Monday, November 21, 2011

New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

Ft. Collins, Colorado's New Belgium Brewing Co. has made it to Central Virginia!  Since late August a limited number of their beers have been available in local stores and restaurants.  Fat Tire is the brew most closely associated with New Belgium, and the hype surrounding that amber ale preceded its Eastern arrival by several years.  However, I would venture to say that New Belgium's tastiest offering is the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, a dark beer based on an old, obscure Belgian style.

The 1554 pours black, with roasted, malty overtones and a hint of chocolate.  Not too bitter or too sweet, and thankfully not too hoppy.  1554 also doesn't have a real pronounced Belgian character, or at least the character my taste buds seem to associate with Belgian beers - another plus. This unique flavor is due to that bygone recipe which supposedly dates back to the year it is named after.  To me 1554 seems like a not-so-distant relative to a dark lager or Schwarzbier.  Pick up a six-pack now at your local store.  In Ashland, the Caboose has been stocking it.  Cheers.

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