Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale | Erie Brewing Co.

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Johnny Rails Pumpkin AleJohnny Rails Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Erie Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Morey on 08-03-2013

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 145
Photo of Treyliff
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a can glass

A- pours a clear Amber color wit ha small fizzy white head that disappears, leaving nothing behind

S- cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pumpkin pie crust & some vanilla

T- vegetal flavor up front with notes of cinnamon and allspice. Some stewed apples, cola-like finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a biting finish

O- drinks more like a pumpkin soda, could use a bit more malt sweetness

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.49/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Bottle into a snifter.

2.5 A: Mildly hazed medium orange color with a brown tint. Less than one finger of frothy beige head that falls almost immediately and leaves no lacing.

2.75 S: Very mild aroma. Pumpkin with cinnamon and ginger but not enough of any of them. Otherwise, not much going on. The malts are very mild and offer just a hint of caramel.

2.5 T: For as mediocre as the nose is, the taste is mediocre-er. Faint pumpkin and spice and otherwise watery and uninteresting.

2.25 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Watery without creaminess.

2.25 D: Pretty shitty.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.92/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma weak – pumpkin and ginger
Head large (7.5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to a two mm ring and layer
Lacing - none
Body light orange, hazy
Flavor odd – no pumpkin; melange of spices, all underwhelming and confused; no malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, fizzy

Appearance 3, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 2.5, Palate 3, Overall 3. Worst pumpkin ale to date.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours pumpkin orange in color with a crisp white head.

Aroma is of nutmeg, cloves, and sugar.

Flavor is intense of nutmeg with undertones of cloves, pie crust, and earl grey tea.

Nicely carbonated. The beer could stand to be heavier.

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Photo of BeerMeColorado
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pickin' up a bit of funky sour in the aroma and taste after it warms up a bit.
Kinda gives it a different twist. Overall a decent pumpkin beer...not too spiced, not too pumpk'd.
I still prefer my pumpkins as a "pie in the glass"...enjoyed with a great cigar.

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Photo of MasonMossJr
4.49/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bright golden/amber color. Lightly spiced nose. Light mouthfeel with small tight bubbles.

Very smooth. No overwhelming pumpkin pie spice flavor or sugary taste. No particular hop presence or bitterness. If you're seeking a pumpkin beer that is still primarily a beer, this one is worth a taste.

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Photo of BB1313
2.92/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

2015 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a burnt orange with a subtle haze, but has some clarity; white head that falls leaving nice retention and decent lacing. The aromas have your standard pumpkin ale spice combo. A touch of sweet caramel. The flavors fall a little flat. It doesn't taste bad or anything, but it doesn't have alot going on. Cinnamon and ginger in the mix. Slightly earthy. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with very active spritzy carbonation. Easy to drink.

Not bad, but doesn't have alot going on to standout in this style.

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Photo of Brenden
3.39/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is, appropriately, orange, clear and bright. It's got a small, bubbly off-white head that shows above-average retention and decent spotty lace.
There's a good focus on pumpkin flesh here, countered by kitchen spices. The aroma isn't particularly sweet, and the flavor is slightly sweeter. The aroma holds well, but the flavor goes thin and flat at the end. Still, it holds fairly well and the components one should find in a pumpkin beer are here, if not simplistically.
The feel is crisp but not overly biting in a firm medium body with a pretty good smoothness to it.

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Photo of epyon396
2.47/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Pumpkin beers aren't really my thing, but they've been growing on me. That said, this is vile.

Everything about it (sans taste) is pretty average for a pumpkin ale, but it tastes like pumpkin spice and tap water. No body. No substance.
First drain pour in a long time.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass as well as some golden yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of extremely thin film and a medium thick ring of medium sized bubbles at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted pumpkin over the top of lighter aromas of caramel malts and pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinnamon stand out).

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of caramel and grainy malts with a hint of sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of roasted pumpkin and light to moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon stand out). Not discernable hop presence or bitterness is detected.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Not quite as complex as I prefer my pumpkin beers, just overall not that interesting and a touch sweeter than I enjoy. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. Would have been better if the ginger had been present and some light notes of vanilla.

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Photo of RHWeir
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

The good part, it's not sickly sweet. The bad part, it has a weak pumpkin flavor and is a bit watery. I'm still searching for a really good pumpkin beer that is not overly sweet or artificial tasting. This is probably the best to date. It's just a bit faint, faint is a good way to phrase it. The pumpkin flavor is there but it's in the background which come to think of it is not a bad thing at all. My wife is picking up another 6 pack as I write this so, yes, we liked it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +9%

The appearance of this beer, well it pours into my chalice forming a slightly hazed copper amber body with a light beige head, which dwindles rather quickly and leaves behind minimal lacing.

Aroma, has caramelized malts with pumpkin cream character, and spice lingering with each sniff.

Flavor is a bit too buttery, the creamy pumpkin notes and mild spices are nice, but a heavy thick butterscotch component sends it over the edge for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied cloying sweetness lingers with mild spices that make you want to scrape your tongue to get rid of it.

Overall, I can’t appreciate something like this with that much lingering sweetness and abrasive spice notes, even compared to the other pumpkin ales out there it’s again in the middle of the road for me.

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nicely carbonated copper color. The white head is really small and dissipates almost like a soda and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Weak smell of pumpkin with a little clove, and some spicy/peppery.

Taste: Exactly like the smell, with maybe a touch of copper.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but lacking carbonation badly.

This is better than an average macro, and easy to drink, but the flavor lacks yumminess. I'm not saying it's bad, because it is decent, but there are too many pumpkin beers that are way better than this.

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Photo of superspak
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 8/6/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a small off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, gingerbread, toast, floral, and herbal earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and decent balance of pumpkin, malt, and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, brown sugar, toast, floral, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, gingerbread, toast, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a bit. Good balance and complexity of pumpkin, malt, and spice flavors; with moderately watery flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and watery moutfeel that is ok. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present on the finish. Overall this is a decent pumpkin ale. Lacking robustness of flavors, but has good balance and is easy to drink. A fairly enjoyable offering.

 1,157 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has a light orange color body with a very small head. The aroma has a hint of spice and a hint of pumpkin. The taste has a cinnamon and nutmeg flavor to it. I get very little pumpkin flavor. The mouthfeel is very thin and overall a average beer that needs more flavor

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Photo of thecheapies
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks clear. Maybe slight haze. Deep orange, but lighter. Not much of a crown. Zilch, or practically zilch, for head, as far as what stays. Almost half-an-inch, at first, but that's gone now.

Cinnamon and allspice with the idea of pumpkin on the mind. Sweet with a spicy richness that follow through. Pie spices, some pie spices, and tinges of maltiness. Harmonious, sweet, not offensive, but not very special.

Spices hit the tongue first. Thank goodness the beer is on the light side. Allspice, cinnamon, some clove, and some pumpkin. Nutmeg is lost in the mix, but present. Watery vanilla bent. Not much vegetable, as one might assume. Not a spice bomb, but still distracted by what's here. Unmemorable, but tasty.

Watery feel, or should I say, thin with a carbonation that wouldn't seem big on its own, but squanders any possibility of a good feel. Very average, if not slightly better.

A pumpkin beer with no real kick. Doesn't feel terrible. Has decent flavor, but it's spicy in the forefront. What were you expecting?

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down, leaving only delicate lacing covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of pumpkins are present in the nose along with hints of pumpkin pie spices.
T: The overall taste has a bit of sweetness and seems to have flavors mostly resembling that of pumpkin pie.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes like a sweet version of pumpkin pie and seems like it could have used a little more spices to help lend some complexity.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked ol' Johnny up at The Friendly Greek and then we rode the rails for a while before he headed back to Erie. This is what happened during his visit:

I got a quick finger of fizzy, tawny head that quickly dissipated to nothingness. Color was a coppery-amber (SRM = ~ 13) with NE-quality clarity. Johnny smelled strongly of spices and I wondered what deodorant he was using, but it would have been incautious to ask as he is one bada** m'f**ker.

He drinks two-fisted and will not hesitate to put one of those bottles upside somebody else's pumpkin. He wears clogs and I once saw him kick a dude in the 'nads so hard that they popped out of the guy's mouth. There is a reason they only let Johnny out once a year and that is a large part of it. He was in town on his way back from Philly, specifically the zoo, where he put a hit on a zookeeper who thought that it was clever to feed fellow pumpkins to the more beastly animals. Johnny said that he got a laugh feeding the zookeeper to said animals.

Mouthfeel was on the thin side, but Johnny has never been one to carry a lot of weight on his frame. In this one, the spices were not as pronounced, allowing the malt a chance to come through. Cinnamon was, as usual, the heavy hitter, accompanied by cloves and perhaps nutmeg or allspice. I was really digging the scene when Johnny noted that we were almost finished. He wasn't bitter, but he wasn't real sweet about it, either. He said it in that semi-dry tone of his that always makes me take a step back and assess the situ. As we shook hands, his head illuminated from within and he walked off, cackling into the night, yelling, "See you next year!"

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep orange-amber color with a tiny fizzy white head. The head fades almost instantly, which when gone leaves almost no foam on the top of the brew and almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma has a nice roasted pumpkin smell mixed with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg smells. Along with these aromas there are some light notes of an allspice and ginger spice as well along with lots of brown sugar and caramel sweetness. With these very pumpkin pie smells there is a little bit of a bready aroma as well as some light grainy smells, overall producing a very pleasant rustic pumpkin pie smell.

Taste – The taste begins much drier then I was expecting with a roasted pumpkin and smooth bready taste. Upfront there is a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice present, but these are lighter then expected as well. The spice picks up a little bit more toward the middle and the end with the cinnamon and nutmeg really kicking it up at the culmination of the taste. Along with the increase in the spice, the sweetness also increase as well, with tons of brown sugar and molasses flavors coming to the tongue. In the end, with the sweet and spice flavors combining with the bready and pumpkin, a smooth sweetened pumpkin pie flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for a brew of 6.5 % abv with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The lower carbonation is rather fitting for the pumpkin pie like flavors, although a slightly thicker body would have been more appropriate for making a more “chewable” pumpkin pie experience.

Overall – An alright sweeter pumpkin pie brew. The look and feel are a little weak, but the flavors are rather nice for a sweeter pumpkin beer. Not a bad one to try, but not the best out there.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft during the Oktoberfest Tasting at the Washington House in Sellersville, PA.

Clear orange with a small white head. Mild pumpkin pie aroma with the usual spices and roasted pumpkin. A mild and very drinkable pumpkin with a nice balance of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, hints of brown sugar and buttery crust in the finish. No hops were apparent. A very sessionable pumpkin that goes well with dinner or dessert.

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Photo of 57md
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a finger of head that dissipated quickly. The nose is quite mild. The flavor profile does not appear to include pumpkin, but the pie spices are certainly present. There is a modest sweetness on the finish that is reminiscent of brown sugar.

Not bad - but without any discernible pumpkin flavor, it is hard to rate this terribly high.

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Photo of tviz33
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to a snifter.

A- A really aggressive pour gives off a 3/4" head that settles completely in one minute's time. The body is totally transparent and amber/orange.

S- Very light spice and subtle pumpkin on the nose. Malty and not overdone.

T- The pumpkin comes through more here, but I'd like to see me spice for once. Almost like melted butter in a way. Not the greatest.

M- Quite a thin body with medium-low carbonation.

O- I've had a few really awesome pumpkin ales, and this one does not compare. It's not off-putting but this beer isn't worth searching for.

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Photo of bcsbeer
4.24/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single for $2.25. Poured into a room temp snifter.

A: Crystal clear candy orange with a one finger white head. The head ran away as fast as it appeared allowing a unobstructed view of the bottom of the glass. Spotty lacing.

S: Pumpkin pie (while it is still in the oven), cinnamon, honey and spices.

T: A lot of the same pumpkin, buttery pie crust, cinnamon, hint of floral hops and orange peal.

M: Thin and somewhat oily, not a lot of carbonation. Smooth and easy to swallow.

O: I thought this was one of the best pumpkin beers to date. This will make a great session beer on thanksgiving. You can drink three or four of these and still have lots of room for that big turkey dinner.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper color with a medium head that leaves pretty good retention. Smell is faint pumpkin and mild spice. Flavors of butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, and faint alcohol. Spice is on the lower end, with some cinnamon and brown sugar barely detectable. Pumpkin flavor is alright but doesn't really jump out at me. The mouthfeel, while on the thinner side, has just enough body to make this softer pumpkin ale go down very, very easy. While I prefer a thicker pumpkin ale, this seems to work, likely in large part because this tastes like a session beer with the alcohol concealed so mischievously. Overall, it's a good beer, one that won't appease those looking for strong pumpkin and spice seekers but one that will work well for a late August barbecue like the one I had today.

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Photo of Chip_Diddie
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice amber color.

Smell - light pumpkin spices (duhh), light cinnamon?
Taste - light cream and pumpkin spice.
Mouthfeel - a little to carbonated and light in taste for me

Summary - worth trying if your into lighter pumpkin ales.

See more of my reviews on Untapped "Chip Diddie"

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Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale from Erie Brewing Co.
3.44 out of 5 based on 145 ratings.
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