overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 1922   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   IBU: 21   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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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3
uglyblond1 (177) - Nebraska, USA - JUN 21, 2006
Not as deep as a porter, and more complex than a dark Munich lager, it has a malt and toast aroma, a lighter body than might be expected from the color. The flavor is sweet malt, but with a complex crisp grain background, and some hop flavor with roasted nuts. Fairly smooth and not heavy, but not quite as refreshing as I would like.

2.2
microakes (160) - CANADA - JUN 18, 2006
Quite malty in smell and taste, though with a fairly decent balance from the hops. Certainly wouldn’t turn it away from my door.

3.6
ebarnes (261) - Beech Grove, Indiana, USA - JUN 17, 2006
On draught at the Hyatt in Denver
Dark brown with a medium sized tan head that left a lot of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt and barley. The roastedness really comes through. Taste is excellent. Very smooth. Kind of like a light stout. Nice.

3.3
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JUN 16, 2006
Pours dark brown/black with a medium sized tan head. The aroma is cola, molases, roasst and toffee. The flavor is caramel, roasted and cola, mildly tart, fairly dry a good dose of chocolate comes in at the end. The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation and mildly bitter finish. Not bad at all.

3.4
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - JUN 14, 2006
Bottle. Pours somewhere between garnet and black with a big beige head. The aroma is bitter chocolate, a bit of roasted barley, and a hint of sour fruit (lime?!). The flavor has a bit of bite at first, I guess that "zesty acidity" in the commercial description. But it mellows quickly to an earthy, toasty taste with a touch of cold coffee and maybe some bark. The finish is clean, but just a bit vegetal. Nice subtle roasty aftertaste.

3.5
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 13, 2006
From 12oz Bottle. Deep brown pour with a hint of ruby tinge and a finger of tan, soapy head. Light, toasty aroma with a touch of yeasty character and a mild black cherry fruitiness. Some tobacco-esque cigar wrapper notes as well, mixed with a touch of clove. Relatively thin body considering the weighty feeling of the brew resting on my tongue. The flavors are quite tasty though as the roasted malts have some smokey and earthy characters that give it some depth. I am envisioning some composted coffee grounds mixed with toasted almonds, but working well together and not the least bit in poor taste. Some flecks of unsweetened cocoa leave me appreciating the final smack.

3.5
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 I’ve had before. It’s good, just not something I would pick up often.

4.2
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - JUN 8, 2006
(04.24.06) 12 oz brown bottle as gift from Tony the beer manager at DiCarlo’s, 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 Holland’s Dragon’s milk. Thanks Tony!

3.7
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 (wasn’t 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.

4.3
bgoguen (53) - Colorado, USA - JUN 7, 2006
You can’t 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 you’ve 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 – it will dilate your perspective, guaranteed.


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