Scottish ale, easy drinking except for the overcarbonation.

Feb 10, 2016
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atr2605 from New York

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a nice copper color with a white head with average retention
S-caramel, butterscotch, hint of prunes in the background
T-caramel, candied sugar, mild bitterness, and some dry biscuit flavors in the finish
M-medium bodied
O-Very drinkable beer, nice balance and sweetness.

Jan 02, 2016
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Cnote_crafty_1 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Erie Brewing Company - Railbender Ale Scottish Style Ale 6.8% ABV. 26 IBU's

Look: Light copper/orangish with a ultra thin white head. It is slightly hazey and translucent. If you put your hand behind it you will only see the a shadowy outline of your hand.
Smell: Sweet caramel, sweet malty, raisins, grapes, sort of reminds me of grape wine slightly.
Taste: The taste is very much in line with the smell. Sweet and malty, caramel, raisins, grape and once the alcohol hits maybe a bit of a rum flavor. Then there is a slight hop bite on the back end that is dry.
Feel: The feel is not too light at all. It is smooth and milky with alot of fast carbonation. A ton of tiny bubbles.
Overall: This is pretty much my definition of a good Scotch ale. I haven't had any that I like better than this one. I bought a six pack of this at the Giant Eagle in Homestead and it turned out to have gone bad. It didn't have any dates on it and I wondered why. I tried to get my money back and the lady at Giant Eagle customer service told me she couldn't give me anything for it because of P.A. liqour laws. I am pretty sure this is a load of horse manure. Anyways, I emailed the people at Erie Brewing and they fixed my up really nicely. They said Ken from Vecenie distributers would like to give me a new six pack in exchange for my skanked sixer. They did so and the new six pack had the some old taste I have come to know and love. It just goes to show Erie Brewing is good for their word and will mend any problems related to their product. Faith restored, Cheers,


Dec 04, 2015
Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 834 ratings