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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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - MAR 9, 2003
No real head. Light raisin, some plum and thin chocolate in the nose. Nearly nothing in the mouth. Faint flavor.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - MAR 8, 2003
Chocolat and Blackberry aroma. If only it tasted as good as the label and description seemed it would. Good....not great. Seems too light for Black Ale. While the taste is good I'm still a bit disappointed in the beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAR 4, 2003
My old buddy Portlandrunk had this just before I did apparently - it must be our psychic wavelength. Nice and malty, surprisingly fruity actually - a bit winelike in flavor and a bit lambic-like in appearance. Nice black malt with hints of cherry, cranberry, marionberry - the most "Belgian Aleish" quality here. Some lingering spice, although I'm not sure what. A nice mix between the barley and yeast.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 4, 2003
Came off a little weak for something with such a promising name. Fairly light bodied, with a roasted malt presence. I really wonder how this would age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Jayb0 (1084) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - MAR 3, 2003
Perhaps the reason one had to go back so far to revive this belgian style is because it just isn't as interesting as most of its counterparts. A very roasty, slightly smoky nose turns somewhat less roasty and mildly spicy in the mouth. A bit thin on the palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kwoeltje (2233) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - FEB 27, 2003
Smoky aroma (like a rauchbier). Deep brown color with a hint of red. Not much head. Smoky malt flavor (but not peaty). Not much hops. I didn't think it had the taste I associate with a porter. Like some reviewers, I didn't get much hint of spice. There was a hint of coffee.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jpfrog (130) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - FEB 25, 2003
Smells smoky with a hint of floral sweetness. Had a good head that was slightly brown and creamy, however it did disappear fast. Nice porter style finish, with a semi-gritty texture. Malts and hops balance eachother out. Brown in color with reds around the edges of the glass. This is more like a porter than a Belgian Ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCW (1277) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2003
Very malty. I'm don't think I pick up on the hints of spices I read about on the bottle. Pretty sweet and good overall

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boto (1953) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - FEB 16, 2003
Belgian Ale? How about more of stout or porter light. They seem to be closer to what this actually tastes like. Definitely has a bit of coffee in the nose. Dark brown, slight tan head. I agree that it could be a little richer. These guys make some beers that are quite good, but would only have to go a little bit further to be excellent. Maybe they would lose a bit of their "mass market" that they seem to aim for, but I still think that if they brew it, we will come.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dogbrick (9361) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 13, 2003
I have been looking forward to trying this one (Thanks AustinMilbarge!). Pours a very dark brown with significnt carbonation and a medium thin beige head. Aroma of burnt malt and coffee. Flavor was a lively mix of malt, roasted nuts, coffee, and caramel. Despite the nice flavor, it could stand to be a little richer. The finish is dry and retains the carbonated feel. Good, but not great.

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