When it comes to beer, Newcastle is a world-class suds-meister. The brewmasters at the Caledonian Brewing Company in Edinburgh, Scotland, have been up to their necks in malts and hops for 80 or so years, crafting variations of its famous brown ale.
Each year, Heineken International distributes several limited-edition, seasonal Newcastle beers for all-too-brief times. Rotating through the calendar year are Werewolf ("Naturally blood-red in color)," Winter India Pale Ale and - how's this for timing? - Summer Ale.
Summer Ale, in stores now through July, is lighter in color and "weight" than other Newcastle beers. It's also expensive, at $9 per six-pack.
We asked a few beer-drinking buddies to pop some tops at an informal tasting and offer their opinions. Among them:
"I can see knocking back a bottle of this one after mowing the lawn on a Sacramento afternoon."
"Very 'hoppy' tasting, with a finish that's almost dry."
"I like the 'grassy' aroma and taste."
"It's a thirst-quencher."