The Afternoon Beer Break: New Belgium 1554

If you’ve not caught on yet, I’ve got a few breweries that I tend to favor more, and explore a wider variety of their offerings. You know, some, you’ve got one you know you like, and you stick with just that (perhaps got burned by trying a different style). Then there are others that, whatever the style and flavor combo, they just seem to be right in your wheelhouse. New Belgium is one of those brands for me. While most are familiar with Fat Tire (which is “just ok” in my book), I’ve liked more of the Voodoo Ranger offerings. Well, after chatting with Patrick Morgan for an interview (seen here), I’ve tried others, and today we’re talking about the New Belgium 1554.

If you’ve scanned through the photos, you’re seeing that dark beer, and wondering – is it a porter? Is it a stout? Well, even as the brand says, it’s neither. This is, simply, a dark Belgian-style beer, one that’s reminiscent of what they would’ve served up 500+ years ago.

I’ve been checking out some other Belgian-style beers, as they bring a spiced flavor profile oftentimes that I just like. That’s not the case here – you get a hint of chocolate, and I also picked up something slightly metallic (or at least, that’s how my brain interpreted). Sure, it’s a little stout-like at first, but it’s nowhere near as thick as some stouts can be.

Sure, the New Belgium 1554 is very much a dark beer, but it’s not a heavy one. And I think that, back in my days of “the darker the better” selection criteria, I would have very much liked this. Which isn’t to say I don’t like it today – I do, rather much so. In terms of a Belgian style, I think I’d opt for something more like the New Belgium Abbey, which gets back to the spiced style. The New Belgium 1554 is an interesting change of pace, but not something I’d quite put on the insta-buy list.

Tasting Notes

  • Yeasty sweetness on the nose
  • Very dark – almost stout in hue, but there?s amber in there
  • A stouty malty flavor up front
  • Odd aftertaste
  • Slightly metallic, hint of chocolate

Details from New Belgium

  • Visual: Clear mahogany; sturdy tan head.
  • Flavor: Moderate malty sweetness rounded out by slight roasted bitterness. Backed by lingering hints of fruit acidity.
  • Aroma: Dark chocolate, dusty cocoa powder, roasted coffee, sweetly herbal, slight candy banana and peppery notes.
  • Mouthfeel/Body: Light to medium body. Drinks full flavor, feels light on the palate.
  • ABV: 6%
  • IBUs: 21
  • Yeast: Lager yeast
  • Calories: 193 (12 oz bottle)
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Malts: Pale, Carapils, Black, Munich, Chocolate

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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