New Belgium 1554 Black Lager

Inspired by a recipe found in an antiquated Belgian text. 5.6% ABV

New Belgium 1554 Black Lager

By Bill Lau

Posted November 18, 2015

This was an unexpected find for me; there was an assortment of craft beer leftover at a work offsite celebration held at beautiful Sharon Woods last month, so volunteers were requested to adopt some of the lonely, neglected bottles. What’s a beer lover to do? I and a few others stepped up to the plate and divvied them up to take home. (It was a tough call, but someone had to do it!)

When I saw the label on this one, my initial reaction was to think this was based on the German schwarzbier style, but further inspection revealed the inspiration as being Belgian in origin. Now, you may know from reading this blog that I’m a fan of the former (see my review for Sprecher Black Bavarian), as well as of many Belgian styles, so this seemed right up my alley as they say. I was intrigued to find out what the similarities and differences would be to the familiar German lager.

Brewed by New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO. My bottle was dated “Enjoy by 14Feb16”. No problemo!

New Belgium 1554 Black Lager

Appearance (4/5): Appears near-black until held up to the light, when it lights up with a deep reddish-brown glow. Light tan head is short-lived, receding to a thin layer of fine foam.

Aroma (7.5/10): Appetizing aroma of toasty malt with some nice roast and chocolate notes.

Palate (4/5): Body on the lighter side of medium with a smooth, creamy texture and very fine, spritzy carbonation.

Taste (7.5/10): Starts out with dry, toasted malt accompanied by light roastiness and balancing bitterness. No notable hop flavor. Some chocolate tones show up towards the finish, remaining on the dry side, and joined by a lightly tangy edge. Very easy drinking beer but with enough character to please.

Overall (15.3/20): Enjoyable brew. Would pair nicely with tailgating foods (brats, metts, burgers, roast chicken, etc).

Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.

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