Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 1,814 | Reviews: 460 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +9.9%
Four of us split the bottle so ended up getting a fair quantity of this titan and boy was I happy about that. Pours a hazy amber, no head. The aroma is awesome after a minute or two to let it open up. It smells very sweet, like maple syrup with a vanilla quality to it. The taste surprised me because of a few things. Firstly, the heat is prevalent as would be expected but not as much as you would think. It is covered very well by the rich, sweetness. The second thing that surprised me was the lack of bite. I expected a much bigger bite but that is not to say I was disappointed, just pleased by in different ways. It had a silky, vanilla-oak finish that sticks with you quite a while after each drink. There is no carbonation whatsoever which was expected for an after-dinner type beer that is to be served at room temperature. In truth, even though it is brewed as a beer, it has much more in common with a nice cognac. Very drinkable to those who like a heavier drink, goes down easy and would probably sneak up on you if you kept drinking it all night.
04-22-2010 19:31:06 | More by Dusty278
4.38/5 rDev -1.8%
Thanks to a very generous mcallister for allowing us to have more than what we paid for.
A nice clear copper, no apparent carbonation or head. Clings like cough syrup to the glass, it's still hanging there after quite a while.
Smell is complex, sweet caramel, toffee, honey and very boozy. Slight burn in the nose on a deep smell.
Taste is just like the smell, lots of deep sweetness, caramel, bourbon and honey with a lingering burn. It's dense and rich with a coating mouthfeel. Very smooth due to the lack of carbonation. Much more like a port than a beer and one I'd buy again if it sold for a reasonable price.
04-14-2010 01:54:07 | More by kirok1999
4.33/5 rDev -2.9%
Poured out of the beautiful copper brew kettle. A clear amber no carbonation, no head, no lace. Pours like a shot of booze.
Big boozy aroma, hot alcohol. More subtle notes blend in. Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon. Some wood notes give just a bit of smoke. Maybe a bit of maple.
Caramel notes, some wood and cinnamon. Lots of alcohol. Some slight deep fruity flavors. Really not much bitterness. Very complex, tastes like a port.
Medium body, no carbonation. Full of heat. Very complex, what a treat.
04-10-2010 22:17:22 | More by Bierguy5
4.35/5 rDev -2.5%
Finally trying this beer. Liquid caramel colored wit no carbonation and resembling a tawny port.
Caramel, toffee, oak, hints of bourbon and brandy, dried figs and plums, dates, nutty characters, alcohol hotness in the nostrils. Sweet nectar inducing aromas. Very nice.
Tastes like it smells but with much more honey and it is quite hot. Very much like a good 50yr or older tawny port. Such big caramel and toffee flavors, good oak and bourbon really keeps things in perspective. Hugely complex. Light cocoa nib flavors, herbal tea, fig, date, quince paste. Thick, sticky and creamy a great beer but just way to expensive.
04-10-2010 22:14:22 | More by mcallister
3.98/5 rDev -10.8%
I have had this "beer" twice. A nice 2 oz pour from a bottle of the 2005 vintage and more recently a 2009 vintage pour on tap at EBF.
While I fould the aged version more appealing overall, a bit smoother and easier going, I find this to be a difficult liquid to truly enjoy.
A-Deep, dark brownish copper. No head to speak of but, when swirled, it left thick viscous legs on the glass.
S-Alcohol burn, vanilla, oak, fig, plum, raisin all lying on top of a massively sweet caramel malt base.
T-Almost firey alcohol up front moderated (especially with the aged vintage) with notes cognac, vanilla, maple syrup, raisin, plum and fig. Caramel malt sweetness is less pronounced in the flavour profile.
M-Without question the best feature of this concoction. Liquid silk with an oh, so smooth, luscious viscosity. Maple syrup smooth.
D-I appreciate what SA has done here and find it to be VERY interesting but to actually sit and drink this...no. It is a novelty only. I will save my high ABV drinks and money for the likes of real liquors such as port, cognac, bourbon and Scotch. The aged version was certainly more palatable than the fresh version so maybe over time....I could see myself sitting down with a small snifter and enjoying it. For the price though....see my previous statement.
04-09-2010 06:25:55 | More by Deuane
4.22/5 rDev -5.4%
My GF gave me a bottle of the 2009 for my birthday. Just ordered the free Riedel glass that comes with it so I had to try it with my Riedel wine glasses... poor me!
First of all, it's only a beer technically. If someone had poured this for me and not told me what it was, I would have had no idea what it was. Beer? Whiskey? Congac?
The first thing that hit me was not the appearance but the smell. I smelled it in the bottle as soon as I opened it and it reminded me a lot of samiclaus with the smell of thick super sweet maltyness. It smelled amazing.
I poured it into the glass and it appeared a nice deep carmel color. It was a little bit more translucent (like a scotch) than I thought it would be but it was thicker than any scotch. Great legs and maybe one or two bubbles?
I gave it another smell and was hit with the alcohol this time. This covered up some of the sweet smell that i got initially from the bottle.
The first taste was alcohol. Then sweet, then a touch of bitterness and finished with a distinct sour taste.
It is as sweet at samiclaus but with twice the alcohol which covers up the sweetness. The bitterness was very light with just a slight hint of wood and hops. The finish was distinctly sour which is why I only gave it a 4 for taste. I have had many sour beers but I felt like it was a little out of place here. My experience with sours have ussually been low ABV. Maybe I wasn't expecting it and it caught me off guard. It did however open up some other subtle tastes of vanilla and so forth. Also, I'm a huge fan of peaty scotches and IPAs and I do not like cognacs. The sour taste gave the beer a slight tangy taste at first which was nice and hinted at cognac.
In all, I have my own bottle and will have to try many more times and update this review. Next time I will know what I'm getting in to.
in the end, I had a huge smile on my face and my brain was turning. Look forward to the next try.
04-01-2010 19:48:18 | More by absolutbc2001
4.25/5 rDev -4.7%
The hard part about reviewing this beer is that is not really beer. This is a science experiment by the Boston Beer Company and I salute them for it. How you can get 27% ABV from natural fermentation is absolutely beyond me. I'm sure some advanced techniques along with some mutant yeast strain and some prayer, but I digress.
When tasting this beer, don't think beer - think brandy or a fine scotch whiskey. It's got more in common with them than anything that ever came out of a keg. It is zero carbonation by design. Don't look for foam, there ain't gonna be any. Look at the deep rich color and the legs it leaves on the glass. It almost has a viscous quality as it clings and runs down. It's also served at cellar temps or even closer to room temp. Do not chill this.
The aroma is wonderful. There is a huge complex malt quality that blends dark fruit with the vanilla and spice qualities from wood aging. I'm not a big fan of wood aged beer, but with this, it is well done and very enticing. The alcohol cannot be ignored, especially at these warmer temps, but this only helps to really volatilize the intense aromas.
The flavor is not beer. Not even close. But, you can close your eyes and identify the beer-like qualities of the intense malt and dark fruit. The liquid is thick in your mouth and just completely coats your tongue. The body is humongous. The flavor is intense, sweet, alcoholic, and very complex. The combination of the malt and the wood aging has brought out some very high end brandy and whiskey like qualities. Sip slowly and savor.
This is a "beer" that is not for everybody. It is rare to find, hideously expensive to buy, and totally worth it to try if you ever get the chance. Remove your preconceived notions of it as beer. It's a marvel of brewing prowess and totally unique in what it is. I think the bottle, unopened, would keep for quite a few years and probably improve with age. I actually bought 2 bottles of the 2009 vintage and plan to keep the second one until at least the next release in 2011.
03-29-2010 19:53:27 | More by tnlandsailor
4.43/5 rDev -0.7%
We had tried it before at GABF 2009- we went back a few times in line for a few servings (especially because it's $200 a bottle).
But this review is from the bottle:
It poured a dark caramel brown. NO carbonation
It smelled like alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, mixed with some raisin. It tasted like a beer liquor- alcohol, bourbon, sweet vanilla, maple syrup, prunes, figs, malty and nutty. A true sipper after dinner warmer. Overall absolutely delicious.
03-25-2010 20:27:50 | More by femALEist
4.08/5 rDev -8.5%
I received this as a belated Valentine's Day present from my girlfriend. Aw! She really does love me!
Look: Deep dark redish brown in color. Gold and mahogany both pop out at you when swirled. Its pretty neat (or just the lighting). No head or lacing.
Smell: Maple Syrup, Oak, Vanilla, Alcohol, Port, Sherry. Its all in there and it is amazing.
Taste: Warming alcohol at first sip, then you get to taste everything you smell. Very complex in flavor, its really interesting.
Mouth/Drink: Smooth but hot mouthfeel, obvious with the alcohol as high as it is. 2oz each time if enough for me. Enjoyable if you're a scotch or liquor drinker in general. Lots to be discovered in each sip.
03-25-2010 02:12:38 | More by travduke
3.95/5 rDev -11.4%
A: unique by any beers standards. Bright amber/golden color. Big legs on glass. No carbonation or head.
S: Wow, like a port wine. Heavy alcohol smell. Burned the inside of my nose.
T: All sorts of stuff going on here. Very complex. Molasses, vanilla, port all upfront.
M: Sweetness coated my mouth and then the booze came on strong. To strong for me.
D: If I was a cognac or port drinker, i would dig this for sure. However, I found myself wishing that I had a cold, carbonated, beer. I wouldn't have this again, however, you have to applaud the unique and daring lengths that Sam Adams has gone to with this one.
03-20-2010 01:43:24 | More by rrski198
4.65/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
03-03-2010 18:21:23 | More by Thorpe429
4.93/5 rDev +10.5%
100th Review - What a huge beer to celebrate this milestone with.
2009 bottle. I was going to try to save this bottle for a while. I thought to myself, life is too short... enjoy it. I busted it open at the Hilton at KTG day with larsonstyle and Zapps.
A - No head no lacing, clear mahogany, Flat. Looks like bourbon.
S - Toasted malts, oak, vanilla, dried fruit, nuts, alcohol, so much going on here. A symphony.
T - Maple syrup, vanilla, alcohol, nuts, fruit, resin, Such a broad range of flavor yet each component is so focused and dead on.
M - So rich, huge flavor, no carbonation.
D - I'm so happy I bought this beer for $150. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience. I have never had beer like this and I will most likely never have one like this again. Worth every penny. I could sip on this one and enjoy a 2 oz pour for hours.
03-02-2010 02:03:11 | More by DNICE555
4.65/5 rDev +4.3%
I'd been watching for the emergence of this beer for while. it showed at a local store and I snagged a couple. Opened the first an a family event... my brothers are all serious scotch drinkers... Then shared with a few in my brew club.
First impressions... wow... is this really a beer?
We poured a dram (1 oz) into scotch snifters. Snifters are very similar to the glass Sam Adams commissioned from Reidel for this beer.
Room temperature. This is Not Carbonated. You can open it, drink a little, close it, save it, repeat...
(Note- the bottle has a twist off porcelain cap. Under that is a beer cap for first opening)
Color is a dark earthy brown or scotch ale
Nose is huge, almost overwhelming. Maple, Oaky. Maybe a hint of burnt. Reminded us of a port...
Taste starts with Fig and Burnt Caramel. Raisin Finish is undeniable. Flavors are real complex. Reminded us of Monks blood - then we broke out a Monks blood and discovered it was like water compared to the Utopias. Similar Fig overtones.
mouthfeel is thick. Like butter. Smooth and warm.
This is a sippin beer. After I poured, folks would sip it. set it aside. Drink something else. Come back to it. The taste really grew on me.
02-28-2010 19:39:34 | More by bihartman
4.13/5 rDev -7.4%
The blended Utopia. I had over four ounces of this stuff and that was plenty. Beer is brown and hazy, no carbonation really, no head, no lacing. It looks about what I expected it to look like but on tap I was expecting more of an attempt at carbonation.
OK, the aroma is amazing. It smells like wood, alcohol, malts and liquor, like bourbon. It smells amazing.
Hmmm....taste....well to start the beer is medium to low bodied, there isn't any bitterness or carbonation to sour it out. Its sweet but not cloying at all, but it does finish really really dry and the alcohol is biting. It really is like sipping liquor not beer. Its plenty enjoyable but after four ounces I was ready to call it quits. I don't need anymore but I would try it again. Much better than the triple bock, overall a solid and impressive beer.
02-22-2010 03:31:35 | More by drabmuh
3.9/5 rDev -12.6%
Utopias really transcends what beer is. Unlike some other "beers" out there, this doesn't undergo any ice distillation or other techniques to increase the ABV unnaturally. It is 100% ninja made.
This beer in the right time and place is a great sipper. I'd schedule at least 30 minutes for a 2oz pour to do it right.
In this situation, Utopias is a complex son-of-a-bitch. Flavor pop up all over the place including vanilla, maple syrup, brown sugar, bourbon, sherry, caramel, and dark fruits. There are more in there but my brain can't handle that many sensations at once. I almost think of it as a cognac or sherry more than as a beer. Either way, it is interesting for sure. Also of note, when I've had it on cask before it wasn't carbonated. There was a touch of carbonation and decent head this time because it was served out of a quarter keg (yes, a fucking quarter keg of Utopias!!). Also, this is one boozy beer. The full 27% ABV isn't apparent but about 15% of it is and it is hot.
In a different time and place it blends beautifully with Canadian Breakfast Stout. The coffee and chocolate from the CBS add a great sensation to the beer and also drop the ABV to a completely reasonable 20ish percent.
In a third time and place it is the hardest yet most satisfying kegstand in the world. This beer is to be respected or it will kick your utopi-ass.
02-21-2010 21:42:24 | More by drseamus
4.13/5 rDev -7.4%
Review from notes (2009 release)
A - Poured absolutely still, a deep amber hue, much like a cognac in a snifter. Very clear, no sediment or bubbles. Legs cling to the glass when swirled. 4.0
S - Lots of maple syrup, brandy, notes of port wine, and a hint of Bristol cream sherry. Very heavy in the alcohol department, but is expected from a 27% abv beer. 4.0
T - Huge maple flavor nearly dominates the entire experience. Through the booze, I gather hints of oak and a bit of vanilla and cocao in the finish. Very apparent alcoholic spice. 4.5
M - Very hot and smooth. Burns slightly going down. Again, no carbonation but not syrupy either. 4.0
D - Decent for the abv, but a bit hot for that amount of alcohol though. 3.5
Overall - I was slightly underwhelmed by this experience. It was no doubt a delicious beer but certainly not worth the list price of $150 IMO. Luckily, I had this at a tasting for $14/oz. Quite enough for me.
02-21-2010 18:09:54 | More by DmanGTR
4.63/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
02-21-2010 02:03:18 | More by TMoney2591
3.38/5 rDev -24.2%
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.
02-21-2010 00:58:02 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.97/5 rDev +11.4%
Pretty impressive offering from Sam Adams. Pours a rich bronze with shades of ruby and amber. No head.
Nose has cognac, whiskey, sherry, oak, vanilla, peppery alcohol, caramel, toffee, rum soaked fruits, caramelized pecans and dank maple.
Taste has brandy, bourbon, wood, sherry, vanilla, maple, spicy alcohol, rich candies and nutty malts. Quite sweet, yet superbly balanced and hugely complex.
Thick, creamy body . Great finish.
I'll definately grab a bottle of this next time it's around.
02-20-2010 20:49:54 | More by rye726
4.1/5 rDev -8.1%
I tried this beer back in 2007. I was working at a store and my manager broke the neck off one of the 4 bottles we had on accident. The break was perfect. None of the beer spilled and it didn't get into the beer. I poured the remaining into a nalgene bottle and saved it until I got home for a more proper tasting. I like this beer because they are pushing the envelope and just the idea of what beer is and can be. No head at all completely no carbonation. Lots of molasses and caramelized sugars. Alcohol presence heavy, very very warming. It would make for a nice beer to enjoy during the heart of winter with good friends.
02-17-2010 21:18:27 | More by tippebrewcrew2
4.83/5 rDev +8.3%
Vintage 2007. Thanks to Kevin for his generosity in sharing this both now and at a previous tasting! The beer is a red copper color displaying plenty of church windows. Aromas of cognac, figs, plums, and raisins tickle the nose. Tastes of raisin, brown sugar, and a glorious spiritlike alcohol character that is just delicious. The body is thick and smooth, even without carbonation the feel is delightful. High in alcohol, but scrumptious to have sitting in the mouth. This is a beer I would drink all the time if it were feasible. Outstanding beer, while some may have "beat" it in terms of ABV, they taste comparatively atrocious to this masterpiece.
02-14-2010 22:52:42 | More by vacax
4.72/5 rDev +5.8%
Utopias is one of those beers that you really want to try based on its novelty of its alcohol percentage, but is very difficult to find. Even if you find it, you still have to fork over a lot of money. I found a bar in Santa Cruz which had this on the menu, and it being a fraction of the cost for a sample, I had to go for it. 1.5 ounces, on to the beer:
The ruby amber color, with hues of orange, red, and brown make this a pretty thing to look at. Even my brother who was with me wanted to examine the color! The color was only the begining though. Inhale that aroma! It is strong, so strong my borhter next to me could smell it. But it is a heavenly smell. It smelled like the best Belgian waffles with maple syrup I could imagine. Vanilla and grapes are present as well. There almost no heat to smell, which is hard to believe.
Like the aroma, the taste is glorious. I would say its taste is even more complex. Maple syrup, grapes, and bourbon soaked wood are the most prevailent tastes. Raspberries, burnt sugar, and a little kick of alcohol add to the beergasm. It's not too sweet or boozy. Feels like fine liquor, and drinks like fine liquor. I could have had another dose if I wanted too.
A masterpiece. Ok, I'm not so sure if I'd pay three figures for my own bottle, but for a small dose at a smaller price, do what I did and go for it!
02-07-2010 18:48:32 | More by DoubleJ
4.33/5 rDev -2.9%
Thanks to thirdeye11 and ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle with me. Bottle 08291 of the 2009 vintage.
Pours dark amber with no head. The aroma is maple syrup, vanilla and caramel. The flavor is alcohol, sherry, port, caramel, vanilla and maple syrup. Thin mouthfeel and no carbonation. The alcohol is pretty hot as you would expect for a beer of this strength, but the complex flavors and aromas make the beer outstanding.
02-06-2010 00:21:07 | More by Mora2000
4.38/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
02-04-2010 17:31:30 | More by womencantsail
4.35/5 rDev -2.5%
An awesome beer and a great experience to have for my 250th review, that culminates three years of BAdom and moves me up on the karmic plane of beer to disciple. Many thanks to thirdeye11 for the chance.
A- 4oz of ruby amber liquid into my Duvel glass. I was expecting a much thicker liquid, but no it's pretty thin, not much viscosity. Obviously no head or lacing (with no carbonation) but it's got some legs- thin trails going down the swirls of the glass.
S- Whoa careful where you whiff this beer- the smell is strong. For all the beers I've hated on for not having a strong enough smell this makes up for it all. My first impression is brandy. Then I smell brown sugar, dark cherries, dark sweet sweet orange, maple syrup, toffee. Incredibly complex. There is also tons of alcohol- burns off my nose hairs and stops me from just smelling it for the rest of the night.
T- In the taste there's more sweetness and fruit compared to the smell which had more liqueur, at least in my first sips. Maple syrup comes to the fore. Candied orange peel, tobacco, juicy vanilla bean pods, blueberries. I'm noticing the tobacco more and more, which gives it some Scotch notes. And like the smell the taste is incredibly complex.
M- Burn, obviously- it is 27%. I wish I could say that the alcohol is hidden but not really. The sweetness covers it up a bit but not to a great degree.
O- it's hard to rate this as a beer- more a liqueur. One of, if not the most complex beers I've ever had. Quite the special experience.
02-01-2010 06:13:20 | More by zdk9
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,814 ratings.