May 21, 2012

Newcastle Summer Ale

Newcastle Summer Ale

I was first presented with samples of Newcastle Summer Ale back in August of 2010 — so it’s been a good long while since I last drank the beer. According to that review, I was less than impressed. Fast forward to just a week or so ago, when I received an email from a PR company (different than the one that supplied the first round of samples) offering the opportunity to try the beer again. I politely sent them the link to the initial review, yet they still decided to send samples. How brave.

So here we are. And how is Summer Ale received this time around. Actually, and surprisingly, a little more favorably. I’m not sure if the recipe has been altered since I last had the beer or if my taste buds have changed, but there definitely appears to be more of a hop presence within the beer’s pale depths this time around. Not a huge amount of hop character, mind you, but more.


Summer Ale pours a light amber in color with a dense white head that fell slowly to patchy surface cover.


Bready malts, caramel, grain and a light grassy hop character are evident in the nose.


The hop profile of this brew appears to be more assertive this time around as the grassy and lemony citrus notes arrive after initial grain and lightly toasted bread flavors greet the tongue. The crisp carbonation proves to enhance the bite of the hops on the palate. It’s not a hop bomb by any means, but the more forward character of the hops is refreshing.


Newcastle Summer Ale may have had it’s hop profile bumped up a bit to accommodate an American palate or it may just have been my taste buds being more receptive. At any rate, it drinks a little better than the last time I had it, but it’s still lacking in the “glory” it so loudly self proclaims on the label.


This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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