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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.

4,293 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,293
Reviews: 1,482
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 35
Gots: 369 | FT: 2
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: 4,293 | Reviews: 1,482 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jinholic
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Good 1 finger of off-white head with a deep redish brown body perfectly clear.

Smell - A little skunky but I can still get some sweet malts and hops in there.

Taste - Pleasant nut taste, kinda soda like sweetness thats slightly watery. Maybe some caramel in here to add to the sweetness hops are almost nonexistent here.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied smooth and very refreshing quite the quaffable beer.

Overall - I'd love to get this in a can and have it on tap to see the difference without the slight skunk the bottle gives, hopefully its richer. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

Jinholic, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of therica
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= dark tea, nice off-white head with good rimming and lacing.

S= delicate hops florals, caramel. Slightly musty sweet malts.

T= a bit watery. Caramel, light sweet malts, not much in the hops florals, modestly dry and bitter despite sweet overtones.

M= nice but moderate hops florals, a mix of bitters and caramel.

O= very drinkable in session if you're in the mood, great for parties or dinners where beer isn't the main feature. Essentially a great table-beer but nothing earth-shaking. A good not-yellow stock ale to have around. Should go well with anything from fish to fowl to beef and pasta, and almost anything else.

therica, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of shwhat
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

one of my go-to beers.

tan head, almost two fingers. dissipates rather quickly to about 1cm high.

smells slightly hoppy. sweet in a fruity way. faint malt.

taste is definitely malt-driven, sweet...but you can definitely tell the malt is supplemented by adjuncts. my lips are a little sticky after this one. only mildly bitter on the after-taste, the hops are pretty distant in the background.

the mouthfeel is very light. rather thin and watery.

not the best out there, but something i keep around on a regular basis.

shwhat, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - brown, dark brown, clear but not transparent. Rocky white head that lingers for a little while.

Smells of dark malts and British crystal. Low hop aroma.

Tastes of malt and a bitterness that is over that malt to balance well. This is an English bitter and works well. Good mouthfeel and finish that is dry and rounded.

Not bad not great.

MinnesotaRIS, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Seafoam head with great lacing and low retention.

Smell - Dry, grassy and nutty. Malt with a small bit of hop.

Taste - Small malt front end with an alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel - Good feel. Maybe a little too watery to be a serious sipping drink. Works for what it is though, just not what what I think it almost could be.

Overall - Good smooth ale. No off flavors.

ZenAgnostic, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of G2Brew
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Newcastle Brown Ale
On tap, poured into a pint glass, temperature around 50F.

A - Brown with ruby highlights, thick creamy tan head that hung around a while and left good lacing. This is a seriously beautiful beer. The appearance is definitely the best thing about this beer.

S - Not a lot of nose. Malt and caramel up front, and some floral hops (Kent Goldings?) if you search for it. Not unpleasant, but nothing special. It is refreshing to have no whiff of skunkiness. That's one big advantage of getting it on tap.

T - The flavor follows the aroma. Mild, easy, uneventful. Caramel and malt up front, with a slight hint of tartness. The hops bitterness comes through in the aftertaste, with some woodiness and a very slight solvent character. Taste improves as it warms, which should probably be expected of an English beer. Tasting more roasted malt now. This beer definitely improves when less cold.

M - Mouthfeel is thin, watery. I do like the subdued carbonation level for this beer. The mouthfeel is a little better as it warms.

D - Cold, this is a lawnmower beer. Warmer, it's a decent sipping beer. The flavors are much more complex at 55-65 degrees. It's an OK beer, and something I'd order if there's nothing better available, but not something I'll stock in my fridge. Besides, I don't trust those clear bottles.

G2Brew, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of ghetto90007
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Working late tonight so cracked open another from the Mediocre Supply Located in the Firm Fridge.

Decent sized head with medium to large-sized bubbles. Off-white with a hint of brown. Reasonable resilience. Some lacing action on the sides of the glass. Color is, well, brown, moderate opacity. Not much activity after the initial pour.

Sweet maltiness in the nose. Slight, slight skunkiness.

You get the sweetness up front, then drops off into a toasty malt flavor. Hops are in there, just not strong - just provide a little bit of balance to the sweet maltiness.

Sneaky carbonation as I'm belching only half way through the glass. Light to medium bodied with a tonic-like zip to it.

If I were in the upper Midwest in the middle of February, snowed in and days away from a thaw, a fridge full of these might be just the ticket. Unremarkable, but drinkable and just enough going on to keep things a little interesting.

ghetto90007, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of SassyBootblack
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An old favorite of mine. Poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: A deep garnet color with a thin tan head that quickly dissapears. Despite the problems inherent with clear bottles and skunking, I always enjoyed watching the bottle turn clear as I drank, which has to count for something.

Smell: Some sweet malt. Despite clear bottle, I can't find any skunk.

Taste: Sweet crystal malt and no roast character. Not sure how they pulled the last part off.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, definitely more substance than your average lager.

An easy drinking and accessible ale, but these days I feel it lacks depth beyond that.

SassyBootblack, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Briant230
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was very good and very light which suprised me because of it's dark brown color. I had it from one of those 5L keg cans and loved every liter of it! It was very light and smooth and was able to drink it all night long. Definitly will keep this in mind if I see it on tap. I wonder how it compares in the bottle?

Briant230, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of SickGnar
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Just touching burnt umber brown - a great rubied amber when held to light. Smallish off-white head. Clear with small bubble rising. Alright lacing.

S: Mostly caramel malt and sweet. Faint but clearly noticeable skunk. Reasonably pleasant aromatics. Slight diacetyl as it warms. Possible faint whiff of adjuncts.

T: About as impressive as the nose. Rather clean. Malts are there, but thin and watery. Some toasty grains and bread crust melanoidans. Some caramel (C60/C80). Some sweetness that is pretty non-descript. Balancing bitterness is there, but character is pretty covered over. Perhaps EKG, but skunkiness makes it hard to be sure. Mostly just comes across as earthy. Really light and faint roasty notes. Some light and vague fruity esters. A bit of diacetyl hovering in the background throughout. Just a barely there edge of nuttiness. A ghost hint of cocoa at the end. There is a fair bit going on, but it is all quite light and thin.

M: Medium body with carbonation a hair over average. Which makes it a touch high for an English brown. Quite attenuated with a drying finish. Almost brisk.

D: This isn't terrible, but I am disappointed. I haven't had this in years, but I remember it as one of my early gateway beers. I distinctly recall it as seeming a fair step up from a Heiny. Funny that, as the skunkiness really hurts this beer. It is probably better in a can (or even a boxed in 12-pack). Still, it is decent and drinkable enough - but it is not living up to my memories.

SickGnar, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
2.3/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice garnet hue with a slight off white head that barely lingers with minamal lacing going on.

Well, why would anyone put beer in a clear bottle? A skunked out light struck aroma is ALL I am getting.

Some malty breadiness and maybe a touch of caramel, mostly though, SKUNKED!!!

Descent mouth feel with a good carbonation level. A little thin though, Bell's blows this out of the water hands down.

In a pinch this swill could be consumed, I guess.

welldigger888, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of bondjedi
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle at Lawry's in Vegas.

An odd beer. Just sitting there in a glass it looks flat, even after pouring with a luxurious, foamy head. One might think that the lack of effervescence indicates a dud, but Newcastle isn't flashy, it just gets the job done in a no-nonsense manner.

An underrated brew. I highly recommend it.

bondjedi, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of JohnFatAss
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. The head disappeared quickly.

Looks like a watered down coca cola.
Thin and watery for a dark beer. Little carbonation. Almost flat.

Taste is ok, sweet, carmel, nutty, but not very satisfying.

Needless to say, I was disapointed in this beer.

JohnFatAss, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of goalie33
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 5L mini-keg into 16oz pint glass.
A) Clear, straight up brown in color. Large, creamy 3 finger head. Leaves lots of lacing on the sides of the glass.
S) Very sweet smelling beer. Lots of caramel malts. Smells almost like a cola.
T) Very sweet and nutty. Caramel really comes through. A bit of a hop character is just enough to prevent this beer from being overly sweet. Bit of a breadiness on the finish. Leaves somewhat of an annoying sweetness in the aftertaste.
M/D) medium bodied beer with a smooth, non-carbonated feel in the mouth. A good choice for a session beer, but that sweetness on the aftertaste hurts the drinkability.

goalie33, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of GossageBrewery
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this Newcastle brown ale from a pint bottle into a pint glass. It pours a light brown color, very clear. It has a thick off white creamy head. The head quickly vanishes, head retention is poor. Lacing is average at best. The aroma is not very appealing, i don't smell any "nut" to speak of- it actually smells more like a czech pils then it does a nut brown. The body is very light and the mouthfeel is very "watery". This beer is very disappointing because the last time a had this(about 4 years ago I loved it, it was a staple in my fridge). I just remember it being so much better. It's amazing how much your tastes evolve. This was one of my first "gateway beers"- I'll have to give it respect due to the fact that it put me on a path... a path to better beer- unfortunately for New Castle, I found it....Prost!

GossageBrewery, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
2.38/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Can into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Very reasonably priced (in Dunnes) by Irish standards.

A: Three finger head of wonderful thickness and pretty respectable cream. Standard brown colour. Difficult, but not impossible, to see through.

Sm: Nutty hops, unexpected for a macro. Wonderful barley. I'm enthusiastic to give this one a go.

T: Some nutty hops in the body alongside the generic barley. The finish has some hops carry through. Built very standard for the style.

Mf: Absolutely guts the beer. Thin, watery and wretchedly terrible. If the beer were thicker, it could actually be about a B-. Jaysus.

Dr: It's standard ABV, low price, and in dire need of attention in the mouthfeel department. Skip it. I do look forward to trying this brewery's other beers, because they seem to have some idea of what they're doing. It's really disappointing; I bet they're just catering to what customers want, and that's thin shite beer that can get them loaded.

kojevergas, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of KajII
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

Poured dark brown in color with a small light brown head that dissapated rapidly. The aroma was that of sweet malts with a bready overtone. It tasted slightly bitter and watery with hardly any aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a very light and bland. Overall an average beer. Have had much better Brown Ales

KajII, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of mattgreger
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a very beautiful dark brown color with some nice red flecks. Its pours wiht a nice creamy head, that fades pretty quickly leaving a lacey cap that follows the brew down the glass.

The aroma on this brew has a bit of caramel and some faint malts. Not a whole lot of aroma coming from it. As it sits a bit, there is a little bit of a nutty aroma. There isn't much else.

Though there was a bit of lack in the aroma department, this brew makes up for it in the flavor of the brew. It begins with a wonderful blend pale malts, which is quickly followed with a nice punch of caramel and cocoa. Its not a huge rush of sweetness, just enough to give the brew a great balance. It was exceptionally good. I was almost expecting a malt-bomb, but this brew came out with a great balance and truely excellent brew.

The mouthful on this brew is also a another highlight of this brew. It has great creamy mouthful, a nice complex flavor and its great pour. I enjoyed it very much

This is a great drink. It goes down very well. Super creamy, and just a great mixture of flavors that refreshes the palate and leaves you wanting more. Its got a decent ABV allows the drinker to consume a few. Great brew

mattgreger, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes verbatim on 10/7/10

A: White sheet over surface of brown, brown ale with excellent clarity.

S: Grain and hint of nuts. Hazelnuts. Really not much here in the nose.

T: Tastes like the average brown. Hints of sourness on the back end though. Not bad, pretty standard.

M: Lively, bubbly feel with medium body and no resonance.

D: Tastes like New Castle. It is what it is. Very standard edition of the style.

harrymel, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of JesteR14
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown, creamy white head. Looks nice in a tumbler glass.

S- Nutty, malts and some sweetness but not much.

T- Nice toasted malts, smooth going down and leaves a nice sweet malt taste in your mouth, but not overly done!

M- Smooth and creamy brew, but nothing fantastic

D- Easy drinker for me, goes down smooth. Good session beer for sure.

JesteR14, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of Floyd12
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A- A medium translucent brown with a decent off white head which lasted the entire beer with excellent lacing.

S- Slightly sweet, a little maltiness and hops but very plain and average smelling. It doesn't stand out.

T- Earthy, a little sweet and malty. Not a lot of hops present.

M- Slightly oily and coating. Its medium body is unexpected given its dark nature. Light carbination but not as lacking as other dark beers.

D- There is nothing offensive here its plain. Like an amish beer, nothing fancy and showy, just a plain beer.

Floyd12, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of michaelp937
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Medium brown in tall glass.
S Average - not distinctive/not overpowering
T Very smooth, not much hopiness
M Above average
D Could drink many of these, but not really sure I would want to, just an average brew - went pretty good with spicy sausage spaghetti sauce.

michaelp937, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
1.98/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into glass

Pours a clear burgundy color with cherry hues. An off white head fades out into a collar of lacing with some clouds of film and lacing.

Scents of metallic steel with nuttiness. Some residual hoppiness and semi-sweet malt.

Slightly toasted malt with faint watery caramel. Nearly nonexistent hops and metally bitterness. Wet towel with lemon peel. Slight citric acid. Yeah, I think that's about enough for me.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, puckering awfulness after swallowing. I can't believe there was a time when I actually enjoyed this beer. Atrocious flavor, unattractive scent, and an overall poor experience.

xnicknj, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of ramseye4
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A=Poured from one of those infernal clear bottles, pours a decent looking brown color, mostly transparent, with a surprisingly good 2 finger head with decent retention and lacing.
S=Dark toasted malt. a bit of grainy malt
T=a bit sweet and nutty, earthy malt. Not bad by any means, but nothing earth shattering by any means. Decently bitter aftertaste with a faint metallic taste.
M=Medium body, moderate carbonation, decent bitterness
D-Decently high, gotta love the low price point.

One of my first non adjunct beers, and a beer I have fond memories of. Unfortunately as my palate develops my fondness for Newcastle has not. Still, its better than many of the other readily available beers.

ramseye4, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of SisuPride
4.43/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the better beers readily available. A happy inbetween of not too filling, not too light. A skunk bottle may ruin a 1st impression of this beer. A great introductory brown beer for those who drink Bud and Miller out of habbit. Just a hint of nutty brown flavor and creaminess. At its best when it is just a little cooler than room temperature.

SisuPride, Mar 03, 2011
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,293 ratings.