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Railbender Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

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Railbender AleRailbender Ale
797 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 797 |  Reviews: 336
Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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

 477 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Florida9
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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 +10.1%
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 +1.4%
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 +6.3%
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 -6%
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 +21.1%
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 +2.2%
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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Photo of Marty30
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter at fridge temp.

A. Pours a nice kind of red body with an orange hue.Clear body with decent carbonation. Leaves a 1.5 finger head that dissapears quickly.

S. Caramel malts and a little bit of butterscotch,followed by faint hints of apricot.A bit of grain.

T. Caramel malts dominate here,I actually taste a small bit of oats, nice hop presence.Not very complex but I like this.

M. Medium mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation stinging the palate.Good hop presence to give it a nice dry finish.

Overall I have drank this beer quit a bit due to my brother liking it.Its not the best example of the style by any means but solid. Drinkability is above average. If you see this around give it a shot.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with a very small tannish brown head with nice retention. There is some moderate lacing.

S: A decent amount of bread, caramel, smoked wood with some mild earthy hops.

T: Starts off slightly sweet with some nice caramel, bread and some tobacco. In the middle the taste gets a lot more smokey and continues through the end of the beer. Only at the very end there is slight undertone of earthy hops.

M: A little thin, but carbonated nicely. Leaves a smokey wet wood taste on the palate.

O: A nice Scottish Ale. Would like to have had a little less smoke and more of the tobacco flavor, but still and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of horshack7
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Topped with about a one inch head that is decently frothy then thins out to a thin layer of lace. Beneathe all that is a clear with a twinge of haziness dark amber beer.

Aroma: Malts show themselves at the start with a earthy tone and dark breadiness in the nose. From the hop side of it those are nicely roasted that do release a little bit of citrusness.

Taste: A buttery smooth mouthfeel. Notes of molasses and caramelized sugar. A little bit of grain in the middle. Hops are roasted to a good happy medium. The flavor is not overwelming form either the hop or the malt sides.

Notes: Very tasty and very drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of magine
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a clear copper amber color. Has an off white small head that settles very quickly to a lace island. Some patchy lacing. Pretty average looks.

Brew smells of biscuit and caramel malts. Slight hops as well. Decent nose.

Brew is a tad bit thin but balanced and smooth as you drink. Has a sharp carbonation in the middle, almost spiced. Finishes slightly dry. Sweet caramel malts, a subtle nuttiness in there as well. Has some dark fruity hops as well maybe. Some biscuit and bready malts here too. All of these flavors are present but just a bit bland and a little thin in terms of flavor and mouthfeel. A pretty good brew.

This is a pretty decent brew, it is a good sessionable brew and has a decent alcohol level. It really is rather middle of the road though as far as scottish ale's go. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of gfreed
2.01/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

As I've said elsewhere, the downside of the current beer explosion in America is the river of average or below-average beer crashing into stores everywhere. The trick is picking out the good beer from the cases of junk. I like a beer adventure as much as the next drinker, but I do get tired of dragging home one crappy beer after another. This brew plops neatly into the crap trap: beef-broth color and beef-broth taste from the beginning all the way to the tired, bitter end. And not good beef broth, either: it's the ick your grandmother used to make from 10-year-old bullion cubes that had been sitting in a glass jar with a red rooster on the label. Avoid. Or, if you must have beef broth, make it from cow bones.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Railbender pours out as a deep brown color with some red highlights. The smell of the beer gives off some earthy aromas along with some roasted sweet malts. The taste of the beer has some subtle dark fruit sweetness to it that's backed up but a dry toasty finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall it's not the best Scottish Ale out there but it might be worth trying.

 374 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of Railbender Ale for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I haven't had a Scottish ale in a while and one sounds pretty good right now so lets see what this brew is all about. There was no visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok and has a large dark picture of an old school steam engine on it. It poured a nice clear copperish amber color with two fingers worth of white foam that quickly died down to a thin ring.

S- It has a very typical aroma for a Scottish Ale. The aroma is full of lots of caramel malts that smell pretty sweet and are mixed with grain and bread aromas. There was also a nice blend of dark fruits that I always expect from this style, and this one had a great dark fruit aroma to it.

T- The taste starts off with a dominating flavor from the caramel malts that isn't nearly as sweet as it was in the aroma. The malts imparted all kinds of bready and biscuit like flavors. One thing that sticks out about this brew is that the malts seem to be toasted more then most in it's style and I like it. The fruits show up in the middle and are more subtle then I expected but still impart some raisin like flavors. I couldn't detect any hops and there was no bitterness in the flavor, there was also no presence of alcohol.

M- Smooth and medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation, I would have liked some more carbonation in this brew.

Overall I thought this was a slightly above average Scottish ale. When it come to Scottish Ales I tend to like the Wee Heavys but I was looking for something a little lighter this time since I tend to overlook most Scottish Ales and go straight to the Wee Heavys. This beer had all the good flavors I would expect from the style, it was just all together more lighter, subtle and drinkable then a Wee Heavy. This brew seems to be a good match for a stormy spring day. The only things I would change about this brew would be to add more carbonation and add in some more hops to give it a little bitterness to help balance out all the malts. I don't think I would seek this beer out again when Dirty Bastard is much more widely available and a better value, but I wouldn't turn one down if offered one because it is pretty smooth and drinkable. If you tend to like your Scottish Ales on the lighter side and not as robust and strong as a Wee Heavy then this may be the beer to you. I would like to see what other brews Erie Brewing has to offer.

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Photo of gregalobeer
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My buddy drives back from Pittsburg with cases of this stuff in his car. I've had several now at parties, but today is the first time I could pour it in a glass, get a good look, and a proper swig without all the foaminess. What do we have here ...

A: reddish/copper/amber hues, moderate to weak head retention, nice lacing

S: cherry and malts dominate, very sweet and fruity on the whole

T: I feel like this beer goes in a direction I like, then putters out before it gets to its destination. The cherry sweetness doesn't build or reach a balancing point with any bitter elements. The malts are also bit raw. And there is a slight metallic finish.

M: carbonation is slightly above average, but could be higher

Good, not great. Not sure I'd fill my trunk with it, but fun to try out if your in the area I'm sure.

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Photo of AnPiobaire
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured the Railbender Ale from a 12 oz bottle at about 46 degrees. It poured a murky amber with a off white head.

The nose for this was very mild with some fruity malt notes but very very subtle.

The taste was very subdued and had some mild maltiness followed by a bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is crisp and thin but well carbonated.

Overall this is a somewhat bland brew that certainly was drinkable but not too memorable. However, beer is beer and that's good. Enjoy!!!

 477 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Poured a hazy amber with a small, white head. Aroma of malts and a bit nutty; reminiscent of an amber ale. Taste was pretty plain; sweet malts and sorta bland nuttiness, with some caramel notes coming through. Not quite as sweet or tasty or alcoholic as other Scotch ales I've had. Medium body, and moderately drinkable, but a bit lacking in the flavor department.

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

On tap at a beer festival poured in a sampler glass. From notes: Small tan head with fair retention and lacing. Clear amber with copper hues. Nose is malty, grainy, lightly sweet, honey, bready. Med/light body, soft carbonation, lightly chewy. Fairly dry maltiness, caramel and sweet grains, a hint worty but in a good way.Light toffe notes as well. Finish is almost dry, lightly fruity, not bad.

 396 characters

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep,shiny/clear,orange/copper with promising but weak head that fizzles quickly,but leaving good,considerable thin lacing. Not bad at all.

Aroma is light and weak,can detect faint traces of malt and grain.

Can definitely taste smoky,toasted malt. Which is what Scottish Ales are supposed to be. Little to no hops, some caramel present. freshly crisp,medium carbonation and good body overall.

Overall, a solid and pleasant brew. Nothing really wowing, but tasty, and a good example of the style,which is what matter sin any beer.

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Photo of gopens44
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark muddled amber in color and all sorts of hazy. About a 1/2" head of creme colored foam.

S - Malty with some odd smells that made sense after I tasted it. Maybe a touch nutty

T - Here's where I figured out the odd smell, it is tobacco! Tastes just like some straight flavored long leaf chew, like Beech Nut. Not the minty kid, but the regular kind. I mean, that's just about all I tasted. Really interesting and unique IMO. After I was able to sort through the tobacco taste, a smokiness (not like tobacco0 and faint fruitiness came through.

M - Decent carbonation and a little bit chewy. Aftertaste full of tobacco. Medium to full bodied.

O - Quite a different tasting critter. I could enjoy this as something completely different every now and then.

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Photo of avaccani
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear copper in color with a small 1 finger head even with an agressive pour.

S - A bit boozy. Faint earthy hop, getting some caramel and sweet malt.

T - This really blew me away. I get chewy caramel, hearty bread, slight butterscotch. Alcohol is well hidden. Leaves a nice sweetness on the tounge.

M - Perfect body. Carbonation was medium to medium low. Flavor really shines throughout.

O - Highly recommended. Tastes great. Try it for yourself.

 462 characters

Photo of jdspears41
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this at a local gas station and decided to give it a shot after a long days work.

A-I poured this into a pint glass and noticed it his a light brown color with a small head of foam.

S-Not a very strong smell but it has a faint smell of hops.

T- Great taste with a great after taste...Has a small smoke taste to it...

M-Has a small bite to it with a little carbonation.

Give it a try!

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Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 797 ratings
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