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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 BDIMike


2.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a thick white head that sits on top of the beer throughout the entire drink.
Smell is of really bitter hops. Not much going on in this smell besides the very European, bitter hops I am not a huge fan of.
Taste is not to appealing. Very English hop taste, which I personally am not a fan of.
Mouthfeel is very nice. A nice thick smoothness all the way down.
Drinkability is average. An easy drinker that you can pound, but not a lot of good tastes going on, so not a real reason to pound it. Worth a try if served it at a party, but don't go out of your way to get it.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 02:29:17 | More by BDIMike
Photo of JerseyKirk

New Jersey

1.93/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Straw color. Pretty boring. White head disappeared quickly. Spotty lacing. Crystal clear. Looks like all pale base malt.

S: Czech pils, fuggle style hops, pilsner bitterness, slight lo mein noodle.

T: Nothing upfront. Small pilsner style bitterness in the finish. No flavor at all. Pretty much water.

M: Thin but carbed. Like water.

O: Terrible.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 19:23:56 | More by JerseyKirk
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 ale1


1/5  rDev -66.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

hardly an english bitter or an ale ,where's the hops?
boldly labelled at the top of the bottle "Hops & Glory" we were very disappointed.

I rate this ale as wankers ale plain and simple, it's pretty horrible tasting and continues to go wrong from there as you drink from the glass, artificial carbonation, with a musky horribly wrong after taste.

This ale is more like for dead parrots and budweiser fans, save your schillings

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 00:20:27 | More by ale1
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3.45/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Newcastle Summer Ale has a very thick, slightly off-white head and a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma was dank, musty, and sour. This seemed to go away as the head disappeared, and it was replaced by a generalized lemony smell. Taste is of sour, toasty grain, with a pronounced bitter undertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium, and Newcastle Summer Ale finishes wet and sort of rough. Overall, this is at least an interesting beer, and it is NOT what I would have expected for a summer brew. It improved a bit as I drank it down, however. It’s worth trying.


Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 20:58:53 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled grassy and floral. Some caramel aromas, too.

T - It tasted of bitter grassy hops. Some caramel and grain-like sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was okay. It seemed a little unbalanced. A little messy.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 01:37:19 | More by zeff80
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down but never completely faded away, leaving some bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of lemon citrus hops and biscuit malts in the nose along with notes of earthy and fruity yeast..
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied, clean and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The dryness persists from the initial taste through the finish.
O: This beer is easy to drink but there’s nothing really special about the taste. This would make a good lawnmower beer or something to pair with a summer BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 20:59:38 | More by metter98
Photo of russpowell


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

Pours an effervescent straw color with 3 fingers of pearl white head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Bready & sulphury notes

T: Grassy, sulphury, slight lemon notes & dry up front. Bready malt noies & lemons as this warms, still sulphur on the edges. Finishes crisp, lemony with touch of soapyness & more sulphur

MF: Light bodied, firm carbonation, a touch too gassy for the style

An average bitter at best, glad I was able to pick this up as single, it would take me months to work through a sixer of this. This might be better served at lager temps or even ice-cold

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 03:04:38 | More by russpowell
Photo of bjohn84


2.78/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours honey gold with 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly

S - Sweet grains come through, toasted malts

T - Toasted biscuits come through strong with grassy hops, dry tart flavor comes through as well on back end

M - Medium light body, very crisp and dry finish

O - Seems like it would be easy to drink a lot of these but nothing really stands out to make it memorable. Definitely something to quench the thirst

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 04:47:49 | More by bjohn84
Photo of McStagger


2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Seems lager-ish Pale, high clarity, medium carbonation, moderate head retention.

S: Toasty, nutty notes, some toffee, a little caramel.

T: Fairly crisp, apple, spice. Nuttiness and toastiness, but everything seems...a little crisper than it should be. Bit of hops on the end, but again it seems lighter than it should be.

M: Complete fail. At least, as far as the delivery of flavor goes. I got plenty of the flavors that should mark a good hearty ale, but they were watery and flat.

O: Almost feels like I've outgrown Newcastle. Used to be my favorite beer in the world, but every variation I've had is a far cry from the quality I used to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 11:02:34 | More by McStagger
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
Photo of ManuelHerrera


2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Newcastle Brown Ale is a gateway beer for a lot of college kids who end up getting into good beer. However the summer ale...will definitely not.

A - Pours pale gold with a water head right into my convenient Newcastle glass.

S - The mildest toasted hops are picked up vaguely. There's really not a whole lot going on here.

T - Drinks a bit like a traditional English bitter but somehow even thinner. A mild hint of hop bitterness here, a splash of malt and yeast there, but it's mostly just a straight forward beer that's cold on a hot day.

M - Thin, not challenging, and follows easy brewing to a T.

O - Not a bad beer to have around for a social gathering, as long as the gathering doesn't really care what their beer tastes like,

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 02:28:46 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of flexabull


2.7/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Parents had a bottle of this in the fridge, so I decided to give it a try.

Pours a light and bright gold color with a decent head.

Nose is faint, a bit grainy, sugary, with some sweet corn like notes. There isn't much to smell, but what I notice is kind of odd.

Taste is like the nose. Sweet, corn like, buttery, with some cereal grain, and mild tartness. Finish is crisp, with faint mineral hops. Weird taste, it's just too sweet and grainy.

Mouthfeel is ok, a bit thin and watery though.

Overall, this is average at best, but bordering on bad. I finished it, but I thought about letting the drain do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 21:40:23 | More by flexabull
Photo of blackcompg


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle from a friend into a 12oz beer glass -

Appearance - Poures a light, bright amber color with a quick finger of brite white head. Looks like a refreshing summer beer.

Smell - Lite toasted biscuits, minerals, slight citrus and grassy, floral hops. These smells are all on the lighter side, not overpowering. Smells light and nice.

Taste - More of the same, crispy dry biscuits, some slite malt sweetness, grassy meadowy hops, very lite citrus - and minerals throughout. I wish the flavors were a bit more bold, taste is somewhat watered down.

Mouthfeel - Lite mouthfeel, this beer is very crisp and finishes somewhat dry. Overall feels like a lite beer - but still thirst quenching.

Overall - A pretty good summer beer. And at 4.4 ABV, and the lighter flavors - this would be a great beer for throwing back a few after mowing the lawn. Thirst quenching for sure, with a pretty nice and fairly dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 03:04:25 | More by blackcompg
Photo of UCLABrewN84


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

a clear apple juice color with a 1 inch off-white head that fade to a film on the top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form randomly on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted grains and caramel malt. Taste is of toasted malt, caramel malt, and a slight metallic flavor. There is also a sour aspect to this beer after each sip. The bottle label says “hops and glory” but I really don’t get any evidence of noticeable hop aromas or flavors. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that really doesn’t say summer in my opinion. I am glad I picked up a bottle to try but I wouldn’t get this one again.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 05:43:12 | More by UCLABrewN84
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 Haybeerman


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

A: Bright, clear light-gold color. Poured a minimal white head that dissipated to a wisp. Decanted continually. Laded in a small spots.

S: Faint crackery malt aroma. Wet grain, hay and grass.

T: Sweet crackery malt. Transitions quickly to a little citrus tartness and earthy grain. Mild bitterness to balance.

M: Light to medium body. Ample carbonation; active and refreshing. Fairly active on the palate with a light, lingering bitter in the finish.

O: Nothing wrong with the beer, nothing memorable either. Very drinkable; not heavy and nice balance.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 18:08:59 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of BeerAdvocate


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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Typical summer-driven incarnation here to drum up sales (summer = light and golden, right?). Nothing wrong with that, just typical. Clear and golden, impressive head on top. Buttery nose with some spicy hop presence. Smoothness over crispness in a fluffy light body. Buttery yeast flavor is the main attraction here, with the malt helping to round it out. Hops have a quick kiss of bitterness and spicy flavor. Light bready maltiness peeks through right before the dry finish. The buttery tone eventually chips away at the drinkability; not half bad, but the flavor doesn’t scream summer to us, so perhaps it’s not so typical after all.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 14:23:22 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

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

Picked this beer up via the single bottle at Gary's in Wayne last week. I didn't feel like shelling out for 12 of these and sure enough, my hunch was right. It's been a long time since I had a Newcastle Brown Ale and when I first saw this, I was surprised that these guys finally put a seasonal out. Like most Summer offerings, this one's light, relatively forgettable, and worthy of drinking during those marathon lawnmowing sessions.

This beer pour a clear golden hue with a good head and no lacing to be seen. This was an omen as the mouthfeel was quite thin with the floral and grassy notes strong to the point of overkill. This was very earthy and tart and the aftertaste was quite sour. I found it hard to believe that this was an English Bitter since it taste more German than anything else and seemed to have the look, mouthfeel, and taste of a lager. No brightness here as this could have used some lemon zest or citrus to make it easier to enjoy.

Sure, the alcohol was light in this but I don't think that's why people would grab one of these in the Summer. This was nothing like the flagship from Newcastle and the bottle wasn't even clear. The familiar shape is there but that's where the similarities end. Lots of Hefe's and Summer Ales would fit the bill better than this, and unless you're a Newcastle fan, this beer is probably worth passing over.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 15:12:50 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of flagmantho


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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: crystal clear body with a light golden and with a finger of white foam. Head has pretty decent retention.

Smell: very light malt aroma, somewhat grainy. Not much in the way of hops coming through here.

Taste: light, sweet malt with just a hint of tartness. Hops are earthy and complement the citrusy tartness rather well. Flavor is well-balanced but pretty mild, and bitterness is present but relatively low. Decent but not great.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a decent level of carbonation. Effervescent and refreshing.

Overall: this is not a half bad little beer. I could definitely quaff a few of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 02:38:41 | More by flagmantho
Photo of BeerAmbassador


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

Beer pours a sort of clear honey yellow color with a finger of white head that left a touch of lace in the glass and a thin white film on top. Cracker like grain aromas with a thin bit of lemon on the end. Taste follows suit with maybe a touch of honey sweetness up front and a modest bit of bitterness on the back end. I appreciate the different flavor profile that the English hops have to offer, don't get me wrong, I love Cascades, Chinooks and the like, but it is nice to have something that is not over the top with citrus and pine once in a while. Overall this beer goes down pretty easy, but doesn't offer a whole lot of excitement. Basically if I were at a barbecue and the choices were BMC or this, I would jump all over it. On my dollar? Maybe not.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 01:30:54 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of PhageLab


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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Clear pale yellow coloration with a small bit of froth. Mild retention and no visible lacing.

S - Some grain and sweet malt, faint, but nice.

T - Simple design, slightly bitter, with some zesty lemon notes. Also an odd medicinal taste that causes a hit here.

M - Crisp light body, mild carbonation level, and a fairly clean finish.

D - Had a few of these at a cookout, and rather enjoyed them. Nothing worth writing home about, but if you're in a similar situation, you could certainly do worse.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 14:25:54 | More by PhageLab
Photo of DoubleJ


3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

These folks are smart. They must know that I don't normally drink Newkie Brown, so they introduce a pale summer ale to get my attention. I knew this day would come, and it happened earlier tonight when I split a 6-pack with a friend. On to the beer:

The beer has a honey color to it with a clean body and good head retention and healthy lacing. The nose is a little grainy at first, but soon enough there's a little biscuit and faint kiss of hops.

The first half of one bottle was drinkable, but didn't impress me much on taste. It seemed a little plain. As time went by and more Newkie Summmer was consumed, the beer seemed to be more defined. There was a little bready and honey flavor, and a definate, delicate wet smack of hop leaves, which created a vague fruity taste. The beer's lacking of serious off-flavors, which is part of the reason why this beer has some drinkability. It also has a bigger body than expected, especially given its 4.4% ABV. I would say in the middle; not too watery and not too heavy.

The overall score may not impress a whole lot, but it sure beats Newkie Brown from the bottle. For that matter, it's better than many of the large scale commmercial beers out on the market. With so many wonderful (craft) options for a similar price, I wouldn't seek it out, however it would do in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 06:38:08 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of HalfFull


2.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass. This Summer Ale pours a clear deep gold in color with half an inch of nearly white foam. Offers decent retention and lace for the style.

Offers an earthy caramel aroma, a bit rusty in fact. Some hops emerge with a bit of warming but have trouble covering up the metallic notes. Still not really negative.

Flavor is thin and light with a touch of bitterness emerging only after some exposure. Finish is dry and earthy once again and doesn't offer any real bitterness. Overall just a big question mark for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 06:04:51 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Pauly2X


2.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light, clear golden with lots of bubbles evident. A half finger frothy head is maintained longer than normal due to the effervesence.

S- Faint biscuity malts and mellow yet pronounced floral hop aroma. There's also an almost nagging hay like grassyness in the background.

T- It's all here, biscuity malt flavors, floral english hops... just in bare minimal quantities. There's also a slight metallic note that lingers in the background.

M- Very carbonated, at least for the style anyway. The carbonation does subside quickly to let you enjoy a generally light bodied thrist quencher.

O- Compared to other examples of the style I generally feel it's sub par. However this beer is not without it's merits. This would be a great beer to have in the cooler for those summer parties to surprise the BMC crowd without being too intimidating, while maintaining just enough something in the taste department for your self.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 14:30:31 | More by Pauly2X
Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
69 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.