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Newcastle Brown Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Newcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,591 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3591
Reviews: 1459
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 18.26%

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)
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Ratings: 3,591 | Reviews: 1,459 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap in a bar in Quartier Dix30.

Appearance is the best looking part with an obvious brown body and good enough head that has a bit of cascading to it. Flavor is decent, mild nuttiness, easy drinking but pretty ordinary obviously. Still, an ok selection.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2014 12:29:30 | More by papat444
Photo of twfusca

New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had it in Oxford England while on a business trip and I have been a fan ever since... Of course it was a little better on tap in England then it is in a bottle in the States... It is smooth and doesn't have as much carbonation as most brews I have had in the US...

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2014 02:44:13 | More by twfusca
Photo of RVigz


3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I bought a keg can 5l of newcastle brown ale. this beer is very enjoyable. it has an iron taste initially and finishes with a sweet honey aftertaste. this beer is lightly carbonated and very smooth. i had a large creamy head and it was a nice amber brown color. this beer sort of reminded me of boddingtons pub ale, only newcastle brown is a little darker. overall it is smooth and creamy and a great beer for sipping or drinking all night.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2014 15:15:54 | More by RVigz
Photo of rtrasr


3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good mouthful, not much on the nose. I taste roasted nuts and some oak. There is some burnt sugar as well. I was already acclimated to English Ales so this one did not particularly stand out but nevertheless a good solid beer. Perfectly suited to the mass market but better than your typical mass market beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2013 13:37:01 | More by rtrasr
Photo of Libationguy


2.61/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Medium brown and clear. Off-white dense head that has moderate- retention. Nice lacing from a beer clean glass.

Sweet malt with cocoa powder, caramel and roasted banana. Not much hop influence on the nose. Mild scorched quality in the background.

Scorched quality continues on the palate and becomes more prominent. Mild hop bitterness to offset the malt sweetness. Needs more texture in the back palate. Fairly flat in flavor.

Medium-bodied with a watery back end. Short finish.

It's been a while since I have had Newcastle Brown. Will have to revisit. Wonder is it is a bad keg. I remember this beer having more to it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2013 22:38:45 | More by Libationguy
Photo of Bouleboubier


3.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Quite a few elements hinting softly of delightful-ness. Haven't had it out of a can - on tap a couple times (including here) and from the bottle maybe a half-dozen. First time I tasted this was probably 15 years ago, and I can't recall thinking much of it even then.

It's a bit of an almond brown with some light creme foam that has more staying power than you'd anticipate. Not much at all going on in the aroma department - perhaps some watered-down brown sugar and dried-out, powdery bubblegum. The taste, when at its best, can show a decidedly blandish processed cake batter/nougat and hints of dry, lightly-toasted nuttiness, but nothing suggesting all-natural, baked bread crust or mildly chocolaty, sweetish malt. At its best, it's okay - it drinks light-mild and clean with not much bite (unless it's too cold)... You can coax some flavor out of it, depending on the serving...

Seems like a bit of a wartime ration recipe they have here. Still, you can make a flavorful and rich, complex enough brew from not much and they're clearly pandering to a lowest-common denominator audience. I've had this out of the bottle a few times over the past year, showing slightly more character and malt dimension and I could only wonder if this bar hadn't cleaned there lines in awhile. You never know..

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 04:21:05 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of T100Mark


3.69/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap, at a cool sports bar (this place turns the inventory), in a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Creamy, one finger head. Brown yet clear (not hazy). Serious lacing. A good looking beer.

Smell - Good.

Taste - Sweet. Malt. Slight Carmel flavor. Slightly acidic.

Mouth - Light mouth feel but the beer does have a presence.

Overall - A nice, easy drinking beer. A little lacking in character. The odd thing is this beer tastes a little like a German lager. Seriously, it looks and tastes like Shiner Bock. Weird.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2012 03:20:08 | More by T100Mark
Photo of wiscokid920


2.55/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A- Tawny brown. Tiny bubbly head which disappears quickly into a ring around the glass.

S- Faint malts, sweet notes, and very little toasted nutty

T- Very sweet. Toasted notes which fades into crispness and ends in a corn sweetness.

M- Crisp and clean light bodied ale

O- A very popularized (industralized) Brown Ale with a large cult classic style following. Does not possess the typical Brown Ale qualities that I enjoy (Malty and Toasty). As it warms, it seems as if I'm sipping on a black tea.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 21:41:07 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of DragonsSlippers

4.18/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown body with ruby notes with a cream colored 1 and ½ inch frothy head that settles to a lacy cap after a few minutes.

Sent: Roasted nuts and caramel malts, brown sugar

Taste: Roasted nuts and caramel malts with a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouth feel: Smooth Medium body with low carbonation

Overall Impression: It tastes almost as good at room temperature as it does when chilled.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 05:50:47 | More by DragonsSlippers
Photo of FlyingBull


3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer as part of an Irish trio at the Ould Soud in SD. About two fingers of tan-brown head, lacing that lasts a minute or two but stays up after each sip. Dark but clear brown color.

S - Had a mild malt aroma up front. To me, at little metalic also. Was a very clear, light brown with a 3/4 finger head.

T - Had some slight nuttiness, a little yeast, and again - a little metalic. Balanced hops and malt, but light on both.

M - Light body for style to me. Average - medium carbonation.

O - This is a nice, light for style beer; very drinkable. I've had it in bottle too and picked up the same metalic smell and taste. Must be me, because I don't see others mention it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2012 03:57:04 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of TheRealBigC


3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What a boring beer! How did Newcastle end up getting this beer into virtually every bar in America? It's not that good. It's a beer that someone with no knowledge of beer would drink when he/she's in the mood for a "premium" beer. It's a little watery for starters and then doesn't really boast any of the nice nutty profiles the style is appreciated for. Oh well, nothing I can do about it!

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2012 02:44:34 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at TGI Fridays.
Pours a medium reddish brown color with a thin off white head that shows little retention. Smells of light brown sugar, fruity esters, a hint of butter, and a bit of mineral water. The flavor is sweet and fruity with caramel, light brown sugar, a hint of chocolate and a touch of diacytyl. Medium body with a moderate level of bubbles and a sweet crisp mouthfeel. I used to drink these a lot when I was first getting into craft beer, but its been a long time since I've had one. Decent brown ale, but really could use a bit more chocolate or caramel to back it up.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2012 00:10:03 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Melving


4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer if you like bitterness of a dark beer but don't mind a bit of sweetness as well. Feels like a well deserved treat that should be earned rather than bought. Definitively choose tap over bottle, feels like every bottle I've had tends to leave the taste of the cap in my mouth. Nevertheless a great beer!

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 20:54:20 | More by Melving
Photo of KingRascal

3.98/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Deep brown/amber with a thick beige/white head

Aroma: A little skunky with a slight hint of caramel

Taste: Rich caramel flavor with a high accent of malted barley and wheat, slightly nutty

Feel: Light carbonation with a rich body

Overall: A good brown ale for its price

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2012 19:31:45 | More by KingRascal
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Honestly, out of the tap it was too cold. I like to let it warm to cool not cold before touching it, but oh well. Cant complain, it did help ease the pain of plane struggles and having to be put up in ATL for free for a night.

Its got a murky brown body and an absolutely tiny head. The smell is pleasant. strong notes of toffee and sweet caramel. No bitterness. Taste basically is a sweet light brown ale. Nice toffee presence (dominated by it for sure) as well as some caramel. Still light, but with a nice drinkability.

Its not the best Brown Ale ever, but its still really good!

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2012 02:07:32 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Scotchboy


3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draughtkeg to Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Brilliant, coppery brown, clear, decent carbonation, lots of fluffy off-yellow head, good retention and lace.

S: Moderate Brown Ale characteristics...nutty notes, clear clean malt, toasted grain, hint of honey...bready, hint of a fruity yeast note and oak.

T: Bready, brown malt, a touch of a metallic note, a bit of oak, low bitterness, really no hop presence at all...maybe a touch of skunk?

MF: Clear clean light mouthfeel, with a bit of dryness. Creamy body, low carbonation.

O: Definitely not as bad as I thought it would be. It was definitely quaffable...probably a decent option at most BMC bars if you can find it, but there are lots of better Browns.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2012 18:23:22 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Jamesthebrit


4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks way better out of the tap than from a bottle. Very dark brown.

S: Nutty and sweet.

T: Caramel, sweet, slight hops. Sparked quite a debate among my friends about the various subtle flavors, and if it can do that, it must have something.

M: Smooth, perhaps a little light but with no bitterness whatsoever.

O: The first time I had this beer I didn't know it was as abundant as it is. I was quite impressed. It didn't have any power behind it but it certainly was very flavorful with not poor aftertastes. Still one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 02:34:58 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a draft into a imperial pint at Hooley’s in La Mesa, Calif. Color was reddish brown. About an inch of head. Nice tan lacing on the top. Good amount of film on the sides.

Smelled thick caramel malts. Also a heavy dose of chocolate. Some roasty malts in there, too.

Initial taste was metallic. That’s not good. But later got a big dose of malts. The taste was more nutty than caramel, almost a change from the smell.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Malty long finish.

Newcastle is hit and miss for me. Sometimes it tastes pretty good. Other times it’s a bit much. But once in awhile is OK with me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 03:18:25 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of blakelive784


2.9/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a goblet, reviewed live,:

A - presents a transparent amber brown with half a finger of of off white head.

S - toasted malt, and nutty caramel is all I get, but then again I'm in a restaurant.

T - Nutty malt and toffee over the caramel malt foundation. a bit creamy even. Tastes like pure malt extract at points though and a bit simple.

M - smooth and wet. Generally supportive of the flavors, but not memorable.

D - I'm glad I had this in tap, but its far from memorable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2012 01:31:23 | More by blakelive784
Photo of Pintofbrown


3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this brown in a shaker pint.

Appearance- There is a half-finger of white, puffy foam. It dies to just full lid coverage. The body is a dark, transparent, auburn-copper.

Smell- Newcastle the original is slightly toasted and a little sweet, a little nutty. There really is not much here...

Taste- There is some kind of weird, nutty extract sweetness. Then the toasty malt begins to come on and just keeps building. It almost becomes overly char-like.

Then it begins to get sweet again with that toasty malt flavor. The flavors are kind of mixed up and all over the place.

Mouth feel- It is pretty watery with a light to medium body. It is certainly too fizzy and makes the finish less than creamy.

Overall- It would be an understatement if I said this brown wasn't depressing. The flavors need to get figured out. If it is a sweet brown, then it should not be so burnt too.

If it wants to be more roasty, it should have a much more subdued sweetness. And where in all this are the earthy tones of some English hops to make it English?

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 23:01:54 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of buyBinboaVodka

New Jersey

1.88/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer should not be considered craft, but I guess to the masses it is. I had this at a hockey game, this was the best of the worst. It poured a dark red with brown highlights. Head was 1 finger that vanished quickly. The smell is of light roasted malts and a little bit of a ho presence. Taste is like malt flavored water. I do not pick up chocolate, caramel or any other flavor in this beer. Mouthfeel is thin with mild carbonation and it leaves a metallic tinge in the mouth. Overall, it is better than BMC, but not worth drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2011 14:07:59 | More by buyBinboaVodka
Photo of ckollias


3.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at BW3’s out of a large pint glass.

A: Pours brown hue with a 1-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace that eventually disappears.

S: Light roasted malt aroma – with hints of toffee and brown sugar.

T: Sweet brown ale with a good nutty background. Hints of coca powder and toasted malts.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: This beer tastes soo much better on tap than from a bottle. It is well balanced and very tasty. I think the beer gets skunked in the bottle due to it being clear – what are they thinking?

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2011 18:51:21 | More by ckollias
Photo of Jerone


2.95/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear brown with a thin head that fades, some bubbles coming to the top.

S - Some lightly toasted malts, caramel and some other sweet stuff in there.

T - Taste is a let down with toasted malts up front then going to an awkward sweetness of caramel and corn, then maybe a touch of metallic. Not bad, but the sweetness is not well balanced.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

O - An okay beer that seems to not quite have what I want. Not enough flavor and the sweetness in it seems unbalanced. But, it is better than a Bud.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2011 15:00:52 | More by Jerone
Photo of BeersCriteria


2.93/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a muddy water brown color with a light brown head.

S- Malts, malts malts. Maybe with a hint of toffee.

T- You either like a brown ale or you don’t. I fall into the "like a brown ale" category. I think this is a good solid brown ale. The taste is pretty much all malts but that’s what most brown ales taste like, hence the reason why most people don’t like brown ales. I’ve had Rogues Hazelnut Brown Nectar and it’s REALLY good, probably my most favorite brown ale but Newcastle is not bad.

Food Pairing- This would be good with a burger or even meat loaf with some mashed potatoes.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2011 02:54:37 | More by BeersCriteria
Photo of sim0n17


2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very thin/watery taste. Not much on the nose either. It's okay and doesn't taste bad, just a bit watery. Had it on tap and in the bottle. Doesn't seem to travel well. Not too sure this comes from a great water sourse, so that might be a factor... it's pretty much "meh" for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2011 17:35:14 | More by sim0n17
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Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 3,591 ratings.