Newcastle Brown Ale is still one of the finest import beers in the United States. It is unique without being overwhelming – accessible to those looking for a little something different.

The makers of Newcastle have been rolling out four Limited Edition Beers in the United States. The most recent – due this February – is the Founders’ Ale. Newcastle boasts that the beer is made to honor the heritage of English ales.

No matter what is said, we weren’t sure what to expect from the Newcastle Founders Ale. It describes itself was a classic bitter ale with a hoppy taste. So our tasters gathered with more than a little excitement as we poured out samples.

Before we drank, the first thing with the Founders’ Ale we have to give kudos to is the handsome, classic label. The design was pure Newcastle, but the forest green color was handsome and striking.

But on to the beer.

The aroma was rich and slightly arresting – very pleasing. The color was darker than you’d expect from an ale – an attractive copper/bronze. And then to the tasting.

The first samples of Newcastle’s latest left us quite surprised – and very pleased. We were struck at the utterly unique taste. Our tasters were expecting more of a hoppy flavor, but were happily surprised by a brew with a very sharp, clean taste with a touch of caramel and a hint of fruit. Almost a sweetness.

There was a nice bite to the beer – again – sharp and very clean. The same can be said for the finish – one of the best things of the Founders’ Ale. It was sharp and bold and clean.

We have to admire Newcastle for keeping things simple and classic. So many beers try too hard to make something different – but the Founders’ Ale is just trying to make something right. And succeeding.

Well done.

We recommend picking up a six or twelve pack of the new limited edition Founders Ale by Newcastle.