1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Newcastle Brown Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
Newcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,169 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,169
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 313 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,169 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bboelens
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at my buddy's wedding, poured from a clear bottle into a pint glass.

A-The exact color of sweet tea, with a light tan 1" head that dissipated quickly but left some lacing.

S-Light muddled malt and some sweet honey like smell, that's about it.

T-About the same as the smell, super weak malt and slight yeast taste, and maybe a dash of hops.. maybe

M-Light bodied and well carbonated

D-I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer, it's not that the taste was offensive or a bad beer, it was just like someone took a good brown ale and mixed it half and half with water.

bboelens, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of NODAK
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance of muddy water with a small head.

Aroma of small maltiness....a little hops...honestly not much.

Taste is a very mild one for style. There is a slight nuttiness with a little bit of toffee. A small crispness with hops at the back. A little toasty malt can be observed in the finish. Notice everything is "small". A restrained beer. Drinkable, but light.

NODAK, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of tbern007
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had it on tap the other day but now this is out of the bottle (poured).
A - brown/red, decent head that's gone quickly. Little bits of lacing.
S - metallic, a bit malty.
T - Sweet malt, metallic, tea-like.
M & D - stays with you a while. Sweet side of things. But the metallic taste is unlike any other. It is not like most nut browns. It's really it's own style. It's a good old standby- easily accessable, always dependably the same, better than most macros.

tbern007, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of wrcraigl
4.33/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is my go to. It has a great taste and is easy to get anywhere for the reasonable price. I have had this on draught as well and its even better. If you are an ale fan this is one to try or retry. I would like to try and make my own personal brew similar to this one.

wrcraigl, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of EVaughan
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - deep ruby to brown color. Medium head, good retention

Aroma- caramel and nutty

Taste - some bitterness, very nutty, malty, 

Aftertaste - very slight citrus flavor from hops, noticeable bitterness

Medium body. Good balance of nutty flavor, maltiness and bitterness. The higher level of bitterness on this brown definitely gives it more character and makes it interesting.

EVaughan, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of ScorpyX
2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark red color with a finger width, beige head. Clear view through the light. Some lacing left behind.

S: Sweet, sugary, caramel scent with just a hint of sourness and alcohol. There is a note that many lighter color bottled brews have.

T: Fruity flavor along with caramel accompanied by that light-colored, metallic taste. It's a bit distracting.

M: Crisp and clean, very smooth feel, very well balanced without feeling too light or thick.

D: Well balanced, but I wasn't a fan of the taste. Maybe Newcastle should try dark bottles, see what happens.

ScorpyX, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of brewerburgundy
1.95/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

18.6oz bottle (wtf is with that volume and the clear glass) , Central Waters shaker pint.

The color is garnet, filtered crystal clear. The head is really quite nice, light tan, very good retention and lacing.

Skunk was immediately apparent as soon as my nose got anywhere near the glass. It's really hard to get past, so I only smell or imagine I'm smelling steely sugar or caramel. That's it. I should have known better than to buy this bottle, but before that Newcastle should have known better than to keep putting their beer in clear bottles.

Skunk is the most prominent flavor too. Steely sugar, DMS, mild husk. I'm wondering why I bothered. The answer is to check a ubiquitous, 'classic' off the list.

4.7% isn't that small a beer, especially by English standards. This is watery and even the relatively low carbonation is too much.

I'll never buy or probably even accept a Newcastle again. I'm drinking it, but it is really a terrible beer.

brewerburgundy, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
2.8/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

Pours a medium brown color with a thin off-white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down the glass. The nose brings some light toffee and caramel plus a faint bit of nuttiness. The nutty character comes through a bit more in the taste along with plenty of the toffee. Light to medium body with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well, but isn't something I'd go after with other choices available.

Thorpe429, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of cyrock1
2.38/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Brown? Really? dark Amber Maybe with a one finger head.

Smell: Skunked, smells no better than a bad heineken.

Taste: Not much roast or toast in this one. Its like it tried to be a good brown ale but only succeeded at being a poor imitation of a Michelob Amber Bock.

Mouthfeel: Possibly the highlight of this beer.

Drinkability: Maybe as a closing beer after you're drunk this would be considered drinkable.

cyrock1, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of HOPPYKC
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle at Brio restaurant in Kansas city Missouri at the plaza. No bottled on or bb eat available on the bottle.

A- pours a nice and slightly think dark brown. Little to no head on the glass and no lacing. Opaque and very hard to see through.

S- Malty and bright. Defiantly a little bit of a light alcohol. Grainy and a little bit of hops are present. Caramel and a little chocolate.

T- For how low the alcohol content is I get alot of flavor from this glass. It is nice hough not too much. A nice Malty character. Light hops.

M&D- A slightly heavy beer but not heavy. Easy to drink and quite refreshing. Slides down the throat and coats the pallet.

HOPPYKC, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high frothy beige head that slowly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are metallic aromas in the nose.
T: The taste has a mild amount of sweetness and flavors of caramel and toffee. There are some notes of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer goes down very easily because it has a low alcohol content and isn't very filling, however I wouldn't consider this to be sessionable because the flavor isn't interesting enough for me to want to have more than one of these at a time.

metter98, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of cooch69
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Newcastle pours a deep brown. It is pretty see through and it comes with barely a trace of a head.

Nose is a bit metallic up front. Bready, biscuity malts come through as well as a bit of caramel. It has a hint of coastal air.

Taste is very biscuity with a little bit of caramel. Not much hops, although I think that I've had a few batches of this beer that had more hops in them. It has a very brisk flavor that finishes as quickly as it starts.

This is a good session beer. One of the first beers to expand the American market and I think it does a pretty good job for a beer that almost every bar/restaurant has.

cooch69, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Usually drank straight from the bottle. Appearance shows a clear brown copper color. Slightly roasted nutty flavor. Flavor is nutty a bit bitter and toasted. Very simple but very well-balanced. Light body with medium carbonation. A bit watery thin. Overall: kind of boring but very seasonable and flawless.

CuriousMonk, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured reddish-brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt and nutmeg. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, nutmeg, and pecans. It had a light feel on the palate with low-mild carbonation. Overall I was not overly impressed with this brew at all (never have been). Just glad I didn't have to drink a full pint of this. This might be a good gateway brew for some people, but not for my palate at all.

thagr81us, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Amber-brown and clear in complexion. One finger head that lasted a bit, eventually dissipating into a sheen. Good lacing.

It's got a lightly roasted malt aroma, with nuts and an earthy background, but with a bit of an odd, funky smell too.

Tastes nutty and caramel-malty with a little fruitiness, earthiness, and skunk.

Feel is slick and light bodied, somewhat watery, with a fairly pleasant sweet malt aftertaste.

Drink is low. Why import this stuff when you can get much better locally brewed beer.

AlCaponeJunior, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of jsdunlop
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer, darker amber that glistens when held up to the light. Nice amount of carbonation as seen by the bubbles making their way up to the surface. Head is pretty full, recedes down to a good covering after a few minutes. Pretty good lacing throughout. Bit of ragweed in the smell, faint floral hop aroma, some sweet malts, not much else going on here. Nice malty sweetness in the taste, a bit of grains and just a touch of roasty flavor. Slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is fairly light to medium, with a crisp and refreshing feel to it. Carbonation is quite high, adds a tingling effect to each sip. Quite different than what I've had on tap, more crisp and light in the mouthfeel. Overall, it's a good choice when in a pinch or at a restaurant that has a poor beer selection.

jsdunlop, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of GeneralZod
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown with hint red. Low head retention. Not too inviting.

Roasty, but not overpowering.

It taste of a light roast and light malt. Taste much better than its smell and looks. Easy to go down.

Watery, slightly coarsed without much carbonation.

Easily one of my favorite. Does not leave any bad aftertaste.

GeneralZod, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of bryehn
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I usually get a really nice and creamy off-white head from cans of this beer that leaves a ton of lace behind. Colour is a reddish nut brown.

Doesn't really have a ton of smell. I get a bready sort of malt with a sweet corn syrup note. Some raisin or fig in there too.

Very sweet taste. Corn syrup with a roasted malt and nutty character. There is a decent dryness to the finish, but I find the syrupy characteristics stick around on my tongue as an aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it has a decent body and a moderate carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

Suitable for times you don't want to take notes or for social gatherings, but too sweet and one-dimensional to be a regular.

bryehn, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of lstokes
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown with a hint of red and no head to speak of, this smells lightly roasted but then tastes like sweet nutty malts and a kind of buttery or metallic quality. Mouthfeel is watery. Not a huge fan--I find that this is way too sweet for me to drink a lot of it quickly, and it took a long time for me to get through my glass. Won't be repeating.

lstokes, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of nukem5
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brownish color with reddish hues virtually no head but some slight lacing.

S: Malty bready and almost nothing in the way of smell.

T: Sweet malts and a bready a bit nutty tastes.

M: Medium bodied with a nice full carbonation of tiny bubbles.

D: Very drinkable with a grilled burger.

nukem5, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of Dave128
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 18.6 oz bottle into imperial pint glass. Gotta say I don't really have high expectations of this once since who knows how long its been sittin on the shelf at the liquor store.

A - the clear bottle makes it look really watery, but looks good once poured and some carbonation gets goin. 2-3 finger head rises but falls fairly quickly into a thin disk that sticks around. Lacing is pretty nice.

S - Eh.... A little skunky/importy. I can barely pick up some caramely but the nose is rather bland.

T - Also pretty bland. I am searching for distinct flavors, but it just kinda is all wishy washy. I can taste the caramel malt on the aftertaste but it doesn't really come through in the middle.

M - Pretty thin but it feels great for the taste of the beer.

D - Average. This is an average import beer that I imagine would go well with multiple different types of food.. But it doesn't really shine on its own.

Dave128, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - No head, no lace pored slow into pint glass.

S - Malts, barley and beer.

T - Taste has a heavy malt character, but not to thick as I would think. Not a bad balance of barley and malts, Some kind of hops there but not bitter hops.

M - Medium carbonation, thin not too thick at all. Minimal aftertaste.. subsides quickly.

D - Drinks super easy, used to not like this brew at one point, But its got a balanced malt/barley/hop thing going for it. I got gifted 15 bottles of this stuff from a neighbor coming back around, he had enough I guess? Not my pick of brew, but better that some miller/bud! FREE!

SDtastentune, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Brunite
1.88/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Serving: Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice deep brown/ruby-red color. Tan, 2 finger head with some pitting upon settling. Head subsided rather quickly. Reasonable lacing.

Smell: Not much going on here. Faint sweetness with a little bit of raisin??

Taste: Again....almost nada. Very bland. No malty tones. Slight raisin taste. Something almost metallic or medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery, weak.

Drinkability: In a word....difficult.

Overall: What happened to this brew? Has it changed that much since I used to enjoy it 10-15 years ago? Or have my tastes evolved? This was a big disappointment. I already know enough to never buy this stuff in an open sixer as the clear bottle leads to skunkiness very quickly. Thus....I bought a closed 12 pack thinking this would be, at least, a sessionable beer (from memory). Bad choice. It was hard to finish one. This will be my last memory of "Newckie Brown".

Brunite, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of mdunman
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a clear glass bottle... why do companies still do this?

A: Clear brown with a bit of head that didn't stay for too long.

S: Bland, like Budweiser with a touch of roasted malt.

T: Enjoyable flavor, although a bit too sweet. Roasted malt up front takes over, with a very very slight dryness at the end.

M: Medium body, slight carbonation and a pretty good feel to it.

Overall, a good beer to drink at a small bar that doesn't have much selection. I wouldn't pick it up at a store though. Especially with that clear glass bottle.

mdunman, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of JunkYardJake
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Scooters in Lititz.
Presented in a standard pint glass with a thin whisper of head. No retention or lacing. Dark amber/brown color with sharp clarity. Smell is very mild. Toasted malts and buttery toffee. Palate is balanced and pleasant. Mostly toasted malts with a kiss of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is light and fluid. Good drinkability and wide availability make this worth try, but it's a far cry from being great.

JunkYardJake, Jan 20, 2011
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,169 ratings.