Day #101 – New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

April 12, 2011

Today is New Belgium Fat Tire day at the Ginger Man. If you recall, every Tuesday they feature a beer and serve it in a special glass. If you buy the beer you keep the glass. Well I wasn’t too thrilled when I saw Fat Tire on the calendar as I reviewed that beer months ago! Well you’ll see in a moment how cool my new glass is, so I decided to drink my Fat Tire and then have them serve another Fat Tire product in my new glass. And lo and behold, it’s a new style!

New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale


I’m not entirely sure when they added the “Enlightened” part to this name as it didn’t always used to be this. It is brewed by New Belgium out of Fort Collins, CO. Their 1554 is a 5.6% Traditional Ale. A traditional ale is basically a catch-all category that is used to describe ancient recipes that have been lost to the ages. The story behind this particular beer is that New Belgium discovered the original recipe for this in a library and it was a centuries old recipe from Belgium. Apparently the parchment for this was destroyed in a flood in 1997, so the brewmaster had to travel to Belgium to re-discover this recipe. Glad we have it today. I tried this beer one time maybe 4 years ago and I remember really liking it.

On to the beer….

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby red color. Very pretty, almost jewel-like. It also has a huge tan head response which lingers for awhile. Great appearance.

The aroma is faint but it’s still pretty cold at the moment. What I can detect are dark malts, soft chocolate and clay notes.


Flavor is very much a soft flavor of what I can only describe as “chocolate cherry coke”. The upfront flavor is certainly of dark malts and light cocoa, but after the swallow and into the finish there is a moment, however brief when you could swear you were drinking cherry coke. Wow that’s crazy. Medium
Body with a slick mouthfeel. Interesting to say the least…



One comment

  1. Travis, my second purchase based on your review…love the finish! The initial flavor is clear and refreshing but the finish kicks ass!! I don’t know about cherry coke, but it’s a very potent flavor that I find unique. Thanks again!!

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