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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.

4,166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,166
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 312 | 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: 4,166 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ronniebruner
4.5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the greatest "easy to find beers". It is available pretty much everywhere. The first thing I notice about this brew is the amber reddish hue. The beer's smell is slightly weak, but has a strong finish, minimal head, and a smoooth taste.

ronniebruner, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. tan/brown ok head.

S. I can smell a malt forward profile with a nuttiness and a slight earth tone.

T. mild roasted flavor, too watery for this style.

M. light body, too much carbonation.

D. You can drink a lot because it is weak. Why do people rave about this beer? There are better British beers, better brown ales, and better imports; just can't wrap my head around it.

BeerLover99, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Dentist666
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Contains barley & wheat. Pours reddish brown clear beer with decent off-white head, aroma is rather sweet - caramel & nuts, simple andnot very strong. Mild, kvass-like taste, sweet malt + unmalted ingredients, slightly metallic hint, alcohol is being perceived excessively. Neutral mouthfeel and drinking process is not an act of delectation.

Dentist666, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of flyingpig
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown in appearance, you can hear the fizz as it pours. Plenty of carbonation & settles with a nice sized, slightly of white head. Head retention is good & leaves some nice lacing.

Sweet caramel & brown sugar type smells shine through. The ale has a sweet kind of smell with fruit traces as well.

Has sweet taste to begin that includes malts & apple. It is followed by sweet, warm aftertaste.

Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation, it tingles the tongue yet is a very smooth beer. Very easy to drink.

It is very drinkable, tastes good & is well balanced.


flyingpig, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of bourbonbock
2.7/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I poured a 12 oz bottle of this into a cool pint glass.

A. Deep cherrywood or chestnut body with white fluffy head.

S. I can smell a malt forward profile with a nuttiness and a slight earth tone.

T. Pretty straightforward flavor that is also of malt upfront with some slight roasted characteristics.

M. Smooth and clean with a slight bitterness to it.

D. I could pick this up again but realistically see myself buying more budweiser than this stuff.

bourbonbock, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of philphilphil
2.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

throughly average in a less usual way.
Appearance is brown clear with quickly receding head.
Smell a touch of skunk, not much else.
Taste like a slighty skunked mediocre munich helles.
Drinkability is not bad for taste or price, but availabilty will make this the one and only.
Mouthfeel thin but I'm no english ale expert so it has benegit of the doubt.

philphilphil, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Lauthaha
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Ruby/mahogany color with a frothy finger-high slightly off-white head. As beer is sipped, head leaves a moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell: Pretty hoppy for a brown ale, definitely a sweet-and-sour malt kind of vibe here. More on the fruity side.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer exhibits active carbonation on the palate, definitely a citrus-type bite which precedes the hop bouquet. Goes down very smoothly with a nice, soft nutty aftertaste. Not extraordinary, but very good nonetheless.

Drinkability: Based on availability, cost and tastiness, this is perfectly drinkable. You can find it everywhere, it's only a little more than macro-brewed swill-water, and it's actually got a nice, unique character.

Lauthaha, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Tundruth
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

medium brownish color, light tan head. Light roasted scent, hints of coffee, caramel, and dry yeast. Smells good all and all and definitely makes me eager to take my first sip of it. Overly sweet, nice malty profile but has a good, balanced taste nonetheless. Mouthfeel is light and well balanced, decent amount of carbonation that is just right. This beer is very drinkable because it offers up a lot of different characteristics so it can be enjoyed at various times of the day, seasons, or occasions depending.

Tundruth, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of CrazyMike
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown appearance with fluffy head. Smell is malty, picked up a hint of chocolate or toffee.

Has a sweet caramel, but light, taste. Has very crisp hops and a hint of something similar to coffee. Very thin body, which threw me off, and moderate carbonation. After taste is bitter but smooth.

Overall, this comes off as a beer that should be thicker. But still, the blend of tastes and lightness somehow works making this a very drinkable beer

CrazyMike, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of rodenbach99
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This time from a can. Newcastle brown is the archetype for the style, a classic. Pours a nice clear hazelnut brown colour with a thin but lastin beige head. Very clean on the nose, some roastiness, maybe some metal (from the can). Easy drinking brown ale, not very tasty but it's clean and refreshing.

rodenbach99, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of in780
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a standard pint. Here we go:

A - Opaque reddish-brown, small head with minimal lacing

S - Malts, hint of hops, not much else

T - Much like the aroma, mildly sweet malts, faint hop bitterness with weak coffee

M - thin, a bit too thin for a brown ale

D - No problem putting down a few if I chose to, but I don't think I would unless it was my only alternative to BMC lagers.

Unmemorable offering of a style I usually enjoy.

in780, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of cuttsjp
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pretty, dark reddish-brown color. Nice cream colored head with decent lacing.

Aroma: Sweet caramel with some nuttiness and a dash of alcohol

Taste: A tiny amount of caramel sweetness develops into a nutty, slightly toasty, vaguely chocolatey flavor. Some bready maltiness and small kick of hop bitterness. Glad that the skunkiness is lost when the on tap version (actually bought this in a mini keg!), because the clear bottles pretty much ruin the whole beer otherwise. So much more pleasant this way.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, fine bubbles, medium body and medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, out of the mini keg, this guy is pretty damn drinkable. It's tasty and goes down easy. Not bad at all.

cuttsjp, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of DannyDan
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. This beer when pouring does have a nice appearance as it is a dark reddish brown ale that has a small head that has good lacing and decent retention.
S. It has a strong smell of a mix of malts, along with some chocolate and coffee.
T. When tasting it I can taste some malts followed by a weak chocolaty taste mixed with coffee that was poorly brewed that leaves in unpleasant after taste. It seems to have some spices mixed with the hops in the taste that helps cover the bad coffee and chocolate taste.
M. It has just an average mouthfeel that doesn't really do much for me.
D. This is a drinkable beer that goes down easily, but I don't think it is as smooth as what the label says.
I'm glad that I only had to buy one bottle of this because I was not impressed with this and I'll probably never buy this again.

DannyDan, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of beerprovedwright
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a clear bottle into my glass. One finger head of light brown billowy bubbles. Color is a 26 on the SRM chart. Smell of coffee, toffee, malt, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. I taste hints of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, some hop and malt. Every sip reveals something new, interesting. Some boldness in my mouth, but not great. Pleasing flavor, good availability, decent price. I will drink more of this in some time and place.

beerprovedwright, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Muddy brown with creamy head that leaves nice thin rings.

S- English malts, toffee notes. Slightly metallic.

T- Sweet breads, caramel, toffee, and nuts. Hint of chocolate. Bitter notes; metallic.

M- crisp, medium bodied.

D- Very drinkable. Well balanced.

JayS2629, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After a hard day's night, I need this one. It's a tried and true and, although huge and macro to the power of 1,00,000, there are still reasons to drink this renowned ale.

Perhaps it's the light, but this pours more of a ruddy amber than a straight up brown, at least in my eyes. Perhaps I'm hazy from the five hour board meeting, but I call 'em like I see 'em. Gorgeous two to three-finger creamy head tops this chilled brew, and settles into a thin rim of persistent head. Great lacing and lightly carbonated. Robust English aromas - lots o' malt, some sweeter notes, like peach cobbler, in the background. Some metallic notes, but it wouldn't be a British Brown without that latter characteristic, now would it? Flavor is effervescent, more so than I recall from previous tries. There's a bright, crsip upfront tang, like orange juice or Country Time Lemonade, that hits the palate straight away. This fades into a malty middle, but still a little tanginess, and then rolls into a somewhat well-balanced finish that is equal parts tang, hops and malt. Usually a little more expensive than what you'd expect from a macro - this pint + 2.6oz. bottle was $3.79. This is as sessionable of a beer as you can find, also, and works well in Winter, Summer, or any other season. Vivaldi would have been pround. I'd actually recommend that any and all of you have some around all the time.

What I like most: The surprisingly crisp, bright flavor profile.

What I like least: The thin finish and price.

Verdict: Really good, exceptional even, for a macro brew. Always worth having around.

SolomonGrundy, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of cheesepuffs
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I quite enjoyed this beer. It's one that I've wanted to try for a while and I finally experienced the English malty-ness that everyone talks about. It definitely is sweet, but not overbearingly so. It still stays balanced while being less focused on hops and personally I enjoyed it. I drank it straight out of a bottle, not a glass, and would do so again anytime. It'd definitely one of my favorites now. You can still session with it or drink many of them at a BBQ but they aren't light like the BMC brews, nor is it too heavy to put down in large quantities. Overall, good, more full-bodied beer than the BMC usual suspects with a sweet/malty angle on a decent, darker Euro beer.

cheesepuffs, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of psdriscoll
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Average appearance for a brown ale.
The smell is very bland and has nothing that stands out.
The taste is again bland and has very little flavor.
It is a drinkable beer as it sits light, however I would rather drink a beer with more flavor.
Pass on this one.

psdriscoll, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Choppr
4.13/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Has a nice dark caramel color with a smallish head.

S- Sweet nutty smell

T- It really tastes like it smells (shocker!). It has a nice balanced nutty flavor that makes you want to come back for more.

M- Medium bodied - maybe even a little on the light side which makes it, for me, easier to session.

D- It's 'The One and Only', so what else is there to say? I love this brew. It has relatively widespread coverage where I live and I find it very easy to drink. It is one of the best mass produced brews.

Choppr, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of scott451
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic. One finger fine tan head on a dark amber brown. The head diminishes to a persistent thin layer. Strong fine lacing.

Chocolate malt smell. Taste is chocolate malts with a slightly metallic dry malt finish.

Medium light body. Moderate carbonation. Very drinkable. Not bad for a commonly available on tap brew.

scott451, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of philbe311
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear glass always makes me a bit nervous, but here we go...

A - Two fingers worth of egg shell colored batter-like head comprised of tightly packed mixed sized bubbles... Solid retention that leaves some sticky lacing on the glass before giving way to a full rich creamy lacing... A medium brown caramel color that is still completely translucent... Loaded with moderate paced carbonation...

S - Bursting with bready malts reminiscent of crust... Grains... Mixed nuts... Sweet notes of caramel and toffee... A slight bit of muskiness...

T - Crust... Flour... Some burnt grains... Weak stale coffee... A veiled nuttiness... Touches of caramel... A hint of toffee...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth with a touch of creaminess... Ever so slightly on the thin side... A touch of brisk carbonation on the tongue... A bit of a metallic component... A faint and delicate kiss of hops...

D - Sessionable and relatively quaffable... Loaded with a bunch of flavor and character for a sub 5% brew, but nothing here really reaches out and grabs your attention... Respectable and a valid option in a pinch, but not something that I would highly recommend or revisit on a regular basis...

philbe311, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap tonight at a local Buffalo Wild Wings. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep but transparent brown with some red hues in it. ("Brown ale" about covers it.)Thin and slightly fizzy head that quickly fades to some wisps on top. Leaves some good rings around the glass at first, but there's very little lacing and head retention to be found.

Smell: Definitely a more malty smell here. Caramel is what dominates, but there is also a VERY mild hop aroma and a bit of nuttiness with some grains. Pretty standard, but nothing mindblowing. The sweetness is pretty enticing though.

Taste: Following the smell closely, malts dominate the tongue at first with a rich caramel taste. The initial taste has an almost candy-like sweetness to it, maybe too much for me. There's very little hop bite to this one, which wasn't really surprising. The aftertaste is what gets me the most about this beer: While there's a slightly metallic note, there's also an overwhelmingly nutty taste as well... almost like peanut butter? As I said about the aroma, pretty straightforward; it won't wow you or tear your face off, but it's pretty pleasing.

Mouthfeel: A little too thin for me, but decent for the style. It goes down pretty smooth but there's some coarseness in the finish that is undesirable.

Drinkability: As bad as this sounds, the blandness and sweetness of the beer make it very drinkable. Definitely could be used as a session beer if desired, I almost wanted another one just for the heck of it.

I realize that this isn't the best brown ale out there, but I had to start somewhere. Fairly standard beer across the board, very drinkable, not offensive... a good one for those who are starting with darker European styles (like myself).

Groomsy, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap tonight at Dave's Downtown Taverna in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two inches of creamy off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, nuts, and biscuit malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, biscuit, bready malts, and a tiny bit metalic.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very very smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

d - An ok brown ale that is very easy going down. Have had several times and something I would gladly order over Macros at a bar.

mdfb79, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of kjyost
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear bottle poured into a chalice...

A: Decent head, minimal lacing atop a clear reddish brown body
S: Biscuit malt, nuttiness, vinous notes
T: Found the beer dominated by the vinous with a light bitter bite and a satisfying residual sweetness. Too vinous.
M: Nothing special to report here, maybe a titch watery, but the sweetness overcomes it.
D: Vinous. Can't get over it...

kjyost, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of mbrown26
3.98/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm not sure I can add anything to the comments. This is an easy drinking brown ale.

Has a good, slightly dirty head and a good dark color. I believe the nickname for this is "the brown kool-aid" and I would certainly believe it.

I'm not too experienced in English Brown Ales, but if this is a broad representation of the style, than I certainly want to try more.

mbrown26, Oct 31, 2010
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,166 ratings.