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RATINGS: 1812   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - FEB 24, 2004
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
awaller05 (305) - Sharon, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 22, 2004
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 21, 2004
This was a big surprise. Pours a deep auburn/brown with minimal head. Smells of sugar and spice. Flavors are full and leave a dry taste on the toungue.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
dannyboydwp (48) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - FEB 21, 2004
A dark brown color. Not quite as blackas I would've expected. Tastes like licorice Malt flavor as well. Not much hop that I could sense. One of New Belgium's better Ales.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
supermikeyb (43) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - FEB 19, 2004
My favorite dark beer starter. Pours with a great rich black hue and a creamy tan head. Rich dark malt aromas, hints of chocolate and vanilla, with a slight berry flavor. Drinks much lighter than it looks.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - FEB 18, 2004
Decent white head with lacing throughout. Mostly dark brown color. Aromas of malt and roasted grains. Nicely balanced flavor with small acidic finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - FEB 17, 2004
very dry, really dark, some licorice flavors... nice and malty, pretty good.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - FEB 14, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2007 My least favorite of the New Belgium Ales. Beautiful black color, but not much of the traditional belgian characteristics that I’m used to from this brewer. I believe that this is a lager, so it may be in the wrong category here. More malt flavoring and a stronger yeast imparting would be an improvement here. UPDATE 10/7: I’m starting to appreciate this one more. caramel toffee finish and horehound candy notes. No aroma whatsoever.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
wulfhere (217) - Billings, Montana, USA - FEB 5, 2004
On Tap at Brewery. Dark Brown, opaque. Significant malt character with notes of licorice, molasses, and yet it seems fairly dry. Nice tan head, lasts and lasts. Dry finish with faint hop support.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
edden (925) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 1, 2004
1/14/04: bottle, from “santa-acrodizer”.
smoke and alcohol aroma. deep brown body with a fair amount of lacing. malty taste. as this beer warms the smoked flavor becomes more evident.

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