Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown AleSomewhere along the way I missed a step in posting reviews—several steps, actually—and it turns out that even though I received a sixer of Newcastle Brown Ale two months ago, I’m just now posting the review. Really, though, I drank and took notes on it way back then, too.

So. Newcastle Brown Ale. Often one of the first English and “import” beers that Americans are exposed to once they start exploring beyond the light macro lagers. Indeed, it’s one of the English macro brands, one that’s been available nearly everywhere for as long as I can remember—everywhere that sells “good beer”, that is.

It’s been ages since I’ve had Newcastle, so I was interested in reviewing it. First things first, I always get nervous these days when I see a beer bottled in clear glass; that’s just skunkiness waiting to happen. In this case, not to worry; I’m guessing I was sent an ultra-fresh six-pack that had just recently been bottled.

Appearance: Clear, mahogany brown with a touch of red. Light tan head, fairly clean-looking.

Smell: None of the lightstruck smells, fortunately. Nutty, malty, a hint of chocolate and coffee. Toffee. A little bit of butterscotch.

Taste: Crisp, big nutty brown malt flavors. There’s some characteristic note here that I can’t place—it’s sharp, and I want to say it’s like wood or even metallic but it’s really not… steely? It’s not bad—part of the overall profile. Sweetish, clean brown malts without any roasted astringency.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-light and very clean, with a hard-water character.

Overall: It’s an English-import classic, and it’s decent. I’ve been enjoying drinking it but I am used to beers with more body and character.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B-. On RateBeer, it scores 3.04 out of 5, and is in their 47th percentile.

One comment

  1. Perhaps I’ve just had too much beer, is it possible?, but I’m not sure why Newcastle doesn’t get better reviews. I think I’d give them more attention if I was ever offered what the reviewer considered the better version of that style of beer. For instance, I tried the Goose Island Nut Brown Ale this week and it’s total crap. It is literally undrinkable on the level of Blue Moon.

    Not to say I won’t drink a Blue Moon, but I’ll have 1 bottle a year. Give me a 6 pack of Newcastle and I’ll enjoy it thoroughly. So I’m not trying to trash your review, but I am asking for your next best alternative in the same vein.

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