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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.

4,157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,157
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 311 | 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: 4,157 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

velosuds, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Derranged
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.

Derranged, Oct 18, 2010
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

adamette, Oct 11, 2010
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.

jsprain1, Oct 07, 2010
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.

ShamasUVA, Oct 07, 2010
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.

KentuckyBeerCat, Oct 06, 2010
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!

srandycarter, Oct 02, 2010
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.

CrazyDavros, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
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.

JohnnyBarman, Sep 27, 2010
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.

MoreThanWine, Sep 25, 2010
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.

LacquerHead, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of lovindahops
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

lovindahops, Sep 18, 2010
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.

RuudJH, Sep 17, 2010
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.

tjsmith910, Sep 16, 2010
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.

darkmartin, Sep 12, 2010
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.

Sleestak, Sep 11, 2010
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.


RonaldTheriot, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of patelldp
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.

patelldp, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
2.38/5  rDev -28.3%

12oz clear bottle poured into a Weiß glass.

Pours a fairly clear light brown with a small light brown head. Nose is sweet, sharp and malty.

Taste is Meh. It's sweet and malty with no hops at all. It's pretty drinkable bit it's got a bit of a band aid taste that's sweet and funky. Ok beer but not great.

kingcrowing, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of IndolentReader
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%

This beer always seems to be hit or miss for me. Sometimes, it tastes delicious and full (a classic brown ale), while other times it just seems bland and blah. I'm wondering, per the review below, whether the mass production has affected things. Admittedly, my review is from the bottle, so I would like to taste it on tap and revisit.

IndolentReader, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of StlHopHead77
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%

A-Pours out a hazy,cola-brown with some ruby tones with two fingers worth of camel-tan head that has good retention and left spotty,stringy

S-Roasted nuts,caramel malt and currant.The smell is sweet and earthy in a dried fruit kind of way.

T-Caraway seed(oddly enough),caramelized apple,brown bread,roasted nuts and a hint of hoppy citrus.

M-A little thin and watery.Light to medium-bodied with very little complexity.

D-Relatively good drinkability if you enjoy the style.Not alot to look for or think about with this one.

StlHopHead77, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

22oz tapper in the US and A.

A: deep brown colour with ruby tones when held up to the light. Nice head and decent lacing.

S: A bit like fruit, perhaps raisins. There were also sweet, caramel malts present and a bit of a wet cardboard smell.

T: One tastes the sweet and caramel malts first, they seem reminiscent of a prune. I quite like the flavour tonight. Not much import taste either. It seems there could even be a bit of hops in the aftertaste??? perhaps I am fooling myself

M: Good for a brown ale. There is actually a bit of carbonation. Medium body and smooth.

D: Newcastle is a beer that really varies for me; some nights it is really good and others it is shit. Tonight was really good and very drinkable, but I always hesitate to order one. Such a finicky beer when shipped overseas

EwaldEichstaett, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of DanDaMan77
5/5  rDev +50.6%

Good ale. Tastes best out of a pint glass excellent laceing. Not overly carbonated makes for easy drinkability. You can govern how much head by how fast you pour it. The head stays around for a good long time. This ale would be good with a meal or just to get drunk on either way I recomend it.

DanDaMan77, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%

Can. Pours a mahogany brown color with a tan head. The aroma is fairly nondescript with hints of sweet malt. The taste is slightly sweet and reminds me of apples for some reason. Medium mouthfeel. Used to like this beer prior to getting into craft but since experiencing more beers, this one really doesn't appeal to me anymore.

kbutler1, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of beerguy04
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%

A- Has a reddish brown color to it. Small creamy white head that dissapers quickly.
S- Smells of grain and nuts.
T- It has a sweet coffee and nutty taste too it.
M and D- With its sweet taste it goes down real well and feels good on the palate.

Overall I enjoyed this beer.

beerguy04, Aug 17, 2010
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,157 ratings.