Sep 4, 2012

Newcastle Werewolf

While not a complete gimmick like Shmaltz Brewing’s Coney Island Freaktoberfest, a beer that truly pours blood red, Newcastle’s limited release Werewolf is out just in time (perhaps a bit too early) for all your Halloween fans.

Billed as a “Blood Red Ale,” the brew is more along the lines of an ESB in style. Werewolf is brewed with rye which I found a welcome surprise and is also an addition that helps this brew stand out from the company’s other seasonal release that I’ve had (Summer Ale).


Werewolf does not pour blood red. It, in fact, pours a chestnut brown that shows some mahogany when held up to a light. An off-white cap of foam faded slowly to a relatively thick color and patchy surface cover.


The nose is rather subdued, but I did pick up a light roast, caramel, distant rye and light, grassy hops.


The flavors come out much more than the tame nose. There’s a welcome amount of hop bite throughout the beer, though I don’t believe I’ll be transmogrifying into some unholy, hairy beast with the next full moon. A light malt roast, doughy rye bread, grassy hops and caramel play well together as a lingering touch of hop bitterness hangs out in the drying finish. It’s definitely one of the more expressive beers I’ve received from Newcastle the past year or so.


This brew surprised me. I thoroughly enjoyed it’s rye character. The labeling and timing of the release definitely leans toward gimmicky (though I think actually tears in the label would serve more effective than printed claw marks), but the beer itself was pleasantly solid. Under another name, I think the beer would do quite well with it’s malty backbone, light roast and rye presence. And at 4.5% ABV, it’s just about sessionable to boot.

Rating: 3.75/5

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

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