1554 Enlightened Black Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
1554 Enlightened Black Ale1554 Enlightened Black Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

3,068 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,068
Reviews: 1,246
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 70
Gots: 199 | 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
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Ratings: 3,068 | Reviews: 1,246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice aroma, dark appearance, dry, yeast, aggressive carbonation. Roast, chewy, malty. Thanks Tim (IPFreely) for sharing. Quite good and drinkable,cocoa, mult-dimensional and it all comes together in satisfying drink and aftertaste. Nice Belgian style.

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 inch beige head. Light ring lacing happens.

S - Smells of roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and sweet malts.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, with a slight herb taste (licorice perhaps).

M - Good carbonation. Dry yet creamy.

D - Very good dark ale that is easy to drink. It is not as heavy as I thought it might be.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep dark brown with an off white head that has some pretty good retention. The nose brings forward some light chocolate and dark fruits. The taste is slightly roasty with some dates, plum, and chocolate. Good mouthfeel with nice carbonation levels. Drinks nice and easy.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark amber in color (close to near black) and poured with a two finger high off white head that slowly died down and left a tick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass as well as lacing down the edges. No carbonation is evident in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There are light aromas of chocolaty malts in the nose. The smell isn't very strong, even after the beer warms up.
T: Moderate flavors of chocolate malts dominate the overall taste, although it's somewhat one dimensional because no traces of bitterness from the hops are perceptible. The chocolate flavors intensify as the beer warms up, but never become very strong.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, silky smooth and quite creamy on the palate. There is a light to moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has a hint of dryness.
D: The beer is very drinkable because it has a low amount of alcohol and isn't filling at all.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a magnificent head that leaves an impressive amount of lacing

Smell: Dark fruit and a touch of coffee

Taste: Starts with a dark fruit flavor profile that has a vague hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate; after the swallow, the flavor becomes a bit sweeter, almost like a bit of spice cake, though there is a detectable level of earthy hop bitterness; kind of a Belgian Dark "light"

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink with just enough complexity to make it interesting but low enough in alcohol to drink a few

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess that I expected something along the lines of a Schwartzbier, but got something richer, more complex, and nicely intriguing. Aromas begin with a mild roast character woven around caramel, toffee, and lactose sweetness. Mild tartness, earthy / peaty, nutty notes round out the scent. The beer looks dark brown with a mild murky look, well headed, and overall rich looking. Tastes are big on the caramel / toffee / praline sweetness, but the added complexity of berries, chocolate, wood, and must make the beer decidedly better. The mouthfeel seems full because of the varying flavors and creamy carbonation, but the beer finishes quite light and drinkable. Simply a nice beer with tons of complexity and not a gravity bomb -- good to see. Thanks BMock.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark colored beer with a medium head with good retention. Aroma is comprised mostly of roasted malts with some subtle spice mix. Taste is quite different from what I expected and I would described as a mix between a dry stout and a Belgian ale. Roastiness is prevalent but you can still see the Belgian inspiration in this beer. Body is above average. Overall, this is a fine drink and I applaud the fact that the brewer tried to brew something different.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger tan head with excellent lacing on a black body with quite a bit of light passing through.

S: roasted malt with mocha and coffee notes.

T: nice mild roasted malt, coffee notes but without the coffee bitterness. Not too sweet but a subtle dark fruit note, mostly strawberry and cherry, in the finish.

M: medium to full body and moderate carbonation with a wet finish.

Overall: Very drinkable and lighter than I was expecting. The complexity in the taste is subtle but its there.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two parts dark brown to one part dark red. This beer looks almost identical to a brown ale that I just had; certainly no darker. The lid is light brown and softly sticky. Glass coverage is adequate. A few small splotches of lace appear, no more than that. The aroma (which could stand to be stronger) is of roasted malt with spicy and earthy accents.

1554 Enlightened Black Ale tastes like a brown ale with some Belgian character. I've never had a black ale, so I'm not sure if this is what the brewers were shooting for or not. The flavor profile includes caramel malt with a small amount of roastiness and a little coffee. The beer is sweet and fruity early, becoming drier on the finish.

A subtle spiciness is evident as well and is most likely due to Belgian yeast esters. Flavor wasn't overly impressive in the top half of the bottle, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit in the bottom half. The body is medium in heft, decently creamy and slightly overbubbled.

Thanks to New Belgium for brewing something different. I haven't seen too many black ales. 1554 is pretty good beer, all things considered.

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one at Mellow Mushroom with lunch. Really the only thing on the menu I felt like having, but oh well. 22oz bottle was served to me with a pint glass, consumed on 12/23/2009.
 
The pour was decent enough, rich looking dark brown with a small amount of light peaking in on the sides and the bottom of the glass. Nice head of tan came up to about an inch before dropping off the side of the glass and coating the sides for a good little bit. Aroma is nice roasted malts with a touch of light dark fruit notes at first. Very rich as well with a big malt bill. First sip goes down nice and smooth, rich dark malts again are dominant here with a light bit of chocolate coating the tongue at first. Following it is a light dryness and a bi of a hop kick that gives it just that slight bit of bitterness in the finish. Final taste is of toasted malts and dry hints of chocolate that last on the tongue long into the final sip.
 
Overall it was very solid from beginning to end. Nothing really bad I can say about this one. It really seemed to hold its own quite nicely. I would have no issue with trying the one again.
 

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a khaki head.

S: A nice balance of roasted malts and sweet, caramel ones. There is a nice creamy caramel note all the way through. A nuttiness, almost like peanut butter, is also present. Just a little earthy hops.

T: Slightly fruity, but otherwise, same story as the nose. Nice light roast, toast, and caramel balance to this one. A mild nuttiness, a hint of yeast, and some perfectly sweet toffee.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth carbonation.

O: One of New Belgium's better beers, actually. Really solid stuff.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. single picked up at Riverside Wine and Spirits in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Best Before: 01MAY09.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark chestnut brown body with a smallish, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish, fruity nose with light notes of caramel, roasted malt, and coffee. A pleasant chocolate scent grows and swarms the nose upon warming.

Taste: Light tastes of roast, caramel, coffee, and even semisweet chocolate with a moderate amount of malty sweetness. Plenty of fig and Bing cherry fruit character. Dash of cola. Very minor hop character and bitterness. Hint of yeast. Lingering tastes of chocolate and roast on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Makes me think of blend of a dark Belgian ale with a schwarzbier. Pleasant and highly drinkable with a reasonable ABV%.

Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see New Belgium stuff in the supermarkets aroung Greensboro.Poured into an overiseized wine glass a deep brown like cola color with a great one finger off white head,just creamy looking with great definition,nearly a five.Aromas were a little light but pleasant,bitter chocolate,clove,and black licorice were what I picked up most.Highly drinkable with subtle complexity on the palate,bitter chocolate and dry earthy tones with some licorice-like flavors,the sweetness is kept in check well but lends good balance.A damn fine brew,I liked it more than I thought I would.

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1554 Enlightened Black Ale from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 3,068 ratings.