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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.

4,089 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,089
Reviews: 1,474
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 31
Gots: 285 | 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: 4,089 | Reviews: 1,474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of QuestionableScum

Alberta (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Pours clear brown with red hints, and a beige head that fades fairly quickly.

Smells of caramel, butterscotch, and toffee (very malty). With a little bit of nuttiness. This actually smells much more enticing than I remembered.

Taste is similar to the smell, but quite a bit weaker. Lots of sweet malt up front with a little bit of toffee, and a little bit of hops. Slightly nutty. The taste is quite subdued although pleasant and quite clean.

Mouthfeel is quite watery, and thin, definitely the weakest link in this beer.

Drinkability is very good--extraordinarily sessionable, but still quite bland and uninspired.

10-28-2010 04:18:39 | More by QuestionableScum
Photo of AdamBear


2.73/5  rDev -17.8%

A-dark amber, thick tan head

S-smells like sweet clove honey

T-tastes like water with a hint of clove honey. this is the worst brown ale i've ever had. the after-taste consists of an unwanted bitterness.

M-low carbonation but very creamy, much like i expect of an english ale

D-goes down easy, the taste stays, a lot of it can be consumed but still not my choice for a session drinker

10-25-2010 05:19:16 | More by AdamBear
Photo of happy4hoppybeer


3.1/5  rDev -6.6%

So I'm low on cash, and decided to just get a little keg of something imported, because I can't afford anything better, and don't want to downgrade to BMC. My local beer distributor carries these mini-kegs for about $20, which is all I can afford for right now. It was either this or Heineken, and I know how crappy Heineken is, so I went with this, cheers.

A=Dark amber-brown, with good head that fizzles away pretty fast, leaving behind quality lacing that sticks to the glass a good while. Carbonation is clearly visible. Meets the standard.

S&T= Malty, maybe some grains, nuts etc very little to no hops.

M=Fairly thin, a little medium. Watery.

D=Easy to drink all night, Makes an excellent session and all-nighter brew.

Definitely a mainstream brew, but a good one nonetheless. Beats BMC, beats Heineken or any Mexican beer like Corona. If nothing better is around, go for it.

10-24-2010 00:04:38 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev +1.8%

Transparent brown in color with off-white head that leaves lacing. Grains, cereal, sunflower seeds in the nose. Grains, cereal, a toasted note toward the finish, vague hop bitterness but no real hop flavor. Light in body and in carbonation. A very sessionable ale that doesn't take much risk in flavor.

10-23-2010 00:26:21 | More by JRed
Photo of wvu9787

West Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

Newcastle Brow Ale 18.6 oz. bottle poured into a plisner glass, bottle was bought at local beer store for 2.89+ tax. 4.7% ABV.

Apperence- Tan 2 finger head, beer is a light brown/red color.

Smell- Malts, little hops, some carmel pretty much a basic beer smell.

Taste- Carmel,Roasted Malts somewhat sweet but not very much, really i think this beer is kinda bland, its a little dry and carbonated.

Mouthfeel- Carbanation, little watery, not a bold feel if you know what i mean.

Drinkabilty- This is one thing i can say for this beer its very drinkable, you could put down a sixer no problem and with it being at 4.7% maybe even a few more.

Overall I would say that this is a basic beer, nothing really special, its not a brown ale like
Sam Smiths Nut Brown Ale its a lot more bland. Its an ok beer I do like more flavor in my beer. One good thing is if your looking for a beer to pound down all night then this would work very well.

10-21-2010 07:59:44 | More by wvu9787
Photo of HuppMJH


3.43/5  rDev +3.3%

Look - Has a dark red/orange color to the liquid. If you hold it up to the light, you get a fire red where the source of light comes through. The head poured nicely, but quickly faded

Smell - Gives off a malty aroma with a slight hoppy edge.

Taste - Beginning taste of malt, a fruity middle, hops in the finish.

An okay beer. I would put this offering much higher than almost all of the American mass-produced beers, but not a name to mention amoung the top beers to try.

10-21-2010 02:02:52 | More by HuppMJH
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a ruby brown colour with head that dissipates pretty quickly without much lacing. Smells of mild nuttiness with some toasted malt. Flavour is also muted. Ok carbonation. Just an ok brown ale. I used to like this a more before I was really into beer.

10-20-2010 04:45:16 | More by kwjd
Photo of velosuds


3.05/5  rDev -8.1%

A-Pours a medium brown with a small head that dissipates quickly and leave little lacing.

S-Very subdued malt sweetness and a faint nuttiness, and not a hint of hops. Not robust enough.

T-Chocolate malts and hazelnuts is what I get, but the taste profile is underdeveloped.

M-Smooth but too thin.

D-A popular, overrated English import. Better than anything from BMC, so it is somewhat cheery to hear non-enthusiasts refer to this as a good beer, but this can't hold a candle to Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.

10-20-2010 04:24:41 | More by velosuds
Photo of Derranged

New York

3.28/5  rDev -1.2%

A- This pours a dark brown, with not much head, dark reddish-brown, looks very similar to iced tea.

S- Not too much of a smell.

T- Sweet, very low bitterness, hints of iced tea, yet a bit watery and a little bland.

M- High carbonation but smooth.

D- I could drink 12 of these. Although I dont like it as much as I used to, they would have to be pretty cold. As long as its cold, it goes down like water.

Overall this is a decent beer.

10-18-2010 13:17:54 | More by Derranged
Photo of adamette


3.58/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from the 12 ounce crystal clear glass bottle that was given to me by a friend recently into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. I recalled enjoying this on tap a few years ago (and several times before that) and was looking forward to having it from a bottle for comparison purposes. The following stamped on the lower right aspect of the back label: 31.03.U L090 and then 94 08-42 printed below that. I don't know what any of that means but I might learn what it means later.

A A quite nice fluffy, creamy very light brown head over a translucent, very basic but certainly brown body. I really am impressed with the head which I don't recall observing when I had it on tap but then the bartender might have seen to it that the head was minimal. The head creates a nice curtain of lacing on the inside of the glass. 4.0

S A light smelling brown ale with minimal sweet, light roasted malt and little to no hops. 3.0

T The light roast malt and the "brown ale" tastes are there but I also got a sense of some sweet dark fruit that was fleeting but there on repeated sips. Hard to put my finger on but maybe a whisp of sweet raisins or dates quickly gave way to the classic English Brown Ale taste. Very little aftertaste contributes to its superior drinkability. 3.5

M Very light indeed. The only aspect beefing it up a bit are the fleeting sweet and light roasted malt at the beginning of the taste. 2.0

D This could not be improved in my opinion. It is probably one of my top 5 most drinkable beers. I do not think that is by mistake. I think that it is brewed with this in mind! 5.0

10-11-2010 02:59:13 | More by adamette
Photo of jsprain1


3.05/5  rDev -8.1%

A- Pours a rich brown with good clarity, but nothing of a head.
S- Smells of malt, and a bit metallic. Rather sweet on the nose.
T- Clean and malty. Decent but subdued. Simple, neither good nor bad. But simply flavored.
M- I found it a bit undercarbed and a bit underweighted for the body.
D- Refreshing and simple. There isn't much to this beer, which is just fine. But it didn't do anything to excite me either.

10-07-2010 06:15:52 | More by jsprain1
Photo of ShamasUVA


4.1/5  rDev +23.5%

Newcastle Brown
BJCP 11C: Northern English Brown

Aroma: 9/12 Clean aroma, slight malt, slight toffee, almost lagerish like a dunkel, a little dark fruit. No hop aroma, no butterscotch.

Appearance: 3/3 Poured from a clear glass bottle with a cryptic datecode, which I interpret as meaning it was brewed on 5/31 of this year (4 months old), into a straight sided UVA Mug. A beautiful beer, with perfect carbonation. brilliant clarity, and of course, you know the color of newcastle.

Flavor: 17/20 Clean, malty, slightly fruity (cherry). No hop flavor, low bitterness. Thirst quenching but satisfying. I am suprised at how much character is in the flavor of this beer. Like fullers esb, except with no hops at all. No roast. Makes you want more.

Mouthfeel 2/5 Slightly prickly with high carbonation for style. Would be awesome on cask or even bottle conditioned ala sammy smith.

Overall impression 7/10 This is a shockingly good beer-- My dad is right to like this. I haven't had one in years, and that one was skunked. Could use just a little more caramel or nut in the aroma and flavor. Obviously, a classic. I am suprised at how well this mass-produced filtered ale holds up. I imagine a cask Newcastle near the brewery is absolutely tremendous.

38 out of 50. Sounds about right. This beer is in the style guidelines after all.

10-07-2010 03:06:04 | More by ShamasUVA
Photo of KentuckyBeerCat


4.28/5  rDev +28.9%

This is easily my favorite beer in the world. I love me some Newcastle Brown Ale. I could seriously drink it all day!!! Probably the easiest to drink and enjoy that I've ever had. It's just simply and amazing beer to drink. I would without a doubt recommend this one to anyone.

10-06-2010 14:56:48 | More by KentuckyBeerCat
Photo of srandycarter


4.05/5  rDev +22%

A - Dark clear amber, near white head. Spotty cling lace.

S - Smell is pretty weak. Some malt and that is it.

T - Simple malt core, light hop counter. Nice in general.

M - Lighter than I like, thin, but balance not bad.

D - Seriously, this IS A SESSION BEER!

10-02-2010 04:55:23 | More by srandycarter
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.43/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours copper brown with a small head.
Nose shows soft caramel, toffee and some nutty notes. Simple but nice.
Flavours are similar, but quite sweet and lightly cidery.
Good creamy carbonation.
Good example of how a beer doesn't have to be complex to be quite enjoyable.

09-30-2010 11:24:46 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -6.6%

This was certainly one of my gateways into the realm of English ales, along with Bass and Boddingtons, so I'll admit a bit of sentimental bias. It's been quite some time since I've had one of these, so I figured it would be a fine idea to, you know, have...one.

Poured from a can into a nonic glass. More ruby than brown: a strong red colour when held to the light, chestnut when taken away. Left a decent 1/2 inch of eggshell head, which has survived as a creamy ring. Top of the class is coated with lacing. Actually, looks pretty damned good.

Nose is malty, with notes of caramel and floral hops. A sweetness I'm having trouble identifying is also present - cherry cola, perhaps?

Taste is boring, but certainly drinkable. Lightly toasted malt, caramel and that overarching sweetness from before. Pretty one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is a bit flat and watery, even only a few moments after pouring. For knocking back in a pub, this would be okay, but for now it isn't doing it for me. Gets progressively worse.

To quote Monty Burns, "I know what I hate, and I don't hate this." Definitely preferable to the bottle form, Newcastle is a drinkable, but very predictable brown ale. Overly sweet, a bit flat, but I can soldier through it. Way better than most Diageo-BMC stuff on tap around here, but the high import pricetag drives me away. If you can find it cheap in a can, it's not bad. Just don't pay too much for it - there's far better brown ales available.

09-27-2010 18:51:06 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of MoreThanWine


1.75/5  rDev -47.3%

If you're bottling a beer that's brown then why not put it in brown glass to deter skunking? Instead they use clear glass, revealing the standard brown color of the beer (yippee?) and causing my current sample (and some before it over the years) to be somewhere on the road to skunk.

Pours a modest head which dissipates quickly. Brown. Very mild and a touch sweet. I once read a reviewer say that people have strong opinions on this beer and I'd agree - I'm strongly disliking it. Boring, except for the Russian roulette mystery of will it be skunked or not.

09-25-2010 10:05:10 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of LacquerHead


3.28/5  rDev -1.2%

Had this at Paradise in CC TX.
Another revisiting of a beer I use to drink.
Crystal clear brown with little to no head formation or lacing.
It had a caramelized smell.
Like the aroma the beer tasted caramelized but was not overly sweet. Unfortunately the malt profile was too thin to make any bold statements. There was a slight nutty flavor that made a short appearance towards the end. Not a whole lot of hops, so the beer was a little one sided.
The mouth/feel was very thin, almost watery. Nonetheless it still managed to have a crispness.
Overall, not worth the premium import price. I would only drink this at a bar with a limited beer selection.

09-21-2010 18:44:28 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of lovindahops

New York

2.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Did a taste test with the gf... Dfh iba vs newcastle... Hmmm

A- light brown with foam that disappears pretty quick. A little lacing on the side

S- no question there is some malt with this. The buttery commercialized grain is here as well. Really a spunky scent at the end I don't like

T- sweet flavor and mild malt. Almost watery. Although, the malt is present

M- light, light, light. Smooth coating flavor though

D- look, it's a brown ale made for the masses. Smooth flavor allows this to be slammed though

09-18-2010 03:31:44 | More by lovindahops
Photo of RuudJH


3.4/5  rDev +2.4%

Newcastle brown ale, came in a 1 pint clear bottle.
'The one and only'. I've heard the town of Newcastle in England is, or was, very famous for their brewing beers.
I want to find out why.

Dark brown beer, with a decent head, but hardly any carbonation.

Smell is nice strong of fruity and flowery (garden) hops. But it's also very much like corn, which I find disturbing.

Taste is similar. Not sweet, but malty (also roasty malts), and bitterness from hops.
Aftertaste is bittersweet.
The beer is watery to me, which makes it only well drinkable when it's cold.
All in all, it's not too bad, mainly due to the roasty character and hoppyness.

09-17-2010 13:18:11 | More by RuudJH
Photo of tjsmith910


1.8/5  rDev -45.8%

Impressive by sight and color only. I could barely finish 1 newcastle before I began asking the bar tender for a glass of milk.

It is only opinions of other beers that led to my experience of this terrible tasting and thick beer. Just not my style in any way.

09-16-2010 15:52:41 | More by tjsmith910
Photo of darkmartin


3.38/5  rDev +1.8%

Appearance: Pours to a semi-transparent dark brown with some reddish undertones. Nice sized, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Smells of nutty malt and earthy hops.

Taste: Nutty with a sweet creaminess that finishes with some minor hops. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin, would have preferred a little more body.

Drinkability: Overall an ok taste, they go down pretty easy.

09-12-2010 04:02:49 | More by darkmartin
Photo of Sleestak


3.75/5  rDev +13%

My wife loves this beer and was kind enough to let me "borrow" this one for a taste test hehe. The oddly 1 pint 2.6 FL oz bottle... not up to date on my conversions though I think it would be a British pint? Smells a bit skunked though I've encountered it before from this bottle size. Nutty, sweet roasted taste. Thin but very enjoyable. A deffinately keeper. I give thanks to my wonderful wife.

09-11-2010 04:03:20 | More by Sleestak
Photo of RonaldTheriot


2.83/5  rDev -14.8%

Newcastle Brown Ale has a medium, beige head and a very clear, amber appearance. Carbonation is low to moderate. The aroma is very skunky (poured from a clear, 12 oz. bottle), and this overwhelmed all other smells. Taste is of lightly roasted malt and coffee, but the skunkiness comes through here as well. Mouth-feel is light and watery. Newcastle finishes fairly crisp and fairly refreshing. I would like to try this on tap or from the can, as I could then probably give it a higher rating.


09-10-2010 23:45:56 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of patelldp

New York

3/5  rDev -9.6%

A - This beer is a nice dark color, definitely pleasing but could be slightly misleading.

S - Nice aroma of cider...that seems to be a recurring theme for me with this beer.

T - Once again...cider. I don't know why, but I have had this beer on tap and out of a bottle, and both time I remember thinking "did I ask for/grab a hard cider?" Very sweet with an apple-like taste that just doesn't seem "beer" to me.

M - Lightly carbonated, and goes down quite smooth thanks to the sweetness.

D - Very drinkable, once again thanks to the sweetness and light carbonation. Not an offensive beer by any means, but does not have the same feel as other Brown Ales that I have had in the past.

09-08-2010 07:16:36 | More by patelldp
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,089 ratings.