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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 nickss
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cherry brown with a nice 1/2" creamy head.
Unfortunately, the head quickly disipates to a very thin cap.

Not much smell at all. Barely able to pick up anything aside from malt and sugar.... not as bad as a typical macro, but not good.

Lots of sugar and some maltiness. Very one dimensional, yet entirely inoffensive.

Creamy mouthfeel... eh.... not much to say about this one. About what I'd expect out of a brown.

I've sessioned with this beer many many many times.... including my 21st bday =P
As I said before... nothing special, but entirely inoffensive.

nickss, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've had Newcastle enough to know this one wouldn't be anything special, but it was on tap for $2 a pint today. Okay in every characteristic. None of my favorite qualities of brown ales were apparent here, especially regarding smell and taste. Nice creamy mouthfeel though. Better on draft than in a bottle in my opinion.

Backer2004, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of bark
2.08/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The colour is clear red-brown; the two finger thick beige foam forms an airy head with some crater tendencies.

The smell is sweet and malty with a clear burned note, some sour-bitter notes and a slight chemical note.

The taste is unbalanced with a fruity, somewhat burned salty flavour. The taste soon becomes watery with a notable corn-feel. The aftertaste is short and rather mild with a saccharine-like sweetness and a chemical bitterness.

The mouthfeel is rather odd; it is almost stale and almost sharp at the same time, making it rather unbalanced.

When I was a young, innocent and inexperienced beer drinker, I drank a lot of this beer. Now, I find it very uninteresting and artificial. Way to go…

bark, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of trevorwideman
2.8/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking beer colour wise (dark brown, go figure), poured a little flat looking though, and that rather turned me off. Almost no head whatsoever. Roasted malt smell, weak coffee notes. I can't see much carbonation in this at all....

Maybe I'm just not a huge fan of English ales....although I really like Bass, but this one feels weak all-around. Slight hop sweetness, I expected more bitter, but not really at all. Not even much of a roasted taste. Thin in the mouth, soft on the palate. That's a bit of a bad combination for me. Filling though. All these things make me think that I'd be hard pressed to make this a session ale, especially with all the great ales available out there. Not a big fan.

trevorwideman, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of Boneheadmx
3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out fairly dark in color, but you can tell it's amber when you put it into the light. The head fizzles away quite fast, and does not really stay with the beer. The smell is quite nice, with very familiar hop smells. Not overpowering which is quite nice. The taste is quite good. Although it's a bit acidic when it first reaches the toungue, it mellows out nicely, with a blunt taste of hops. I find the carbonation in this beer a bit heavy, especially for an ale such as this one. The liquid is also fairly runny, not interesting to the mouth. This is very drinkable, and I think it is good for a full night's worth of drinking. Not especially filling.

Boneheadmx, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark reddish copper. Creamy two finger head with outstanding retention and fair spotty lacing. Faint floral hops and crystal aroma. Timid malty flavor, sweet esters and just traces of herbal hops that produce a drying, clean finish. Light bodied and adequatley carbonated to fight off diacetyl. This is a very drinkable beer, but it seems a little bland even by english brown ale standards.

PBRstreetgang, Aug 16, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at The Glass Nickle here in Madison along with a delicious bloody mary. This really is a sentimental beer for me, the first "good beer" that got me out of drinking Michlelob Golden Light with the buddies. For the past 6 months or so it was all that I'd drink. That changed when I became a BA about a month ago and I hadn't had it since. Though I'd give my old stand-by a test run and see how it's holding up now that I've experienced some 50 new beers.

Pours a murky milk chocolate brown with a small off-white head. Smell is sweet grainy, fruity malts and iced tea. Taste follows suit, leans heavily toward malts, very little hop presence, but I really don't miss it. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, though rather thin. I could still drink this stuff all day and still haven't found a beer that I could drink to my own oblivion that is so refreshing and tasty. There's nothing too complex about it, and it's a little unbalanced, but I still enjoy this brown ale, and I still compare all browns I try to this old standard.

Golden2wenty1, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this on tap at Friday's in Miller Park, where I saw the worst baseball game of my life. The Brewers and the Giants combined for seven hits, and the only runs of the game were scored on a three-run homer by the Giants' pitcher, Brad Hennessy. This beer did not exactly make up for it.

It was a dull brown with a lackluster head; didn't help that it was in a plastic cup. Smelled fruity and of esters/banana. Taste was also disturbingly banana-ish. It was a little malty, but there were no dark malt flavors like chocolate or coffee. Really dull beer for a really dull baseball game.

battlekow, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of ryantupy
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This poured a very brownish color with a nice fizzy head that did not last that long.

Smell: This was a tough one, I noticed a kinda sweet smell followed by a more toasty even a little pepperish scent.

Taste: It started out slightly toasty and sweet then soon afterward I noticed hints of grain, pepperish flavors, and even a little hint of earthy hop.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth it felt a little toothy maybe but overall very enjoyable.

Drinkability: I found it to be a very modest medocere brown ale but enjoyable. I enjoy this beer on tap more than out of the bottle.

ryantupy, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What should be a nutty northern English brown ale be relegated to a smooth but grainy tasting English-like ale that exhibits as much toasted grain as it does hearty malted character.

The pour of chestnut brown coloration shows brilliant clarity, but only forms a short-lived and lackluster head character that dissipates rather quickly. Reducing to a lace, the beer does lace with isolated pockets of foam. The look is fine, just not as substantial as I would have liked in the foam department.

Grainy-sweet aromas carry a mild nutty, toasty, lightly kilned barley character with woody herbal hop notes that complement the slight caramel and cola nut scent. The nose if fine, crisp, and clean but doesn't allure the senses in the way that classy English brown ales should.

Timidly flavored, the beer starts with more grainy sweetness than it does maltiness. There's really no biscuit malt character, and flimsy toffee richness in taste that celebrates a rather empty mid palate of cola and barley husk more than substantial malt or hop balance.

Low in body, the beer seems to be derived more so of grain hulls as it does of first runnings of malt. Grainy, astringent, and watery, the grains are over worked and unsupported with the textures that make the authentic nutty and malty versions so appealing.

In reality, today's Newcastle has been relegated to a beer that can carry your swill guzzling buddies from Anheuser-Buschs' Amber Bock towards better Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale or Wychwood Hobgoblin.

BEERchitect, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of palliko
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is – well, – brown! Not much foam to boast about, and it dissipates quickly. Aroma is roasted barley, malt, diacetyl (buttery) and is followed by a taste comprised of the same. Hops assert themselves bringing some bitterness to match the malt sweetness, fruit (plums) and grains are present. Body is about medium. Finish is dry and leaves a clean palate. Available on tap everywhere. An okay beer with food.

palliko, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of Sycodrummer
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby clear bottle into a mug this beer was a deep ruby brown color topped by about a 1/2 finger of off-white head that rather quickly dissapated but left decent lacing down the sides of the glass throughout the sample.

Smell was nutty and fruitty with a think maltiness. A semi-sweet smell and for some reason (it's probably just me) this beer always smells like terpentine to me.

The taste has a chewy and sweet maltiness to it with a slitghly bitter nutty character to it. Very mininal hop presence dectected and the taste is a little watery. It seems as thought the ingredients are there for a decent ale, but mass production has stopped them from being expressed to their fullest.

Moderate chewy consistancy on the palate with rather minimal carbonation.

The beer is drinkable but not one of my first picks. Slightly better on draft IMO, the beer from the bottle is a little light on the flavour potential it could have. An okay beer, but nothing too special. There are certainly much better and just as available samples of the style that I'd rather opt for.

Sycodrummer, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of jamesclark
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer is a rich brown color, with some caramel. Though dark, it is very clear - not cloudy in the slightest. The head is soda-like, small, bubbly, and quickly gone.

The aroma is of malt and honey. It is sweet and nutty, pecan-like, with some cinnamon.

The taste is also sweet and nutty, a bit earthy, a little creamy. It is very light and clean. There is some bitterness to be had at the end, a spicy honey aftertaste.

There is a moderate amount of carbonation, which provides just a little fizziness. The body is light, a bit watery, and slightly creamy.

This is an easy beer to drink, and it does have some sweetness and bitterness to keep the taste buds involved. Unfortunately the flavor and mouthfeel are a little weak. The head at the beginning warns you that this beer is a little on the soda-pop side.

jamesclark, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
2.3/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I just came back from a cruise and this was the only beer they had that was drinkable. Needless to say, I consumed a hell of a lot of it. It looks and smells fine, but the taste gets horridly old after about 2 or 3 of these. The mouthfeel is slick, but honstly adds nothing to the beer. After 4 days of drinking nothing but these, I was about ready to quit drinking all together. Enough said.

santoslhalper, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of BrewMaven
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had one at The Outback a few nights ago. Poured a clear reddish brown with a coarse white head. Left some lacing after the head diminished. I'll agree with others saying they found this to be a "nutty" beer, slightly malty with a light mouthfeel. Mild finish. This is on par with Killians IMO but with a little less personality.

BrewMaven, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of mntlover
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up some for my wife, so I had to review one.A sealed 12 pack so it wasn't light struck.

Pours a light brown with red hints aggressive pour leds to a 2 1/2 finger light tan head that actually leaves some lace, was suprised at that but sometimes pouring aggresive pays off.

Aroma is light nutty flavors mixed with some light caramel light hints of grassy hops.

Taste is like the aroma its lighter in body and flavor then most browns but altogether its not bad. Has light nutty flavors on a light caramel malt base finish is light little watery small hints of grass like hops is about it.

Mouthfeel is light for a brown but makes it very drinkable.

Drinkability is good light beer goes down quick and smooth would be a good intro to browns for someone who enjoys light macro crap. Not altogether bad but wouldn't recommend to fellow BA's.

mntlover, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of Noxious26
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml clear bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, chestnut brown in colour. Big frothy 1.5 inch head that is beige in colour. Head reduces to a 1/4 inch foam across the top with good lacing down the sides. Nice head retention. It pretty much hangs around until the end of the glass.

Fairly mild aroma. Mainly malty and nutty. Not very complex.

Fairly mild taste as well. Not as agressive as some Brown Ales can be. However, there are subtle nutty and caramel aspects that back up the mild malt flavour. Bitter aftertaste is mild and short lived.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with little carbonation.

This is a fairly tame Brown Ale. Not very sweet or full or dry, however, it is smooth and easy to drink. This seems fairly plain to me, but might be a nice beer to give someone as an introduction to the style. There's nothing harsh about this, and it still shows (allbeit mildly) the characters of the style.

Note: Personally I prefer this on-tap. Also, sometimes these can be skunky as the bottle is clear. Try to do your best to get bottles that haven't been exposed to sunlight, and keep them in the dark until you drink them.

Noxious26, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of BDTyre
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This reminds me of a mediocre Sam Smith's nut brown ale. Similar reddish-brown hue, with khaki head. Smells malty, with traces of nuts. The slight buttery scent in Samuel Smith is much more pronounced in this.

The taste is malts, hints of toffee and caramel, with a bit of nuts. As with Sam Smith, this has a definite buttery taste to it, but it is much more pronounced in this. I can also detect a slight coppery taste.

Overall, not bad. Feels a bit harsh on the tongue, but otherwise is generally easy to drink and does not have a terrible flavour.

BDTyre, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a light brown head.

From onset of the pour you could smell a sweet nutty aroma.

The nutty taste is the first thing that hits when you take a sip. Followed by a sweet mellow finish which makes you want to have another straight away.

Very nice beer.

BeerNutta, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of Luigi
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruby-brown color and a somewhat fizzy head. Head rentention is a thin lace. Roasted grains, a little bit of buttery diacetyl come out in the aroma. The taste is semi sweet and has a touch of roasted grains. Some buttery diacetyl and hints of fruit can be found. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style. Finishes off dry and malty. An average brown ale.

Luigi, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of Kulrak
4.22/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chocolate brown with an off-white creamy thin head that laces all the way down. I actually thought this was in a brown bottle til I poured it into the glass, hehe. Has a pleasant malty chocolate aroma. This beer has a great malty chocolatey roasty flavor. Not too sweet, and just enough bitterness to balance it out and have a clean finish. It's very creamy and not too carbonated. I really like this beer, I could drink it all day. My only regret is that I only bought one bottle.

Kulrak, Jun 17, 2005
Photo of GuinnessHero
4.15/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was given the opportunity to sample one of these fine beers at the local Outback.

Appearance - At first glance, I thought the waiter had mistakenly given me a coke with my order. Very brown with a head that looked like when you first pour a soda.

Smell - About average for a beer, much better than any cheaper beers such as Bud Light, and much less harsh than any stout on the market

Taste - Very pleasant going down. This fit my salad I had that night very well. While the hops were a little too much, I still managed to swish it in my mouth a little bit longer than most beers.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel after having a sip of this beer was rather good. I was surprised that it did NOT leave a bitter aftertaste, which makes this beer much more appealing to the average beer drinker.

Drinkability - This went down really easily for me. Perhaps not as easy as most light beers, but compared to a good stout, this was a breeze. I could see myself pouding a 6 pack of these without any effort at all.

GuinnessHero, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of ski271
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark coppery-brown with a small, light brown, dense head that diminishes fairly quickly, turning a little clumpy as it dissipates. Nice thin but plentiful lacing all the way down.

Smell: I remembered there being more to this. But it’s rather weak. Caramel and nutty, sure. But what else? Maybe a little apple, but not much else, and I’ve grown to expect a little more from an english brown.

Taste: Again it’s rather weak. Bland nutty malt dominates, along with a little dark fruit and earth. Finish is medium in duration and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thin-medium texture, watery texture turning a little buttery toward the finish, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, this was an unimpressive, adjunct-heavy euro-macro, but there’s something about it that’s so good, and hopefully it’s not just the nostalgia associated with this brew for me. But I do prefer a meatier brown ale, but this thinner, crisper brown ale is still rather refreshing.

ski271, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a draft, this beer pours out medium cola brown, crystal clear, with an inch of creamy beige head that fizzles quickly and leaves neigh a sigh of lace.

Aromas are sweet caramel malts, hard English water minerality, and light floral hops.

The flavor is dominated by medium dark caramel malts, buttery bread, an almost root-beer like note, and floral hops.

Light to medium in body with a smooth and creamy texture highlighted by tight and easy carbonation.

AlexJ, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of Toddv29424
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great overall beer. Has a nutty smell and pours with a moderate white head. The color is a translucent brown-red color, but becomes much more red when held up to the light. Taste is pretty solid and there is not much variation, but still the taste of nut is what takes precedence. Great taste for anyone who is perhaps shy to brown ales and is looking for a good introduction.

Toddv29424, Jun 06, 2005
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,257 ratings.