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1554 Enlightened Black Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
1554 Enlightened Black Ale1554 Enlightened Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,976 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,976
Reviews: 1,242
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 67
Gots: 165 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 1554 Enlightened Black Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,976 | Reviews: 1,242 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goblue3509
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cola like color which shows no light except around the edges when held up to lightm. The was a skim off white head which left a little lace on the glass. The aroma was of roasted malts and chocolate. The taste follows the nose big toasted malt backbone with chocolate and coffee coming in in the middle. The mouthfeel was well it wacarbonated. Overall I thought it was closer to a porter. It was a decent beer but not a favorite for the style.

goblue3509, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of gabe23
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown that looks black unless held up to a bright light. Foamy white head that hangs around for a while.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of raisin or date sweetness.

T - A little bit of malty sweetness up front that quickly leads to a espresso and dark chocolate bitterness. Maybe a bit of earthiness in the finish, but to real hops presence to speak of.

M - Not as heavy as expected. Much like a schwartzbier but with less carbonation.

D - Interesting beer, I suppose, but I kept wishing it was a dark lager or stout. The flavor wasn't the best, but I like the idea behind the beer and I applaud New Belgium for making it.

gabe23, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of JohnboyE
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- its a black ale so it pours dark. Thin head hung on for about half the way down the pint glass

S- hints of chocolate.

T- pleasant fruitiness like fig or raisin underneath a roasted malt flavor

M- I think this is where this beer really excels in its style class. Many black beers are too watery or too earthy. This has a nice full mouthfeel but without the lingering muddy after affect. They really found a nice balance. If you written off black ales as a style give this one a try.

O- not a style that is ever going to blow you away with complexity but this beer is satisfying without being too heavy and I could enjoy it year round

JohnboyE, May 15, 2012
Photo of Wheelinb
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at The Stable in St Louis.

Medium brown color with a slight brown head. It had a distinct caramel aroma which made me think it was going to be overly sweet. It was not. It did have a sweetness but was balanced out by the hops. I got a strong alcohol aftertaste as well.

Wheelinb, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of jifigz
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a deep, dark brown color with a small fluffy white head that lingers for a short amount of time. When held up to the light it looks very similar to an American Porter. The aroma is slightly malty with hints of some chocolate malt. The taste starts off chocolatey and rich and ends with just a touch of bitterness for balance. It is overall a rather sweet beer that is heavy on the chocolate flavor. There is also a level of alcohol present in the flavor which is quite surprising since it is only coming in at 5.6%. The MF is medium to light bodied and easy to quaff.

This beer is okay, but how is this really different than an American Porter? It tastes like one, feels like one, and appears like one. Sometimes I feel that the lines of "beer styles" is heavily blurred. Overall not a bad brew though. A decent easy drinking dark beer with a minimal, but good, flavor.

jifigz, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of mphopkins99
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another nice beer from New Belgium. Pours a dark brown, a little bit of head and lacing. Has a real nice carmel, doughy smell to it, but the taste isn't as sweet as the smell led me to believe it was.

Nice mouthfeel to it, and very drinkable. Very smooth, the taste definitely had some coffee/chocolate tones to it. I've not had a Belgian Dark Ale before, but this beer reminded me of kind of a light porter.

I've yet to have a New Belgium offering that wasn't a good beer.

mphopkins99, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Served pretty cold. Deep amber with ruby, very clear. Not much head, fades to film and ring, good lacing. SMELL not too much. Grainy, malty sweet, tame. TASTE is mild, grainy/malty, touch of sweetness. Clean finish. FEEL is thin, benighn, clean finish. Easy drinking but not memorably.

sprucetip, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, not a bad beer at all.
Especially if you like the taste of coffee.
Nice malted/hops balance that I enjoyed that was quickly followed and finished by a solid coffee taste, maybe even a slight hint of chocolate.
Enjoyed once, and would enjoy it again.

, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of mikeborglum
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a weiznen glass clear, dark mahogany with a light brown head and decent lacing. Lightly roasted malt aroma; chocolate and roasty; a bit musty. Light medium body and oily texture . Taste lightly bitter with a very long dry and lightly burned finish.

mikeborglum, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of gabemasiulis
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear tobacco color with a light tan head with fine bubbles. Medium retention
Ripe fruits, currants, sweet with a tinge of spices, probably from the yeast. A slight alcoholic scent, with some roasted (but not burnt) malts.
Fairly malty up front, an interesting fruity tang, Counterposed by a bit of choclatey malts.
Crisp, light, a medium gravity level of slightly syrupy viscosity.
I'd have another. definitely drinkable, I can remember more than one party where I swigged down one after another of these (the New Belgium UAR) My new belgium of choice.

gabemasiulis, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of facundoCNB
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a nice dark reddish/brown pour with 2 fingers of tan head.. nice lacing too!
smells of nuts, dates, raisins, caramel. bitter, roastiness up front, followed by a sweet finish. roasted grains, sweet malts, cereal, toast, tobacco, nutty, slightly fruity.
light +, slightly creamy, mild carbonation.
overall good for a light black ale.. as far as belgian dark/strong ales go, this shit's weal. sorry. it's tasty and all, but it will never be up there with the big boys.

facundoCNB, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of bboven
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely blood-red, crystal clear body with a big head that leaves lots of lacing.

Aroma is huge cherry and yeasty bread.

Flavor is all around a bit weaker than it should be. What's there is good and to style; I just wish there was a bit more.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but nicely crisp and drying at the end.

All in all, a nice beer if you want an easy-drinking, not very complex Belgian.

bboven, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of orangemoustache
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown until being held to a light it reveals lots of reds,the head is a fluffy tan four fingers on a heavy pour,some thin lace clings on for dear life as it falls to its death(ok i'm being a little dramatic,it looks pretty nice).I had a hard time getting much good from the nose maybe some slight caramel and slightly burnt malts.The taste was big chocolate up front(dark and bitter) with some coffee flavors and some soft sweet vinilla on the finish.A medium body and moderate carbonation are suitable and encourage drinkability,slightly dry finish.New Belgium offerings were just recently made avalible in Springfield,Illinois and so far they have been above average and better than I had expected.

orangemoustache, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A clear dark ruby red beer builds a creamy beige head that quickly dissipates to leave spotty lace while occasional fine carbonation percolates from just the other side of the wall of a Blue Point tulip glass.

Spicy figs and caramelized sugar accentuate a light roasted character while little if any yeast impacts the aroma profile.

1554 is earthy with dark fruit, however, it is more bitter than expected with light bitterness lingering well into the finish.

This one has a medium to full body, with high carbonation, no alcohol, and a dry velvety finish.

While enjoyable on its own, this is far from the strong flavor and aromas one typically expects from the style.

SLeffler27, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

danthehopslamman, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Todd
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Todd, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

aquazr1, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of Meyers1023
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Meyers1023, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of 1Adam12
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

1Adam12, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of MNMike
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

MNMike, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

PretzelsNBeer, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of jminch
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

jminch, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Hopinho
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Hopinho, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of jmponder
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

jmponder, Dec 30, 2011
1554 Enlightened Black Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 2,976 ratings.