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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 jimmah120


3.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, drank out the bottle, review from notes jotted down last summer

smell is malty, bready with touches of hop (lemon, grass, dank) and spicy clove. taste is bready yeast, earthy hops, some roasted tones.

an original summer beer, not very spectacular

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 05:38:16 | More by jimmah120
Photo of jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A 355ml bottle with a BB of April 2013. Picked up from a supermarket a while back, and stored in my garage. Brewed in Tadcaster (presumably at John Smiths). The Newcastle brand seems to be plastered on an increasing number of beers - rather than bolstering the brand I reckon the effect will be to dilute it. Oh well.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear golden-amber colour with medium carbonation. Forms a decent head of frothy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before dissipating. Some lacing. Aroma of light grainy malt with hints of faint caramel, husk, mild cardboard, fruity ale yeast and a whiff of stewed leaves. Not much going on.

Tastes of grainy malt with a mild finish. Hints of weak caramel, husk, fruity ale yeast, wet cardboard and a hint of stewed leaves. A slightly harsh note in the background, followed by a subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is dry, smooth and faintly tingly. Carbonation is OK but the body is thin and watery. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of cardboard and stewed vegetables.

Meh - a pretty poor effort. Bland and watery, with little depth or character to keep you interested. The Newcastle brand is going to be subject to the law of diminishing returns if it keeps making brews like this. Give it a miss.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 21:58:59 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

355ml bottle: BBD 30 Apr 2013. Poured into a 'Back Forty Beer Co' badged glass sleeve @ home on 13 Apr 2013.

Light amber with an orange hint, on top a thin covering of off-white bubbles. Sadly the head soon did a runner.

Toffee apple aroma, with added grain.

Malty feel to the actual taste, but this a watery brew and it doesn't carry the 4.4% ABV very well at all. Nicely carbonated but lacks depth of flavour and comes across as a weak, almost bland blend. To be fair it does have a crisp bitter bite towards the end, but overall I wasn't really impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 17:18:40 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of cyclonece09


3.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tall pint glass. Pours a translucent yellow orange with a small white head with some lacing. Smells fruity and grainy, nice and inviting. Tastes of slight fruit, sweet, with a nice grain profile. Beer is quite watery and is slightly under carbonated. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 03:47:38 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of barczar


3.05/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been I'm the fridge several months.

Pours a brilliant golden color with half inch ivory head that dissipates quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

Toasted caramel malt, grain, and herbal and floral hops comprise the aroma. Smells perfumey.

Flavor also reveals floral and herbal hop notes, with a fake cherry nuance emerging. Toasted bread forms the nondescript backbone, leading to a lightly bitter finish.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation.

Overall, a bit of a strange flavor combination. The fruity, estery taste seems out of place. The carbonation is too high. Lacks malt profile.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 21:40:47 | More by barczar
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 RoamingGnome


2.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured fom 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Very light amber, with a finger of white foam. The head settled to a dusting. There was a little lacing.

S) This has kind of a cider/white wine spritzer thing going on here. Then transitions to an earthy/leafy aroma. It's interesting, but not to enjoyable.

T) Quite an earthy flavor, leaves and grass. Then a good shot of citrus rind, and some serious zest. Poor aftertaste...

M) Lighter medium body with just way too much carbonation for my liking. I mean, this is well beyond crisp and refreshing. It's just uncomfortable, and the lingering poor aftertaste does not help.

O) I did not enjoy this very much, something just seemed off. If I had this on tap, I would question how clean the lines were. The taste seemed off and the mouthfeel was poor in my opinion. I enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale, so I thought this would be okay. It was not, I cannot recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 02:34:09 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of Vigilante


2.98/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pub glass.

A: Amber color with one finger of head which dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. Very clear.

S: Malt and a very slight aroma of leafy hops.

T: Mostly malt with a slight flavor of hops which lingers momentarily. Not complex at all. Tastes like a watered down version of Newcastle Brown Ale.

M: Sort of has the feel of a watery adjunct lager although this beer is an ale. Very thin. This is the weakest part of the beer.

O: I would choose this over most macros, but it would certainly not be something that I would drink normally. I am glad that I got this beer on sale to say the least.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 06:00:17 | More by Vigilante
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange amber colour with a harsh looking, bubbly white head about a fingers width tall and settling to a thing, patchy lacing after a few moments. There is minimal lacing on the sides of the glass as well.

Light and slightly grainy with some lighter earthy malts and a touch of sweetness. There is some bitter hops but these are light and quite earthy too plus some bread and butterscotch right at the end.

Sweet malts and some grassy hops to begin along with some grain and a touch of caramel maybe. There is an overall earthy taste that is rounded off with some bitterness and butterscotch with hints of some fruit too.

Light medium bodied with a grainy, slightly malty feel that is dry towards the end and has a medium to strong carbonation for the style with a sharp tang to it and a lingering bitter finish.

A basic, bitter golden ale, a decent offering and one that I would have no problems drinking again but not one that is particularly worth going looking for, if it's available give it a go otherwise drink what you find.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 19:53:01 | More by flyingpig
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.13/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a goblet. No freshness date on bottle.

Pours a bright, light gold body with small bubbles rising to the surface. The head is eggshell, and produces some nice lacing on the glass.

Actually smells like a lager-influenced English bitter. Mild leafy hops and a sweet malt background play together with some toasty light bread notes. Smells rather inviting.

The flavor has a sharper hop presence than the nose indicated, which reminds me a bit more of a pale ale than a bitter, but it alls holds together pretty well. The malts are rather one dementional, and the hops are not quite English, but this gets by alright.

The carbonation is quite sharp for a bitter, and this feels much more like a generic lager than a real bitter, but all the same it come off fairly well and doesn't feel too thin.

Conclusion: a fairly good beer for a macro, that is for sure. As for being a real bitter, it falls short, but it would be an alright choice if the alternatives were all macro lagers.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 18:46:30 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of jsisko01


3.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear, caramel/light-amber color with a half inch thick, creamy white head. Leaves a beautiful, creamy lacing.

Smell - Subtle sweetness with toasted malts, a slight funk/bitterness, wood, buttery bread, and butterscotch.

Taste - Toasted malts up front, and it's very sweet.. Malty and has a strange bitterness to it, almost like you can taste the alcohol a little bit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - This beer is ok.. I wouldn't buy it a second time though. In my opinion, it is mislabeled. This isn't a traditional summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 00:09:33 | More by jsisko01
Photo of jwc215


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

Pours golden with a thick, fizzy white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of hints of oranges and lemons with butterscotch and grainy malt.

The taste is hoppy for a macro British brew, The hops though, fight through too much diacetyl, giving it a buttery taste. The orange/lemon from the hops is balanced by grainy, slightly grassy, sweet malt that mixes in. Finishes bitter-ish and buttery.

Light-bodied, it has a somewhat fizzy carbonation, but not watery or too thin.

Again, the hops do show with balancing malt, but the butter is too much here. While it does add to the complexity and balance here, it goes a bit overboard. I can drink a few, but will have a butter aftertaste with just a hint of the hops that were present in the aroma and initial flavour. Overall though a nice enough "summer" bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 16:56:03 | More by jwc215
Photo of atr2605

New York

3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a clear light amber color with a white head that leaves a lace around the glass
S-pretty faint, some malt, low hop aroma
T-malt, hint of citrus, good amount of bitterness. Really well balanced and crisp beer
M-light bodied
O-Different summer beer from many others I have had, a bit more bitter which was nice. good session beer

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 01:37:47 | More by atr2605
Photo of WoodBrew


3.03/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

08-26-2012 17:46:41 | More by WoodBrew
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 Clones21


2.85/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Summer Ale is a yellow straw color. On the first taste there are alot of hops and bitterness. It goes down pretty smooth. To be honest the only reason I am trying this is because I'm a huge fan of Newcastle Brown Ale. It's my favorite beer. I am not a big fan of summer ales. I like my beer dark. But anyways, this summer ale isn't too bad. Goes down smooth if that is what you like. It's worth giving a try. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 00:09:50 | More by Clones21
Photo of Tobe

2.75/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw color with a weak white head. The head was thin (half a finger width) and faded very quickly.

The aroma was sweet with a hint of raisin and sour fruit. This beer has a tart, almost sour ale flavor. There is a mild hoppiness but not pronounce enough to be enjoyed. A little buttery with a clean finish and a mouthfeel that isn't all the pleasant.

A good attempt by a larger established brewer, however not a refreshing enough beer for summer.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 20:56:45 | More by Tobe
Photo of Zorro


2.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear light amber colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smell toasted bread and woody with a mild herbal hop aroma. Mostly though this smells like toast.

Starts out dry with a taste of caramel and toffee to it. Toasted grain with some tea, assuming the tea flavor is from the hops. Still this has a low level of flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin at best, quite close to water.

Overall a disappointing beer. It doesn't taste bad it just doesn't have much taste. I could see where this might appeal to quenching thirst on a blazing Summer day. But taste? This just doesn't have it.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 22:08:57 | More by Zorro
Photo of willytime


1.4/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was looking for a summer beer to take to the beach with me. This was the first I'd seen Newcastle's Summer, and since I've enjoy their Brown, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Bad idea.

Honestly, this could be one of the worst beers I've ever had. It is a nice color when poured, although there was not much head. The smell was musty and it tasted like a dry champagne flavored beer. Aftertaste is terrible (butter?). I can drink most "bad" beers and I would prefer them - and I'm talking Natty Light level - over this.

I recommend passing on this. The fact that this got any good reviews makes me wonder if I had a bad batch.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 11:48:18 | More by willytime
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.1/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a dark golden color. Head is fizzy but hangs about. Leaves some lacing.

S-Light citrusy hops along with buttered sweet bread. Very clean and manageable. Hops are also flower petals. Sweetness is pronounced more than anything else, but the bread is quite blatant too.

T-Pleasant. Light citrus and floral hops. Bready and doughy. Sweet throughout the entire tasting experience. Finishes with a mild dryness. Clean enough.

M-A bit creamy. Milder carbonation with some body behind it as well.

O/D-A nice partner to their trademark Brown Ale. This single bottle was a pleasant surprise.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 22:12:57 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of oldirtycaffrey


3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

While a solid beer, not really much that would draw me back to this again in the future. It pours a medium-light copper with a slight foamy off-white head, leaving a slight amount of lacing along the glass. Smell is very hoppy, slightly nutty/bready. Taste is also hoppy, bitter, and slightly acidic. The beer starts strong, but it ends a little flat. More than one or two at a time of these would be pushing it in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 16:04:19 | More by oldirtycaffrey
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 Bitterbill


3.03/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hiccup while I tried reviewing this, I'm not going to start from scratch.

Good looking beer, light golden with a small but persistent head of foam.

Smells buttery, light notes of lemon citrus, bread.

Tastes buttery, earthy, light lemon citrus, some bready notes.

Too expensive for the return but a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 19:39:45 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Light apricot yellow, 1/4 inch fizzy head and light lacing.

Smell - Caramal malts, bready, buttery.Bitter fruits, some faint hops, added sugars.

Taste - Typical english bitter, malty, nutty, and a little buttery flavor. Has that skunky yeasty flavor that alot of macro beers like becks and heneiken have. Hops are light and bitter but nothing much. Some light fruits come in at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light, smooth and easy to drink. Tounge mostly gets malts and sugars, palate gets remaing malts and minor hops, and that skunky flavor. Aftertaste is weak and dry.

Overall - Hey its better then a bud or miller. It is what it is, a average beer that should be easy to find if your stuck somewhere looking for a beer that actually has some flavor to it. Its nothing special at all, lacks in many areas like complexity, hop kick, overal amount of flavor but its not a drain pour atleast.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 22:28:38 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of Murphious


3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was $7.99 at our local store, the price made it worth a try.The front of the 6-pack made me think something with a citrus taste or other summer gimmick, it's not in this beer. Reading the back of the bottle label in the store, I noticed no mention of orange peel, coriander, etc. Hum, maybe this is a "Newcastle Brown Lite"?
It pours with a nice-looking color that is between amber and golden. I was getting two-finger head on my pour. Decent lacing at first, head disappears in about 10 minutes. There was some foam laying on top after sitting for 20-25 with a last mouthful of beer. Aroma is ok, reminds me of Boddington's (?). It has a nice citrus-like finish but not in the taste. Feels slightly tangy, a little hoppy but not strong. Light maltiness. It is kind of like a Nut Brown ale light. Seems pleasant enough to drink on a scorching summer day, but not an outstanding beer. For summer beer, I prefer to drink a Heffe or Kolsch.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 20:57:16 | More by Murphious
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Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.