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Brewery: New Belgium Brewing
City – State- Country: Fort Collins, CO USA
Style: Black Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.6%
Release/Date: September 17th, 2011
Reviewed By: Dave
INFORMATION: This is a beer with a very unique story. Per the New Belgium website, 1554 “uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts ” with Target hops. Researcher Phil Benstein actually went to Belgium to find the recipe for this beer after it apparently was lost in flood in 1997 in Fort Collins, CO. The script was in outdated units of measurements and very antiquated. There was extensive testing, retesting, brewing and more brewing.
APPEARANCE: When poured in to a snifter the beer appears a medium-dark chocolaty brown. The stream is actually a little toward the medium brown in appearance during the pour. The head is thick and creamy, however fades rather quickly in about 1 minute to a nice ring of froth with a patch of some bubbly head in the center. There is nice lacing throughout the entire drinking session.
AROMA: A slightly bitter, lagerish aroma is present up front. Followed by a sweeter malty background. The aroma is not a strong point, nor is it overwhelming.
TASTE: Creamy malts are my first impression. This is a nice blend of the dark ale family. There is a mild bitter-chocolate undertone on the back-end. The most impressive flavor is the subtle smokey malt that is present from start to finish. 1554 has features of a stout and porter all brewed into one.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium creamy body with moderate carbonation.
DAVE’S BOTTOM LINE: Overall a tasty treat. I can easily picture drinking this beer in the evening with some mild cheese and crackers, or a steak dinner. 1554 pushes the boundaries of porter or stout. What is it exactly? A black ale by style classification, but a creamy porter by my description. I definitely get an old world feeling while drinking this beer. Very well made and could easily be the flagship of New Belgium Brewing.
Score: 4.00 out of 5