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
70
okay

345 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 345
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 20.61%
Wants: 5
Gots: 14 | 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: 345 | Reviews: 126 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tommyguz
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%

tommyguz, May 07, 2013
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 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”.

scottfrie, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of crobinso
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%

crobinso, Sep 30, 2012
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

thecheapies, May 11, 2012
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.

flexabull, Aug 18, 2011
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.

barczar, Dec 14, 2012
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.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev +1.4%

shelby415, Feb 27, 2012
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 buckyp
3/5  rDev +1.4%

buckyp, Sep 29, 2012
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.

Hojaminbag, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of beerpadawan
3/5  rDev +1.4%

beerpadawan, Aug 27, 2012
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.

StoutHunter, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of krome
3/5  rDev +1.4%

krome, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of jazzyjeff13
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.

jazzyjeff13, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev +1.4%

cliff1066, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of KTCamm
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.

KTCamm, Jun 02, 2012
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 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.

RJT

RonaldTheriot, May 10, 2012
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a good white foamy head. Light lace.

Some light malt aromas and some bitter mineral scents. Nothing distinctive.

Light malt, leading to bitterness and clearing to light grain sweetness. The bitter is there, and it works. But the brew misses some intensity. Ok but, well, average.

Lighter side with good carbonation. Refreshing from this sense.

This seemed to remind me of Heineken but without the skunk. The very light sweetness of the malt balanced well with the bitter. There is so much out there that is better, but there isn't anything here to hate. Standard average brew.

OtherShoe2, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of jzlyo
3/5  rDev +1.4%

jzlyo, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of JohneHoodlum
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%

JohneHoodlum, May 12, 2012
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 ElGallo
3/5  rDev +1.4%

ElGallo, Jun 30, 2012
Newcastle Summer Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
70 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.