1554 Black Lager | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
86
very good
4,044 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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1554 Black Lager1554 Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-02-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,044
Reviews:
1,374
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
122
Gots:
743
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,044 |  Reviews: 1,374
Photo of jarheadduk
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Working off old notes. Will update with more details if/when I have another.

77 characters

Photo of Beerbirdnerd
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of harrymel
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed 06/27/10

Poured from bottle to New Belgium tulip.

A: Deep cherry red/mahogany ale with excellent clarity. few thin ribbons ascend to replenish glossy, light tan sheet over top ale.

S: nutty, roasted barley nose. Very slight earthy hop.

T: tastes a hint astringent. Reminds me of a burnt, sour porter.

M: Med body, low carb. Slightly sticky.

D: I have no desire to drink this beer again. I can, however, see why it appeals to a larger micro drinking market. Falls into the 'dark' beer category for many folks.

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Photo of pibbxtrasucks
2.56/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I did not care for this beer too much really. it poured very nicely, and a very nice rich black color. as far as smell goes... its hard to say, I've never had a beer in this style so I'm not sure what it should smell like. That in mind, it had a very old fashioned smell... at least what I think a beer would smell like if it was made in 1554. (granted the only reason I think that is cause I read the label I'm sure) The taste was the same. it was a bit too rich and smokey for me I fear, but if that is your thing I would say get this beer. I would imagine it does a good job at its style, only I have noting to compare it to. But, New Belgium never let me down before (this) so you may like it.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On reccomendation from some fellow Colorado BA's that have noticed I haven't taking a liking to the first two New Belgium brews I've tried. I hunted this one down at Wally's in Westwood. Fresh sample as the best before date is 5 months from now.

Pours a dark brown with a purpleish pinger around the edges. Sticky off white lacing sits above a medium range of carbonation and a solid body.

This has some stout qualities to it, in that its heavily malted, dark, chocolate and dry at points. Chalky finish that lingers, no real cleansing to this at all. I was hoping for that belgian yeast that is so evident in their beers or something spicey along the way but I just didn't get any of that. Once again to each their own, but for some reason the malt presence in this breweries beers comes across with a slightly musky, wet cardboard deal, although this one is masked a bit by being more roasted.

Notes: Seemed like a stout but whatever, style classification is not important, what is important is it was uninteresting.

 1,028 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 10/23/2007 (bottle BB 22Feb08):

Pours a dark brown colored body, with reddish fringes, and a dull white head, diminishing. Has a chocolaty roasted aroma, along with some malts. Has a dry taste, a dusty chocolaty taste. Watery palate, with a dull taste. Some malts.

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Photo of Bagman007
2.6/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark brown coloring with a couple of finger widths of head.

S- Nutty caramel and chocolate scent.

T- Strong chocolate caramel taste, not much as far as hops go.

M- Smooth and creamy feel. Not very bitter at all.

D- Very smooth, very drinkable.

Overall a decent beer. Not a big fan of this type, but this beer is one of the better I have had.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
2.62/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer appeared to be an opaque black with some hints of red when held up to the light. The beer poured a nice off-white/light brown head that quickly evaporated, but left a small spotty/blotchy cap. No real lacing to speak of.

S: Aroma was decent, nice strength to it, mainly roasted malted barley with a hint of yeast or bread. No hops to note.

T: The taste of the beer was about in line with the other New Belgium brews that I have tried, slightly weak, nothing that really set the beer apart that would make me remember it in the future. The taste is mainly the roasted malt with a slight undertone of sweetness.

M/D: I felt that the beer felt lighter than it should have, almost watered down a bit. The carbonation felt right, which helped. As for drinkability, I poured some of it out, simply because I forgot about it. Overall, a less than average beer and one that I would not buy or order again.

 913 characters

Photo of impending
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz into a tulip. Pours dark just shy of midnight black, minimal head yet decent lacing.

Aroma is subdued with faint worcestershire and an oakyness, no sweetness in the nose.

Taste lacks complexity. Peculiar in that the front end is nearly devoid of flavor, middle is nondescript and the finish contains what flavor there is.
does not improve with warmth
mediocre
but it improves if you don't drink it out of a glass
cheers
jd

 429 characters

Photo of denver10
2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours black with a beige head. A kinda sweet and roasty aroma but not super distinct. Flavor didn't work for me; roasted, a slight touch of chocolate, and a healthy dose of candied sugar and bubblegum. Yuck, I'll give it a 3 because I think my reaction is more subjective than objective but I definitely did not like this and did not finish my glass. A nice medium, creamy body. Overall, not for me. A definite pass that I wont try again.

 438 characters

Photo of BeerDocT
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a chilled tulip glass.

-Appearance 3.0: Pours out a slightly opaque, ebony brown-black. Slight head and I really cranked the pour. Large carbonation bubbles. Head is white and, sitting in my glass, it really looks like a Coke.

-Smell 3.0: I had to stick my nose almost in the beer to make out a bouquet. What I did smell was not that fabulous: just subdued toasted barley notes with a little chocolate in there, too.

-Taste 2.5: Front is flat, but a certain low-level chocolate flavor comes through. Middle is non-existent. Nothing there. Finish is a washed-out barley flavor; imagine what you would get if you used a grain-bag filled with stout grains for 50 brews and then bottled the liquid from that 50th dunking. Yep. Not good. Finish hit me in the top of the palate with this artificial-tasting, cocoa-powder flavor that stands out like a sore thumb.

-Mouthfeel 2.5: A higher level of carbonation could have really elevated the taste of this beer.

-Overall 2.5: This is one of the most schizoid brews I have ever had the displeasure of tasting. It's all over the place. There's some story on the bottle about the "intrepid researchers" of the brewery finding a recipe in Belgium from the year 1554 for this beer and how this beer is different than modern beers. Well, if that is true, perhaps history was trying to teach us something and there's a reason this poorly evolved ancestor of modern beers is extinct.

 1,435 characters

Photo of kjyost
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle BB 11/8/11 poured into a tulip at about 8C

A: Deep black - the edges are not opaque but rich red brown - body with a light tan head that dissipates much too quickly and leaves no lacing.
S: Light Belgian esters and charcoal from the roasted malts
T/M: I was expecting a Belgian. I got a stout. Tons of roast that finishes dry. No discernible yeast character. Some balancing bitterness and a residual sweetness.
O: Not a bad beer, just nothing like I expecting.

 470 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an American version of a Belgian dark ale. While it is not bad, it pales in comparison to true Belgian dark ales. The ABV is pretty low for a Belgian (5.5%) and is relatively average. There is nothing to distinguish or differentiate this beer from the others in its category.

 283 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a straight pint glass. Poured on the still side, not much head or carbonation, minimal lacing. A shade of black that is just shy of being black, while being too dark to be any shade of brown. Nothing noticeable in the aroma. Slight roasted flavors in taste, but nothing that stands out. The body is light for an ale, but would be fulfilling if considered a lager.

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Photo of BruceHartford3
2.72/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Photo of UBrew1984
2.72/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Arch578
2.72/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Really not impressed with this beer. Nothing special about its appearance or aroma, and the taste just reminded me of a cheap porter. I understand that lagers are usually meant to be more drinkable, but I feel this one went beyond drinkability to the point of lacking body and depth. I'm not particularly fond of the style to begin with, but I don't think this beer lived up to what a schwarzbier can and should be.

 415 characters

Photo of Breen
2.74/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pour/Appearance: Black sitting, deep chestnut brown when held to light. Minimal head disappears quickly.

Smell: Roasted malt with a hint of a spicy fruit bouquet.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat on the watery side for a dark beer. Light mouthfeel and carbonation.

Taste: Dark fruits from the hops and a smokey flavor from the malt.

Not bad, but a little too watery for me.

 364 characters

Photo of DCgolfpro
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Kmlund
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of cfrobrew
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of MsShira08
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of silverking
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of ATXRyan
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of WesMantooth
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

1554 Black Lager from New Belgium Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 4,044 ratings.
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