Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

1554 Black Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
1554 Black Lager1554 Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

102 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 102
Hads: 846
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 33.25%
Wants: 26
Gots: 312 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager | 5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeersIsTheName on 02-02-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 102 | Hads: 846
Photo of Cyrano41
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exceeded my expectations. It was dark, malty and flavorful. Bit of chocolate in the finish. Very good. New Belgium know what they are doing. I'm a big fan of schwarzbier and I'll be squeezing this one into my list of good ones.

 227 characters

Photo of ZBowden
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany deep rum brown cream beige head, smells of toasty bready slight chocolate and cola, tastes of chocolatey roasty sunflower seeds, mouthfeel is quite rich light carbonation, lasting finish.

 207 characters

Photo of JimKal
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this in the past and didn't enjoy it that much. I've recently picked it up in two separate NB mixed packs and find that I now think of it as one of my favorite lagers. It pours a dark brown, almost black, body with a nice head and some nice lacing on the drink down. Nice malty flavor with a touch of bitter. Now if I can just find it its own six pack.

 358 characters

Photo of beerfinder
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice malty flavor. Very well balanced. A perfect canned lager. One of the better black lagers I have tried. Nice head great color. A nice rich aroma.

 154 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours nice and dark, only showing a hint of light permeation when held up to a light. Topped by a foamy khaki head with plenty of lacing. Smells of sweet dark malts. The taste is a sweet, smooth dark malt flavor. Great mouth feel. Very smooth and easy to drink. Overall, good beer! It looks like a porter or stout, but tastes less complex.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 367 characters

Photo of jw4free
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a lager glass. L: near black, dark brown opaque. Small head fades quick to a slight ring. Limited lacing. S: roasted barley malt backbone. Coffee, barrel char. T: milder coffee and smoke. F: creamy, round but somewhat dry. O: gets better as it warms.

 281 characters

Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L-Very dark with a nice thick head. Almost a stout like darkness (a little bit lighter than a stout).
S-I get a good smell of roasted malts and dark chocolate, a tiny bit of booziness too.
T-I think this beer is quite delicious; it has a nice dark chocolate flavor. I also enjoyed the flavor of rousted malts and the sweetness the beer had overall. This beer doesn't have much of a bite to it, its sweet and dry and that's what you get.
F-Thick as expected, slightly carbonated/dry.
O-I thought this beer was very good. It had a combination of a lager-like flavor and a darker stout/roasted flavor. Very interesting. I would definitely try this one if you haven't.

 664 characters

Photo of benjamminjones24
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really enjoyed this one while watching some football last weekend.

Dark color with large head. Nice smell of roast malt.

light mouthfeel as you would expect from a lager. Nice malty flavor.

 192 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice dark dark brown with a beige head. Great clarity when held to light.

Aromas and flavors of clean cocoa, coffee, caramel, dark bread, and nice noble hops.

Extremely smooth and creamy. Excellent example of the style.

 231 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The color and clarity of cola (SRM 22) and similar carbonation. Quarter inch, khaki froth leaves rings of lace on a PBGC Subtle glass.

There is a subtle, sweet, malty aroma with toasted white bread and cashews.

The flavor is sweetish, also reminiscent of cola. The middle has light milk chocolate and plums with a lingering, chalky finish. While unoffensive, this lacks charm. Warmth brings out mild bitterness and cherry flavor.

A medium body with a scratchy texture. This Lager is palate coating and chalky with large, fizzy carbonation.Middle of the road and boring, however, it is what it is; and that is, a flavorful Beck's Dark.

While close to the style and scored accordingly, in my opinion, this could strive to meet the style and still rise above in flavor and aroma profiles.

 789 characters

Photo of lastmango
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours black brown with a 3 finger tan head. Nose is weak and of roasted malt. Taste is mild chocolate and roasted malt. Slight hop taste on the end. This is very smooth with a light to medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable.

 233 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, a single refugee from the current Folly mixed-pack currently available at yer less than finer liquor stores around here.

This beer pours a clear, very dark red-brick brown colour, with three pudgy fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly tan head, which leaves some hovering invading alien saucer shadow 'lace' around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of roasted, slightly meaty pale and caramel malt, cheap cocoa powder, day-old cafe-au-lait, a free-range white sugary thing, and some plain earthy and weedy drying hoppy notes. The taste is bready, doughy caramel malt, a further bit of toasted graininess, still milky coffee essences, watery bittersweet chocolate, a touch of wayward yeast, and further leafy, earthy, and weedy noble hops.

The bubbles are pretty understated in their plain and innocuous frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a minor airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad. It finishes way off-dry, the chocolate, coffee, and reserved maltiness keeping 'er more real than real.

Overall, a decent version of an Americanized Schwarzbier, as it were, since this one is not recognized in name here. At any rate, the brew in front of me is decent enough, yet, upon further reflection, indeed perhaps more worthy of a generic representation, instead of that headier old-school recommendation.

 1,377 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep timber pour, not much to the head or lacing. Aroma is standard dark, roasted malt mixed with a lighter pilsener variety with a distant cacao nib note hidden somewhere in the back. It doesn't possess a very strong flavor profile, it really tastes like any anonymous lager with a bit of toasted malt, but nothing that threatens to add an actual stamp on the beer. It's fine for what it is, and at the very least avoids that adjunct corn-water flavor lots of shelf lagers exhibit, but it is just a middle-of-the-road beer.

 525 characters

Photo of bigzack420
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 5

Beer pours very smooth with a nice beige/khaki head reminds me of porter almost drinks nice and easy with a little bitterness and a some chocolate tones will be getting it again

 177 characters

Photo of dditto2
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good beer. I drank straight from the bottle which I usually don't while reviewing. Looks dark in there. Sorry. Smells of chocolately malt. The roasted flavor really comes through with chocolate. Really nice flavor. It is a bit on the light side. My favorite from this folly pack. I will def try again and maybe tidy up this review a bit. Honestly I pounded the beer before I finished the review. Pretty good. New Belgium never dissapoints.

 443 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours black with a small off white head. Smells of slight fruitiness with slight darker grain. Tastes of darker grain with slight berries. Beer is nicely carbonated with light body, very drinkable. Overall, an above average beer.

 279 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 5.6% abv

Appearance- Pours a charcoal dark brown with a light one finger head. Opaque.

Smell- Slightly roasted chocolate malt with hints of toffee and caramel.

Taste- A semi sweet milk chocolate with some smoky tones slowly coming in with a roasted nut flavor. Very slight coffee taste fades to a slight bitter/dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with fair carbonation.

Overall- An interesting dark lager. This beer reminded me much of a porter with slight malty differences. A satisfying darker beer for the Winter which is not too heavy in body, making this an easy drinking offering. Well done.

 644 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with caramel colored head fairly thick sticks around about 2 minutes decent lacing.
Smell roasted coffee slight caramel notes little chocolate malt.
Taste slightly smoked flavor chocolate flavors a little coffee taste.
Fairly light smooth dry beer good carbonation.
Overall a very good beer with good flavors i would have this again.

 345 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] The beer is very dark brown to black in the glass. It has brown edges in the light. It forms a 1/2 finger of tan head. The head recedes unevenly leaving islands of bubbles on the surface. The bottle lists the ABV at (5.6%) and there is a clear drink by and born on date. Born (10/19/15).

S: [3.50] Coffee, charred wood, burned marshmallows.

T: [4.00] Has the undertone of the distinct lager flavor of corn. There are a lot of layers riding on top very sweet coffee, hints of cocoa and chocolate. More of the burned marshmallow.

M: [3.50] Has a decent amount of carbonation. Really goes down easily, like a traditional lager. The body is on the low end - not watery but really not at all heavy.

O: [3.75] This is a really tasty beer. It clearly has some lager lineage and I think this could be a beer to offer to BMC drinkers that are into a few other things like Guinness. This is not a world beater but it is really tasty. I like the nuanced flavor built on top of the lager body. I would drink this again.

 1,036 characters

Photo of EMV
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Big Nose Kate's in Tombstone, AZ. Served in a chilled pint glass (no idea why).

L: Pours a deep black color. Two fingers of tannish head.

S: Roasted malts and mild noble hop presence.

T/F: Toasty roasty malts up front... slight coffee notes and a bit astringent. The noble hops come later... cleaning up the malts and leaving a dry finish. Medium body, very drinkable.

O: A nice black lager... good combination of flavors and everything it needs to be. Nothing fancy, but drinkable and sessionable. Would love to try it again WITHOUT the chilled pint glass.

 587 characters

Photo of TLWalsh
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a persistent vanilla head. Has a malty aroma and a medium to thin mouthfeel. Clear malty chocolate flavor, easy drinking. A decent brew I'd consider again.

 177 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark dark brown but ruby tints when held up to the light, no head even with a rough poor. Ash, metal, roasted malt, oat on the nose, somehow smells sweet. Flavor is roast malt, oat, chocolate, pine hops on the finish with a good crisp bitterness. Light bodied, smooth despite the rough-ish carbonation.
This is a great easy-drinking yet dark brew, with roasty flavors but quaffable mouthfeel. Especially considering the lack of style guidelines, I think it is a great representative of the style.

 496 characters

Photo of leadpaint76
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When I poured 1554 had a nice 1 finger of head with average pour. Aroma is mild but to be fair I have a mild cold. Flavor is nice with roasted malts with a mild chocolate finish. 1554 keeps a small creamy off head until you finish. I would drink again and would recommend to a friend trying to get into this style. Cheers all and have a great day.

 352 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a dark brown-amberish, but light can make it through a little, small white-light brown head, with some decent lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Roast chocolate malt, with some hints of coffee and caramel.

Taste: Chocolate, some roast, a very slight bit of smoke and coffee.

Feel: Crisp and easy drinking, medium carbonation

Overall: A nice easy drinking, dark beer. A good beer to show those who think that all dark beers are really heavy or strong.

 489 characters

Photo of EricLiverpool
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

If you're looking for something a bit different, give 1554 a shot. It's like a stout and a lager had the perfect baby. It has a roasty taste and smell, with a great dark taste and high drinkability.

 200 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
1554 Black Lager from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.