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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.

4,258 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,258
Reviews: 1,484
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 36
Gots: 351 | 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: 4,258 | Reviews: 1,484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seanstoppable
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass as a mahogany hued ale with two fingers of thick head. Thick lacing was left on the glass.

Smell consisted of a slightly sweet malt.

Taste is more of a medium roasted malt, rather than a sweet one, with some earthiness as well. A slightly thick feel to it, with some chewiness in the back of the cheeks and a dry finish The thick feeling lingers in your mouth for a bit after.

Overall, the beer is smooth, but fairly simple taste wise. A decent drink, but not something to go out of your way for.

Seanstoppable, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of DKMonroe
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks great in a glass fairly brown (as the name suggests) with some amber/red in there, Little odd with the clear bottle. It sported a small head that went away quickly. Smells a bit sweet, as was the taste. Has hint cough medicine in there.. not crazy about this one.

Smell and taste for me isn't awesome.. It's ok I guess. probably wont be something that I'll stock in the fridge.

DKMonroe, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of tatoodkelt
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 8/26/09- from notes.

On tap at the Mongolian BBQ in Bethesda, MD.

A- Very dark brown with some ruby highlight when held up to the light. About a one finger khaki head that settles pretty quick. Ok lacing.

S- Brown bread and some roasted malt notes.

T- Like the smell but sweeter.

M- On the light/medium border, a little more watery than it looks. Mild carbination presence.

D- Super easy session brew.

tatoodkelt, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of lrntsrg
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 5

I like beer. this beer is different. it's ok wien not ice cold. but when it is it is exeptional... smoth, easy to drink and ttasty. but Newcastle Brown Ale has a bitter after taste. I just wanna drink another and smoke a cig or go Crest my teeth. I guess it is late. overall good. Not bad.

lrntsrg, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of hdofu
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer nor a great beer. Has a medium brown appearance with a white head of foam. Has a smell of malts and sulfur which is much less then pleasant. Taste is sort of sweet but lack much other flavor and finishes almost like mineral water. The beer is really carbonated. Drinkability is ok, not a turnoff but not great either.

hdofu, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of hobbitking54
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a. i can see where the term "brown ale" comes from. very brown with a hint of red. and the head is an off white color with a decent amount of lacing.

s. kind of an almond bread smell to it.

t. amazing taste, one of my favorites. nutty, yet bitter but sweet enough not to make you grimace if you've never had a darker beer before.

m. carbonated, dry and thick. also awesome.

d. but of course i'll drink it again, 'tis a great beer.

hobbitking54, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of beertunes
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Newcastle is an old favorite that I've not had for a while, so I enjoyed catching up with my old friend. Served in imperial pint glass. Poured a dark, rich brown with a thin head and no lacing.

The aromas are strongly malty and sweet. No obvious trace of hops. The flavors are richly sweet and full malt, but not sticky or sugary.

The body is a couple steps from being full, but is still smooth easy on the tongue. Drinkability is superb, having several while at the pub with your mates is not a chore. Overall, this smooth and easy classic is the standard for the style.

beertunes, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of vishneda
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into a glass. classic student drink in the UK.

This beer defines the "brown ale" look. The beer is dark but light shines through. The head is smallish and tan. No lacing, etc.

Bread and grain on the nose; typical malt smell. It's not a strong smelling beer by any means. Unsophisticated but solid.

I think Newcastle is a little watery, even by student drink standards. The flavor is just not that strong. What's there is good, bready and earthy with a slightly dry feel.

Feels good on the tongue and goes down very easy. The right amount of carbonation is there to drink a few. 22oz goes pretty fast with this stuff. It pretty much defines "sessionable" in the modern age, at least as far as the UK is concerned.

(Review from tasting notes dated 12 Aug 2009)

vishneda, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of apbarwood
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- The color is decent enough, a rich amber to light brown. Not really up to snuff with your average brown ale but not unpleasant. Not much of a head really, some lacing that lingers but that's about it.

Smell- A faint malt aroma with a little buttery scent. Not a whole lot going on really and what is there is fairly mild.

Taste- Pleasant, certainly palatable. Some toffee like maltiness and a faint fruity quality.

Mouthfeel- It feels like it wants to have a respectable body to it but doesn't quite get there for me. A touch of sweetness to it, an almost ripe apple juiciness maybe.

Drinkability- Well it's drinkable, for sure. Certainly much nicer on draft than in the bottle and a good staple beer to have if that's the best thing offered at any particular bar or restaurant (which is often the case at a local dive). Nothing too exciting though but decent.

apbarwood, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of Faune
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- a clear 330 ml bottle with freshness date on the bottom right corner of the rear label.

A- Dark brownish red, it appears to be clear, i can see through it, with small bubbles. A small bubbly off white head which quickly disappears.

S-Malty, doughy, yeasty, a slight buttery sweetness.

T- Malty, sweet, medicinal notes, with a dry somewhat bitter finish.

M- Crisp, a lighter body, a lot of carbonation.

D- Definitely drinkable... but I am not going to go out of my way for this one, If I saw it again and there was nothing better I'm sure I'd have another go at it especially if it is on tap.

Faune, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brown color with hints of red and a small head with poor retention. Not a lot of aroma. Some bitterness at first, followed by some sweetness as the beer warmed. Not a lot of flavor,some malt and hops, but neither were very assertive. Same as with the aroma. The drinkability and mouthfeel are decent, nothing to get too excited about.

hardy008, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown in color, in a clear bottle so you get what you see. Fair head that doesn't last, but leaves a collar while beer lasts. Not very aromatic. Had a crisp, medicinal taste. Slightly malty as an aftertaste. Good carbonation that leaves a little bite at the front of the tongue. Very drinkable, a poor man's Speckled Hen in taste.

kegger22, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Dark brown color which is not transparent at all. It had a small but decent head.

Smell: Some sweet malt smell well-balanced with some hoppy aromas. No noticeable fruit smell as I've found common with a lot of ales.

Taste: Very smooth. Slightly sweet and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: A good body, but not too thick.

Drinkability: A very good beer. It's smooth and refreshing. It would work well with or without food, on a warm or cool day. Something I could definitely drink again.

civilizedpsycho, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of wcudwight
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown colored. Red hints and umber. Small creamy yet fizzy light tan colored head. Head fades rather quickly.
Not much going on for the nose. Faint smell of sweet malts.
Sweet malts flavors. A bit earthy and grainy.
Light mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy but also a bit watery. This beer could use some more body.
It's not as bad as my review sounds as it's a drinkable session beer. It's certainly better than the most popular beers in America (BMC), but not nearly as good as most micro brown ales.

wcudwight, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of HansBlix
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Brown in color with hints of red. Negligible head though I suspect the barroom pint glass may have been the culprit. Moderately carbonated with no lacing.

Smell - Malt was the backbone to my inexperienced nose. Somewhat of a sweet smell.

Taste - Very malty and kind of sweet. No strong hop flavor and a slight grain taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, high carbonation, somewhat crisp and had almost a "bite" due to the carbonation.

Drinkabilty - This was nothing to write home about. I would drink it again if offered to me, don't think I would buy it but would defiantly prefer this over any one of the "Big 3". Goes down somewhat smooth. All in all, while it wasn't great, it certainly wasn't bad.

HansBlix, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of Stonepot
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Average in every way. No head, but decent enough taste. I only drank this because a friend of Newcastle gave it to me. Would like to try it on tap, it might spice up the flavor a bit. Not something I could drink for long, though a couple won't hurt.

Stonepot, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This one pours dark brown with a hint of red. The head is white and takes quite some time before it dissipates, and then there is nice lacings.

S: A nice roasted malt is what first hits your nose, but there is also fruit (citrus) and floral hops.

T: This tastes like dark bread, due to the roasted malt. There is also fruit (citrus) and some caramell in this smooth ale. A kind of sweet ale with some dark syrup notes.

M: The sweetness changes to bitterness - nice!

D: A smooth, well balanced beer that's refreshing - I'll buy it again!

Evil_Pidde, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of hardrockerdave94
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first real beer I ever tried. Being an amateur to the world of beer I drank Budweiser and did think it was in fact the king of all beers. Then I tried a real ale and loved it. Nowadays I can't even drink Bud, or for that matter most lagers (save for a coupkle of German ones) and only drink bitter, ales and stout.

Apperance - A dark redish brown colour, looks especially nice near the light. The head is a light beige colour which fades after a while.

Smell - To be honest ot much of a smell as I like my beer ice cold. Of what I could smell, malty and a little smokey.

Taste - Quite malty with a sweet caramel flavour. Quite utty tasting too.

Mouthfeel - Quite fizzy which is good if you prefer a nice crisp beer as opposed to something like boddingtons which is creamy.

Drinkabilty - Very easy to drink, this beer IMO has the balance between flavour and mildness perfectly.

hardrockerdave94, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of ThickestHead
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chilled pint glass.
I haven't had this brew in about five years and I was eager to place it on a pedestal, but...
Comes a reddish-almost ruby- brown with a tiny head that left quickly leaving sporatic spots of lace that didn't entice me at all and porteded an end to a long held youthful over-exuberance for this ale.
It has a lovely soothing smell that I think only a brown ale can impart.
The beer is crisp and nonchalant without hardly any bite on the tongue.
It tastes of mild toasted malt and bisquit, overall pretty sugary and sweet.
To me it a drinkable enough beer unfortunately it is considerably overpriced.
I know it may seem sacrilegious to some, but mixing this beer in a glass with an IPA that lacks a sufficient malt backbone is a tasty combo to me and if I should ever happen to purchase a pack of this ale again I imagine that I will mix it again.

ThickestHead, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of mintjellie
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany brown with two fingers of beige head that recedes somewhat quickly. Decent lace.

Buttery toffee. Some non descript fruit. Very tame and mild though.

Dried fruit. Mild nut flavours. Earthy hops give this some balance. Mild bitterness.

Between light and medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Not the best English Brown, but still easy to put away.

mintjellie, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of LittleCreature
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Pours a thumb's thickness of beige head that quickly reduced to a thin layer over a clear copper-brown body.

Smell - 3.0
A hint of skunkiness upon opening (not surprising considering the clear bottle) that disappeared, leaving a sweetish, malt driven aroma of toast, toffee and roasted nuts.

Taste - 3.5
Sweeter than some, but a well balanced brew with flavours of grain and husk, a little butter, hard toffee, hazelnuts and almonds. Hops provide just enough bitterness for balance, and a slightly earthy flavour.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Low to moderate carbonation, feels quite light in the mouth.

Drinkability - 4.0
An easy drinking, sessionable English ale,

OVERALL - 3.45
I quite like Newcastle Brown Ale. It is a good beer, not a great one, very easy to drink, and something you can enjoy without thinking about it too deeply.

LittleCreature, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a pretty good beer. it was given to me by a friend who moved (thanks meredith!) and i don't refuse free beer. I think the more i've drank the more its grown on me, but overall i don't really like this beer. somethign in the flavor just doesn't taste very good to me, i guess the malty, roasty flavors. I personally would love to have this on tap and a little fresher and see how much better it is. I think it being an import and in clear glass it could be alot better than how i got it. but for my bottle review i say its just ok.

aaronxsubaru, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of GRPunk
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A moderate pour left a 1/2-finger off-white head that quickly dispersed to a fine lace and left some decent sticky spots on the glass. The body was a clean, brown-red with a fair amount of carbonation rushing to the surface.

S- I poured the beer on the colder side, which may have muted some of the aroma initially. My first whiffs were of sweet malts (approaching adjunct sweetness), with a touch of caramel and a light nutty aroma. A little time and warmth didn't bring out anything new, but made everything a little more pronounced.

T- On the malty side as the aroma would suggest. Sweet caramel flavor mixed with some lighter, nutty tones. Again, faint in the beginning with a little more punch with a chance to warm slightly.

M- A bit thin and heavy on the carbonation. Otherwise, little hop bite, grainy feel, or alcohol presence on which to comment.

D- It is an easy drinker. While appreciating heftier American versions, this beer is quite refreshing and can be consumed in some quantity. I enjoy this beer throughout the year as it isn't too overwhelming in the summer months, yet being more substantial than a macro lager makes it a good session beer during the cooler months. A pretty wide availability makes it a decent choice on a short tap-list.

Overall- This is my first Newcastle from a can. While there have been many great brown ales since then, Newcastle will hold a special place due to it being one of the "gateway beers" that piqued my interest in drinking better beer. It doesn't blow me away that I "have to have it," but it's one of those beers that still has it's time and place.

GRPunk, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of drcarver
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - a crystal clear medium brown color with a one finger head that fades very quickly.

S - malt and a touch of butter raise to the top with a hint of meat. I have had this beer before and this is the first time I've noticed meat... I hope I'm still alive tomorrow...

T - Sweet, sweet malt.

M - Crisp and clean with a short lived after taste.

D - Goes down easy, but it is rather high on the sweet side.

drcarver, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been a go to beer for me so I might as well give it the once over for reviewing purposes. Even though it's like reviewing an old comfortable sweatshirt that you've had since college.

It pours a a chocolate amber brown with a faint wisp of head. The smell is malty and nutty yet a bit metalic. The flavor is similar to the aroma. Roast malt with a chocolate/coffee hint. Slight biscuit with a little bitter hop bite. This has a nice feel to it. Not chewy but substantial enough to feel robust.

This is a hands down winner for me in drinkabilty. I've settled down over a 12 pack of this and next thing you know I've got 12 empty bottles.

beerwolf77, Jul 17, 2009
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,258 ratings.