New Belgium Brewing Company

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New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
European Dark Lager
Ranked #14
Ranked #19,417
3.83 | pDev: 12.01%
Nov 06, 2023
Jan 02, 2002
With a surprisingly bright taste and dry, chocolatey finish, it's not a porter, not a stout—it's 1554.

1554 defies the style guidelines of modern beer. Although dark in color, 1554 is not a porter, stout, schwarzbier or bock. Rather, it is a rebirth of a lost beer style called zwert (Flemish for black), which uses gruit for bittering. The oldest reference to zwert beer comes from 1285. However, our brewing inspiration came from a book published in 1554, which was the height of popularity for zwertbeer. First released in 1998, our whimsical improvisation includes a variety of specialty dark malts, a dash of licorice root, and a European lager yeast that's fermented at ale temperatures.

21 IBU
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Photo of JohnniEMc
Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Consider it a wonderful set of pours, as two twelve ounce cans have been emptied into a clear glass liter mug. The color of the brew is a dark and malty mahogany one; dark brown, with reddish tint. It's bright, but quite opaque. There's a substantial biege head that seems to be enduring. There's more malt to smell than anything else, then yeast and maybe some hops and alcohol. To drink, this is a malty one. Remarkably, it's rich and smooth, yet light across the palate. This isn't a hopfest, nor is it laden with all the yeast and ester distractions some find appetizing in a Belgian style brew. Nor does the roasted malt, or barley, if that's the case, bring a bitter aspect. Continuing with what it's not, the yeast, alcohol and hops barely make their presence known. It maybe malty, but it's not overly sweet and the malt does allow traces of other tastes to come through. No, it's not the most interesting brew to drink and it certainly can disappoint people seeking a hoppy bite, or the typical Belgian brew characteristics. But, it's very drinkable and outstanding in two categories. It's beautiful in the glass. The color and head are basically flawless and the copious stratified glass lacing is among the best. As a brew relying mostly on malt, this is particularly good for the mouthfeel category, as there's also no hoppy bite, nor alcohol burn at the finish. This is a very comfortable beer to drink.
Nov 06, 2023
Photo of Stooven
Reviewed by Stooven from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Been running through a lot of the larger-distribution domestic crafts I've never reviewed. This is a decent fall beer; probably the 2nd best offering in the mixed pack with Trippel, X IPA and Fat Tire. Don't serve it too cold, because it thins out.
Oct 30, 2023
Photo of TalDavis
Rated by TalDavis from Texas

4.95/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Love this beer, hard to find in my area
Oct 14, 2023
Photo of Storm_Rryder
Reviewed by Storm_Rryder from Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Had this long ago before starting to log beers here. It has been hard to find it but finally got it in a mix pack. Very dark black like a stout. There was a good foam but it dissipated quickly. Nice taste of roasted malt that is quickly replaced by licorice. Very pleasant to drink, love this!
Oct 07, 2023
Rated: 4.04 by kickinsumaz from Tennessee

Oct 02, 2023
Photo of Rwoodroffe
Rated by Rwoodroffe

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Color is dark of course, smell is not fantastic, but the taste is smooth with chocolate and licorice notes.
Sep 30, 2023
Rated: 3.98 by fflopps from Iowa

Sep 30, 2023
Rated: 3.86 by pkalix from California

Sep 11, 2023
Photo of mpruden
Reviewed by mpruden from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a frosted pint glass at Oscars Bar & Grille in Limon, CO.

Appearance: Dark brown with a massive light tan head that lasted long and left abundant lacing.

Nose: Rich roast, bread.

Mouthfeel: Light.

Attack: Sort of follows the nose, adding bitter roast a bit too quickly; I was hoping for a little more depth in the flavor.

Finish: Continues and resolves the bitterness with some hops.

Overall: The look and the nose set me up for higher expectations. It’s drinkable, but won’t go down as my favorite.
Sep 03, 2023
Rated: 3.83 by not2quick from Missouri

Aug 28, 2023
Rated: 4.81 by I_M_M from Colorado

Aug 19, 2023
Rated: 4.9 by todd05 from Pennsylvania

Aug 13, 2023
Rated: 4 by Gkruszewski from New York

Jul 22, 2023
Rated: 3.76 by Vonlentz

Jul 19, 2023
Photo of BMurphy17025
Rated by BMurphy17025

4.92/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
In a nut shell..great beetr!
Jul 15, 2023
Rated: 4 by chrishiker1409 from New York

May 30, 2023
Rated: 2.7 by headfullofacid from Maryland

May 01, 2023
Rated: 3.94 by Beergod420 from Michigan

Jan 30, 2023
1554 from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 4386 ratings