I actually had no idea what style Erie Brewing Railbender Ale fell under
until about halfway through the glass when I Googled it. I was
surprised to find this is considered a Scottish Ale as it seems more
like a strong British-style pale ale since there isn’t much in the way
of smoke or peat flavors you tend to find in the Scottish brews.
I received a 12oz bottle as a gift from friends (thanks, Alex & Marissa!). I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Rusty amber/light orange hue. Slightly cloudy but
transparent. Forms a small, off white, soapy head which fizzles away
quickly and leaves virtually no lacing.
Smell: Light toffee or caramel or other such hard candy scents.
Taste: Much like the nose the taste to Railbender Ale is akin to hard
candy suckers - butterscotch, toffee and caramel - yet it is not nearly
as sweet or tasty as those types of candies. The palate is noticeably
mild, even watery (not only in texture, but taste). The initial
sweetness is nice, which then gives way to more maltiness and tastes
often found in amber ales and gold lollipops. There’s a touch of
bitterness in the mild before the beer finishes with the same flavors it
opens with. There’s nothing particularly impressive about the palate
here, but it at least tastes pretty decent and satisfying. Some smoke or
wood flavors would help as well as just being a more robust beer in
Drinkability: I would definitely recommend Railbender Ale to less
experienced drinkers considering how mild the palate is as well as the
actual delivery. The mouthfeel is on the thinner side with a flat, wet,
watery texture. It’s slightly crisp, but it goes down extremely smooth
and it’s even refreshing for a moment or two. It does not take advantage
of its 6.8% ABV though, as this drinks and feels like something much
lighter. Though the deceptively light body would be another reason
newbies might appreciate it more.