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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.

4,374 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,374
Reviews: 1,487
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 36
Gots: 403 | 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: 4,374 | Reviews: 1,487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MSchae1017
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

The beer is a dark brown color with a frothy off white head that holds and laces nicely. The smell is of faint malts. It tastes of some sweet malts, no hops, and something that I cannot put my finger on but I do not prefer this taste. There is good thickness and carbonation. This beer does not hold a candle to another brown ale like Rogue's Hazlenut nectar.

MSchae1017, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of icemonkey908
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mild, sweet maltly aroma that was not very strong or impressive, but pleasant nonetheless. Tasted mostly malty and finished with little bitterness. Flavor is not very strong, just like the aroma. The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation, tastes slightly watered down. Overall, a very drinkable brew.

icemonkey908, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of sammy44
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This was the first beer I started drinking when I broadened my horizons from the typical American macro-breweries. Later I discovered that this is a English macro-brew that uses grits instead of rice which is probably why it was so easy to transition to this from the coors and budweiser I had been drinking.

I like this beer pretty well though the mouthfeel can be a bit watery at times. This beer also seems to be fairly fragile and will go skunky at the drop of a hat due to the clear bottle.

Still a good beer that introduced me into broadening my beer horizons.

sammy44, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of casualbeerman
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a decent but undistinguished beer. It looked pretty appealing in that nice clear bottle, and smelled like a beer ought to- some roasted malts and some balancing hops, (not a lot of yeast that I could detect). Taste was ok, with some sweet and rich malts up front and some hops that were nicely balanced (if not really interesting) in the back. But there was a bitter aftertaste as well that negatively effected what would otherwise have been good drinkability. Mouthfeel was fine I guess. I have no complaints about Newcastle being too watery or too carbonated or too flat or too thick. All in all this would probably make a good session beer, though its not really a taste explosion (which is the point of a Brown Ale I'm given to understand). For that reason it is the best selling Ale in England. Bass, its nearest competitor is better though. It's got more depth and its more interesting. I don't hold the bitterness against Newcastle because my samples turned out to have been sitting in my host's fridge for quite a while, but until I try it again, I can't give it a great drinkability rating. Anway, this is certainly worth a try, but even I know there's a lot more to Ale than this stuff.

casualbeerman, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Newcastle Brown Ale is a good fall-back choice at a bar (for me). I will usually only drink it on tap as opposed to a bottle (don't exactly know why, personal preference I guess).

Appearance: This beer pours brown with a red hue, caramely in color.

Smell: Sugary. It has that typical brown ale sort of smell. There is also a hint of vinegar (maybe that is the alcohol showing though) not sure what I'm getting there exactly.

Taste: Sweet sugary malt flavor. Very little bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium light. A bit sticky but yet crisp.

Drinkability: A bit to sweet to drink all night but I could have a couple. Enjoyable but not special. Like I said; it makes a fine beer for at the bar and that about sums it up.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of Mandrake
2.1/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice dark reddish-brown, and builds a small off-white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves decent lacing most of the way down. Smells vaguely hoppy and has fruity hints, but there is a metallic note to it as well. Tasting one can see where the smell comes from. It is dominated by an unpleasant metallic taste, although hints of malty sweetness are present as well. Mouthfeel is thin and unsatisfying, and I certainly wouldn't go back for another, even if it's not terribly difficult to get through.

Mandrake, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. clear bottle with some code on the back. It pours a reddish/brown/copper with a 1 finger fizzy head that recedes then comes back as a thin layer of fine bubbles and leaves moderate lacing. It smells sweet and skunky/grassy - just as I feared - skunked from light-struck clear bottles. It has a medium to light body and tastes of caramel, skunk, green hops, bubblegum?, diacetyl?, malt sweetness, fruits, and a mild hop bitterness. Why, why do they use clear bottles?!? It's much better on tap or from the enclosed 12-packs.

mmmbeer, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of JayQue
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 20 ounce Newcastle at the Red Star in VIrginia Beach. I am not familiar with the style and this is the first Brown Ale I have tried. Pours a nice reddish brown clear color with minimal head or lacing. Looks kind of like flat coke when held up to the light. Has a pleasant, less than overpowering smell. Taste is good....fairly mild, sweet with some malt flavor. This is not a heavy beer...not watery but less substantial than I was expecting. Drinkability is very good. The taste is not overpowering, ABV light and the beer itself is not too heavy. Even though I am primarily a hop head, I would have no problem with this as a session beer.

JayQue, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of marksto
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic Northern English Brown Ale, and a brand which pretty much defines the style. Smooth and malty, lightly nutty and soft on the palate. I get a brown sugar essence with it as well. It is a very easy drinking session beer. Anyone who has ever brewed this style knows how hard it is to get just the right malt balance and color to match it.

Interestingly, Newcastle Brown is widely available on tap in the US, but in Britain (where it is brewed and where most beers come from the tap or cask) it is almost always found in bomber bottles.

marksto, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of danielocean03
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a modest dark brown with a quickly disappearing head, and although no outstanding traits that make this ale a standout, still admirable in the areas of a fantastic session beer. Taste is sweet and toasted, nice malt present, finished aftertaste free. Carbonation level complements simplicity of beer nicely, not too much not too little, average on the nose. Would purchase this ale over any mainstream domestic as far as a good drinking night goes.

danielocean03, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of gatorsuf1
2.85/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color and forms a bubbly head that dissapears quickly. Smells like sweet malts, sugarcane-like, with some nuttiness as well. The taste is not impressive at all. Basically a sweeter, maltier version of an American macro. Has a faint hop flavor right when you swallow. I rate this a 3.5 in drinkabilitly only because it would be so easy to finish of a 12-pack of this. It tastes better than the average macro, but not good enough to sip and savor.

gatorsuf1, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of edmundfitzoil
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"The One and Only" Newcastle Brown Ale from 1 pt. 2.6 oz. clear glass bottle. I poured it into a standard pint glass.

The beer was brown and thining to an amber on the bottom half and edges of the glass. The beer poured with a finger of highly fizzing head that dissipated quickly and left no real lacing. The aroma has some caramel and nut hints as well as some toffee as well. The flavor is not that bad: plenty of malt and little to no hop character with a caramel finish. Very little carbonation to this, giving it a syrupy tecture, yet light mouthfeel. Newcastle's brown ale is 4.9 ABV, and I've found it to be quite different on tap than in the clear glass, easily light struck bottles. This is a drinkable, imported brown ale though.

edmundfitzoil, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer came a glowing amber with a thin head. Nice color, but that was about it. Smelled of fruity plumbs, green grapes and a crisp brown ale-malt. Tasted of prunes, noodles, smooth molasses, green grapes and honey. The mouth feel with thin with a medium carbonation. Not too bad of a beer. It’s definitely good, but it’s nothing to write home about. However, I can see myself drinking quite a few of these in a night.

DarkerTheBetter, Dec 15, 2005
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this into a pilsner glass. small head with bubbles. This dissapates fairly quickly. No true lacing. smells of caramel and hazelnut. the flavor also has a malty taste with brown sugar or caramel. The mouthfeel is fairly thin so you can drink them quickly. I like this beer, its not that expensive and taste pretty good... thumbs up

KALIKGOLD, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of LordChesterfield
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very dar reddish brown brew with a quickly dissipating head. Newcast Brown Ale has kind of a simple taste that has both mellow hops and sweet undersated malt. The most prominent flavor is the nut flavor that blends well and complements the malt. Very smooth and drinkable and has a relatively low carbonation. Not bad.

LordChesterfield, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of Suds
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I must have had this beer countless times. Only now I’ve taken the time to do a proper review. All things told, I’m not sure I’ve ever understood the hype over this brew. That’s certainly true today. It’s a brown, wooden-colored, clear liquid, with a respectable, but unremarkable head. The aroma is just slightly malty, without much to add. Taste: roast malt, caramel, chocolate, and that’s about it. It’s sort of quiet and unobtrusive. The finish is silent. Moderate mouthfeel, with a little carbonation. All in all, I’m still underwhelmed by this beer.

Suds, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of maddamish
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I amgoing to have to modify my Newcaste review. I had this on tap tonight and I have to say it was a much better experience than last time I reviewed this beer.

I had this beer at the same place I had the last one and it was more flavorful. Quite buttery for a brown ale which I love. There was a sugary sweetness and just a hint of caramel and hops.

Overall a solid brew and a step ahead of the regular macro. The only bad thing I can say about this is it was a bit watery but still solid.

maddamish, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The old brown bomber, I remember when this was really difficult to find although now its everywhere and well known. It is one of the few dark ales that has a popular following among beer plebes and also one of the few macro European beers that isn't pale and hoppy. I always liked the label and bottlecap design too. A twelver of this is almost always sure to make you welcome at a party in case you don't have several attractive females in tow.
Pours a clasy looking mahogany with a thin head but gaudy lacing. Smell is malty but mild with faint hints of caramel.
The taste is likewise low key but does have a pleasant sweet malt flavor that follows a brief hop assault. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I like in a brown ale but not damagingly so. Generally it has more life on tap and it has more bite on its home soil as well. Solid but not a superstar.

daliandragon, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of kkipple
2.85/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well well, English Brown ale. Curious to compare this on the heels of a Sam Smith Nut Brown.

Newcastle pours a nice amber into my glass, with a small bubbly head that settles to just cover the beer in a few minutes. Smell is rather plain, seems to be barley and malt with a tinge of... licorice?

Tastes remarkably similar to the smell... barley, malt, caramel, and again, licorice. Maybe it's something else but that's what my brain keeps going back to... Mouthfeel is rather thin, leaves you with a dry finish that doesn't taste half bad. Rather watery... I wonder what all is in here? A curious brew.

Newcastle is on the cheaper end of the Brown Ales, I must admit being a lot more impressed with the Sam Smith, but again, this stuff is fairly cheap. Not an impressive beer at all, but I would drink it again for free. Surely beats the heck out of many American macros. Unsure if that's an endorsement or not...

Bottom line: If you like brown ales, try this, it's cheap.

kkipple, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I went to the new Union Cattle Co. in Pasadena tonight hoping to try their own brews... but they said they didn't have them in yet. Can you believe that? Oh well.

Appearance: An orange-tinged brick-red, transparent brown. No head at all, but I think that was the bartender's fault.

Smell: Smells of chickory, cherries, and a bit of chestnuts. A fine roasted malt aroma with a merlot-esque vinous character. Couldn't detect any hops at all; a very sweet smell.

Taste: A little phenolic and just a touch of skunk, but overall, the beer is nicely sweet without being syrupy or sugary in the least. A friendly fruit character, like dark cherries comes through. Finish is quite nice, bitter and toasty. Definitely lacking in the hop department, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for the style, with tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: I really enjoy this beer. Doesn't get old too quickly and has a refreshingly candid flavor. Certainly recommended, and I think it would be a good crossover beer.

soulgrowl, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of scooter231
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I expected more from this beer- I've heard it used to be better... ah well. Clear bottles- it's expected. Sorta pretty, though. Deep red color with a lightly tan head and a bubbly layer on top. After the pretty, though, it all went downhill.

Smells sweet- almost an iced coffee thing going on... malty, and baaarely lightly caramely. Subtle vanilla. You really have to dig for it though. Taste is even more lacking... I was so unimpressed I barely wrote anything whilst taking notes- and I'm an avid notetaker. Just didn't do anything much for me.

Mouthfeel is watery, boring, and blahhh. Drinkable? Not so much. I didn't really want another. Yes, better than Bud, but... I didn't really dig it. Better than some, not nearly as good as most.

scooter231, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of cheers2beers
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass from tap

Appearance: The color was burnt brown with minimal head and no laceing at all.Low-carbonation.

Aroma: I could detect some wood and nut notes, but were very weak.Smells like the average brown ale.

Taste: Much like the nose, the taste is woody and a little nutty.I even got hints of tea flavors.Old style malts not much hops was noticed.Vague traces of grape too.Not,a bad brown ale taste just not impressive.

Mouthfeel: Thin to meduim body.Smooth easy drinking beer.

Drinkability: I paid five dollars for a pint of this.It wasnt bad, but for the price its a one hit,quit, beer.


cheers2beers, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of Hoves
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing the bottle here not the draft, I find the difference is amazing. (Draft being better)

The bottle almost has a hint of the "skunky" smell that a Heineken bottle possesses. The flavor of the beer isn't as potent as the smell suggests at first. The brown ale has a full flavor but seems to be a bit overcarbonated for what I'm used to liking.

This beer on tap is much better, less carbonation and it has no contact with the sun (the bottle being clear has this problem) which I think is what gives it that skunkier smell.

Overall this is a good beer to sit down with a friend and have 2 or 3 of, definitely better than mass-produced american beers.

Hoves, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, undated pint bottle poured into an imperial pint.

Dark ruby brown with steady carbonation that holds two fingers of light tan that falls rather quick leaving a thinly veiled ring with minimal lace.

Sweet malts that have a toasted edge and generic english hops that are hiding way in the back. Weak overall.

The taste starts off with sweet malts that have a slight toffee character, a suggestion of walnuts followed by just enough hop bitterness to lean towards balance.

The mouth is just short of medium, quaffable and I prefer the bottle to the draft version.

ypsifly, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of Enola
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured with a decent head. It is brown in color with a hint of red when held to the light. The smell is similar to pecans. The taste is fairly bitter with a aftertaste of smoke. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth. I could drink this beer again but I don't think I would have many at one time.

Enola, Nov 25, 2005
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,374 ratings.