Saturday, December 4, 2010

Category 11: English Brown Ale

Beer: Newcastle Brown Ale
Category: English Brown Ale
Subcategory: Northern English Brown

Ah, English brown ales. Tasty, low gravity, malty creatures that make for wonderful session beers and still never sacrifice flavor. They tend to be great for both cooking and pairing with food. When I found a mini keg of this in my local Publix in Naples, FL, I had to pick it up. Never did care for Newcastle in the clear bottles (skunkaroni!).

Appearance: Pretty, dark reddish-brown color. Nice cream colored head with decent lacing.

Aroma: Sweet caramel with some nuttiness and a dash of alcohol

Taste: A small amount of caramel sweetness develops into a nutty, slightly toasty, vaguely chocolatey flavor. Some bready maltiness and small kick of hop bitterness. Glad that the skunkiness is lost with the on-tap version, because the clear bottles pretty much ruin the whole beer otherwise. So much more pleasant this way. Great beer to drink with dinner!

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, fine bubbles, medium body and medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, out of the mini keg, this guy is pretty damn drinkable. It's tasty and goes down easy. Not bad at all. I kind of prefer some of the better nut browns like Samuel Smith, but on tap, Newcastle is alright by me. I definitely think that the two milds I brewed this summer were better, but English brown ale is a great style of beer, and very versatile.

Sidenote: I made some EPIC fish tacos using some Newcastle in my beer batter. I highly recommend it.

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