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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 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
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 mschind


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A- white foamy 2 finger head that dissapeared. No lacing or retention. Crystal clear light amber color.

S- even this style had some of that Newcastle nuttiness to it followed by some carmel malt. The bottle says hops and glory but I'm not getting much in the way of hops here.

T- clean and malty, carmel and then some cider with a slightly bitter finish.

M- light and even a bit watery. Carbonation is appropriate.

O- the style is identified as an English bitter but they want to sell this as a summer ale. In the US that means something a bit different, some spice or citrus. This is ok as an ordinary bitter. It goes down easy and tastes clean and refreshing but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 21:45:37 | More by mschind
Photo of TheCondor


3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had never seen this beer anywhere until the other day at a particularly crappy liqour store in a bad part of town. Why I was there? Not important. Why this beer was there? Who knows. But I bought it. Aggressively side poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Appearance - Pours a golden, amberish color with a weak sauce one finger head that dissipates rapidly and leaves no lacing at all. Carbonation action can be seen inside the beer.

Smell - I noticed the preeminence of buttery, bready malts. The nose was eriously like that of buttered bread or something similar. Unique, to say the least. I liked it.

Taste - More buttery bread, a slight hop kick at the end. Just enough to justify being called a bitter, I guess.

Mouthfeel - True to style, carbonation is low, as well as the alcohol being indiscernible. Finished with light bitter hops, light bodied.

Overall - I would recommend trying this brew once, just for the sake of trying it. It's not going ot knock your socks off, nothing to write home about, but it is unique and worth a try at least. I wouldn't buy it again, but I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 02:36:04 | More by TheCondor
Photo of psuKinger


1.98/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle given to me by my neighbor Rich. Poured into my outdoor pint glass.

A: Pours a darker golden color, with a thin white head that dissipated quickly.

S: Smells "bitter". No grapefruit. No sourness. No citrus. No mango. Just metallic bitterness.

T: Taste follows the nose. Bitter for the sake of being bitter. Mild malt sweetness at the very front. Then a moderate amount of bitterness slowly plods in, overwhelms whatever else might be there, and just remains "bitter" all the way to the finish.

M: Light and thin. Carbonation is a shade low for my liking. Finishes dry and bitter.

D/O: Life's too short to drink subpar beer. It's not particularly drinkable, and it's not particularly enjoyable. My guess is they're moving cases of this because they called it "summer ale", and in the summer time, Common Joe The Beer Drinker gets a little bit more adventurous and will try something new that has the word "summer" in it. Turns out this isn't a wit or a wheat... and it doesn't have anything resembling a "bright hop" presence. Just boring English bitter. I don't think I ever need to revisit this.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 22:19:07 | More by psuKinger
Photo of bmwats


3.1/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Light amber hue. Pours about a half finger, bubbly white head; which quickly settles, and dissipates almost completely. No real lacing to speak of. Light effervescence continues to rise throughout body.

S: Italian bread, lavender, and dish soap.

T: Subtly sweet, lightly malted brew. Floral notes with a hoppy bite. A little brassy.

M: Light and crisp with an pungent, brassy aftertaste. Feels a little like smelling the inside of an old shoe.

D: Goes down easy, but aftertaste is a little off-putting.

Atmosphere is decent. Light head and no lacing though. Nose is soapy and floral. Light body accentuated with a pungent, metallic malty tone complimented with flora and hops. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 00:10:29 | More by bmwats
Photo of Giggy


3.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6 pack on the way home tonight. Uncapped and took a drink from the bottle. It is marketed as a "summer ale", so I was expecting something light with a citrus hint. Was surprised to taste malts, caramel, grains, with a slight dry/bitter aftertaste. Poured it into a glass to find a brownish yellow pour with a white head that developed then disappeared. A small ring stayed on the edge of the glass to the finish. I am currently on my 3rd beer trying to figure out if I like it or not. Overall I am finding it just an average beer. I would buy it again. I think it is nice to find a lower alcohol beer with flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 21:12:28 | More by Giggy
Photo of Kromes


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

A: A clear gold color with a thick white head that leaves lacing down the glass.

S: Grainy malt aroma with some herbal and grassy hop.

T: Very sweet honey and grain malt flavor with a faint herbal hop. Very strong sweetness that doesn't fade and hides the hop.

M: Light with decent carbonation.

O: Not a bad beer, just too sweet and not enough hop or bitter for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 20:29:27 | More by Kromes
Photo of scottfrie


2.85/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint.

A: Pours a light straw color with a couple fingers of very dense and fluffy bright white head. The head took a good minute or two to fade into a thin collar and streaky lace.
S: Not much to the nose but I do get some malty notes of cracked grains and earthy yeast. Hops are a bit oniony, a bit earthy, and not very good smelling all around.
T: Malts are a bit burnt tasting. This tastes like spend grains, cardboard, wood shavings, slight sweet caramel malts, and a hint of lemon zest and earthy, leafy hops. This isn’t awful, but it sure as heck doesn’t taste good.
M: Medium-light body, crisp mouthfeel that isn’t too dry, with bubbly and smooth carbonation.
O: This actually got a little bit better as I continued to drink it, but overall I would not buy this again. Flavors are just “off”.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 20:21:11 | More by scottfrie
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 31-03-X-L0775908. Sampled on June 14, 2012. Newcastle has brewed up a golden yellow beer that has a short lasting head and an odd aroma. I get malts, yeast, and floral hops on the nose but there is something else offsetting the whole thing...something akin to ginger. The body is summer seasonal light and creamy. The taste has a kind of cardboard like maltiness with a more notable bitter hop finish that lingers for a moment. There are summer seasonals from other brewers that I find to be more appealing than this one. I think I will stick with their traditional nut brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 22:22:52 | More by puboflyons
Photo of StoutHunter


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

I picked up a bottle of Newcastle's Summer Ale a couple days ago for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. I wanted to try some summer beers that were new to me and this one caught my eye, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer looks good. the color really pops and makes this beer a little eye catching. It poured a very clear darker golden yellow color that looked the same when held to the light and it had two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing. This is a descent looking beer with a nice head.

S- The aroma seems to be similar to their Newcastle Ale, it starts off with a good amount of pale malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness and impart some grainy and bready aromas along with a slight musty and biscuit like aroma. Next comes the hops which are pretty light and only impart a mild grassy aroma. I wasn't impressed with the aroma, its pretty bland and the musty aroma was unwanted.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, it starts off with a large amount of pale malts that have a lower amount of sweetness and impart some grainy, and bready flavors and are followed by a weird herbal taste that might be from the hops. Towards the end I get a light amount of hops that impart a light grassy flavor and gave this beer a lighter amount of bitterness, with a sweet grainy aftertaste. The taste was pretty average and bland, it needed more hops.

M- Somewhat smooth, a little crisp, pretty creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, I didn't mind the creamyness, but I wasn't expecting it.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer and I thought it was a pretty average example of an English Bitter, I don't have any experience with this style so that might not be that accurate, but I see this beer as average all the way around regardless of style. This beer had ok drinkability, it was somewhat smooth and a little crisp, but the flavors are bland and don't hold my attention, one is enough for me, I wouldn't want another one. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were the highlights of this beer and while not the best they didn't have many flaws like the other aspects of this beer. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the taste, they were just too bland with not enough hops showing up. I don't think I would buy this beer and I can't say I would really recommend this beer, as far as summer ales go, it's not hard to find a much better one. I have had their Newcastle Ale before but I haven't reviewed it, it's a solid English beer and is a little similar to this beer, but the extra hops that they advertise really don't show up, I wasn't impressed with beer but I still think this brewery is pretty solid, I'll have to try more of their beers, but this one just wasn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 03:49:36 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


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

I'd say this brew is Pretty much a lighter version of regular Newcastle. Not bad looking, light brown, decent head and lace with some staying power, malty, little hops. Not really an exciting beer, but a pleasant enough bitter. If you like Newcastle you'll like this.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2012 23:19:04 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up on the way home from work tonight... paid about $1.80 at Brewforia... Poured into my slim tulip... decent white head and no real lacing atop a clear golden brew.

Grainy pale malts .. possibly some floral hoppiness.. a bit of diacetyl... but I guess that should probably be expected... Interesting, but nothing to special.

Flavor is surprisingly dry .. still a good malt presence for such a low ABV brew... again slight diacetyl, but not bad... and probably appropriate for the style.. hops show as a faint grassy note..

Light body and light/med carbonation...

I would probably buy this again if I find it at a shop near home.

3.5 across the board.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2012 05:37:52 | More by JohnGalt1
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 KTCamm

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Was able to pick one up in a mix a six.

Pours medium amber with light foaming. See through. Light malty smell, but a little offputting. Light citrus. Small summery taste - some lemon citrus backed with a nuttiness. Fruits around the edges. Residual bitter.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 11:00:38 | More by KTCamm
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 MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a crystal-clear light golden color with a thin film of off-white head. Caramel and bread dominate the aroma, with butterscotch and floral hop notes. Bready with bits of toast and caramel and floral hops in the background. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Super-drinkable. Not my favorite example of the style, but a pleasant surprise and something different from the normal blondes and wheats of this time of year.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2012 23:43:51 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of kylehay2004


2.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: two finger thick white head on a clear golden with amber hues body. very nice lacing.

S: musty pale malts, grain, light on the hops.

T: strange herbal hops up front with pale malts and smokey, burnt toast following. Very different than expected.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not your average summer ale. The herbal hops and toasted flavors make this one interesting but take away from the drinkablity/refreshing factor you want in your summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2012 20:21:55 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured grassy hops and a touch of diactyl.

The taste consisted of grassy hops and light grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a serviceable light ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:26:55 | More by plaid75
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 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 hosehead83


3.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle with the iconic star on the label into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a rather short head of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Faint malt
Taste-Light toasted malt, subtle mineral note, with some "soft" hops coming along for the ride. A bit toasty and lagerish upon warming, but properly chilled, is quite easy-going and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 17:04:02 | More by hosehead83
Photo of hustlesworth


3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- clear amber colored body topped with a wispy white head that eventually settles down to a thin disk. Lace is spotty yet abundant. Sure looks summery.

S- toasty and buttery with a fresh grain husk aroma. Citrus spice from the hops, cut wood and slight cookie sweetness. Not bad, but not typically what I expect from a bitter of this nature.

T- fruitiness up front with a slight citrus and berry character, followed by an odd-ball buttery malt flavor. Minor notes of toffee and fresh toasted grain sweetness struggle for dominance against grassy and earthy hops and kinda reminds me of an American made Scottish ale, namely twisted kilt. Cigarette tobacco flavor, dry hardwood, and some peppery spice from the hops along with spice from the barley that kinda leans toward nutmeg.

MF- crisp "light" body, Leveled out artificial feeling carbonation does its job and goes home when the glass is empty. Plenty of residual grainy sweetness and feeling is left behind on the palate resulting in an overall particulate feel that should theoretically take away from the summer refreshment thirst quencher factor but really doesn't. Tea like tannins are also present.

D- this one isn't so bad although it's getting bashed all over the place. If I was blindfolded I wouldn't guess it as a bitter, actually I would be stumped. The unchecked diacetyl and prevalent grain husk are somewhat alarming but in the end it's a well balanced, not so bad, kinda summery beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 20:55:52 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

2.1/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Going to Rock gigs and casks being pretty much the two being strangers I have a soft spot for Newcastle Brown Ale so let's give it a go.

Amber coloured body with thin wispy white head.

Very subdued aromas burn't sugar, toffee with slight floral notes not much there.

Not much there on the taste front either like cheap canned beer slight wheat taste with muted, very muted hop finish.

Very thin Mouthfeel and over carbonation makes it seem like a bitter shandy but with fizzy mineral water instead of lemonade.

Nah watered down cheap keg bitter is preferable to this shite

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 20:48:31 | More by EmperorBevis
Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.