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Newcastle Summer Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Newcastle Summer AleNewcastle Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

321 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 321
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 20.61%

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
a Scottish Sparkling Ale

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-24-2009)
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Ratings: 321 | Reviews: 126 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jmbranum


4.23/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking a British beer to celebrate the 2012 Olympics.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Bright clear golden liquid with a huge fluffy white head.

Nice fresh grain aroma.

The flavor is grain heavy. Dry. Lots of hops but very balanced.

Much fuller mouthfeel than I expected. Very smooth.

Not at all what I expected from a "summer" beer (most labeled as such are sweet and golden, but mostly bland), but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 21:07:41 | More by jmbranum
Photo of JamesS


4.1/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice light golden color with some nice initial head and some wonderful lacing. Very nice aroma, with a nice sweet malty undertone that's enhanced by a great hop aroma -- a bit jerky and eggish. Nice taste, with a good malt/hop ratio; sweet on top with a quickly turning hop flavor that lasts after swallowing; slightly grassy and a lot of jerky in the hops. Goes down very smooth with a nice lasting hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 02:47:47 | More by JamesS
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.1/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap last summer and never thought to write down any thoughts about it, maybe it wasn't too memorable. Pours pale yellow with a billowing white head leaves behind thin wispy lace on the sides of my glass. Aroma has a nice earthy citric hop character with light pale airy malts a bit of cracker and white bread grain action going on. Nice to see a one trick pony do something different for a changes. Flavor is light on bitterness with a touch of fruity apple notes and pale malt sweetness a very nice refreshing mass produced beer that strays from mass produced beer. Under 4.4% abv send me this in cans and I will tailgate before the concert or the big game. Mouthfeel is light bodied definitely a summer drinking beer, not a lager but a light floral/citrus lightly hopped golden bitter. Each sip is more enjoyable than the next excellent easy going mass produced English summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 01:43:50 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of PorterLambic


4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark orange in color with an off-white head made of tiny bubbles. Great lace left behind.
Smell is orange/lemon, malt, vanilla (?), kind of bready.
Taste is malt and hops fairly well balanced but the hops win out in the end. A slight citrus note as well.
A fairly clean finish, somewhat astringent with a medium body and light effervescence. Vey good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2010 02:16:00 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of cswhitehorse


4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to see something new at the grocery store today. Found this sixer above the delicious Newcastle brown so decided to give it a shot.

The color was pale orangish brown with very little head. It had no lacing to speak of. It looked refreshing. The smell was brown sugar and lemony. The taste was a tiny bit sweet with a slight hop on the finish. Overall it was right for this 90 degree day.

I would buy it again on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 03:25:20 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of PizzaQueen1


3.9/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pizza Club, a slice above the rest! in La Habra carries this beer on draft. The only real criticism is that for a summer beer, I expected a little more carbonation to leave my mouth cleaner. It has a sweetness to it, but it's not honey. Overall, it's a great addition for Newcastle.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2009 23:40:13 | More by PizzaQueen1
Photo of ImusBeer


3.9/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was a Saturday morning with warm weather and football on the TV. I've always liked Newcastle and all summer my main beer place has had the Newcastle Summer Ale so I decided it was high time I tried it.

It came to me with almost no head a light orange in color. I raised it to my lips taking in the slightly hopy scent. Took a taste rolling the liquid over my tongue and realized it was just a lighter version of Newcastle and nothing more. I was a bit disapointed but didn't really expect anything more. Just a lighter version of the English Ale.

It goes down easy but is just not that exciting, I'd have it again but maybe next year.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2009 17:12:59 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of BeanBone


3.85/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A crystal-clear golden-amber body capped by two fingers of bubbly off-white head that leaves sparse patches of lacing on its way down.

Aroma: Citrusy, apricot-like, and perfumey British hops over a sweet pale malt body. Balanced excellently.

Flavor: Lightly bitter and citric hops over a mild biscuity malt backbone. It's crisp and simple, but not without it's charms. Again, this is a well-balanced affair. Grainy malt and juicy hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a balanced finish.

Drinkability: Top marks here as this was obviously built for sessionability. I just wish I had another bottle to keep the experience going.

Verdict: Newcastle Summer Ale is a solid little brew. Thoroughly British and easily drinkable without sacrificing all character, this is one of those cheerful session beers from that side of the pond we hear so much about. I was a little skeptical going in, but Newcastle's first seasonal spin-off is a welcome addition for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 23:46:25 | More by BeanBone
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.83/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/23/2012 at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, tea and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with bready flavors of nuts and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some very mild and sweet flavors of honey, tea and caramel come in. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a nice beer to session with for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2012 23:28:19 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of CheckMate

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz brown bottle bought at Market Basket in Somersworth, NH. Bottle pours a golden amber with a half inch of creamy white head that sticks to to the side of the glass leaving some beautiful lacing. the scent of biscuits, caramel, a tinge of herbal hops greets the nose. The taste of herbal hops immediately hits the tongue with caramel and biscuits in the background. The herbal hops left an after taste. the drink is medium bodied with very light carbonation. Overall, it's a quite tasty beer. I just wish it had a little more carbonation than it did.


Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 01:27:22 | More by CheckMate
Photo of tyme4beer


3.78/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-As I expected, dark but not too dark.
S-Good smell, nothing out of this world.
T-Smooth, summer ale with the Newcastle touch.
M-Mouthfeel was also smooth like the taste, pretty good.
D-I could drink this one for a while, but not all night.
It's smoothness makes it drinkable, but not for TOO long.

This is a very smooth summer ale, as most of them are,
which is similar to Newcastle Brown Ale mixed in with
a touch of wheat. Being a fan of Newcastle Brown Ale,
I think that this beer complemented the smooth summer night well and
although I was expecting a bit more hoppiness, the taste was
not disappointing because I enjoyed the familiar Newcastle
taste with the way that the wheat was fused in, making for
a very decent summer ale. B-

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 09:24:26 | More by tyme4beer
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.73/5  rDev +26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, slightly coppery golden amber with a frothy off-white head that sticks around for a while. Yeasty, fruity aroma is fairly strong and quite appealing. Yeasty, wheaty, malty flavor has a slight woody undertone. The edgy and sassy texture makes for a nice finish to a good beer for kicking off summer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 15:29:06 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of DrDemento456


3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at a local shop for 99 cents, hope it drinks good for more than 8 months old.

A - Pours a nice urine color, sort of dark with a half inch of head, which is a good thing for a beer this old.

S - You get slight grain, and malt, and a mild hop in the nose.

T - Better than I expect for a summer beer. It seemed to have more body especially more than the brown ale. You mostly get bitterness from the grain or hops so it even comes off as a sort of a pale ale. It is sweet and grainy and wet.

M - Very light. Felt like I was drinking water

D - Well summer ales have come and gone and even if this beer hasn't improved with age it really didn't get any worse. I find that I may be able to succession this brew if I was in a need for a beer fix. A very passable summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 01:05:36 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of garymuchow


3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While drinking we were trying to figure what style category and our guess was bitter.
Very pale color and crystal clear. Very white head.
Aroma is actually fairly complex with a noticeable yeast character with a doughy malt profile with tartness and sourness.
Flavor matches aroma quite a bit. Sufficiently dry, mild hop flavor with a gentle bitterness.
Surprisingly big mouth feel for a summer ale.
Solid summer ale. Not bold in any way, but certainly something that could be enjoyed in the cool spring or warm summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 00:47:15 | More by garymuchow
Photo of thecheapies


3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honeyed body with thin head. Lingering soapy retention. Attractive clarity. 3.5

Toasted malts, health cereal, rusty metal, and a hint of malt vinegar. Love the toastiness. Extra points for uniqueness. 3.5

Crisp tart apple esters and more and more toasted grains. Metallic note is almost not there. A little buttery. Quaint little bittering hop busy at work. I'm rather enjoying this one. 4.0

Watery and with lighter carbonation. Drinks so easily, however. Balanced, but scaled back. 3.0

A nice little English Bitter. A crowd pleaser, I'd think. Did me well. 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2012 01:09:50 | More by thecheapies
Photo of EagleTalon


3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a nice creamy white head and decent lacing. Color is dark gold and clear. Aroma presents with sweet malt, clover honey and butterscotch. Flavor is a mild and balanced blend of earthy hops and sweet malt. Finishes clean and dry. Mouthfeel is light, watery and low carbonation which is good for style. Overall a nice session beer you can drink a lot of and still get some hops and malt.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2012 23:33:52 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of baos


3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Says hops and glory on the bottle. It has an old hops and that canned mushroom English malt flavour. With the said, I like this brew much better than regular old New Castle. Nice golden color with a nice grassy floral nose (a bit of an aged hops smell). The hops and malt in this brew are balanced very nicely. I would get this one over regular New Castle.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 23:30:43 | More by baos
Photo of DaveFL1976


3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a sample bottle from my distributor.
I wouldn't call this a hefeweiss, as it's classified. How about an English Pale?

Mine poured crystal clear and golden color, with a fluffy white head. Smell is subtle but has hints of butteryness and earthy hops.

It's a quaffer. Light body, mild flavour all around. A little diacetyl going on. It tastes like a British Summer Ale to me, assuming that's a category.

It's a limited time brew. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 18:55:11 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of alehopman


3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure why NSA got classified as a hefeweizen. According to a Heineken press release, the malts are Optic and Golden Promise. No wheat mentioned at all. The hefe is also missing, there being not one suggestion of sediment in the bottle. Upon tasting it, I would classify it as a British summer ale.

What I did get from the tasting was a pleasant surprise. Whereas there is litte hop presence in NBA there is plenty here, as promised by the information on the packaging. A spicy Fuggles element really comes through. Mouthfeel is substantial and the higher hopping level doesn't affect the strong malt elements here. For NBA they do add corn grits as the adjunct and I suspect some here also (it is alot less noticable in NSA). The ale finshes with a crisp hop finish. At the end of the day, this ends up being a good quality bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 19:13:18 | More by alehopman
Photo of Rayek


3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Newcastle glass.

A: Deep gold with good clarity and active carbonation. A soapy eggshell cap has OK retention and leaves just a smattering of lace.

S: Pretty light in the nose. I picked up straw, a bit of caramel sweetness, plus a hint of lemon and earth.

T: Very mild and rather refreshing. A caramelized sweetness gets things going. Bitterness is slightly higher than the sweet, but not by much. It brings in some black tea and lemon. Finishes with a lingering black tea flavor.

M: The medium-light body has about the right amount of fizz.

D: This a pretty basic bitter. It does its job in that it's light and refreshing, while still having some character.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 18:58:36 | More by Rayek
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

newcastle summer ale has a pretty nice smell. I feel like I am detecting some chocolate barley. The color is a nice rich golden brown, it's quite good looking. The taste is rich and powerful at first but it quickly wanes to a watered down nothing. I wish it had a stronger finish. I feel like in attempt to make a really drinkable summer ale they fell a little short on what makes newcastle a good beer and that's the great fullness of it's flavor. This over all isn't a terrible beer, but there are better summer ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 01:01:14 | More by mattkoon
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy brown body gave a one finger white foamy lumpy head that died within a minute. It left some spotty foamy yet light lacing. No rings were seen on the sides of the glass. A decent amount of carbonation was seen rising.

S: some pale malts, grain, caramel and some light hops.

T: pale malts combined with a herbal kick with a slight smoky/burnt-ness going on.

M: light to medium leaving a slightly watery finish, under-carbonated - unsure?

O: not a bad beer, way better than that spring thing I just had of theirs. With the different flavors in the taste than the smell, this is a pleasant summer brew especially for the fact that I wasn't expecting this.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 00:08:44 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Nerudamann


3.55/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - somewhat pale amber color, clear, with about one and a half fingers of almost light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - somewhat of a spice-like quality. Although it should be highly hopped, I don't perceive it in the smell. Kind of a sour smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel - very bitter taste, but the hop flavor isn't perceivable. Slight fruitiness or sweetness that comes out in the finish and balances it out a bit. Maybe a bit of a/the diacetyl taste. Texture is actually fairly well-balanced and a bit frothy.

Overall - very interesting taste, even though I don't love the taste itself. It's still an interesting beer to sample.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 04:11:51 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of bubseymour


3.55/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- nice 3 finger head with decent retention with an golden amber hue

s - very bready and malty

t - definitely a european hop crispness to it and a dry finish. For what is called a summer ale, its not very refreshing. Only 4.4% it feels more heavy than that.

M - respectable and full for style

O - a beer that is average and tolerable but not really anything overly pleasant. A tad too bitter for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 00:51:12 | More by bubseymour
Photo of ronniebruner


3.53/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely one of the better summer ales Ive tried. This beer is a light pale yellowish color. It pours smoothly into my snifter and has an average amount of head, lace and foam. It has a typical summer ale aroma of lemon and lager. It is a beautiful color and it is a pretty decent beer. Great for barbeques and backyard swim parties.'

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 01:14:58 | More by ronniebruner
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Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.