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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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,172 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,172
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 317 | 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: 4,172 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by brandonlovesbeer:
Photo of brandonlovesbeer
1.64/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

COLOR: Medium Amber

BOTTLE CODE: None

COST:
Varies depending on where you buy it. But it ranges anywhere from $11.99 to $16.59 for a 6 pack.

Availability:
12 oz bottles, 12oz Cans, Draft

POUR:
Depending on how vigorously you pour the beer, the head will be somewhere between nonexistent and 1/2 pinky finger. But it only sticks around for a brief period of time then dissipates.

LOOK:
Crystal clear. Light carbonation. It doesn't look like any brown ale I've ever had. The color was more like a dirty Budweiser.

AROMA:
Very fruity smelling beer. Just like most English ales. There’s a malt sweetness that is very present in the aroma, but nothing over the top. There’s a light breadiness that evens out the malt sweetness.

TASTE:
The first thing your going to notice is that there’s absolutely NO hop character in this beer, which goes right along with the English Brown Ale style.
The bitterness is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste, which only sticks around on the back of your tongue for about a minute then disappears.
There’s no alcohol taste or presence in this beer. But I wouldn’t expect that from a 4.7% beer.
The pronounced English fruitiness is ever-present in the taste, and is one of the only redeeming qualities about this beer.

Surprisingly, in the bottle that I reviewed, there was none of that Import-Clear-Bottle-Skunkiness. This was certainly refreshing, as I’ve never had a bottle of Newcastle that wasn’t completely skunked.

Is it Worth the Money? "No"
This beer was on sale at my local grocery store for $12.99 for a 12 pack. That’s down from it’s normal price of $16.59. However, it’s normal price at my local beer and wine store was only $11.99.

I just can’t see myself paying nearly $18.00 (after tax) for the regular grocery store price. Not when it’s only $11.99 down the street.

Since there’s such a wide price-range on this beer, if your heart is dead set on buying Newcastle, seek out the best price. Don’t just go to your favorite grocery store and lay down nearly $18 when it can be much cheaper at another store. This is just too over priced for what it’s delivering to the senses.

VERDICT: "C-"
I feel like the flavors and aromas are so light and muted that this beer just isn’t bringing much to the table.

If you’re looking for a flavorful beer that you can drink quite a few of, this is not the beer for you. It doesn’t really taste like much. However, yes you can drink a ton of them and not even get buzzed.

Although, I guess you could consider this a nice transitional beer for someone looking to dip their toes into the craft beer world. But would I call this a craft beer? Definitely not.

This is what I consider the English equivalent to a Budweiser looking like. It doesn’t taste like much but because of it’s worldwide hype, everyone wants to drink it.

If I’m going to spend nearly $18 on a 12pk of anything, it’s going to be something like Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada or another more flavorful beer than this. Something that I can sit back and relax and have one or two and be completely satisfied. Newcastle just doesn’t give me that sense of satisfaction.

This almost feels like a novelty beer to me. For example:

A point of advice when shopping for this beer...
I’ve always complained about how this beer usually has that clear bottle import skunkiness like Heineken and Corona. But as long as you don’t buy it off the shelf where it’s been sitting in direct light (even fluorescent light), then you should be alright. Personally, I always get the pack that’s all the way on the back of the shelf.
Always buy the 12 pack of bottles or the cans because the packaging shields the beer from the harmful rays. If you buy the 6 packs, there is more surface area exposed to the light which will skunk the beer faster.

brandonlovesbeer, Feb 22, 2013
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 4,172 ratings.