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RATINGS: 1834   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
KarmanGhia (276) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 8, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2005 This pours a black ruby that is nonetheless transparent and a bit thin bodied. The nose is a bit dirty and laced with plumb fruitiness. It is a bit too carbonated, but the tastes are relatively mild and pleasant with a light roastiness, some spice, and a mild bitter. While not bad, it is very mild.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Krausen (102) - USA - MAR 7, 2005
Unique flavor, this beer truly is not a stout or porter as the label bosts. Gritty malty roast without being stoutlike and chocolate richness w/ithout tasting like a porter. Some fruty ester but very malty and well balanced. A triumph in originality and drinkability.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - MAR 3, 2005
On draft@The Stonehouse, Nevada City. POurs almost black. Malt-bomb aroma with notes of rasins. Sweet taste and bubbly mouthfeel makes me think of Coca-Cola although it isnt quite THAT sweet. Very clean finish. Enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAR 3, 2005
(12 oz bottle: Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA) Not as unique as many of the others in the traditional ale category, this one is more straightforward and "modern", featuring a mildly sweet, mildly roasty maltiness, not unlike the other "black" beers I’ve had. Very malty nose is lightly roasty, mildly bitter, and somewhat sweet. Medium bodied, leaning toward full bodied. Smooth and easy on the palate, and easy to drink. The color is a ruddy, dark brown, clear, and fully translucent. Light tan head, less than an inch in height on the pour, subsides to a thick rim around the edge of the glass, and leaves almost no lace at all. I haven’t had too many traditional ales, but all were very unique, so I guess I was expecting something reasonably unique with this beer. It’s not. It’s just a black beer, albeit a really nice one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - FEB 27, 2005
Thanks to csbosox for this one.Pours a clear dark brown with a rapidly dissappearing head.Nose is almost smokey with the roasted malts taking over most of the aromas.The flavor was a little one sided for my tastes.Not a bad brew but all I could pull outta’ it was the roasted malts

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Padron4KM (690) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - FEB 27, 2005
12oz bottle best before 07jun05. Pous a deep rich mohogany with a thic dark brown head.
Aroma is musty, caramel, roasty, sugary malt.
Flavor is smokey, roasty, maybe burnt coffee, with some caramel thrown in. finish is short and roasty coffee like.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
OD40oz (774) - Box Elder, South Dakota, USA - FEB 24, 2005
This stuff had a caramely, syruppy taste just like yuppie coffee. Very dark that was a deep brownish red when held up to a light. Light tan colored thick creamy head. I didn’t hate it but I surely didn’t like it much.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bierfinder (10) - College Station, Texas, USA - FEB 24, 2005
Reddish brown to dark brown, small even head and great smoky treat for the palate. Great Malty flavor. A beer tha goes down easy with no after-taste. One of the best domestic (USA) dark brews I have found.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 20, 2005
bottle. burgundy in appearance, small off-white head. roasty aroma, hints of smokiness, and very malty. sweet, heavily malt-accented flavour, notes of raisins. moderate carbonation. dry bitter finish. I was expecting something different. overall a mediocre brew from New Belgium.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rajendra82 (982) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - FEB 19, 2005
Another purchase from a recent trip to Arkansas, this beer intrigued me with the unusual style moniker. When poured into a standard pint glass, this did not look black, but rather dark brownish red. The head was uneven and foamy off-white. The aroma was grainy and grassy, with some sweet corn syrup like smell. The taste was closest to an English brown ale, with some burnt characteristics of a porter creeping in. Lot of nutty malt sweetness, tempered only slightly by the aromatic hops. The mouthfeel was slick and oily. An easy drinking beer for sure.

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