Railbender Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

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Railbender AleRailbender Ale
820 Ratings
Railbender AleRailbender Ale

Brewed by:
Erie Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Erie Brewing Company flagship beer features a deep malt flavor, caramel sweetness lingering in a soft hop flavor. Dark Amber.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 820 |  Reviews: 341
Reviews by electtodefer:
Photo of electtodefer
4/5  rDev +9.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of SomethingClever
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Cnote_crafty_1
5/5  rDev +37%
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,


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Photo of lwillitz
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith nonic

A - thin cream-colored head over a body of cloudy copper

S - caramel and bready malt

T - caramel sweetness, bread, nuts, touch of earthy bitterness, dark fruits, balanced finish

M - creamy medium body, medium/high carbonation

O - Railbender is decent. Pleasantly complex in flavor, but a little light in mouthfeel.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a big seller last night at the Pizza Plant quite popular with the patrons,poured a dull lighter amber with a thinner off white head.Fruity malt and brown sugar in the nose with some lighter sweet dough notes as well.Lightly sweet and somewhat fruity definently malt tilted,some brown sugar and cookie dough in the finish.Hmm not a bad ale quite good but seems its just misisng something to make it a real winner but still good as it is.

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Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sherm570
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

A bit surprising to see a year-round Old Ale--surprising in a good way as most brewers use this style for one-offs or winter seasonals.

Decent foaming action from a medium pour, the head does dissipate to a thin lacing but still sticks to the glass. Clarity is a touch hazy but it's more of a temporary chill haze as it does become completely clear when the beer warms up. Big caramel toffee note in the front of the house, smells a little bit like taffy but the faint alcohol and bready grain brings the aroma down to beerdom. Very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel, malt flavor comes across as very pleasing right from the start.

Fresh-baked bread with caramel tones, a little nutty and a faint husky note in the back. Hops drop a little bit of bitterness and a kiss of herbal flavor. Fruitiness is kept to a minimum with a trace, dried plum flavor. Finishes semisweet with a long lingering malt flavor on the palate.

This beer is just more proof that great beer comes from PA. Beware of its drinkability.

 1,043 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BigMarty1980
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of elinash
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber colored hue with light head, disappearing quickly. Medium to light bodied for a scotch ale. Comparatively less dense than Old Chub or Belhaven. A very flavorful session/ pub beer. Warming with spices and slight roasted flavors up front. It's chestnut season, so maybe I'm reading into it...but there's a nuttiness in there. Nice lingering spicy finish. Perfect for late fall/ winter.

 395 characters

Photo of shapudding
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very cloudy and unclear amber, looks like home brewed iced-tea. Good amount of milkshakey almond froth went away disappointingly quick, with no retention. -Left as quickly as it had piled up and left only a very thin dusting in a minute or two. Warm scents, just a bit of alcohol floating up from it, I kind of think I am imagining the slight aroma of scotch in the background... then mostly oranges. Nice citrus flavors, but not too intense. Kind of like having one of those odd fruit cups where you get the grapefruit, pineapple, and oranges... but they have been soaking together too long to be able to taste which is which with your eyes closed...? They all taste good, but the same. Just a bit of peppery grapefruit rind countered with a bit of honey sweetness at the end. The carbination is noticable, it foams up over your tongue and creates a bit more of a medium body. Decent flavor, bit sweet in the lingering flavors... left with a candi-sugar...maybe even artificial sweetner flavor?... on the tongue. Bit of darkened toast... There is just alot of flavor left sitting around in the mouth. This is not one I would really go back for again, but I do think it is more of a summer drinker than one to have had when it was 18 freakin' degrees out.... I will have to come back to the Erie's again.
I did grab this case of mixed for my Dad, since this was his birthplace and made a fun gift for a split with him, in his venture into following me into the world of craftbrew.

 1,482 characters

Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.7/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a light golden color into the glass. Almost no head of loose almost-white foam quickly disappeared into just a hint of lace on the surface. Beer is rather cloudy and a light apricot-orange when held to a full-spectrum light.

S - Freshly, lightly toasted malts. Caramel, with hints of butterscotch and lighter dried fruit, like apricots, and a touch of orange marmalade. Alcohol pushes its way into the nose. Overall, a soft nose.

T - Taste is rather muted. Light whole-grain bread and lightly toasted malts. Caramels appear as it warms in the glass. Touches of a tangerine/apricot Jolly Rancher. It seems to want to be a bigger beer, but the taste profile is really turned down and washed out.

M - Somewhat fizzy. Certainly more carbonation than the pour suggests. Rather crisp. Structure is on the lighter side and a bit thin. Almost no finish to speak of, but what's there is rather dry - it looks like most of the sugars went toward pushing the ABV up.

O - The flavor profile of this beer has promise, but everything about it is so muted and soft, except, perhaps the ABV, that it seems a shadow of what it could have been. It's inoffensive, and definitely not at all hoppy, so it might be an acceptable introduction for someone wanting to move up from BMC and see what the craft fuss is about, but a more experience pallate is likely to find it wanting. It's classified as a Scotch ale, but it strikes me as recipe that started out as a slightly flavored wheat beer, and when they went to brew they discovered they were out of wheat, so they used golden toasted malts instead. Once this six-pack is gone, I can't imagine buying this one again.

 1,702 characters

Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling date indication. Pours clear, dull coppery amber. The head is slight, light khaki and quickly goes bye bye. Leaves just the faintest of tiny bubble films and minor bits of lace. The nose is equally non impressive, with just a moderate wiff of malt picked up. Malty brew, smooth and easy enough to knock back. A bit of smoke, a bit of earthyness and a respectable, maple tinged malt carraige. Easy drinking malty ale. NOthing earthshattering going on here, but decent enough. Would work as a stronger sessioner. Good to keep some of this type of sweater brew around for the base of a meaty marinade

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Photo of tigg924
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy, orange/brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: peat, caramel, and earth

Taste: strong caramel, earth, peat, and some florals

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet, light body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice and malty Scotch ale. Nothing horribly out of the box, but a solid beer I could have a couple of.

 355 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
2.25/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of captainhowdy39
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of brewman1526
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good beer from Erie... who would have thought? Pleasant maltiness, gentle alcohol warmth, a slight hop presence... this is not representative of most Scottish ales I've had, which I'm pretty sure is what it's intended to be, but still an enjoyable beer.

 262 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, consumed 5/15/09
Poured from a standard 12oz bottle into my gold rimmed Stella glass. Firm pour conjures a short lived 1/8 inch head. Head falls quickly and leaves a barely perceptible scant of lace around the edge of the glass. Color is a deep and enticing copper.

Nose- Rich toasted nuts, specifically almonds and pecan. Burnt caramel, and peat.

Palate- Some bitterness, initially, like eating the skin from a peanut only less intense. Followed by a substantial nuttiness again with almonds and pecan. Some burnt caramel and peat come through with a hint of hop bitterness in the end. Finishes on the long side with lingering nuttiness, some toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel- Dry with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- Very good. I find myself wanting more. This is a very nice beer.

 810 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this off of a trade from a local friend of mine. poured from 12 oz. bottle at cellar temperature into pint glass. pours a copper, almost dark copper, amber color, with a tiny bit of off white head that faded almost immediately to just a thin ring of foam on the outside of the glass. pretty much no head retention. hardly any lacing as well.

not a huge aroma, but there is some maltiness there. caramel notes coming in as well. slightly earthy.

the taste is pretty pleasent. very reminiscent of most amber ales ive had before. rich maltiness greets you at the begining of the sip and finishes with an earthy caramel malt finish. also some nuttiness in there. slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

medium body, with average carbonation. pretty drinkable beer, but i couldnt see myself buying this all on its own. its worth a try, but i wouldnt suggest going out of your way to pick this up.

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Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 820 ratings