0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - MAR 29, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2009 11/25/2009
Bottle expires 11/2009. Mahogany body, crystal clear, topped with a medium-small tan head, creamy, quickly shrinking to a thin ring. Rings and splotches of lace. Roasty aroma of spent coffee grounds, scorched bean soup, molasses, and that’s about it. Mouth is medium with light, creamy carbonation and a wet finish (eventually dries out). Flavor is kind of bland. Heavily biased towards roasted malts including stale coffee, roasted grain, caramel, semi-hoppy finish with wood tones, the white of a grapefruit rind, plastic, and almost smoky notes. Good looking beer, smells pretty good, totally sessionable.
Bottled. Pours a clear, dark reddish brown. Color in the glass is a very nice mahogany color. Good sized head off-white, rocky, great lacing. Nice medium body(slightly watery finish), fizzy, creamy carbonation that lasts after you swallow. Odor is yeasty like a homebrew and rising dough(very strong and sour), alcohol in the odor and very bitter bakery yeast smell(some sweat). Smells similar to something gone bad, that you wouldn’t eat. Touch of coffee and some caramel sweet. The odor is "interesting." Flavor improves as it warms. It’s very bitter and sour and harsh fresh from the fridge with noticable acloholic flavor. Once warmed up it has a light flavor that’s rather "there" up front and the middle has some sour and sweet from caramel, kind of toffee. Aftertaste is a coffee-toffee kind of blend and sticks to your mouth. Overall: I actually dislike this beer; it leaves a nice coating on my mouth, but I don’t like the flavor or the smell. Looks great...smells intriguing...flavor is not for me.
bitter (1136) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - MAR 29, 2004
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottled: pours nice and dark clear brown. with a tan creamy head that stays with lots of lace. malty nose and warmth. in the mouth sweet and malty, almost what i expected from the nose, choc malt taste and toffe, not alot of hops noted. reminds me of kostiser or a dunkles with a little more choc malt flavor or a light porter. very good and drinkable.
thegreenrooster (3299) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 27, 2004
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Pours a not quite black, more of a deep red. Aroma is of roasted malt and flavor is suprise roasted malt. Good burnt flavor gives this brew a nice chocolate taste. This beer is not a every day brew but should be had at least once. Very different
mockerboy (52) - Kansas, USA - MAR 25, 2004
3.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
New Belgium is very impressive all over but 1554 is great. Super dark, nice roasted quality. Dark and chocolatey malts, just a hint of sweetness Great texture and body. Overall a great black beer. Smooth, very smooth through and through.
fly (1419) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - MAR 17, 2004
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Was much more impressed the first time I tried this. Not sure why as I don't feel it has changed. Not a bad beer by any stroke, easy to drink. Nice flavors, but lacking complexity and real character it falls a tad flat after a bit. Lord, please don't let me become TOO jaded.
darkstar938099 (4) - Wichita, Kansas, USA - MAR 11, 2004 does not count
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
New Belgium is very impressive all over but 1554 is great. Super dark red, nice roasted quality. Dark and chocolatey malts, just a hint of sweetness (all most berry). Great texture and body. Overall a great black beer.
MMM...Beer (385) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAR 1, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I can't praise New Belgium enough. They remind me a lot of the Boston Beer Company: just about every beer they make I like, even if it's a style I'm not too of. 1554 was the first Brusesels Style Ale I've ever had and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. Deep ruby red in color (gotta hold this one up to the light or else it just looks dark brown), with a great mildly roasted nose and a good balance of dry and sweet malts. Definitely would try this one again.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - FEB 29, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep and very dark brown, I want to say its black but its not, oh so close though, thin tannish head, diminsihed softly, some ink blot strings of lace stick. Aroma is mildly roasty with black malts, slight over tone of belgian yeast adding a bit of clove and dry spice, touches of cocoa underneath, mildly dry overall and quite nice. Taste is favorably mild with a great dryish mixture of black malts and chocolate with just a hint of dried floral spices and yeast. Just barely sweet within and has a bit of roastyness to it but its very tame, leaving a nice rounded character to flourish in texture and body, which is medium to full and the smooth carbonation helps this slide right down with amazing ease. Nice stuff indeed, recommended.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - FEB 24, 2004
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Quite black on the pour with a medium sized and thick tanish head developing, I think (poured in a stein). Not much in the aroma department, pretty mellow despite the big head--some malts, typical New Belgium musk. The flavors are unexciting, but good. I found prune, raisin, and fig along with a lot of sweetness, bitter like molasses. Like other black beers, this one tastes and looks thick and sticky, but it is rather light and zingy. A bit of anise. This style confuses me.
awaller05 (305) - Sharon, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 22, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured with a decent head. A dark amber if you hold the glass up to light. Sweet smell, can't really put words to it. First taste yields a black licorice taste with a sweet finish. I would love to have another one of these.