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.

3,872 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,872
Reviews: 1,471
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 30
Gots: 187 | 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)
View: Beers (27) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,872 | Reviews: 1,471 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill


3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can

It pours a clear dark brown with red hues and a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is nice and malty with caramel shining through. Not much else there but what's there is good.

The taste is of caramel malt with a very light nutiness. That's it. Not complex, just tasty. A wee bit of some hop presence when I swish the beer in my mouth but I realy don't need to do that to enjoy a Newcastle Brown. I had this many times on tap and in the bottle and it surprises me that I haven't reviewed it yet. ;^)

Light bodied bordering on watery, there's a low level of carbonation.

Drinkability? A good break from the more substantial brews that I tend to turn to, I enjoy it every time I have it.

Serving type: can

04-11-2009 17:14:02 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of willyumlong


3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

my freinds favorite beer so i had to try it
medium dark, classic bottle
decent smell
not too bad but a little on the hoppy bitter side for me personally. doesn't always taste the same to me sometimes it hits the spot but usually reminds me i should try something different the next beer
ive had better
i will continue to drink these when offered one (as with most beers) but probably wont be seeking any out soon

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 09:18:26 | More by willyumlong
Photo of MisterDeeds


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very thin brown, almost reddish amber oolor. Very slight head disappears immediately.

Not too much in the aroma. Caramel malts and sweet nuts.

The taste is sweet and nutty. Some caramel and toffee in there.

Mouthfeel is odd. This and bordering on flat, but I believe this is what they are going for, and it contributes to the drinkabilty.

Nothing too amazing going on here, but there is absolutely no denying the drinkability of this beer. In warm weather or cold weather, a cold Newcastle is always a welcome sight.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 02:42:21 | More by MisterDeeds
Photo of spycow


4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a dark clear brown color. Very light carbonation. Excellent looking beer.

S: It smells of carmel, light fruitiness, and of roasted nuts.

T: Excellent first taste. The beer goes does smooth. You are really able to taste the mild complexity of carmel, hops, nuts, and leather. The beer tastes great from beginning to end leaving a nutty aftertaste with every sip.

M&D: Feels up the mouth with a nice chewy flavor. Excellent taste and feel and an extremely drinkable brown ale. One of the best examples of this style.

Still affordable at $8.99 a six-pack. Price hasn't changed drastically. I'm not a huge brown ale fan but this is always my staple when I do crave one.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 01:23:18 | More by spycow
Photo of dotsonjamesg


2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown with a one finger off-white head. Not much retention, the head looks pretty thin and flimsy. Not as appetizing as others once poured. Even with an aggressive pour, it was pretty pathetic.

Smell: Caramel malts, hops, and marijuana come to mind as the particulate of this brew caress my nostrils. Brings back fond memories of every high school party I went to.

Taste: The taste seems pretty watered down. The light carbonation does help the flavor much either. I can taste the caramel malts and some marijuana-like flavors that eventually moves in to some nutty malted flavors; that's about it. Not much complexity at all. I would even go as far to say that it is bland.

Mouthfeel: I wouldn't go as far to say that the brew is watery but it definitely is not thick. Light carbonation is present too.

Drinkability: For most newbie drinkers, it's the "Cadillac" of dark beers. For more experienced drinkers, its trash. It really just depends on who is drinking this brew. For me, this brew is one of the first brews to turn me on to darker things. Its definitely not a bad brew but its nothing worthy of praise, though I have to admit it opened my mind to a lot of different styles. In a nutshell, its drinkable, but it wont get you anymore drunk than a Budweiser. Doesn't taste that much better either. I prefer this brew when its skunked, makes it taste more like a hemp ale.

Enjoy it if you must but I don't recommend this brew at all, unless you're a beginner.



Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 15:43:30 | More by dotsonjamesg
Photo of projectflam86


3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours dark caramel brown color with light tan head that leaves some mild sticky lacing.

S- Light malted caramel nose with yeast and nut scents.

T- Mostly malted bread flavor. Maybe some brown sugar tastes mixed with slight hazelnut.

M- Ok carbonation but a little bit too light bodied for the style.

D- Overall pretty good brew. No weird aftertastes but having more than a couple might end up being a chore.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 00:26:52 | More by projectflam86
Photo of shanem


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: light brown ale with small light brown head, not much lacing

S: sweet and nutty malts, fairly straightforward

T: has a classic brown flavor, although slightly watered down. a little nutty with some sweetness as in the smell

M: again, a s bit watery for my tastes

D: an easy drink, good session brew

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 14:18:43 | More by shanem
Photo of sillyswa


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark clear amber with very little head. nose of sweet malts and picking up light buttery biscuits. light and medium body on the palate very watery, not impressed. Slightly sweet, mellow very very easy to drink almost like having a carbonated chilled mild coffee with hint of spices, cinnamon? and a touch of brown sugar.

overall i find this ale to be sweet and very easy to drink. one could def pound a six pack in no time. not much impressed.

Serving type: can

03-24-2009 01:41:31 | More by sillyswa
Photo of JayNH

New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep clear amber with a small foamy head.

S- Not much going on, a slight bready sweetness.

T- A mild tea like hoppiness. A grapey, grainey malt.

M- Light on body, well carbonated.

D- An easy drinking sesion brown. Not a "good" brew... But not a "Bad" one either.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 10:12:18 | More by JayNH
Photo of mjw06


3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

descent rich white head, leaves a good lacing. moderately dark brown color with a cherry hue.

very sweet nut and caramel malt smell. barley. just a hint of spice.

a smooth sweet caramel taste, but not too much sweetness. a little bitterness hits midway through and finishes off too. leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth.

too much carbonation, but a nice body.

very drinkable brew, one of my favorites that is widely available. very refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2009 00:35:58 | More by mjw06
Photo of donteatpoop


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to revisit one of the stepping stones that lead me to the world of fine beer. Newcastle Brown Ale. It'll be interesting for me to see what I think of it now that my palate has evolved.

Pours a clear nut brown color lots of white foam resting atop it.

I'm a little disappointed at the skunky hop scent, probably due to the lack of UV protection thanks to the clear bottle. Also some hints of caramel malts.

Taste is bitter up front with molases and sweet malts hitting the palate soon after and quickly overriding the skunked hop bitterness.

For an ale with some skunked hops issues, this brew seems to actually use it to it's advantage and the molases falvor seems to ovveride the skunkiness almost immediatley.

Still a great ale, perhaps not among the best that I've had but definately a drinkable brew... Especially good to keep in mind for days that I end up in a bar with nothing but macros.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2009 06:17:44 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of dupee14


4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thoroughly enjoy this beer. I have not had the opportunity to try a lot of brown ale's but I find that I am consistently buying Newcastle. It is a rich flavor but the drinkablitly is very smooth. I feel like it starts out as a hoppier beer but when it ends, it is very good. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a quality beer available most places.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 02:12:34 | More by dupee14
Photo of Draughted


4.28/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.0 - A beautiful light brown with smooth head.
S - 3.5 - Aromas of carmel, hops, and molasses. Try to drink of a tap whenever possible. When served from a 12 oz bottle, the clear glass container sometimes causes the beer's scent to change to a skunkier smell than when compared to a fresher bottle or direct from the tap.
T - 4.5 - Incredibly easy to drink brown ale. Not overpowering, smooth molasses / honey like flavor, yet not overpoweringly sweet. Most importantly, unlike other Brown Ales, it does not cross over into the Stout/Porter category, whereas others might have a stronger roasted hop flavor.
M - 4.5 - High carbonation for an ale and when served cold is extremely palette friendly. The bubbles of the beer are refreshing for an ale.
D - 4.5 - The most drinkable of any Brown Ale, can easily finish multiple Newcastles and they go great with steaks.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2009 07:18:56 | More by Draughted
Photo of CityBoy1986


3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

The pour is a medium brown with a finger's worth of white head. The head is gone quickly, but lacing is fair to decent.

The nose is sweet with nuts and some fruity tastes. The taste is very sweet with some mild bitterness. A faint chocolate flavour is present during the aftertaste. There is a bit of an acidic flavour as well.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with low carbonation. Drinkability is high; I could definitely drink a few.

While it is definitely a brown ale, it might just be a tad above mediocre. Only if it is present, there is nothing else and I really want a beer will I spend money on it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 23:37:27 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of Strand

North Dakota

4.85/5  rDev +45.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Newcastle Brown Ale is a brown ale brewed in Newcastle, England. It's available pretty much anywhere in the US, and is available on tap at several local bars.

I'll tell you this - I've been experimenting with different beers for a couple years, and I figure I've tried about 100 different brands. That being said, Newcastle Brown Ale is hands down my favorite beer. It's best on tap - if you get it in a bottle or can, pour it into a pint glass, so you get a good thick head. Newcastle is absolutely fabulous.

I can go on and on about how great it is, but all that's going to do is delay you from going out and trying it for yourself. If you've never had it, find some place that has Newcastle on tap. It's a little spendier than regular domestic beers, but it's far better. Try a Newcastle Brown Ale and taste the difference.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2009 14:14:16 | More by Strand
Photo of TPINC3


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll be honest, I remember this beer tasting better than this beatch that I'm testing now... Anyway:

A: Dark brown amber colored. Lingering heaad, but doesn't last nearly as long as you'd expect.

S: Its got a faint aroma of choclate (not to mention a vaugue taste...) Its got a very sweet smell, but it's almost too watered down to notice anything in particular. yet still very mellow...

T: fairly smooth. A little bitter, with a slight maltiness. There's a slight chocolate after-taste when you rub youre tongue on the roof of your mouth.

M: It seems considerably more watered-down than i remember... however, it is relatively sweet with a medium/light body. Overall, not bad.

D: Overall, it's not bad. A good session beer. It's relatively sweet and a nice change of pace after a few bitter beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 01:33:03 | More by TPINC3
Photo of TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Comes in a Brown can with a big star logo. Nice two fingers of frothy head that laces quite well but doesn't sustain itself exceptionally well. The Beer itself is a nice rich dark brown with some orange highlights. Only problem is the carbonation looks a bit lacking and I think I see small black particles in the beer itself, but that could be a trick of the light.

Smell - Definite sweet malts coming from this well, with a fruity backdrop that's, almost peach like. I am detecting a bit of acid though, but it's not overpowering. It's good, but could be better.

Taste - Incredibly smooth, starts with some sweet malt and then gives an incredibly faint bitterness mixed with a fruity backdrop. Finishes off with a bit of an acidic touch, with a little bit of nutty barley taste. Better then average, but nothing exceptional.

Mouthfeel - Like I said, this beer goes down very smoothly, although it is a little bit buttery. The carbonation is a bit lacking but it doesn't leave much in the way of an unpleasant aftertaste. The only complaint is that touch of acid near the end, but but all in all quite good.

Drinkability - This beer is very easy to drink, and it's medium bodied as far as the stomach is concerned. The only downside slight acidity, but it's not overpowering. Also, the head was quite good while it lasted.

Final Thoughts - This beer was a good experience, however the acidic qualities of this beer need to go. If it was available in a pub, I'd consider buying it again as I think I'd prefer a bottle or tap next time. If they could tone down the acidic nature, then it would probably be one of my preferred imports.

Serving type: can

03-05-2009 02:50:54 | More by TheHammer
Photo of y2jrock60


4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark reddish brown with an off white head that dissipates quickly leaving only little lacing.

S- Very malty and mildly sweet on the nose. There is also a hint of nuts.

T- Very mellow, malty, and sweet.

M- Light bodied, especially compared to most of the brown ales I've had in the past.

D- Highly drinkable. Mellow, sweet, and easy drinking. An excellent session beer.

Most browns ales I've had in the past tended to be full bodied and bitter. Newcastle is quite the opposite, light and sweet. This is a really enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 05:29:47 | More by y2jrock60
Photo of woodychandler


3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

CAN you dig it? Another canned beer which I had not heretofore reviewed. I can remember a Navy buddy of mine, Jimmy Petty, absolutely swore by this beer back in the mid-to-late 1990's. Salute, BU2 Petty, wherever you may be!

I got a finger of tan head that reduced to wisps before I could blink. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was rich and malty sweet. Mouthfeel was slightly on the thin side and had a chocolaty taste on the tongue. Finish had a chocolate/anise flavor, but it was kind of weak. It needs more Ooomph overall.

Serving type: can

03-01-2009 23:21:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of jkbusman

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours an amber brown with small fizzy head that quickly dissipates

S - buttery sweetness with notes of toasted malt

T - smooth malt flavor, with a noticeable amount of dark earthy sweetness

M - relatively crisp with a sweet medium body

D - a decent brown ale and a good session brew; always tastes best cold and on tap

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2009 06:56:44 | More by jkbusman
Photo of climax


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this beer probly doesn't need another review but ohwell... i used to think i was splurging when i'd snatch a sixer of newcastle in my less cultured days... though i still enjoy one, it seems more and more like an overpriced macro

A - it still perplexes me as to why the clear bottle? especially on the journey from england... anywho it looked the same in my glass. a pretty clear medium brown, a finger of head faded quicker than the ferby fad

S - i really had to molest and swish this one to get much aroma out, but what i got was toasty and buttery biscuits, no definite hops but a faint euro-lager skunkiness

T - although ive ventured to far better beers, i still love the taste, for it is unique....though light. the malt hits right away being sweet, buttery, and toasty. any hops in there was slightly skunky

M - mouthfeel was light bodied with the right amount of carbonation, it was somewhat watery, but still smooth, finish seemed somewhat dry and gritty

D - this beer is oh so easy to drink, but it is pretty sweet (typical i guess), and rather watery, i think if sessioned the flavor and overall experience is just not substantial enough to keep you excited about crackin another, and the goin rate is rather pricey for what you get

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 05:44:47 | More by climax
Photo of br3wmeister


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Small bubbly white head that dissapated quickly leaving little lacing. Light translucent brown beer.

S- Light caramel and hints of roasted aromas, nuts and barley. A hint of hops is present but much like every thing else does not make a big appearance.

T- Similar to the smell this is pretty light in flavor, some caramel and nuttiness. Light hop profile. This beer had some good flavor but they are all really subtle.

M- Light bodied, with good carbonation.

Overall- This is a nice drinkable brown ale. Nothing to run home and tell your mom about but still a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 16:35:18 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of fosterific


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured deep reddish brown out of the bottle into a pint glass with a feathery off white head, leaving lacing around the glass. There was a light aroma of caramel. The taste was smooth...very smooth almost on the verge of runny. As the beer warmed, I let it for once, some more complexities came through which was nice.
I tend to drink these pretty easily. It is a big macro brew brown and I enjoy it for what it is, just that.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 18:59:49 | More by fosterific
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 500-ml can into a pub ale glass.

Appearance - red-brown colour with thin off-white lace-thin head.

Smell - heavy malt aroma.

Taste - delicious cocoa, with coffee tones with heaps of malty barley. A slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth, low carbonation, definitely complex and enjoyable to savour.

Drinkability - one only. This isn't something you bang away at all day.

Serving type: can

02-14-2009 03:29:18 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- A dark brown brew which poured into a tall glass I could see moderate carbonation travel up, but overall has a nice dark brown hue to it

Smell- A sweet malty smell come right at you off the nose, its sweetness and malts come jumping out at you

Taste- Delicious brew with sweet malts and such a well balanced easily drinkable flavor, had it with some food at the bar and these went down well great. A really fine brown ale.

Mouthfeel- Soft smooth and highly nice on the mouth as you drink it down no problem

Drinkabilty- Very high drinkabilty one I could see wanting to drinking many of in a nite, this is one I definitely enjoy having every so often and tend to like it even more on tap then out of the bottle. Its a tad sweet but not so much so it messes with drinkabilty being high. A good beer I enjoy visiting every so often as a break from the usual Hop beers i frequent lately.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2009 16:18:30 | More by Stunner97
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 3,872 ratings.