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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.

4,257 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,257
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 36
Gots: 352 | 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: 4,257 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RobH
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. clear bottle.

I've had this beer before but decided to get another bottle and drink it and rate it.

For some reason, this one did not smell as good nor taste as good, although I liked the taste better than the aroma.

For me it had a sort of European Pilsner beer hops aroma to it, vs. a malty brown beer type of aroma I was expecting.

The taste was more pleasing than the aroma, with more of a malty character coming through. That said, this one at least is not my real cup of tea in Brown Ales.

I will need to try more brown ales from England to compare before judging it soley against American craft brewer's versions of English and American Browns. I am a malty, brown ale liking type of beer drinker, so I believe I am judging this one to the style. We'll see.

RobH, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of Chugmonkey
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown, low carbed, minimal white head. Lightly hopped limits aroma to light caramelly, butteryness. Taste is smooth & mild caramel malt, little sweetness but not too much to make heavy & filling. Very, very drinkable, especially if fresh & on tap. A classic English Brown - like a good neighbor always there for ya.

Chugmonkey, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of klintok21
4.38/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank straight from the bottle on a hot summer day, very tasty and not overwhelming (especially considering I had a 'Poet' Oatmeal Stout earlier on ) Not my absolute favorite but it ranks up there now; a very refreshing change of pace and easy to drink with very light carbonation. I recommend at least trying it once! I just picked up another 6 pack tonight! Drinking one as I type!

klintok21, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of BoSox5902
4.65/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my first dark beer. a great english ale. this beer opened my mind from only liking american macro brews into loving beers from all over the world. i have had many great dark beers, and this one by far is my favorite dark beer. its not strong in flavor like guinness and it doesn't have the hoppiness of sam adams but it is very refreshing. i feel its a good transitional beer for people who wanna expand into better beers

BoSox5902, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of eweneek83
4.33/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one is my favorite beer, although not the best beer I've tried by far, I just love it. So here's a fair review of old Newcastle Brown Ale.

Served from 12oz bottle

Appearance - It pours finely with a tint much like sweet tea, about a 1 and 1/2 inch thick head which dissipates after a couple drinks.

Smell - At first it smells a bit sweet, with a raisiny and malty smell, a bit of alcohol peaks through too. A smokey syrup smell.

Taste - Taste is somewhat bold for such a recently commercialized beer, more raisiny tastes and English hops come together for a great 'brown ale' taste. Not too strong though.

Mouthfeel - This one leaves the mouth feeling a bit astringent, a little on the thin side, but not watery. A pleasant aftertaste reminds you that you aren't drinking cheap American lager, which is a good thing.

Drinkability - This one is an old-stand by if you're not in the mood for a heavier, bolder beer, and not quite in the mood for yellow fizzy water as well. Get a couple pints of these ice cold and you'll have a great evening.

eweneek83, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, dark cherry-amber with a sudsy, macro-bubble head, 1 finger in height before settling to a thin sparse covering. A nice solid rim lacing was left behind with no visible carbonation being detected.

S: sweet, nutty caramel with some brown sugar, and a fruity yeastiness of cherries and holiday fruit cake.

T: The flavor was dark, sweet caramel with a soft nuttiness and a big fruitiness of cherries and fruit cake. There was some warming alcohol and spiciness (cinnamon, rum) as well on the finish.

M: extremely light, oily slick, with no carbonation felt, and very smooth going down.

D: A decent offering that was spicy, fruity and easy to drink. Solid all around by style and worthy of a try.

beerthulhu, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent brownish-red with a half-inch off-white cap that quickly dissipated into a thin skim; no lacing adhered during the session. Nose was malty with a hint of caramel for sweetness and a mild skunky character. Taste consistent with nose, but skunky quality is more detectable at the finish. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a kiss of effervescence across the tongue. I've always found Newkie brown to be a very easy drinking sessionable brew and it had been my go to beer for years. However, the more I explore the style the more I realize that there are better offerings out there.

Jwale73, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of BeerCheese
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gave it a big pour and got a huge head that dissipated at an average rate. Color of watered down coke, crystal clear. Not much in the way of aroma other than a bit of hops. Very light carbonation and light body. Balanced taste with a nice crisp, slightly hoppy finish. A very drinkable beer.

BeerCheese, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Kyle987
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, with an amber redness when held up to a light. Minimal head and lacing. Aroma was weak, largely floral, with a hint of caramel. Taste was by no means unpleasant, but still very unimpressive. Slightly bitter, with a sweeter finish, and leaves a fresh floral scent once swallowed. I'm not a fan of the mouthfeel - it reminds me of carbonated water from Germany. Just watery, and the tickle from the carbonation is more annoying than enjoyable. Still drinkable - goes down easy - but not far from a favorite.

Kyle987, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
2.23/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is one you can find everywhere. About $6 for a six pack of 12 oz bottles. I've had hundreds of these, but this time I'm actually taking notes on it. I've always known this one to be a decent tasting and easy to drink brown ale. Poured into a Stein.

Alomst an inch of eggshell white head. Deep brownish ruby color. Only the darkness of this one makes it transparent. Almost no lacing or head retention.

Amazing to me how low quality this one smells after drinking so many. This is definitely more of a pounding beer than a connoisseur beer. That being said, it should not be as expensive as it is. Malty, nutty and slightly smoky. Almost no presence of alcohol, hops or yeast in the nose.

I've tasted this one many times and never thought it was as bad as it is right now. It's like this beer was never meant to be reviewed or something. Sweet and malty. Low quality ingredients, not well balanced.

Light bodied, little carbonation. Very watery. I have tho give this a high rating for drinkability based on the many long previous sessions I've had with this one.

The one lesson I have learned from reviewing this one is that it is not worth its price. If it was the price of your average yellow beer, I'd drink it much more than I will from here on out.

ibbjamin, Jul 15, 2008
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
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,257 ratings.