Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 1,833 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
4.88/5 rDev +9.4%
(A) Pours a completely flat, ruby red color. Clear in the body and texture, very clean. Leaves some really nice legs around the edges of the glass.
(S) Smell is a plethora of fruits and booze. The fruity notes waft up giving you some cherry, some fig, slight bit of plum, dark grapes, some floral aspects linger in there as well. It smells like brandy was poured straight into the glass as the booze smell is quite prominent.
(T) Very rich and heavy on the sweet fruits. Has a bit of maple syrup mixed in with some excess sugars. You definitely get the barrel flavors of the sherry and the port. It drinks most like a lesser aged port. Has a refreshing freshness to it. There is no essence of the alcohol with the exception of some small amount of warmth in the post taste.
(M) Syrup like and ends actually quite pleasant and not as dry as I expected. Has the oily characteristic to it that liquors have but its got a full body to it like a beer should have.
(O) I was expecting a crazy, boozy mess with this one. Something like a huge, high alcohol infused beer but it wasn’t anything of the sort. This is a fantastic beer.
06-01-2011 13:21:20 | More by cjacobsen
4.9/5 rDev +9.9%
Finally got dumb enough to spend this much $$$ on a beer, but glad I did.
A: A beautifully clear caramel brown body with no head to speak of. Swirling in the glass leaves a nice coating or "legs."
S: WOW! Love this smell. A deep and rich nose of raisins along with other dark fruits, brown sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, caramel, and a lot of sherry & port notes. Very complex and inviting. The nose is also very warm, but doesn't take away anything from it.
T: Absolutely amazing! Nose doesn't do this one justice. A wonderfully complex mix of flavors that are very similar to a fine vintage port. There are notes of vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, maple syrup, some nuts, cognac & sherry characters. Very warm as it goes down.
M: Very warm mouthfeel, but smooth; Full body; No carbonation;
O: If it wasn't as expensive as it is, I would have a really hard time not downing this whole bottle. An amazing beer that I see myself getting every time it comes out. Easy to drink, great complex characteristics, and a special treat for the holidays.
05-29-2011 20:34:16 | More by BrewCrew2010
3.9/5 rDev -12.6%
Pours a clean deep amber to brown in color with no head. In the aroma, caramel, maple syrup, hints of dark cherry and alcohol. In the taste, dark cherry sweetness, caramel and butterscotch, and don't forget about the alcohol burn. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry alcohol and caramel and dark cherry sweetness in the aftertaste. WOW! Big alcohol, like drinking a shot. Nice flavor but very boozy, I think 2oz is all anyone really needs.
05-27-2011 14:00:06 | More by OWSLEY069
4.28/5 rDev -4%
Note* Had this at Bar35 as part of their SA Utiopia release beer tasting. Sample size was a shot glass.
Appearance: Burgundy in color and thin like.
Smell: Picked up elements of butterscotch, syrup and some high, hot alcohol smells.
Taste & Mouthfeel: While it looked thin, it had a rich palate of molasses, butterscotch, slight pepper taste along with the hotness of the alcohol. I was getting a mouthwatering feel to the ale and a slightly slimy like texture feel coming out of it (though it sounds bad...it was not). Someone at the table said it reminded them of a liquid Werther's Original.
Overall: S glad I was able to try this....a bottle by itself might have been too much, especially here in Hawaii where the shipping cost is applied to almost everything. It's definitely a sipper. I think the real kicker is the bottle and the feeling of refinement that you get from drinking this ale. Although the taste did live up to the hype and I appreciate the concept, the idea of buying a bottle that is upward into the $160-$200 range seems to be overreaching.
05-26-2011 20:25:55 | More by July2Nov
4.53/5 rDev +1.6%
2011 vintage in official utopias glassware
A - Pours with no real carbonation but a few tiny bubbles are seen on the sides of the glass. The color is a very deep reddish brown. Leaves syrupy fingers down the sides of the glass.
S - There is a lot going on here in this beer when it comes to aroma. Raisons, brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon and alchohol aromas are present. Hops are not noticeable.
T - This beer explodes on your tongue with sweetness and flavor. Maple syrup is very noticable, as well as cherries, vanilla, bourbon. It's hard to pin everything down, but this a tremendously delicious sipping beer. I don't notice any hops in the taste either, and the beer is quite sweet so there must not be much, comparatively speaking to the amount of fermentables. The alcohol is certainly noticeable but not overbearing.
M - The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy and has no carbonation. Slight alcohol burn but I find it to be less than expected for a beer this big.
O - I really enjoyed this beer. It is a very special thing and Sam Adams is a really cool to still be pushing the boundaries of beer. I will certainly buy more of these in the future and see how this beer continues to evolve over the future vintages.
05-24-2011 23:52:04 | More by LosRobots
4.93/5 rDev +10.5%
2011 vintage. Sampled and rated on 17 May.
A. Pours amber with brown, orange, some gold, and red with absolutely no carbonation. It coats the glass with what would be described as beautiful slowly dripping legs (if this were wine).
S. Phenomenally complex. Raisins, bourbon, brown sugar, figs, maple syrupy sweetness, brandy, and some nice port character.
T. Lots of maple syrup sweetness, figs, brown sugar, cognac, vanilla, caramelized sugar. This is certainly quite a sweet beer. The hop character is not noticeably present.
M. Thick and luscious. For 27% this is supremely smooth. Certainly a sipping beer (as though you would have any question).
D. People say this is not like a beer, but it really is. It's like an amped up barrel aged beer. I got notes similar to Angel's Share Grand Cru, Raison D'Extra, 10 year old J.W. Lees, and CBS along with notes of cognac and rum. I've been looking forward to this beer for some time now. I'd love to try some other vintages, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'll just continue to enjoy this tasty treat a few ounces at a time.
05-23-2011 20:22:20 | More by BeerAndBourbon
4.6/5 rDev +3.1%
2011 vintage. Split with some people, but I had 8oz to myself. Poured a few ounces in a snifter:
A - Really rich brown, mahagoney, caramel color with amber hues and golden tints. No carbonation but a tiny amount of bubbles. Huge legs run along the side of the glass with a gentle sworl.
S - Amazing. According to the tag, this vintage was aged in bourbon, whiskey, port, sherry, brandy and cognac and rest assured, you can smell damn near every one of them. The booze stings the nostrails. Rich toffee, maple syrup, caramel and butterscotch, brown sugar, oak and earth. Really nice.
T - Taste follows the nose. Rich flavors with all the barrels representing themselves. Hot maple syrup. The toffee and rich caramel comes back. Oak and damp barrel are also there. Thick caramel green apples. Really, really nice flavors.
M - Sting from the booze and barrel, but that is expected. Really smooth and heavy, but not in a thick way. No carbonation, just a little sting. Come on, its 27%, what did you expect.
O - I think I'll make this a tradition and get a bottle of newer vintages when they come out. I've had this at a beer best before, but it was a really small amount and I guess I didn't fully appreciate it. To have a bit more of a serving is just wonderful to take in all the textures, flavors and aromas. This is great and I really enjoyed it. A true sipper though...
05-23-2011 06:22:09 | More by joshuaseresse
4.38/5 rDev -1.8%
2011 vintage. This one is a little hard to assign numerical values to each category as it is so unique, but here it goes.
This beer pours a dark caramel color and is of course flat so it has no head or lacing, but some nice legs form as the liquid is swirled due to the high alcohol content. The nose is full vanilla, caramel and hot alcohol vapor. I also get notes of black figs and dates. The flavor has all of these flavors plus notes of red grapes, dark cherries, sweet brown sugar, woody oak, and maybe a hint of toffee, bread crust and other sweet sugary fruits. There is a nutty quality with flavors that remind me of ground walnuts. The finish is very sweet and it coasts my mouth in syrupy sugar. The body and mouthfeel are thick and heavy and not as hot as the nose suggests. I wish this beer was more affordable so I could drink it more often, but I can definitely taste the quality. I could drink this every night, and I'm afraid my bottle is starting to get low. My bottle shop still has more, I may have to splurge on another!
05-23-2011 03:25:29 | More by scottfrie
3.68/5 rDev -17.5%
This tiny little snifter might be the most expensive glass of beer I’ve ever had!
Deep rich color, a good bit darker than I was expecting from the videos of this I saw on Sam Adam’s site. Bit brandy legs on the glass, of course as expected completely flat and syrupy thick looking.
The nose of a great English barely wine. I’m not sure if this is more Thomas Hardy or J W Lee, but I think both are good examples. I really pick up the Sherry barrels or at least similar notes to the Sherry barrel aged J W Less. It has a certain woody element mixed with a tone of dark sugary fruits. Alcohol is also extremely present and well spoken for here. The aromas here are as intense and powerful as any liquor. True nose candy.
My fear with the flavor was that I’d be drinking a great example of those barely wines at this price, that would not be acceptable! I thankfully have a rather different tasting beer here. The alcohol kick is intense and about as deep and strong as anything I’ve ever had. My belly is as warm from this as 100 proof bourbon. Sweet sugary candy, plums, raisins, oak, vanilla, honey, caramel, hops, cedar, and just so many flavors I can’t describe are in this beer. That said I am picking up a LOT of similarities to this and a good English barely wine…..so much so that I’m not getting nearly the wow factor I had hoped for.
This beer warms all the way down, with a body that matches the best liquors in density and depth.
I want to love this beer. The effort and the time spend to create this, 18 year of barrel aging, 6 different barrels blended….I mean how amazing is that effort? The problem is this isn’t coming off as so dramatically different from beers I can get for 6-12 bucks a bottle. There is a flavor here that is in J W Lee that I want to describe, I think perhaps it is a result of the hops, but I just can’t describe it and I didn’t like it in J W Less, but here I’m finding myself more and more interested in it. At 40-50 bucks a bottle this would be outstanding beer, but 170 a bottle makes this simply an incredibly underwhelming experience. I really hate myself for taking this feeling, but beer has to be graded as beer, and frankly this isn’t beer by any normal measure. I’m not sure what color something like this should be or how to score the appearance as it has no comparison. I’m not sure how to score the mouth feel as this is only 27% but the alcohol kicks nearly as well as some smoother bourbons. I’m glad to have tried this, and I’ll enjoy the rest of this bottle. I do hope this ages well open as I can see some rather good changes to come in time.
05-23-2011 02:11:41 | More by bobhits
4.6/5 rDev +3.1%
so, when drinking or reviewing this beer, one has to treat it more as a liquor than a beer. There is no shotgunning this, its an entirely different animal. If this is not kept in mind, the experience will be diminished.
pours a glowing mahogany that has no carbonation and therefore no head, but it has "fingers" that climb up the glass as it swirls, reminiscent of a fine scotch.
maple syrup, raisins, dates, bourbon-based vanilla extract, molasses, cognac, port wine, brown sugar, caramel, and plenty of booze. I could sit hear and sniff this all night.
maple syrup, again, is most dominant, but raisins are a close second with a strong booze heat coming next with a lot of oak, bourbon, dark fruits, port wine, black molasses, black licorice, anisette. wow.
burning hot and very syrupy, with the aforementioned zero carbonation (by design) and a pleasant sweet heat after the swallow that keeps this one as a contemplative sipper.
I'm glad I picked up the bottle when I had the chance. I'll continue to sip it an ounce at a time and hope to spread it out over the course of 6 months to a year to see how it changes. I've already noticed a decrease in maple and an increase in licorice flavors over the month I've been sipping on it.
10 months later, and I was curious as to how this has held up, so I poured an ounce. tons of brown sugar and maple with less dark fruits. booze still present, as expected.
05-21-2011 06:14:28 | More by silentjay
4.63/5 rDev +3.8%
A: Pours brown with no head whatsoever.
S: Huge caramel and brown sugar characteristics. Super malty, like a barleywine on steriods.
T: More of the same as with the nose. Caramel and toffee candy, quite sweet, but never cloying. Booze becomes a factor, but it is integrated well and doesn't dominate ala liquor.
M: Full-bodied, no carbonation, very smooth even though the heat is apparent, I wouldn't classify it as hot.
O: Thoroughly unique, this is my second time having this and it's just as good. Expensive as all get out, but this is something every beer geek needs to try at least once.
05-21-2011 02:26:57 | More by Halcyondays
4.53/5 rDev +1.6%
My buddy Greg shared some of this gem with me this afternoon. I was very excited to see the bottle on his counter. We sat and stared at it for a good ten minutes before opening.
A - Crystal clear, ruby red, it almost sparkles in the light, it coats the glass like a good bourbon, no head as expected
S - Raisins, dark cherry, figs, prunes, sweet malt syrup, burnt brown sugar, light wood notes and some alcohol.
T - Tart cherries, figs, raisins. At times it's so complexly sweet that it's almost savory. Some vanilla and woody notes pop up from time to time. There are several levels of flavor that develop as it opens up. I picked up some syrupy malt sweetness followed by waves of dark fruit and then back again. It tastes chewy at times, making my mouth water.
M - Medium in body with huge alcohol warmth
O - This is a very complex and enjoyable drink. It's tough to describe it as a beer. The experience is similar to sherry or port tasting. It's a very unique and palate challenging sipper. I get a lot of faded elements from the Tripel Bock of the mid 90's in this brew. From what I understand, this brew is the progressed and far more refined younger sibling.
At $170-$200 a bottle in my area this certainly is not a common brew. It'd be a stretch to even consider this a once-a-year treat. Certainly its a special occasion sipper.
05-16-2011 00:31:21 | More by tbrown4
3.98/5 rDev -10.8%
A-dark ruby brown with no head, no bubbles. looks pretty but not like a beer.
S-a really powerful aroma of salted caramel, maple, and oak with possibly vanilla
T-comes in with a really sweet taste of dark caramel. its a really warm taste. there is also some sweet but dark berries and some oak as well. its a strong taste. it slowly transitions in to a long lasting taste of thick maple syrup. its a long lasting and complex experience.
M-well there's a lack of carbonation, as expected. its syrupy with a sting to it, as expected.
O-its definitely tasty. each sip leaves you begging for more. i couldn't drink a whole glass of this though, not because of the alcohol but because of the sweetness. the ABV actually doesn't come in to play too much at all here. this just isn't something you'd drink if you want a good beer. this is more for a night recap when your favorite relatives are in town. this is definitely a must try for anyone though, whether you're a beer lover or not.
05-14-2011 20:50:14 | More by AdamBear
4.88/5 rDev +9.4%
Saw my local liquor store post on Facebook they got the 2011 Utopias in and promptly went over to purchase my first bottle ever.
And wow... This is some beer.
Appearance is a clear, dark amber. Also, there is no carbonation. It also appears thick, like a stretched syrup.
Smell blows me away. Very heated with notes of port-wine, honey and bourbon.
Taste is intense. It wraps around your tongue like caramel and fills it with complex overtones of honey, berry, port, malted-sweetness and bourbon. There is a bit of vanilla and toffee to it as well. At the end, some amount of spice hits the tongue. The lingering tail is full of fruit and port.
Mouthfeel is full throughout, but at the end, it leaves on a light note without being too dry.
Overall, I'm blown away. I'm putting this baby on the shelf and saving it for special occasions. I feel like I'll buy another one next time around because they apparently keep getting better from what I've heard. That being said, I feel spoiled having started with this edition. Cheers
05-09-2011 02:24:45 | More by feylure
3.75/5 rDev -15.9%
Just bought a 2011 vintage. Waited for the glass and tonight is the night.
The beer barely looks like a beer. It's got the color of a beer, but there isn't a bubble to be found. Zero head and as many have mentioned, it looks like a cognac or a brandy. Having said that, there is an oiliness to it that looks nice in the glass.
It doesn't smell like a beer either. There is a buttery, malty, nutty scent, but again, this is hardly a beer. Believe it or not, you can 'smell' the heat from the alcohol.
Surprisingly, the taste is actually pretty good. The taste buds pick up the same butteriness as the olfactories. It's got a malty, bready, cough syrupy taste to it. The alcohol doesn't really present itself until the finish.
Like a good beer, the mouthfeel is complex. While bracing yourself for the ridicupotent alcohol, it hits the palate with a gentle sweetness. The sweetness stays with you a while and then the heat from the alcohol shows up. In the back of the mouth, you can pick up notes of both sweetness and heat before the heat takes over in the swallow.
Overall, this is barely a beer. It's got some beer traits, but it really pushes the boundaries of a beer. It's more of a beer/spirit hybrid. For as strong as it is, it's reasonably mellow. There is only a slight burn deep in the finish, but I've had worse from other beers. Overall, this is surprisingly smooth and I'm glad I picked up a bottle.
05-07-2011 03:33:04 | More by RickS95
4.97/5 rDev +11.4%
2011 Edition poured into a port glass. Nice copper color with no visible head. Heavy appearance in the glass. The smell at first is a lot of alcohol but that passes any you get a wonderful raisin molasses combination. Very reminiscent of a LBV port. Heavy smooth liqueur type mouth feel. Taste is difficult to describe. First thing I notice is an unusual prickly carbonation feel on the tongue. Then raisins, nuts, maybe some sherry. Finished with molasses, wine and wood. Some nice bitterness too. Nothing else like it so it's not really comparable. Overall outstanding.
05-07-2011 01:47:18 | More by Kbogac
4.72/5 rDev +5.8%
Fantastic! I don’t know if I could call this a beer, it is more of a dessert wine than anything else. The aroma is the best I have ever felt from a beer, or from any beverage for that matter. On the tongue, raisins, dried fruits and all kinds of other sweet flavours mix together to give ou a sugar overdose only to be perfectly balanced by an easy alcoholic touch from the 28% ABV. Glourious amber colour in the glass with a pleasant body for the palate. Did I mention the perfect aroma?
05-04-2011 14:04:18 | More by Pundarquartis
4.43/5 rDev -0.7%
Purchased from Fitzgeralds in Eagle River, MI. 2011 Vintage, poured into Glencairn Whiskey Nosing Glass.
Appearance: Pours a deep ruby/copper with no head, no lacing. Nice legs slow to move. Syrup like consistency.
Nose: Huge amount of sweet stuff. Brown sugar, molasses, dried fruits, charred oak. Notes of sherry, bourbon, and coffee.
Alcohol is not intrusive on the nose.
Taste: Bright sweetness. Like nothing ever to grace my palate. Maple sugar sweetness with apricot and fig. Minimal bourbon notes...as it lacks the spice, not a bad thing. Some vanilla and citrus come through on the back of the palate.
Mouth: Very impressive. Honestly. It's syrupy, but not cloying. The high ABV doesn't push through too hard, and is actually very pleasant and easy drinking.
Drink and overall: Glad I got to try it. Awesome product. Very unique idea, and I think they really have some thing great. I was very impressed with how non-spirit like it is. I'm a big bourbon guy, but the mouth is nothing of a distilled spirit. Fantastic.
05-02-2011 01:22:46 | More by MarcatGSB
3.83/5 rDev -14.1%
2009 bottle...Kevin, you still owe me $65 for this. Pours a somewhat hazy dark chestnut brown with ruby edges, no head or lacing. Nose is very pungent, heavy whiskey barrel, tends toward a spirit for sure. Lots of roasted marshmellow, heavily sugared, and hot. Stinging and really hot in the mouth. Caramel, sugar, earthy, Spicy, "rooty" per Kevin. Peppermint and root beer! Lots of roasted marshmallow, some maple syrup. Sort of difficult despite all the complexities.
04-19-2011 04:11:38 | More by JAXSON
4.08/5 rDev -8.5%
This beer pours a nice brown color with basically no head. The smell is sweet and boozy with hints of bourbon maple and vanilla. The flavor is very close the the aroma withe the sweet booziness up front followed by the bourbon and maple notes with a hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Overall this beer was surpassingly drinkable for the abv but that is likely due to how sweet it is, which almost becomes cloying at times. Was nice to try but would likely never buy
04-05-2011 17:57:58 | More by rowingbrewer
4.1/5 rDev -8.1%
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.
04-03-2011 20:31:44 | More by Knapp85
4.43/5 rDev -0.7%
From 03/11/11 notes. Had on tap at Nigh of the Barrels up in Boston, MA. Got to try three 2 oz. samples of this one which I was very excited about.
a - Pours a mahogany brown color with light carbonation evident and almost no head at all.
s - Smells of oak, red wine, bourbon, fruit, and light sweet molasses. Smells really nice, like a nice wine.
t - Tastes of maple syrup, bourbon, oak, dark fruits, wine, and light alcohol. Maple syrup comes through a lot, mixing with some sweet fruit for a very enjoyable taste.
m - The body of Utopias is very thick and syrupy; felt just like maple syrup. Considering how high the ABV is there is very little alcohol showing and it was nice and smooth going down.
d - Overall Utopias is a very nice beer from Sam Adams. Given the high ABV and the mouthfeel it is certainly a sipper and certainly something best consumed in 2 oz. samples. I thought it had a great, complex smell and would definitely like to have it again. Don't think I would pay $180-200 for a bottle, but if given the chance would love another 2 oz. sample of this.
03-17-2011 22:27:15 | More by mdfb79
United Kingdom (England)
1.5/5 rDev -66.4%
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.
02-28-2011 06:26:25 | More by hophopandaway
4.33/5 rDev -2.9%
Some friends of mine and I went together and bought a bottle of this last summer and saved it for a weekend when we could all get together and enjoy it. We even bought the recommended glassware from Sam Adams.
The pour was a rich, dark color with no head and no lacing.
When you smell this beer, you know this is a big one. Lots of power and lots of liquor, much like rum with some fruity notes to me.
I found it to be a rather hard drink, there was so much going on. It felt like port or a fortified wine in my mouth and the taste was rather like a really, really nice rum.
Would I buy another bottle if I had the chance, probably not, but not because it wasn't good. This is such a complex drink that to describe it as beer really doesn't do it any justice. I'm glad to have tried it and glad to be able to mark it off my bucket list and would encourage anyone who has the chance to do the same.
02-17-2011 19:56:04 | More by Eirerate
4.55/5 rDev +2%
Had a 1.5 ounce pour at Beer Bistro in Toronto. I think it was the 2009 version that came into Ontario. Comes out a clear amber-brown colour. There is no head or lacing, but it is supposed to be still so I can't fault the beer for that. I don't know how to judge appearance on this, it would be like judging appearing on congac... they all look basically the same to me. On the smell, alcohol first seems to be there, but then I get vanilla and strong caramel and maple. This reminds me a bit of the Remy Martin XO congac. Smooth mouthfeel, as you'd expect with no carbonation. A little bit boozy, but this was really delicious. Glad I got to try it.
02-10-2011 18:11:30 | More by kwjd
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,833 ratings.