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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.

4,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,155
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: 4,155 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of evilbunnee
3.95/5  rDev +19%

Of the few brown ales I have tried, this one is the sweetest I have had. Nice brown color, small head that all but disappears quickly. Smells sweet, and the taste that goes with it is a kind of burnt toffee flavor. Comes in a clear bottle, so proper storage is a must.

evilbunnee, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of AnswerInQuestion
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%

A: Dark chocolatey brown with no head. Even the froth disappears on the rim and top of the beer. Light hitting the edge of the beer gives it a hint of chesnut coloring

S: Malty with a hint of chocolate but slightly soured, almost like a tootsie roll with a hint of nut.

T: Tootsie-roll-esque as well, with stronger hazelnut flavors and some cola.

M: Surprising carbonation considering the lack of head. Watery texture for all of its dark color.

D: The light texture makes it easier to drink than other darker beers, but it feels heavier going down and the candy flavor gets sickly sweet. For the overall effect, something lighter would allow for drinking more beer and greater drunkenness, something heavier would allow for complexity and greater enjoyment

AnswerInQuestion, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of ReFill31
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%

500ml can poured into a Newcastle Brown Ale pint glass.

Nice brown color with little head. Smells like candy to me, really sweet aroma. The taste is pretty much the same, pretty sweet, we can also taste a little candy... Goes down easily but I am not a big fan of this beer afterall.

ReFill31, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of taddyone
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%

Picked up this beer at a grocery store in a bottle. I do not drink English brown ales that often however I was pulled in the all the marketing they do around soccer.

I believe the beer I had was light struck because of a slight spunkiness. The bottle being clear glass does not help matters. If I was to try this beer again I would get it in a can or from a tap. The look of the beer was expectedly brown and clear. The taste was more defined by the malt than the hops. Served cold this beer is drinkable.

taddyone, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of sunrisesolara
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%

Proper pint emptied into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light chestnut with very little head, which quicky fades to nothingness.

S: A light whiff of sweet malts which border on caramel and nuts.

M: Mouthfeel is a little weak, not helped by the lack of carbonation.

T: The taste centers on the sweet malts, although not overwhelming, with undercurrents of nuts and toasted bread with a dry, hoppy finish.

D: Very well balanced. These go down smooth and quick. I don't prefer them, but Newkies provide a good startpoint for anyone wanting to explore English Browns.

sunrisesolara, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%

Poured a light brown, thin, no head, just flat as can be..not impressed. Nose is caramel, toffe and thats about it. Taste is nutty, toffee, caramel, light sweetness and crisp hop. No booze at all. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and creamy. Drinkability is good as well. This beer can be consumed all day and is always a go to when there is nothing else around.

barleywinefiend, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of OldRaspi
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%

A: Nice amber brown color, a good hint of whats to come.

S: Nothing special here. A nice sweet malt scent with a hint of nut.

T: Not too strong on taste as far as browns go. A blend of creamy malts & light nut taste, followed by a nice touch of hops towards the end. Not too sweet & very smooth.

M: Light bodied, low carbonation.

D: Goes down smooth, could drink these all night.

OldRaspi, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%

A- An aggressive pour yielded a thin offwhite haze layer, which evaporated as quickly as it appeared. The body was a clear-filtered dark mahogany color, with no visible carbonation from the sides of the glass. Disappointing lack of carbonation and head.

S- Smells of sweet pale and candy malts with aromas of candied nuts and a mild trace of noble hops.

T- Very balanced, but very weak... flavors are overall disappointingly mild. I had anticipated much more sweetness as implied by the nose, and I also anticipated much more nuttiness. But this is a simple balance between malts and low alpha hops, with just a trace of nuttiness. Finishes clean like a lager.

M- Very thin body. Over-attenuated. But there is a nice soft carbonation to it, which keeps it from being a complete flop in the mouthfeel department.

D- Goes down smooth. Sessionable, but the weak flavor could be a turn-off on the right/wrong day. Overall though, I would still take this over a macro lager any day.

jgasparine, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

Not a bad beer at all, especially for beers that I would tend to lump with Newcastle (not by style, but by availability, relative popularity among non-beer drinkers, like Stella or something of the sort). Smell is relatively non-existent, a bit of brown ale maltiness, some metallic twinge too. Taste isn't terrible, some raisin notes, bready notes, slightly roasted malt, and maybe a few off-flavors. MF is thin, though not over-carbonated like most macros. Drinkability is high in that it goes down easily, though not the most interesting beer in the world.

LordAdmNelson, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of d1dane
4.45/5  rDev +34%

I have had this beer both out of a bottle and on tap at a local restaurant, being impressed every time. I do have a soft spot in my heart for heavier beers thats drinkability is exceptional but this beer conquers it all. I'll take one of these over almost any beer I have ever laid eyes on. very very exceptional

d1dane, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of steveh
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%

The one and only. For good reason? I haven't tried this in a long while and there are a few friends who always swear by (not at) it.

A -- Clear copper color with a slow settling off white head.

S -- Rather thin nose with some vague skunkiness back -- thank you clear bottle. Maybe some vague biscuit character.

T -- Somewhat biscuity, toasted malt up front. Finishes with some mild estery fruitiness, even somewhat sour. Only some vague caramel or toffee character to speak of. Some bitterness in the aftertaste that is rather pleasant.

M -- Syrupy to smooth mouthfeel with a light body -- lighter than I'd have expected.

D -- Well, it's certainly not offensive and goes down easily, though I was hoping for more character. Goose Island's Nut Brown and Wychwood's Hobgoblin are much better to style.

steveh, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of Brenden
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%

So...I saw this in a little can on the shelf and had to get it just for fun.

The color is a clear brown. A little layer of foam for a head and minimal lacing make for an average appearance. The appearance seems duller and flatter from this can.
The aroma is caramel malt, some grains, an earthy something, and a funk that shouldn't be there. The good news is that this seems to have a livelier aroma and less funk from the can. Strange.
The taste follows suit, picking up a bit from the dull funk in the bottle. It's a good flavor, with less of the taint. The finish gets a little leafy and dry. It seems like there might be some corn in here. It's also quite toasty.
The body is light and this one is slick with little crispness and less carbonation making for a flat, boring feel.
This is drinkable, but average. You could certainly drink plenty, but I doubt you can't find something better. The good news is that, like the bottle, it improves quite a bit on tap. In fact, I would suggest that this only be drunk from the tap.

Brenden, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of decimator
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured a clear brown with reddish highlights. The 1cm creamy head quickly reduced to a thin cap but the lacing is decent.

S - Caramel malts with some toasted bread. There's a bit of hops in the aroma but it's pretty faint.

T - Similar to the aroma. Caramel and toffee sweetness with some toast flavours and a mild hop finish. The finish is at times a tad metallic.

M - Smooth and creamy. Carbonation is light to moderate but it works for this beer.

D - Definitely drinkable.

decimator, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of Chambic
4.05/5  rDev +22%

01.11.10 at Fiddler's Green, more commonly known as Fid's.

A: rich mahogany

S: lightly roasted malt

T: never noticed the strong tobacco taste until now -- and I've had a lot of Newc in my day. Caramel finish

D: sooo smooth, especially nice with my Powers.

Chambic, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of roddwolff
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%

A: Dark brown color, good head of foam;

S: One of the richest i've smelled, some roasted toffee, sugar and cinnamon;

T: Masks the sweetness of the smell with hops, the finish has a lot of carbonation;

M: Bitter, high carbonation;

D: After smell the aroma, the taste disappointed me a little, homever is tasty.

roddwolff, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of dgaddis
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%

In terms of mouthfeel, it has a building characteristic that carries through to the end. When first trying it, it has a thin mouthfeel that improves to a thicker swallow.

Great look, with a dark brown color and good head quality.

Taste is what you would expect from a good beer.

Flavor is somewhat bitter throughout and when it comes to personal opinion I would prefer more of a malt taste in a beer.

dgaddis, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of jeranbrews
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Consumed 1/4/10 in Vegas for $0. Available from cocktail waitresses everywhere.

A - A bit fizzy. Loose lacing makes slug trails down the bottle. Bourbon / honey color.

S - Sugary malts. Honey. Caramel

T - Straw, some sugary tones. A bit of peanut butter honey mixed in. Aftertaste is a bit dull and astringent.

M - Loose watery not great but not bad

D - Fine for a free beer, and that's why I choose it. It's easy to find all over Vegas and tastes way better than Heiny

jeranbrews, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of jmbranum
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%

Surprised I hadn't reviewed this beer before. A good pick at a bar, as it is is pretty common at beers with only a few micros/imports. Also I'm a little bit partial to it as I grew up in Newcastle... well Newcastle, Oklahoma.

Slight aroma. Dark amber colored with little head. The flavor is different. It seems like this beer is a bit of a hybrid of a macro (with the corny flavors) and a micro (with the roasted malt notes). There's a slight bit of hops.

Reasonably balanced. I like the nice dryness. But overall, I prefer the American Brown ales.

Speaking of that, is this really an ale? The beer looks way too clear to be an ale?

jmbranum, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%

A: The pour is a clear brown with red highlights and an off-white foam that leaves nearly as quickly as it arrives.

S: The aroma is not all that pleasant. A definite metallic scent coming from the glass along with some sweet, sweet grain. I normally like some nuttiness to my brown ales.

T: The beer is very sweet. A definite caramel and toffee flavor to it with an ever so faint touch of nuttiness on the finish. A mild hop bitterness, but not enough to quite cut through the sweetness.

M: The body of the beer is a bit thin, but not horrible. The level of carbonation is moderate.

D: I used to enjoy this beer, but I'm no longer sure why. It's alright in the flavor department, but nothing spectacular and the nose is quite off-putting.

womencantsail, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of goldbot
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%

12 oz clear bottle.

A: Pours basically a pure brown, slightly amber perhaps, with thin off-white head which dissipates very quickly. Crystal clear transparency, nice carbonation, and barely any lacing.

S: Mostly nut bread and caramel, and a small hint of floral hops.

T: Same as the smell for the most part. Bread, caramel, and slight hops.

M: Thin and watery, light body, crisp carbonation.

D: There is nothing too disagreeable about this beer, it is just so-so in every way pretty much. It's a nice smooth beer but I wouldn't go out of my way to have more of it. The only time I have this stuff is when someone else has it around; I'm not one to turn down free beer.

goldbot, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of dbossman
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%

A: Redish brown/sap colored with a thin head that dissipates to a razor thin film; average lacing

S: A surprisingly pleasant smell-sweet malts and breadiness; caramel and nutty aromas are also prevalent

T: A bit watery; the malty breadiness is there but not as much as the aromas would indicate; pleasant taste but just a bit too muted

F: Way too thin but mouth coat is decent

D: This is an easy drinking brown; not the best representation of the style but okay

dbossman, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of rednrag
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%

This is a very good beer. The bottle is very cool and the beer itself has no weird funky taste to it. Almost delicious.

I don't really know what Brits think about it, but I suppose its like any other beer in the world-it all comes down to personal preference. Personally, I like this stuff.

rednrag, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of erz316
1.55/5  rDev -53.3%

on tap at yd tap room, pitcher into pint.

this beer is such a cult classic, and I have no idea why. I dislike everything about this beer, pretty much. maybe not the trivia and facts they put on the bottle, but as for the beer itself, well, it blows hard. the first english brown I had was sam smith's, and I have never gone back. having this presented as a brown ale is laughable. the only beer i dislike more is probably boddingtons. the body was not dark enough, there was head (minimal), the nose was corny with a touch of something else, the taste was lacking the most fundamental supports for the style, the onlything I could taste was a watered down biscuit/malt flavour. this is just a beer I tend to avoid when i see it at gallery openings, i'll take highlife, at least that one is being honest about how bad it is.

erz316, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Gremner
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%

A- This poured a nice dark brown that allowed some light to give it a reddish hue when held up. About a finger off white head with a medium thickness that didn't last long.

S- A little sweet grain, but not much else. Not much in the way of smell.

T- Sweet grains and molasses. A little bit of hops, but not quite enough to balance the sweet.

M- Light bodied and pretty clean finishing.

D- Overall, a very drinkable ale. Its light body, low ABV, and its not over bearing flavor make it very easy on all systems.

Gremner, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of SamN
2.42/5  rDev -27.1%

A- Clear amber-brown color; what little head you can get out of an aggressive pour quickly fades into wisps of tiny bubbles across the surface. Looks like weak coffee, not all that appetizing.

S- Nice English ale smell; sweet floral hops piled on a firm foundation of hearty grains. Smells kinda like cranberry-grape juice.

T- Meh. Here's where the beer breaks down in a big way; that juice smell now becomes a big part of the flavor- I can't stop tasting the juice taste. Tastes like artificial flavoring, too little emphasis on the traditional character of English ales, more on the lowest-common-denominator appeal. Tinny, coppery taste, no malt character (at least no GOOD malt), slight hoppiness, but not enough to counter whatever the hell they put in this beer to give it this bad taste. Very poor, embarrassing even.

M- More body than you'd expect, medium light with tiny carbonation that overpower the palette a bit.

D- If you want a quaffable beer that can be consumed quickly without getting slowed down by "taste" or "quality", this beer is for you; poker, football, BBQing, camping, any situation where the last thing on your mind is what you're actually drinking is Newcastle time. Other than that, this beer is piss-poor, a getting-drunk only brewski.

* Damn, what the hell happened? This was the first "real" beer I ever had, the beer that started my love of brew; now, wtf? This beer sucks!

SamN, Dec 22, 2009
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,155 ratings.