Newcastle Scotch Ale
Heineken Nederland B.V.

Newcastle Scotch AleNewcastle Scotch Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #342
Ranked #45,691
3.57 | pDev: 12.89%
Heineken Nederland B.V.
Newcastle Scotch AleNewcastle Scotch Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 162 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SoCalNative
SoCalNative from California

4.72/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aye, lad/lass...buckle up. You're in for a ride if they ever bring this back.

I last had a 12 pack of these in 2016(?). I'm no fan of Newcastle Brown, but got 3 of these in one of those sampler packs.

My God. I never knew such a glorious taste existed. This Scotch Ale started me down a long road of searching & buying many of bottles of similar tastes. I actually ended up buying five 12 packs when the store for them back in stock WITHOUT the other samplers.

Needless to say, I was devastated when they stopped selling them. Much like every limited edition or collaboration brew that I've tried...they disappeared WAY TOO quickly.

I still dream about having one of these Ales. Taste, smell, look, feel...nearly perfect.

If you EVER see a bottle/case of these, buy them IMMEDIATELY.

At a cozy 6.4%, these Ales will take you there, bring you back AND tell you how it was!!

Truly epic.

Apr 28, 2020
Photo of erk0607
erk0607 from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark, clear mahogany body with beige bubbles that when poured correctly, last quite a while. Lacing remains and coats the glass.
Smell: Dried fruits and malt body, very sweet smelling
Taste: A mix between sweet and malty, with the sweet plum and cherry flavors hitting your tongue first followed by a bitterness provided by the roasted malts that compliments the fruits nicely
Feel: Intermediate-light body, very fine, if not creamy carbonation. Smooth.
Overall: Excellent for a cheap anytime beer with a lot of flavor

Oct 18, 2016
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up a while ago for just a buck. In it for the tick.

A - Deep amber brown color clear with a 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to some good lacing.
S - Good caramel smell with some peat smoke and toffee.
T - Slightly sour touch of caramel sweetness and burnt sugars. Smokey is minimal but it does taste a bit off.
M - Fairly smooth light to medium body. Good finish.

Overall a pretty average scotch ale not sure I would buy it again even for a dollar.

Apr 02, 2016
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

2.96/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle out of a mixed 12-pack. Sampled on November 13, 2015.

It is a decent enough looking brown pour with a short-lasting off-white head. Good clarity.

The aroma reminds me of melted toffee and vanilla beans more than bold sweet malts and peat moss like I expect in this style.

Thin body.

The taste brings out the same melted toffee and vanilla characters of the nose with little to no bitterness. It just felt off and like it poured from a cardboard box.

Nov 14, 2015
Photo of Savan
Savan from Minnesota

3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber with thick head that thins but does not vanish, smell is slightly grainy and slightly sweet but, pretty subtle. Taste is less sweat and complex than I would of expected, this said its not terrible. Feel is medium bodied with a crisp, short lived finish . Over all not great... not noteworthy, but if available worth a try.

Sep 08, 2015
Photo of SensorySupernova
SensorySupernova from California

3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: I can tell it’s dark through the glass. That’s about it.

Smell: Roasty, a little bit of caramel, faint hops.

Taste: Roasted malt up front, a bit sweet like burnt sugar, gets bitter towards the middle, and more like wheat bread.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick and well carbonated.

Overall: Not bad, but not something to seek out.

Sep 02, 2015
Photo of WoodButcher
WoodButcher from Virginia

3.04/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark copper brown with a thin head that dissipated quickly leaving a bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is almost nonexistent. Mild hints of malt and little more. As it warmed it got a slight skunk to it. The taste is much the same; malt, toasted caramel with a slightly bitter finish and a bit of alcohol on the back end. It leaves your tongue a bit coated. Honestly this tastes like a Newcastle with a bit more bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel isn't as sharp as Newkie Brown with a little less carbonation. Overall it isn't objectionable but it just isn't memorable. Certainly not a very good example of a Scotch Ale.

Aug 22, 2015
Photo of Jeffreysan
Jeffreysan from Virginia

3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, clear, yet deep, dark mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Pretty aromatic with lots of bready, toasted malt, which imparts notes of freshly baked bread. I also get aromas of brown sugar and caramel, some black pepper, and touches of grassy, piney hops.

Taste: Not bad. Pretty good, even. Lots of bready toasted malt and maybe oats up front, followed by some caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of licorice, and finished with a touch of grassy, piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely carbonated. With an ABV of 6.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good Scotch ale. Malty and slightly sweet, with a touch of hops. Its not one of the better Scotch ales out there, but this one’s rather drinkable.

Jun 12, 2015
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Brownish copper-colored body; one-finger+ lingering head. Malty, caramel-like aroma; brown sugar. Mild burnt sugar flavor; high level of bitterness; very mild tea-like astringency. Medium-heavy body; semi-sweet finish.

A respectable Scotch ale although it seems a bit thin in the malt sweetness department (bitterness is rather dominant) and lacks the malt heft that one might expect for the style.

Apr 29, 2015
Photo of Radome
Radome from Florida

3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

L - Medium brown color with red giving an attractive mahogany appearance. Crystal clear. Off-white head is persistent and lively, but not too thick. Lots of lacing.

S - Strong aroma of lightly toasted malt and smoke. Some earthy hops in the background. Fairly simple and one-dimensional aromas, but clean.

T - Strongly smoky and phenolic up front. Bready and toasty malt in the mid-palate. Earthy hops in the finish with lingering smoke.

F - Thin body. Low to moderate carbonation. Low hops bitterness. No alcohol presence.

O - Overall this seems thin and watery for a Wee Heavy. The expected major flavors and aromas are there, but without the huge maltiness and alcohol that I'd expect for the style.

Apr 16, 2015
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Newcastle has gone Scottish with this Scotch Ale. Coming out of a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

The beer is dark amber brown and given an inch of head on top. Not only is the retention good, but the lacing is very good too. Its aroma is modest, bringing tootsie rolls, fruit, dates, and a kiss of smoke to my nose. The flavor isn't half-assed either. I get a little smoke, chocolate covered esters, tobacco, a smooch of booze, swimming in a smooth full bodied beer.

The best I've had from Newcastle. Not only that, but a beer which can appeal with folks unfamiliar with craft beer and people who have been around craft beer for years.

Apr 07, 2015
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I believe that this was one of my former in-person trader, tone77's drop-offs. Man, I am nostalgic for his visits since he moved down south in search of employment! Cheers, brother.

From the bottle: "British Brewing Since 1869"; "Collaboration Edition"; "Drink Cool"; "Collaboration Edition Scotch Ale"; "Scotch Ale is a classic brew that originated in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 18th century. Rich, full-flavoured and fulfilling, our Scotch Ale is a blend of malts with toffee notes and a mellow hop. The beauty of this style is its fulsome malt character that is simply mouth-watering."

I hadn't a thistle glass, so I made do with a recent purchase from Attic Treasures, the monthly rummage sale at the church across the street. I Pop!ped the cap and began a (wee) heavy-handed pour whose foam began to fill the neck of the glass more quickly than I would have liked. The resulting three-plus fingers of dense, light-tan head sat there, staring me down until they began to fall under their own weight. Color was a Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with deep amber highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had an earthy sweetness, much like tobacco drying in a barn during the summer. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was not at all sweet, nor was it reminiscent of toffee. Instead, it was mellow, quite dry and with a dusky, earthy flavor that made me want to put it into a still and see what would come out on the other end. Finish was semi-dry with just enough of a discernible sweetness to keep it from being outright dry. I really felt like I was drinking a young Scotch (and park yer cheeky comments, lads, before I take a shillelagh to ye!). Phew.

Apr 01, 2015
Photo of SonicAddict
SonicAddict from California

4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Biased because I prefer ales.

I honestly think this is the second best beer I had. I got mine off a fresh shipment, so check to see that you aren't getting an old batch.

Mar 31, 2015
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Used a tulip glass as I did not have a thistle. Body is like uncut garnet, head is whispy but its color reminds me of lightly toasted marshmallows. It dissipated rather quickly. Muffins, sweeter, less yeasty than bread on the nose, from malt and caramelization. Taste is slightly more balanced in favor of either alcohol or hops than some of the other Wee Heavies I've had. This comes across as peppery and warming. I like it. Also malty sweetness and smoke. Moderate carbonation, not the smoothest going down, a little chewy. Overall, it's better than the other two Newcastle offerings I've had, their Brown and their Irish Red.

Mar 25, 2015
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing from California

3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and copper red in color with a finger width off-white head. Good retention before dying down, revealing a thin but consistent layer of surface suds. Lacing on the glass is solid, leaving in intricate pattern of spots and lines that stick with intent.

Smell - Toffee aroma light caramel notes and a strong grassy hop presence.

Taste - Follows the nose. Toffee flavor with light roastiness off-set by a moderate amount of grassy character from the hops. Bittersweet finish. A bit simple, but well put together.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation and that signature bone-dry Newcastle finish, of which I'm not a fan.

Overall - Solid brew, but I'm not a fan of the super dry finish. I feel like my tongue is a vast arid desert after a few of these. Somewhat reminiscent to their Brown, especially the body, though I like the flavors significantly more with this one.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage from California

3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brewed and bottled in the UK - happily shipped in brown glass rather than clear/green. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Gordon Highland thistle.

Maroon body with amaranth highlights - clear with a small but lasting wheat-colored ring (but no head). Fine quick running lacing. No legs.

Very faint smoke in the nose; hints of kettle caramelization, but low maltiness.

Flavor is more potent than the aroma would suggest with a rich albeit simple maltiness. Hints of earth, ash-tray, and rooibos in the finish which is tannic enough to off-set the initial sweetness and end up medium-dry. No esters; low alcohol.

A touch thin for the style, though this is on the lower edge of the ABV, so I'm not too surprised. Reasonable carbonation.

Quite enjoyed this one, despite its lack of potency or complexity compared to the best examples of the style.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
SoupKitchenBeerSnob from Florida

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

I'm a little confused by the origin of this beer since BA says it's from the Heineken Netherlands folks, yet my bottle says it's brewed and bottled in the UK... Bottle also says it's a collaboration brew... Are there two different versions? I'm thinking that there must be, because I found this to be a very drinkable brew with crisp carbonation and none of the bitter metallic taste that other reviewers on here have come across. Could just be the problem inherent in a lot of macro-brews, in that there can be wildly varying degrees of freshness and quality from a single line. Whatever the case, I'd have to recommend this as a tasty session beer with just a slightly higher than expected ABV of 6.4% and nothing odd or offensive in its flavor... Cheers!

Mar 12, 2015
Photo of captaincoffee
captaincoffee from Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Amber-brown pour with solid off-white to tan head. Malty nose and taste with nice mouthfeel. I thought it was not a full-on scotch ale, and maybe a little one dimensional, but overall a solid and enjoyable beer.

Mar 04, 2015
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep ruby color with a purple hue, small fizzy white head reduces to leave only a thin film floating on top

S- aroma of wet dog at first, but as it warms, aromas of toffee/caramel, brown bread & just a hint of herbal hop

T- sweet brown malt gives some brown bread and toffee flavors, slightly nutty with some metallic flavor, hint of coffee on the linger

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel

O- this actually drinks more like a brown ale, pretty good, but not what I typically go for in a scotch ale

Feb 19, 2015
Photo of hellraiser
hellraiser from Alabama

3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aggressive pour into a thistle glass. (I TOLD my wife I would use it someday) 3 - 4 finger tannish head. Shrank to a lasting 1/2 finger. Dark ruby red.
Aroma: Malty - savory almost food like.
Taste: Like a previous reviewer, I'm a little stumped. Mellow bittering, malty, unique in my experience (which is not a lot).
Palate: Low carb - medium body with a nice feel.
Overall: Not one of my stranded island beers but I like it. Keep going back for a sip but end up gulping instead. Glad I bought an extra one.

Feb 12, 2015
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a really inviting and unique aroma of malt and some earth notes. I like the smell
Appearance- A dark ruby color with a small head.
Taste- This is the challenge. I can't tell if I like the unique flavor or not. I am half way through and I still can't decide. Obviously I will need to try another to be a fair judge.
Palate- A medium bodied brew with low carbonation
Overall- an odd brew. can't decide if I really like it or tolerate it. but I think it is worth a spin.

Feb 11, 2015
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, roasted nut, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, nut, and metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with nice aromas, but there is a sharp metallic flavor that dissipates after each sip that makes this one a bit of a chore to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

Feb 02, 2015
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget from Texas

2.29/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Brown glass shows mild chill haze when back lit, barely holds a halo of off white foam that leaves a few streaks of lace.

Smell: Dark malt extract, some floral notes, purple grape esters, mild woody and earthy notes.

Taste: A harsh metallic edge destroys anything good that might happen here. Very earthy, a bit harsh on the bittering hops, nothing sweet to balance it.

Feel: Watery texture, clean finish, low carbonation.

Overall: Bit of a train wreck. Not enough malt base to bring this close to style, or to balance the blood/coin metallic off flavor or the boatload of earthy hops. The ester driven grape flavor is ok, but doesn't make up for the rest.


Jan 27, 2015
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Crystal-clear amber-red in color, sports a massive, somewhat coarse cream-colored head, which retains quite well. Ornate, patchy lacing decorates the glass walls. Numerous streams of minute bubbles drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Complex aroma of dark caramel, charred sugar, peat, a hint of smoke, and faint herbal hops.

Taste: Opens with burnt caramel, soon this is suffused with earthy and peat flavors. Midway through the taste, charred sugar dominates. Late in the taste, a restrained flourish of herbal hops appear, a nice compliment to the charred flavor. Finishes with a lingering charred note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, full, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A very nice, quite drinkable example. Alba gu bràth (Scotland forever).

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Jan 25, 2015
Photo of jooler
jooler from California

2.87/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tastes kind of flat. Pretty malty with a mild alcohol taste. Also sort of tastes like a lager. This basically tastes like new castle brown ale aged in a scotch barrel for 1 week. Overall, it's alright

Jan 25, 2015
Newcastle Scotch Ale from Heineken Nederland B.V.
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 162 ratings