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RATINGS: 1748   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - AUG 17, 2002
Ok, maybe it’s not a porter, a stout, or a dark lager, but I have to compare it to something. Has the look of many American porters and the head retains nicely. Aroma of burnt caramel and a very light alcohol smell. Tastes very similar to Saranacs Black Forest except with a better palate and a less obtrusive after-taste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
foduck (330) - Denton, Texas, USA - JUL 27, 2002
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2003 I found this a bit lacking for a Belgian-style. Looks great, nice head. It simply lacks any depth which I have come to expect from Belgian styles. This seems to be filtered, and I think it should not be. Re-rate: 8/22/03: I decided to give this another try. Maybe I got a bad bottle before, but it seems much better now. Chocolatey, roasty, without any sharp coffee flavors. A little on the sweet side, low on bitterness. Better than before.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nstal (237) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUL 22, 2002
I bought a six of the New Belgium Trippel, and someone had switched one of these out with a Trippel. Very attractive beer with a nice dark head. Combination of roasted and sweet flavors, blends well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
k2 (146) - USA - JUL 20, 2002
Very full bodied beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 22, 2002
It does remind me af a schwarzbier, roasted toffee flavor, sweet dark and drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 19, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 10, 2003 Accordind to NB's website this beer is bottom fermented at relatively high temperatures using a European lager yeast. Could this beer be more akin to a dark version of a California Common? The beer does seem too dark to be of the Munich type, but on the other hand it is too light to be a schwarzbier. The beer is well balanced and very drinkable. Not too hoppy, but perhaps a little sweet. I get many complex flavors in this brew. How can this beer be a lager, when the recipe is from the pre-lager era? Thanks Hennes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JUN 16, 2002
This is VERY interesting. The comparison to a schwarzbier is a fair one: thin body and roasted notes are all over. The aroma is really nice; toasted bread is one key component. A little sweet (Yeah, Hennes, I agree with the raison), pretty clean finish, a tiny hint of pepper in the mouth.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrRomero (1975) - Nolanville, USA - JUN 12, 2002
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2003 A pretty tasty ale. Fairly thin but enjoyable. Love these beers from New Belgium Brewing Company.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 11/20
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 11, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2004 Superb palate and appearance: Creamy and silky; Brown with ruby highlights with a thin head. The slight cocoa nose and muted flavor don't grab me though. Thanks Gusler!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hennes (934) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JUN 7, 2002
Good enough for Oakes to rate twice and indeed it’s a fine brew - reminds me of March because it’s then that we maple syrupers sample our lastest batches against years past. yes, there is a maple syrup soul to this stuff in with the raison and coffee action.

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