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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 MarkQ617


2.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Maybe I just don't have enough experience with English Bitters, but this beer didn't sit so well with me. Had on draft at the Times. Clear amber-reddish color, perhaps a little lighter than that. Grainy flavor that you'll occasionally get out of Scottish beers. On tap, average carbonation. It just didn't sit well with me for a Summer beer, better directions to go in for something like that out there.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2013 20:59:02 | More by MarkQ617
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 ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this at a local restaurant to celebrate the beginning of summer.

This is a very light beer in flavor and smell. It is a good choice for a simple summer beer. I would almost suggest it as the perfect middling beer. You have a beer made in the ale style with english (pilsner) flavor. I get a decent dose of nobile hops in this one.

I would suggest this as an alternative for the summer outing to your BMC. This beer is good, not great.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2012 18:15:54 | More by ummswimmin
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 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 ChainGangGuy


2.15/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Crystal clear, dark golden body with a thin wisp of small white bubbles.

Smell: Odd, gamey mixture of malts, hops, grains, and fruitiness. A beer that really leaves you wondering: Who's bright idea WAS this?!

Taste: Light pale maltiness with a curious bite of grain huskiness. Understated sweetness. Slight apple seed fruitiness. Faint earthy bitterness. Continues to be husky on the dry finish and beyond.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Gross!

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 19:23:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
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 MA08


2.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright yellow with minimal lacing and strong carbination. Sweet caramel and malt dominate the aroma. Tastes emtremely sweet and smooth with a butter and caramel taste. Flavoring does not appear balanced and is a bit off. While smooth and easy to drink, the flavors do not bode well, seems way off for a form of a English Bitter, and this a poor choice for a summer beer with so many others out there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2010 17:28:26 | More by MA08
Photo of ClubberLang


2.03/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'll be honest -- this isn't going to be in-depth due to where I consumed this beer.

I had this at Pitchfork Music Festival side by side with a Heineken (the only options). I don't really like Heineken that much although it's a bit better when on tap. This beer was considerably worse than the Heineken. Taste wasn't good, and got worse as I drank it, with a pretty rancid aftertaste. Maybe if it was at a tastebuds-numbing 33 degrees for the entire serving, it would be tolerable. Worst beer I've had at a concert/ballgame -- I'd honestly rather drink Bud or Miller.

The appearance and mouthfeel were acceptable (although appearance was tough to judge in a plastic cup). Drinkability score is held down by it tasting like crap.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2010 21:48:04 | More by ClubberLang
Photo of tugdriver7


2.78/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at a concert at Wolf Trap. Tap choices were only this or fellow Heineken products Heineken and Amstel Light. I hadn't tried this... and It was hot and I was thirsty and had just paid twice as much as I should have for food, so I was ready for something to drink. That's about what I got. Thirst quencher. Pale gold in the plastic glass, 1/2 inch foam on top; slightly spritzy bubbles visible. No real smell to speak of, though initial taste was a hint of malt sweetness, grass and then some residual sweetness plus... well, that's about it. As it warmed, the flavor waned and was replaced by an annoying diacetyl buttery flavor (albeit faint) that kind'a ruined the whole thing. I wish I had ordered the Amstel. At least that has some balance to it. As much as I enjoy Newcastle Brown (and even have some in my fridge today), I think they missed it with this.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2010 17:05:36 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

1.88/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2


A: Clear, gleden boddy with a mild white head and little to no lacing.

S: I can't really smell anything except some cut grass that has been clumped up and rotting in the lawn for several days.

T&M: Watery, potent rotting grains. Some oily sweetness and some english hop presence.

This stuff is awful. I guess if I only had a choice of Bud Light, Busch, and this Newcastle Summer Ale, I might choose the Busch Beer at least half the time!

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2010 00:02:25 | More by cdizinno
Photo of Stinkypuss


2.38/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pale copper in color, small fizzy head dies away quickly leaving a bald beer indeed.

Smell: Light grainy aroma but nothing of any real substance.

Taste: Grainy, watery, very faint malt body and minimal hops to boot. Bitter? This is more on the side of macro beers. Adjuncts and grain with a weak hop presence. All in all, pretty weak stuff from Newcastle.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery.

Drinkability: It was fine to have this beer with pizza, but on its own its very bland and uninteresting.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2010 02:47:19 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of mithrascruor


3.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Pours a pale gold color with minimal white head which disperses very fast. No lacing. Light-bodied with some tingly carbonation. Sweet grassy malts with a bit of hops. Astringent finish. Not impressed by this one. There's something about the flavor where it rather tastes like regular Newcastle with a bit of hops or grass.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2010 02:24:30 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of Hojaminbag


2.1/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First of all, Newcastle Summer Ale is NOT a hefeweizen. I would guess it is supposed to be an English Pale Mild Ale, but I'm not positive. It certainly Isn't an EPMA, but maybe it was supposed to be? Hard to tell.

The beer pours with a dull golden colored body that is completely translucent (and completely filtered). The head looks OK, as it is a little bit creamy and even leaves a spot or two of lacing on my glass.

The aroma has hint of English hops, some musty-smelling malt. It also smells like some form of extract was used to brew this.

When I asked the bartender what this beer was, his reply was "it tastes like Iron City," if you're not from Iron City territory, that is not a compliment. Sadly, his description was pretty apt. He then gave me half a glass for free, knowing that I wouldn't be happy if I actually had to pay for it. The positive part of Newcastle Summer Ale is that there is a hint of hops (English? The press release claims Fuggles) that add a bit of bitterness to the beer. At least I think there are hops, I could be reaching. The bad part is that the hops are extremely weak, and are overcome by a musty-tasting malt and the obvious use of extracts in the brewing that produces a slightly corny/plastic-like flavor. (I'm not sure that corn was actually used to brew this, but rice or some other form of extract certainly was).

Mouthfeel is watery-thin and light.

Newcastle Brown Ale is a decent beer, so I was interested to give Newcastle Summer Ale a try. Newcastle Summer Ale, despite its name, is NOT a decent beer. It is on par with an average American Adjunct Lager, and I don't suggest giving it a try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2010 15:38:38 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dull pale oranage color with minimal head, retention and lacing. Smell is of light carmel malts, faint floral and earth and a touch of chocolate. Taste is reminicient of a mild Newcastle Brown... the sweet carmel matls are there in lesser quantity and also a taste of tootsie roll like chocolate. Faint floral hoping also present. Certain sips tasted good, others muddled... a very mixed reaction. Medium bodied, under carbonated, slight aftertaste. A lighter version of the brown, decent beer that quickly wears out its welcome, a better option than BMC however.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2010 14:35:03 | More by rfgetz
Photo of kimcgolf


3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Although not a real fan of Brown Ales, I liked Newcastle's, so figured their Summer Ale should be decent...WRONG. This poured from the tap to a very pale yellow, with thin white head and little lacing. Aroma was faint, but tried to be a floral and apple mix, and the mouthfeel was flat. Taste was bland, and the finish had somewhat of an unpleasant aftertaste. Newcastle should stick to the brown.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 03:29:35 | More by kimcgolf
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 MithosYggdrasil


2.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this last night at a nice dive bar called Lee's Luxury Lounge in Milwaukee, WI. Like every review before me, I was shocked to see Newcastle had a new beer, and even moreso that it was on tap!

Appearance: A nice golden/honeyish color, somewhat of a hazy appearance with a ivory white head. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: I couldn't really detect much and it was kind of difficult to, as well. A bit of citrus, orange and lemon mostly.

Taste: Tasted like a watered down Bell's Oberon, in my opinion. Similar to the smell, I noted orange, lemon and to a much lesser degree, malts.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light and had light carbonation. Bit of a frothy feel, as well.

Drinkability: Though I am a bit disappointed with it, It was nice to try and maybe have been one of those odd circumstances that made me believe it was a very mediocre beer. I'd be willing to give it another try, perhaps at a different establishment or from a liquor store.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2009 19:25:24 | More by MithosYggdrasil
Photo of mralphabet


3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got while at Boardwalk Billy's University City in Charlotte NC.... Poured in to mug (not frosted !!!! Yes)

A: Golden colored with a hint of orange, pretty clean with nice looking carbonation, very little head and not much lacing... pretty average..

S: Not much here, a little malt and a slight floral hops maybe some citrus hiding. Lacking here.

T: Like the smell... not much going on. Little malt, light hops and a little lemon peel. I think it wants to be a Hefe but comes off more like a very light Pale Ale... Still it is refreshing....

M: Pretty light to mid bodied.... little less carbonated they I was thinking it would be.... Not a bad summer ale.

D: If you want something a little different than the norm, it would work... not overly complex but drinkable.

I was expecting more from Newcastle, this seems very new to them too... Hey keep trying !!!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2009 17:27:56 | More by mralphabet
Photo of HoosBrews

North Carolina

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

Sampled this on draft. Appearance was light and moderately carbonated. The smell reminded me of a Bell's Oberon, with a slight citrus nose. Taste was mostly citrusy with a tiny hop presence. Mouthfeel was pretty thin, with very little finish. A decent, drinkable summer ale, but nothing really exciting about this one...

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2009 21:44:03 | More by HoosBrews
Photo of beerwolf77


2.55/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It looked pretty good poured into my glass. It was bright yellow and fairly cloudy close to what a summer beer should. I didn't pick up much sweetness in the aroma. I got a little citrus and hints of grass. Then came the taste. Fairly bland and lifeless. There was a mild wheat flavor with just a touch of honey sweetness with a metallic tone that I did not care for. It sort of laid limp in my mouth and just sheepishly went down with no real substance.

Overall a very weak effort.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2009 18:00:28 | More by beerwolf77
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 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
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Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.