Newcastle Brown Ale. One one hand, I’ve heard people say it was terrible, and on the other it seems many, many people like it. I know its a top-seller. So what’s the deal with this stuff? Let’s quickly check it out as our final beer review for English Ale Month, shall we?
As you can see in the picture, the Newcastle Brown Ale comes in a clear bottle rather than the brown ones that all of the other English Ales The Brew Club has been trying lately. The ale is definitely brown, so maybe the clear glass is so people really get a sense of the brownness? “Wow, look at the brownness!” you might overhear someone say. Or not.
The “Newkie” Brown poured rather flatly and uninspired into my glass, and it created a weak, off whitish head that fizzled out pretty quickly. The aroma was generally unappealing, saved only by what I could only describe as some weak nuttiness and shallow sweetness – but not much else.
How to describe the taste. Is disappointing too strong a description? When I first drank it, I thought that my glass had some kind of mutant beer in it. It was just terrible. Plain, flat, dull. Sorry, it was pretty bad.
So, that got me thinking (which is unusual). MAYBE this beer got skunked somehow considering the clear glass? Can this beer, that so many people buy and love be this bad? (then I think about macro-lagers) I closely looked at my bottle for a ‘best by’ date, and there was none to be found. Maybe this bottle is several years old or something – I just can’t tell.
All I know is that I’m really hesitant to give this beer a second try unless other people can attest that the Newcastle Brown Ale is better than what I experienced, or if my horrible sample is par for the course.
So, is The Newcastle Brown Ale a crappy beer, or should I give it another try? Might I have gotten a crappy, skunked bottle? Based on the beer I just had, I’d have to give it a pretty low rating and I doubt I’d revisit it unless convinced otherwise. What’s your take?