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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.

3,942 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,942
Reviews: 1,474
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 29
Gots: 220 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,942 | Reviews: 1,474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThickestHead


3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chilled pint glass.
I haven't had this brew in about five years and I was eager to place it on a pedestal, but...
Comes a reddish-almost ruby- brown with a tiny head that left quickly leaving sporatic spots of lace that didn't entice me at all and porteded an end to a long held youthful over-exuberance for this ale.
It has a lovely soothing smell that I think only a brown ale can impart.
The beer is crisp and nonchalant without hardly any bite on the tongue.
It tastes of mild toasted malt and bisquit, overall pretty sugary and sweet.
To me it a drinkable enough beer unfortunately it is considerably overpriced.
I know it may seem sacrilegious to some, but mixing this beer in a glass with an IPA that lacks a sufficient malt backbone is a tasty combo to me and if I should ever happen to purchase a pack of this ale again I imagine that I will mix it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 23:16:40 | More by ThickestHead
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany brown with two fingers of beige head that recedes somewhat quickly. Decent lace.

Buttery toffee. Some non descript fruit. Very tame and mild though.

Dried fruit. Mild nut flavours. Earthy hops give this some balance. Mild bitterness.

Between light and medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Not the best English Brown, but still easy to put away.

Serving type: can

07-23-2009 17:58:08 | More by mintjellie
Photo of LittleCreature


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Pours a thumb's thickness of beige head that quickly reduced to a thin layer over a clear copper-brown body.

Smell - 3.0
A hint of skunkiness upon opening (not surprising considering the clear bottle) that disappeared, leaving a sweetish, malt driven aroma of toast, toffee and roasted nuts.

Taste - 3.5
Sweeter than some, but a well balanced brew with flavours of grain and husk, a little butter, hard toffee, hazelnuts and almonds. Hops provide just enough bitterness for balance, and a slightly earthy flavour.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Low to moderate carbonation, feels quite light in the mouth.

Drinkability - 4.0
An easy drinking, sessionable English ale,

OVERALL - 3.45
I quite like Newcastle Brown Ale. It is a good beer, not a great one, very easy to drink, and something you can enjoy without thinking about it too deeply.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 08:44:24 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of aaronxsubaru


3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a pretty good beer. it was given to me by a friend who moved (thanks meredith!) and i don't refuse free beer. I think the more i've drank the more its grown on me, but overall i don't really like this beer. somethign in the flavor just doesn't taste very good to me, i guess the malty, roasty flavors. I personally would love to have this on tap and a little fresher and see how much better it is. I think it being an import and in clear glass it could be alot better than how i got it. but for my bottle review i say its just ok.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 01:51:23 | More by aaronxsubaru
Photo of GRPunk


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A moderate pour left a 1/2-finger off-white head that quickly dispersed to a fine lace and left some decent sticky spots on the glass. The body was a clean, brown-red with a fair amount of carbonation rushing to the surface.

S- I poured the beer on the colder side, which may have muted some of the aroma initially. My first whiffs were of sweet malts (approaching adjunct sweetness), with a touch of caramel and a light nutty aroma. A little time and warmth didn't bring out anything new, but made everything a little more pronounced.

T- On the malty side as the aroma would suggest. Sweet caramel flavor mixed with some lighter, nutty tones. Again, faint in the beginning with a little more punch with a chance to warm slightly.

M- A bit thin and heavy on the carbonation. Otherwise, little hop bite, grainy feel, or alcohol presence on which to comment.

D- It is an easy drinker. While appreciating heftier American versions, this beer is quite refreshing and can be consumed in some quantity. I enjoy this beer throughout the year as it isn't too overwhelming in the summer months, yet being more substantial than a macro lager makes it a good session beer during the cooler months. A pretty wide availability makes it a decent choice on a short tap-list.

Overall- This is my first Newcastle from a can. While there have been many great brown ales since then, Newcastle will hold a special place due to it being one of the "gateway beers" that piqued my interest in drinking better beer. It doesn't blow me away that I "have to have it," but it's one of those beers that still has it's time and place.

Serving type: can

07-18-2009 02:24:05 | More by GRPunk
Photo of drcarver


3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - a crystal clear medium brown color with a one finger head that fades very quickly.

S - malt and a touch of butter raise to the top with a hint of meat. I have had this beer before and this is the first time I've noticed meat... I hope I'm still alive tomorrow...

T - Sweet, sweet malt.

M - Crisp and clean with a short lived after taste.

D - Goes down easy, but it is rather high on the sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 23:46:38 | More by drcarver
Photo of beerwolf77


3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been a go to beer for me so I might as well give it the once over for reviewing purposes. Even though it's like reviewing an old comfortable sweatshirt that you've had since college.

It pours a a chocolate amber brown with a faint wisp of head. The smell is malty and nutty yet a bit metalic. The flavor is similar to the aroma. Roast malt with a chocolate/coffee hint. Slight biscuit with a little bitter hop bite. This has a nice feel to it. Not chewy but substantial enough to feel robust.

This is a hands down winner for me in drinkabilty. I've settled down over a 12 pack of this and next thing you know I've got 12 empty bottles.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 19:54:27 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- A nice chestnut color with average foam. Not a lacing beer.

S- The malt is there, for sure. Smells like it tastes.

T- Pretty solid. Malts are the main focus of this beer. Sweet and full-bodied with some woody flavors. Good, crisp hops on the back end, although they play second fiddle to the malts.

M- Full-bodied and crisp. Very good.

D- Way high. Sessionable to the max. Goes down and stays down.

Not the best, but totally respectable. Good brew. My only gripe is this beer seems to skunk easy. Not sure if it's the importation or the crappy vendors, but I've come across a couple skunked 6ers in my time.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 23:47:32 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of tronester


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

Pours a clear reddish brown with a thin tan head. Smell is vaguely of malt. Taste is sweet up front, with a caramel middle, and a hint of vinegar in the finish, followed by a bit of bitterness from the hops. The finish is also bone dry, it essentially fades to nothing, like a lite beer. Not much hop flavor though, just a hint of bitterness. Mouthfeel was a bit sickly sweet, average carbonation levels. Reasonably drinkable, this is a decent beer overall, though for the price there are much better choices. I also must be lucky, as this was a clear bottle, and I didnt detect any skunky flavors as can plague beer in clear glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 04:17:28 | More by tronester
Photo of bac37


4.47/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great all around beer thats not too heavy making it one of my favorite all around, pub worthy beers!

A - Pours nice dark brown with a hint of red.
S - very hoppy and almost smokey.
T - Very full with tradition brown ale flavor. Very hoppy but so much that the beer seems more like dinner than a drink.
D - I could drink a few of these and still be very satisfied. Not too heavy making it the perfect, "multiple round" beer.
M- Light, but falvorful. Smooth even flavor making very enjoyable to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 13:56:35 | More by bac37
Photo of Lolli1315


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

A-Brown in color (big surprise) with a small head.

S-Nothing is really jumping out at me in this category. Can get the slight smell of hops and syrup.

T-Small tastes of hops, a little bitter, but certainly nothing overpowering.

M- Follows along with the rest of the beer. Not very full bodied, but nothing to complain about.

D-Pretty easy to drink a couple of these.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 04:18:59 | More by Lolli1315
Photo of lweaver18240


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

Drank right out of the clear bottle...

A-Reddish brown.

S- Very much like the taste, nutty and sweet, very bread-like.

T- Nutty and sweet, bread=like. Very little bitterness, no lingering flavor in the mouth. Reminds me of drinking cream soda.

M- Medium carbonation, feels nice and smooth.

D- Flavor is light and this is a refreshing ale. A very good session beer, but the level of sweetness limits the drinkablity for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 06:10:04 | More by lweaver18240
Photo of mralphabet


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

12 Oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: A nice deep reddish-brown, somewhat transparent. About 1 fingers worth of fluffy tannish head that sticks to the glass, nice lacing.

S: I'm getting caramel, malt, a little nutty and yeast very Brown Ale ish...

T: Nice crisp and smooth right up front. It tastes a look like it smells. Malty, with caramel flavor with a little nuttiness. Very little aftertaste... very nice Brown

M: Med bodied, very smooth yet light at the same time.. Just a little water down. Carbonation is not bad.

D: Great Session Brown.... Very smooth beer. Drinks very nice. Crisp yet smooth and refreshing. You could have a few of these.

The Good Session Brown...

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 04:53:24 | More by mralphabet
Photo of BarrelO


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a mug.

A: It's brown. Chalk one up for truth in advertising. Some reddish notes. Head quickly fades.

S: Fruits and nuts. Kind of like trail mix.

T: Nutty malt sweetness. Also some dark fruits. Hardly any trace of hops.

M: Slightly heavy, a bit of carbonation.

D: An OK brown ale. If you're a fan of the style, it won't blow you away, and if you're not a fan, it won't win you over.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 04:44:01 | More by BarrelO
Photo of bsp77


3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown with thin foamy head.

Smell: Semi-sweet caramel malts, English hops and I swear I smell corn. Very mild overall.

Taste: Caramel and biscuit malts with some English hop counterbalance. Mild bitterness. This is in-between a 3 and 3.5 for me. Usually I bump up, but I know it was not as good the last few times I had it in the bottle, so I am bumping down.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, somewhat dry finish. A little too fizzy.

Drinkability: Not very exciting but certainly easy to drink. I used to enjoy this a lot more when I was in my early 20s.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2009 03:34:06 | More by bsp77
Photo of efitton


3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a light brownish ruby, slight head that dissipates quickly

Smell- Smells of metallic tones, a little yeast shining through, a hint of fruit and a lot of malt.

Taste- Slightly bitter, toasted malts mostly.

Mouthfeel- lightly carbonated, easy on the palate.

Drinkability- Easy to drink and good for the warm weather.

Overall- a decent beer thats easy to get, easy to drink in session, and light on the wallet.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 03:47:41 | More by efitton
Photo of Natural510


2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Soda-pop carbonation quickly fizzes away leaving no head or lacing at all.
Smells of dark roasted malts, and the yeast comes through a bit as well.
Roasted flavor as well, almost burnt tasting. No sweetness at all, rather it carries a sour aftertaste. No hops are noticable either.
Very thin in the mouth; no hop kick. Fairly watery, yet carbonated enough to be drinkable.
A poor example of the style. This used to be a standard of mine when I was younger, but having enjoyed true brown ales from the US & Britain, this pales in comparison. It should be much sweeter, less sour and more robust in body.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 13:01:10 | More by Natural510
Photo of dancinwillie


2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber, once in the glass it's a light brown, with a modest half centimeter white head which diminishes rapidly.

Nose is modest as well, some roasted malt, and that's about it. Not impressed so far.

Taste is better then the previous 2 categories let on. A rich and nutty flavor is the first thing I notice. Some good toasty malts, although mild, come through as well. A bit of a one dimensional beer, although I could session this if there was nothing else available.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Seems like it could be a bit bolder, even at 4.7 ABV.

I could drink a lot of these, but I don't think I will. Nothing offensive per se, just not a head turner. Also a pet peeve of mine is beer in clear bottles. There's no need for it. I didn't take that into consideration with my ratings, but still. Cut down on the chance of your beer being light struck.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 02:36:44 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of DraperyFalls


4.25/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Personally, I love this beer. The color is a beautiful glowing mahogany with a small amount of creamy head. The smell however, is average to below average with an expected nutty/floral aroma (nothing too surprising or exciting). The real appeal for me comes in the easy to drink taste and good mouthfeel. Obviously, it's not the most complex or delicately crafted beer, but it's simplicity makes this my favorite beer to sit around a board game or an open grill with.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 12:10:21 | More by DraperyFalls
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was an ok beer. I have had it a bit in the past so that makes it pretty drinkable for me but I usually drink it when that's the best the store has.

Appearance- thin head, transparent brown color

Smell- a bit of nuttiness, caramel odor

Taste- bit of nuttiness and caramel

Mouthfeel- medium body

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, goes down smooth

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 03:17:21 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle no. 28-02-T-054-99-07:26. Sampled on June 6, 2009. Newcastle Brown Ale was one of the first non-American macros I turned to back in the late 1980's when I started discovering good beer. It is still a favorite go-to beer although it does not appeal to me as much now as it did then. I will order it if it is available as an alternative to American-macros at a local restaurant.

The pour is brownish-red with excellent clarity. Good lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty. The mouthfeel is of good medium quality. The taste is also sweet and malty with a bit of nutty character.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 20:07:51 | More by puboflyons
Photo of MadTown1000


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The name "Brown Ale" says it. It's a warm brown, only slightly transparent, with an off-white head that foams up about two inches in a pint glass and settles to a quarter inch over about a minute. Not a great smell - strongly herbal, and not the kind of herbs I think I'd want in my food. The taste makes up for it though. I've never seen this kind of nuttiness in another beer. The herbal scent is still present, but it fades into the background. Unfortunately, it sticks around once the rich central flavor has dissipated, causing a solid knock to the mouthfeel score. Drinkability wise, it's pretty heavy. You could do a number in succession, but you'd feel it. A very interesting beer that's worth a try, but may or may not work for you. I've had it before, and honestly I remembered it being better. Maybe a bad bottle this time?

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 23:49:22 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Poured a clear reddish brown color. Half finger white and bubbly head that disappears very quickly. No head remaining and no visible carbonation make it look very flat, despite its nice color. No lacing at all.

Smell: Nose of bready/biscuity sweet malts, with caramel being a strong scent. Perhaps a bit of nuttiness and/or butteriness. Hint of hops deep down.

Taste: A very light tasting brown ale. Bitter start, with a caramel and buttery malt taste throughout. Just hints of sweetness and hops, but nothing significant

Mouthfeel: A bit thin-bodied, but still crisp.

Drinkability: An easy drinking English Brown Ale, but nothing overly special. This will be many people’s first experience with a Brown, and it’s not a bad choice. There are just so many other great ones to try next. Good beer to drink at the bar though; usually much better on tap and with friends.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 04:37:18 | More by jonziefle
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted on June 1st, 2009.

A: good looking beer. Brown color with some red in it. Could be a dark amber for some.
S: I get mainly honey...Is it my brain playing a trick. Could be the caramel but to me it smells like honey.
T: Not much beside some caramel that I associate with honey.
D and M: Quite easy to drink. Thin bodied and very refreshing beer.

Well this one bring back some memories. Back in the 80's, I drank a lot of that beer... not a bad beer but not to sip. This is more of a session beer.

Serving type: can

06-02-2009 00:28:38 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of ahrkchum


2.38/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have not had this beer in probably ten years or so and now I remember why.

Its a good looking beer and has an average smell and head to it but after taking a drink it reminded me of a dark miller lite. Not much to the beer at all. Probably the most overpriced beer on the market today.

Serving type: bottle first then I used a glass thinking it might help. Wrong.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 17:56:59 | More by ahrkchum
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 3,942 ratings.