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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

1,776 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,776
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 884
Gots: 294 | FT: 8
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: 1,776 | Reviews: 460 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 03:34:19 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -10.3%

08-26-2012 19:58:43 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 04:49:42 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -10.3%

11-14-2011 18:53:54 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 18:21:23 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 22:50:04 | More by brentk56
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nmann08

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

11-15-2011 21:47:09 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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!

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 22:30:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 21:14:00 | More by BEERchitect
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acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

03-09-2013 16:26:11 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 17:31:30 | More by womencantsail
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -10.3%

01-05-2012 06:44:08 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 21:08:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
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Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

08-31-2013 19:08:25 | More by Texasfan549
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jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

08-03-2013 20:44:52 | More by jaydoc
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 spycow
spycow

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 03:16:47 | More by spycow
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GRG1313

California

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

01-03-2012 10:05:56 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 20:31:44 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 02:03:18 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing, it was most generous of you sir.

I've had this three times now, mainly due to the generosity of others, and I can say it's not really my thing. Would much rather but a top shelf bottle of bourbon or scotch for the price, though obviously no comparison there.

Pours a tawny almond skin brown, zero bubbles, zero lacing, bright clarity in the glass.

Aromas are sticky sweet, big raisin and prune, nutty sweet tawny port. Flavors are largely the same, flavors linger long into the finish. Seems like any number of aged strong ales... Hardy's, JW Lees, etc, albeit with a nitro boost of alcohol. What mars the experience to me is the jarring astringent bite from the alcohol, which is more akin to sipping a whiskey neat. The complexity and flavors are there, it's just not as easy to sip as it could be, maybe 27% has something to do with it. Again, my personal preference is for beer and/or whiskey, not a hybrid, though this is an exceptionally unique product.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 01:26:27 | More by emerge077
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westcoastbeerlvr

California

5/5  rDev +12.1%

11-15-2011 00:44:36 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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?

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 05:08:41 | More by biboergosum
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 01:35:53 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

11-14-2011 16:17:40 | More by JAHMUR
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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,776 ratings.