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RATINGS: 1716   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
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Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale uses a light 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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 14/20
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 4, 2002
By far my favorite offering from New Belgium. Poured dark brown, with a foamy off white head that diminised to almost nothing. Nice malty front, with a sweetish finish.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 27, 2002
UPDATED: APR 12, 2006 100% blind rating. Head is initially small, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is dark brown. Aroma is lightly malty (grain/cereal, roasted grain). Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, moderately bitter, slightly husky. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Amusing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Under-age Drinker (96) - Colorado, USA - OCT 27, 2002
Nice deep redish brown. Poured a small head a very small head that dwindled fast. A mild taste, Might go well with sweet and sour chicken. Mellow like the 80’s yet mild like a temperate climate. ill be back

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Merc (313) - Pullman, Washington, USA - OCT 27, 2002
Strange to think of this as a Belgian Ale, but a great dark beer nevertheless. Reminded me a lot of Great Northern’s Fred, one of my personal favourites, and definately a dark lager. New Belgium’s best offering to date. Very well balanced.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gregory (357) - Pullman, Washington, USA - OCT 26, 2002
This is probably my favorite New Belgium beer up to this point. It’s a nice deep brown color. The flavor has the nice dark flavor. Balanced very well, with the roasted malt flavor, and also some nice bitterness on the finish. Well done!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kyzr (1143) - Belgrade, Montana, USA - OCT 26, 2002
Nice deep red/brown color. Medium head. Nice mouth feel on this beer. Well rounded on the roasted grain and malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 15, 2002
Re-Rate 10/15/02: The beer pours a clear deep ruby to almost brown color, the head is light chocolate in color, creamy, long lasting and moderate in size. Nose is malt, caramel, slight hints of roasted grains. Front is sweet, the top medium, the finish is somewhat sour, pleasingly dry, fairishly acidic, and a decent drinking beer. Ranks #662 on my current 1000 beer master list.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
hoorayforbeer (105) - Denton, Texas, USA - SEP 30, 2002
Malty flavor, and typical of New Belgium, very unique.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerguy101 (5267) - Newark, California, USA - SEP 28, 2002
Black color, medium head. Roasted malts, slightly hoppy. Somewhat lighter tasting with an underlying spiciness. Crisp and refreshing, unusual for a black beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and round. Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
sethdude (687) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 26, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2003 Excellent. A spicy, slightly hoppy odor, Excellent appearance. A light tan head, good lace, creamy, smooth (like soft water) mouthfeel, rich black/red color, slightly transparent, bitter, warm, spicy. Nice finish with a bright, almost cider-like tatse. Another great beer from New Belgium.

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