1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,254 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,254
Reviews: 1,482
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 36
Gots: 350 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,254 | Reviews: 1,482 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of malloyca
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very drinkable beer where the whole is better than the sum of the parts. Pouring from the bottle into a pint glass, the head quickly dissipates and the beer has the appearance of cola, which might be off-putting for some beers but didn't bother me with Newcastle. There wasn't much distinctive to note in the aroma. Dark malt and caramel flavors dominate, which together with a light body and more carbonation than one would expect from a brown ale, combine for a refreshing beer. I've found Newcastle is a good hot weather session beer when I am avoiding Corona, Red Stripe and the like.

malloyca, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of oc0dyc
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a stange

A - Dark brown/Amber, tall - large bubbled head

S - Nutty, Malty - not very strong

T - Nutty, Malty, caramel

M - Light, slightly flat

D - A go-to when I don't want something overpowering and just want to enjoy a few beers.

oc0dyc, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a super clear amber-brown color with a very little head. Head turns into a layer of bubble and pretty much no head at all.

S- Smells of floral hops with a good amount of grains. Maybe a bit of a citrus hint too.

T- Taste seems about fake and metallic. Malts seem pretty distant and a bit of hops.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation was a bit on the higher side.

D- Not a favorite of mine by any means. I guess I'd say ok at best and would look for something else to drink.

nrbw23, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of bob5958
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this beer. I can't say it's the best or my favorite, but it goes well with most foods and many restuarants in our area are starting to serve it on draft.
With food, it doesn't overwhelm anything, has a clean, refreshing taste and goes down easily. It's one of those beers that you could drink all evening and not feel bloated.
I agree with one of the other reviewers, it was better when I first had it in a pub in England.

bob5958, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of gboy515duo
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

A: It looks like a cola. There was no head whatsoever, just a dark brown cola looking, undercarbonated beverage.

S: Smelled like caramel malts, which i appreciated and let me hopefully anticipate the beer.

T: Taste was off. It didn't taste like it smelled at all. It was definitely malty, but had a very burnt taste. Light woody aftertaste.

M & D: Very good, sits well and fairly easy to drink once you get the first one down

gboy515duo, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of jporf911
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle.

Appearance- Medium brown, slightly yellow around the edges. Tan head fizzes away quickly.

Smell- Slightly sweet malt combined with a bit of toasted grain.

Taste- Starts sweet and slightly reminiscent of bread, with a taste of buttery toasted grain. The sweetness comes in again at the end.

Mouthfeel- Mostly medium-bodied, smooth, and dry.

Drinkability- Given its ingredients, it's not really a true Brown Ale; however, it's good enough to knock back one or two.

jporf911, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of thegodfather2701
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A-Pours an amber/brown color with a white head that lasts longer than expected. It also leaves some slight lacing.

S-Malty, somewhat sweet, not hardly any hop presence in the nose. This is the weakest aspect of the beer it smells bland and like a macro beer, with some corn and mustiness present in the nose as well.

T-Malty, touch of sweetness, caramel, and a touch of hops. Once again some corn like flavors come into play.

M-Thin and carbonated.

D-Despite this beer just being average, its drinkability to me is through the roof. I could easily drink this for hours. It was one of the first beers I really liked and it has a fond place in my heart.

thegodfather2701, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of mytireisfat
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

P: Clear 12 oz bottle. Gold medals from 1928 on bottle. Guess they haven't got one sense. Cool fact on the back label. no best by date.

A: Redish/brown color. one finger head that retains ok. Head was brownish white. no lacing. low carbonation.

S: Malty sweetness is the first thing i pick up. like a caramel smell. but after that didn't get much. maybe a little fruity smell, not sure tho.

T: Roasted malt. a little bitterness to it.

M: Medium body. and low carbonation.

D: Pretty easy to drink. but over all its not that great. not much to it. a little of a let down. for a beer that all my friends say is a good one. i would have expected more from. i would buy it again. but its real low on my list.

mytireisfat, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not the first time I've had this beer, but the first I've taken the opportunity to review it.

A - Pours a transparent, dark brown color with a one finger head that didn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S - Pretty malty with a lot of caramel in thre an a slight nut smell. Sweet.

T - Smooth caramel malt taste that has a little nutty flavor to it. I think the end tastes like some sort of weird chemicals and don't really like that.

M - A bit thin, but pretty average.

D - Easy drinker, not hard to get down.

AgentZero, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of mcdevster
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

newcastle offers an interesting flavor with moderate drinkability.. making it a nice choice now and then .. and luckily it is widely available.. the smell is a little off-putting.. from the bottle - on tap i would imagine it is much better.. there are some nice sweet caramel malt notes.. the taste is typical brown ale bliss.. sweet a little bitter/crisp on the finish.. for such a common beer to get ahold of it has an interesting palette.. It is on the light side for an ale.. but that is not always a bad thing.. this is a good introductory brown ale.

mcdevster, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of jmdrpi
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from bottle into nonic pint glass.
A - clear chesnutt brown colored, with 1/4" white frothy head
S - sweet and nutty. malty, but no hops detected
T - mild carmel nutty taste. buttery? smooth and balanced.
M - low to medium carbonation. smooth body
D - this is my favorite session beer. i can drink them all night long

jmdrpi, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Hoppensniffer
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this beer so much in England I brought a 12 pack back with me to the States. Once in the states it has never been as good as in England, but still very drinkable. I have also noticed a difference in batches. Some batches are very tastey, and others seem watered down. Too bad because when you get a good batch this is a very good beer.

Hoppensniffer, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of zimm421
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a dark brown color with a slight red tint to it and a thin head.

Smells of malts, lots of caramel and some nutty aromas as well. The taste is similar, but some hops are involved as well. Not very bitter, but also not overly sweet. A decent balance, but not too impressive.

The mouthfeel is fairly thin, but closer to a medium body and a relatively high amount of carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, but not something I'll buy again. On vacation and had a limited selection, so I figured I'd give it a try.

zimm421, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of aval89
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a brown, (well you pretty much already know the color if you got a bottle haha) little head with minimal carbonation..

smell: malts, malts, malts... almost no sweetness.. slight butterscotch? no hop presence detected..

taste: slightly roasted malts.. little nutty flavor.. maybe just a smig of cocoa.. finish is a sweet bitter finish.. nothing too extreme though.. almost a little bland..

mf is smooth, thin.. pretty average

this beer is very easy to drink and can pair with a number of things..

cheers!

aval89, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of Kaiser777
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice think brown color, with a pearl white head, that leaves a beautiful lace that hugs the glass and let's you know this is going to be a wonderful beer.

S- It has slight butter scotch aroma, with a blend of citrus which I did not expect from a brown ale.

T- It is one of my favorite imports, it has a nice full flavor with a kick ass after taste, with a perfect blend of sweetness and hops, a light butter scotch feel that stays on the taste buds for a while, no carbonation but that is not a problem with me, I also can pick up a lemon zest.

MF- Not bad it coats the mouth well, a little heavy but nothing to complain about, it has a wonderful after taste that makes this import from the boys across the pond a wonderful delight.

D- I could drink this beer trough the evening, it's a little heavy but not that bad where you can only drink a few, with that said it is a very drinkable beer, so hats off to my fellow Brown Ale friends and family.

Kaiser777, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of salvo
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I used to love this beer when I briefly lived in the UK. Returning to it after discovering American craft beer, I found it cloyingly sweet and under-carbonated. The malts clearly were what I was craving, particularly when there were so few choices in the late 20th century. (What can I say -- I wanted to use that phrase.)

A: Translucent brown with little head and few bubbles.
S: All malt, with a little sweetness.
T: Again, malt-forward with little astringency and a cloying, overpowering sweetness that I do not recall. But then again, I went from Pepsi to Newcastle.
M: Thin and under-carbonated.
D: The sweetness would keep me at a half pint.

salvo, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of DioS
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On the reddish side of brown and never has much of a head. The smell is slightly sweet and immediately makes me think of malt, and then there's faint spice somewhere. Tastes malty as expected and a bit nutty, with a good balance. Body is between medium and substantial. If not for the small metallic undertone this would be very pleasant. Newcastle seems to skunk very easily especially from a tap at bars, which is unfortunate, since it is a decent choice among widely available beers, and goes well with food.

DioS, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of Cylinsier
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz.

Pours a clear brown with a medium white heat. Dissipates to almost nothing.

Smells of sweet grain malts and bread like flavors.

Tastes the same plus ever so mild grain bitterness. No real hop element.

Body is moderate with mild carbonation.

Pretty drinkable. Not a superstar but for what it is, worth a try and not disappointing.

Cylinsier, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The One and Only

Pours a clear brown color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are of flower, bread, toast, and light spices.

Taste is clean and crisp. Mostly malty, lightly roasted with hints of caramel, brewed tea, and a finish that has hints of mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is decent, well carbonated, but slightly thin.

Drinkability is not bad. Newcastle is quite simply a pretty tasty and easy to drink brew. Fills a niche quite nicely.

flexabull, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of hrmhrm
1.83/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: Before tasting, flat brown. After the first taste, more like liquid dung.

Smell: Not as bad as the taste.

Taste: Stagnant water and sour yeast.

Mouthfeel: Didn't really give the mouthfeel a chance: felt the need to swallow immediately.

Drinkability: I threw the bottle away with half left to go, ordered something else.

I see people ask for this and I can only think: "The power of marketing."

hrmhrm, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of caddybuyer
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz cup into a pint glass.

A-Root beer brown with a thin head that settles rapidly. Not bad, but not impressive.

S-Mild sweet malts, slighly grassy with a pronounced nutty aroma.

T-Nose carries through to the taste. Slightly sweet malts play against a nutty backdrop. This actually is pretty lame, and could use a bit of hops to kick it up a bit. Better than the Budweiser that sat next to it in the cooler, but that was about the best that I could say about it.

M-Thin, undercarbonated.

D-I never would have bought this on my own, but a friend brought this over to a picnic so I gave it a try. Have not had one in years, and I probably don't need to have one again for a long while. Said friend poured out a finely crafted IPA to quaff this when it arrived and I was a bit horrified, but I can't fault people for their taste...this one just isn't mine.

caddybuyer, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of blackc5
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recall this as one of the first non-lager BMC beers I ever tried, and will always appreciate it for putting me on to the better stuff.

It is still quite acceptable to me, although by no means exciting or amazing.

A - Pours a ruby brown, with a thin, quickly-fading head. Only the smallest amount of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel and roasted nuts on toasted bread.

T - Not overly sweet, but very malty. Some bit of hops in the aftertaste, but this is mostly about the toasted malts and nuttiness. For such a mass market beer, it holds its own.

M - A bit thin perhaps, and not as good as Sam Smiths in this regards. Smooth with mild carbonation and just a slightly dry finish.

D - Pretty high. Could, and have, drank several of these in one session when nothing better is available. That said, I wouldn't buy it in bottles, given that it costs about the same as much better micros.

blackc5, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of tigg924
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, red/brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and grains

Taste: toasted malt, grains, and grass

Mouthfeel: medium/light body, slightly sweet, high carbonation.

Drinkability: An average English brown that I am not a fan of. I would buy several others in the style first. Not overly complex and a little too grainy, I will pass.

tigg924, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce can.

Pours a medium amber with a modest head that recedes immediately and leaves nothing for stick. Very, very clear for an ale.

Aroma is of dextrose and alcohol. Astringent graininess with a touch of brown sugar and diacetyl.

Flavor is funky and metallic. I've never had a canned beer or any for that matter that tasted this metallic. Sour malt turns sweet into the finish. Modest amount of hop flavor is nothing but husky, bitter and stale tasting. Corniness comes through the middle. Alcohol creeps into the finish, which at 4.7% is rediculous. Modest nutty flavor at the end with a tongue stinging astringency at the finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and the carbonation is more than adequate. Leaves a tiny amount of stickiness on the tongue from the residual sugars.

Over all I'm glad I only paid $3.99 for a six pack of this.

wheatyweiss, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of udubdawg
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a very bright orange-brown color, excellent clarity but with little foam and almost no retention.

aroma is sweet and mildly toasty/biscuity. Too light all around. Very light herbal hop aroma.

improvement in flavor over aroma. There is a significant mineral quality to the flavor that I find pleasant, but if it were any stronger I'd probably call it metallic and dock it a notch. No fruitiness or diacetyl. Very low bitterness.
Sweet malt, mild caramel, toasty in the back end and ends up drying but not bitter. It lacks the complexity I prefer, and the mouthfeel is thin, too highly carbonated, and overall not particularly memorable. Still, it'll do in a pinch.

udubdawg, Jun 05, 2010
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,254 ratings.