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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,908 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,908
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 965
Gots: 323 | FT: 10
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: 1,908 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition,bottle #4260, enjoyed at Coles rare beer fest. Like a great bourbon/cognac/scotch. ABV is over the top, and waft from the glass.Raisins, brown sugar, ginger, cinammon. Like a 10 or more year aged barleywine. Dark brown colour, no head.Smooth mouthfeel.
2012 bottle is very maple syrup liquor.

Sammy, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -10.3%

t0rin0, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nakalakaboom for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

2012 vintage. Bottle # 04542.

Pours a clear brown with no head. Legs of beer form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, sherry, and port. Taste is much the same with some wood and maple flavors as well. There is an alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. This beer has no carbonation but there is a smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is extremely strong and extremely rich but super tasty.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -10.3%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -10.3%

zestar, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a few ounces into Brandy snifter.

A: Deep dark brown color with the look of a nice brandy. No sign of carbonation or a head.

S: Unbelievable smell. You can smell the carmel, toffee, hazelnut, chocolate and tobacco notes. It is strong but pleasant as you swirl it around the glass.

T: When tasting this beer, the smell is so overwhelmingly strong that it can create a sense of a bad taste. Easier to make sure to not breath as you take the first sip. This really gives you a sense of the deeply complex beer. You can immediately taste the strong alcohol but perfect. The taste of tobacco, chocolate, and leather. A strong taste of hazelnut and raisins just overwhelm the palette. Leaves a warming aftertaste that you wish could stay with you for longer.

M&D: Feel warm, oily, and smooth to the palette....like a smooth brandy. It is still very drinkable for a beer of this strength. A few ounces every once in a while is a great pleasure.

I have the bottle from 2006 and still tastes unbelievable and actually think it is getting better with age. Highly recommend trying this beer if you ever get the opportunity.

spycow, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DNICE555 for going many extra miles so that I was able to try this one out KTG weekend 2010.

2009 Edition poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with absolutely no head or lacing, to be expected at 27% and without carbonation. Beautiful colors show up as its swirled in the tulip.

S: Beautiful with plenty of alcohol right off the start. Behind this, there is a lot of wood, vanilla, molasses, dark sweet malt, dark cherries, maple, sherry, and port.

T: Loads of alcohol. After the first sip, I got used to the alcohol and found the treasure trove of beautiful flavors beneath. Lots of maple, sherry, port, wood, and vanilla. All beautifully combined into an absolutely soothing beverage.

M: Very hot and medium bodied. Not too much of a burn. Not too sweet; complex and even somewhat delicate.

D: Supremely drinkable. The 2-or-so-ounce pour that I got was enough to last me a long while, and I kept discovering new things with each small sip. Next time around, I think I'll definitely grab a bottle of this to hold onto for a while.

Thorpe429, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

acurtis, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

nmann08, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Texasfan549, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a golden ring around the edges; no head, of course, but I was not expecting one

Smell: Burning whiff of maple, caramel, vanilla and rum-soaked golden fruit

Taste: Sweet and burning from the outset, with maple sugar, vanilla and caramel, along with the alcohol soaked golden raisins; after the swallow, a burning sensation of maple and vanilla, bordering on a Bourbon, but more like a liqueur

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; still, with no carbonation

Drinkability: A nice after dinner sipper, but something to spread out over time, as it is very stable; a nice toast to end Christmas 2008

brentk56, Dec 25, 2008
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 GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

GRG1313, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I was lucky enough to get to try this one from a wonderful BA who capped a few ounces for me to enjoy. I had been dying to try a bottle but have never been able to land one personally so it was a good day for me to say the least to be able to finally try this. Let it chill out in the fridge for a couple days before pouring it into a small snifter to take a taste. The look was much like a strong barley wine for me. Rich and very hazy copper colored amber with a very dark and menacing look to it. No real head to speak of, nor any lace. Utterly motionless and menacing, this was really going to be a fun nightcap.

So I really did not know what to expect from this one, but went in for the smell and was blown away by how sweet it was. Really just tremendously rich in maple syrup like aroma. Lots of brandy like alcohol smell as well. Really complex, some light honey or caramel in there, quite nice overall. The flavor was more of the same with a rich and very sweet maple syrup like cognac taste. Huge profile here, with subtle hints of honey and anything else sweet you could think of. Fine spiciness with a deep warmth coming up from the bellows on this one. You could definitely feel the alcohol all the way, but it was not harsh at all and surprisingly quite mellow. The consistency of syrup, it was really quite nice. I had no issue sipping he few ounces I had, but that would be probably it for a session to really enjoy what this one can bring to the table.

Overall this was really unlike anything I had before. It is in a class of its own, as it should be and something that everyone should get to try. For 120.00 I would buy a bottle with no issues asked. I would love to have this one sitting around waiting for me every night!

mikesgroove, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

jaydoc, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More amazing generosity here from Kevin. I was definitely not expecting to try this one last night.

Review is from a 2007 bottle.

A: The pour is flat (as I expected), and a lovely caramel/copper color with a nice reddish hue to it.

S: The nose really has some wonderful things going on. Rich caramel, maple, vanilla, and a slight chocolate aroma that I really did not expect. The only knock on it is that the alcohol can burn the nostrils a bit.

T: While the alcohol is still of course very present on the palate, it's much more manageable. The maple, vanilla, caramel, brandy, brown sugar, and chocolate flavors are intense and absolutely wonderful.

M: While the flatness really doesn't work with most beers, I find it to be quite nice with this one. The body is absurdly full and rich.

D: I was honestly expecting to not like this beer. Once I gave it a sniff and a taste, however, I became a believer in it. And should I have a couple hundred bucks to spare, I would pick up one of these.

womencantsail, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
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.

kylehay2004, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle on this in November of 2009. Opened it in January of 2010. I've been having a few sips out of it over the last year or so just to see if there is any changes taking place of over time. The major change I've noticed is that the smell of maple is much stronger now than it was when it was new. The flavor is also along the same lines. The maple is really coming through now, it's almost like I should put it on pancakes or something. For a beer that's over 20% abv it's very smooth. There isn't much of an alcohol burn. This beer is just all around very impressive. I don't know if I'll ever buy it again but I'm proud that I got some when I did.

Knapp85, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Spills out a clear, dark mahogany body. No head, but there's some legs to it. Oh, and what a classy-looking bottle.

Smell: Some toasty, carmelly malts along with dark fruits soaked in three parts cognac and one part Golden Grain.

Taste: It's sweet! Sugar-caoted dark fruits tossed into syrup. It's that sweet, people. Ah, caramel candy, too. Along that first taste you get a hit of very hot, throat-scalding alcohol, but with each consecutive sip it gets more and more creamy (or your tongue gets more and more numb). Warming finish, baby!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. No carbonation. Coating mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A super slow sipper for sure, and one that's made even more enjoyable when you weren't the one who actually paid for the bottle.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +12.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, 1 oz poured into a snifter. The beer is still in the glass, tawny in color with amber edges. It's beautifully clear, and swirling produces the most syrupy legs I've ever seen on a beer.

The aroma is huge and intoxicating, with an alcohol presence that's more like bourbon than beer. Behind the alcohol there's a huge backbone of malt and maple syrup. Barrel-aging is evident in the form of vanilla and spice, and there's an underlying fruitiness that makes me think of port wine.

While the aroma could fool you into thinking that you had a glass of brandy or port, the taste is surprisingly barleywine-like, albeit bigger and stronger. Alcohol is once again very noticeable up-front, but it's not particularly harsh. Flavors of caramel, vanilla, maple and dates are most prominent, and beneath that I get a light spiciness, port-like fruitiness and a touch of citrus. The body is incredibly full and syrupy, but surprisingly, it doesn't become too cloying; the alcohol seems to cleanse the palate between sips. The finish is fairly mellow for a beer of this strength, with a hint of oak and a kick of alcohol lending some dryness to an otherwise sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability is surprisingly high, and if not for the potency I'd be happy sipping on this for quite a while. This is a great beer, pretty much one of a kind at this point and more than just a gimmick, it's genuinely enjoyable.

largadeer, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage served in a Riedel Utopias glass.

Pours a beautiful ruby brown with absolutely no head whatsoever, appropriate considering the lack of carbonation. The smell is heavy on the caramal, toffee, wood, and, unfortunately, a serious dose of alcohol (which pushes the rating down a ways for me). The taste...damn! I have never put anything in my mouth so delighfully powerful and complex! Heavy amounts of maple syrup permeate the mouth, along with tart cherry, cranberry, red grape, madeira, caramel, molasses, toffee, and a large bit of alcohol warmth, but here it serves as an enhancement, a manifestation of the complexity, than a hindrance. The body is relatively heavy, but it somehow stays just smooth enough to keep the weight from negatively impacting the proceedings. Frankly, in the face of the extremely high ABV, this brew holds up as incredubly drinkable...or, at least, incredibly sippable.

This brew is a must-try if for nothing else than the experience. There are flavors all over the place, all blending together with the alcohol to make the most unique thing that has ever been in my mouth...and possibly ever will be.

TMoney2591, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

SocalKicks, Oct 12, 2013
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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.