New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

I thought after part one of the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat review that I should review something actually good. I’ll do part two of the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat review the moment I figure out how to encapsulate the experience in words. I’m just – I’m not there yet, people.

To avoid further self-traumatization, I’m reviewing one of my favorites today:

Basic Info:
Origin: New Belgian Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
Style: Belgian Dark Ale
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 21
I drank this: on tap at Barley’s (and Old Chicago, and a few other places)
And because I saw it on the website and was amused: 200 calories. And totally worth all of them.

The 1554 is, in my humble opinion, the reason that New Belgium exists. I unabashedly adore this beer. It has a special place in my heart; it was the first dark beer I ever liked that wasn’t a Guinnes, so I kind of feel in some ways like drinking this beer was when I figured out that I really liked a lot of different beers, rather than just two or three.

It’s a dark, dark brown ale with a light tan head and medium carbonation. It’s lighter than a Guinness, but not by all that much. The smell is hints of malt and biscuit and a touch of smoke and chocolate and something warm and roasty and nice.

This beer is predominantly black biscuit and caramel malty flavors, with very light hints of hops, coffee, and smoke in the background. The hops are very, very light, almost unnoticeable – they add a hint of a brightness to the beer and keep it from going too sweet. The benefit is that it makes this a beer that’s really easy to drink with food. It’s also a light-bodied beer, with a thin but slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Again, easy to drink with food. It works with everything from pizza to chocolate.

I feel like this is a really good beer to try if you don’t typically like darker ales and are trying to expand your palate. It’s easy to drink, not too thick, and not overwhelmingly malty – it’s a good beer to try if you’re learning to like darker malts but aren’t ready to be slammed in the face with them. Plus, it’s really yummy.

Enjoy this one!


About Kim

Kim spends a lot of time writing, thinking about writing, reading, writing more and dealing with writer's block. When she's not writing, she might be found having a beer. She often combines the writing experience with the beer experience. The combination tends to lead to more creativity but significantly impaired spelling.
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