1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Newcastle Summer Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
Newcastle Summer AleNewcastle Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

342 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 20.61%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 126 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KajII
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Shaker or Lager glass]

Poured a sparkling light orange with an average size white frothy head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing. The aroma was nice and crisp of a nutty caramel malt, floral hops and an earthy yeast. It tasted a slightly sweet, a little acidic and mildly bitter from start to finish with a slight malty feel at the end. The flavor had a short duration although it did leave a nice light hoppy flavor lingering for quite a while. Mouthfeel was light in body and watery yet dry in texture with a nice fizzy carbonation. Overall a tasty ale with a nice light hoppy aftertaste.

KajII, May 07, 2011
Photo of MrOH
3.28/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brilliant straw to light gold with a thin white head.

Light, fruity esters, earthy, grassy hops, a little bit of malt underneath.

Refreshingly bitter, light malt character, some fruitiness from the yeast.

Light-bodied, and more carbonated than expected for a British brewed bitter, but it suits summer drinking.

I think this is the British equivalent of lawnmower beer. Pretty good for what it is.

MrOH, May 03, 2011
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.

garymuchow, May 01, 2011
Photo of Vonerichs
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear and deep golden hue with generous bone white head.

The smell is predominantly toasty malt. There's also a mild hop bitterness.

The taste is equally unappealing and one-dimensional. Toast and buttery malt. It is bitter, but the hops are all bittering effect w/ no flavoring.

Mouthfeel is dry and heavy.

There's not much to really like about this beer. Low complexity and below average flavor. I won't have this again.

Vonerichs, Apr 03, 2011
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!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

My brother picked up a sixer of this the other day (before the full onslaught of Snow-torious B.I.G. set upon us), so I figured I'd steal a bottle for myself. A little concerned about having a summer ale in the depths of winter, but I can't decipher the "freshness date" on the label to ease my mind (or dissuade me from drinking it). Here goes. It pours a clear brass topped by a healthy finger of white froth. The nose comprises coriander, menthol, wheat, and light grapefruit peel. The taste brings more of the same, though the menthol is increased, and there is a strong sense of the white, fleshy part of an orange's peel. The bitterness is a bit in the extreme, to the point of puckering my lips (more like buckling them, like a boxer's fatigued legs). The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, I hope this was just an old batch or something, 'cause it doesn't taste anywhere near good. Judging by the overall score, though, it may just be as crappy a beer as it seemed to me.

TMoney2591, Feb 04, 2011
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-

tyme4beer, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of woemad
2.7/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. No obvious freshness date, unless it's "31.05 U L144." Never noticed it before, but it may have been available there for a while, as I tend to pay more attention to the microbrew end of the beer section.

Poured a clear, golden color, with a big, thick, rocky head that took it's time settling. Lots and lots of lace were left on the sides of my glass.

Weak, herbal hops and biscuity malts in the nose. They don't blend well together, giving the impression that this is going to be bland and uninteresting tasting.

My prediction above was confirmed. Just enough hops for me to wish there were more, some equally uninspired attempts at malty sweetness, plus an unexpected lemony tartness in the backfround that didn't match anything else going on flavor-wise.

Light-bodied, rather watery in the mouthfeel dept.

Drinkable only in the blandest sense of the word. I see no reason to ever have this again.

woemad, Dec 17, 2010
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.

DrDemento456, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of charlzm
3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed in a nucleated Sam Adams glass October 23rd, 2010.

Beer pours a pale straw gold. A white foamy head a little more than a finger high forms but doesn't' stick around too long. Well-carbonated.

Beer has quintessential beer aroma; like what a none-too-clean bar smells like the second you walk in. Sweet and a little grainy with a fleeting wisp of sourdough bread.

Thin, almost watery flavors of sweet caramel/toffee malt, followed by a low key, Bass Ale-like green apple crispness. Very low bitterness; I couldn't pick out any hop character.

A little slick and a little thin by the swallow, but oddly chewy as it enters the mouth. Interesting, anyway.

I could easily put away a few on a warm day, but it's far from a great beer.

charlzm, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of smcolw
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Impressive three-finger head that settles slowly and rocky. Crystal clear with a warm golden hue.

Light raw grain with a strong fruitiness to the nose. Mildly sweet.

Rich and round body-wise, perhaps from a low carbonation. Relatively unflavorful on the initial sip. The swallow features a touch of hop and notable sourness. The aftertaste is blandly bitter.

smcolw, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of Offa
3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a pretty good light ale leaning slightly to the hoppy and bitter side, if not simple and pedestrian.

Deep gold, it has a big white head steadily shrinking to a thin foamy top. It leaves a few weak hints of lace.

Aroma is grain, bread dough, apple, light buttery caramelised toast, hint of leafy-lemony hops.

Taste is light peppery-leafy hops with hints of bitter lemon pulp slightly dominating throughout with light bitterness just dominating over light honey-bready sweetness with hint of buttery caramel. The hop elements and bitterness linger gently in the clean, lean finish and aftertaste. It is pretty good, a decent drinking beer but a bit thin in character and not at all complex. It is on the bitter side and slightly lacking character or malt presence to support this since the hops mostly come through in a bitter bite that has only short hop flavour as noted above.

Offa, Sep 26, 2010
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.

PorterLambic, Sep 21, 2010
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.

BeanBone, Sep 13, 2010
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.

MA08, Aug 24, 2010
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.

Rayek, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint. "Hops and Glory", "Drink Cool" no date or info.

A - Pours a brilliantly clear goldenrod yellow with a pile of dense white foam that reaches three fingers before dropping slowly. Lace is left on most of the glass.

S - Very sweet malty caramel and vanilla opens the aroma up with an odd scent. A little toffee and English muffin comes out too. English hops are incredibly mild in the aroma and unfitting, especially with the tag line on the neck band. Too malt-driven and too sweet in aroma for a summer beer.

T - The sweetness in the aroma is mostly balanced out in flavor as the English hops pull through more. The vanilla remains on the finish but a slightly buttery aspect enters the picture. It seems a little off.

M - Borderline crisp and very smooth, Summer Ale has a tiny bitter hint on the finish overshadowed by vanilla. Lower carbonation feel on the swallow too.

D - Easy enough to drink I suppose but slight hints of off flavors aren't encouraging. The vanilla seems pretty out-of-place and neither the hops nor the bitterness is large enough here.

BeerFMAndy, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Beerbuddha
2.8/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

**Bottle sent to me from Formula PR for review on my blog**

**Spoke to the guy who sent me the beer and he said "there is no official style" for this beer.**

Appearance: The beer poured a pale golden color with huge rocky head. No lacing present.

Smell: Slight grain aroma with no hint of hops.

Taste: Very grainy(corn)and grassy taste with a light malty sweetness, Not much hop bitterness depsite the claim hops and glory on its bottle neck.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad beer. Perfect for after mowing the lawn or any other outdoor activity in the heat of summer.

Beerbuddha, Aug 10, 2010
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.

JamesS, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of cbutova
2.63/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours out yellow-orange with a huge off-white head. It has good retention and is creamy like ice cream. Leaves a nice coat of lace.

S- Really tough to describe. Basically it is cheap malt from a BMC lager mixed with plastic and some strange fruit scent. Good overall strength, but that just makes things worse here. It actually does smell like corn at some point.

T- I can see how it sort of resembles an English Bitter. The slightly nutty and bready malt is there. There is some bitterness and Euro hop flavor as well, lends some grassy/earthy and fruit flavor. Overall though, the flavors feel sort of artificial, could be added flavoring, who knows. The good flavors fade pretty quickly.

MF- Light with a fairly watery body. High carbonation slightly stings the tongue. I wouldn't know what else to expect, a bit soda-esque.

DB- This one started out with some characteristics of an English Bitter but went downhill fairly quickly. The more artificial hop and adjunct flavors took over and balance was lost. It ended up tasting like some kind of tea-soda elixir, not my kind of thing. It is fairly refreshing when it is cold but I wouldn't wanna imbibe too many of these.

cbutova, Jul 28, 2010
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.

ClubberLang, Jul 19, 2010
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.

tugdriver7, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Newcastle Summer Ale pours a clean golden color with a nice cap of white foam that left some lacing. It looks like a summer ale should. The nose is a little strange. Some unusual sweetness from an adjunct perhaps.

The mouthfeel is light. The flavor has more sweetness again, perhaps from something like corn. The flavors continues to be off through the center, but finishes with a bit of bitterness.

I would prefer a summer ale to go done a little smoother and a little cleaner. Drink this one cold cold cold.

BeardedBoffin, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of DJM13
2.98/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was an ok beer. The color and appearance were better then the taste and mouthfeel. I enjoyed it better right from the fridge, in a frosted mug. As the beer got warmer the taste depreciated. I have always like Newcastle Brown Ale and will stick to that and not its summer ale.

DJM13, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of cdizinno
1.88/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow - TASTELESS.

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!

cdizinno, Jul 06, 2010
Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.