1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

4,365 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,365
Reviews: 1,487
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 35
Gots: 393 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,365 | Reviews: 1,487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erosier
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an ornage copper color from a clear bottle with a short and thin off-white head that settles pretty fast. Not much to the nose except some nice sweet toasted malts and a tiny bit of hoppy bitter at the end of the aroma. The taste is more bland than I was expecting with some malts and some hops present to round out the flavor. It has a clean and light mouthfeel which makes it pretty drinkable, but something I don't plan on getting very often.

erosier, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of Slynger
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber-brown with a light tan lid that settles quickly. A light nose is sweet and a bit fruity. Caramel malt flavors along with toasted grains and light earthy hops. A bit fruit and nuts show up as well, and the finish is lightly bitter. Not bad overall, this is a fairly tasty English Brown macro-brew that was a definite stepping stone for my journey from light beer binge drinking to quality beer appreciation.

Slynger, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of ubermick
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A: Nut-brown colour, with a quickly disappating head, and substantial carbonation.

S: Pleasant roasted malt, with notes of nuttiness and caramel.

T: Medium bodied, with a nice malty sweetness.

MF/D: An enjoyable brew, best served from the bottle. It's very drinkable, and my beer of choice in most "English" pubs. Perhaps a little "generic" for some, it's still a solid beer from a large(ish) brewery.

ubermick, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of fl0w
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very common macro, but if your buying from anywhere that only sells your common macros, this ones not a bad choice.

The appearance is definitely this beers strong point, an inviting dark amber with a thick white head, which dissipated rather quickly. Smell of roasted malts, but nothing special. The taste is very distant, more malt, very little hop to speak of. Finish is slightly bitter, but not that great hoppy bitterness. Feels very watery, not overly carbonated, but bubbles hard in your stomach, not letting you drink too many of these.

fl0w, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Good color, but that's about all that recommends it. Headless, weak brown ale. Flinty, metallic undertone with some smokiness and hazelnut, maybe. Some bitterness, some malt backbone. Mostly cold and watery and somewhat drinkable. Didn't want another, though. Switched to wine with my pork chop.

Poured at Disneyland Hotel restaurant (Hook...something).

dhd1491, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of mecell2000
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear but dark brown in color with a white head that only lasted as long as my first sip. Large bubbles are constantly floating up to the surface, but the beer doesn't feel overly carbonated.

Great malty aroma and a light crispness across the nose. Taste is wonderful and everything a brown ale should hope to be. Malty and nutty, finishes crisply and leaves a good aftertaste. Definitely a beer you can have any time.

mecell2000, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of nasty15108
4.35/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured for a 1pt 2.6oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A - Poured leathery brown color with amber hues throughout. The straight pour produced a foamy off-white head that quickly dissapared into a bubbly film. A decent ammount of lacing was left scattered throughout the glass.

S - I think the recipe or bottling of NewCastle for import may have changed a bit since the early 90's when I first started drinking it. I remember it smelling much more nutty and complex. Not too much going as far as an aroma anymore. Slight malt smell with some alcohol mixed in.

T - The taste is still well above average, and IMO much better than most other brown ales (US or UK). Its slightly sweet up front with little hints of butterscotch and nuts followed by the tiniest bit of hop bitterness in the finish.

MF&D - Medium bodied and smooth. Coats the mouth decently and leaves a bit of sweetness on the lips. The fact that NewCastle is not overly carbonated makes it a top notch session ale.

nasty15108, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of tsbuttry
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've always felt that Newcastle is the beer for people who claim to like beer, but really don't. It's a step above your typical American Macrobrew, and there is something going on with the beer, but mostly it's something pretty to look at, and then disappointing as you realize there's little discernable flavor.

Appearance: Quite good. A tawny brown that lets a bit of light filter through, nice foamy head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: A faint sniff of roasted malt, not much else to speak of.

Taste: Actually, somewhat generic. It has a better malty flavor than a Macrobrew, but there's almost no hop profile. It doesn't finish clean at all.

Mouthfeel: As above, it doesn't finish clean. It's not very watery, though and the carbonation is well-pitched.

Drinkability: It sits like a rock in your stomach. One can be enjoyable as a change of pace, but it's very difficult to session.

tsbuttry, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
2.17/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a flat, reddish-brown colour with zero head and zero carbonation. Admittedly it's a chug-by-the-pint ale so carbonation, head or anything interesting would diminish from its purpose, but frankly it just looks really really dull.

Smell is okay, a fair amount of floral hops on the nose with a subdued hint of roasted dark ale aroma. Ever so slightly sour.

Taste has an unpleasant sickly sweetness on the very front palate which follows on nicely to a fairly hoppy mid palate with a slight burnt or roasted character, which would probably stand to be greatly increased. At the moment, with the quite sweet hit on the front it tastes like coffee diluted with lots and lots of sugar. Mouthfeel is watery and still. Not all that great, really. I guess it's mild enough to drink, but I wouldn't.

laituegonflable, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of BeanBone
4.43/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Medium to dark brown, clear with an almost non-existent fizzy head

Aroma: Nutty and malty with a definite sweet hint

Taste: Deep body, medium malt character with no bitterness

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and crisp, nice aftertaste

Drinkability: Easy to drink and a perfect match with the traditional beer pairing: pizza

Verdict: Certainly no where near as good as from a tap, but still a great session beer from the bottle. If you're looking for something a little darker, this is a beer with a real bite you can drink all night long. Good dog.

BeanBone, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent, middle of the road beer that's just different enough to make it interesting.

It's pretty tame when compared to ales produced by micros, but the smell and taste are still pretty nice. It has a lightly sweet caramel smell and flavor, with some toast like flavors as well.

Feel is decent, but uninspiring. It is, however, very easy to drink, and another one of those "change of pace" macro beers.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish-brown amber. Aroma is of the sort of toast that will not trigger your smoke alarm, but is still toasty, faintly maltish, and nutty. There is also a bit of toffee and esters. Flavor is primarily lightly toasted malt with light fruit, cherry, raisin, and nuts. The carbonation is well balanced, and the mouthfeel is appropriate for the flavor and style. This is not one of my favorites, but it is frequently one of the best brews on tap in a lot of bars, and I'm just thankful it's there.

BoitSansSoif, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of dill
2.25/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

served on tap in a pint glass.

A: a nice dark brown color with low head retention.

S: mild aroma with a bit of malt.

T: a slight bitterness, but very smooth. a bit too weak for me.

M: light with low carbonation.

D: this used to be a go-to beer of mine at certain establishments, but it's fallen out of favor over the years. perhaps something has changed. I keep expecting more than I get and perhaps it's time to stop ordering it.

dill, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of SargeC
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Decent looking brown brew with a fizzy tan head.

Smell: Good malt presence, hints of tobacco.

Taste: Good malt quality with a nutty finish. Great easygoing flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body that contributes to its drinkability.

Drinkablity: Great staple brew. At home during a BBQ or any other serious session. A hot weather brew with plenty of character.

SargeC, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of Procrastinator
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. clear bottle is part of "Beers of the World" sampler that was given to me. I've had this beer countless times over the past several decades. The "code" 30 06 R L157 59 21 is printed on rear label. I really do enjoy understandable freshness dating. Poured my beer into my Sam Adams "pint" glass.

Appearance: copper tan body with orange hues
and small bubbled beige colored head. Lots of active carbonation just below the head, which can be easily reformed with a swirl of the glass.

Smell: any scents are subtle and quite difficult to find. Gentle scents of toffee and caramel malts, low pH water and a nuttiness once this warms up.

Taste: gentle malty sweetness with buttery toffee. Grassy hops at the finish. Ever so little alcohol can be detected once this warms up.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with generous carbonation. The hop bitterness at the finish balances out the malty sweetness. Wish there was more body to this beer.

Drinkability: fairly easy to drink with most attributes being mainly mild and difficult to detect. I've drank Newkie Brown for decades now, but few and far between lately. Somehow, I'm sure this is a much better beer in England, at the source. This is a brown ale "light".

Procrastinator, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4.70% abv, 500mL can purchased at Kingston, Ontario LCBO. 30-11-08 freshness date lasered on the bottom. Poured into oversized wine glass.

Appearance is rich red-brown with blown bubble head, droops a bit but still full of bubbles. A little bit lacey.

Bananas, cashews, bubblegum. Brown sugar and cereal, even some dairy in there. Subtle vegetal hop aromas. Vanilla yogurt. Light sourness.

Creamy light mouthfeel, low carbonation, moderately sweet palate with nuts, some banana. Accentuating sourness and light bitterness. Finish is nutty and brown sugar sweet, not malty sweet. Flash of vanilla cake mix. A little weak on flavour. Too sugary-sweet.

Antilochus, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this into my pint glass and received a small, creamy head that unfortunately died quickly on top of a seethru dirty brown. The smell is not too clear, as there are tidbits of malts and some sweetness (yeast?). I say this because Newcastle is always a little less dry and a little more smooth/sweet in the taste and mouthfeel (a light version of a stout if you will, made "palatable" to Americans). All I can say is I don't mind Newcastle, but it is on the cheap end for a reason. One of those beers that "beer drinkers" drink, when in fact they have no clue what they're talking about. I wish I could add more, but I don't really note anything specific in the taste region. It is just a sweeter version of a real brown ale and there are no discernable malts.

clayrock81, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of SMark
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brown ale was served in what appeared to be a pint glass but was listed as 18 ounces on the menu. I did not have my measuring cup or I would have checked it for my own satisfaction. The beer was brown with a wisp of foam on the very top of the glass so maybe it was an 18. Traces of foam (lace) were left on the glass as the beer was consumed.

The beer was cold and deadened most of the aroma. There was a faint hint of malt.

Cider seemed to be the prominent taste which reminded me of a weak malt flavor.

It did not overstay its welcome and I probably should have let it warm more. Hate to say it was just average under the tasting conditions.

This effort was not as good as I remember my other encounters with this beverage. An acceptable beer but I probably will not order from that establishment again. It was still better than the other mass produced offerings.

SMark, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
4.33/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Darker golden brown with a white foamy head, great pouring beer.

S - Sweet bits of carmel and fruit with a mild but smokey aroma, great.

T - Med-bodied with a buttery smooth mixure of carmel, fruit, roasted nuts.

M - Extremely smooth but slighty heavy with a great smooth and clean finish.

D - Anyday and everyday, Great beer to relax at the end of the day or enjoy a nice dinner with.

trackstar1043, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear medium brown in color with a thin head. Malty flavor, a bit on the sweet side, very lightly hopped. Light bodied. This is a favorite of mine when I want a flavorful beer, but don't want to get filled up. Goes great with food or as a session beer, though the sweetness can get a bit annoying after 3 or 4.

I only drink this one on tap because it's very hard to find a six that hasn't been skunked due to the clear glass bottles.

Hoagie1973, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Uno's in Harvard Square (hey, our 3-year old enjoys Uno's...but not this one). Clean, uniform, light brown color with decent yet thin head. Scent of a solid brown ale - English-style malt is abundant with minimal hops. Tastes very clean - the very light alcohol presence helps to make this a well-blended quaff - has mild depth with sort of a nut-bread backbone. Overall it's very moderate all-around - solid finish. Easy to drink but rather filling.

IBUnit63, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of bboven
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an example of a beer that is better and a lot different in the can vs. the bottle.

Good, clear medium/dark brown body with a half-finger of persistent creamy head.

Lots of sweet malt, a bit toasty and just a touch of sour in the aroma.

Light bready malt throughout the flavor. Not complex, but that's fine for this style. Very non-ruffling to the tongue.

Mouhtfeel is smooth and creamy carbonation, a touch drying and a tiny bit sticky at the same time.

I think the mouthfeel and the aroma are the big differences here vs. the bottle. Definitely prefer the canned, and now I have a new session beer!

bboven, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of JDV
1.78/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Transluscent maroon pour with offwhite head. Smells skunky, like a heineken or st. pauli girl would, then a bit sour, vinegar-ish smell. A bit of the band-aid smell I've read about, but this was my first experience actually noticing it. Taste is a thin boring very lightly malty flavor that was much weaker than I expected, but at least I didn't taste the skunkiness. Even if this one weren't bad, the flavor was a very diluted brown ale.

JDV, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of dmbgirl
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was the first of many brown ales that i have tried. it was a refreshing change from all the "lite" beers i was drinking in college. it had more flavor and taste than most beers i had tried up to that point. its rich smoothness was a welcome departure from the ordinary. best served cold with calzones or pizza. and every time i have one, it reminds me of good times.

dmbgirl, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Clydesdale
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Resembles a cola in color, not much head retention.

S: Faintly sweet, toasted, and earthy.

T: Fairly sweet, some maltiness. Kind of earthy and toasted at the finish.

M: Pretty smooth, with light carbonation.

D: Nothing too complicated, but a nice flavor, not too heavy. Easy to drink.

Clydesdale, Feb 03, 2008
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,365 ratings.