1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

4,072 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,072
Reviews: 1,473
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 31
Gots: 276 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,072 | Reviews: 1,473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drinkininthewood
drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

2.2/5  rDev -33.7%

served from a 500ml tall can

A- nice dark reddish brown color, no head, some lace.

S- pretty sweet, aromas of raisin bread, dried fruit.

T- different. flavors of fruit-plums apples. Some flavors of almonds but just barely. alcohol is noticeable. slightly sweet with a bitter finish.

M- fairly light in body and carbonation.

D- i dont know if i could session this, i found the flavor to be a bit odd which was a turn-off for me.

Overall i dont think ill be picking this up again. Might be able to enjoy it with a nice pot roast or something along those lines but not by itself.

04-23-2007 22:30:09 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of alysmith4
alysmith4

District of Columbia

3.55/5  rDev +6.9%

Have seen this on tap and in bottles so many times, but for whatever reason I have avoided it. I found it to be highly drinkable, with a smooth and sweet finish. Lots of caramel and sugar come through, and the carbonation is medium to low. Let this beer warm and enjoy it on a summer night. Delicious.

04-20-2007 18:51:10 | More by alysmith4
Photo of SaltyLime
SaltyLime

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev +4.8%

Appearance - Nice medium amber-brown color, tiny to almost no head.

Smell - Pleasant malty smell, maybe a little nutty, couldn't pick up the nutty taste that well.

Taste - Solid flavor with a little bit of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, good brew.

Drinkability - Medium bodied, goes down well.

04-20-2007 13:57:48 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

2.95/5  rDev -11.1%

A- nice dark brown color with white head-good retention.

S- smell is promising. Nice nutty smell with caramel overtones.

T- malty and dry. not much character to it. The nuts are barely (if at all) detectable.

M- light body and little carbonation.

D- It is unoffensive but still pretty boring and lacks a lot of character.

04-15-2007 20:39:59 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -9.6%

This one pours a nice copper brown color, with some head, and a little bit of lacing. The smell is a little nutty, maybe a little caramely too. The taste is a little thin, watery, on the dry side as far as mouth feel, a tinge of some sweeter malts, a little bit more bitter on the back end. It does have a slightly medicinal, nutty quality, that is okay, but not overly enjoyable. It totally lacks any carbonation, and you won't find hops anywhere in this beer. This is one of those beers which 20 years ago was more highly rated than it is today, because you can find much, much better brown ales from almost anywhere. It's not a bad beer to revisit, and for some people, there might be some sentimental connotations to Newcastle, since it was one of the earliest British ales with mass availablility on this side of the Atlantic. As with most things, time has passed this one by.

04-13-2007 23:27:57 | More by albern
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

2.6/5  rDev -21.7%

18.6 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark reddish-brown color. Foamy head with some big sticky bubbles. Eventually becomes a heavy foam.

Smell: Malts, florals, and some other odd aromas that seem somewhat medicinal.

Taste: A bit nutty, with florals and sweeter malts. The finish is somewhat harsh, with a rather bitter aftertaste. Something is a bit off.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied. Pretty smooth, but a bit too much carbonation.

Drinkability: It's ok, but it's really not all that easy to drink with the harsh finish and the aftertaste.

Maybe it would work fine with food, but just on it's own this hardly an impressive beer. At times it's downright annoying in the flavor department. It's better than I remembered it, but that's not saying much.

04-10-2007 03:32:39 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of darkcarrington
darkcarrington

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev +16%

This is an overall good ale, and while not my favorite it is definitely worth a go if you've never had it before.

Appearance: Nice brown color with some lacing on the head

Smell: A little bit of a nutty smell

Taste: A hint of nuts, tastes a little bit like a watered down Bass

Drinkability: Very drinkable, enjoyable beer. Goes down easy especially for an ale.

While I prefer Bass, you can't go wrong with Newcastle and its even a little bit cheaper which you can't complain about.

04-09-2007 18:28:05 | More by darkcarrington
Photo of elricorico
elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Deep ruddy brown with a good sized creamy tan head. The head fades some, but lacing sticks well.

The dominating piece of the smell is something I can't seem to put my finger on. I know I've smelled it or something similar before, but what it is won't come to mind. Aside from that there is a very faint roasted character and caramel malt aroma. The unknown smell was most notable right after the pour, and settles some after.

I find the taste to be better than the smell, though it is nothing outstanding. Very faint toasted character to start, followed by a mild fruity flavour that leads into a lightly hoppy finish. The finish feels distinctly English, I'm assuming from the hops.

Body is on the light side , and the carbonation is a little on the higher side. Does the job, but doesn't impress.

This is a beer I could see having at a pub when one is more interested in the company than the beer. Certainly not bad, but nothing exciting here.

04-02-2007 00:47:19 | More by elricorico
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -8.7%

Finally reviewing this one.

Pours a clear red/brown, thin off white head forms, some lacing, decent retention, settles out to the sides of the glass. Smell is sweet, nutty, some caramel and fruits, not too complex, but half decent. Taste is sweet up front, lots of fruit character, little bit of roast and caramel through the middle, some bitterness, but more of a citrus character in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Not bad, but overall pretty average.

03-30-2007 00:20:17 | More by Viggo
Photo of Mickelswit
Mickelswit

Ohio

2.68/5  rDev -19.3%

The best thing about this beer is its color. It's a nice, clear, brownish-ruby beer with a little bit of white foam that lingers on the top. The head starts out rocky and quickly settles down, lacing the side of the glass pretty well.

I'm not noticing much in the smell. Certainly no hop aromatics, maybe a bit of sweet toffee.

The taste is all sweet. Any bittering or flavoring hops are covered by the tastes of cola, caramel, and a kind of rosy floral flavor. The sweetness sticks around on the tongue, too.

If it weren't so sweet, the carbonation level would allow me to drink quite a few of these.

It's a nice "gateway" beer for people who don't like beer or aren't accustomed to hops. I've had lots of success getting non-beer drinkers to drink this.

03-28-2007 22:31:48 | More by Mickelswit
Photo of vancurly
vancurly

Australia

3.73/5  rDev +12.3%

Don't like these clear bottles I must say....

Anyway, pours a beige rocky head...mahogany brown colour.

Aromas of sweet caramel & toast.

Light flavours of caramel/chocolate confectionary.... some spicy/floral hop notes in there, but no significant bitterness.

This is certainly a decent beer.... maybe a touch too sweet to have more than a few.... kinda need a bitter chaser to cut through the lingering sweetness.

03-25-2007 04:54:22 | More by vancurly
Photo of MMansfield
MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -8.7%

Picked up a single tall can at the NSLC.

Appearance: Pours a clear medium brown colour with some red highlights. Medium off white head that takes some time to settle leaving great lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, metallic, fruity. A bit of hops come through here, but not much.

Taste: Sweet malt, lots of dried fruit. Mildly hoppy, low bitterness. Metallic flavour in finish.

Mouthfeel: Unpleasantly creamy though drinkability is pretty high.

Final Statement: After the somewhat lackluster smell, who would have thought that would be its high point? I used to enjoy this one a lot back in the day. After laying off it for 6 months or so I can really see how far my tastes have come. This beer isn't drain worthy, but it's one that should be left to the novice drinker. I don't knock these beers because I owe my appreciation for finer craft beers to crossover beers like Newcastle Brown.

03-25-2007 03:35:10 | More by MMansfield
Photo of McClungbrew2
McClungbrew2

West Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

Poured clear brown with light tan frothy head. the head fell to a 1/4inch bead.

The faint aroma was mostly caramel, slightly roasty, with a balance of floral hops.

The flavor was mild sweet caramel malt with chocolate undertones,and a balanced dry finish.

The mouthfeel was smooth with good body and finish.

This is a good mild flavored session beer.

03-23-2007 03:03:09 | More by McClungbrew2
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.63/5  rDev -20.8%

Clear 550ml bottle, best before Nov 2007, drank March 2007.

This used to be a big beer in the UK, when I was a lad (don't ask), there were rumours that a whole ward at Newcastle General Hospital was allocated to drying out drunks who couldn't leave it alone. The rumours were not true, although I knew and still do know a few Geordie's who could have spent a week in there for their health.

I always liked this beer as a youngster, I am older now, so here goes.

Poured into two 'Gordon's Golden' Thistle glasses (the wife wants to try some, for old times sake). Looks fine, a good clear mahogany brown, sparkling and clean, with a small off white foam head on top.

Aroma of sweet bananas, caramel and toffee apples, but not overly strong.

Bitter sweet taste, some burnt malts and a little caramel in the mix too.

Very watery, nothing there after the liquid has gone.

This isn't how I remember Newcastle Brown, someone has taken the flavours away, it looks the same, but everything else has gone, what a pity.

03-21-2007 21:57:13 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of rarevos
rarevos

New York

3.6/5  rDev +8.4%

Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Garnet. Head is pretty fleeting, but when it's there, it's a creamy-looking off-white.

S: Sweet, bready malt with hints of dark, dried fruit (plum, raisin), and some rustic earthiness.

T/M: Pretty smooth. Flavor is fruity-sweet with caramel notes and some hop and mineral balance. Hops are subdued, earthy, and only vaguely bitter. Slight minerally quality to the dry finish, like a coppery twang. Slight (very slight) buttery component. It has a little more carbonation than I ordinarily like in an English beer; this can be pretty tingly when freshly poured.

D: I know it's fairly common to trash this beer because it ain't what it used to be, but I can't really speak to what it used to be. What it is now: a decent, easy-drinking brown ale that's pretty widely available both in bars and stores. It is FAR, FAR better on tap, and my unscientific opinion involves blaming the clear bottles. It's just too much of a crapshoot to buy this bottled, and there's a skunkiness in the aroma (but not the flavor) when it ages a bit. On tap, it's actually quite nice, though usually served too cold.

03-06-2007 22:19:19 | More by rarevos
Photo of beeragent
beeragent

Texas

2.65/5  rDev -20.2%

I guess I have been spoiled by other brown ales, so I was kind of let down by this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a light brown, forming a very thin white head, that quickly faded, leaving very light lacing on the glass. Very little carbonation. Expecting a sweet malty nutty aroma, I was disappointed to find the aroma very skunky, with little notice of the malt. The taste is better, but not great. Sweet malt, maybe a hint of hops, and a slight nutty flavor. Mouthfeel is not as thick as expected. IMO, this is like the Budweiser of brown ales. Not really bad, but with so many better brown ales available, why settle?

03-06-2007 06:33:43 | More by beeragent
Photo of Jordan1985rec
Jordan1985rec

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +31.9%

Both my girlfriend and I can enjoy this beer, a quality not found in too many brands. What I really like about this brew is the color and flavor, which at least to my palate tastes a bit like vinegar...in good way. I would compare this beer to a Smithwicks or other dark ales. Good with Shepherd
s Pie!

Pour: Decent, not a ton of head even when sloshed in (a friend of mine is not the best server)
Appearance: dark, a bit malt vinegarish. Not too fizzy
Smell: Rich, a bit grainy
Taste: This is where this ale shines in my opinion, Very drinkable and rich, but not too heavy.
All in all one of my all time favorites!

03-04-2007 22:28:31 | More by Jordan1985rec
Photo of 2wheeledpirate
2wheeledpirate

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +14.5%

Pours to a medium brown that looks very smoothwith not much of a head. The looks are not deceiving, in that this beer goes down very easy. It's not as thick as it appears. Not as much aroma as I usually like, but the delicious nutty taste makes up for it. The finish is semi-clean with a hint of flavor left on the tongue.

P.S. I like this beer better on tap than from the bottle!

03-01-2007 21:37:25 | More by 2wheeledpirate
Photo of cowislander
cowislander

New York

4.8/5  rDev +44.6%

New Castle Brown Ale was my first brown ale ever. It was acutally the first beer I ever drank in full. At first sip it has a smooth taste and texture. It has just the right amount of fizz in it. And yes, you can even drink it warm in case there is a black out. It is best to drink this wonderful ale at around 45degrees F. I usually pour it from a bottle into a room temp glass to achieve the optimum setting. Many people are scared of such a dark beer, but it is the smoothest beer in all the land.

03-01-2007 01:01:15 | More by cowislander
Photo of billysj
billysj

California

2.93/5  rDev -11.7%

Newcastle Brown Ale from a 1 pint bottle.

The appearance is a dark brown with a good head that dissipate quickly.

Smells of bitter malt.

Taste is malty with a some bitterness.

The mouthfeel is watery with medium carbonation.

Overall this brown ale is average. I would drink a newcastle again, but I won't be buying it for myself.

02-25-2007 03:10:46 | More by billysj
Photo of Shadman
Shadman

Alberta (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -15.7%

Purchased the big 550 ml hummer. The one & only it says on the clear glass bottle. Guess I'm done sampling english brown ales.


Just slightly lighter brown than cola with a tan head that goes quickly in to a ring around the glass. No real smell other than some floral hops. At least there was no skunk as can be expected with a clear bottled product.

some carmel malt with a touch of sweetness as well. Bitter earthy hops in this beer also. I failed to detect any nuttiness or butteriness. Not what I expected in an ale. With the bitterness and high carbonation it tasted more like a euro Pilsner than an ale.

02-16-2007 03:40:20 | More by Shadman
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +29.5%

I love the appearance of Newcastle in it's classic clear bottles. You can actually see what your going to be drinking. I wish all beer were in clear bottles. This has to be one of the most drinkable beers i've ever had. I could drink this at any time or point in the year. Totally refreshing and great with any meal. Sweet malt and honey taste with a slight hop bitterness on the finish. Creamy medium-bodied texture that goes down smooth. Depending on how hard you pour it will determine the size of the head. A gentle pour will not leave much of a head, and leave minimal lacing. The mouthfeel could be a bit more crisper. Overall great drinkable beer that shouldnt offend the lightest of beer drinkers.

02-11-2007 22:55:25 | More by kelticblood
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

2.45/5  rDev -26.2%

The beer looks and pours nice enough. A dark amber pour, with nice carbonation and nice head. Almost too light in color for a brown ale in my opinion.
The nose was a bit skunky. I really couldnt get much past that.
Taste was also skunky, although i did detect a decent malt backround..plums, maybe raisins came to mind.
Good mouthfeel and finish.
Just didnt like the skunkyness and it ruined the beer in my opinion.

02-02-2007 13:03:10 | More by dmamiano
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

3.23/5  rDev -2.7%

A: Clean chestbut brown leaning to the dark side. Head started out fizzy and fell to a sandy film with a decent ring around the glass.

S: Cane sugar, caramel and green apple.

T: Definate caramel flavors up front. Perhaps some almonds mixed with burnt brown sugar and toasted cereals to accompany it. Lingers with touch of bitterness, hint of butterscotch and red apple. Finishes mildly roastedness, gentle malty sweetness and somewhat grainy.

M: Thin and hard with not a lot of body.

D: Boring and straight forward beer. It really does need to warm up to let the flavors out.

01-31-2007 05:53:19 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of BBM
BBM

New York

3.38/5  rDev +1.8%

I'll put aside the fact I'm a Magpies fan. This beer pours a nice mahogany brown color with a thin, off-white head. The aroma is almost not there-- a faint hint of nuttiness and some malts.

The taste is more of a nutty flavor, with a thin body and a slightly bitter finish. It is quite smooth though, and fairly balanced. As far as English browns go, it's slightly better than average. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but not bad. Overall it's a drinkable beer that has it's strong and weak points. Give it try.

01-29-2007 20:11:45 | More by BBM
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,072 ratings.