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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.

1,971 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,971
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 995
Gots: 332 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-09-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,971 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlenik
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

jlenik, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of aslamm75
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

aslamm75, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of AutumnBeerLove
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

AutumnBeerLove, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -10.3%

tom10101, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of bigedct
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

bigedct, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #400, better try and make it something special. How about a little '03 Utopias? Super huge thanks to Jeff for giving me a taste of this ten year-old beauty one night. I've been wondering if I'd ever get to try this, let alone the whale-ish vintage of it. Solid, copper-brown pour; silky, oily, and thick as it falls into the glass quietly - no carbonation at all. It just sits in the glass, motionless and menacing.

I don't even have to bring this to my face to smell it. I could have sat on the other side of the room and reviewed the aroma. It was SO goddamn strong, words can't even express its brute force. And not only was it strong, it was complex - the number of things present were insane, and it seemed like the aroma stretched on for miles. Licorice, cognac/brandy, brown sugar and molasses, candied dark fruits, grapes, plums, rubbing alcohol, maple, toffee, vanilla, wood... I could probably go on for days and you guys would say "bullshit!" but there's no bull here. The aroma is one of the most complex and intriguing on the market. Granted, a bit "hot" and stingy on the nostrils, but at 20%+ ABV, isn't that to be expected just a bit?

I was almost afraid to take a taste, just because I had no idea what to expect. I mean, a beer with over 20% ABV? How good can that really taste? It hits my palate, heavy and thick, smooth and far from cumbersome thanks to a lack of any real carbonation. Super, super sweet at first, and yes, the alcohol is VERY present and VERY apparent. But the intense sweetness does a remarkable job of retaining drinkability, when you consider how strong this stuff really is. Brown sugar, molasses, black cherries, plums, booze-soaked raisins, toffee cake, light rubbing alcohol, port, caramel.... Very nearly as complex as the nose and every bit as hot.

It's amazing that even after ten years, this beer has seemingly retained so much of its potency. I wonder how hot this was when it first came out? Maybe the effects of aging aren't quite as severe when you're dealing with alcohol content in this range. Despite being so hot (and understand that when I say "hot", I'm talking relative to beer - this still has nothing on real whisky or bourbon), it remained pretty drinkable, most likely due to the heavy sweetness that worked hard to balance out the burn. The finish left a hefty taste on the palate, full of dark fruity booziness and a thick, caramel and molasses coating. This is one of those things you could still be tasting in the morning if you don't brush your teeth good enough.

So how do I rate this? It's so far from the realm of "beer" as we know it, that it's quite difficult to rate it using the same scale and criteria as I would rate other beers, even considering differences between styles. I mean, you wouldn't score a glass of Macallan 18 with the same set of standards you use for beer, right? The thing is, Utopias is far from the realm of most hard alcohols, too. It's much sweeter than your typical bourbon, scotch, whisky, cognac, etc, and in my opinion, contains a bigger array of overall flavors and nuances. It's almost in a world of its own - a strange limbo somewhere between beer and spirits, where no other breweries have dared to go.

Make no mistake about it, though, Utopias is damn good. I think it comes as no surprise that it's definitely a "sipper", and it's a highly enjoyable and tasty one at that. Is it worth the price tag? Hard to say. Is anything worth that much money? Depends on how much you want it, I guess. I'll tell you this - it makes for a great experience and a great time when shared among friends. A nice conversation piece in itself, and enjoyable for beer geeks of all types. Big thanks again to Jeff for letting me take a taste.

tectactoe, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of IcemanCometh
4/5  rDev -10.3%

IcemanCometh, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of andrew8626
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

andrew8626, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of korguy123
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

10th Anniversary Utopias with a Nicaraguan rum barrel added into the aging process.
Black ceramic bottle into a taster snifter.

Served at room temp.

Viscous dark maple syrup pour. Zero carbonation, zero lacing, Loads of alcohol stuck to the edges of the glass.

A massive alcohol presence in the nose. Behind that is smooth, sweet rum, maple syrup, port, caramel, toffee, a nice vanilla punch and some bourbon in the back. Oak presence from the casks is there but subdued in the overwhelming nature of everything else.

Rum, maple syrup, bourbon, caramel, maple again, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, a nice oakiness with a huge warming sensation as it goes down. There is some port in there but the overly sweet notes shine through. The alcohol in the taste is much more subdued than the nose leads it to believe. This is something to savor and enjoy and you just can't help but to do so with every sip.

Medium to full body with zero carbonation obviously. Sticky on the lips.

This is my second 1oz serving in two days and it is truly remarkable. Something I would have never imagined I'd ever have. I'm glad to be one of the many/few in Ontario to get a bottle and I will savor every drop.

korguy123, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Devi0us
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Devi0us, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of dctriman
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

dctriman, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of BrittEBurke
5/5  rDev +12.1%

BrittEBurke, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Colosdog
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Colosdog, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of sgoro
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

sgoro, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of SarahGullon2010
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

SarahGullon2010, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of SawDog505
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

SawDog505, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Psychmusic
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Psychmusic, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -27.1%

mendvicdog, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Rlena107
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Rlena107, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Mike
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%

Mike, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of BobCobb
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

BobCobb, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of EROCK75
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

EROCK75, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +12.1%

WynnO, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of tastymug
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I sampled the Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary, 2012 release.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber red/ruby color with no head of any kind. Appears to be clear, but it’s dark in color so it’s difficult to see through.

Smell: Dark fruits. Rich, sweet, more like liquor than beer.

Taste: Follows the nose; sweet, dark fruits such as fig or raisin, slight maple syrup, vanilla, oak. The strength of the alcohol definitely comes across in this one.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, syrupy; flavors stay on the tongue, coating it.

Overall: I can safely say I’ve never had “beer” like this before. It definitely comes across more like a cordial than beer, and drinking it would follow suit. It’s meant to be enjoyed at room temperature and in small, savory sips. This batch has very complex flavors. I’ve read that oxidation is part of the appeal of this beer; in other words you open the bottle, screw the cap back on when done and leave it be (like most liquors). Since I can’t personally speak to how this may taste a year from now, I would risk a guess that it will be as equally tasty as it is from a recently opened bottle. If given the chance to try it (or any of the previous batches) you’ll definitely want to add it to your “tried beers” list.

tastymug, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of bifrost17
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

bifrost17, Mar 14, 2013
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,971 ratings.