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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

492 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 492
Hads: 2,158
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 4.78%
Wants: 1,259
Gots: 383 | 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:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 07-09-2005

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 492 | Hads: 2,158
Photo of hophopandaway
1.53/5  rDev -65.1%
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. (1,126 characters)

Photo of birdyone
1.54/5  rDev -64.9%
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) (973 characters)

Photo of jneiswender
2.4/5  rDev -45.3%
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. (883 characters)

Photo of krl2112
2.86/5  rDev -34.9%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of TheBCrew
3.01/5  rDev -31.4%
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). (969 characters)

Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.29/5  rDev -25.1%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.3/5  rDev -24.8%
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" (495 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.31/5  rDev -24.6%
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. (1,242 characters)

Photo of redneckchugger
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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 (466 characters)

Photo of beernut
3.36/5  rDev -23.5%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
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. (1,338 characters)

Photo of Rob_Marquis
3.41/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a beer. This is a dessert liqueur. Thick, sweet, very port like. The price tag is bogus. I'll spend a quarter and less of that on Founders KBS or Weyerbachers Sunday Morning Stout and then head to my local antique shop and but a nice bronze or copper decanter for my hutch that's cheaper and nicer then that Genie in a bottle looking crap you get from Sam Adams. In my opinion Sam Adams should stick to their main stream beer. (441 characters)

Photo of gameface23
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (279 characters)

Photo of Shaon94
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (1,382 characters)

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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 (361 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%
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. (302 characters)

Photo of steffigal22
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of psumjl269
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to this and had it summer of 2013 at Churchkey in Washington DC. Very disappointed.

This beer may be better with aging, but when I had it, the booziness was just too much. It was almost cloyingly sweet. The mouth feel and look were awesome; however, the smell was overpoweringly boozy. The price point is also something I wasn't thrilled about - it was over $30 for a small tulip pour (~4 oz).

I'd try this again if I knew it had been aged for a few years. I think the sweetness would really be tempered, which would allow some of the flavors to come to the forefront of the beer. You know there has to be something pretty wicked about this beer because of its price and rarity - I just didn't get it when I tried it. (749 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of Odysseyalien
3.52/5  rDev -19.8%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of beejayud
3.54/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Sam Adams Utopias...
WOW...
The whole experience leaves you speechless.
From the bottle, to opening the bottle, to pouring shots of this reddish cognac, to smelling (terrible smell by the way), to having your first taste of this crazy monster of a beer.
We poured the beer warm as instructed.
The initial smell is not at all how it tastes.
The beer burns from the second it touches your lips.
Utopias surprisingly has a good flavor, but as for drinking large amounts of this beer it would be unrealistic.
Not only would you be broke but very drunken.
I am proud to say that I was privileged enough to have tasted this beer at least once in my lifetime.
After all of us tasted this beer we popped open a 7 year old World Wide Stout (DFH) to top the night off.
The world wide stout became flavorless after the Utopias, but much more drinkable. (848 characters)

Photo of DrDCon
3.55/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of BillyB
3.6/5  rDev -18%
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. (1,078 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
3.61/5  rDev -17.8%
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. (612 characters)

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
97 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.