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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.

4,157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,157
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: 4,157 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hungerfordj
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a narrow pint glass.

Nice reddish brown color. Poured two fingers of head which didn't last too long.

The first smell that hit me was some of that skunky beer smell, which surprised me coming from an ale. I noticed that the glass is clear so this should be expected. I actually kind of like this in a beer as long as it fits in well, which it did here I think. Other than that, not much to speak of.

The taste is subdued. Malt and biscuit, not too much hops. Smooth and relatively crisp.

Nothing exciting, but balanced and very drinkable. I'm down with this at the pub I think. I don't think I'll be keeping it in the fridge though.

hungerfordj, May 13, 2009
Photo of Finster
4/5  rDev +20.5%

This particular beer i find to be highly enjoyable. I like it very cold (naturally) in a frosty mug. Poured from a bottle into mug - kind of a thin head that quickly dissapates. As far as brown ales go, this one is not too heavy, but not too light in body. It has a pleasant, alomost fruity taste upon first entrance into the orfice in which your toungue lies in waiting. Going down the hatch is very smooth - leaves me wanting another drink. The Finster winks and approves.

Finster, May 11, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%

I had this on-tap at Champs in Tampa, I also had it on tap at the wild buffalo wings around Clearwater.

Poured well, brown,with an off white heading that left really no lacing at all. Kind of flat looking.

Smell is roasted malt, hint's of dark fruit's.

Taste is pretty much the same but a little rough to swallow kind of burnt flavoring of caramel to it in the aftertaste.

Mouth is medium bodied- kind of flat but does foam up a bit on the palate when swoosh it around.

Drink is good I've had my share of these at some of the these places and it is very drinkable.

TheFightfan1, May 10, 2009
Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%

This brown ale is a solid brown color, with decent head initially, that quickly dissipated.

A light toasted malt aroma, some caramel but not much. A light husky grain flavor is complemented by a brief showing of bitter hops. Light on the palate, as well. The aftertaste leaves a faint corn-like flavor on the palate.

Light is the operative word here. Drinkable as such, but left me wanting for more.

BeardedBoffin, May 05, 2009
Photo of AtlasBrew
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%

Color: Deep Brown with tan colored, semi-lacy, medium beaded head.

Aroma: Caramel and biscuit dominates with faint toffee and faint spiced floral hops. A touch of yeast when swirled.

Taste: Pleasant, yet not overpowering, Caramel, biscuit, and a touch of buttery toffee flavor. Hops are there for support but only for bittering at a medium level. Finishes dry and smooth with just a hint of that bitterness.

Overall: I could sit and drink these all night, a great british brown ale.

AtlasBrew, May 05, 2009
Photo of staplesjo
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%

Mahogany colored when poured with a very small head.

Smelled of roasted grains and nuts.

Tasted clean and crisp with some sweetness up front.

M/D. was really fresh and quite pleasing...will have again!

First brown ale and from what i read it is a good gateway into other brown ales.

staplesjo, May 05, 2009
Photo of emsroth
1.85/5  rDev -44.3%

12oz bottle

App: A clear ruby brown with a small head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Dank, floral hops reminiscent of skunky cannabis. As the skunky smell subsides the aroma is slight sweet, roasty, caramel malt

Taste: Very light taste. A gross caramel sweetness followed by a balanced but bland hop bitterness

Medium body that seems to be sugary. Decent carbonation.

My first time trying this beer as a craft drinker, and probably my last time.

emsroth, May 04, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Served from a 12oz bottle.

A: Since I drank this at a local dive bar, they didn't give me a glass to pour the beer in, so I drank straight from the bottle. However, this is not my first Newcastle, and from experience I can say that it pours a ruddy, amber-brown body with a thin, frothy khaki head.

S: Obviously dulled coming straight out of the bottle, but you get notes of malty sweetness and stale wheat bread.

T: The prominent flavor is reminiscent of stale bread followed by both roasted peanut and mild buttery notes that linger into the finish. There is just some residual, caramel-like sweetness in the finish.

M: Decent carbonation makes for a prickliness on the tongue, but otherwise, the beer feels somewhat thin and watery.

D: Low ABV is ideal for a session beer and I could easily quaff 3 or 4 in a sitting (I know so from experience).

One of the first imports I ever took a chance on trying, Newcastle will always hold a special place in my journey into craft beers and it will always have a reserved place on my go-to list when visiting restaurants and other establishments that lack huge craft selections. It's not as flavorful as other brown ales (Sam Smith's in particular) but Newcastle is still a reliable, affordable brown ale and always refreshing when kicking back with friends.

Buschyfor3, May 04, 2009
Photo of JimBird
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured a transparent brown with a finger of head that disappeared in about ten seconds.

Pleasant overall smell, and had a definite sweet, malty taste with low hop notes. Overall, it was quite inscrutable as far as English brown ales are concerned, and would suffice if something better were not available.

A good example of its style; I would drink it.

JimBird, May 04, 2009
Photo of NightINgale
4.05/5  rDev +22%

A- Dark copper/brown body with caramel-coloured thick head. Some small visible bubbles. The head comes down pretty soon, leaving some noticeable lacing.

S- Malty and nutty, with notes of caramel and. Although not overpowering, the scent is quite strong.

T- Starts out sweet and nutty, followed by a slightly roasted flavour with some mild, pleasant bitterness. Not the most complex flavour out there, but it's got enough things going on in it.

M- Light to Medium bodied. Newcastle is certainly not watery, the mouthfeel is very pleasant: each sip anticipates the next.

D- Very drinkable if not served too cold. Takes me no time to down a pint, and I'm not a fast drinker at all!

NightINgale, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of birdypowder
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%

Newcastle Brown Ale undoubtedly is famous in part due to the fact it has been around for quite some time now. I also think it's popular because it's very approachable and drinkable, a "sophisticated" alternative to macro lagers that are also very approachable and drinkable. And of course Newcastle has more flavor! However, that's not saying much and overall Newcastle Brown Ale is, well, rather boring.

Caramel, slight burnt or toast aroma, bready. All aromas are faint.

Copper/brownish, 2 fingers of foam falls fast. Off-white head, good beading but no lacing worth mentioning. Thin white covering of foam stays above the beer until near the end.

Sweet, some slight bitterness hangs out for awhile. Some nuttiness is perceptible; kind of tastes likes those maroon colored skins encasing the peanut that you find under a peanut shell. All around, the flavor was very mild.

Medium bodied, with medium to medium low carbonation.

birdypowder, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.95/5  rDev +19%

12oz can

It pours a clear dark brown with red hues and a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is nice and malty with caramel shining through. Not much else there but what's there is good.

The taste is of caramel malt with a very light nutiness. That's it. Not complex, just tasty. A wee bit of some hop presence when I swish the beer in my mouth but I realy don't need to do that to enjoy a Newcastle Brown. I had this many times on tap and in the bottle and it surprises me that I haven't reviewed it yet. ;^)

Light bodied bordering on watery, there's a low level of carbonation.

Drinkability? A good break from the more substantial brews that I tend to turn to, I enjoy it every time I have it.

Bitterbill, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of willyumlong
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%

my freinds favorite beer so i had to try it
medium dark, classic bottle
decent smell
not too bad but a little on the hoppy bitter side for me personally. doesn't always taste the same to me sometimes it hits the spot but usually reminds me i should try something different the next beer
ive had better
i will continue to drink these when offered one (as with most beers) but probably wont be seeking any out soon

willyumlong, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of MisterDeeds
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a very thin brown, almost reddish amber oolor. Very slight head disappears immediately.

Not too much in the aroma. Caramel malts and sweet nuts.

The taste is sweet and nutty. Some caramel and toffee in there.

Mouthfeel is odd. This and bordering on flat, but I believe this is what they are going for, and it contributes to the drinkabilty.

Nothing too amazing going on here, but there is absolutely no denying the drinkability of this beer. In warm weather or cold weather, a cold Newcastle is always a welcome sight.

MisterDeeds, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of spycow
4.05/5  rDev +22%

Served in a Nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a dark clear brown color. Very light carbonation. Excellent looking beer.

S: It smells of carmel, light fruitiness, and of roasted nuts.

T: Excellent first taste. The beer goes does smooth. You are really able to taste the mild complexity of carmel, hops, nuts, and leather. The beer tastes great from beginning to end leaving a nutty aftertaste with every sip.

M&D: Feels up the mouth with a nice chewy flavor. Excellent taste and feel and an extremely drinkable brown ale. One of the best examples of this style.

Still affordable at $8.99 a six-pack. Price hasn't changed drastically. I'm not a huge brown ale fan but this is always my staple when I do crave one.

spycow, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of dotsonjamesg
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%

Appearance: Pours a cola brown with a one finger off-white head. Not much retention, the head looks pretty thin and flimsy. Not as appetizing as others once poured. Even with an aggressive pour, it was pretty pathetic.

Smell: Caramel malts, hops, and marijuana come to mind as the particulate of this brew caress my nostrils. Brings back fond memories of every high school party I went to.

Taste: The taste seems pretty watered down. The light carbonation does help the flavor much either. I can taste the caramel malts and some marijuana-like flavors that eventually moves in to some nutty malted flavors; that's about it. Not much complexity at all. I would even go as far to say that it is bland.

Mouthfeel: I wouldn't go as far to say that the brew is watery but it definitely is not thick. Light carbonation is present too.

Drinkability: For most newbie drinkers, it's the "Cadillac" of dark beers. For more experienced drinkers, its trash. It really just depends on who is drinking this brew. For me, this brew is one of the first brews to turn me on to darker things. Its definitely not a bad brew but its nothing worthy of praise, though I have to admit it opened my mind to a lot of different styles. In a nutshell, its drinkable, but it wont get you anymore drunk than a Budweiser. Doesn't taste that much better either. I prefer this brew when its skunked, makes it taste more like a hemp ale.

Enjoy it if you must but I don't recommend this brew at all, unless you're a beginner.



dotsonjamesg, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%

A- Pours dark caramel brown color with light tan head that leaves some mild sticky lacing.

S- Light malted caramel nose with yeast and nut scents.

T- Mostly malted bread flavor. Maybe some brown sugar tastes mixed with slight hazelnut.

M- Ok carbonation but a little bit too light bodied for the style.

D- Overall pretty good brew. No weird aftertastes but having more than a couple might end up being a chore.

projectflam86, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of shanem
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%

A: light brown ale with small light brown head, not much lacing

S: sweet and nutty malts, fairly straightforward

T: has a classic brown flavor, although slightly watered down. a little nutty with some sweetness as in the smell

M: again, a s bit watery for my tastes

D: an easy drink, good session brew

shanem, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of sillyswa
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%

pours a dark clear amber with very little head. nose of sweet malts and picking up light buttery biscuits. light and medium body on the palate very watery, not impressed. Slightly sweet, mellow very very easy to drink almost like having a carbonated chilled mild coffee with hint of spices, cinnamon? and a touch of brown sugar.

overall i find this ale to be sweet and very easy to drink. one could def pound a six pack in no time. not much impressed.

sillyswa, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of JayNH
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%

A- Pours a deep clear amber with a small foamy head.

S- Not much going on, a slight bready sweetness.

T- A mild tea like hoppiness. A grapey, grainey malt.

M- Light on body, well carbonated.

D- An easy drinking sesion brown. Not a "good" brew... But not a "Bad" one either.

JayNH, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of mjw06
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%

descent rich white head, leaves a good lacing. moderately dark brown color with a cherry hue.

very sweet nut and caramel malt smell. barley. just a hint of spice.

a smooth sweet caramel taste, but not too much sweetness. a little bitterness hits midway through and finishes off too. leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth.

too much carbonation, but a nice body.

very drinkable brew, one of my favorites that is widely available. very refreshing.

mjw06, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of donteatpoop
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%

I decided to revisit one of the stepping stones that lead me to the world of fine beer. Newcastle Brown Ale. It'll be interesting for me to see what I think of it now that my palate has evolved.

Pours a clear nut brown color lots of white foam resting atop it.

I'm a little disappointed at the skunky hop scent, probably due to the lack of UV protection thanks to the clear bottle. Also some hints of caramel malts.

Taste is bitter up front with molases and sweet malts hitting the palate soon after and quickly overriding the skunked hop bitterness.

For an ale with some skunked hops issues, this brew seems to actually use it to it's advantage and the molases falvor seems to ovveride the skunkiness almost immediatley.

Still a great ale, perhaps not among the best that I've had but definately a drinkable brew... Especially good to keep in mind for days that I end up in a bar with nothing but macros.

donteatpoop, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of dupee14
4.3/5  rDev +29.5%

I thoroughly enjoy this beer. I have not had the opportunity to try a lot of brown ale's but I find that I am consistently buying Newcastle. It is a rich flavor but the drinkablitly is very smooth. I feel like it starts out as a hoppier beer but when it ends, it is very good. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a quality beer available most places.

dupee14, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Draughted
4.28/5  rDev +28.9%

A - 4.0 - A beautiful light brown with smooth head.
S - 3.5 - Aromas of carmel, hops, and molasses. Try to drink of a tap whenever possible. When served from a 12 oz bottle, the clear glass container sometimes causes the beer's scent to change to a skunkier smell than when compared to a fresher bottle or direct from the tap.
T - 4.5 - Incredibly easy to drink brown ale. Not overpowering, smooth molasses / honey like flavor, yet not overpoweringly sweet. Most importantly, unlike other Brown Ales, it does not cross over into the Stout/Porter category, whereas others might have a stronger roasted hop flavor.
M - 4.5 - High carbonation for an ale and when served cold is extremely palette friendly. The bubbles of the beer are refreshing for an ale.
D - 4.5 - The most drinkable of any Brown Ale, can easily finish multiple Newcastles and they go great with steaks.

Draughted, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of CityBoy1986
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

The pour is a medium brown with a finger's worth of white head. The head is gone quickly, but lacing is fair to decent.

The nose is sweet with nuts and some fruity tastes. The taste is very sweet with some mild bitterness. A faint chocolate flavour is present during the aftertaste. There is a bit of an acidic flavour as well.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with low carbonation. Drinkability is high; I could definitely drink a few.

While it is definitely a brown ale, it might just be a tad above mediocre. Only if it is present, there is nothing else and I really want a beer will I spend money on it again.

CityBoy1986, Mar 12, 2009
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,157 ratings.