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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.

4,173 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,173
Reviews: 1,479
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 317 | 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: 4,173 | Reviews: 1,479 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dstc
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown color with a decent light tan head. Head falls fast to nothing and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell is sweet and malty but also a bit tinny.

Mildly sweet and malty with a smooth caramel taste that is enjoyable.

Thin to medium bodied in the mouth with medium carbonation.

A fairly decent big name beer. Nice to find on tap at a bar when the options are few.

dstc, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was much better on tap than the bottled version.

Smooth warm brown appearance with a smallish head..

Smells sorta malty and a little skunky..

Decent tasting brown here.. Malty and rich with a tad bit of skunk..

Fairly middle of the road to me.

Tilley4, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've been drinking these since I was a kid but haven't had one in a long time, and have certainly never scrutinized the beer via review methodology. I must admit I have a great sentimental fondness for the drink, but I'll try to put that aside and note that the 12-ounce bottle is crystal clear and just pour it into a proper pint nonic glass for evaluation.

I always thought this beer was brown, but under scrutiny it is revealed to possess a clear, crimson-tinged bronze body with a thin white head atop. The foam recedes to a tame little ring, leaving a fine pattern of wispy lacing on the glass.

The smell is toasty and malty with spicy, earthy hops. A soft caramel perfume with a floral note is evident.

Soft flavors of caramel and juicy, earthy notes are finished and dried by a soft note of floral bitterness. The drink is a bit fruity as it warms, with a flavor of ripe red apples contributing a little juiciness and a dry tannic note.

Super smooth and light bodied. Great drinkability.

cvstrickland, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of orcasteve
4.18/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

boy was this one good, it was a light brown that had very little head when i poureed it, it dident have a strong smell but it was packed with flavor, good malty carmilised grain with a smouth hop kiss at the end, i couldent stop untill the 6er was gone.

orcasteve, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of GilGarp
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a bottle of this at a garden party today.

This used to be one of my favorites in college and especially when I spent a year abroad in England.

Appearance is typical brown ale with suprisingly good clarity. All the easier to see through the clear bottle.

Aroma is more difficult to review since I drank it straight from the bottle but I definately picked up some good malty sweetness and almost no hops.

Taste was as I remembered being sweet, malty, and a bit nutty.

Mouthfeel was fine for an English ale and I would say it's very drinkable. A good session beer with enough character to keep my interest.

Obviously, my tastes have changed as I tend to lean towards bigger belgians, IPAs, and stouts. However, it's nice, every once in a while, to come back to an old favorite.

GilGarp, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of happygnome
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a transparent brown color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fairly quickly leaving hints of lacing in a ring around the edge of the glass that leaves a couple spots of lacing around the glass
s: toasted nutty aroma with a slightly sweet smell as well
t: toasted nutty malts hints of sweetness
m: medium bodied beer with good carbonation

overall,this is a fairly nice beer, very sessionable and not overwhelming

happygnome, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of sccala
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

OK, based on my unbiased, proper review of this beer, I now see this beer in a different light. Whenever I would go to a get together, party, etc., I usually bring 2 different with me. They would both be something that most people at the party would be able to recognize. One is a lighter beer that goes down easy, (i.e. coors light), and the other would be something "good" but not obscure so as to scare people from drinking it...Newcastle would often fall into the category of the second beer I would bring to a party. I have drank this beer many many times, but after really doing a thorough tasting on this one, I'd have to say that I am suprised at how unimpressive this beer really is. Here's what I found...

APPEARANCE- the color is a nice warm dark amber color. Upon pouring from bottle into 16 oz. glass, the head was weak for the lack of a better term. It was kind of a thin, fizzy head...similar to what you would get when pouring a coca-cola into a glass...the Newcastle's head lasted longer, but looked the same...only about a quarter of an inch high too. It also dissappeared in under a minute. Had a nice caramel color though.

SMELL- decent scent. Actually had to really focus though...nothing came out and smacked me in the face. I'd say the dominant scent is a roasted barley.

TASTE- Pretty straight forward here. What you smell is what you taste.

MOUTHFEEL- This is the "low water mark", so to speak, of this beer. Just swallow it, nothing special here.

DRINKABILITY- It's a run of the mill beer in my book. Certaintly not as good as I had previously thought....and just drink it out of the bottle...you aren't gaining much by pouring it into a glass.

sccala, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of matty
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colored ale with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is a very faint nutty smell.Taste is faint nuts,butter and bread.I think this ale could be better by adding a little more flavor to it.A tad bit watery but overall slightly better than average,I would drink again.

matty, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of smcolw
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Short-lived head that dies to a single layer of bubbles. Clear and light brown liquor. Small amount of lace on the glass.

Mild malt aroma. There's a touch of metal in the smell as well.

Pretty good balance of hop and malt, although both are on the lighter side. The body is thin and the carbonation is high. As a lawn-mower offering, this would rate quite high. As an English brown ale, it is not as robust as others. This also appears to be on the verge of skunking.

smcolw, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of mdruiz
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It has a really earthy taste, but it is really quaffable because of the low fizz. I say it is a good beverage to enjoy with a meal.

You can really taste the toasted grains, and has a fairly pleasing after-taste.

Purchased in a 6 pack at a local grocery store.

mdruiz, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A. Served on tap at the local bar. Dark amber in hue with little to no head and no lacing to be found.

S. A hint of sweet grain and some malt.

T. Very sweet initial taste with some grainy aspects and slight caramel flavor. Little to no hop profile.

M. A bit slick on the palate and a bit dry.

D. Fairly drinkable, but nothing to write home about. For the price, not really worth it.

Stinkypuss, May 31, 2008
Photo of rye726
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad brew, just a little over priced in my book. It has a brown color with a beige head. The nose is mostly malty with some nutty bread in there. The taste is more of the same. Mild malts and possibly soft bitter hops. A light body, but smooth after it opens up. A good drinker.

rye726, May 21, 2008
Photo of Hokies
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at UNO in a 22oz glass. Pours a nice amber color with a little head that left some light lacing on the glass. It gave off scents of sweet caramel and malt. The beer starts off sweet as the malt dominates and little else is going on as the beer finishes dry. The beer is light on the palate with medium carbonation and finishes with a dry taste. This is a decent brown ale that one could drink quite a bit, but I probably won't rush out to get this one again.

Hokies, May 18, 2008
Photo of nem2006
2.2/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Drank in a pint glass. When I poured it, there was almost no head and as I drank it, there was very little lacing left on the side of the glass.

The beer seemed a little flat, though I could see some carbonation through the clear, brown colored beer.

The biggest let down for me was the smell. It was extremely skunky. Most likely due to the fact that the bottle is clear and not colored like every other beer to avoid this exact thing.

I was able to still pick up a little of the sweetness at the beginning followed by a very slight hoppy bitterness at the end. At least the aftertaste didn't last long.

nem2006, May 14, 2008
Photo of iceball585
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown color, semi-transparent, half finger thick head that faded fairly quickly to a thin ring

S- Toasted grains, dark malts, sweetness, slightly buttery

T- Brown sugar, sweet, malty, toasted grains, hint of dark fruits

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, starts sweet then turns to a semi-dry finish

D- Good brown ale

This beer is what I would consider a better than average english brown ale. The auroma starts the second you open the bottle. I would love it if this beer had just a bit more powerful flavor but I definatly still like it.

iceball585, May 14, 2008
Photo of Offa
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is flavourful and has a somewhat full character, yet is light,refreshing, and very easy to drink.

It's dark, faintly reddish brown with a decent light tan head that steadily shrinks and leaves a little lace.

The aroma is caramel, grain, hints of nuts and fruit.

The taste and texture are very smooth and easy on the palate, yet uit has a nice, persistent character of fruit, caramel, a little wine, a hint of nuts and bread, and a toasty grain finish. It is a good balance of flavour, body, drinkability, and lightness. However, most of the character is lost if it's too cold, in which case it hardly seems to have much taste at all, so make sure it's not straight out of the fridge.

Offa, May 13, 2008
Photo of Iheartstouts
4.58/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As my favorite beer, this review may be a bit biased.

A: A perfectly brown color, with and almost reddish tinge.

S: Smells of deep roast. Some yeasty aromas along with a caramel hint.

T: Newcastle tastes about the same as it smells. Yeasty with a hint of caramel.

M: Medium lingering. Low carbonation and very smooth.

D: A little too drinkable, if you catch my drift.

Iheartstouts, May 11, 2008
Photo of brushtachio
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A British friend in college lived on Newcastle so over the years I've had my share. Now, sitting down to review a bottle, this beer seems to be somewhat of an enigma. I have a hard time getting much of a head even with a vigorous pour. There is almost no smell whatsoever. The taste is subdued with light malt, caramel and chocolate tones.

Not a stellar review but here the catch.... This beer is incredibly drinkable. As mentioned in a previous review, most people I've introduced it to, like it. Even my mom who dislikes beer in general

brushtachio, May 06, 2008
Photo of Fireal1222
4.47/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is one of the few beers that i'd actually recommend you to drink from the bottle.

with that said.

this brew goes down like iced tea.. and honestly. it even has the same color.. its the perfect beer because it suits just about anybody. your lady friends will enjoy it as well. because its just that easy to drink.

probably the most drinkable beer in the world.


Fireal1222, May 04, 2008
Photo of MusicaleMike
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a pint of this Brown ale when I stopped into the Rusty Bucket in Dublin, OH. Not a bad place, but the servers could use some beer training.

A: About a finger of sticky, cream-colored head sat on top of this clear, dark brown bodied beer. There was some modest carbonation visible in the deep brown. The head died down to a ring around the edge of the glass, which stuck for the first couple of sips while the beer was too cold.

S: Absolutely nothing...I get a "clean" smell out of this beer. I am sure that the temperature should be much warmer for this beer. About mid-glass there is a nutty malt character.

T: There is a mild malt character at first. No presence of hops, until the beer warmed a bit, when there was the faintest glimmer of hop in the aftertaste. The beer was too cold, and it completely stifled the flavors. It was only in the aftertaste that I was able to enjoy the nutty malts. With about 1/4 of a glass left, I was able to determine the well-balanced nature of this beer. However, the flavors are decidedly weak.

M: Light-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation which gives it a smooth feel.

D: The lightness and smoothness also lend to this beer being more drinkable. It is not a complex beer, and by the end of the pint, I just wanted to be finished with it (bad sign). I would recommend drinking this at room temp or warmer.

MusicaleMike, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at J.P. Looney's in Greensboro, NC.

A - Dark brown with small head that faded quickly into almost nothing, no lacing.

S - I couldn't smell much from this on-tap. Faint caramel malt is about all I notice.

T - Much more even than the bottles. A nice balance of Newcastle's burnt sugar and almost briny character. A shade less complex, but the continuity is worth it.

M - Very smooth, barely carbonated in contrast to bottles.

D - One of the easiest beers I can go to bar and drink. It goes down smooth with no aftertaste, and without all the carbonation to give me the hiccups right in the middle of a night out. Always a great choice.

PatrickJR, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Rayek
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the City Grille in Denver.

A: Nice chestnut brown color has good clarity. White head was thin but had decent retention. Left a tiny amount of lace.

S: Subtle. Toffee, oak and toasted malt. Not much else.

T: Taste is quite mild. Toasted malt has a nutty taste that reminded me a bit of walnuts. Bitterness has a slightly woodsy quality. A little bit bit of toffee and caramel sweetness is there too. Finishes clean and dry.

M: Good. Medium-light body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Very drinkable. Not a beer I'd drink alone, but with dinner out with friends, this stuff goes down very easily. Low ABV keeps it from going to your head.

Rayek, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I get this on tap or in the bottle as my old reliable beer.

A: A nice dark amber that pushes red through when put against light. Always a nice, frothy head.

S: Malt and faint nuts.

T: Pretty much the same as smell. The nuttiness comes out a bit more in taste.

M: Good on carbonation and has a smooth finish.

D: Great drinking beer. They don't get old as far as taste goes. I have this beer with meals, watching a football game or while relaxing.

everetends, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of berserker256
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little dissappointing. My memory failed me. I thought this beer was better the last time I had it. It's dark amber brown with a nice head but is lacking any kind of aromas that jump out at you. It smells sweet and malty and tastes very mild. Sort of a sweet nutty flavor with almost no hop bitterness. Good texture and easy to drink but I think the microbrewed brown ales that I've had lateley are superior to this one.

berserker256, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of GJ40
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A brown molasses like color with good clarity and a moderate head of small bubbles. The head doesn't last long but it's got decent lacing. A yeasty, slightly nutty aroma. A sweet, malty flavor with a clean yeast presence (almost like a pilsner). A bit thin in the mouth.

A decent beer that's pretty readily available. I happened to buy these at a gas station for tailgating before a basketball game. I picked it because the only other options were bud, miller, etc. Bu it's a decent beer.

GJ40, Apr 24, 2008
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,173 ratings.