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Newcastle Brown Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Newcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,591 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3591
Reviews: 1459
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 18.26%

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)
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Ratings: 3,591 | Reviews: 1,459 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of czarnowski


2.25/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited is an English Brown Ale that is unremarkable in every aspect. "The One and Only"? What, a brown beer that taste like an insipid American domestic lager? People who pay a premium for this import and expect something special are in for a big letdown.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 22:12:06 | More by czarnowski
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


2.23/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear brown with a thin tan head that fades to nearly nothing. Aroma is caramel malt. Faint skunk.

Taste is thin caramel malt. Some underlying skunk. Mouth is crisp with a sweetish finish. The skunk is so present in the Newcastle bottles, it just has to be considered in the review. Mediocre at best in bottle, I recommend on tap if at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 01:29:34 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of ibbjamin


2.23/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is one you can find everywhere. About $6 for a six pack of 12 oz bottles. I've had hundreds of these, but this time I'm actually taking notes on it. I've always known this one to be a decent tasting and easy to drink brown ale. Poured into a Stein.

Alomst an inch of eggshell white head. Deep brownish ruby color. Only the darkness of this one makes it transparent. Almost no lacing or head retention.

Amazing to me how low quality this one smells after drinking so many. This is definitely more of a pounding beer than a connoisseur beer. That being said, it should not be as expensive as it is. Malty, nutty and slightly smoky. Almost no presence of alcohol, hops or yeast in the nose.

I've tasted this one many times and never thought it was as bad as it is right now. It's like this beer was never meant to be reviewed or something. Sweet and malty. Low quality ingredients, not well balanced.

Light bodied, little carbonation. Very watery. I have tho give this a high rating for drinkability based on the many long previous sessions I've had with this one.

The one lesson I have learned from reviewing this one is that it is not worth its price. If it was the price of your average yellow beer, I'd drink it much more than I will from here on out.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 02:38:57 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

2.23/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark clear brown with a finger and a half of brown head a little lacing.

The smell is has slight chocolate flavor with some nutty hints.

the taste is smooth with a bit of

The feel of this beer is pretty light and really goes down well. It is one of the best brown ales I have tried and it a really session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 23:53:51 | More by Duhast500
Photo of drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

2.2/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

served from a 500ml tall can

A- nice dark reddish brown color, no head, some lace.

S- pretty sweet, aromas of raisin bread, dried fruit.

T- different. flavors of fruit-plums apples. Some flavors of almonds but just barely. alcohol is noticeable. slightly sweet with a bitter finish.

M- fairly light in body and carbonation.

D- i dont know if i could session this, i found the flavor to be a bit odd which was a turn-off for me.

Overall i dont think ill be picking this up again. Might be able to enjoy it with a nice pot roast or something along those lines but not by itself.

Serving type: can

04-23-2007 22:30:09 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of nem2006


2.2/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Drank in a pint glass. When I poured it, there was almost no head and as I drank it, there was very little lacing left on the side of the glass.

The beer seemed a little flat, though I could see some carbonation through the clear, brown colored beer.

The biggest let down for me was the smell. It was extremely skunky. Most likely due to the fact that the bottle is clear and not colored like every other beer to avoid this exact thing.

I was able to still pick up a little of the sweetness at the beginning followed by a very slight hoppy bitterness at the end. At least the aftertaste didn't last long.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 01:18:03 | More by nem2006
Photo of NuclearDolphin


2.18/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Very Clear Dark Red with a fizzy, soapy head. Interestingly enough, no carbonation.

Smell - Grains, Chocolate, Barley, Malts, and some Light Hops. I'm getting a light sweetness to the scent as well.

Taste - Barley, Grains, Light Hops, and Malts, along with a slight copper flavor.
It tastes like....nothing!!! Aside from some barley and light malts, there's no flavor to speak of. This is is a Brown Ale, not a Light Lager; Brown Ales should have some degree of flavor to it.

Mouthfeel - Yet despite the lack of flavor, the body is quite heavy and thick and with no carbonation. At least it's crisp and feels somewhat refreshing

Overall - There's just no flavor in this, in fact I'd even go as far as to say that Natty Light has more flavor than this. If you want a good brown ale, don't drink this; Look Elsewhere!

Serving type: can

12-12-2012 06:06:08 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of shirfan

New York

2.17/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was abominable for the price.

Has a faintly carmelly-corn sweet aroma, pours a clear copper-brown with a feeble, sticky head.

Tastes like a macro. Malt is thin and watery, has a metallic note, and a powerful corn presence. Not a trace of hops. I loaded up the newcastle website to see if it would list the ingredients, hoping I was wrong....oh no, no, no. I'm painfully right... as the "brewing process" proudly lists maize grits. A flashy animation loads up a large bottlecap that implores the consumer "for a bitter taste, drink with ex-girlfriend".

Obviously the only reason this is an ale is the top fermenting yeast..or are those poor organisms simply trying to escape this wretched concoction they've been immersed in?

I have nothing against cheap, adjunct-laden beer. I do have an axe to grind with bad, adjunct-laden beer that sells for premium prices.

Constructive criticism: scrap the grain bill, brew with malt only, find some hops.

It takes a lot for me to flame a beer, but this one deserves it. Marketing gone wild, this brewery has just earned a vocal detractor.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2003 21:08:47 | More by shirfan
Photo of DoubleJ


2.17/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Recently I was given a bottle at my friend's apartment. It still holds that good medium bodied color, but the aroma and taste are much different compared to the draft version I had ten months ago. On Newcastle's website, they admit to using corn grits in the brewing process, and boy did that stand out. Moderate tone of DMS throws this sweetish beer out of whack, and weird sugary flavors were definite as well. Mouthfeel was around the mean, but this was not very drinkable.

The bottle came from a freshly bought 12-pack, so don't expect the packaging to save the bottle from reeking. I'd skip the bottled version.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 01:04:38 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of laituegonflable


2.17/5  rDev -35%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a flat, reddish-brown colour with zero head and zero carbonation. Admittedly it's a chug-by-the-pint ale so carbonation, head or anything interesting would diminish from its purpose, but frankly it just looks really really dull.

Smell is okay, a fair amount of floral hops on the nose with a subdued hint of roasted dark ale aroma. Ever so slightly sour.

Taste has an unpleasant sickly sweetness on the very front palate which follows on nicely to a fairly hoppy mid palate with a slight burnt or roasted character, which would probably stand to be greatly increased. At the moment, with the quite sweet hit on the front it tastes like coffee diluted with lots and lots of sugar. Mouthfeel is watery and still. Not all that great, really. I guess it's mild enough to drink, but I wouldn't.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 12:29:59 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of Todd


2.15/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 FL OZ custom clear bottle.

Appearance: Tawny/leathery brown. Nice and rich in colour with a bit of a creamy, bubbly lace of a head. Semi-sticky and seems to retain well.

Smell: Medicinal, astringent aromas. Smells crisp and clean. Most of the smells come from the funky ass Ringwood yeast.

Taste: Sweet (but not very malty) and light bodied in the begining. Toasted notes. A crispness creeps up pretty quickly followed by corn sweetness and a definite alcohol taste distinctly from the added maize grits. DMS (cooked vegetables) is also on the palate. Hop notes are leafy, a bit oily. They meld with the prominent yeast profile, that seems to dominate, to create a dryness. Brew gets a bit tea-like, then the tongue then gets coated with a light hop oil/astringent dose of residual flavours from the yeast. Finishes odd.

Notes: This brew uses corn grits, added liquid sugar and is pasteurised. Hardly a "real ale" from England. It's very much a commercial beer these days, and long gone is the age old "goodness." It's now another brew victim to global fame and demand. Despite this, it's drinkable. Not the best brew, or Brown Ale even. In fact, some might find its claimed "special flavour" hard to swallow. Newky Brown uses the tag line "The One and Only" ... let's hope so.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2000 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of dracula68


2.15/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm a bit too much of a novice yet to talk competently about mouthfeel, sediment, lacing, head. But after finishing this bottle I just have to say something. There is a way to make something very cheaply that tastes just like this beer and maybe even looks like it. Very simple.

Take a can of Diet Pepsi and open it.
Put Diet Pepsi back in fridge for 24 hours
remove Diet Pepsi

It's not just the low carbonation, but the fact that there really just isn't much of any kind of flavor at all. The hops are way too subdued, little bitterness, no spice, a very weak aroma.

I drank it from the bottle -- I know, I know -- not the best way, but from the clear bottle even I could tell the head would be hardly anything, very thin. I should never trust a beer in a clear bottle in the first place. It's just a big brown nothing. I thought the English knew how to brew up a good dose of bitters.

Favorite beers so far:
1) Celis Grand Cru
2) Smithwick's Irish Ale
3) Anchor Steam

Worst beers
1) Harbin
2) Corona -- The Yugo of imported beers

and I am EVENTUALLY going to buy myself a decent mug and be able to give a proper review or two.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 08:52:41 | More by dracula68
Photo of bbluemzbeer


2.14/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

My first English Brown ale . I was not to impressed!

Appearance: It is brown to black color

smells : Nutty and carmel smell to it.

taste: It had a half seconds of taste of nutty and caramel flavor then fade to water taste. I was not impressed with taste.

Mouthfeel : Light moutfeel

Overall : I always thought that dark beer have more taste.
Miller lite and bud light has more taste and cost less. I will taste other English brown ale then compare it to them . In future might be better or worse.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 03:10:49 | More by bbluemzbeer
Photo of waughbrew


2.13/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Nice auburn with yellow highlights. Medium creamy head that doesn't have too much retention, but laces well. Nose is English hops with apple skin notes, a butteriness, strawberry and faint banana esters. Taste is a big let-down. Just not too much there - the dull hop flavor is there in equal force as the toasted malt, but the finish is fast, weak, and just a harsh graininess. Very bland malt flavors for a brown ale - do they use coloring?. Pretty full body but with a biting carbonation. I did not enjoy this beer, although I hear it is better on draft. I won't buy it again in bottled form.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2004 00:25:08 | More by waughbrew
Photo of Rifugium


2.13/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at Keswick Tavern, Glenside, PA

I'm not huge on brown ales, and this one's no superstar among them. Pours a cola brown with a finger of off-white head. Somewhat weak aroma, toasted malts and plastic-y. More of the same in the taste, with touches of chocolate perhaps. Light-medium mouthfeel, a bit thin, and not very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 04:32:45 | More by Rifugium
Photo of RaulMondesi


2.13/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Out of a bottle n into a pint glass and Raul don't like it.

Even back in the day when homies would load up their Etnies backpacks with 6er's of this stuff and bring it to parties, Raul didn't think it was cool.

Looks alright, smells better than an olsen twin, but the taste... ay papi! Did someone grind up a bunch of cigarettes and mix them with gutter water? This hooch is rank!

Raul does not agree.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 01:41:38 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of JohnnyJam


2.13/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. clear bottle with a date code 29 02 Y L050 59 22 (which no one knows what that means) on it into a pint glass and got 1 1/2 finger of head.

A: Pours a dark brown color (think of an old brown shoe) and I get about 1 1/2 finger of head that dissipates quickly to leave a ring around the glass that lasts to the end. There is a moderate amount of lace at the beginning that sticks and little to none at the end.

S: I smell little except some funky brown sugar industrial thing.

T: It is sweet and it finishes sweet. That is about it.

M: I'm going to say that it is watery and light-bodied but not at all in a good way. The carbonation comes into play just as I'm going to swallow. It kind of sticks in my throat and does not go down good.

O: I don't like this beer and I can't recommend it. I am always surprised and stunned at the following this beer has. I have a friend in L.A. that only serves this beer at his parties and gets upset if you want to bring your own. He will have a server at a taco bar but you have to drink this beer out of a bottle blah! I don't get it at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 01:04:28 | More by JohnnyJam
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

2.1/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

Serving type: can

12-31-2005 19:39:18 | More by Mandrake
Photo of giblet


2.1/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured from a clear bottle. i dont think that is usually a good start. poured nicely into my glass. nice head and carbonation. smells sweet but not strong. tastes sweet. this was the let down. it was lighter color than i expected and far sweeter than i like. it is easy enough to drink cuz it is pretty light.

ok for a notch in the belt. not great.

suckem up and movem out.


Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 10:06:45 | More by giblet
Photo of bark


2.08/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The colour is clear red-brown; the two finger thick beige foam forms an airy head with some crater tendencies.

The smell is sweet and malty with a clear burned note, some sour-bitter notes and a slight chemical note.

The taste is unbalanced with a fruity, somewhat burned salty flavour. The taste soon becomes watery with a notable corn-feel. The aftertaste is short and rather mild with a saccharine-like sweetness and a chemical bitterness.

The mouthfeel is rather odd; it is almost stale and almost sharp at the same time, making it rather unbalanced.

When I was a young, innocent and inexperienced beer drinker, I drank a lot of this beer. Now, I find it very uninteresting and artificial. Way to go…

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2005 21:02:35 | More by bark
Photo of cfpct


2.05/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was a major disappointment. I would describe it as bland, tasteless and watery. It sort of reminds minds me of a Michelod Dark, which pretty much explains why I'll never buy this beer again. There is nothing complex or interesting about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2007 02:40:43 | More by cfpct
Photo of Lupe

New York

2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I can't quite put my finger on why I don't like this beer. There is just something about the taste that makes it hard to swallow, and the smell is very medicinal. The bright spot for this one is the apperance.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2002 10:40:56 | More by Lupe
Photo of Radome


2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark amber color, extremely clear. The head is weak and thin and fades quickly.

S - Aroma is a smooth mix of malt and earthy hops initially, but it is very faint. At the end of the whiff is something medicinal or vinegar-like that is not pleasant.

T - It almost doesn't taste like beer. The early dominant tastes are butter and vinegar, In the middle there is some malt. The aftertaste has a nutty note that finally bears some resemblance to a brown ale, but it is fleeting.

M - The body is thin. Carbonation is very low, as appropriate for the style.

D - This is not a good beer. I don't know if this is an old example that is oxidized, or if this is a US version that is inferior to the original. If this is how it always tastes, I don't know how it got famous.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 04:07:21 | More by Radome
Photo of beertaster13


2/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 20:31:01 | More by beertaster13
Photo of xnicknj


1.98/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into glass

Pours a clear burgundy color with cherry hues. An off white head fades out into a collar of lacing with some clouds of film and lacing.

Scents of metallic steel with nuttiness. Some residual hoppiness and semi-sweet malt.

Slightly toasted malt with faint watery caramel. Nearly nonexistent hops and metally bitterness. Wet towel with lemon peel. Slight citric acid. Yeah, I think that's about enough for me.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, puckering awfulness after swallowing. I can't believe there was a time when I actually enjoyed this beer. Atrocious flavor, unattractive scent, and an overall poor experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 06:41:50 | More by xnicknj
Newcastle Brown Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
76 out of 100 based on 3,591 ratings.