RATINGS: 1918   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 Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Silenus (14) - Savannah, Georgia, USA - OCT 19, 2005
This ales pours a beautiful black with a very fine carbonation and a caramel head. It has strong coffee and caramel flavors and a mouthfeel that liberally coats the tongue. It also has a surprisingly refreshing taste. From the look, youd think it would have a strong alcohol bite but it has a very balanced flavor. I also love the story behind its creation. Definitely one of the collection.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 10, 2005
Sweet musty, malt aroma. Dark brown with a thumb thick mocha head. Very porter-like in appearance. Full malt flavor in the fore. Some mild roastiness is present and there are, to me, some very porterish asspects except that this is sweeter and far maltier. Sort of a scwarzbier/porter mix. I get some mild molasses notes in the aftertaste. Very satisfying brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Zamboni42 (10) - USA - OCT 10, 2005
Very nice beer. Looks like a stout, but this is a different animal. Very earthy and slightly sweet with plenty of coffee and chocolate, with a grounding of pumpernickel bread. Just think of the best "brown foods" combined into a delicous smooth beer. Lovely.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pinkzambia (1931) - Boise, Idaho, USA - OCT 5, 2005
Bottle: Pours a black with mahogany tints when held up to the light. Gorgeous. It has a nice light borwn head that slowly diminishes. The aromas are dominated by rich, wheatty, oaky malts. All of this shows up in the flavors as well as a wonderful coffee taste. Overall, the flavors are sweet. The feel is nice and the taste and feel combined reminded me of a mild stout. This is a good beer if you are in the mood for something a little sweeter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - OCT 4, 2005
Sampled on tap at the brewery with several RateBeer guys. Charcoal brown/black, clear with a lightly frothy head. The aroma had charcoal, hints of fruit, and very light hops. Flavor was lightly fruity, malty (but easily so), burnt malt, and lightly warming alcohol. Body was very light with creamy hints. This was interesting and had some depth, but lacked something overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
lovelacm (48) - Niceville, Florida, USA - SEP 28, 2005
Bottle pour - Small off-white head with nice lacing atop a dark brown, almost black body. Nice aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee, with a hint of brown sugar. Initially sweet that settles into a dark chocolate and coffee (almost mocha) flavor.. very close to Moms chocolate cake with mocha icing. Full, creamy mouth feel. Very enjoyable! Nice Job, New Belgium!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BillyM (151) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 24, 2005
Smooth sweet roasted malt, caramel and smoky combination that mixes well. Slightly fizzy. Overall I found it interesting and enjoyable, but not overly exciting.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
allfreej (556) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - SEP 18, 2005
Pours dark brown with a short, tan head and nice lacing as it settles. Not much of a nose, but the flavor is malty, with smoky, coffee tones. A bit of hops in the finish and a firm mouthfeel without being overly heavy make this a nice drinking ale. Another good offering from New Belgium!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SudsMcDuff (8349) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - SEP 16, 2005
Another New Belgium winner... a handsome looking beer that looks almost exactly like coca-cola. no lacing, little head. Nice taste, gives off a burnt bitterness in the taste, a fine brew

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kepano (277) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 12, 2005
Decent smoky flavor to it. Not too complex but fairly malty. Almost like a higher gravity Fat Tire.

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