RATINGS: 1912   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dwyerpg (5946) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Smells pretty good, but kind of like a black lager. I must say I felt pretty smart when I read the label later. Chocolate flavor is good and noticeable but not too sweet. One of their best, if not, best beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Definitely acidic. There is a small roastiness here that accents that, as well as some plummy/figgy/oaky notes. The rest of the malt was middling sweet and gave nutty and toasty flavors. Mouthfeel was medium. Dont know that Id drink it regualrly, but a very good beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
hellomynameis (876) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2006
Thin head, dark red colour, nearly opaque. Thin wisps of fruit and woody aromas. Mostly fig and wood flavour. The carbonation was a bit more pronounced than I expected with the thin head.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ivancherdalsky (9) - USA - JAN 22, 2006 does not count
Hey now for a beer from the 16th century....wow...good. It was a very good beer. i throughly enjoyed it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - JAN 21, 2006
12oz bottle.
Pours dark reddish brown, fizzy with little head or lacing. Aroma is an even mix of malt sweetness and toasty dried rain with some hop spice. All three aspects make appearances in the flavor but the dry toasted grain far outweighs the sweetness to become the dominant flavor characteristic. Fizzy palate with a long, dry aftertaste. Almost reminiscent of an English brown; not what I would have expected of a Belgian-style ale but pretty nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
OldMrCrow (2434) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 21, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2007 From a bottle

Pours a very dark cola brown with a small and quickly dissapating head.

The aroma is dominated by the fresh-baking bread yeasts, with some pumpernickel rye, vinegar, and green apple and a hint of lightly-toasted almonds. The flavor is pleasingly balanced and intriguingly different, acidic with distinct but not overpowering dark-roasted coffee malts, tones of warm nuts and wood. Theres not much sweetness here, with a pleasing dry smoke-toned finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but refreshing; this is not a heavy beer at all despite its dark color.

Overall, Im quite favorably impressed, much more than I expected to be. [Until I tried Erics ale] this [was] the best of the of New Belgium offerings that [Id] tasted, and it makes a nice lunchtime beer, delicious with cheese and crackers. Well worth another visit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
KUEric (967) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JAN 20, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2006 12 oz. Bottle: It pours a nice deep blackish porter look to it. A nice carbonated head, oughly two-fingers tall that quickly fades into a sudy carbonation layer on top. The aroma is nutty, woody, malty, coffee, figs, cardboard. The taste is of prunes, coffe, malts and something roasted mainly with some hints of nuts, wood (in particular the bark-not that Ive tasted bark, but somehow that descriptions seems right to me?). A beer that is quite nice. I really enjoyed it. The mouthfeel has some signifigant carbonation and isnt quite as smooth as I would have expected (my mind maybe cant wrap around the fact that its not a creamy porter, but an ale). Update: There is a new label on this guy and the taste is more coffee than I remembered.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
peter (445) - Normal, Illinois, USA - JAN 18, 2006
Thin disappearing brown head. nice dark color, good fruit aromas and flavour. Creamy over the tounge.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sincere (145) - wichita, Kansas, USA - JAN 11, 2006
UPDATED: APR 3, 2007 Light brown head, dissapates quickly, leaves small lacing. I taste suprised me due to the fact that I couldnt catch much of an aroma after frest pour. The body is very dark and medium-heavy, with medium carbonation as well. I taste mostly pecan/walnut taste with a hint of chocolate. Very smooth and silky mouthfeel with an excellent tongue coating.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
unibaren (157) - 8000 rhus C, DENMARK - JAN 11, 2006
(GABF2005, so kind of hard to judge with only a 1 ounze sampling) Dark, fruity and creamy. A bit og a hybrid.

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