on tap

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RATINGS: 1891   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   IBU: 21   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Black Lager uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JAN 7, 2006
Bottle. Pours a deep dark chocolate brown, almost black if not in the light. This has a thin slighlty off white head that lingers and leaves good lacing. Aroma of fresh ground coffee beans with nutty notes. Flavor is much like the nose, with hints of figs, hickory bark, and a bubble gum finish. Medium bodied with a lingering finish. Not too bad...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
GarrettB (1461) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 2, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 17, 2007 As an ill trained amateur historian, I would love to know why New Belgium chose 1554 to title their darker, heartier and more savory beer. The Ft. Collins emblem of consumer quality, well-styled beers looks to have taken a darker bent on brewing, and if they were trying to make an affordable beer that’s easy to drink they succeeded. The upstanding posture of the 1554 is simple, dark and thick. It envelopes a similarly simple smell of smoke that portends the masculinity of the taste. By the flavor I’d say 1554 is a collection of low and bass flavors that belong at the bottom of any good stout. Imagine a blend of maple syrup, steak sauce, hickory smoke and brown sugar with a good, solid texture raveled around it. My only complaint is that the 1554, while a good beer, has to butt heads with many more well crafted and complex dark beers for my precious shelf space. Maybe it’s only my loyalty to New Belgium, or my insatiable curiosity about the name that compels me to pick up a bottle when I can, but whatever the cause I’m always happy to have it in hand.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
dubb18 (30) - Springfield, Missouri, USA - DEC 25, 2005
It wasn’t a bad brew, but a little to strong in the finish. It has good head and a good feel. A decent brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - DEC 24, 2005
Brown, somewhat hazy, light cream colred head. Nose is sour, yeasty, and nutty. Taste is interesting. Nice fruit notes combined with generous dark roasted malts and some nice funky yeast. Balanced out at the end with some light bittering hops. good stuff.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Zoso137 (52) - Springfield, Missouri, USA - DEC 22, 2005
this is an extremely nice brew with great color and a great finish, but its just not my style. it makes you feel like you have your winter coat on and youre in the middle of the ocean on an island with a candle and a bar of soap.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2005
The aroma is one of sour yeast and nuts. A cloudy maize color with a small head is the trademark of this beer. The taste is a mild sweet yeasty one that has a mild tang that lingers a good while after swallowing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
oldrtybastrd (5003) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 17, 2005
Pours a deep blackish brown color. Aromas of chocolate, nuts, roasted malts, with a hint of spice. Flavors of chocolate and a bit of roasted barley. This is probably my favorite New Belgium beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ghawener (1567) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - DEC 16, 2005
Draft: Black with small beige head, found it on tap in Arkansas a nice try to brew a Belgium style beer; not bad at all.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ronjeremy230 (3) - USA - DEC 6, 2005 does not count
A dark beer amost opaque when held up to light through the bottle. Slight bitterness. It is nothing special.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 3, 2005
12oz. Pours a speckled brown color with a light brown head. Nose is lots of dark fruit, malty, lightly smokey, some yeast involved, light nuts. Taste was mostly apples, figs, dates, some light chocolate notes here and there and finishes with a nice bitterness and a clean palate.

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