Railbender Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

336 Reviews
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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Reviews: 336 | Ratings: 789
Photo of aranheaney
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH Snifter.

A-Dark ruby red, brown

S-Toffee, caramel, heather, really nice from beginning to end

T-Awesome, this is really a very pleasant surprise, haven't previously reviewed many Scotch Ales, but this is a definite keeper

M-very solid, nothing unpleasant

O-really enjoyable, if looking for something a bit different, this is it

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Photo of BB1313
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent orange/amber, not much head and lacing, decent retention, nice color. The aroma is full of caramel and malts. There's also some minor hints of chocolate, toffee, and a touch of apple. The flavors match up with the aromas. More caramel and toffee. It kind of tastes like a caramel apple. Bittersweet with an earthy hop bite. Mouthfeel is really nice, smooth, spritzy. Finishes clean and dry. Alcohol goes unnoticed; easy drinking and refreshing which is the best part.

This is a "meat and potatoes" kind of beer. Nice Irish vibe, nice Scottish Ale, really nice for the style.. I'm surprised it's taken so long for me to try this one, but I'd have it again.

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Photo of Garlicjosh
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One finger head that fades fast into a light ring on the edge
Light brown / copper in color with a decent, constint stream of carbonation bubbles.

Roasted Malts right away with nutty and toffee not far behind. Roasted smell lingers in my nose as I go to take my first sip

Almost spot on to the smell just more of it. The roasted smell makes no attempt to blend in. The nutty that I got in the smell trails behind and starts to blend in more towards the back of my palate in which it meets up with a hint of wood. No alchol and really no lacing on the glass...none that sticks around long anyway.

nicely heavy but still smooth making it easy to drink...on a dangerous level.

I find this to be a fantastic ale. Has made me decide to seek out more scotch ales. I love the complexity while still having a high drink ability.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vibrant and clear orange with a thin lace of crystal head. Caramel roasted maltiness on the nose with a touch of either smoke or wood. Mild in body with lots of carbonation.
Toffee like sweetness followed by a hint of balancing smoke. Very neutral aftertaste. No alcohol detection but a warming finish in the throat. Flavors are subdued but the body holds up magnificently and the light toasted and caramelized notes are complimented very well by just the right touch of smoke. Detectable, but not overbearing. Dangerously drinkable. Nothing to crazy but overall pretty decent brew by Eerie.

This beer is what it is, doesnt go over the top and doesnt try to compete with bigger scotch ales. It wants to be a drinkable scotch ale and it does it well.

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Photo of AMiz602
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

To begin with it has a chocolate smell, a very fresh roasty bean sort of smell with dark red cherry, syrupy flavor. All I can say--it smells very sweet.

It has a moderate head, but is a medium based carbonated beer.

The taste is that of roasted cocoa beans with a nice hoppy aftertaste. It finishes pretty dry, and the slight carbonation helps to bring out and balance the sweetness in the beer.

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Photo of shand
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a clear red-orange color with a small head. Aroma is biscuity malts and grains, that's about it. The taste is good, if uncomplex. Sweet malts and grains dominate for a while, but the aftertaste is the most pleasant thing about this ale, with a lingering biscuity malt taste. The mouthfeel is fairly well-carbonated with a medium body, and the drinkability is good. It's a fairly average beer, all said and done. Could be good to give to macro drinkers, as it has a bit of "that taste" with the grains and sweet malts, but with a much higher quality of ingredients.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying the Eric Railbender, which was brought back from PA by my boss over the Xmas holiday. The beer poured a clear amber with virtually no head and obviously no lace. The smell includes sweet malt and a waff of alcohol. The taste was a decent amber ale with nice sweet malt and just a touch of hop for a clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium body with ok carbonation. Overall it is a good beer which could be sessioned.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-golden amber with a nice cream colored head

S-smells like licorice and peppermint. also like light honey and barley. medium strength

T-comes in with a taste of licorice and sweet barley. its a smooth taste. its a simple and balanced taste as well. it has a matching after-taste. some biscuit in the after-taste too.

M-medium carbonation with a sticky finish

O-its fairly drinkable, but i'm not a big fan of this one. its a unique taste but its just not the type of taste i want a whole glass of. it gets old quickly. i'll pass this when i see it

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a tan head.

Smells of roasted malt and caramel, backed by a floral bouquet with fresh berry notes.

Roasted malt bready mouth feel dominates giving way to caramel with some bitter burnt sugar notes. Finishes dry with a slight bitter herb taste. An excellent beer with big malt flavor.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a hazy, orange-amber color with a half inch thick, off-white head that dissipates after 2 minutes. Has nice lacing.

Smell - Scotch for sure.. With a subtle sweetness and maybe some toasted malts. That's all I can detect.

Taste - Scotch flavor is the most dominant. Along with a light sweetness and nutty character. Lightly toasted malts and a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Light body with moderate carbonation.

Overall - I don't normally drink this style of beer.. they gross me out. This is the first one that didn't, although I wouldn't drink more than one bottle..

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orangish amber with a thin layer of loose, soft, off white head that lingers. The nose has notes of caramel and butterscotch as well as some faint fruity aromas. The flavor is heavy caramel with some faint butterscotch notes and a mild bitterness in the finish. It has a medium body and is very smooth though a little heavily carbonated.

This is a very refreshing beer. It's easy to drink and offers a very smooth, balanced flavor. It's a little more carbonated than I would like, but nonetheless, enjoyable.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a nice color, looks to be a mixture of golden and amber. There is a minimal head which dissapates quickly and almost no lacing in the glass.

The smell and taste of fruit are heavy; I can't tell exactly which type of fruits are in the brew; perhaps cherries and oranges.

This beer is very sweet, no bitterness at all. It is almost too sweet. Just a little bitterness would have been nice.

The mouthfeel is 'fruity', the brew goes down smoothly with no bitterness or aftertaste. There is no alchohol taste either.

This beer tastes like it would be good in either the summer or winter. Overall I would not turn it down but I won't be going out of my way to obtain more.

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Photo of tone77
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some malts are apparent. Tastre is also mild, some malts, a touch of fruit, delicate flavor. Feels light in the mouth and overall this is a mediocre beer.

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

got a case from my son for xmas after i told him to buy me a six pack of craft beer (w/my money)...did not even know this beer existed but saw it was a scottish ale and had never had one before so was looking forward to trying it out.

smell was a malty w/maybe some nutty esters and a little scotchy also.

heavy mouthfeel but smooth very little carbonation.

taste was not exactly what i expected...watery w/bitterness and malty aftertaste w/ahint of scotch.

not bad but this is a tad harsh and not sessionable...2 or 3 is about it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Shared by nmann08; thanks Nate. 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a transparent dark amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of nuts, caramel malts, fruity malts, and light spice.

t - Tastes of nuts, caramel malts, toasted malts, light cinnamon and spice, light fruit, and roasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Lots of nuts and caramel malts and pretty easy to drink. Would have again.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark red brown with almost no head and lacing. It looks very maple syrup like.

S- Mild malt tones with some sweet and smokey notes.

T- Light sweetness upfront followed by mild malt flavor and a slight smokiness.

M- Medium light bodied with low carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable, this is defiantly one of my favorite Scotch Ales.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i really like this one. a red ale (not sure why it says scottish?) but its a red through and through, all malty and sweet, but this one has a nice hop kick as well, and a really jivey carbonation which makes it really drinkable. medium body, medium abv, great palate. the nose and taste are both overloaded with amber malt and crisp american hops. i think it is erie's flagship beer. would like to see this one get a little broader distrobution. nice local product for northwestern pa, otherwise a beer wasteland

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle ---> Pint glass. Dark amber. Small white head. Little lacing.

Smell is balanced yet restrained. Nice hop aroma and buttered bready malts. Some maple sweetness and a crisp herbal touch.

Taste is also balanced between sweet roasted grain and fresh hops. The guy at the bottle shop described it as a mix between pale ale and IPA. Nice aroma without the bitterness.

Could throw back a few of these..very nice.

Tasty brew. I just wish there was more info on the bottle

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Photo of Florida9
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber. A little hazy. Forms a small 1/8" of off-white head that has very poor retention and quickly reduces down to a minimal surface coating. Minimal lacing as well.

S: Slightly creamy. Some bread and an mild alcoholic "brightness."

T: Creamy, toasty, and bready. Peanuts. Slight, dull cinnamon spice. Flavor fades quickly to a seltzery finish.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is a bit on the lower side. Meaty and slightly viscous.

O: A decent brew. Flavorful, but unexciting. Would have never guessed it was a Scottish ale.

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Photo of burnstar
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear copper. Small to medium sized head. Smell is pleasant sweet malt. Toffee. Taste has mild sweetness. Toasty malt. Some herbal and grassy hops. Very nicely balanced and tasty. Very clean and crisp. Medium bodied. Very nicely carbonated. Great feel. Overall, a really nice beer. Very drinkable and sessionable. Doesn't show its abv at all.

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Photo of Boto
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy amber color. There was a very small off-white head that didn’t linger or leave any lacing. /decent enough nose. Caramel malt, maybe some traces of fruits, grain and maybe a faint earthiness. The taste is pretty good. Some sweet caramel malt, grain, just a faint bit of roast, bit of dryness to the finish. Maybe some breadiness also. Worth a repeat purchase.

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Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark golden color with a moderate head and nice lacing.

S: Mild roasted malt aroma of caramel eith a hint of grain.

T: Caramel sweetness along with some roasted malt. A nice hint of bitterness with a clean finish.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp, very smooth and quite refreshing. Well balanced, no hint of the 6.8% ABV.

O: very easy drinker, had a second with no hesitation. A nother good beer from Erie Brewing.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head. Clear dirty golden. Lots of lace

S: musty and vinegar like hop aroma. grain and bread with caramel notes.

T: semi sweet caramel malt dominates. Crisp taste. Bread notes.

M: light body. Mild carbonation

Overall: The aroma for be was a little sour and vinegar like which I wasn't a fan of.

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Photo of bpw28
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Two finger off white shaving cream head, copper (about a 16 SRM), very good lacing, lots and lots of carb.

Smell: Medium roasted malts, milk chocolate, espresso notes, light floral smell, slight wood. Very clean nose.

Taste: Medium full feeling malts, milk chocolate, light coffee, woods, earthy, bready yeasty, very nice floral hop backbone bitter. Body is medium and slightly chewy, carb a little much.

Final Thoughts: Very nice. This is very malt forward and it showcases some great flavors. It's very nice and tasty. Could be one of my more favorite scottish ales.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Joe Canal's recently since I had never tried it before. It almost tasted like a Scotch Ale but the alcohol was the strongest aspect to this beer, by far. The aroma wasn't overpowering and the taste was a textbook example of this style as well. For those looking to warm up and be buzzed slightly when drinking a darker beer, this fit the bill nicely.

The pour to this wasn't anything memorable as the head faded quickly and there wasn't any lacing to be seen. The medium brown hue was close to being completely clear and only a bit of dark fruit could be picked up on the nose. The mouthfeel was good - creamy, like liquid butterscotch, and the taste had notes of caramel, dark bread, and just a bit of peat moss. All of this faded into a nice smoky aftertaste just burned just a bit, leading nicely into the next sip.

This wasn't anything outstanding but the alcoholic kick tied in everything together well, since the malt was not grainy enough to be in the foreground. Most people associate this style of beer with the colder months but it's smooth and weak enough to be enjoyed all year round. Fans of Scottish Ales will be pleasantly surprised by the easy drinkability and nice mouthfeel of this take on that style.

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Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
3.61 out of 5 based on 789 ratings.
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