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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.

4,363 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,363
Reviews: 1,487
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 35
Gots: 391 | 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: 4,363 | Reviews: 1,487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HoustonTX
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, almost black from afar. Frothy white head, trails of lacing all over the glass.

S - Smell is mainly clean. Sugary malt pokes through also.

T&M - Taste upfront is sweet malts with a bit of roasted grain flavor. Nutty and caramel also come through. Biscuity flavor leaves a dry aftertaste. Hop bitterness is there in small amounts also.

D - Drinkability is good, low abv, and not too filling.

Solid brown ale, and a readily available one. What more could you ask for?

HoustonTX, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of TheSarge
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newcastle pours with an inviting amount of CO2 action, which makes for a slightly tan head that dissipates rather quickly. The color is a very dark brown with great clarity. Lacing lasts all the way through.

This brew smells very malty and sweet. A slight amount of a nutty smoke aroma as well.

This is very sweet to the palate, leaving a slight chocolaty aftertaste. In some instances, this kind of tastes a bit like raisins.

This beer seems to sit well, and I’d recommend this as something to follow up a good dinner of steak and kidney pie with. Cheers!


TheSarge, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

medium brown that shows some amber against the light at its base. decent layer of off-white head that retains well and leaves lots of thin lace.

heavily skunked aroma. fades as the beer warms, leaving some sweet toasted malts with a hint of woody smokiness. has some fruity sweet tones as well.

mouthfeel is heavily carbonated and relatively thin. taste of sweet malts and an earthy, cleansing hop finish. balanced if overly clean and straightforward. drinkable once the skunking fades.

Prufrock, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of boblog
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good brown ale, reminiscent of the Grolsch amber ale. Good amber color. Pleasant smell. Nice caramel, toffee taste. Great aftertaste. A very pleasant drink. A bit expensive for the taste. I wish this beer was less expensive then it would be worth its price.

boblog, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of neenerzig
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this yesterday at my cousin's wedding reception. I don't know why they would bottle a brown ale in a clear bottle. I don't know if that affected the taste or not by the time it got to my lips, but we all know why beers should not be bottled in clear bottles! This is an ok brown ale. It pours a medium dark brown color. Mine had almost zero head to speak of and what little head existed was gone almost immediately after being poured and left no lacing whatsoever. Smell, well there was not much of a smell as best as I could tell. It has a light, sweet aroma of some nuts and that's really about it for the smell. taste is of sweetened nut and maybe some caramel, maybe some very light malts, and alcohol. The flavors were somewhat mild though as well as somewhat bland and watery. A crisp and frothy mouthfeel but also a bit thin and watery. Moderate carbonation. I am surprised it was as carbonated as it was considering the fact that it had just about zero head and zero lacing. Goes down very easy making it quite drinkable indeed. this beer reminds me of a weaker version of Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale. Out of all the Brown Ales I have ever had and reviewed on this site, this one is without a doubt the weakest. That being said it is not a horrible beer, but could be much improved if its brewers put more time and effort into it and stopped bottling it in clear bottles. But I suppose it is a good first Brown Ale for someone who has never had one before.


neenerzig, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of thelagerheads
4.83/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a bottom fermenter and when I seek bottom I climb underground. The dirt and clay taste better than the wispy little cloud poofs and you feel a little closer to the brown people who started this ignorant race of humansauruses. Drinking is afterall a method to kill or cleanse a bad day or a bum occurence. Hell it's even happy time for some elves. But I'm a particularly strange dwarf with my tufted ears and need for gravy and sirloins and sausage. This is what Guinness would taste like if you didn't have to drink it with a fork. Brown gravy soda with chunks of squirrel mixed in. The nutmeggy little squirrel you see hanging from a tree limb and eating all of your songbird's suet energy cakes and laughing as you steam from the inside of the window. Once you knock he'll look and then be gone and you're back to bird watching. Except that the little birds are twittering above your head and building a little shrine to tasty spirits.

thelagerheads, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of guitarmage
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice black cherry hue, with an off white head with weak retention. Clear and sparkling. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and some herbal hops, pleasantly aromatic, some mild alcoholic esters.

Taste: Not much malt flavor, citrus hops now, a bit tart, and a biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a nice medium carbonation. Somewhat watery and crisp.

Drinkability: This beer is fine to drink, not especially impressive for a brown ale. Has an unexpected tartness and not much roasty toasty. But I'm going to consume it anyway with some colby and enjoy it.

guitarmage, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Miller's Ale House in Orlando. Pours a dark brown color with a small fizzy head. Taste and smell consist of sweet malt and a touch of brown sugar. This is definately not a bad brew on tap. Not the most interesting beer but it is enough to make a decent session beer on occasion.

cjgator3, Jun 12, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Newcastle pours very clear, amber-brown in color. The nose is quite light, showing minerals and metal. On the palate, a light, unobtrusive, grainy, cereal profile is on display. The finish is moderately bitter. Newcastle drinks fairly easily enough, but overall it's a bit thin and watery. Not too much depth here.

There was a time when I rather enjoyed Newcastle. For that reason, I'd say it's a decent transitional beer for those who might one day make the switch from macro-swill to beers with real flavor. But unfortunately by the time that switch is made, I think Newcastle's appeal has waned.

VoodooBrew, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm actually pretty suprised by the respect Newcastle gets here.

Looks to be a medium brown, Dark amber color with a thin off white head.

aroma's are nuts, wheat a caramel sweetness in the malt.

Taste is an interesting mix of flavorful malts with some kind of extra sweetness, not just the malt but a definate honey or caramel effect.

this light/medium body brew is not really that carbonated so it's smoother than it is bubbly, easy going down but leaves some bitter not so great after taste.

this is a good beer to a certain point, but it gets old fast IMO. this is a 2 beer max for me.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of ndekke39
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle. Couldn't find a readable freshness date on it.

A: Beautiful honey brown color. Light red tones, fairly transparent. Small, white head on it when poured.

S: Sharp sweet notes at first, but they disappear with a deeper smell.

T: Nutty, sweet flavors to begin. Grainy mid-tones. Offset by a flat, but not bitter finish.

M: Light creaminess. Very smooth texture. Very good for the style.

D: Easily drinkable. Light flavors make it good for sipping.

Not my favorite choice in this style, but I would gladly drink it when it's available.

ndekke39, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of bunbury
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

it has a brown color appearance, not a dark beer though, acctually has a smoothy taste, it passes softly through mouth and has a particularly syrup like after taste.

Smells in some way honey.
Light feeling, Perfect head, good body and appearance
definetly, worth a try

bunbury, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found out my original tasting of this beer was very very old.
I apologize, but there was no freshness date.

This beer is really smooth, doesn't have a big bite. Very very smoooth for an ale, I can't stress that enough.
Sort of sweet flavor.
I want a little bit more carbonation in it.
Aroma is not too strong but enough to satisfy

jasonjlewis, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours out a solid amber/brown hue. A decent size head. It smelled very malty. The malt flavor was accompanied by a hop bitterness, nutty flavors and a hint of caramel. The mouthfeel was fairly crisp and dry. Like most darker beers it is a little heavier than other but overall, I really enjoy Newcastle Brown.

zeff80, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Appealing copper color with no head, although I'm pretty sure the bartender was doing his best to prevent the formation of any sort of head.

S- Not much going on here, maybe a little malt.

T- Pretty sweet upfront with malt flavors dominating. Hops add a touch of bitterness at the end but not much flavor. Pleasant aftertaste with some fruity flavors, I keep picking up raisins for some reason.

M- Pretty average here, not a whole lot of carbonation, a bit thin in the mouth, but goes down smooth.

D- Good quaffing beer. I could have a couple of these in a night no problem.

Not my favorite beer, but it's not bad and can be pretty enjoyable in a pinch.

vtfan77, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of rabsten
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This last weekend I had an opportunity to have this on draught, out of a bottle, and out of a can. The can was the best of the three, but all were good. Here goes:

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pure nut-brown beer with thin head, no lacing. Good carbonation. Catches the light nicely.

Mild, malt smell with minor syrupy sweet quality. Slight yeastiness.

Caramel malt leads the way with teh aforementioned yeast coming in at the end.

Round mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Bottom line: Excellent session beer.

rabsten, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of kdmorse
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with auburn highlights. Thin film of white head that fades quickly. Nutty and fresh malt aroma with hints of grass and caramel. Taste is subtle. Nothing sticks out a lot. Not great in any way, but definitely pleasant. Feels good and clean in the mouth with solid carbonation. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Refreshing and light.

Even though this doesn't stack up as a great brown ale, it is one of my favorites. Even to drink and tasty enough. A good change of pace and widely available.

kdmorse, May 22, 2006
Photo of JayTheFinn
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For years this has been an old standby for me. If there wasn't anything more than Bud, etc to choose from a Nooky would be my choice. My tastes have moved on now, but that's not to say I don't like it anymore. This is just a very average beer that was probably the cat's meow back in the day when it first was brewed and it won all those awards. It's an oldy but goody. I'd never turn one down, but I won't go out of my way for it either.

My review: Yep, it's brown. Little off white head. Smell brings up a little hop/malt mix neither very strong and same with the taste. It's a middle of the road blend, on my tongue anyway. Not huge on taste. The carbonation and long lasting unpleasant aftertaste has been what's bothered me about Newcastle as of late. But having said that, I could pound one after another after another of these in a sitting.

JayTheFinn, May 13, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Newcastle Brown Ale pours a deep brown, with ruby highlights and a tan head from a clear twelve ounce bottle. Aroma is mild, but not unpleasant. Taste is pretty good, caramel is present and it has a nutty aftertaste. Hops are pretty much unnoticeable. A quintessential brown ale. If you've never tried this you should, if only to know what this style is supposed to be.

Drew966, May 05, 2006
Photo of johnyeast
4.25/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown/ Amber in color with a slight beige head. A nutty, malty smell, with a slight tart smell. A very familiar taste. This was my first beer and I was lucky. I was 19 and in the Red Lion Pub in Chicago. It took me a good five years to find it again (Lived in Iowa, this was in 1989). Very smooth in taste with a sweet maly taste. A very drinkable beer.

johnyeast, May 04, 2006
Photo of ScottUCF84
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm going to make this one rather quick. It wasn't so much a bad beer, just not too enjoyable. I feel like maybe it would be better on tap.
A: Brown (duh), when held up to the light a very subtle ruby hue. Weak head, went away quickly. Bubbly and transparent
S: Sweet smelling. Kind of like a nutty cola.
T: Nutty and sweet. Thin.
M: Didn't have the texture of other beers I enjoy.
D: Can only handle so much of this, after a while it's just gets old, and I want something that screams BEER a bit more.

ScottUCF84, May 01, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This a dark tea colored beer with a quickly disappearing head. The nose is very faint floral hop and light brown sugar. Taste is very simple light caramel malt, nut, and herbal hop taste that is barely there. Finish is a little bready. Mouthfeel is watery, slick and has stingy carbonation. This is a very smooth, subtle beer, that is worth picking up if you come upon a deal, otherwise, we can do much better.

JudgeRoughneck, May 01, 2006
Photo of pibbxtrasucks
4.22/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newcastle pours a very rich amber color, almost red. The head is nice, although slightly short lived. The smell is very sweet, but still maintains a welcoming aroma of beer. After smelling the beer, you should have a good idea of what it will taste like. It manages to have a very sweet taste without losing its edge. It has a very nice amount of carbonation, managing to give it a nice kick, without tasting like a soda. This beer is very easy to drink as it leaves a very nice after taste, however as you get towards the end it tends to taste watered down. Over all I think this is one of my favourite beers. I'll admit it is nowhere near as tasty or original as so many micro brews, but its reasonably priced, and readily available. This beer is rarely NOT in my fridge as it is my everyday drinking beer. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.

pibbxtrasucks, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of Sosh
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap last night. I think is a great, tasty beer. I'm not huge on carbonation, and this fits well with me. It's not necessarily the best brown ale I've ever had, but I would get this again (especially on tap). A very satisfying beer.

Sosh, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of mcallister
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burn caramel brown with an off white/tan head. Significant lacing prevelant.

Not much in the way of aroma with this English ale. Some malt and a little sweet sugar to the smell.

Tastes slightly of caramel, and brown sugar. Around 5% RS with a light malty finish and yeasty aftertaste.

New Castle was once a beer I admired before I devoloped a palate. Now I'd say it's just average at best. It is very smooth helping it's drinkability score But otherwise low on my list of beer to buy or drink.

mcallister, Apr 20, 2006
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,363 ratings.