on tap

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RATINGS: 1867   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hezron (612) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 24, 2005
Nice aroma of toasted rye with some slightly nutty caramel. Deep, dark brown with a slight hint of light coming through the edges. Small off-white head that diminishes. Almost burnt caramel-roasty flavor, fairly sweet with not much bitterness at all. Gets better as it warms. Medium body, almost creamy but still watery and soft carbination. Thanks to Badgerben for this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ColoradoBobs (31) - Colorado, USA - MAY 21, 2005
Really roasty, malty, but smoooth. I don’t know what the International Bitterness Units for this brew are, but it’s gotta be in the low teens. Smooth dark dark dark amber, with a fine tan head that thins then leaves a clingy lacing. Smell of smooth toasted rye bread. Mmmmmmm. Taste is just so smoothly dark, hints of chocolate and baked plums, a bit of clove. Really warming. Don’t drink this cold -- just cool, and you’ll notice the depth of flavor. Melt-in-your-mouth smoothness and blend of the flavors, so there’s not one dominant highnote -- just a kind of smooth harmony of rich dark tastes. Very smooth and drinkable for a Belgian Dark Ale, and oh, so available here in Colorado. If you haven’t had some, pick up a case next time you’re through the prettiest state in the USA, which happens to have a lot of really great beers. By the way, though not significant, the bottle I poured tonight read ABV of 5.6%. And . . . did I mention it’s smooth?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ElPodo (6) - Colorado, USA - MAY 17, 2005 does not count
Next to Abbey, which is transcendent, 1554 is my favorite New Belgium beer that’s produced year-round. Big malt aroma, with fat malt flavor through the finish. Well-balanced and drinkable. The malt profile is complex yet accessible.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAY 11, 2005
Pours a deep rich brown with tinges of auburn. Thin tan head with almost a reddish tinge. A roasted, fruity nose. Light burnt malt and an odd fruity smell, almost like kiwi fruit. Spicy. Taste is all over the place. Spicy like cloves or nutmeg. Roasted smokiness in the malt. A tropical fruity flavor, like kiwi or mango more so than apple or citrus. Also a crisp bitter hoppiness through out, especially in the finish. Medium bodied and crisp with smoky chocolate bitterness that lingers and turns into a sticky maltiness. I enjoy this beer alot, lots of different tastes happening here. Good show.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAY 1, 2005
Tap. Deep brown color with a reddish tint. Medium bodied. Malty aroma and flavor. Interesting. Chocolate and some fruitiness in flavor.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Uriel (146) - San Jose, California, USA - APR 27, 2005
My aroma experience was tainted by the smoke in the bar I was in. I’m likely to re-rate this later. Very dark, with a medium, creamy looking head. Very smooth, not quite sweet. Gets a little hoppier as you drink. Chocolate notes, toasty. Looking forward to trying this again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (5969) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 23, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2006 This is the first beer I have encountered from this brewer. Sampled from an attractive 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a small tan head. The aroma is toasted malt and dry chocolate. The flavor is dry chocolate and toasted malt with a nice toasted finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
amnoisis (4) - Laramie, Wyoming, USA - APR 22, 2005 does not count
Not really black, but oh well. Nice, complex flavor. Easier to drink than some other dark beers. Yeasty mix of florals, chocolate, coffee, and a fruity background. Good Beer Overall and my favorite New Belgium brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3319) - Tennessee, USA - APR 8, 2005
This pours a deep mahogany brown with all of the ruby highlights one could wish for. Large light brown head that gives off a yeasty floral aroma with chocolate, coffee and tangy apple in the background. Some bittersweet chocolate on the tongue that is devlivered smooth and creamy. Imagine a good Brown Ale, a Porter and a nice spicy Belgian blended together. Thanks to csbosox for sending this one a while back!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jtw (1149) - farmington, Michigan, USA - APR 5, 2005
tastes a lot like a belgian ale with a generous helping of roasted barley and/or chocolate malts. very dry and roasty, surprisingly clean, but very interesting. could be just a porter fermented with belgian yeast, but either way i like it.

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