Brew Review: New Belgium Brewing 1554

by Kelli H. on December 16, 2014

Beer: New Belgium 1554
Date: 12-14-14
Type: Black Lager
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Alcohol: 5.6%
IBU: 21

Appearance: Black, little creamy tan colored head, tons of tiny bubbles rising to the top

Aroma: Dark, heavy, malts, chocolate

Body & Texture: Great carbonation, full bodied, smooth, easy to swallow

Aftertaste: no bite, malty, chocolate

“A Belgian book from 1554 would inspire this Black Lager recipe. Brewed back to life, 1554 immediately made fans with its surprisingly light taste and dry, chocolaty finish.” – New Belgium  

Overall Impression: 
I’ve had 1554 quite a few times in the past, but it’s been a good year or two since the last time I gave it a try. While I was looking through Whole Foods selection of single bottles, I was immediately drawn to 1554. I remembered the dark delicious taste of the beer and knew it’d be perfect for a cool winter day.

This is definitely a beer to sip on next to a fire. It’s a great beer to bring to a Christmas/holiday gathering. While the back of the bottle refers to it as light bodied, which is true due to it being a lager, this beer doesn’t necessarily feel light. I would definitely only want to drink one of these in a day or night.

The beer is crisp on the tongue, and has a nice amount of carbonation. What is left in your mouth after swallowing is definitely chocolate. I could taste that even before reading the bottle (I like to test my taste buds).

I’m not a huge fan of porters and stouts so a black lager for me is the perfect winter beer for me. It’s got a great color that makes you feel like you’re enjoying one of those heavier beers without actually having to open a heavier, higher alcohol beer. Sip on this beer after dinner by the fire or before your dinner as an appetizer. Either way, I’m sure you’ll be a fan. I’d definitely recommend it for the cooler months. Don’t let the dark appearance scare you away.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Made in Sonoma December 17, 2014 at 3:46 am

I’m excited to try this! I’m so happy to be able to drink again. Surprisingly I have only had a glass and a half of wine in the past six weeks (and only a few sips of Marty’s beers!) It’s hard to drink when you’ve gone so long without!


Made in Sonoma December 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Looks tasty, and wow those pics are so cool! Can’t wait to be able to drink again! Damn wisdom teeth.


Made in Sonoma December 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Beautiful pics, Kelli! I’m guessing they were taken at your moms? 🙂

My husband would probably love this beer. He likes them dark and malty! I’m more of a light beer girl but I think dark is more suiting for this time of year.


Made in Sonoma December 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Thanks, Sarah! Yes, the tree is at my parents house. 🙂


Made in Sonoma December 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I felt bad after Whole30 for drinking. My drinking has definitely been less than normal but it’s hard to resist during the holidays!


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