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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.

4,292 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,292
Reviews: 1,482
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 34
Gots: 368 | 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: 4,292 | Reviews: 1,482 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of omowasu
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Newcastle Brown Ale is one of the better nitro-tap beers out there.

The beer pours with a thick tan head that cascades down the glass. As the bubbles dissipate, the head turns a light brown. Beautiful.

The beer smells great, too - I could swear it was a Belgian Double by the scent, I gather astringent, sweet, and maple notes.

From the nitro-tap, the beer tastes great - lots of nutty, malty flavors with a bitter hop smack at the end. Taste could be a little stronger and more defined though.

Drinkability is great when cold, but the bitterness peaks when the beer gets warm, so imbibe cold. The ABV% is nice on this one too.

omowasu, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of WhiskerWrangler
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark amber color. Little head that does reatain well. Very beautiful amber color that has some carbonated bubbles coming up. lacing is fair.

S- Smell is pleasant. It has a dark smell. Somewhat of a chocolate smell.

T- It has a pretty strong, nutty taste but is very pleasant.

M- Fairly thick but goes down smoothly. Has a slightly carbonated feel to it.

D- I can see myself drinking a couple of these but not too much more than that. Overall is a nice beer with a full taste.

WhiskerWrangler, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle poured into matching Newcastle glass april 19 2010

A clear reddish amber with a short lived thumbs worth head that left no lace, lots of tiny bubbles though despite the lack of retention and lace

S a little caramel and burnt sugar but quite faint, perhaps a little cherry of all things

T a little molasses I don't smell but other then that not far from the smell, fairly sweet but not enough to be unpleasant

M thin but well carbonated but it leaves a little slickness in the mouth like my gum's have been coated with syrup

D nothings going to blow you away here but nothing to be ashamed of either

hey what can I say this was a good excuse to use my Newcastle glass, an Industry standard and it's easy to find wherever you go. I've found myself drinking this over our Canadian macros when I have no other alternative in many of our lame bars around Calgary

wordemupg, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a nice brownish red-orange with a thin, and rapidly decreasing white head.

The smell is sweet and malty with a bit of roastyness. No detectable hops scent.

The taste is slightly watery with a sweet roasted barley backbone. Nothing to write home about, but a pleasant and easy-drinking brew just a tad stronger than an English mild. Slightly thin bodied.

MrHassellYaHurd, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Docer
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged up a clear 18.6 oz. bottle... loved this stuff back in the day, and a guy at work raved about it... so after a number of years... time to relive it.

- Pours a mild to dark clear brown... sparkly head which quickly dissipated down to just a wee-bit of white floating dust.

- Nice subtle molasses scent, brown sugar.. slight skunky hopping... very bready malt...

- Nice sweet and robust brown... subtle bready and grainy dough-like flavor... nice bittering hop... slightly zesty and bright. Sweet brown sugar... light, and blended right.

- Overall is flavorful without being thick and heavy... light bodied, slightly chewy and bready.

- Just as good as I remembered it... and always worthy of a drink. Smooth, tasty... get it.

Docer, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of ATPete
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle

Pours a true translucent brown color, some reddish highlights and a sturdy lasting brown head. Smells of nutty brown malts and a fruity yeast strain. Smooth, simple and malt forward with very little bitterness, a little nutty and a large yeast note. A go to for me while at hockey games, a solid brown ale time after time.

ATPete, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of tjsdomer2
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: I generally view clear bottles, especially in dark beers like this, as a bad thing. However, the bottle presents the beer nice here. It really looks like a dark tan nut. Little foam if any.

Smell: Smells pretty nutty and woody but is not strong. I wish it were a bit stronger actually because the smell that's there is good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Refreshing mouthfeel but not that much flavor actually. Yeah, I taste malt and some sugar but not much else.

Drinkability: Nothing offputting about this...average at least.

Overall: Extremely disappointed by this due to the multiple rave reviews friends gave me. Would be better if a bit stronger.

tjsdomer2, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What can I possibly say about Newcastle that hasn't been said before. When I met my wife this was her beer, this and Killians, so I would keep it around. I recently had it again and thought it was time to write a review.

Beer is clear and brown, forms a small head of medium bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate but can't prop up the head. Looks fine.

Sweet, slight, nutty, slight. Kind of has a watery smell if possible.

The malt gets me first, its the sweetness up front followed by what I imagine is some kind of woody nut but its not great. No aftertaste to speak of, not a lot of bitterness to mention, carbonation on the palate is low, its perfectly drinkable, its just boring and pointless.

drabmuh, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of jmich24
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear 12oz bottle

A:Light brown in color. Quarter inch head that dissipates fast. Nice lacing all the way down
S: Malty and nutty
T: Very smooth, Malty and nutty again with very faint hoppiness.
M: Too thin and watery for my liking.
D: This is a very tasty for mass produced session beer. Will choose with over the usual suspects(Bud, Miller, Coors) every time.

This something I will pick up when on sale for a $1 a bottle. Not a beer I crave but will order when selections are limited.

jmich24, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: More brown than amber but highlights of amber and orange, small just off white head

S: Because of the clear bottle...smells slightly skunked, not much else though, just some of that standard malty import smell

T: Better than smell, slightly crisp but also sweet, you can actually taste the roast of the malt, which is better than a lot of imports, some slightly skunky flavor kind of turns slowly to hop flavor, but in a decently appealing way

M: Slightly dry, medium body

D: This is a strange one, I found that drinkability changes from time to time, it really depends on what you are doing, sometimes I can drink this like water, other times, it is hard for me to get much down, eating seems to have a big effect here

Notes: Like I said with the drinkability, the whole beer hits me differently from time to time. However, I will say that I have a soft spot for this beer. It was one of the first beers I can remember drinking a few of.

dpodratsky3, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Jesstyr
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour an amber brown with exceptionally little head that disappears as quickly as it appears. No real lacing, just a little bit of bubbles. Nose is a little nutty with just a hint of sweet malts that makes this a little more enjoyable.

Taste is much like the nose, but overwhelming nutty and malty, without as much of the sweetness that would give this some balance. Definitely earthy, particularly in the mouthfeel, and the brew is somewhat drinkable, particularly with its lower ABV.

Jesstyr, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of NA1NSXR
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - No head even with hard pour, dark brown but transparent, medium carbonation. Laces nicely.

Smell - Smells like a lot of roasted stuff. Doesn't smell particularly good to me, but its more interesting than other run of the mill beer. i suppose what I am getting are the caramel malts.

Taste - Malty character overall from beginning to end. Some minor hop character in the middle. Its very basic tasting in that sense. I expected the caramel or other earthy type flavors to be more apparent in the taste. Low bitterness

Mouthfeel - The medium to medium-low carbonation is fitting for this beer.

Drinkability - For all of the cues pointing to extraordinary taste such as the aroma and rich appearance it drinks surprisingly...regular. Its not bad at all and the low bitterness character appeals to me, but there is nothing in the taste that gives any lasting impression. Its definitely drinkable though, if slightly boring.

NA1NSXR, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of cudmud
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: No head or lace. This beer has a nice deep, clear garnet color.

Smell: Nothing special: a slight hint of hops and malt.

Taste: Light malt flavor acented by roasted barley. Limited hop flavor and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin.

Drinkability: Something you might want after working in the yard to quench your thirst.

cudmud, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of hunthearin
4.43/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers - pours nicely but with a reddish brown color, not quite brown. The distinctive odor in no way effects the taste, which is bold but nothing to write home about. I enjoy keeping these stocked in my fridge and drinking them COLD!

hunthearin, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review of the night!

A - Dark amber in color with an inch of lacing that's creamy and inviting
S - To me it smells more like a lager than an ale. A bit malty and slight nutty.
T - Very toasty! Taste much more balance than expected from the smell.
M - Thin and drinkable. Really complements my turkey dog.
D - A very nice brown ale that delivers in the malt and nut flavors but Turbo Dog is still my nut brown of choice.

DrDemento456, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of hockeyhead
4.65/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: deep ruby amber brown color with a tan fluffy head but still looks pretty creamy
S: alot of malt coming through brown sugar smell and kind of toffee nutty smell with faint hops but more a dry hop as apposed to bitter
T: really nutty sweet maltyness up front that lingers on to a soft bitter drying hoppyness reallly good and really smooth
M: meduim body but still has lots of carbination but not too much like a lager overall goes down feeling like velvet
D: great brown ale if your looking for a great session ale that doesnt overwhelm your palet

hockeyhead, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of farrago
2.63/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin head, barely half a finger of creamy white foam, mostly larger bubbles leading to a quick dissipation, minimal lacing. Strong orange tinge lightens the brown base, consistent hue largely caused by overall transparency, few bubbles to be seen. The nose is semi-light with sodabread, scone, caramel and orange peel most noticeable, has a minerally patina, ends with a burst of green hay and straw, if it can said to have a "burst" of anything. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is flat enough to keep the liquid layered on the tongue like sunscreen before you shower. Watery as in mineral water, cleansing but without richness of flavor. The caramel and toffee actually diminish as it warms. Hint of white raisin or apricot fruit with blanched nuts. Again, not much flavor left by the finish, just metallic astringency and pucker. Nothing horrible but it is amazing how you can outgrow brews like this.

farrago, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear reddish brown. Certainly doesn't look like a brown ale... appears more like an amber. I don't remind this beer having such a light color

S: some toffee and caramel on the front, not a whole lot there

T: easy drinking with a hint of roast along with caramel and toffee flavors, all of this with a thin watery after taste

MF: thin, watery

D: not a bad session beer. Has some decent flavors with a very light body.. no depth or complexity though

homebrew311, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of CHickman
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish amber brown in color with a creamy tan 1/2 inch head; smells of sweet roasted malt, caramel and a hint of nut.

Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malts, caramel, nut, lemon, bread or grains, light citrus hops and a hint of vanilla - very nice. Mouthfeel is light and on the creamy side, with very light carbonation and crisp finish. Very smooth with an overall nice malty and nutty flavor.

Real easy to drink in it's simplicity. A classic light brown ale that is very enjoyable on tap, but just OK out of the bottle. This is a great fall back beer at any bar that only has mass produced beers, and this beer could very well be categorized as a macro-brew, but after 20 years I still enjoy a Newcastle Brown Ale.

CHickman, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of Pittsburgh
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is tough to review a beer you have had so many times, because I think you are biases for or against it. This isn't a bad beer, it's pretty average if you ask me, dark color makes it seem like it would have more flavor, but is actually pretty plain and non-descript if you ask me. There isn't much of anything that stands out about it except for the label and brown color. I never really buy or order it anymore because I've had it so many times, but for an import in the US the price is right.

Pittsburgh, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of BWScott
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like the mildness of this beer nothing is especially overpowering. The malty sweet flavor when it is in your mouth is not washed away by an overly bitter after taste. It is not a heavy feeling beer in your mouth, has a slight nutty smell to it. I was very happy when my favorite bar got this on tap, as it seemed like the bottled version was somewhat more bitter.

BWScott, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Tawny nut brown with a decent sized off white foamy head. Retention isn't great, and a little lace left.

S - Light smell. Some toasted grain and malt with a bit of nutty smell.

T - Toasted malt and grain with a little bit of bread and caramel taste. Fair amount of nut and earthy flavors. A touch of earthy hops.

M - Light to medium body with adequate carbonation. Some smoothness and a drying finish.

D - Decent drinkability. Pretty grainy and somewhat sweet flavors are fine for a while but the flavors don't have much variety or build with time so that limits how many I want to drink.

Notes: Seems like an easy to drink inoffensive beer that is made for mass consumption. Average beer that may be a good stepping stone to craft beer.

FreshHawk, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of weeare138
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent amber toned brown with a small white head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are lefte around the glass.
Smell is of toasted nuts, sweet biscuits, mild caramel, and freshly baked bread.
Taste is of the aromas with a mild bit of freshly cracked grain and a hint of sweet fruit with a banana peel flavor coming out.
Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, sweet, and easy drinking. Mild zing up front leading to a "rye bread" like finish.

weeare138, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of smithza9
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is one of those beers that fall under the category of "If it smells bad, it tastes good." At first sniff, this was a no go, but after I took my first sip, it was wonderful. A strong taste for an ale with an attractive appearance. Recommended if you like the Britons.

smithza9, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big bottle into a Samuel Smith's Victorian pint glass.

A: Dark amber with a brownish hue and a minimal tan head. Decent lacing.

S: Lightly malty with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, molasses and dark fruits. Overall a clean scent.

T: Good taste overall. On the slightly over-carbonated mouthfeel there are hints of earthy malts and caramel. Finishes with a lingering nutty fade. No skunk at all.

D: Highly drinkable brown ale in my opinion.

Value: Available in grocery stores and even some gas stations but at a pretty steep price for what it is.

WeezyBoPeep, Feb 26, 2010
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
74 out of 100 based on 4,292 ratings.