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RATINGS: 1825   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   IBU: 21   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
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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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sloth (2622) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - OCT 10, 2004
Small light brown head, good retention and a fair lace. Almost black with a dark red glow. Buttery, spicey,malty nose. Medium body, creamy. Medium sweet malt flavor. Hints of fruit, chocolate and a touch of black malt? Some caramel notes also. Dry finish. Thanks Whaledude!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
steview (1036) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 24, 2004
from the bottle into the duvel tulip glass / thanks kevin! / definitely a dusty, sort of roasty sorta burnt, chocolate ale. i think i can understand the zesty acidity mentioned in the commercial description since i do sense acidity and spice. itís basically a "black pils" or "weak porter." there's definitely a sort of dessert slash thirst quencher thing going on. it's odd. can be refreshing. hmm.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - SEP 13, 2004
On tap at Shakespearís Pizza is Columbia MO. Dark but translucent. Rich malt tones and light to absent hops. Earthy and robust yet sweet and gentle. Quite good. A sort of darkened brown ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
aracauna (3234) - Georgia, USA - SEP 12, 2004
I really enjoyed this beer. Dark mahogany brown/black with a velvety tan head that lingers in a lacy topping. Rich chocolate notes are contrasted by slightly sharp hops. The flavor is rich chocolate like a chocolate cake or brownies near the edge where itís almost, but not quite burnt. Very rewarding, but not heavy or overwhelming. Very drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - SEP 8, 2004
On tap at Shakespeare Pizza in Columbia, Missouri. Dark brown/black body topped by a thin-medium tan head. Earthy aroma with strong notes of toffee. Flavor was somewhat porter-like, with chocolate, toffee, caramel and dark fruit mingling with light, earthy hops. On second thought, the lack of roast led me away from porter and towards an amber ale of sorts and finally an altbier. Well, I guess itís a "Traditional Ale." At least Iím not the only one whoís confused!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boutip (5133) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 3, 2004
Bottle: Poured a dark colored beer with a medium head with good retention. Aroma is comprised mostly of roasted malts with some subtle spice mix. Taste is quite different from what I expected and I would described as a mix between a dry stout and a Belgian ale. Roastiness is prevalent but you can still see the Belgian inspiration in this beer. Body is above average. Overall, this is a fine drink and I applaud the fact that the brewer tried to brew something different.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
kujo9 (1094) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - AUG 26, 2004
Bottle: Little light beige head over a mohogany brown body. Aroma is lightly roasty, chocolatey, hints of caramel and smokiness, and pretty clean grainy malt. Flavor is much the same, but more subdued. Roastiness is most prevalent, followed by a clean, well balance, lightly diacetyl. My fault! Bottle says "best by 08/09/04. Clean of fruitiness, hints of alc flavor at a low ABV, at least to me right now! Chocolate, toffee, & crisp! Lighter body, almost watery, highly carbonated, and lightly acidic. A schwarzbier it is not. But a very good summertime, dark lager beer, it is! A lot of complexity for a dark lager style. Iíd try to find this if I could around here for something lighter with flavor!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
clutchrogers (90) - Broussard, Louisiana, USA - AUG 16, 2004
pours black witgh a off white head and a lasting lace. aromas of roast malt chocolate and coffee. round, roasted malt bitter then smooth dark chocolate sweetness then roasted malt again with a lingering chocolate sweetness. good brew with some charactor in the flavor changes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
IndianaRed (2803) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 15, 2004
Bottle Pours a very dark reddish black witha very thick off white head that is still there after several minutes. The lacing almost completely coates the insie of the glass. Aroma is of a dark roast, yeast and malt. Tastes dark and smokey with nutty yeasty smokey darkness. A very creamy smooth mouth feel and a somewhat bitter finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrnkMcDermott (2894) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - AUG 12, 2004
Draft. Finally got my first New Belgium at Soulard Ale House in St. Louis, and this one because they were out of Fat Tire. But this does not disappoint. A deep brown beer with a stouty head. Very estery like a dunkel weizen. Smoothness almost cancels out roastiness. Despite being average in ABV, it had a good alcohol burn, too. And the lacing leaves nice, regular rings down the entire length of the glass.

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