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RATINGS: 1851   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
movolsfan (11) - Parkville, Missouri, USA - JAN 5, 2005
I really enjoy this ale that looks to be thick, but goes down very smooth. This is good year round whether it’s hot or cold outside. One of NBB’s best!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - JAN 4, 2005
12oz bottle BB 07JUN05. Dark, nice head, some lace. Smells of smokey, slightly raisin tinged, dark malt with a bit of yeasty funk. Very smooth, with the dark carmel malts, smoke, and yeast funk coming together to make something real interesting...a bizar sort of porter is the best I can think of to describe it. I get some slight black liquorice and maybe even cinnamin too...nice complexity of malts & yeast and a light body make this a fun beer to chug.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Evster64 (107) - Kempner, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2004
Aroma - Almost non-existent, just a light hint of malt. Appearance - Deep black, with almost no head. Flavor - Chocolate, smoke, malt. Dry and crisp. Palate - Crisp, dry finish with a deep malty residual. Overall - A nice ale. Bravo to the folks in Fort Collins, Co., who brew the stuff. I will definitely drink it again.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
motelpogo (7701) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - DEC 26, 2004
bottled. i must have been a real glutton for punishment as i kept tasting new belgian beers as though each bad one made me think i was getting closer to finding a good one. this was pretty black and had a bad homebrew stout and brown sugar aroma. some nasty tang there and powder chocolate. i dunno

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 19, 2004
Black ale? A new appellation for me, but after tasting, it’s more accurately a brown ale painted up in blackface, ...not that there’s anything wrong with that. Dark brown in color, more reddish when seen through light. A full, frothy, creamy off-white head towers on top. Powerful aromatics waft out, fruity and floral, soft, sweet notes of toffee, cream, and nuts. Bold brace of hops jump on board the palate and carry through the finish. Excellent texture, chewy and substantial. Hops start to bow out, as they are muted by the full feeling of the powerful malt presence. Very satisfying, and a superior choice for a session ale. I have to wonder if they didn’t blacken this brew, which otherwise tastes like an excellent example of brown ale, to avoid comparison to the inferior Newcastle

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (8798) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2004
Thanks to BBB63 for this. Pours great ruby with big, creamy white head. Aroma of malt, fruit, corn flakes, merlot. Tastes malty, with chocoff, nuts, corn flakes, like liquid Wheaties with finishing fruit and a slight dry cognac flavor. Great stuff. Get one for yourself, and one for your mother

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daniela (9) - Berkeley, California, USA - DEC 15, 2004 does not count
mmmm.. dark-roasted malt. smoked walnuts. burnt caramel. the thick dark bread my german momma sends me. substantial and sweet but not cloying. a mouthful of warm flavor that is still refreshing. relies on the roasted malts rather than the hops for the bitter character. pleasant. cheers!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jgentgesdo (683) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 15, 2004
Pours brownish-black with a nice tan head. Interesting smoky note to the nose that reminds me of nothing more than maple syrup, pancakes, and sausage. Fine chewy malts at the beginning give way to roasted malts later and a charcoal finish. The overall character reminds me of old style black bread. Very tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Kinz (3567) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 12, 2004
Thanks to SS for this one! Poured a dark, dark brown, light barely getting through. Small but persistent head. Aroma of baker’s chocolate. Flavor was also of bitter chocolate, hint of coffee, with a nice acidity as described. Highly enjoyable, very schwarzbier like in character. Perhaps not the most complex beer ever made, but it really hit the spot.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - DEC 6, 2004
Pours reddish black with tan head. Soapy clean hop aroma, with some smokey malt undertones. Body is smooth, but thinner than what the color leads you too expect. Some astringency in the finish. Tastes of malt and fruity metalic esters. Burned toast. This seems pretty much like New Belgium’s Abbey Ale, with burned toast dunked in it. Not bad, but better sans toast.

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