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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,969 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,969
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 989
Gots: 330 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  29.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-09-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,969 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rutager
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy dad's day to all the rest of the lucky dads out there. 2012 10th anniversary bottle that I bought for just under $200 with taxes on release from Total Wine in Seattle and in the cellar until today.

Poured into the Riedel glass that came with the bottle (by mail). It's a pretty stupid little glass, tbh, but it's kind of a ...maybe not stupid, but let's say an eccentric beer that I haven't been particularly anxious to try more than as a curiosity. What the hell though, a great dad like me deserves a $200 beer on dad's day, right?

Appearance. Pours a deep ruby amber, almost burgundy colour. Fairly clear but hard to see through being so rich. Looks almost luxuriously thick as it's poured, no head whatsoever. Not sure how to rate this beer with hing to compare it with, but it looks pretty good so we'll just go with that.

Smell. Booze of course, and lots of it. Lots if port like smells and but not bad like a heavily oxidized beer, definite fruity esters. Some brown and burnt sugar, a touch of real maple, some bitter wood (is bitter a smell?). Very interesting and despite the heavy booze I keep going back for more. Getting more sweet caramel and maple as I get past the booze.

Taste. Sweet with those port like flavours hitting first, a light acidity that I wasn't expecting helps with the high sugar content. Fruity esters again, some nice bitter wood, caramel and just a touch of maple. The woody notes really last in the mouth with a nice, almost spiciness going on from the booze I'm guessing ...maybe more of a sensation than a flavour there but I'm okay with it. Very boozy but not what I would expect at 29%

Mouthfeel. Quite thick and slick, a bit sticky on the lips once the booze evaporates. Not hot in the mouth but very warming in the throat and tummy. I can see how people could come to enjoy the harder stuff while drinking this one.

Overall. An experience. Yep. Probably not as good an experience as a $200 meal, but I will enjoy this many times over the coming months so that's how I'll look at this one. Not sure if I'd buy this one again but by the time this bottle is gone I'm sure I'll know. 4's across the board for a rating because it's very interesting, quite enjoyable, but in a league of it's own in every way.

Rutager, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 version, in a 24oz, um, bottle? I suppose a case could be made for this as a can, given all the metal encasing this copper kettle replica. One hard to come by offering for this brewery around here, as they are indeed repped locally, but finally I got my hands (for a mere ~150 dollars) on one. My infant son spent his first birthday today out and about with his mom, and even visited dear 'ol dad at work today. Now that he's well and down, here we freaking go.

This beer pours a (what, a simple cap? no cork, really?) mostly clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with zero head, zero lace, and zero sound, save the mild glugging of the er, liquid, as it hits the glass - weird, man. Not a particularly appealing looking offering, IMHO.

It smells of ridiculously pungent maple sap, port fruitiness, sherry Flor, vanilla and caramel that have spent serious time in a Kentucky whiskey barrel, tanned leather, more rather tannic warmed red wine, rum-filled holiday chocolates, and a slight musty funk, one that seems more capable of cutting through the mire than any hops in the mix. The taste is more decadent and super-heavy caramel malt and its bourbon barrel equivalents, thick natural vanilla, maple doughnuts, rich port and fruity sherry, a reduced brown sugar rum booziness, concentrated sour stone fruit, hints of bittersweet cocoa, and a somewhat surprising leafy, musty hoppiness.

The carbonation is obviously not the main point of this affair, as it is pretty much unheralded and non-existent, the body a sickly viscous, thick and chewy, full as full can be weight, and smooth like your favourite single malt (and ethereally creamy, by the same metric). It finishes sweet, hell to the yes, but with a noticeable attempt at moderation, the fruit, latent, but still weak-ass funk, and yes, hops doing enough to keep me from scraping both my tongue and teeth at the same time.

A whole lot of acclimatization is required to actually get into this one at first - but once you're past that initial palate gang-bang, the teetering balance of malt, bourbon, port, rum, funk, maple, sugar, and hops starts to make more and more sense, and that's only due in small part to the 54-proof alcohol. One of the few end-points of beer fandom, this is almost worthy of its sticker price (I'd say shelf tag, but, heh, it never actually made it there, around here). My only real beef here, is that I can only make an educated guess as to how much I have left in the 'bottle' - I'm thinking at least 12oz, as this kind of thing surely engenders more writing than imbibing, eh?

biboergosum, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Shaun, for saving me a couple oz pours of the 2012 (black) and 2013 (copper) Utopias. Poured into unlabled snifters today, 2/22/2014 to cap off our BCBS Variant night. This review is based on the 2012 version which I highly preferred to the 2013.

App- Light copper body, no head, no retention, no lacing. Surprisingly light for a beer that is so strong.

Smell- Decadent port, molasses, maple syrup, toffee, caramel. Very, very sweet and intense. As you'd expect, there is also a ton of boozy solvent alcohol that I personally think detracts from the overall nose.

Flavour- Port, maple syrup, tons of toffee, a bit of butterscotch, caramel, a little bit of oak. This is a very sweet and very boozy brew that is quite complex in the sense that every sip brings something different to the forefront.

Mouthfeel- Thin bodied, flat with zero carbonation (as expected, though) and quite boozy. Not my cup of tea, but it is what it is advertised to be so I'm not going to dock it too much.

Overall- 2012 >> 2013 which smelled/tasted a lot like the Chinese sorghum whiskey that my dad likes to drink that is incredibly disgusting and makes me nauseous. The 2012 version is so decadent, sweet and boozy; it is definitely the superior vintage of the 2. So if you find a 2012 and want to buy it, go for it. Can't give that same affirmation for the 2013.

Stevedore, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Extreme beers don't get any more extreme. ...or higher in quality. ...or more sultry or savory. This year's 10th Anniversary edition satisfies all the sophisticated taste, texture, and pleasure of anyone who believes they have a discerning palate. If, as a craft beer enthusiast, you enjoy the better things in life, then do yourself a favor.

An ounce and a half poured into a small brandy snifter proves to be all of the beer that's needed for full appreciation in taste. Its dark tawny redish brown hue and absolutely stillness allows the beer to relax and mirror port wine in appearance. A casual swirl of the glass allows the brandyish legging to climb up to the glass with a glossy sheen. No carbonation or foam character is necessary- all the complexities are built in to the aroma and taste.

Incredibly strong aromas of brandy-like alcohols weave into a savory mix of maple syrup, molasses, and rich dark fruit. Bordering on sherry, the mouth watering aromas waft over the palate with concentrated red grape, raspberry, plumb, dates, figs, and cashews. Aged oak becomes the common thread that ties all the dense fruit, peppery alcohol, and savory sweet notes together.

Insanely complex flavors of maple, toffee, and sorghum coat the mouth with a film of mature sweetnesses that's toasty and slightly seared to bring out a buttery taste that's devilishly seductive. The sweetness merges with fortified alcohols that stop shy of overly boozy distilled spirits. It's result is a port-like brandy taste that's even more captivating with the oxidized fruits- rum soaked cherries, raspberries, grapes all seem concentrated in taste even as complex sherry, cognac, bourbon, and scotch flavors emerge with each alternating sip. Mild herbal hops give a tea-like roundness to the taste, even as vinous tartness balance the sweet. Dried aged oak and even savory soy sauce and chocolate tastes emerge with elegance, grace, and an obviously masculine quality. This beer begs a pairing with a fine aromatic cigar.

Thin alcohol sweetness seeps into the mouth without the lift of carbonaiton to brace from its full brunt of tooth. Lightly oily and chewy at the same time, the beer's coat is like a rich dessert that's meant for sipping and savoring rather than drinking. Extremely warm, the beer is surprisingly balanced from the fusal heat and rounded off nicely for a smooth and peppery finish. Its closure of alcohol-sweet texture keeps rewarding the taste buds well into the next sip.

After recently having the past five vintages of the beer, its quite obvious that these beers get better and better with each subsequent release. Even as earlier versions are lesser in alcohol, they portray an overall rougher alcohol taste. The more recent versions are smoother, stronger, and more sophisticated in taste- and yes... worth every penny!

BEERchitect, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of Davelucas88
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Davelucas88, Yesterday at 04:01 PM
Photo of fosters9
5/5  rDev +12.1%

fosters9, Saturday at 08:16 PM
Photo of Gjfournier48
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Gjfournier48, Friday at 09:18 PM
Photo of Beer4B
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%

Beer4B, Thursday at 09:15 PM
Photo of Jdub2839
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Jdub2839, Thursday at 09:06 AM
Photo of a77cj7
5/5  rDev +12.1%

a77cj7, Wednesday at 08:42 AM
Photo of camartin27
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

camartin27, Wednesday at 04:02 AM
Photo of bsling
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

bsling, Wednesday at 01:51 AM
Photo of srgj88
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

srgj88, Tuesday at 11:16 PM
Photo of MrBrewMaster
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

I bought this beer several years ago and opened it on my 30th B day. Very complex with layers of flavor. Hats off to the vision they had to age a beer 18 years. I really enjoyed it.

MrBrewMaster, Tuesday at 03:02 PM
Photo of mulerofthewhalez
4/5  rDev -10.3%

mulerofthewhalez, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of EDubLovesBeer
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

EDubLovesBeer, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of gpblackgt
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

gpblackgt, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of Trektuna
3.44/5  rDev -22.9%

Trektuna, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

sourdog, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of KornWallace
4.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Date: 11/15/14
Location: Peconic Beverages
Bottle/Draught: Utopias Decanter Bottle
Glassware: Riedel SA Utopias Snifter (Aproximately 2oz. Pour)

Appearance: Amber/Brown with ruby highlights. Allows some light in which brightens to ruby but is always difficult to see through. No carbonation, of anykind, anywhere. The beer leaves a viscous alcohol ring around the glass whenever sipped. Smooth long legs find their way back down.
Aroma: The most complex beer I have ever inhaled. Absolutely closer to cognac then beer. I’ll take a stab at this. Caramel, molasses, maple syrup, raisons, prunes make up a portion of the sweetness. In the back the alcohol aromas really kick in with sherry, port, and an ethanol alcohol. The wood helps ties the flavors from the sweet to the alcohol but I’ve never felt like I’ve missed so many descriptors in my life.
Flavor: Maple sugar, dark fruits (raspberries, cherries, raisons, plums). A slight oxidation flavor moves us from the sweet to the alcohol content which is like well barreled apple brandy and/or port. A Whisky wood like flavor helps to remind us of this beers age. There is an umami flavor of soy sauce that can be found in beers this big that have oxidized.
Mouthfeel: Hugely bodied. The sweetness coats my tongue while this beer, clocking in at 29% provides such wonderful alcohol warmth starting in my throat and quickly working its ways to the back of my eyes. Zero carbonation.
Notes: Served at room temperature.
The question is- “Is it worth the $200+?” and my answer is going to be absolutely yes. If you understandably can’t afford the decanter try a $20 two ounce pour at a bar. Frankly, that might be the best way to try it. If you do get the decanter it’s got to be something you share, it has to be conversational; a sign of what great things beer can be at one of its outliers.

KornWallace, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of RAlmeida77
3/5  rDev -32.7%

RAlmeida77, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Brdlist
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Brdlist, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of saemick
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

saemick, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Waxjob
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%

Waxjob, Nov 14, 2014
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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.