Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,128 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,128
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 1,229
Gots: 377 | FT: 13
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:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 07-09-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,128 | Reviews: 499
Photo of Cavanaghty
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally broke down and open mine after almost a year of hanging on to it. Poured about an ounce into a Sam Adams Sample glass. It was 2012 10th Anniversary Edition.

Appearance: Darker reddish amber in color, no head at all, no carbonation.

Smell: Fruity like notes, figs and some nutty notes as well. Alcohol was prominent.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth, warm, full bodied beer. Taste was very complex. After several sips I could make out several flavors including vanilla, cocoa, alcohol, figs, sugar, citrus, tree nuts and some earthy, grassy notes in the background.

Overall: Glad I bought this one, however I really don't care for it. Yes I gave it all "5s", but I respect this beer. The complexity and the work put into it deserve full credit. It is truly one of the most unique brews I have ever tasted. It drinks like a cross between a fine wine and good whiskey. I would recommend that everyone try this at least once to say they did.

Photo of Marius
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A dark amber / golden brown liquid, thick, with no carbonation and no head. It looks a lot like a darker brandy, with the alcohol sticking to the sides of the glass when you move it around.
The smell is incredibly rich, something between a bourbon, a cherry and a brandy (as far away from beer as I have ever smelled), blended with caramel, vanilla, raisins and, of course, alcohol, especially right after the pour.
As was expected, the taste is quite complex. Rich caramel sweetness up front, together with vanilla, toffee, maple syrup, notes of bourbon, a bit of wood and much, much more. Figs and other dried fruit right after that - raisins and dried plums - as well as dark cherries. A very nutty aftertaste, with different flavours unfolding after every sip.
The body is viscous and thick, and the alcohol is at 29%, yet this is incredibly pleasant to drink, much more than any spirit that I have tried.

Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 10th Anniversary edition given to me for my 40th birthday. The latest release of Utopias is a blend of previous beers aged in various liquor barrels. Mr. Dzen reports that beer from barrels from the original Triple Bock 20 years ago, from subsequent Triple Bocks, from Millennium (released in 1999), and from each subsequent release of Utopias is blended into the 10th anniversary edition. Further, Mr. Dzen reports that the 2012 edition of Utopias was aged in single-use bourbon casks from the Buffalo Trace Distillery and also spent time in a variety of finishing casks, including Tawny Port casks and Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal and rum barrels from Nicaragua.

2 ounce pour, poured into a cordial glass.

Appearance: Utopias pours a very viscous, yet clear dark amber, like an Armagnac, Cognac, or Spanish Brandy. Absolutely gorgeous in color.

Aroma: Whoa! You can really smell that 29% ABV! Utopias has a very strong, but pleasing not offensive, alcohol aroma, that reminds me again, of an Armagnac, Cognac, or Spanish Brandy. There’s also tons of dried fruit, (prunes and raisons) and caramel and toffee and vanilla. Finally, there’s notes of oak, from the barrel-aging. Absolutely outstanding.

Taste: Another Keanu Reeves, “Whoa!” Tastes very similar to the aforementioned Armagnac, Cognac, or Spanish Brandy or even a vintage port. Lots of fruit, and oak and vanilla and toffee, and caramel, with slight hints of tobacco, all wrapped up in a very long, pleasant malty, alcohol finish. Very pleasant, very complex. I know that this is a beer, but…this is a beer?! Damn, I’m extremely impressed.

Mouthfeel: Cloying in a GOOD way, like a brandy, meaning the alcohol nicely balances everything out.

Overall: This beer is awesome! Extremely flavorful, extremely complex, and extremely fantastic. Utopias will now be placed on a metaphorical shelf of honor next to my best scotches, Armagnac, Cognac, and Spanish Brandies!

Photo of Magbas
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slightly lighter caramel coloring, but still rich. Has a sherry/amarone type nose and has a rich taste that for its abv, is remarkably balanced. I'm not positive if this is the best beer I have ever had, but nothing else comes to mind.

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW! Strong but magnificent! Split the cost of this with 2 other guys and we are sipping it over the next 6 months as it is waaaayyy strong!

Photo of paxkey
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance is like maple syrup with a few drops of blood added.

I have a bottle of 100% pure canadian maple syrup. poured some into a glass to compare. the sam adams is quite literally identical in the glass to the maple syrup but with a little extra. The Utopias really looks as though a few drops of blood were added to a glass of maple syrup, the red/rust sits almost suspended against the backdrop of golden maple syrup. like iodine rust color.

aroma is sweet boozy and seductive. Its all booze huge booze aroma followed by the most enticing smoky maple bacon aroma. I am visualizing making a pear flambe with this stuff. Definitely smelling bacon.

Getting some amazing taste experience. first thing i get is a hit of raspberry jam. It actually feels like sticky jam on the back of my tongue and it tates like raspberry. fantastical.

The hit of alcohol is pronounced making it a slow and methodical sipper. It leaves no boozy aftertaste and it is difficult not to rush for more. I am drinking this while reviewing as i do with most of my reviews and i am going to stop here and enjoy.
cheers.

Photo of double2chin
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the 2012 GABF.

Photo of YardGlass
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 2009 vintage into a Riedel Utopias glass.

Pour thick... cognac like not even close to a beer.

No head but legs of a fine wine.

Boozy nose with hints of port and cognac. Ages just as well as this bottle was opened quite some time ago... didn't loose it's character, only got better.

Raisin, carmel and almost tawny port notes.

Simply amazing!

Photo of michael573114
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm in love with this beer. I tasted the first version at a Boston beer fest, and was blown away. Later, I managed to pick up a single bottle of the 2005, and when the 2007 came out, I was ready.

Great beer. It reminds me a lot of a good tawny port, it's got that sweet carmelized flavor, almost like it was distilled. It's sticky and slightly thick like port.. but then you taste, and there are flavors here that you just cannot get with grapes.

Definitely sip this one... savor it. Share it with your friends, surprise them with the fact that yes, this really is beer.

Thanks to Jim Koch and everyone at Sam Adams, this is something truely unique.

Photo of yankeepride
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is just perfection, if you like cordial-like flavors. From the deep ruby hue, to the warm, inviting smell, next to the way it just coats your mouth with deep, dark fruit flavors, I just can't get enough of this beer. A steep price, yes, but small pours and the look it brings to people's faces when you break it out make it a worthy investment.

Photo of Johnnyhitch
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage Bottle #10243

A - Dark mahogany hues in front of rich golden striations

S - Caramalized dark figs raisons malted barley brown sugar slight booze like one would expect but not like anything i was expecing at all. Very pungent

T - Big dark fruits sweet boozy pancakes fill the mouth almost like a fruitcake. Oaken cherrys almonds bready malts vanilla very deep and complex very hard to narrow down any one flavor. Maple syrup really shines as it warms. (Used in a brandy warmer) I guess you can taste what could be hop earthiness but may just be the tannins from the wood.

M - This is where it really goes crazy. The alcohol hits first numbing the palate over sweetness and makes it crazy smooth in balance. Syrupy mouthfeel also adds to the brown sugar. Very thick....Awesome.

O - Ive had the 09 and think 11 goes crazy over the top of it. The 09 had to many sherry vinous flavors to it where the 11 has that rich malted palate that lets you know its a beer. Much better than expected and will be aging for a while. Can only imagine what this could turn into. Perfect in my book. Not much room for improvement at this high of an ABV.

Photo of bubseymour
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was on the fence giving this one a perfect score, since it doesn't have any true resemblance to beer, but more like a port wine, cognac, liquor combo type of drink. With that said all attributes of this booze conconction truly are amazing to sip a few oz. worth. Dark fruit, vanilla, slight smoke from wood, smooth finish like the finest of liquors. If you ever get the opportunity to try it, definitely do so.

Photo of realmpel
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing drink, and I don't regret springing for it. Wish I could have gotten a six-pack! That's just out of range.

I can taste that there's a beer hidden in here. If you scaled back the sweetness and powerful woods, you'd have a nice strong ale. Souped up as it is, you get a powerful warmth of bourbon and oak, mellowing out to vanilla on the finish.

Appearance is just like a cognac. The smell is out of this world with vanilla and bourbon. It singed my nose hairs a little with the strength.

Pick up a sixer and kick back with a pint! ;)

Photo of ECBS
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10th Anniversary Edition.

Immensely enjoyed by our Beer Society on April 20, 2013. Served at room temperature in 2.5 oz. samples.

Tasted alongside a tawny port, madeira, amontillado (medium dry) sherry, cream sherry (all of which were highly rated online, and only ran between $15-$25 at the LCBO) and Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve - all for comparison's sake. Not surprisingly, the Utopias was much more similar to the fortified wines we tried than the dark ale.

Out of our group of about ten men (none of whom had much experience with fortified wines), the vast majority found the fortified wines to be cloyingly sweet, while the unanimous consensus was that the Utopias was more complex, more drinkable (even with its higher ABV, as most of the fortified wines rang in at about 20%), and much more delicious.

As others have already mentioned, the taste is quite sweet without being cloying. Notes of maple syrup, dark fruits and chocolate. Plenty of warming alcohol. Beautiful colour - dark golden brown/ruby.

Highly recommended for a group tasting.

Photo of grub
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

sampled from the bottle at the coles rare beer festival, jan 24/09. bottle #4260, 2007 vintage.

pours beautiful crystal clear deep red-brown with no trace of carbonation or head. great legs though!

aroma is intense. big rich caramel and toffee, but that just doesn't begin to touch the depth. big fruity component too - date, raisin, dried cranberry, fig. there's also no mistaking the alcohol in this one - it's there and it's proud. notes of chocolate, coffee, wood, earth, licorice, and smoke. wow, i could just keep smelling this all day.

taste is excellent. everything from the aroma and then some. nice light sweetness too. it makes me think of port or cognac, but even more drinkable. damn, i am truly in love with this beer.

mouthfeel is great. about medium body and with no carbonation, but honestly it isn't needed or missed.

drinkability is excellent. this beer is amazing. the alcohol is always there, but silky smooth and so good. the complexity and depth of character are just so amazing that you're constantly wanting more and picking out other little nuances in it.

i was a little skeptical going in to this one. i really wanted to try it, but expected something boozy and very obviously not "beer". however, i was very pleasantly surprised. even with the higher alcohol, it never loses its "beer" character. sure, there are comparisons to be drawn, but this is more like a strong finely-aged barleywine or strong ale than a port or cognac. even at the high bottle cost, i honestly want a bottle of this so i can just spend a day sipping on it. so good. huge thanks go out to mike for pulling this from his personal stash for the event.

Photo of Edgarallenpoor
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow ! The velvet taste and aroma of fruits and vanilla are truly extraordinary. Sam hit this out of the park.

Photo of mcanderson0
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Glencairn Scotch glass. Big thanks to my buddy DC for locating a bottle for me.

A: Dark. Looks like a deeply aged cognac.

S: Big chocolate whiff. Smells like a chocolate flavored port I had a few years back.

T: Chocolate dipped cherries. Dark fruits such as red and purple plums or perhaps prunes. Burgundy. Port. There's a woody finish that reminds me of a wet mesquite BBQ sauce, but its rather faint compared to the more predominant wine-base flavors. A more simplified response could be: port mixed with cognac.

M: Thin like a fine liquor, nothing like a beer. Too sweet to be compared to whiskey or scotch. The closest comparison would be to a cognac. Although, the deep fruity flavors hint at the wine/port barreling.

O: Forget the 'beer' moniker. This is an exceptional beverage under any category. People complain about the price, but when you normalize the cost per ABV and volume, buying this beer for $200 at 24oz is like spending $270 for a 750ml of fine cognac. Thats not a bad price to spend for an exceptionally blended mixture of 1 to 20 year old aged tinctures.

Photo of Viggo
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage, bottle #4260. Had a couple oz's courtesy of Mike at Cole's at the rare beer fest.

Pours a crystal clear dark amber, nice honey colour, no head and no lace, but does sport some pretty insane looking legs, they really stick all over the glass. Smell is amazing and intense, vanilla, honey, oak, toffee, nougat, insanely malty, alcohol, grapes, figs and raisins, butterscotch, slightly musty, maple, just crazy rich and intense. Taste is the same, mega intense, wood, insane amount of toffee and honey, brown sugar, figs, raisins, vanilla, dark fruit, maple syrup, alcohol, just has everything in the flavour, very rich and malty. Mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy, low carbonation, insanely smooth, you do not get the almost 26% alcohol out of this. Perfect fireside sipping beer, I'd replace everything of that sort in my liquor cabinet for this stuff. Just amazing and I'm really happy I got the chance to try this. Perfect for what it is, need to get me some.

Photo of CRichardsMN
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have the rare opportunity to compare and contrast two vintages of Utopias (2007 & 2009). Thanks to my loving wife for understanding such an extravagant set of purchases!

Appearance:
Poured ~1 oz servings into side by side Riedel Utopias glasses.
2007 - Amber gold, no carbonation, syrupy film coats the glass.
2009 - Similar characteristics but slightly darker amber in color.

Smell:
2007 - Warm maple syrup and butter, caramel, walnuts, oak, warm but not of alcohol. Very intense but mild and smooth.
2009 - Again, similar characteristics but has a slightly denser nose that is less sweet.

Taste:
2007 - How can this be even considered as anything but perfect? Nearly identical to the smell but so much more intense. The flavors are so well balanced between the sweet and savory while being both light and dense at the same time. The alcohol is obviously there as it warms down your throat but never do you actually taste "alcohol." My favorite part is the intense mental image of pancakes with whipped butter and real maple syrup and walnuts.
2009 - Absolute bliss as while they are both the "same" "beer," they are distinctly different and both incredible. The 2009, with it's darker complexion has a bit more oak but is somehow lighter on the tongue as there may be a detectable carbonation. The flavors are slightly less sweet but equally balanced in every way as the 2007.

Mouthfeel:
2007 - Sipped so slowly, trying to pull every hint of flavor out of this beautiful liquid, the body is creamy smooth and thick with a sticky coating last long in the mouth. The flavors lend to being light on the palate so while the flavors are strong they do not change over the course of the drink.
2009 - The same syrupy sweet consistency coats the mouth but with a hidden lightness from a nearly imperceptible carbonation.

Upon initial opening of the 2007 vintage (nearly 9 months ago), it had the same perception of possible carbonation but as it has waited in it's bottle, it has not lost any attractiveness.

Drinkability:
This it truly the most intense and enjoyable beer experience I have had. Both brews are equally enjoyable and I will refrain from picking a vintage to prefer as I honestly don't know. In either case, I cannot think of a beverage (of any type) that has had as much impact on me.

Comment:
I have to say that Utopias is well out of my day-to-day price range, even if I could find it (I will not disclose my seller as I don't want to cause a stampede). I was first let into the know of Utopias by a co-worker of mine who has to this day, not found a bottle of for himself. I almost feel bad...

Photo of sbpyro
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I truly enjoyed the experience of the beer from the moment it is poured the beautiful rich color, the aroma of the beer as you lift it up to your lips, very intricate flavors and how drinkable it is.

I've own several bottles and feel they are well worth the money.

Also had the pleasure of having it out of a keg bout 5 years back.

Photo of Lare453
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2oz pour into the riedel glass that came with it. This was a 2011.

A copper, thick, clear, no carbonation, no lacing, no head, long thick legs, Beautiful.

S dried dark fruit, booze, sweetness, maple, oak, plum, figs, cinnamon, vanilla, bakers chocolate, dried apricot, lemon, dark cherries

T a blend of dried dark fruits, rich port and sherry flavors with a fantastic sweet aftertaste, not much booziness, or a lot less than I thought. Lots of vanilla, oak, cinnamon, cherries, vanilla, figs, dried apricot, lemon peel, dried plums, raspberry, cinnamon, bitter chocolate, light and dark malt, baking bread, licorice,

M thick, rich, no carbonation

O amazing, one of the best things I've ever had before and I will buy a bottle every year it comes out. I'm going to say this is my favorite beer ever!!!

Greta to try and if I could afford it I'd buy it more often.

Photo of cubs943
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am new 2 all this but I've had some good stuff and by far I think this is the best of what I've had so far. It looks cool, smells great, and goes down easy just like I like it!

Photo of hotpants215
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Totally worth the search for it

Photo of templar316
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beutiful golden brown into a tiny brandy snifter to capture the aroma. It looks more like liquor then beer, and the nose is off the charts (and clearly more developed then the 07). Malt, port, caramel, dates...Seriously, every other time I lifted this to my lips just inhaling the delicious aroma was enough. And the flavor; a drop on the tongue spreads throughout the mouth a delcious complicated hoppy, malty, caramel magic. Being stranded on a desert island would be worth it if a bottle of this was along. I thought this beer would be all hype but it was worth every dollar.

Photo of bonkers
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won a 4 ounce sample of the 2011 vintage at a festival, best 10 bucks ever spent. Poured into a tasting glass, dark brown headless pour. The aroma is amazing, oak, vanilla, bourbon, hot booze. The taste is as amazing as the aroma, finishes with lingering caramel and vanilla. The beer is smooth and sticky, no carbonation actually makes it smoother. The beer exceeded what I was expecting, my first 5, I definitely will be looking for more.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 2,128 ratings.