New Belgium Brewing Company

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European Dark Lager
Ranked #10
Ranked #20,404
3.84 | pDev: 11.98%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Notes: A surprisingly bright taste and a dry, chocolaty finish -- one evocotive of dark brews enjoyed in Belgian taverns 500 years ago. Not a porter, not a stout -- it's 1554.
Reviews: 1,435 | Ratings: 4,273 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rapayn01
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this twice in December 2016 when a guest left a couple of bottles after a party (poker probably). On Untappd at the time, I wrote that it featured "roasted malt" and was "slightly sweet." In another checkin, I claimed that it was more stout than lager, which is a good thing if you ask me. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Singlefinpin
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears almost black, dark brown, with a nice foamy tan head that dropped quickly.
Smells malty, chocolatey caramel.
Taste follows the nose.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall, not a stout or a porter, but a very drinkable lager, with a nice chocolatey finish.
I would definitely order again.

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Photo of hottenot
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as a moonless night.
Dark Chocolate abounds.
Slight Bitterness.
Raisins, dried fruit.
A lot thinner than a Stout.
Also a Porter .
Perfect Dark Lager.

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Photo of ASKasten
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate taste is very prominent. Robust with sweet pungent aroma. Slight bitter aftertaste that doesn’t linger. Isn’t a stout or porter, but does look like a stout and taste like a porter.

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Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lovely deep brown/amber liquid capped by a prominent off white head of lovely and persistent foam.
Soft and sweet aromas. the roastiness of dark malts is present but subdued and there is a general holiday sweetness.
Taste follows with softly sweet flavors, what little bitterness shows up accents the sweetness and creates a mildly cola like experience.
Mouthfeel is mellow and clean, has a full character but keeps an appropriate lightness.
Overall I'm pretty 'meh' on the whole thing. It's nothing offensive but also doesn't really inspire me to reach for another. It's a fair beer

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Photo of Paul_Blanco
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have always been a fan of dark lagers. I recently drank 1554 at Z.....y's Pizza in Berkeley, CA and became an immediate fan. Was so happy to find this in my local B.vM.. This is my current #1 beer.

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Photo of johnstonst
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: nice head, dark brown/black with red highlights, one finger foam head

S: dark and milk chocolate combination with notes of vanilla, caramel, and smoke

T: Tastes how it smells, no bitterness, peppery on the finish

F: Drinks really smooth, almost like a lager or a golden ale, soft mouth feel for a medium carbonation beer

O: I enjoyed this much more than expected. Not gonna blow your mind but its a really solid rendition of the style. Extremely drinkable. This is the type of dark lager that I wish I had around when introducing my friends to darker beers.

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Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Near black with red highlights. One finger light tan to off white head. Strong toasty malt with cocoa on nose. Flavor is toasty bready malt with chocolate. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: silky black color with a hint of dark brown. A hint of dark ruby red in the light as well. Thin tan head

S: roasted malts, charred oak, dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, and some grassy hops and brown sugar

T: mild dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and toasted malts. Light grass, and a nice lager spice, along with a hint of pepper

M: medium mouthfeel with high carbonation

O: not bad. It’s a touch heavy in the mouth, but it’s got a nice balance of lager and roast

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Photo of defunksta
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, molasses color with a tan head. SRM of 22. (3.75)

Aroma: Strong aromas of primarily malty cocoa and baked caramel. (4.00)

Flavor: Flavors of smokey tobacco, cocoa, chocolate syrup. A smokey chocolate, dry finish. No bitterness or roastiness. Just cocoa and smoke. (4.00)

Feel: Lighter-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Cocoa flavors, but drinks clean like a lager. (4.25)

Overall: A very good drinking dark beer. It's mostly hot chocolate, with hints of dry smoke, which I find tasty. No bitterness. Reminds me of a Shwarzbier. Yet the most pronounced thing about this beer is that it drinks clean like a lager. Definitely a fan of this easy-drinking dark ale. (Final Rating: 4.01)

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Photo of michaelsmith11
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a little different than i expected it to be. I could smell and taste some chocolate and some roasty malts. But he thing that kinda stood out to me was the sweetness. There definitely a fruity sweetness to this. Not bad.

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Photo of woodsman13
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very unique, excellent dark lager that tastes different than it looks. In the glass it shows a dark translucent brown with beautiful, sticky lacing. Smells like roasted malt, a bit yeasty/bready. Not getting many coffee/chocolate/copper notes like you'd expect from a dark beer, except for some light cocoa maybe. Surprisingly light mouthfeel but with robust carbonation. The taste has the tobacco and coffee notes you'd expect from the looks of it, but also with some fruitiness (fruitcake?) like you'd expect from a Belgian strong ale. Drinkable but complex. A beer of contrasts and juxtapositions.

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Photo of sseisele
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goes down smooth. Chocolate and coffee notes on the aftertaste. I drank it straight from the bottle so I can't speak for the look. I am sure with the richness in the mouthfeel that there is a fair amount of lacing. At 6% ABV it does not have an overwhelming boozy taste. This beer was my first and only dark lager but I am a fan of NB overall and definitely of dark lagers now.

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Photo of jmc65267
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyable beer that I would buy again. It’s my first time having it and I like it, has a good flavor. Part of a variety pack given the option for it I would get again.

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Photo of Tnothnagle
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not normally a fan of "Chocolate" beers. They end up tasting acidic with a bitter aftertaste. 1554 is different. It's mellow but flavorful. Very natural tasting. Truly a robust, old world flavor. New Belgium has really done it, without seething like they're trying too hard.

Give this one a try. It will not disappoint.

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Photo of mkh012
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark red-brown with a thin tan head.

The nose is roast, chocolate, cola, and light minerality.

The taste is similar. A subtle blend of malt, bread, and roast.

The feel is light. Not too thin but does have a somewhat weak macro feel.

Overall, solid and repeatable but kinda muted.

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Photo of MaltyMagic
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, red highlights, tan top. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, nuts, earth, some dark fruit, bread, and maybe a hint of smoke. Medium bodied, easy drinker. Hit the spot on this early autumn, cool rainy evening.

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Photo of spectru
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark like a porter, the tan head doesn't last too long, leaves a film; Aroma is rich, spicy, but not strong; Tastes good, rich yet mild, not a strong flavor; Good mouthfeel, moderately carbonated. 1554, Enlightened Dark Ale Brewed With Spice, the label says. It certainly is dark, and well worth the inexpensive price.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark deep brown with a two-finger head that dissipates readily.

S: Roasted malts, caramel, and oak

T: Follows the nose. Additional sweetness.

F: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Easy drinker - better than expected and a nice cheap option for when you want something different. I would repeat this.

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Photo of Buckeye55
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's hot as hell here, but this dark brew kills it. Pours black with minimal head.
Smells of chocolate and like a porter/stout. Tastes of chocolate and coffee. Medium to light mouthfeel, surprising from a brew this dark. Aftertaste follows, like a porter or stout only lighter. I really like this one

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Photo of Wildernesslost
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Loved this and was not expecting it. I’m new to beer and tend toward droid and brown ales. Didn’t know what I was looking at so I picked it up. The feel is old time and roomy. The taste is light in the feel and dark on the tongue with some spice to add a plus. Will get again.

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Very dark brown, almost completely black. One finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Chocolate, sweet roast coffee.

Taste: Mild chocolate and coffee roast notes. No real noticeable hop flavor. Somewhat dull finish.

Mouthfeel: Average body, high carbonation.

Overall: It tastes good, but it's not quite there yet.

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Photo of KS_Augsburg
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at New Belgium pub at DEN airport. Nice dark beer, with great chocolate notes without the sweetness one would expect. Robust malt, closer to a stout than a lager (they call it black lager). I guess the boundaries become more fuzzy recently. Probably a lager yeast, however taste is closer to a Scottish dark ale.

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Photo of katsumii
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Goes in smooth, and finishes smooth. I tried this beer on a whim, not to expect to rate it. Thought it would be like any other “dark lager.” (I'm a porter & stout fan, and I'm a lager fan.)

...But this beer is SO UNIQUE, I can't not rate it. I didn't even pour it before tasting it. (Oof.) That's how unexpected my in-love experience with this beer is from a bottle. It's not bitter, not crispy, not boring. It is toasty and dark “chocolatey.” (Trust me, I tasted the chocolate before reviewing its label.) It has the body of a lager with a stout-like flavor and aroma. 1554 is becoming my new favorite in one sitting.

So, after finishing my bottle in between the above sentences (btw it's 6% ABV, which I also did not see before purchasing or drinking), I've grabbed an additional; poured it into a tulip. Small head; it didn't last. It's a lager, so what did you expect? Yet it's pitch black, just barely red against the light. Clings to the glass like a lager. You get the best of both worlds with this one.

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Photo of Longhorn08
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- vary dark brown with 2 fingers khaki head.

S- sweet malt and nuts.

T- more sweet malty nuts.

F- a bit thin with light carbonation.

O- Drinkable if there are no other options.

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1554 from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 4273 ratings