Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Newcastle Founder's Ale

Not too long ago I received an e-mail from Newcastle's marketing team over here in the USA about trying and reviewing their latest beer, the Newcastle Founder's Ale.  And do you really think I'm going to turn down the opportunity to try the beer and write about it? Hell no.  So, not too long after that I had a couple of bottles of beer waiting for me when I got home, and a few days later it was time to break out this Founder's Ale and see what it's all about.  

Newcastle is pretty much synonymous with their famous brown ale, which has its origins way back in 1927 in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.  In 1960 the brand merged with Scottich Ales, and was eventually bought out by Heineken International.  Currently the famous "Newcastle" brand is brewed in Edinburgh, Scotland as opposed to Newcastle, and is quite popular here in the United States.  

This beer is one of their recent attempts to diversify the brand, starting with their Summer Ale, then the Werewolf (a fall beer), a Winter IPA, and now their Founder's Ale, which is labeled as an English Pale Ale.  The beer pours a dark orange color, filtered with a sizable head.  Not a bad looking brew at all.  

The first I noticed on the aroma is a strong malt flavor... toffee and biscuity.  The hops are pretty well muted and don't expect the same kind of hop profile from an American Pale Ale.  You're not going to get that in the English version of the style.  The flavor is yeasty, with caramel notes and a slight hop flavor that lends more sweetness than bitterness.  

It's nothing revolutionary or amazing, but this is definitely an easy drinker. It's well blended and a beer that I could definitely see throwing back if it made it our way on tap.  Pitchers would go quite well with some bar food and football, the alcohol content is a tame 4.8% but the flavor is definitely still there. 

My rating: C+