1554 Black Lager - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
1554 Black Lager1554 Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

645 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 645
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 14
Gots: 219 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 645 | Reviews: 82
Reviews by workingclassbrew:
Photo of workingclassbrew
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful dark chocolate brew, poured into a mug. Just nice to look at.

The chocolate color, goes along with the thick chocolate malt aroma, sugar, heavy grain. I could smell this all day long.

Taste, well lets say its a lot lighter on the tongue than it looks it would be. The malt is there for sure. The sweetness is drier than the aroma conveys. More carbonation than I'd like in this dark lager style. It leaves a nice dark chocolate aftertaste. As this warms is highly improves. It lost a lot of the carbonation, leaving a dry malty concoction. The background has hints of fig, raisin, and such. Maybe even a hint of brandy, but its the malt that stands out.

This is one to leave out the fridge for 15-20 min. Much better. Nice lacing on the mug. Overall nice brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerswag
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

One of the beat beers out there to have with a good hamburger...!!!

Photo of Franziskaner
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color,but it does allow some light through when held up to the light. I see a half inch head of khaki colored foam. Brussels lacing. I get caramel and chocolate notes in the aroma. The body is smooth and creamy. I get dark malt and a light bitterness on the front of the palate. The finish brings out the sweet chocolate notes. The flavor seems a bit muted.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by July 2014, nice dark crimson brown body with a big tan head fine speckled lacing left down the sides of my glass. Aroma deep cocoa brown chocolate with cola brown sugars going on, a very nice creamy nose. Overall flavors I recommend letting it warm up a bit you'll get toasted bread, fruit notes, and dark chocolate combining into a nice sort of schwarzbier filler from their typical 1554 Black Ale available in the past. Mouthfeel is creamy dark chocolate cookie dough soft flowing carbonation goes down way too smooth. Overall I'm into this beer and I can't wait to try more from New Belgium!!!

Photo of timontheroad
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, nearly black minimal head, little lacing. Aroma was pretty much only dark roasty malts. Taste was a bit of dark roast malt, a slight touch of chocolate. Mouthfeel was pretty light for a darker beer, didn't linger on the tongue much. Not at all a bad beer, but not great either.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is black, with a very slight chocolaty hue all the way through its body. The head is deep tan, one full finger's height and strong. It takes time to fade, leaving a chunky bubbling foam that rises at the edges. Lacing starts at the top of the glass and lessens, but is plentiful for the duration regardless.
In the aroma, there's lots of toast with a dark grains presence, though it's not too grainy by any means, and some dark cocoa (somewhat powdery) underlying. Some leafy hops speak to a solid hops presence. It's lightly earthy with just a touch of wood.
The flavor is substantially light, but not lacking, and dry. It begins with dark cocoa and toast and progresses to a woody flavor that dries further, particularly as leaf comes in. Impressively, it never gets chalky or takes on too much of an aspirin-like quality, though there is a bit of an ashy one. With this beer, that works. Some toffee and a ghost of dark fruits bring a sweetness on the front that comes before the dryness and eases into it well.
That same sweetness keeps this beer from getting too sweet too soon, easing into the dryness the same way the flavor does. The somewhat ashy nature applies to the texture as well and, again, it works here. The crispness is light but firm, and the light body isn't "watery" or shallow. A creamy smoothness starts right off with the crispness on the tip of the tongue and carries through into the woody finish.

Photo of Drew03cmc
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Fantastic beer. The chocolate flavor lingers on my tongue and the coloring is just gorgeous. One of my favorites to have with breakfast after a night at work. In fact, it has dethroned a few others now. It is delicious.

Photo of hreb
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz New Belgium bottle served in Imperial pint glass. I am instructed to enjoy this by 28SEP14. Beer is dark brown in color, with lots of bubbles, and forms a large head of light brown foam. Very faint aroma suggests some roast and a little nuttiness. Flavor hits the right schwarzbier notes: mostly crisp, fairly carbonated, and a dark malt note that contributes without turning this into porter. Not quite as dry as I might like. Actually there's a sweetness which tastes a little adjuncty/corny to me that is probably the single biggest defect with this brew. Enjoyable enough but not great.

As an aside, I'm curious why Sam Adams Black Lager counts as a Schwarzbier but New Belgium 1554 Black lager gets stuck in the Euro Dark Lager category.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The NB 1554 Black Lager is a decent offering. The beer poured a nearly opaque dark with creamy slightly offwhite head that is leaving a lace. The scent carries slight roast corn flare. The taste starts with a roast grain then turns slightly bitter and finally finishes a little sweet. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a decent sessionable beer.

Photo of zimm421
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a dark brown color with hints of amber on the edges. There's a good two fingers of off-white head. The head leaves good lacing, and has great staying power.

The nose is pretty muted, but has a hint of roasted malts and is definitely on the sweet side. The taste is roasted malts, chocolate malt, some caramel, and a hint of smokiness. There's a touch of dark fruits here as well. This is more balanced than the nose, and isn't overly sweet. Not crazy complex, but finishes clean.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with good amounts of carbonation, and a little bit of a sticky finish. Overall, this is a good dark lager with nice flavors, good balance, a clean finish, and it looks great. Not my favorite style ever, but an enjoyable beer.

Photo of DOCRW
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

For a "not so handcrafted" beer this is a wonderful example of a beer that's just enjoyable along with moving (average uneducated American beer drinkers) into something that's not piss yellow made from nothing. NBB is a go to beer for just about anyone.

Photo of ohiobeer29
2.29/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Decent black lager drinkable worth a try

Photo of Marraybay
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was really a nice lighter alternative to a darker/heartier beer, without giving up everything that goes along with the style. Not much head or lacing with this one, but a decent roast/sweetness in the front and smooth slightly bitter finish. Could definitely see this as being the "house" lager.

Photo of tone77
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet and malty. Taste is roasted malts, chocolate, sweet, very easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of Caj1
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I needed a change from strong hoppy beers and since it isn't porter season yet I thought I'd get the next best thing.

12 oz. glass bottle, expiration date 8/29/15. Poured into a mug. Nice caramel-colored head with excellent carbonation from what I can see. Moderate head retention but not a great deal of lacing. Color is deep copper/ruby, black when not backlit.

Smell is pretty deep and fruity with dark roasted notes, sweet bready malt, a touch of hops for earthiness. Caramel and chocolate predominate.

Taste is quite nice and better than expected since some dark lagers can be extremely underwhelming. Chocolate and some fruity esters from malt are noticeable first. A gentle hops bitterness comes up next which helps balance the more cloying fruit notes. I also notice some caramel, and roasted barley flavors round the beer out, and it finished with a rounded sweetness. It does have a coffee note but it isn't overwhelming. Big points for unexpected complexity.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and the beer has a medium body which it maintains through the finish. Not a great deal like a lager in my experience.

I so-far have not been grearly impressed by New Belgium, but this beer is actually not too bad at all for supermarket fare. I enjoyed it quite a bit and was pleasantly surprised that it had a rounded flavor profile, instead of just "light feel with brown flavor." I will pick it up again.

To good health and good beer.

Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1554 Black Lager - New Belgium Brewing, as part of the Folly pack. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, its got a two finger thick light than head with web like lacing, and a black translucent body.

Smells like more savory of malts, perhaps a spot of caramel from the roasting process.

I can taste roasted, nearly chocolate-y malts, and that bit of caramel I'd mentioned above. Nothing really going on with the hops, but this is a very well balanced brew. Its not as if all of the elements I've described are the only taste you'll get with this beverage, but they are the most prevalent tasting notes I personally am picking up.

The mouthfeel here is clean and smooth. This beer doesn't linger whatsoever, surprisingly.

Overall, I'll give 1554 Black Lager - New Belgium Brewing a 4.25. If it were just a hair more savory, I would have rated this higher. It could certainly have a little more to it; then this would be phenomenal. I may or may not pick this brew up again. It was part of the Folly variety pack recently released around here (Stark County, OH) , so I honestly don't know if its available for individual sale.

Photo of Grupatre
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had the smell of tomatoes but tasted a little chocolaty. Very odd but good

Photo of Emnmarko
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- heavy pour results in what looks like a Coke. Seriously, a Coke.

S- Light cocoa. Sweet malts.

T- Coffee and cocoa with a slight hop bitterness behind it reminiscent of a porter. Starts and finishes the same. Iced coffee with light smoke.

M- This is the only reason I believe that this is a lager. This smells and tastes like a porter but the feel is of a lager. Not a bad marriage though because I enjoyed it.

O- I've had this beer before and I like it. A little robust for a black lager but I ain't complaining. I would definitely drink this again. Another New Belgium brew that has high marks.

Photo of VashonGuy
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A few years ago, I thought of 1554 as a real "go to" dark beer. Well, that was before I had had a lot more dark beers, and well before I ever started keeping track of what I was drinking or rating and reviewing beers.

Now, 1554 seems like nothing special. It's certainly OK. and I'm drinking all of the 6 pack I bought. But it's not as tasty as a really good lager, and not as interesting as a dark beer as any of the porters I can think of. Neither fish nor fowl. Just kind of bleh.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date July 27, 2014 printed on the label. A new beer to me from New Belgium, acquired as part of the spring folly pack. I have had the New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale in the past, but it's been forever.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a caramel brown; dark mahogany / ruby in the glass. Just over a finger of light khaki tan head. Some thin strands of scattered lacing. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is comprised of light barley roast, chocolate / cocoa sort of maltiness, roasty nuttiness, brown bread, and some slightly chalky / mineral qualities on the finish. Chocolate malt seems most dominant.

T - Taste follows the nose - the semi-sweet cocoa / chocolate malt takes center stage, lightly roasty / nutty, with some underlying herbal earthy character in the background. Lightly bitter & roasty finish. Very light char presence. Like a light-bodied porter.

M - Feel is crisp and clean, with sticky bready chocolate malt, and some subtle sticky yeast / hop derived fruitiness lingering on the palate. Light-bodied with good carbonation. Like a lighter bodied porter, again.

Overall, a nice 'black lager' from New Belgium. I think it is safe to say that I am becoming a fan of this style. Crisp, light, and easy drinking with a modest 5.60% abv. I would surely have this again. I look forward to trying the others to note the differences.

New Belgium 1554 Black Lager ---3.5/5

Photo of tjsmith910
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

i like black lagers. this wasn't bad

Photo of DanielMB
4.85/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The same as the Enlightened Black Ale--and thus underrated.

Photo of Lizzie8148
2.84/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A decent beer overall but disappointing.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a near black umber color that is showing hints of dark red in the light with a nice tan head that is slow to settle and leaves good lacing down the glass.

The nose is smokey and tart with notes of fruit, coffee, nutmeg and some hops.

The taste is decent with a fruity malt bed that carries the effervescent hoppiness and smokey malt flavors. not much complexity here. More of a traditional lager with some dark notes.

The moutfeel is adequate and flows easily without being heavy.

Overall a drinkable beer that is not remarkable but is flavorful without complexity.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never had this one and paying only 1.79 for the single is a big perk. Into a pint glass.

A - Can't knock it it's the pretty black lager I seen in a while! Deep dark black amber with just a tint of ruby haze atop of just a 1/4 inch of opaque colored head that sticks around forever. Beautiful
S - Mild skunk some roast but not much and sweet malts it's really quite bland smelling.
T - Well it's good mostly clean toasted malt flavor with minimal roast or smoke and some sweet malts in the finish. Approachable yet not offensive.
M - It's light to medium drinks like a dark beer with a creamy body

Overall it's a damn smooth black lager with lacing smell and not too intense flavors. Very good beer.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
1554 Black Lager from New Belgium Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 645 ratings.