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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.

3,585 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3585
Reviews: 1458
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: 3,585 | Reviews: 1,458 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.90 CDN. Served rather cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Mostly clear brown beer with lots of bubbles. 2 fingers of head with only so-so retention. Red hues in the beer and some trace lacing.

Smell - Mild malts and some light grassy aromas. Not much else, and this beer was somewhat metallic smelling.

Taste - Light cherry flavors, Nice blends of caramel and toffee malts. Also some bready characteristics on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and rich and slight syrupy in the way the beer clings to the inside of your mouth.

Overall - A good beer, and very accessible too, but by no means a world beater or even something I'd regularly pick up.

Serving type: can

02-26-2014 02:10:17 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of AGust82


3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I felt compelled to revisit this beer since it became available in cans. In the days before good beer was readily available in bars and restaurants in my area Newcastle was always my first choice when out for dinner/drinks, as it was commonly the only non-BMC brew available. I loved it on draft but always hated the terrible, clear bottle skunk flavor when I tried to buy it for home. I don't recall ever getting one that didn't taste that way. Fast-forward to 2013, poured from a can it tastes just like the draft Newcastle I "grew up" on. Although I now have what some call a snobby palate, Newcastle is going back in the rotation.

Serving type: can

11-06-2013 21:59:09 | More by AGust82
Photo of Bernoulli

South Carolina

2.64/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured dark reddish brown with a cider like lack of head.

Disconcerting lack of any smell.

No hoppiness, or aftertaste and nothing unpleasant.... and not much of a taste at all..

Very smooth, the highlight of the beer.

Overall, non- offensive and innocuous verging on bland with not much to particularly recommend it. (Put it at the bottom of the cooler and no one will complain when they get to it.)

Serving type: can

10-18-2013 22:29:50 | More by Bernoulli
Photo of JonLefave

Ontario (Canada)

3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bland, but not offensive. It has a very thin mouthfeel, and quite fizzy.

Little bit of caramel flavor, some malty hops... but the flavors are all too subtle. Almost akin to drinking carbonated water.

There's nothing impressive about this beer. It's drinkable, and therefore it's on par with other macro-brewery beers. I wouldn't buy this beer again, but I wouldn't turn it down if it's offered to me, either.

Serving type: can

08-05-2013 21:23:47 | More by JonLefave
Photo of Tones-


2.48/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Saw the new 10 packs of 14.9 oz cans and figured I'd see what Newcastle tastes like when it isn't skunked in that clear bottle. Also a sucker for trying out new product sizes/labeling from time to time.

A - new 15 oz can looks great, and is a welcome change from the aforementioned skunk-prone clear bottles. Good job marketing. You got me. Damnit! If poured into a glass or plastic party cup, there is a 1-2 finger head (depending on how vigorous the pour is) that quickly dissipates into nothing. Translucent brown color, but almost zero lacing, and no carbonation going on. This does not bode well for the mouthfeel of this beer....*foreshadowing*

S - cereal grains, webster definition of 'malt', brown sugar.

T - Malt and cereal grains immediately, followed quickly by a hit of fake brown sugar (tastes like high fructose corn syrup), and then upon swallowing it, there's a small kick of carbonation that comes along with a dry, unpleasant metallic taste that i'm assuming marketers would call a "no nonsense hoppy finish"...hey, maybe I should've majored in Bullsh*tting!

M - no carbonation up front. watery, thin mouthfeel. when you swallow it, there's a carbonated tingle in the throat, and then a few seconds later you'll experience a thin film in the mouth (like when you drink a sugary drink) that has a high fructose corn syrup + metallic taste... it doesn't taste good. warrants some gum...or food...or a cigarette...something!

O - The can is really cool looking, and if you're going to a gathering where MCBs are the norm (bbq, sports, beach, hike, crappy house party), this might make for an interesting but safe change of pace. Honestly, it seems like people will just be happy to hold this new almost-pint can and look different/slightly more tasteful than the innumerable MCB can-wielders. Aside from it's exterior looks, you could do some hand waving and say that this tastes better out of a can than the bottle. The bottom line is that there's a lot to be desired. No coffee! No cocoa! No toasted flavor! Poppycock!

Serving type: can

06-21-2013 08:24:03 | More by Tones-
Photo of Jsmick


1.95/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

This beer was so bad that it inspired me to write my first review. After walking around Fenway Park for a while, I came across one of the beer stands that sold something other than Bud Light. I'm a huge fan of English Brown Ales, so I figured I'd give this one a try.

The mouthfeel was thin and watery, almost like a light beer. No real toastiness or nuttiness that goes along with the beautiful style of beer that is an English Brown. Very bland taste that didn't improve at all as the beer warmed. The watery taste gave way to a faint graininess that faded away into a hop bitterness that just didn't compliment the thin beer at all. This is a pathetic excuse for the style. Avoid this brew. Go with a Samuel Smith's or a Boneshaker instead.

Serving type: can

06-09-2013 05:05:30 | More by Jsmick
Photo of IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

3.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 500ml can poured into nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Pours an (unsurprisingly) dark brown colour. Held up the the light its more of a deep amber. There is a light head which faced quickly and leaves behind very little lacing.

Smell - Not a lot going on here. What is there is sweet caramel and toffee. Sugary smell, almost like candy.

Taste - Some light alcohol initially. Caramel dominates after that. Maybe some honey - not sure, but regardless it's very sweet.

Mouthfeel - Not bad. Low carbonation and a medium to light feel.

Overall - 3/5

Serving type: can

05-24-2013 03:48:52 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of FLima


3.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Brown reddish color. Poured a two finger head with good retention.
Light aroma of toasted malts and earthy hops with notes of caramel.
Taste follows nose. Malty but also refreshing with hints of pine and licorice. Dry and mild bitter aftertaste.
Light body with low carbonation.
Reliable British beer, specially considering they produce it in large scale. To drink a few on a hot or cold day.

Serving type: can

02-14-2013 23:50:42 | More by FLima
Photo of ghisty

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

as promised, this brown ale, not really anything spectacular, as far as looks go,
i find this is common among brown ales, the style is often not so visually appealing.
but its got other qualities worth investing in. not much head. slight thin lace.

rooty. sweet. earthy. and burnt. hints of irish moss. malt for days and days.
smells almost as if someone has burnt the steaks. but not in an offensive way.
its got a sharp scent, but its musky. malty as they come.

smooth, and complex. not sharp. has a distinct "brown" flavour. the color describes it.
hints of coffee and grains. evens out quickly. very session worthy. has a very
hearty but rather short flavour. not over powering . but it finishes with a crisp
and malty bitter. and is somehow still refrshing enough to make me return.
makes me think of how beer must be in england. even tho i havent been..
i cant imagine ales like this pour from the taps like water.

not overly sharp on the mouth, slightly at the onset, remains carbed on the tongue
until about half swallowed, so its not overly gassy, doesnt make me bloated,
which is nice on a darker style.

i like this. i bought it on a bet. my buddy swears by the brown. thought id dislike it...but .after a year or so of trying to decide, this has become a goto when iam in the mood for something with a little meat on its bones, not the best option as far on the darkside (much more of a dunkel fan) but there is something to be said about how easy drinking this beer is, its endearing mix of malts and grains, its almost perfect amount of carb for the style, the classic can, overall id say, if you like the darkside, give this one a sip, you probably wont be dissapointed. pairs nicely with a roast. (as iam about to enjoy thanks to my beautiful wife)

Serving type: can

01-29-2013 21:47:49 | More by ghisty
Photo of Haydn-Juby

Quebec (Canada)

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

A: Fairly transparent. Good brown color. Medium to thin head. Moderate/fast dissipation and not to much lacing.

S: Slight toasted malts and sweetness in the smell but honestly not that much.

T: Kind of watery. A little bit of that toasted malt flavor that is typical of a brown ale. Very sweet. Not very much hop flavor and very low bitterness. Most of the taste was pretty watery and searching for flavors was required.

M: Goes down pretty easy. A little bit of a creamy mouth feel. Not to thick or to thin.

Overall: It was a pretty good beer. Nothing astounding but I liked it. Didn't have to worry about the skunking from the clear bottles cause I bought it in a can. It was better than average but didn't really provide a unique experience. I might buy it again and could see it being extremely sessionable if that's your game plan.

Serving type: can

01-02-2013 02:07:16 | More by Haydn-Juby
Photo of NuclearDolphin


2.18/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Very Clear Dark Red with a fizzy, soapy head. Interestingly enough, no carbonation.

Smell - Grains, Chocolate, Barley, Malts, and some Light Hops. I'm getting a light sweetness to the scent as well.

Taste - Barley, Grains, Light Hops, and Malts, along with a slight copper flavor.
It tastes like....nothing!!! Aside from some barley and light malts, there's no flavor to speak of. This is is a Brown Ale, not a Light Lager; Brown Ales should have some degree of flavor to it.

Mouthfeel - Yet despite the lack of flavor, the body is quite heavy and thick and with no carbonation. At least it's crisp and feels somewhat refreshing

Overall - There's just no flavor in this, in fact I'd even go as far as to say that Natty Light has more flavor than this. If you want a good brown ale, don't drink this; Look Elsewhere!

Serving type: can

12-12-2012 06:06:08 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of Kremlock

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A:Dark orange, mahogany colour. Pours a creamy off white head.

S: Low to none hop aroma, faint caramel, a bit of an adjunct smell.

T: hints of licorice, caramel malts, a bit of a sourness to it

M: thin and a bit more carbonated then I would enjoy for the style

O: IMO, a bit off style but still a very good beer to enjoy during a session.

Serving type: can

10-24-2012 00:31:21 | More by Kremlock
Photo of JamesHenjum


2.45/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is a see through brown color. It has a decent off white head with surprisingly good lacing.

S: Wet grass clippings.

T: Nothing special. Typical ale with more hop bite than I like. Not enough malts to balance the hop spice. Flavorful, but nothing can be picked out.

M: Slight carbonation with a light yet slightly creamy feel. Drinkable.

O: I can see why people like it but it is not for me. Too much hop bite and not enough bready flavors.

Serving type: can

08-08-2012 01:20:28 | More by JamesHenjum
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can into pint glass.
Best before 01/30/2013

A- Clear almond brown pour with a touch of red highlights.Half finger off white head quickly disappears to a thin cap and light wisps. Lacing is minimal.

S- Sweet biscuit, caramel, toffee and either almonds or peanuts. Nice sweet bready smell.

T- Slight metallic taste, caramel, toffee, grains and a touch of strawberry.

M- Light bodied, low carbonation makes this a good feel.

O- I understand the poor reviews from clear glass bottles. From a can this is pretty good. A nice English Brown that should be rated higher than it is IMO

Serving type: can

04-23-2012 17:28:34 | More by korguy123
Photo of Long813

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown body with two fingers of white fluffy head. Retention is good and leaves nice lacing.

S: Roasted malts, some caramel and nuttiness. Not overly strong, but pleasant.

T: Roasted malts and nuts mixed with some caramel and hops. The flavour is extremely balanced and tasteful.

M: Light bodied with medium-low carbonation. Texture is water like with a great malt finish.

O: A great brew. The flavours, texture and aromas are very balanced and is a pleasure to drink any time of the day.

Serving type: can

03-13-2012 19:46:13 | More by Long813
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Irish pint glass. The beer is a nice crisp amber color, with hints of ruby red. The head is a light cream color, that dissipates to a small film, with decent sticky lacing. Smells of caramel malts and toffee, and metallic. The beer tastes really well. Toffee and caramel dominate the taste profile, with a malty overtone. But metallic. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and easily drinkable.

Overall, this was better than I expected. I chose to purchase a sixer of cans, and poured into a pint glass. It tasted fresh, clean, and very much in the vein of a marzen with malty and caramel overtones. Very pleasant.

Serving type: can

12-03-2011 20:28:12 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of JohnnyChicago


3.03/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1L minikeg into a shaker pint.

A: Pours more of a dirty khaki than brown. There's one finger of white head on top.

S: Mild nutty and caramel. Hops are medicinal smellng and only slightly there.

T: Follows the smell. It hits all the nutty, earthy flavours of a brown ale, but they're all a bit too weak.

D: Easy to drink and i could see making a session of these...if nothing else were available.

Overall: In addition to the regular bottles, I've now had this from a minikeg and from a fresh bottle from the UK. These latter two versions are slightly better, but not by much. I'm thinking that this just may not be that good of a beer. Theres a difference between 'balance' and 'boring'.

Serving type: can

11-10-2011 02:36:08 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice ruby/amber colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of grainy and caramely malts, some light floral hops and nutty notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a grainy and caramely feel with some honey notes, very light floral hops bringing a slight bitterness and nutty notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with an ok balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

Serving type: can

11-09-2011 21:18:21 | More by SebD
Photo of aletale

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL can poured into a lager style pint glass...

Poured aggressively reveals a nice 2 finger, somewhat fizzy head with decent retention. Beer is a deep, translucent copper colour. Medium carbonation. Some real nice lacing.

Nose is surprising. The most notable of which is a grainy bitterness more akin to a pilsner. Also, a nice underlying spicy/nutty flavour. Maybe a small amount of caramel, but certainly not much. A light smelling beer.

Taste starts off with a spicy malt punch, and finishes with a nice bitter touch on the finish. Not dry by any means. Little aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, with a nice alcohol bite, and no nasty sting from the carbonation.

A very nice beer. Easy drinking, easy to get along with no matter your taste. Let your Budweiser-drinking buddies try this one.

Serving type: can

08-17-2011 15:50:36 | More by aletale
Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89


3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve oz. can into an Irish Style Pint glass

A: This beer pours a 4 finger off-white, creamy, foamy head that slowly dissapates, regenerates, well, and leaves some wavy lacing behind. The beer itself is a dark copper color, with some light-medium effervescnece.

S: The aroma of this beer is very sweet. Almost 'sticky' smelling. The most notable dinctions are caramel, dark malts, and nuts. Very pleasant smell.

T: The taste is very clean, and very sweet, just like the aroma. You get a nice caramel sweetness on the backend of the tougue, and a nice dry nutty taste after the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is very soft, and slightly sticky. Leaves almost a confectionary sweetness behind in your mouth, but nothing too extreme. Just leaves you wanting abother. Out of the can, the head makes a nice creamy texture.

O: Overall, having had it in can, bottle, and on tap, the tap is the better of the three, followed by the can, then the bottle. The bottled version always has that skunky smell and taste, whenever you get it. So if you can, get it from the can.

Serving type: can

07-31-2011 02:49:57 | More by WinthrHOPHEAD89
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Surprisingly, I've never had this one, despite the fact that it's everywhere and I've always liked the style. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever had a brown ale I didn't at least kind of appreciate. This one was a single 500 mL can picked up at the LCBO.

Newcastle pours a mahogany brown with some amber highlights. The head is tan-coloured and about a half-finger in size; retention isn't very good but there's some lacing. The smell is bland and barely detectable; roasted caramel malts are really all I can pick up; maybe some toffee.

Unfortunately the flavour is kind of similar. The main flavour is roasted grain malts, a little biscuity, with caramel and a faint echo of bitter coffee grinds. A bit sweet tasting at first, but the residual bitterness kind of balances it. In a strange way, it works, although the flavour overall is pretty uninteresting, and very watered-down. The carbonation is high for the style and it doesn't make detecting the faint flavours any easier. Thin mouthfeel, but drinkable and surprisingly refreshing on a hot night.

This is a brown ale to get if you want to drink beer quickly without worrying too much about the taste being interesting (but positively don't want a lager). In this sense, it's probably sessionable; there's nothing offensive about it, and it's drinkable enough that having several wouldn't be a chore. I doubt I would get this again unless instructed to. Why pay a premium for the EBA equivalent of BMC when there are much better browns (both import and non) out there?

Serving type: can

07-27-2011 21:12:39 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of Kartoffeln

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, reddish russet with a fizzy off-white head with modest retention. Diminishes to a patchy cap of foam, leaving nearly no lacing.

S: Roasty biscuit malts dominate, joined by smells of toffee, brown sugar, and floral hops. Faintly nutty aroma.

T: Sweet bready malts quickly give way to pronounced biscuit and toasted malt flavours. Grassy, woody hops notes discernable in the finish. Nutty undertones throughout.

M: Light body backed up by creamy smooth but excessively gassy carbonation. Roasty black-coffee bitterness combines with a hint of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness somewhat.

D: A pretty drab, if passable, brown ale lacking body, flavourfulness, and complexity. A bit gassy, but otherwise very sessionable and best for social drinking.

Serving type: can

06-16-2011 03:19:43 | More by Kartoffeln
Photo of paxkey

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

amber/brownish in color
offwhite thin head with aggressive pour into chalice. some carbonation visible. head gone fast. a little bit murky looking. decent lacing on glass.

light hops and malt aroma. smells nice.

medium bodied, suprisingly chewy for the lower abv.

slight metallic aftertaste. more flavor on the malt side then hops. going down nicely.

nothing remarkable about this beer but very tasty and heads above most macro lagers.

Serving type: can

05-19-2011 22:52:35 | More by paxkey
Photo of bump8628


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

Dark amber bordering on a tawny brown. Minimal off-white head drops down the thinnest of lace on the pint glass.

A cola character, including sasparilla, seems most evident along with a drying, grainy astrigency. Light toffee and caramel too, but the dryness makes them less noticeable. Bitterness is extremely low, but some earthy hop flavor makes its way into the flavor profile. Little if any dark malt character is evident, it seems just enough was added to adjust the color. Some fruitiness adds a small amount of interest. The fizzy, poppy bubbles further accentuate the cola impression.

Newcastle Brown is to an English Brown as Becks is to a German Pils. Actually, it kind of reminds me of a fruity version of Shiner Bock.

Serving type: can

05-08-2011 02:10:11 | More by bump8628
Photo of kojevergas


2.38/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Can into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Very reasonably priced (in Dunnes) by Irish standards.

A: Three finger head of wonderful thickness and pretty respectable cream. Standard brown colour. Difficult, but not impossible, to see through.

Sm: Nutty hops, unexpected for a macro. Wonderful barley. I'm enthusiastic to give this one a go.

T: Some nutty hops in the body alongside the generic barley. The finish has some hops carry through. Built very standard for the style.

Mf: Absolutely guts the beer. Thin, watery and wretchedly terrible. If the beer were thicker, it could actually be about a B-. Jaysus.

Dr: It's standard ABV, low price, and in dire need of attention in the mouthfeel department. Skip it. I do look forward to trying this brewery's other beers, because they seem to have some idea of what they're doing. It's really disappointing; I bet they're just catering to what customers want, and that's thin shite beer that can get them loaded.

Serving type: can

03-11-2011 18:27:03 | More by kojevergas
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Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 3,585 ratings.