Railbender Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

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Railbender AleRailbender Ale
801 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-17-2001

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Ratings: 801 |  Reviews: 337
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.

 545 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 1,497 characters

Photo of mpt2222
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dbl_delta
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Catena724
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of moodyxc9
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mattsucks
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jschwamb
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of flgimp
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good Scottish ale. One of my favs.

39 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of AJmon13
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of AndrewMichael
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of BigMike
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dogleg
3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of shoremuad
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Hendry
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Njrayzor
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of dacrza1
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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 genreā€™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...

 900 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of shanegatter
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sweet smell but had a slight sour taste

39 characters

Photo of Muss42
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of MDDMD
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brenstep
4.6/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of baconfromwalmart
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 306 characters

Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 801 ratings
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