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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.

4,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,384
Reviews: 1,488
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 36
Gots: 407 | 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: 4,384 | Reviews: 1,488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fuller
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

body is dark brown with a small off-white head that has little retention. Aroma is sweet and nutty with some malt. Taste likes it smells - sweet, nutty and malty with a little caramel. Nut flavor stays in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is oily and smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but nothing exciting. This is another one that could be a good gateway brew.

Fuller, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of CWiggins
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first beer was Newcastle on tap in Memphis,Tennessee. For a short while afterwards, this was the only beer I would drink. I eventually branched out, and, not having had this beer in some time, I decided to give it a fresh look and taste.

The beer pours a nice nut brown hue into my Samuel Smith glass. A very lean head formed, but it didn't last more than a minute. The aroma is nutty with notes of dark, cooked grains (particularly oats). My remembrance of the flavor was way off. What I get now is a nutty, malty and hoppy flavor, with a smooth, slightly buttery texture that is delightful. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, and the nutty overtones remain in the mouth for some time. Very nice.

I'm not as impressed with this beer as I was when I first encountered it five or so years ago. Since then I've learned to enjoy many bigger, stronger beers, and coming back to this seems a bit of a letdown. But, for what it is it's great, and I'm sure I'll get a hankering for this again.

CWiggins, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown with a thin off-white head that quickly disappears to leave a ring and a small swirly patch. Nice color and clarity, but poor head retention.

The smell is nutty with some toasted grains. The aroma is mild.

The taste is of nuts and roasted earthy grains. It's very basic, but what is there is not bad at all. Unfortunately, some of it is washed away by water.

The feel is smooth and buttery. It does thin a bit, but the flavor holds up for the most part.

A "session" brown ale. Nothing great, but easy enough to drink a few and still get characteristics of the style.

jwc215, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown translucent body with almost no head to speak of, just a tan film. Smells like caramel mostly. Tastes sweet and smooth. Less carbonation present. Tastes pretty good, but weaker than I expected it to be... Still a palatable pleasant beer. Not something to seek out though.

MrHurmateeowish, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Deconstructionis
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A few years ago this beer suddenly became ubiquitous. A testament more, I guess, to a good distribution network than overwhelming demand. It's a light brown similar to the darker cream sodas with a small head. Little aroma to speak of, it has maybe a touch of caramel. Taste is bland, sweet with a bare hint of herb deep in the background, slightly cloying aftertaste. It's very light bodied and relatively low carbonation. Boring but not terrible.

Deconstructionis, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of indysamra
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newcastle Brown Ale.

The one and only....

Newcastle Brown ale pours to a light brown, almost cola-like color with a pock-marked foamy head and a soft malty nose. The palate is smooth and nutty, slightly sweet, with a light cracker-like malt character and a hint of chocolate. The hops are just barely perceptible in the finish. This is a wonderfully delicate beer, and a classic English brown ale. Though not as assertive as American brown ale, which is a maltier, hoppier brew, Newcastle should be appreciated for it’s subtle delicacy. It’s easy to throw loads of hops and malt at a beer and make it a big one. A far truer test of the brewer’s art is to produce a drinkable, subtly flavored delight the likes of this one.

indysamra, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of dansm
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice reddish brown with a little tan head.

S-Aroma is of sweet, slightly nutty malt with a hint of hops.

T-Starts sweet, with a hint of caramel and nuts. Finishes with a mild hopiness.

M-Fairly thin, with a bit of carbonation.

D-This beer is nicely balanced and easy to drink. Goes down smoother the more it warms.

dansm, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - the color is the same as out of the bottle, that nice dark red coppery hue with a finger of light tan head

S - still has that same great musty ale smell from the bottle, with that same slight citrus hint, familiar and comfortable

T - the taste is also the same as from the bottle, with a few slight differences, its a bit maltier and slightly, ever so slightly metallic

M&D - smooth and quenching, nearly as good as the bottle, a great beer out of a can

sinstaineddemon, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin, off-white head that fades at an average rate and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very malty and nutty, with a little bit of hops & caramel.

T: The taste is mostly malty, nutty sweetness with flavors of hops & tea to balance the sweetness to the point that the after-taste contains just a minimal amount of sweetness. Overall, however, the taste just seems kind of dull.

M: Very smooth, light-to-medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: This beer goes down very easily, because it’s not too heavy and has a low ABV%, which allows you to drink a lot of volume. However, it’s that same quality that could cause you to look for something with more flavor and more kick.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of MrHolland
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark dark brown with a off-white head that recedes after the fist sip.

Smell - faint nutty and butter smell and a sort of malty smell as well.

Taste - Not bitter with a malt flavour with a low hop taste. Hint of a buttery and fruity hint as well.

Mouthfeel - Has a little body with a faint crispness as well, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Very good example of the style and could drink this as a session beer. While not a stable beer it is nice when I am in the mood for a brown ale.

MrHolland, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of beltyrion
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I originally tried this beer my roomate tried to sell it to me by saying it was like iced tea flavored beer. Instead it tasted quite poor, a definitely funky taste and finish, no real smell to speak of.

It is a completely different story on tap. Not fantastic, but I can see where the iced tea comparison comes in.

A: Brown, very little to no head.

S: Not very much there

T: Very light, almost refreshing, hence the iced tea comparison. A definite session beer, if you can get it on tap.

M: As light as the taste, almost watery.

D: If its on tap I can have this (and have had it) all night. First tried on tap at the Scholar's Lounge in Rome and at the British Beer Company in Pembroke. I would never buy this bottled.

beltyrion, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Gehoffrey426
4.63/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First tried this beer in a steak house. It was incredible.

Appearance: Newcastle isn't very special looking. It looks like any other brown ale, not too dark, but a pleasing darkish brown color.

Smell: The incredible taste inside is first hinted at with a smell. The semi-complex odor that this ale emits is very pleasing to the nose and immediately invites you to taste it.

Taste: Wow! On draught, this beer is incredible. The flavour is not overpowering, but is there more than in most of the other beers that I have tried.

Mouthfeel: In the mouth, this beer is nothing exceptional, but the taste is the real treat here.

Drinkability: I could drink this one all day long. The flavour is so delightful and easy to drink that the beer is never tiring out the tastebuds.

If you ever have the chace to try this beer on draught, jump at the chance. Bottled, it's okay, but on draught, it is simply amazing!

Gehoffrey426, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of robocrouch
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was my first brown ale.

Appearance: Well brown of course with a nice little head to it.

Smell: Of malt and some hops.

Taste: Very good. Has a sweetness to the malt and it finishes surprisingly clean.

Drinkability: After two of these I was content.

Overall a very nice beer. This one I will definitely pick up again.

robocrouch, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of rodrot
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown color with a very small head that went away quickly. Aroma was malty and caramelly with a faint hop smell in the backround. Taste was fruity with notes of cherry, brown sugar and some winey flavors mixed in. Mouthfeel was smooth but kind of thin in the body. Drinkability was pretty good. Nothing too inoffensive or too aggressive either. I remember this beer being thicker and heavier during my early explorations into craft beer. Maybe my palate has changed or maybe the beer has been toned down over the years for the mass market. Regardless, there are better examples of the style.

rodrot, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of eballard
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown auburn color with a bright with head. The head settles into a medium lacing on the glass edges. It has a malty aroma with a little bit of a sugary quality. The taste is malty with a little bit of a hops bite across the tongue. The flavors are blended well. It has a smooth feel with a little bit of heaviness. The bit of it doesn’t last long and it settles into a clean finish. In all the beer is easy to drink and tastes good. It’s not too exciting but it has all the qualities of a fine brown ale.

eballard, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of 972
4.28/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an easy drinking, great starter beer. It's the kind of beer that you order first in the night and every subsequent after. Don't drink other beers before this one, or the taste will be ruined. The flavor leaves dryness in your mouth that makes you want another. All in all a good beer.

972, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of MusicmanSD
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Everyone I know loves this stuff, but for some reason...never have had one! Poured it chilled, not lager cold. The appearance is some kind of pretty. Brown, with a ruby red tint; arrogant bastard-esque. Rich head that sticks around for quite awhile. The smell is sweet, leading to believe it will be a good time. Taste also goes the same way. Sweet, chocolate and caramel like in flavors. Very interesting, almost leads you to think this isn't beer?...alcohol is hidden like a champ! The mouthfeel is decent, a little bit watery. The drinkability is probably the best part of this beer. Not offensive in any way. You can probably suck down a whole six pack before you feel like you’re at the yacking stage. The smoothness is definitely what sets this beer apart from other mass produced ales. Very Bass Ale like in character.

MusicmanSD, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of jpkoch1962
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into pint glass at cellar temperature. Color is a clear brown which forms a short lived spritzy head a light lacing. Subdued malt smell that features a diacetyl aroma. The front end is watery, slippery and buttery. Diacetyl and a mild sweetness dominate the entire ale. While this ale isn't totally bland, the lack of any hop quality kicks this ale out of balance. I drank three of these over the course of an evening.

jpkoch1962, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of goschool
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is reddish-brown with a cream colored head. The nose is a little artificial. The main aroma is toasted malt and it's rather mild. The taste still has some of that artificial character, but it has more going on. Toasted malts, caramel malts, nuts, toffee, and chocolate are all present. There are roasty flavors, but this is mostly sweet with a dryer finish. It's not all that some people make it out to be, but it's a lot better than the backlash led me to expect (I've had it once or twice before, but I didn't remember it clearly).

goschool, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of GallowsOak
4.47/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that I will always enjoy. Malty, slightly sweet, strong enough to not have to carry a carrier bag full bursting at the seams, quaffable enough to remember tomorrow. The years spent developing this classic were well spent. Not a live ale but certainly a lively one.

GallowsOak, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of Gregorious
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Newcastle...what can I say about thee?
You were that blue star that made me the BeerAdvocate I am today....
You are my "Ol' Bessy"...you always come through in the clutch when my more favored relics are out of reach....
This is the kind of beer that can start a person to go from macro to micro.

A - Brown with amber tints if held up to the light....1 finger of white head.

S - Nostalgic...nutty, hoppy, and malty. Smell of hazelnuts.

T - Mild hoppy flavor covered in a smooth malt. Nutty flavor of beer caught in the aftertaste. Hazelnuts, molasses... Not very complex... Pretty sweet.

M - Light/watery in the mouth...low carbonation

D - Easy to like, easy to drink. I think I'll have another...

Gregorious, Jul 12, 2006
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
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,384 ratings.