1554 Black Lager | New Belgium Brewing

very good
1,373 Reviews
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1554 Black Lager1554 Black Lager

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,373 | Ratings: 4,035
Photo of RyanK252
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours dark chestnut brown with a frothy tan head that settles to a light layer and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Earthy toasty roasty malt, a little coffee, dark fruit, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

T: Dark fruit, plum, cherry, mild roasted malt, a touch of coffee, earthy, a little spice, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

M: A little on the light side of medium body, moderate carbonation, a little creamy.

O: A great easy drinker fro the dark side.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First time with a black lager, had no idea what to expect. This is just like a stout/porter, pleasantly surprised! Body is nearly black with a thin tan head. Smells caramely, toasted bread, chocolate. Taste is more of the same but with more roasted flavors coming through, and some molasses type sweetness. Feels smooth and slippery like lagers tend to be, with a lingering finish. I went into this beer with no idea what to expect and came out a fan, would drink again.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some tan head. Nice lacing. Good chocolate notes with a solid malt backbone. Good carbonation and mouth feel. Easy to drink. Well done.

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Photo of mac31
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark fruited under tone along with dark roasted notes in the entry. Nice solid, chocolate component carries this beer nicely. Cooked caramel layered in there. The hops have some nice, soft spiciness to them. When you concentrate it there is a fair amount of bitterness to this beer. The bitterness really balances what is a deceptively sweeter beer. Body is light. Carbonation is appropriate. Caramel and chocolate carry though the finish. Nice, clean lager finish. I'm not a fan of lagers, but I am a fan of this one. If your a stout/Porter fan this is a nice, lighter alternative to some of those heavier beers.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought their assortment pack again of 12 bottles, 6 beers.
New Belgium is big enough to market their experiments and does so a lot... it seems.
This one was worth repeating.
NB (the ale-maker) does to 1554 Black Lager what they do best: blend the malts to create a nice brew.
This one is only nice, sessional; but doesn't have greatness stamped on its forehead.
But, it might be one I go to again next winter...

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Photo of JohnnyLaw
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very good beer! Smooth, almost silky feel. Aroma good but weak (really, unless it stinks WGAF). Most important part is taste and this doesn't disappoint. Nice malt taste with a nice hint of chocolate and CLEAN finish, no real aftertaste.

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Photo of moofthedog
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Like a light porter. Not completely dark, carbonated enough not to be a stout.
Aroma: Light nugget hops. Slightly herbal. Chocolate-y, malty.
Taste: Clean like a lager yet still darker. Fascinating. Has that lager taste on exit from the mouth.
Mouth: Smooth. again, clean. Doesn't leave that porter aftertaste exactly. Perfectly carbonated in my opinion.
Overall: A deviation from the regular porters and brown ales you see typically. I enjoy it a lot, the hops don't hit you so hard that you can't enjoy the maltiness. Rather, the aroma and bitterness of the hops compliments the flavor of the beer. Would drink again.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks exactly like a "black lager" should. Smell didn't quite nail the nose right with something slightly drowning out the malt smell I was looking for. Taste is great though, nice malt flavor and sweetness with nice chocolate and toasty notes. Not quite the after taste I was hoping for. Goes down nice and smooth for a lager. Overall a great lager but seems like the "black" aspect wasn't as much of a success but still a nice beer.

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Photo of golf_sierra
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown, clear.
Aroma is subtle but pleasing.
Malty sweet taste, clean and crisp.
Chocolate notes lingers on aftertaste
Light mouthfeel.
Pretty good beer. Better than I was expecting since it's not very hoppy.

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Photo of Grizwaldio
4.36/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz can into a pint glass, nice almost pitch black color, not a huge head but enough. A nice smell of chocolate and coffee, more chocolate than coffee, but a slight finish of coffee. Very chocolatety taste but not overwhelming, smooth and and velvety in your mouth. Very tasty.

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Photo of Cyrano41
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exceeded my expectations. It was dark, malty and flavorful. Bit of chocolate in the finish. Very good. New Belgium know what they are doing. I'm a big fan of schwarzbier and I'll be squeezing this one into my list of good ones.

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Photo of Auraan
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep brown body that appears black with ruby edges that is a rich ruby red when held to light, with a finger of thick off-white head that lingered leaving some lacing down the glass. Overall impression of appearance is of a nice Belgian Dark, very pleasing. Scents of sweet caramel, light toast and roasted malt, Belgian yeast imparts medium-high fruity esters of dark fruit, especially prune with some nice sweet spice phenols. Overall impression of aroma is of a nice light ABV Belgian Dark, that still imparts a nice depth of aromas. Flavor begins with nice notes of caramel, dark fruit at light levels, mostly plum, and very light toast. This continues into the middle. Finish is sweet with notes of light toast, light roasted malt and sweet caramel, with light fruity esters. Aftertaste is spicy white pepper and light toast. Overall impression of flavor is of a nice light dark Belgian, very light and well done. Moutheel is light bodied with medium-high carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a good session Belgian. Overall this is a nice twist on a Belgian Dark. It has a light yet still complex aroma and flavor aided by its light mouthfeel. A nice lunch time dark Belgian.

 1,222 characters

Photo of ZBowden
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany deep rum brown cream beige head, smells of toasty bready slight chocolate and cola, tastes of chocolatey roasty sunflower seeds, mouthfeel is quite rich light carbonation, lasting finish.

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Photo of JimKal
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this in the past and didn't enjoy it that much. I've recently picked it up in two separate NB mixed packs and find that I now think of it as one of my favorite lagers. It pours a dark brown, almost black, body with a nice head and some nice lacing on the drink down. Nice malty flavor with a touch of bitter. Now if I can just find it its own six pack.

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

Nice malty flavor. Very well balanced. A perfect canned lager. One of the better black lagers I have tried. Nice head great color. A nice rich aroma.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours nice and dark, only showing a hint of light permeation when held up to a light. Topped by a foamy khaki head with plenty of lacing. Smells of sweet dark malts. The taste is a sweet, smooth dark malt flavor. Great mouth feel. Very smooth and easy to drink. Overall, good beer! It looks like a porter or stout, but tastes less complex.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of jw4free
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a lager glass. L: near black, dark brown opaque. Small head fades quick to a slight ring. Limited lacing. S: roasted barley malt backbone. Coffee, barrel char. T: milder coffee and smoke. F: creamy, round but somewhat dry. O: gets better as it warms.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L-Very dark with a nice thick head. Almost a stout like darkness (a little bit lighter than a stout).
S-I get a good smell of roasted malts and dark chocolate, a tiny bit of booziness too.
T-I think this beer is quite delicious; it has a nice dark chocolate flavor. I also enjoyed the flavor of rousted malts and the sweetness the beer had overall. This beer doesn't have much of a bite to it, its sweet and dry and that's what you get.
F-Thick as expected, slightly carbonated/dry.
O-I thought this beer was very good. It had a combination of a lager-like flavor and a darker stout/roasted flavor. Very interesting. I would definitely try this one if you haven't.

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Photo of benjamminjones24
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really enjoyed this one while watching some football last weekend.

Dark color with large head. Nice smell of roast malt.

light mouthfeel as you would expect from a lager. Nice malty flavor.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice dark dark brown with a beige head. Great clarity when held to light.

Aromas and flavors of clean cocoa, coffee, caramel, dark bread, and nice noble hops.

Extremely smooth and creamy. Excellent example of the style.

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Photo of lastmango
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours black brown with a 3 finger tan head. Nose is weak and of roasted malt. Taste is mild chocolate and roasted malt. Slight hop taste on the end. This is very smooth with a light to medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep timber pour, not much to the head or lacing. Aroma is standard dark, roasted malt mixed with a lighter pilsener variety with a distant cacao nib note hidden somewhere in the back. It doesn't possess a very strong flavor profile, it really tastes like any anonymous lager with a bit of toasted malt, but nothing that threatens to add an actual stamp on the beer. It's fine for what it is, and at the very least avoids that adjunct corn-water flavor lots of shelf lagers exhibit, but it is just a middle-of-the-road beer.

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Photo of bigzack420
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 5

Beer pours very smooth with a nice beige/khaki head reminds me of porter almost drinks nice and easy with a little bitterness and a some chocolate tones will be getting it again

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Photo of dditto2
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good beer. I drank straight from the bottle which I usually don't while reviewing. Looks dark in there. Sorry. Smells of chocolately malt. The roasted flavor really comes through with chocolate. Really nice flavor. It is a bit on the light side. My favorite from this folly pack. I will def try again and maybe tidy up this review a bit. Honestly I pounded the beer before I finished the review. Pretty good. New Belgium never dissapoints.

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Photo of Garanova
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Like it because of dark, malty flavor. Balanced.
Look: Dark brown.
Smell: Malty, roast
Taste: Malty, roast, subdued (balanced) hops.
Overall: One of my favorite types of beer. Dark, roast, strong malt without being too sweet. Seems almost like a Porter, to me.

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1554 Black Lager from New Belgium Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 4,035 ratings.
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