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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,544 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1544
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 11.66%


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)
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Ratings: 1,544 | Reviews: 452 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of birdyone
birdyone

Rhode Island

1.45/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had one of the early vintages at my cousin's. He fought hard to get one of the firsts, and paid through the nose, which is the only reason he's hung onto the bottle. It poured nothing like beer, and smelled nothing like beer. Everyone who compared it to cognac is on to something, but don't disrespect good cognac either. It tasted like bad (like spoiled bad) maple syrup. As a chemical experiment, a "beer" with that high of an ABV, is impressive. But there is a reason why Sam Adams was the first in recent history to do it, and why many others aren't following his lead. If you get the chance to taste it (especially if you don't need to pay) give it a shot, it is unique. But be honest in your impression of it, don't fall victim to it's high price and fancy bottle.

it poured nothing like beer, the smell was somewhat inviting (though not like beer), it tasted bad, it burned in your mouth, and it's far to expensive to drink (that is assuming anyone would want to)

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 23:14:47 | More by birdyone
Photo of hophopandaway
hophopandaway

United Kingdom (England)

1.5/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A friend of mine had 5 bottles of this, including a 2002 (does it age or is my friend wealthier than he is smart?), one of which we opened for my 30th. He told me it's very expensive but did not say how much. I felt a certian pressure to enjoy this and I pretended I did, but I did not.
Poured with no head and no lacing. It smelt like a forified wine and, in fact, that is what it is. This has no place being called a beer. The ABV should instantly say that it is not a beer and the taste confirms it. I'm not really a spirits man. I appreciate a gin and tonic and an occasional single malt but that's it.
The flavours that I got were a scotch-like peatiness with malt, caramel and what tasted like lager hops. This didn't really know what it was. It tasted to me like a cross between scotch, sweet dark rum, lager and pure alcohol.
Maybe if this was called something else I would have been more receptive to the taste but to call it beer is sacrilege to me. Can you imagine calling something that was 20% wine? Wine makers and experts would label you an idiot. This should not be on this list imo, hence the very low marks.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 06:26:25 | More by hophopandaway
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

2.35/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought this beer at Blanchards in Jamaica Plain.

Packaged in a copper kettle bottle. Very attractive. I served some of this to some friends in shot glasses (no, we did not drink them as shots).

Smells of alcohol, vanilla, and maple.

It tastes like it smells and in that order. Nice maple finish as it goes down.

I was all about this with the 2005 version. I mean really talked this up to friends who themselves loved it. However, this version was a real disappointment. Flavor was consumed by the alcohol in this batch. Someone told me that this version tastes like a cheap port. After having this I would have to agree. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED the 2005 version. I paid a grip of money to get that version and felt it was money well spent. This version really bummed me out. I may be wary of future vintages from now on. I would say, taste this (if you can) before you buy.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 16:23:52 | More by jneiswender
Photo of krl2112
krl2112

Illinois

2.8/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Being that I am also a wine lover, the best way for me to describe the 10th Anniversary Utopias is as a bad Port wine. It smells and looks similar to a port with dark brown cognac like features and tastes like one, unfortunately a bad one. Very heated in the mouth and all sorts of flavors but they are subdued by the bad alcohol taste. I had the 2009 earlier this year and it was much better thn the 10th Anniv. IMO you are much better off buying a $30 Warres Port if you are looking for this taste. I was very much looking forward to this one with all the hype it had around and since I very much liked the 2009 but this one was just a diasppoinment unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 23:28:31 | More by krl2112
Photo of TheBCrew
TheBCrew

New York

2.98/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I'm not really sure how to rate this "beer" as it is so different as to preclude it from being compared against any conventional beers, but I'll give it a shot. I poured a 1 oz. sample into my Utopias glass that came "free" with the purchase of the bottle. Color is a clear burnt orange with hints of amber and ruby. As it is flat, there is no head. Swirling reveals legs on the side of the glass as you get with fine wines and cognacs. Swirling also exposes the intense aromas of vanilla, maple, and brown sugar. These come out in the flavor as well, with an intense sweetness and a warming alcohol sense as it goes down. Given the sweetness, strength, and most importantly the cost, I would not want to drink more than 1 of these in a given evening, which is why I gave a low score for drinkability. Overall, its a nice novelty but not really what I look for in an alcoholic beverage, and the cost is staggeringly high at $150 per 25 oz. bottle (roughly $6 per once).

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 19:13:16 | More by TheBCrew
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

3.28/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one doesnt even deserve the typical way I do reviews, nor does even remotely deserve to be on the top 100 for even a second. I commend SA for doing what they did with this. But overall its a syrupy mess. Heavy fruit and syrupy malt on the nose and same in the flavor. It actually starts off like it might taste good, then takes a dive. I mean its not bad, its just not that good. The mouth is exactly what you'd expect, flat syrup. Shame on you guys for rating this as an exceptional "Beer"

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 08:11:25 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of redneckchugger
redneckchugger

Florida

3.3/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a brandy snifter
no head at hall, syurpy, reminds me of a coffee liquer
Smells of booze, caramel, tofee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits
Taste is like a kick in the mouth, boozey, and complex beyond belief, all of the tastes in the aroma follow up, but with more intensity, the booze is a bit raw for my tastes, but this beer is 25%.
Mouthfeel is syurpy, thick as hell, and raw.
Definitly a sipper. A good beer, but not worth 100+ a bottle imo

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 15:30:43 | More by redneckchugger
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a mini-snifter. Received as a surprise bonus in a trade from SatlyMalty and was told it's the 10th Anniversary.

A- Pours a medium brown color with no head and maximum liquid stickage to the side of the glass.

S- Boozy as all hell with that brown sugary brandy-like aroma you find in lots of high gravity barleywines and old ales although this is much stronger.

T- Cloyingly sweet with lots of sugary caramel and maple notes only it's not pleasant. Also just as much alcohol as one would expect from the 29% ABv, maybe even moreso. Astringent aftertaste. Big raisin bomb.

M- Thick, sticky and highly viscous. Leaves a coating of sugar on the tongue as it burns the throat. No carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Thank God I didn't have to pay any money for this especially since it has such a ridiculous price tag. If I paid $200 or more for a whole bottle of this and found it to be this gross I'd shoot myself. Why people actually enjoy this, I'll never know. I wince every time I take a sip. Huge disappointment. At least I got a buzz off just a few ounces.

Update: Had the rest of the dram at room temp a couple weeks later and the flavor as well as the mouthfeel are drastically improved. Don't drink this one cold folks.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 05:00:56 | More by Immortale25
Photo of StevenBilodeau
StevenBilodeau

Connecticut

3.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

To be honest I was not too impressed with this beer. While I am a Samuel Adams fan, this beverage did not hit it with me. First off, its very expensive which is the biggest turn off. Second, it drinks closer to a tawny port or port wine, maybe sherry. In some cases it's not classified as beer because of it's fermenting methods, and ABV Levels. Good taste, very good for sipping on. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great, it just doesn't remind me of what a beer should be. Plus, it's not worth the money.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 09:47:46 | More by StevenBilodeau
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.38/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled this one at EBF (2/20) on a clean palate (second beer sampled). Poured into a sample glass. Usually I won't review at a fest... however, since most people only review a 2oz. pour of this one anyway...

A: Beer is a semi-clear mahogany. No head, no lacing, no carbonation. I understand that this is an "extreme" beer, but reviewing to style, I can't give it a good score with no head or lacing grade.

S: Nose is outstandingly potent. Booziness is over the top and then some. Caramel, brown sugar, a bit of nuttiness come in behind the scenes.

T: Booziness makes me cringe a bit. To me, this is beer in its purest and strongest form. Comes out of my nose and is by far the hottest beer I've ever had. A bit of brown sugar is apparent as well as some caramel and toffee. Finish is hot as heck and lingers a bit, but no real flavor, just straight up booze.

M: Full bodied, flat, really smooth, but also really average for the style. Finish is boozy and over the top and the hotness makes it hard to get down more than any other beer in this category.

D: I'm glad I only had a 2oz. pour of this one. Can't and won't stand any more of this. I'm really glad to have had it though and taste what the commotion is all about. Not worth the investment in my opinion and might need a couple of years to tone down the alcohol and heat.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 00:58:02 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of beernut
beernut

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to my friend Eric.
pours medium to dark brown. no head, no carbonation. pours like a cognac, sticky and sweet. Its beautiful the way it coats the side of the glass. Aroma is pure alcohol, can hardly smell the vanilla and chocolate. The taste is sweet and delicious. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, maple, raisin. Aftertaste is a nice burn as it goes down, smooth as well. This beer will fuck you up. Drink with caution!! Drinkabilty is low, too much and you can hurt yourself. But it is a MUST try.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 01:26:15 | More by beernut
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
Kramerbarthomer

Colorado

3.41/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tasted on multiple occasions, poured from the tap at the GABF. Can't say I agree with the general public on this one. The taste was extremely sweet, nearing that of cough syrup. The alcohol percentage was difficult to hide with significant alcohol burn. Mouthfeel was nice and rich. However, overall, this isn't one I would want to try again. Nice try Sam Adams

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2013 03:51:25 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3.43/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

At what point does beer stop being beer? That line lies, I think, somewhere between Extreme Beer and Utopia. This beverage may start out like beer, but on its trip to the brewing stratosphere, it winds up more like a poor cognac.

Pours a dark caramel with no head. Swirling it in a brandy snifter produces long, deep legs. The smell is a deep caramel, bourbon-like, perhaps a bit rasiny, with a slap of alcohol. The taste is brown sugar, creme brule, raisins, creme, vanilla, and bourbon. It suggests butter, praline, pecan, and walnut.The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, fatty around the mouth, very difficult to drink.

This is interesting to try, but it fails a key test: what is the point? If you want a beer, have a beer. If you want Cognac, have cognac. This is neither and therefore will satisfy nobody.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2008 00:09:44 | More by Seanibus
Photo of gameface23
gameface23

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Strong maple notes both in smell and taste. Tasted like a port fortified with maple brandy. Created a warming sensation as it traveled down the esophagus. I drank it out of the Utopias glassware that came with the bottle. It had a slight syrupy consistency that coated the glass.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 17:22:05 | More by gameface23
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

3.48/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on New Year's Eve 2005. Deep amber and copper with long legs (and burgandy lips). The aroma presents some overwhelming alcohol, with maple and whisky. Tons of maple in each drink. Oak and vanilla. You can feel the alcohol evaportating in your mouth. So over the top that this is no longer beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 13:56:29 | More by tjthresh
Photo of steffigal22
steffigal22

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010.
i paid $5 just to taste it, which i thought was a good deal even though the pouring was less than one ounce. it still seemed like that was enough to be able to write an adequate review on it anyway.

ATTACK- initially i was shocked by its super super sweetness, although that does make a lot of sense.

MID-PALATE- there is definitely that strong alcoholic warming sensation as it crosses the palate and goes down.

FINISH- it finished with a tingling which i would usually equate to sherry or brandy drinking because of its strength.

overall, it was a good enough experience, just much different than i had anticipated it would be; this beer surprised me.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 15:53:34 | More by steffigal22
Photo of Shaon94
Shaon94

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a 2007/2008 brew. Big thanks go out to a friend of mine for allowing me the pleasure of tasting this one. I know that without him having getting his hands on one I would have most likely never have tasted it.

If you blind poured this for anyone they would not be able to tell you that it was a beer. Period. I know that Sam Adams brewed it, but outside of that there is a hard time convincing myself to call it a beer.

Appearance - Same as everyone else Amber w/ no carbonation.

Smell - First and foremost alcohol, Spices, Syrup ?maple? (sorry I have a hard time with hard liquors and picking out smells)

Taste - Spiced Liquor at first with a great finish reminds me of pine nuts and maple syrup with a warm camel after taste that sticks around for a while. After finishing this I was tasting it for about 10 more minutes of a lingering Carmel taste. Very pleasant

Drinkability - It is a sipping liquor. Pour into a small glass and sip away a winter night with a group of friends. Personally thought it was hard to get down due to the high alcohol content.

If you do not like Hard liquors you will most likely not like this. I only drink beer, and I found myself having a really hard time with this one. I can definitely see where people would love this, but I personally would not go out of my way to have it again because it is more of a Hard Liquor than a beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 19:17:19 | More by Shaon94
Photo of Odysseyalien
Odysseyalien

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Was treated to a sample today at Three Bling Monks in Garfield, NJ. In a single word ... "delicious"...and thanks to Brian for the sample. I would say though that to call this a beer is almost a misnomer as the taste is really more like a liquor or brandy. Tasty for sure, but difficult to call it a beer. The rating system for this is difficult cause I don't feel like I'm rating a beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 01:50:02 | More by Odysseyalien
Photo of DrDCon
DrDCon

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow. Found at a liquor store in Hammond, IN on the way to Dark Lord Day...Poured 2 oz. into a snifter with some friends. A tan-creamy brown with no head. Smells of an aged scotch whiskey with maple syrup around the edges.

I am impressed with the smooth Hazelnut and vanilla-extract taste. Reminiscent of pancakes with hazelnuts and maple syrup, doused in whiskey. There is a very warm-alcohol mouthfeel.

For being so high in alcohol this is really a shockingly smooth beer. Must be enjoyed in a room of beer lovers, because this is intense, exploding all over the place with conversational quality.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 18:42:47 | More by DrDCon
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent copper brown color with no head. The nose has a fair bit of whiskey up front, notes of roasted barrel and some untertones of vanilla, sweet caramel and an earthy root type aroma. The taste is similar, sweet caramel, root beer, a piney syrup, earthy and root like with some notes of chocolate. Strong whiskey/bourbon notes, lots of heats with a fair bit of sugar left over. Syrupy feel, chewy and viscous, well carbonated and a touch of driness in the finish. Lots going on, spirit like, a touch all over the place.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 13:51:27 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of BillyB
BillyB

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has to be the most hyped beer in America. For years I've heard about it but would never pay $125 for a 22 oz. bottle. I just thought, maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to find it being poured at a tasting somewhere. The moral to this story; If you go to enough beer tastings . . .

Found it being poured at the GABF by Jim Koch, no less. I sampled several glasses while chatting with the brewer. A nice experience.

As for the beer; it poured a deep brown color with some faint ruby highlights. No head. No carbonation.

Aromas of oak, mollasses, maple, vanilla and alcohol. A sweet cognac-like alcohol.

Tastes are similar. Big maple, mollasses flavors. Strong alcohol. Vanilla, even a hint of toffee.

Extremely full bodied and chewy. Flat. No carbonation at all.

Overall, it was fun to finally try this beer with Koch as my bartender. It was interesting and complex. A strong/old ale type beer with massive alcohol. The most impressive thing about it was the drinkability. Was I blown away? No. Would I pay $125 for it. No. But I'd definitely drink it again for free.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2008 16:21:01 | More by BillyB
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I went to a “Big Beers Barelywine and Belgium” festival in Vail CO and Utopia was on tap. Well sort of. They had about a 5 gallon wooden barrel that they tapped directly and poured directly from there. So I sampled this beer on tap.

The pour was very thick with a very hazy amber to bronze color. I would say it seemed thicker then motor oil. Like watered down syrup. There was no foam or lacing as I would have expected. The smell was super rich and very similar to port. I was expecting more of a phenol aroma but instead got more of a toasted almost caramel nose.

The taste was thick as well. The flavor coats your mouth. A big caramel flavor with a molasses aftertaste. Reminds my of cough syrup. The alcohol is noticed but doesn’t burn as it goes down. Malty is the best word to describe it.

The drinkability of this is much easier then I would expect. You could almost say it was smooth. It is not a liquor-esk taste but still demands your attention with the malty, syrupy, alcoholic bomb.

Overall, I’m glad I got to try this but I don’t think I would ever want to buy it. $25 for a entry fee beats $150 for a bottle any day.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2006 06:02:49 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #019700 2009 Vintage, awesome vessel containing this beverage.
Got a special invite for tasting, The 2oz pour had no head and no lacing, crystal clear elixer with a few little chunks, maybe cork or something.

Definitely a huge booze on the nose, I mean hot. Very nice subtle maple vanilla raisin aromas come through the heat.

Taste is very smooth, not at all hot. Follows the nose with the maple vanilla raisin with an appropriate amount of booze. Not at all strong or overpowering booze, smooth.

Very much a full bodied thick chewy beverage.

Not sure this is really a beer but hey it was nice to try.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 15:14:27 | More by welldigger888
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.65/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: no head on a clear deep amber body. no lacing as expected.

S: oak, toast, caramel, bourbon, lots of booze. smells like a shot of whiskey/bourbon, lots of sugar, maple syrup.

T: wow this one hits hard at first. the booze and sugar combine to make this one hard to sip. Basically tastes like severly boozy maple syrup with some caramel. very oak.

M: thick chewy body and no carbonation.

Overall: glad i tried this one but not wanting it again. even more boozy than the 29% or whatever it is would suggest. the sweetness I think is what makes it a little too unbareable.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 04:43:29 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of atomicbwax
atomicbwax

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Back Story - A major men's publication, Stuff Magazine, printed the "80 Best American Beers" a couple of months ago. The validity of the list is and whether they are truly the "80 best" beers is highly debatable. Whether or not they were actually the 80 best my friend Richey and I made it a goal to try all 80. The only rules were the two of us had to drink the beer in each other's presence for it to get checked of the list. To make a long story short Utopias was on the list. We found a bottle on eBay, shelled out the dough and it arrived a few days later.

Appearance-Dark in color. Deep brownish crimson. Dark, rusty in color.

Smell-Very strong. This does not smell like beer. It smells more like a brandy or other "after-dinner" alcohol. It has a very spicy odor.

Taste-This does not taste like beer either. It has a more brandy-like flavor. I taste spice. A cinnamon flavor is stron and I even pick up a hint of cloves. This is not for the macro-brew fan. This is not a session beer. There is an alcohol taste but it is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel-Smooth and thick. It feels good in the mouth. Warming.

Drinkability-Considering the alcohol content it was surprisingly drinkable. You could taste the alcohol so if you don't like hard liquor you may not like this. As mentioned before this is NOT a session beer. The label describes the best way to drink it, and think it is accurate: room temperature (we chilled it too and I preferred it chilled) in small (1 or 2 oz) portions.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 04:32:50 | More by atomicbwax
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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,544 ratings.