1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Newcastle Brown Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
Newcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,176 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,176
Reviews: 1,479
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 18.67%
Wants: 34
Gots: 318 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Newcastle Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,176 | Reviews: 1,479 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.4/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

White frothy head subsides fairly quickly atop a brilliantly clear deep carmel brown beer. Aroma is of a minerlly water character and a bit of english hops with a touch of diacityl and esters. Taste is a letdown as this brown ale exhibits none of the pleasant dark grain flavors. Tastes of adjuncts to allow a clean flavor with a little carmel sweetness to balance the bitterness of a good english hop flavor. On the subject of mouthfeel this beer is too light to be called a brown ale and might be brewed with a little more dark grain charachter to give us something to taste. Fairly drinkable though it does have some flaws in the formulation of the recipe. In my opinion this beer is not very good and it is only popular because of the noteriety.

RenoZymurgist, Sep 14, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a dark ruddy brown, topped with a thin misting of head. Completely transparent. The mist dies away completely about 1/3 through the pint, leaving the beer foamless.
Aroma is malty, with a light english hopping. Slightly earthy, probably fuggles and goldings. Pronounced sweet caramel aroma, with a touch of toasted malt. Hops take a back seatm but remain present, wafting through the malt. Very mild fruitiness. Very much a northern brown ale.
Flavor is mild and easy drinking. Sweet an malty, with caramel and toasted malt flavor dominating the palate. Very light esters, mostly floral, giving way to an herbal low alpha english hopping towards the end of the sip. Caramel rides through the entire beer, lingering even into the finish, and sticking through the aftertaste. The beer finishes slightly dry, with a touch of herbal hopping lingering with the caramel in the aftertaste. Simple, yet clean and refined.
Sweet and pleasant. Very much a session brew, this is a classic northumbrian brown ale. Much, much better on tap. I could drink this all night, easily. The beer that started it all for me. It's good to go back to every so often. Still a good brew even after all the big beers.

UnionMade, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of chaduvel
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, cola color with a creamy white head. Fine looking friend. Nut and sweet malt bouquet. Malt dominates with a mellow sweetness and some buttery flavors, not in a bad way like Yak butter Tea though. Some hops show up but don't overpower. Smooth finish. This is a good "gateway" beer. I have always liked this beer and still do.

chaduvel, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best beer I could find among the eight beers on tap at a local pizza palace. Heineken and Widmer Bros hefe being the only other palatable options.
This beer today was a nice comfortable amber/brown color with a thick, creamy off-white head that slowly faded but never totally went away. Some carbonation was seen rising to the surface.
Smell was rather lacking. Was sweet and all-malt but not very vibrant.
Taste was only slightly better than the smell. Again, a sweet grainy malt flavor and a bit of caramel. Faint hops at the finish.
Feel was medium-bodied, smooth, and somewhat dry.
NewCastle Brown Ale brings back memories of being stuck at an Army base in Seoul, RoK on New Year's Day, 1997 instead of Sydney, Australia. Newkie Brown was available in bottles at the local base club and between six of us and an eight hour span of time, we polished off the entire supply. It was one of the first beers I had that pointed me away from the macro world. I remember thinking how great a beer it was then. It's still a good session beer and definitely one I use as a conversion aid to steer macro-drinkers down the right path.

Boilermaker88, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium Brown color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is nutty and sweet. A nice malty beer. Milder flavor, smooth taste. Good hop/malt balance. Some malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty and slightly dry. A nice session and/or transition beer.

beerguy101, Sep 05, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light brown ruby tone with a thin off white amber head and does an okay job of leaving some speckled lacing. Smell contains some light fruit tones and some deeper roasted malts just a little bland not much of anything other than some mildly nut tone sweetness. Flavor is lacking it's not off or bad just very mild from the clear bottles, that I must note if bought in a 12 pack or case are much better than experiences I have had from light struck six packs or 22oz bottles. When nothing else is available better this could have the potential of being a throw back I can't justify paying as much as most places ask for it. Mouthfeel is thin I wish it had some body to it would make it much more palatable for me. Drinkability like I said no off flavors nothing outstanding middle of the road in taste, but overall this one is overrated and overpriced for sure.

WVbeergeek, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of SetarconeX
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If I have a #1 standby beer, this is it. For some reason, it's available damn near everywhere. It's quite possibly the most easily obtained ale in America. Lucky thing too, as it's fairly drinkable, and in many ways rather tasty.

Thinner and more tasteless than a lot of ales, it's maltiness makes it more tasty than most of the macro's it's usually sold next to. A solid ale, if somewhat less than flashy.

SetarconeX, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of grynder33
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown color, quickly disappearing head. A nut vanilla flavor emerged on the first taste. It had a nice silky mouthfeel and upon swallowing , a carmel like taste remained on the tongue.By the end of the glass, a bitterness became evident that would prevent me from having more than a couple of these at a sitting. Drinkable, but overhyped.

grynder33, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light brown color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is malty with that English dry yeast smell; quite good. The taste is smooth and refreshing. It has a bit of maltiness to it, but there is a great balance between base and specialty grains. The mouthfeel is good. This is a light bodied beer. Macros beers don't always have to suck. This is a fine example of a decent macro; a real good drinking ale.

WesWes, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of DESTRO
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good ole newcastle. theres not much to say about newcastle except it rules. sure there are alot of beers that taste better, but everyone has a fall back and this is mine. its available everywhere, it has its own unique sweet taste (which i enjoy very much) and it always hits the spot. this IS the session beer/old buddy i will never grow too cool to enjoy.

DESTRO, Aug 04, 2003
Photo of TheDM
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This draft brew poured a medium head of creamy fine off-white bubbles and a transparent brown body. It had an average strength malt-spice aroma. It starts off with a mildly fizzy malt-hop flavor that finishes with a malt spice aftertaste and an average lacing. I can only rate this sample as average, but I know I have had better samples of this brew. It is a good available beer that can usually be found in the typical places that Budweiser or Miller can be found.

TheDM, Jul 25, 2003
Photo of granger10
2.48/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

This had no real taste. The closest thing that I could say it tastes like is water. The only flavors I noticed were a grassy hop flavor and corn. Might have been skunked but the aroma was actually quite decent. I'm going to try this on-tap to see if it's any better there.

granger10, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of Redrover
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice brown with a tan head. Some lacing.

Smell is of faint malt and biscuits. Perhaps a hint of caramel.

Taste is fairly tame and definitely non threatening. Some malty sweetness and low carbonation seem to be main characteristics. Would be a good beer to introduce a macro drinker to style. I got some licorice undertones as the beer warmed.

Very smooth, perhaps the water is as good as they say. Drinkablity is fairly high, but I would search out something with a bit more taste.

Redrover, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of Mustard
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with very little head; light, spattered lacing.

Aroma: Faint hints of malt and grain.

Taste: Underwhelming bready, malty sweetness upfront, faint woody hops in the finish; weak, nut-like notes pervade; traces of butter; slightly phenolic. Somewhat watery and overly carbonated in mouthfeel.

Notes: I love brown ales, but Newcastle never fails to disappoint me. Better on tap than in bottles. Prone to skunkage. Overpriced and overhyped.

Mustard, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
2.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice amber/brown with a short lived head. Slight malt aroma with a hint of nuttiness, but otherwise relatively dull here.. substantial mouthful with high carbonation.Taste was caramel malt and a slight mustiness. Not much to speak of in the hop department. Finish was non existent.

Although the bottle was dated 12/03, there was a noticible staleness to it. Musty and on the verge of going sour. Otherwise drinkable, and went OK with some fried chicken. Don't think I'll find myself seeking out one of these again, though.

Stingray5, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of Indybeer
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber color, with a good head that slowly receded. Not muck lace to be seen. Aroma of malt and hops. Taste is weak and almost not there. Only a slight malt and hop hint in the finish. Fairly good carbonation, gives it a good mouthfeel. I just don't think these brown ales are for me.

Indybeer, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of Gump
2.85/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Newcastle brown ale.

Amber color, light bodied beer pours thin, with adequate foamy head.
Somewhat watery mouthfeel, due to thin carbonation.
The taste and color reminds me of some red beers. Somewhat nutty but presented itself more as a typical light bodied brew. You really have to search for the flavors, as it's not an intense beer.

Gump, Jun 25, 2003
Photo of beerluvr
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours with a creamy light tan colored head that settles over very attractive clear brown liquid with a hint of red to it. The nose is rather light and non-descript...but it does have some lightly roasted maltiness, a hint of chocolate and a small amount of fruitiness nestled within. The taste is light bodied on the palate, with flavors of roastiness, a good dash of malt sweetness, some very delicate hints of diacetyl, and a minimal hop bitterness. This beer goes down way to easy...the ultimate session ale?? Perhaps! Before I realize it the glass is just about empty..."Hon, grab me another Nukey Brown would ya?" The relatively low alcohol content makes this drinkable in great quantity. Finishes up with a nice lightly dry/bitter note that begs another healthy sip...cheers!

beerluvr, Jun 24, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brilliantly clear, ruby-red dark caramel in color forming a sea-foam light-beige head, requiring a vigorous pour to achieve this. The head has very poor retention and minimal to absent lacing. Aroma is very English...buttery and nutty with a fruity ferment, slightly skunked owing to the clear bottle, with notes of toffee, brown sugar, "round" English hops, and perhaps a little chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is spritzy at first, but then very mild and smooth with a suprisingly thin body. Taste begins with some carbonated acidity, followed by some herbal flavoring hops...toffee, chocolate malt, some mellow toasted marshmallow, followed by some earthy malts, ruddy hops, and a mild, slightly sweet bitterness in the finish. Last time I drank this, I remember it as being horrible, but on today's drinking, it's really not too bad. It's relatively easy to drink owing to it's smooth carbonation, thin body and light mouthfeel, and it's malts and hops are at least a little more substantial than other similarly trendy beers in the same price-range.

Mitchster, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of steelreign
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, this one certainly LOOKED better than it actually was, but such is life! Actually, the body and taste of this one was a little less than I expected, but that is a minor complaint. Pours a nice light brown color, with a faint hint of hops and malt, not much else.

Taste was rather carbonated and light for its color. Slight nutty taste, with some caramel (malt) in there as well.

Goes down just fine, and the mouthfeel was kinda watery. Not really impressed, but then again, wasn't expecting alot. A good all day swilling beer, to be sure.

steelreign, Jun 20, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a 12 oz. clear bottle. The appearance was a dark amber, with a full white head. The smell was heavily malty. The taste was almost non-existent, with a slight bit of malt aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very smooth. This is a beer that I could certainly drink plenty of, especially with the low ABV, but why would I want to?

The first time I had this beer, quite a while ago, I thought that it was too strong. Now, I think it has very little taste whatsoever (and my brother, normally a lager drinker, agrees with me........which has to say a lot). All in all, a disappointment.

beergeek279, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of importguy
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is a nice clear golden colour in the bottle. Smell hoppy.

I must admit I was disappopinted the visually a nice looking beer but once I drank it not much to talk aabout. Very middle of the road. Perhaps I am not a big fan of this style of beer but I found it too skunky and not enough flavour more of a washed skunky flavour. I'll try another one again to make sure it was not the bottle I had...

importguy, Jun 15, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew had a small head when it arrived to the table. The body was copper colored. There was carbonation observed rising to the top. It had good lacing on the sides of my glass. The taste was smooth, watery and on the thin side. In my opinion, this brew is much better when it is bottled rather than when it is served on-tap.

hotstuff, Jun 06, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
2.4/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep dark red with off-white head. Very light cola aroma. Extremely light taste. This is one spent beer with no soul. There is no bitterness or hops. The mouthfeel is light, like old tea mixed with old cola and water. What is all the hype about? This is the second time I have had this beer, with the same results. I did not put up my first review, because it was so against the grain, but wheres the beef?

Naerhu, Jun 04, 2003
Photo of IronDjinn
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was THE beer for me in my college days, me and my old roommate literally had a sea of spent, empty Newkie Brown bottles covering a good portion of our kitchen floor at all times (between trips to the bottle depot). These days it is rather mediocre, but a nice standby beer to fall back on. Colour is a flat mahogany, head pours big, tan and foamy, but disappears soon. Small amount of lacing. Aroma is sweet with a very faint hint of hops. Flavour is sweet malt, and a touch astringent (light struck from the clear bottle, or presence of preservatives?), with the slightest finish of floral hops. Mouthfeel is watery, but it goes down smooth. Nothing too special, but I could drink a lot of these in a sitting. I have in fact.

IronDjinn, May 27, 2003
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 4,176 ratings.