Guest Review #3: New Belgium 1554 Black Ale by SLIM

Guest Review by Slim: New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

I found myself standing in the walk-in freezer at a Hy-Vee in West Des Moines for almost 10 minutes trying to decide what six-pack to try out for the night. I finally decided on 1554, a product of New Belgium Brewing, a well known but still good brewery. After just a couple of sips I didn’t feel I made a good decision. It is about as dark as you can get but that didn’t  help the flavor and overall it had too much else going on that I couldn’t enjoy the boldness and robustness that I expected.  I also didn’t feel I could TASTE the chocolate. It was apparent in the aroma but strangely I felt the other flavors masked it when I took a sip. The beer was a little too hoppy and bitter for me and I do not think I will be enjoying another one anytime soon. It is worth noting that I drank this out of a standard pint glass which is maybe not the type of glass that best suits this brew. Most serious beer advocates think highly of this beer but it wasn’t for me.

Pour-Very dark, almost completely black with a white head

Aroma- Smell of hops and chocolate, I think I may have even caught a trace of toffee?

Taste-This was the disappointing part, not enough of the chocolate flavor was present and the excess hoppiness turned me off to this brew.

Overall-A good effort, although it didn’t appeal to me you could do a lot worse for a dark beer. It is still drinkable but that doesn’t necessarily translate to enjoyable and it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting.


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