Beer: Newcastle Brown Ale IP

There are a lot of reviews out there on Newcastle Brown Ale. It is a good, consistent brew with a texture and flavor that is obviously pleasing to a lot of people, including me. It is an English import, so don’t expect it to taste exactly as if it were pulled at a UK pub. the bottled imports are always a bit “less” in my experience.

There is, sadly, no link to Tadcaster Brewery, as shown on the label of my bottle, that I can locate. The link above is to the Wikipedia page for Newcastle Brown Ale. It is replete with interesting information if you like a background for your brew.

Newcastle Ale PicWhen pouring, Newcastle presents a light, pillowy head that doesn’t cling. The ale itself is a lovely color reminiscent of a well brewed iced tea – medium brown with a hint of gold.

The aroma is nutty, with some hoppiness present. A bitterness is there as well, but not harsh enough to detract from the experience.

The mouthfeel is not subtle, having a good carbonation level. It finishes smoothly on the palate, leaving hints of pecan and walnut. The hops make themselves known at the very end in a crisp manner. The overall experience is heartier than most American beers, and well suited as an accompaniment to anything from a simple burger to a good steak. it also serves as a stand-alone drink or an aperitif.

Newcastle is, for me, a great go-to beer. It has proven to be a good introduction beer to brown ales for uneducated or undereducated palates.

On a scale of 1-5 —
Appearance: 4
Scent: 4
Flavor: 4
Texture: 4
Overall: 4

-Ann Cathey

Beer: Agave Nectar Ale by Blue Moon

While I have neither the money nor the time to review a beer a day, I do have the wherewithal to post when I try something new.

This evening’s taste test was conducted on Blue Moon Brewing Company’s Agave Nectar Ale. While Coors owns Blue Moon, I’m not about to hold that against the product. Not being a fan of most domestic beers, my palate reflects certain prejudices.

Listed as an American Pale Wheat Ale or a Blonde Wheat Ale (depending on who you ask), it lives up to that description. When poured it shines a nice golden honey color. Sadly, it apparently employs artificial agave nectar, too.

When you take your first sniff, there’s a distinct sweetness, almost as of cotton candy — barley and wheat scented cotton candy. I found this attractive in this case.

The first sip is slightly sharp, but has a sweetness that may be enjoyed by those who are not traditionally beer drinkers. The flavors are reminiscent of apples and caramel. It is smooth, light bodied with a thinner texture than I am used to.

Following sips are light, sweet (not cloying) and hinting somewhat of tequila. As it warms up to room temperature, it becomes a bit more bitter, but remains smooth with a crisp finish. The after flavors are not overwhelming, but light and refreshing.

It’s a summer brew, and I feel it is very suited to hot weather, unlike some of it’s darker cousins.

On a scale of 1-5 —
Appearance: 4
Scent: 3.5
Flavor: 3.5
Texture: 3.5
Overall: 3,5

-Ann Cathey