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Newcastle Brown Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
Newcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,171
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 316 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,171 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by EmilNoldSinclair:
Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the first of two beer reviews that I will write today (the second being the Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale). First I would like to comment that I am fully aware that I am not drinking this ale in its best condition. However, as a consumer I feel justified in doing so because 1. if the brewery strongly felt that its product is being misrepresented by the opinions of its foreign customers, then they probably shouldn't export the beer; 2. Newcastle bottles its product in clear glass bottles! It's their own damn fault their beer is not as good as it ought to be! I do however think that it is unfair to compare an imported beer to a domestic. Nonetheless, I've tasted beers that still taste fantastic despite being imported. Anyways, onwards:
Appearance: Was able to get a half inch head with a hard pour into the pint glass. Pour retention, no lacing. The beer, true to form, is very much on the light side of the browns: light brown/amber and very much transparent.
Smell: Yuck! Not overwhelming but I'm definitely picking up some skunky hops! You can thank the clear glass bottle for this...(oh Newcastle, when will you learn?). I'm also picking up a little malty sweetness (caramel malts?) and the nuttiness that is characteristic of chocolate malt.
Taste: Very very balanced bitterness from the chocolate malt (a light nutty/roasty flavor) and hops (earthy/spicy bitterness) that disappointingly quickly fades away. Finishes with a slightly sweet toffee and grainy taste. I might be stretching here but I think I can taste the corn as well...
Mouthfeel: IMO, the beer is too thin for the style (you can thank the addition of corn to the grist for this!). Also I want just a touch more carbonation.
Drinkability: Despite all of its flaws (and they are numerous), this beer still remains drinkable. The sum of its parts are somehow (slightly!) greater than the whole. The addition of corn to the grist helps here (and yes, I know I counted its thin body against the beer in the mouthfeel section, but only relative to style). Good ole Newkie Brown, just a slight step up from the american lagers IMO. It would definitely get a better rating if it was packaged properly! (I wonder how much better it presents itself in a can?) The truth of the matter is that I thoroughly enjoy this underappreciated style. I consequently have very mixed feelings returning to this paradigm, the origin of the northern english browns. But now having studied it as a homebrewer, I know the enemy and it is mediocrity. What I've learned is that the english truly understood balance (which is not to be conflated with blandness) even if this beer only poorly exhibits the virtues of british brewing. And now I take my leave of you oh reader to walk yet another dog, the Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale!

EmilNoldSinclair, Feb 02, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of Marty
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a light brown head that didn't seem to stick around very long. Sweet and rich malty flavor with just a touch of hops. At crappy bars, it's always a great relief to see this on tap. When I go out to buy fridge beer, though, I never go specifically in search of Newcastle. It's just an average beer, and there are many better browns out there.

Marty, Apr 05, 2003
Photo of davemarc87
4/5  rDev +20.5%

davemarc87, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Brown (of course) and clear with a decent tan head.

Smell – This is toasty grain that’s a little on the nasty side and a close call with skunk.

Taste – The flavor isn’t as bad as the smell. The toasted malts are well done, although I’m not picking up a lot of sugars here. There’s really no finish to speak of, just the fading taste of toasted malty grain.

Mouthfeel – Kind of creamy and pleasant in the mouth, but a little too thin IMO.

Drinkability – Nothing fancy, but definitely one that I wouldn’t turn down.

RoyalT, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of cam477
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

cam477, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%

tectactoe, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of liveandletdie
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's a decent generic type of beer, it's the beer that got me into trying different beers other than the giant beer companies. So in that sense it holds a special place. It does not have as much flavor as other brown ales, but it is slightly sweet and simple. A good starter beer for a beginning beer drinker. I like how the label looks, and it makes me want white castle burgers. (Which by the well it does go well with)

liveandletdie, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in nonic

LOOK (3/5) Pours a medium brown to light mahogany, about 26-27*SRM. Clarity is very good. The head is a bit disappointing, only rising to about a half finger (off-white and rocky) - this falls with almost no lacing. A bit of carbonation on the inside of the glass.

SMELL (3/5) Not a whole lot going on in the nose. The malt character is pretty light - but I catch some hints of caramel, nuts, and a bit of lighter fruits. This was all, however, very faint. I catch a bit of hopping, but it was pretty minimal (earthy with some resin). A bit of buttery aroma in there as well.

TASTE (3.5/5) The hops and the malts were well balanced, but very gentle. Malt flavor is pretty minimal, as with the small - but I get caramel, nuts, and some biscuit in there too. There is a touch of apricot in the finish. The hop flavor is pretty minimal, but I get a bit of grapefruit that wasn't in the smell. Finish is dry.

FEEL (3.5/5) Medium-light body and carbonation. As with the aroma and flavor, there isn't a lot going on there.

DRINK (3/5) Drinkability was good, it was one of those more watery ones. It was pretty underwhelming, but very refreshing.

FEEL (3.5/5)

DRINK (3/5)

Rijtjeshuis, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This a dark tea colored beer with a quickly disappearing head. The nose is very faint floral hop and light brown sugar. Taste is very simple light caramel malt, nut, and herbal hop taste that is barely there. Finish is a little bready. Mouthfeel is watery, slick and has stingy carbonation. This is a very smooth, subtle beer, that is worth picking up if you come upon a deal, otherwise, we can do much better.

JudgeRoughneck, May 01, 2006
Photo of tohe9384
4/5  rDev +20.5%

tohe9384, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
1/5  rDev -69.9%

SkiBum22, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of JacobMutberg
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

JacobMutberg, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of blackearth
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered at a restaurant and poured into a fluted pilsner glass. Very dark brown body with a reddish rue and a tan head that didn't last very long. Aroma of clean malt and a slight skunked smell. Mouthfeel was rather thin with a low amount of sweetness and clean finish. This beer is easily quaffable, but lacks in the flavor department.

blackearth, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of markallmon
4/5  rDev +20.5%

markallmon, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of newcastleme
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

When first trying beer, Newcastle was my "Great-Awakening". It is still a personal favorite and will always have a place in my heart. I personally love the smell and the mouthfeel. It's not a great food pairing beer, in my opinion, but it makes a great beer to relax with in front of the television.

newcastleme, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of RoninBirdman
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

RoninBirdman, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of BeerDreadz
2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 onz can with no freshness date.

Light brown or honey color with a creamy head .

The smell is a bit of malt with some kind if sweetness.

In the the taste maltiness,little bit of hops and some kind of carbonation,not bad better that others english brown ale i have taste.Feels very good on the mouth,leaves some sweetness on the back of your mouth.

Im still looking for a english brown ale that i can really have more often(this is not the one). Not a bad beer very good to try.

BeerDreadz, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of freshflesh
3/5  rDev -9.6%

freshflesh, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of SD-Alefan
3/5  rDev -9.6%

SD-Alefan, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

DaftPatrick, May 15, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

csmartin6, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of DWolf
3/5  rDev -9.6%

DWolf, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Todd
2.15/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 FL OZ custom clear bottle.

Appearance: Tawny/leathery brown. Nice and rich in colour with a bit of a creamy, bubbly lace of a head. Semi-sticky and seems to retain well.

Smell: Medicinal, astringent aromas. Smells crisp and clean. Most of the smells come from the funky ass Ringwood yeast.

Taste: Sweet (but not very malty) and light bodied in the begining. Toasted notes. A crispness creeps up pretty quickly followed by corn sweetness and a definite alcohol taste distinctly from the added maize grits. DMS (cooked vegetables) is also on the palate. Hop notes are leafy, a bit oily. They meld with the prominent yeast profile, that seems to dominate, to create a dryness. Brew gets a bit tea-like, then the tongue then gets coated with a light hop oil/astringent dose of residual flavours from the yeast. Finishes odd.

Notes: This brew uses corn grits, added liquid sugar and is pasteurised. Hardly a "real ale" from England. It's very much a commercial beer these days, and long gone is the age old "goodness." It's now another brew victim to global fame and demand. Despite this, it's drinkable. Not the best brew, or Brown Ale even. In fact, some might find its claimed "special flavour" hard to swallow. Newky Brown uses the tag line "The One and Only" ... let's hope so.

Todd, Oct 29, 2000
Photo of dill
2.25/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

served on tap in a pint glass.

A: a nice dark brown color with low head retention.

S: mild aroma with a bit of malt.

T: a slight bitterness, but very smooth. a bit too weak for me.

M: light with low carbonation.

D: this used to be a go-to beer of mine at certain establishments, but it's fallen out of favor over the years. perhaps something has changed. I keep expecting more than I get and perhaps it's time to stop ordering it.

dill, Mar 13, 2008
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Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,171 ratings.