Today is the first day of summer, so what more appropriate way to ring in the season than with a beer with "summer" in the name!? I actually had Newcastle Summer Ale a few times last year on tap at Mahar's, although I will say it tasted slightly different out of the bottle. "Different" better or different worse? Watch the review to find out
3.3AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a Newcastle Brown Ale "Geordie Schooner" glass.
Appearance: Clear amber hue with lots of carbonation present. Forms an average-size bright white soapy head. Mediocre retention and lacing.
Smell: Lager-like smell with a general "clean" scent to it. Very mild and no distinct flavor notes in the nose.
Taste: Very light bready character throughout, akin to white bread. Slight nutty character as well. Finishes with a pilsner-like light hop spice. A mild palate to be sure and what’s here is more delectable than not, but there’s nothing particularly off-putting to it. I’d prefer something more citrusy and spicy considering it’s billed as a "Summer Ale." This is more in the style of a generic blonde ale, maybe even a cream ale. Refreshing while it’s in the mouth, but a slightly dry, almost pasty aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: On the lower end of medium. Starts out very fizzy, but quickly becomes tepid and seems to thicken a little.
Drinkability: While not exactly the most refreshing beer for its target season, Newcastle Summer Ale is still highly drinkable. While it may have lager-like characteristics in the palate, it still drinks and feels like an ale - soft and smooth. Sessionable at 4.4% ABV, but I’d recommend pairing it with food or the palate might grow old quickly.
Overall, not a bad beer really, but not quite what I look for in a summer beer. As a mild craft beer for the masses it probably works, though.