1554
New Belgium Brewing Company

15541554
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From:
New Belgium Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Style:
Lager - European Dark
Ranked #25
ABV:
6%
Score:
86
Ranked #20,220
Avg:
3.83 | pDev: 12.01%
Ratings:
4,334
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jan 15, 2022
Added:
Jan 02, 2002
Wants:
  142
Gots:
  855
SCORE
86
Very Good
15541554
Notes: 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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by NCBrewstreamer:
Photo of NCBrewstreamer
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
by NCBrewstreamer from North Carolina

Great appearance
Caramel and malt flavor with chocolate
Mouthfeel was nothing like I expected, instead it was very drinkable and crisp for such a dark lager
Light finish that leaves you wanting more

Jan 15, 2022
More User Ratings:
 
3.83 by Highlonesome1 from Texas on Jan 13, 2022
 
4.03 by Zigzach from Florida on Jan 08, 2022
 
3.89 by Viaduck from California on Jan 08, 2022
Photo of KT3418
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by KT3418 from Colorado

I actually like this a good bit based on one bottle, body is good even with no glass and out of the bottle, does have lager vibes but it seems like it needs to be a smidge warmer like other dark brews to be enjoyed. Relatively impressed and glad cuz for some reason I don't have a great liking for a lot of their beer

Jan 08, 2022
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(12 oz bottle, 68799 06MAR22; purchased single off shelf at Total Wine, Tucson... poured into a stemless wine glass)

L: clear, ruby-garnet liquid; fleeting, flimsy, tanned khaki-colored foam... about what one would expect from a non-bottle condition rendering of this derivative style... keeps a thin yet tight collar; little lacing

S: old upholstery, dry port, desiccating plum, hint of red cough medicine... overall weak(ened) intensity but inviting expression

T: up front: curiously roasty, oxidized dark sherry overtones; bit of a prune color to its dry aftertaste.... second sip reveals more depth: fruitcake, berry jelly, hints of toasty dark crystal malt... ehhh, I could see a justifiable (doppel)bock comparison... overall: dry, malty, mulled wine

F: velvety carbonation softening the edges of its whispery-plush body; calm caress of residual warmth... maybe this is a lager... too suave

O: low-key high quality, but I'll take Ommegang Abbey Ale any day over this... this was the last of 4 consecutive reviews this morning of brands I can't readily procure out east... I love the 'Euro dark lager' label for this, because it's sort of appropriate, despite this being an undeniably familiar relic of early craft beer Dubbel knock-offs... as a 'lager', it's great, but c'mon, don't corrupt my to-style ratings bro; their zwert story is romantically compelling but bs - doesn't result in a distinctive brew... arguably slightly higher marks than it deserves (bland, rough edges), but I'd have this again (1849)

Jan 02, 2022
 
4.3 by Skyseeker from New York on Dec 30, 2021
Photo of TheBricenator
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by TheBricenator from Oregon

Look: Dark brown to black on the pour and deep ruby-red when held to light with a short-lasting head that settles to a film and leaves good lacing behind
Aroma: Warm brown bread, light chocolate notes, wafts of licorice, a little toffee, and mild earthy notes
Taste: Rich bready malt, toffee, and chocolate are the initial notes and after they settle, some nice light licorice appears along with some earthiness. The flavors all meld well before brown bread and chocolate take hold and close it out
Mouthfeel: Full but light, very clean, medium-high carbonation, and a soft and clean finish
Overall: I dig it. I love these folks’ Belgian offerings so scoring this as part of their mix 12-pack was a fun and tasty chance to revisit. The licorice notes make it unique tasting and smelling and they work well here in my opinion plus help set this apart from other Euro Dark Lagers (which although this is an ale, feels/tastes like a lager). Unique, well-made, and tasty

Dec 27, 2021
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. The appearance of the beer resembles a sort of cola/mahogany color, with more than a finger's worth of fluffy tan head with good retention and lacing.

Aroma: very malty, and rich notes of coffee and chocolate/cocoa. Other notes of toffee, subtle vanilla, licorice, spices, cherries, raisins, bread crust, yeast, and cinnamon.

Really tasting dark chocolate, coffee, and toffee on the palette, along with the spices, licorice, and subtle vanilla most especially. Essentially follows the aroma. Body is medium-light.

Dec 21, 2021
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

Appearance is black, not quite pitch black; ruby red/dark brown highlights. The tan head is absurdly creamy and thick for what appeared to be low carbonation initially. Long-lasting retention and sheets of lacing.

On the nose I get lots of chocolate, a little bit of coffee and vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon or some vague spice note.

Chocolate dominates the palate, hitting upfront with hints of vanilla, dark brown bread in the middle, a touch of plum and balsamic vinegar, and maybe just a vague hint of generic spice. Finishes quick dry with a dusting more of cocoa powder, before finishing more abruptly than expected into cleanness.

The mouthfeel is medium, moderately carbonated, well carbonated and slightly pillow. Finishes crisper and lighter than expected, given the chewiness of the mid-palate.

...Overall, well a solid beer. I had to know idea what style of this beer was going in. I thought it was a Belgian dark ale and reviewed it as such! Surprise, surprise...well, it's pretty solid for a Euro black lager!

Dec 08, 2021
 
4.23 by Mattbrollins22 from South Carolina on Dec 04, 2021
 
3.91 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Nov 28, 2021
Photo of LesDewitt4beer
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Very scrappy notes from 2010. 6 pack from Surdyk's in NE Minneapolis.
12 ounce bottles. Poured into a pint glass.
Looks like a nice medium dark lager and has an 'old world' aroma. Smooth, creamy and dry with medium carbonation. Sweet chocolate and fairly malty. Very good tasting beer.

Nov 23, 2021
Photo of ponypunk
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by ponypunk

The beer pours dark brown with a creamy tan head. The head has real staying power!!!! Nice lacing. Aroma of chocolate, cherry, malt, and hint of banana. Taste is dark chocolate, cream, and picking up that slight hint of banana again. The mouthfeel is one of the best I have had. The bear is creamy and soft, almost the consistency of a melted milkshake. This is an outstanding beer! Nice job New Belgium!!

Nov 21, 2021
Photo of md3kcn
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by md3kcn from North Carolina

Purchased as a 12-bottle variety pack from Sam's Club for $15.90. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

L - Dark, molasses brown with a barely one-finger coffee brown head. Laces well.
S - Raisin, cacao, and dark breads. Slight ethanol.
T - Dark chocolate and stone fruit, washed over by pumpernickel and caramel. Light licorice and toffee finish. Not bitter in the slightest.
F - Sticky. Silky. Full-bodied, with light carbonation. Definitely on the heavier side.
O - A fantastic beer on its own, but even better when paired with steak! Great for a colder night. Couldn't drink more than one in one sitting, I'm afraid. Would highly recommend trying at least once. Will purchase again if I see it.

Nov 18, 2021
 
3.93 by DrewTheBrew from Ohio on Oct 24, 2021
 
3.05 by HollandTunnels from Pennsylvania on Oct 17, 2021
Photo of Weisenbeer
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Weisenbeer from Ohio

This was surprisingly tasty... This came in a New Belgium variety pack... It's on the thin side, which I actually prefer in a darker beer... Nice nose and easy to drink.... Taste good too

Oct 16, 2021
 
3.75 by Danmullens1 from Wisconsin on Oct 13, 2021
Photo of TheOccasionalBeer
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TheOccasionalBeer from Wisconsin

Three fingers of creme brulee-colored foam topped translucent coffee on the pour, and it hung around for a while. Faint but noticeable scent of the cake part of fruitcake (the good kind). However, the taste hinted at vanilla and an astringent fruit, sweet at first and a slight bitterness and carbonation on the finish. The more I drink, the more citrus I pick up.... not an unpleasant amount but also reminiscent of the dried citrus peel in some fruitcakes (yeah, I decided not to start one this year but I can still think about it). I'm not sure that I've had a Euro-style dark lager before, but it feels about right... less satiny than a stout but more substantial than a regular lager. It's going well with pizza on crisp, wet evening so I'll likely give it another try in the future.

Sep 25, 2021
 
2.62 by JustLikeMyDad from Michigan on Sep 09, 2021
Photo of 1BrewBacca
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by 1BrewBacca from Georgia

Look: Nice mahogany pour. Thin off-white head that quickly melts to ring around the sides with wispy clouds in the center. Good foamy lace as the beer goes down.
Smell and Taste: Somewhat dry for a European Dark beer. Faint licorice that I've never been a fan of.
Feel: Slightly harsh and seltzer like.
Overall: Not what I was expecting. Little bit weak on the malts in my opinion for this style of beer. I'll be moving on.

Sep 05, 2021
 
4.12 by Z-man from Michigan on Sep 05, 2021
 
4.4 by STOOOO from Wisconsin on Aug 27, 2021
Photo of BroBobby70
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by BroBobby70 from Texas

12 oz. bottle poured into Imperial Pint glass
Look: Three finger, creamy head. Dark color, like black coffee, excellent lacing
Smell: Malty, like a crusty bread, hints of chocolate
Taste: Definitely malty, with medium bitterness. There are notes of dark chocolate, dry finish
Feel: Excellent mouthfeel, carbonation is there but not overdone, feels lighter than expected
Overall: This is an excellent dark beer. If this is typical of the style I will have to drink more.
Pair with spicy meats, wild game, German sausage, BBQ. Bitterness is mild enough you could mix with a high percentage chocolate to intensify the chocolates in beer.

Aug 25, 2021
 
3.91 by BrentMcQuirk from Texas on Aug 16, 2021
 
4.02 by JZB7 on Aug 06, 2021
Photo of backblast
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by backblast from Alaska

Pours almost black with a nice tan head and decent lacing.

Tastes of roasted malt with a light biscuity/cracker like note and mild dark chocolate with just enough bitterness to settle it. A lighter style of beer. Nice.

Aug 02, 2021
 
3.56 by Danzifer from Ohio on Jul 31, 2021
Photo of hbeimers
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by hbeimers from Illinois

Overall good, but fairly 1-dimensional. A good hint of chocolate and earthy licorice, but it still retains some lightness. A nice cross between a more refreshing feel and darker flavors.

Jun 24, 2021
 
3.98 by BrewsOverHoes from Georgia on Jun 10, 2021
Photo of dunkel_weizen
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by dunkel_weizen from Oregon

Unknown age bottle into a pint glass. Dark mahogany red color, clear and crisp, really nice multi layer head with a fine smooth cap and rich hearty bubbles retained in a 1 finger head 10 minutes after the pour. Really nice nose here, rich sweet chocolate malt, lager yeast, pecan pie, and cinnamon. The taste is all caramel, chocolate, mulling spice, and finishing on a sweet cacao note that lingers on the palate with a touch of lager grass. The mouthfeel is a touch thin, but it is crisp and clean like a lager should be.

I have had better dark lager but it is a hard style to get right, and this is a great, albeit a touch sweet, attempt.

Jun 08, 2021
 
 
3.83 by Jarrod_LC from Louisiana on May 22, 2021
 
4.17 by Techichi from Texas on Apr 30, 2021
 
4 by jeschaefer from Texas on Apr 18, 2021
 
4 by doctorgary from New York on Apr 03, 2021
Photo of Gordono
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Gordono from Nevada

I like this beer, it’s subtly different.
Dark yet transparent brownish red. Medium bodied. Nice lacy tan head that clings to the glass. A funky, but not off putting aroma, I find common in some sour beers. And an unusual, yet approachable flavor, where the licorice root flavor is present but not over stated.

Mar 23, 2021
 
4 by LasVinny from Nevada on Mar 19, 2021
 
3.88 by Rhetion from Florida on Mar 08, 2021
1554 from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 4334 ratings