1554 Enlightened Black Ale - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 2,919 | Reviews: 1,237 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by brother_rat:
3.9/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75
Down in NC for work, glad to finally get my hands on a beer that's not sold up in my parts. Poured cold from a bottle into (unfortunately) a 4" tall hotel water glass. I then had a second, from another bottle that had been left unrefrigerated some 15 minutes to warm up a bit.
A: Poured a nice, delicious dark, with highlights of solid reddish-brown when held up to the light. I got a solid, one-finger head of creamy tan, even pouring into my sad hotel glass, but the bubbles were uneven (for both bottles). The head faded fast, but the lacing maintained as I continued to drink. 3.5
S: Upon cracking, a burst of dark cherry mixed with a swirl of smokey chocolate. There are hints of hops, but you mostly get a nice, thick nose of sweet malt. 3.5
T: Flavor-wise, there's a lot going on, and the mix makes for one fine-tasting beer. The sweet, dark malts predominate and keep the feel light, but you can pick out a bunch of flavors mingling: dark chocolate, candied fruits, moss/earthiness, sweet tobacco, and dark breads, and the aftertaste is dry and bitter, reminiscent of espresso or roasted nuts. 4.5
M: Despite the delicious taste, the mouthfeel for me was just so-so. The sweet malty front makes your mouth water, but the aftertaste left my mouth dry--almost in a chalky way. There was a good level of carbonation, a little on the light side but perfect for the beer. 2.5
O: Fantastic beer, and very drinkable, and it had the hallmarks of the beers I really crave: sweet, dark malts, a dry aftertaste, and repressed hops, but it seemed to lack a floral depth and juiciness that I get with my usual Belgian Blacks from Unibroue. And yet the 1554 is usually considered the gold standard for Belgian Blacks, eh? Terrific, but it doesn't quite make the pantheon. 3.75
Serving type: bottle
02-27-2013 05:20:46 | More by brother_rat
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1554 Enlightened Black Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 2,919 ratings.