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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 ramrod666
2.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

newcastle brown ale pours a mohogany color with a decent head that falls to mearly a ring after the fist drink. smell is of sweet malts very faint though. taste is underwhelming enough, but is drinkable anyway. tastes sweet with buttery undertones. not much hop character - malts are on stage here. not bold enough in the flavor dept.. rather watery mouthfeel with little carbonation. drinkability isn't bad but not mind blowing. had on draft where there was little else availible. i say ok to this one.

ramrod666, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of canadianbarman
3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

--came in a clear bottle, 550 ml size with no freshness date found.
--Poured a nice dark brown (no suprise) in color. Nice head that left standard lacing.
--Smell was slightly sweet yet slightly nutty.
This was a good beer, considering it is mass produced and available almost anywhere in the world. I first tried it when living in England, before I even cared about the differant taste in beers, so maybe this beer reminded me of my young backpacking years...but I digress. I still like it now.

canadianbarman, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of jayb
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured out a dark, but faintly see-through brown. Head started out looking sopay and ended up being a film on top the brew. first whif from this one had a sligth skunk smell to it. Not a horrid skunk, just a not so fresh skunk. second whif was MILDLY of bitter chocolate, and nuts. First sip i could have sworn was water. second sip...grainy adjunct. Corn? Not a really impressive bottle. im not bashing,. i just think that this bottle was not choice. maybe ill give it another try later. just tastes bland to me. Im sure alot of people like it, just not for me.

jayb, Jul 26, 2004
Photo of twi1609372
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap for my 21st birthday, i was impressed. sweet taste and smell, quite drinkable, smooth and flavorfull.good beer if you want to try something new. proublably too sweet for the taste of some, sweetness with flavor is all right by me, sweetness with no purpose can be a let down at times, but this is not the case.

twi1609372, Jul 25, 2004
Photo of pootz
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the glass with a very clear chestnut brown color...large frothy head that doesn’t last long before lacing over the top. Sweet nutty toasty malt aromas are very subdued with a faint but interesting twang of musty pine...very faint. Starts mild where the malt body seems almost diluted...hops are barely detectable but always sit in the background. The finish is quick and uneventful without the lingering malt after taste one expects from a brown ale. This is an OK session beer if you like a malty drink but it is a very mild and subdued brown ale....there are so many others with the big malt body you crave in this style.

pootz, Jul 20, 2004
Photo of misterscooter
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bottle, it is a good beer. Much better from the tap. They use a clear bottle so I wonder how much that contributes to the chances of getting a bad beer. But it is a good, smooth beer that I easily go back for. A nutty flavor comes out in the caramel and malt flavors. It feels good in your mouth and goes down well. Not much in the way of smell that I got out of it.

This is a good beer to sit with and enjoy slowly before grabbing another one.

misterscooter, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of aquatonex
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium hazy nut brown. Little or no head and no retention. Smells of alcohol with tones of toast, hops, and nuts. The taste sticks with the smell, being comprised of nutty and slightly hoppy flavors. For its medium strength, its mouthfeel and smoothness was very impressive.

aquatonex, Jul 11, 2004
Photo of TagoMago
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. clear bottle poured into a shaker glass.

Appearance: Light/medium brown. Pours with a moderate sized but quickly subsiding head, though a decent lacing is left behind.

Smell: Elements of ringwood yeast, buttery diacetyl, and sweet malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy body, but with a rather watery finish. An overtly sweet, artificial malt-like taste is quickly recognized. The beer is on the leafy side of the hop spectrum, with a slight oilyness. Much of this beer's flavor derives from the yeast.

Overall: I've never had this on-tap, so there is a chance I might be a bit biased against this beer. But to me, this is a subpar brown ale in every way. The beer is dominated by a really sweet, funky, almost artificial taste, which is probably because this beer contains added sugars.

Skip this beer. If you're looking for a good brown ale, give Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale a try.

TagoMago, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
2/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer was nothing what I expected, in fact it is horrible. It pours a light brown with a semi/tan head that materialized then quickly faded. Lacing was nowhere to be found. The smell was of grain and alcohol, other that that no other tones found. The taste was a dark grain/corn almost grilled taste, you can taste the alcohol as well. A semi sweet malt character is traceable and a hop tracing at the end, but nothing that makes you say "wow" or even "okay". Simply put this was not a good beer. Light bodied for an ale (brown ale) and light and crisp. Not very smooth. I couldn't drink anymore of these, there are great brown ale's out there, this is not one of them. Try Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.

beertaster13, Jun 17, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newcastle Brown Ale- on tap at T.G.I.Fridays (Bricktown)

Appearance- nut brown with very little to no head.
Smell- a typical brown ale aroma. Nutty, caramel, slight hops.
Taste- very good. again nuts and caramel with a slight touch of molasses.

Overall- a delicious, smooth, refreshing brown ale. An excellent beer to drink with food. Better than Smuttynose- Old Brown Dog Ale.

NJpadreFan, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid $11.99 for a 12pk.

The appearence of this beer is of a nice brown ale, all except that the head lasts for less than a minute and the lacing is non-existent. The smell was pretty average, hinting a nice blend mix of deep aromas.

The taste is fairly light and refreshing, a little lighter than I'd like. The mouthfeel and drinkability increase the value of this beer tremendously. I always love drinking this stuff no matter when, extremely drinkable, the IDEAL SESSION BEER!

Final Thought: Despite a weak apperence and faint smell, this ale is alright by me.

mobyfann, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of oracle
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a growler, purchased at a local shop and consumed about 4 hours later.

The beer poured a clear very dark copper, with the fastest disappearing head I've ever seen on an ale. Within 20 seconds of pouring, there was absolutely no head visible anywhere, which suprised me.

Taste was about average for a brown ale. Malty sweet with undertones of nuttiness, and small hop bite in the finish.

An easy drinking average brown ale all the way around.

oracle, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: On tap at a local brew pub. Served in a pint glass with almost no head at all. Light brown/tan in color
Smell: A little nutty or a hint of malt but none that I could appreciate. Kind of disappointing
Taste: Hints of malt and nuts but kind of watery to me.
Mouthfeel: Very light and not much character
Drinkability: Not bad but this just wasn't working for me.
Overall, not a bad brown ale I guess. I don't think this is the best representation of a brown ale but I haven't tasted a lot of others for comparison. But the few that I have are much better than this one.

mattcrill, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap at Ralph's Diner in Worcester

A chestnut brown ale served with only the ghost of an off-white head. It smells vaguely sweet. Mild nutty maltiness with an unexpected bit of spice swirling in the light body. So there's hops hiding in here after all. Very easy to suck down. Not bad.

gentlebubbles, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of usualpulp
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a thin tan head.

The smell of this beer is rather unimpressive, smells very average, some malt tones , not much else.

The taste is pretty somewhat watery, there is some noticeable nut flavor, that blends in with the malt, but overall nothing too noticeable.

The mouthfeel is very thin, nothing that sticks to the tongue.

Overall I would say this is an ok at best beer, easy to drink, but too watery for my taste, especially considering its price. Also I think this beer might benefit from a brown bottle.

usualpulp, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of vitesse
1.75/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

served in clear 12 oz. bottle.

I've had this beer so many times. finally decided to review it. S&N will wish i hadn't. (ok, they don't actually care...but...)

this beer is just awful. One of the wost i've had since reviewing beers on this site. With every sip you can tell where accountants and marketing schmucks have sucked the soul out of this beer.

there's nothing there at all. other than the distinctive brown color (compared to the usual fizzy yellow lagers), newcastle has little to offer. the maltiness just doesn't exist and in its place is nothing but hard, metallic, brown water. the beer doesn't smell like much more than hard water, either. a total yawner of a beer.

this is one of the most over-rated beers in the world, imho. it's flavors do a disservice to brown ales everywhere. pass on this one.

vitesse, Jun 03, 2004
Photo of Trentonator
3.98/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice head and good lace retention. Smells (as you would expect) nutty, earthy and there is a bit of chocolate in there too, I think. I like this beer only slightly cooler than room temp., it adds an extra element to the taste. Smoothy and creamy on the palate. A good solid beer.

Trentonator, May 30, 2004
Photo of cptnjck101
4.72/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was unbelievable! Had a bottle at bennigans because I had never tried it before and wow, this beer just blew me away. Looks great and tastes even better. Goes down really great w/ fried food. A classic brew I'de gladly pay a premium for anytime.

cptnjck101, May 12, 2004
Photo of cypressbob
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a clear 500ml bottle

Pours with a dark brown body, forming a rather measly head with little retention.

The smell is metallic and smells medicinal. Dry and musky.

Upon tasting, the body is heavy and malty, however there is a fair amount of hops, although there is also an almost skunked taste

Not a great ale



Had this tonight, was alot better, might have been a skunky bottle before

cypressbob, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No indication of the abv anywhere on the bottle. Had to ask the waitress for an unchilled glass as the chilled is the standard in most chain restaurants. Nice dark amber color. After pouring, very small to no head. Very little lace encircles the glass. I thought it was low on carbonation and only medium in the hop department. I liked the smooth mouthfeel, however and find it very drinkable. Fruity taste towards the bottom like a lot of ales. Overall, a good brew that I recommend to everyone.

abcsofbeer, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Famous clear bottle, no freshness dating. Pours clear, golden almond in color. Not much head, small bubbles and leaves a little lacing. Malt on the nose and tongue. Flavor of nuts,caramel, vanilla. Chalky dryness in the finish. Nothing special, decent English ale, delicate flavors. Good with salads, cheese and nuts. A pleasant enough quaffer.

Billolick, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brown color peeking at me through the classic clear bottle.

Nose of Ringwood yeast: fudgy, slight hop oil, unclassy sugar fumes.

A slightly artificial head and no lace. The taste is just a push past mediocre. Slight hops, tea-like malt characteristic, corn adjunct flavor.

Negro Macro...

Better bet than the big boys, but just barely.

GreenWBush, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of brewQ
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bottle is part of the appearance here. You can see the lovely brown coming your way. Somehow, I cannot recall getting a skunky Newcastle- despite the clear glass. How do they do it?

This one poured with an energetic, clingy head of tan, not much in the way of aroma- perhaps a hint of sweetness. The taste is full but not complex- pleasant roasted malts. Finishes abruptly with little aftertaste, making for a solid session beer. In sync with the style as I'm learning.

Newcastle's wide availability has made it my choice on several nights out where there were not many choices beyond US Macros.

brewQ, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of psyco1
1.73/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This six pack must have been sitting in the flourescent lighted cooler way too long, because all I got from this was a big dose of skunk. No smell or taste got past the overpowering skunkiness.
It looked fine, a nice light brown and the mouthful was a bit thin, but the skunk...wow.just wow.

I'm going to have to try some fresh on tap to see what it really tastes like.

psyco1, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of Andreji
3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When expecting crap, which for me has become a tendency at times among "experimental english ales" as I refer to anything i've never tried from the rosbifs. Since certainly, most bitter ales, a mon avis, are crap. But no, the newcastle brown was a completely gratifying brew, full of porter-like smells and tastes, a sweet but slightly bitter and coffee scented taste with some carbonation *down at the end* that simply enhances what's already been percieved. This is certainly one great brew that I will continue to drink.

Andreji, Apr 11, 2004
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,173 ratings.