RATINGS: 1919   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   IBU: 21   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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.

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SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Deep brown with a sparse, tan head. Good lacing though. Earthy, dirty aroma smells like the inside of an aquarium that needs to be cleaned. Not necessarily bad, just musty and a bit sour. Really soft carbonation is almost undetectable at times. Medium body is silky, noting molasses and chocolate malts combined with the same lactic note in the nose. Soft, milky finish. This is really unlike anything Iíve had before. Itís good, just not something I would pick up often.

beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - JUN 8, 2006
(04.24.06) 12 oz brown bottle as gift from Tony the beer manager at DiCarloís, Mundelein, IL. 5.6% ABV. Bottled labeled as best before 6/30/06. Poured opaque brown black with small off-white head. No discernable carbonation. Sour milk/lactic acid aroma. Medium bodied ale that starts dry with wisp of malt sweetness. Smoky/fruity/roasted coffee flavors. Some sour milk acidity. Finished with light roasted malt fade. Smooth and rich complex flavors. A delicious drinkable malty ale with a flavor profile similar to New Hollandís Dragonís milk. Thanks Tony!

moseefus (79) - Little Rock, Arkansas, USA - JUN 8, 2006
A very good dark that I have enjoied on many occasions. It was the first from New Belgium that I liked, and what kept me trying others (wasnít a fan of fat tire). The head is a thick off white much like that of celebrator and the roasted malt/coffee aroma is wonderful. The coffee really comes through on the palate for me, some times a bit too strong but great with a good pipe.

bgoguen (53) - Colorado, USA - JUN 7, 2006
You canít go wrong with 1554. My personal favorite from New Belgium Brewery. This is a rich, dark ale that jumps out with flavor but is surprisingly subtle after youíve had more than one. Roasted malt and a hint of molasses and coffee, a slight caramel sweetness, faint chocolate and maybe even toffee notes. This is a complex, wonderful beer from a great American micro. I live in Fort Collins so I go there all the time for free samples and they have several exceptional brews and this is one of their best. If you like full-bodied but smooth ales with lots of character this is a must try. Actually, this is a must try no matter what beer you like Ė it will dilate your perspective, guaranteed.

User37895 (3042) - - JUN 6, 2006
Blah. Poured brown with red edges. Small head that dissipated quickly, but provided ok short-lived lacing on the edges. The aroma was funky, oaky, with some chocolate. The flavor was similar but with a sweetness that was again oaky. I donít know, something about this bottle makes me feel like it has been around for that many years. Definitely comes across as a belgian schwarzbier, a combo that Iím not sure is a good thing.

luvcasks (178) - USA - JUN 4, 2006
Aroma: Coffee, Chocolate and some spicy/floral hop notes in the background. Some yeasty notes as the beer warms up. Appearance: Deep deeeeeep brown with amber highlights pours with a medium tan head which settles down to a thin film while leaving nice lace on the glass Flavor: Coffee (Espresso), malty slightly spicy and touch of chocolate Palate: Medium light body, semi dry with a residual and slightly roasty.... very nicely balanced Overall: Contradiction... looks black, pours deep brown but lighter than it looks... (A Belgian Schwarzbier :0)) Definite MUST Try yum!

rojinn (3) - USA - JUN 4, 2006 does not count
Complicated beer with a flavor that is overpowered slightly by a coffee aroma and taste. Not as heavy as it would seem by looking at it. A must try for anyone who can find it.

bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - MAY 30, 2006
Bottled. Pours a garnet-tinged clear dark brown with a spare, lacy tan head. Aroma had the coffee, chocolate and toasty malt I was expecting, with a slight contribution from the hops. Lightly creamy, medium body with light/medium carbonation. Taste is sweet with a big shot of roasty malt, nuts, some coffee, molasses and a bit more that I canít put my finger on. A little bit of spice in the finish, but Iím picking up very little of the "zesty acidity." This is one of those beers that I could put away in rather large quantities,

stison42 (318) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2007 Black. Heavy but smooth with a good hearty aftertaste. Full flavored and wonderfull. Tastes amazingly the same from the bottle or tap.

GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - MAY 22, 2006
While dining at The Fish Market in San Jose with my best buddy, I found this one on the menu and rather suprised it was on tap, I ordered it. The aroma was hardly detectable at first, but after about 30 minutes of warming up it finally release some roasted malt notes but that was really about it. Appearance was a very nice dark color with highlights of brown around the outer parts. It looked close to a Kostritzer, but not quite. Mouthfeel was lively with a good amount of carbonation, but not harsh. Flavor was fairly simple, not complex at all. Roasted malt sweetness, slightly (and I do mean slightly) hoppy and some toffee in there. Overall, Iíd say not a poor choice I made (especially given what my choices were) but Iíd say that I wouldnít go out of my way to get this. If itís all youíve got to choose from then pull the trigger.

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