1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Utopias Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,908 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shoky01
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the Houston Flying Saucer with Jim Koch coming in for a visit. Serving type was a 2oz in a small snifter.

A: Chestnut brown, clear, no carbonation to speak of. No bubbles for lacing but stuck to the sides of the glass like a well aged bourbon or scotch.

S: Alcohol and molasses are the first impressions. Smells like an old scotch.

T: Tastes like an old scotch. Big alcohol burn, but that could've been from the habanero sour cream. Very sweet up front up front. Reminds me a bit of the Avery demon series with the bourbon-y flavor.

MF: Very smooth to drink but very sticky.

Overall i was not let down at all. been waiting a while to try this beer. At 27%, if i had a bottle it would take a long while to get through it, the sheer cost would also be a consideration.

shoky01, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of dstc
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the proper glass. Burnt caramel color with no head or noticeable carbonation. Dark and clear.

Aroma is all booze. Warming smell with hints of oak and reminiscent of bourbon.

Taste is very sweet, sticky sweet. Heavy alcohol taste. Oak and cherries in the taste. Ends warming and very sweet on the tongue.

Full mouthfeel and biting on the tongue. No carbonation and quite burning from the alcohol.

Nice sipper. One you truly have an ounce or two at a time. Very interesting beer and worth trying if you can get your hands on some.

dstc, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep mahogany broze color. Huge aroma of vanilla, caramel and maple syrup-it comes at you from even down on the counter in the glass. Lightly oaked. Just a gamut of flavors-huge caramel/maple flavors. Vanilla and oak. Trace of booziness. Serious malty quality going on. Decent mouthfeel-very sticky and gummy-has to be from residual sugars but still nice. Just a great experience all in. Obviously a sipper-small doses and special occassions are just the thing.

lackenhauser, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of ajsdad06
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

07 kettle.

Pours a clear deep copper color with zero head.

From the beginning this one doesn’t act like beer. The aroma is sweet maple syrup, caramel malt, cognac, vanilla, and dark fruits. The alcohol is not overly apparent.

The flavor has a high level of sweetness. More maple syrup, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and alcohol that diminishes with each sip. I might stress that this is a sipper.

Thick mouthfeel, viscous, and becomes more smooth as it warms.

This was enjoyable especially since I didn’t pay for the bottle. It barely resembles beer. This is much more like an after dinner drink. I like it, but I'm sure it's not for everyone.

ajsdad06, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of camil1mj
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 served at room temperature.

A: Deep crimson brown. No sight of or lacing or head.

S: Caramel, toffee sweatness and alcoholic heat.

M: Syrupy with no lacing whatsoever.

O: Exceeds expectations. I have had Tactical Nuclear Penguin and did not like it. This takes everything wrong with it and makes it right. Great flavors paired with good alcoholic heat. Glad I had the chance to try this.

camil1mj, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of jethrodium
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours a dark amber with obviously no head, but it does leave some serious legs on the glass as it is swirled. Huge aroma with big molasses, some brown sugar, a significant amount of booze (unsurprisingly), brandy, and vanilla. Taste is pretty sweet, but not cloying. The molasses and brown sugar are present. Brandy and vanilla comes through as well. A little bit of maple. The alcohol is certainly present, but surprisingly restrained given the ABV and the amount present on the nose. Full bodied. No carbonation. Drinks similar to something like a cognac, but the beer qualities are certainly there. Unique and enjoyable. I'm glad to have tried it.

jethrodium, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. 1 ounce pour at City Beer Store, in San Francisco. $20.

Samuel Adams Utopias has a colour worthy of its gorgeous bottle; you'd expect a beer of this nature to be more like a cognac and, indeed, it very much resembles one. It has a deep tawny hue (that turns a blazing scarlet into the light) and is pristinely clear. Somewhere along the way it appears to have traded in its foamy head for a set of sticky, teardrops legs.

Smelling is certainly the most time-consuming part of the Utopias experience. In terms of bouquets, there really is nothing else out there quite like this. (Not in the beer world anyhow, although again the similarities to cognac are apropos.) Given notes of dark fruits (plum, red grape) and treacle, I'd say a doppelbock is the closest, but even then you're comparing apples to oranges (that are blended from bourbon, sherry, brandy, cognac and pure oak casks).

Getting around the alcohol in the aroma can be a tricky ordeal, especially if you're not accustomed to such potency. But the air will wear down some of those esters, provided a steady regiment of swirling. The taste, on the other hand, never really has that problem - it is surprisingly much smoother than its strong smell would have you assume.

Notes of bourbon, wild honey, vanilla, macerated dark fruit and molasses show up on the palate much as they do in the nose. Here, however, without a cloud of fumes, we can appreciate even more flavours, notably those of maple syrup and a super abundance of clean oak wood. And on the palate we can actually taste familiar (but fortified) maltiness. Still, it is far more like a mead (fermented honey) than any other beer I've tried.

Those around the brewery have taken to calling this "sweet fire" but to be quite frank it is far more palatable those most spirits, at least to this non-spirit drinker. It has enough heat to soothe a sore throat, but it doesn't scathe it. You won't need a glass of water near by. And while part of it is aged in bourbon-barrels, it isn't obliterated by the bourbon like so many other offerings. Instead it has lush vanilla, tons of oak and a brandy-like richness.

Sam Adams Utopias was the longest one ounce of beer I've ever drank. It was certainly the most expensive and probably the most impressive too. I wanted to take the glass home with me just to keep smelling it - good thing I couldn't, I bet weeks later my girlfriend would be pleading with me to finally wash the thing. And I still wouldn't want to. Drinking Utopias after awhile you sort of get lost in another world... and you don't want to leave it.

biegaman, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Fairly dark but clear copper color with a slight ruby hue. Obviously there isn't any head but it has a thick and slick look.

S - Alcohol heat comes out strong but it doesn't detract from other aromas. Strong caramel and brown sugar. Touches of dark fruit and vinous aroma along with some vanilla. Sweet, thick, syrupy aroma with a strong alcohol aroma.

T - Alcohol burn is surprisingly well hidden. Very complex with sweet caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and syrup providing the background. Some dark fruit from the port also comes out with a slight vinous flavor but mostly plum and raisin. A nice vanilla kick shows up occasionally. Butterscotch and toffee are also pretty strong.

M - Medium to full body with no carbonation. Very sticky with a warming but not burning feel. Great to sip on.

D - Very nice sipping beer. Warming but not burning feel with increasingly complex flavors. Wonderful beer to sip on for awhile.

Notes: Had a 1 - 1.5 oz snifter at The Sanctuary in Iowa City. Very nice beer to sip on with amazing flavors and a nice warming feel. Alcohol was surprisingly well hidden. I loved how the barrels affected this beer; they really helped make this an excellent sipper.

FreshHawk, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber color, no head, but really nice legs.

The smell burns, impressive boozy nose, brown sugar.

Syrupy, stingy, plenty of sherry, walnut and maybe cherry. Candied pecans? Kinda vague Swiss cheese. There's a trace of malt, but not much that suggests beer. Lots of grape.

Mouthfeel is that of liqueur, what did you expect?

Impressive, complex. It's a malt liqueur, and aged in everything. Tastes kind of like everything, but not a clash. Paired with Fritos Flavor Twists (Honey BBQ). It's a pedestrian pairing, but the sweetness and potency of the Utopias does pair pretty well with the MSG and sodium of the twists.

zaphodchak, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally a tasting group and I opened a 2009 bottle that we all put in to buy over a year ago!

A: No head or carbonation, no surprise as I expected something like a cognac or bourbon in look and it does. Caramel brown crimson in color with plenty of legs left on the glass.

S: Super complex and inviting, could smell this every day and be happy. Tons of brown sugar and port notes emanate from the glass with super complex dark fruit and plenty of oak pulp. Maple, lots of alcohol sweet and savory, and heat in the nostrils of course. Vanilla, grape, and bourbon like notes. Wow!

T: Again, a huge complex beast. Tons of cherry in brown sugar, toffee, caramel, maple soaked oak, bourbon or port like alcohol, prunes and raisins, barley, vanilla coke, lots of spice maybe nutmeg?, dark fruit, holy crap. Jarringly complex flavor, if not for the heat it might be a 5.

M: Lots of heat, but thats expected, come on. drinks like a sipping liquor.

Overall a hell of a 'beer' thats more like a sipping whiskey or port. Very cool, would love another 2oz of this in the future. Very interesting how they brewed this without icing, and you can tell because its far better than the 'iced' beers out there.

Dreadnaught33, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle - great looking and fascinating; I really need to get my hands on this, definitely a collectors item; great design; poured into a small snifter port glass; special thanks to Beerman1965 for picking up this bottle!! I owe you one.

A - Brown cognac liquor colored body; no carbonation whatsoever; nice legs formed on the glass like a healthy wine; has a slight reddish colored hue; looks like a watery maple syrup

S - Brown sugar; maple syrup; caramel; very, very high ABV aroma, which burns the nostrils; oatmeal; raisin; graham crackers; dates; Marsala wine and molasses

T - High ABV flavor profile hits the tongue and burns for a bit; then a nice light liquor layer coats the tongue and the beer finishes off with a caramel creme brulee and maple syrup flavor; between that well orchestrated dance are hints of raisin, dates, brown sugar oatmeal; flan; Marsala wine

M - Airy brown sugar oatmeal aftertaste lingers for quite a while (fine with me); creamy and syrupy; chewy thick feel; airy

D - Wow! What can I say, I love this stuff, absolutely worth the wait; great across the board; I really liked this beer; could have been a bit thicker, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it; I really can't get enough of the smell, my nose was pretty much shoved in the glass for a whole minute; great aromas and fantastic taste; great job SA! I want the bottle!!

ferrari29, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note's from Captain Lawrence Rosso Batch 3 release / tasting:

2003 vintage, huge thanks to John for starting things off with this in the wee hours of the morning. It was dark so hard to see, but seemed like a deep dark murky brown or purple in the little light I had to work with. The smell was rich syrupy caramel. The taste followed the nose fairly sweet, but extremely drinkable. I only had a very small sample but this went down smooth and warmed me up immediately on a tiny sip as I battled the weather at that ungodly hour of the morning. A beer like this is unique and surprisingly together...the fact that you can drink it and reseal it and it will still last for years makes it really an anamoly, but it works.

cosmicevan, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of suspect
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a tasting of 4 different vintages of Samuel Adams Utopias on June 14, 2011. The numbers that correspond with this review come from my favorite vintage of the four, the 2007. The vintages sampled were 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2011 (bottle #05347). Big, huge thanks to my friend Chris for sharing. All reviews from notes taken at the time of the tasting.

A:
2003: Poured a cloudy, very light copper color with obvious zero carbonation.

2007: Slightly darker than the 2003 yet lighter than the 2009 and the 2011. Almost a pure copper. This vintage was clear, not cloudy and again and as always without carbonation.

2009: This was the darkest vintage of the four I tried - a deep amber as opposed to copper in color. Crystal clear and zero carbonation.

2011: Crystal clear, pure copper, darker than the 2007, yet slight lighter than the 2009. Zero carbonation here as well.

S:
2003: The first thing that hits my nose was the sweetness of the brown sugar. Followed closely by caramel. Oaky alcohol follows quickly behind the sweetness and really envelops the nose. It is, however, significantly less prevalent in the 2003 vintage than any of the other vintages.

2007: The alcohol backed down a bit from the 2009 and 2011 but was still a very dominant force in the nose of this one. It definitely had some fruit-sweet smell to it as well that wasn't obnoxious but was really settled in nicely between the alcohol, the oak, and the caramel. Very nice, complex smells are really separating well in this vintage.

2009: Malty sweetness combined with oak-aged whiskey (and the alcohol within) notes take home the awards for most obvious smells. There was some slight fruit tones to it but the alcohol quickly slapped them away.

2011: Strong oak and strong alcohol notes dominate the nose. It lets some of the toasted malts and caramel come through but by then your nose is burnt from sniffing such a strong beer that it's tough to pick out the complexities.

T:
2003: Oak and malty sweetness are the first things to hit the mouth followed by some brown sugar. This thing is really nice but it has less fruit notes than the 2007, which for me was really the cat's meow. This one definitely had the taste of a really nice port that was either mixed with a nice sherry or perhaps aged in barrels that were used to age sherry. It was my second favorite and the gap wasn't all that far put far enough to matter.

2007: Ok, here we go. This vintage stood out to me the most because of its complexity and how the fruit notes were able to shine through without being lost completely (see the 2003 notes). The alcohol backed away significantly from the 2009 and especially the 2011. Sweet caramel notes took the dance floor first and moved quickly aside to make way for the star of the show - the black cherry sweetness that danced a tango with the tart of plums. The tartness danced long after the sweetness took a bow and exited stage-right. It was the longest I've ever savored a beer and with reason. I didn't want to swallow it...it was that good.

2009: The sweetness of the brown sugar and caramel were quickly moved aside by the heat and taste of alcohol. It was nice and there was some fruit tones but much of it was diminished by that oaky-alcohol flavor that is nice, but just not all that complex. Granted, it was nicer than the 2011 but could use another 2-3 years to really come into it's own.

2011: Now I would have expected the 2011's most dominant flavor to be the alcohol, but it really wasn't it was a nice blend of alcohol, caramel and fruit (plums? grapes?) mixed with the high sweetness level of the malts. It's really interesting and you can tell it's just a baby compared to the rest of them. It's still really nice.

M: Generally for the most part, each vintage had a very similar mouthfeel. It was really warm all the way through, from when it first hits your lips all the way to about 2-3 minutes after the swallow. A really smooth burn...nice heat. Also, the sweetness lends to a sticky mouth feel, a bit like a liquor. It got smoother as it got older and the heat backed way down each vintage as well.

O: This is really a unique and special "beer." I put beer in quotes for the obvious reasons that it just isn't like any other beer. It lacks carbonation and that's weird to be drinking a beer that doesn't have carbonation but the overall complexity contained within that copper-kettle bottle is one of the biggest reasons to go find this beer.

suspect, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! 2005 Vintage (OH SNAP!)! Bottle #8458! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured ruby red with a very minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, alcohol (duh), and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, BIG alcohol (no shocker here), peat, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with very low carbonation. Overall this brew was excellent. I'm really glad I finally got the opportunity to give this one a shot. I thought this was going to kill me on the alcohol, but Sam Adams did a fantastic job on making it as sweet as possible to cut back on the burn and overwhelming alcohol flavor you get in other high ABV brews. Really enjoyed getting the chance to try this one. This one only came out during the tasting for one of two reasons I think... Either A) Rillo was really drunk or B) I mentioned to him that I had never tried Utopias before. Either were possible at this point honestly. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I got the chance and I am seriously debating on buying a bottle for myself in the future based on this experience dispite the high price.

thagr81us, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of BCGabbo
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Edition - 1oz (maybe 2 oz) poured into a cognac snifter.

A: Syrup. Laces the glass as if it doesnt want to let go.

S: Good gracious. Upon first whiff, I'm overwhelmed with smells. My nose doesnt even know how to handle everything coming at it. Raisins are the first thing that breaks through along with a molasses/brown sugar combination and finishes with a hint of bourbon/booziness. Each smell is a new experience.

T/M: Punches you in the face right from the start. The flavors are as complex as the smell. Overwhelmingly delicious, I swirl the first tiny sip in my mouth for a prolonged period of time unwilling to let go. The booze is obviously present, but despite the high ABV the other, more complex flavors shine through in the end.

Overall, this is an beer experience unlike any other I've had before. You NEED to try this 'beer' - if only just for one sip. The complexity of this blew me away. Its defines the term sipper. Unbelievably impressive creation. Cheers to Sam Adams!

BCGabbo, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of FARGO619
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NOTES: Tasted later last year. Poured from it's awesome looking brass bottle. The window on it to looking into the bottle was cool too.
A: Pours brown with no head whatsoever. Something you would expect from a beer. A beer.

S: Huge caramel and brown sugar characteristics. Super malty and sweet alcohol.

T: More of the same as with the nose. Caramel and toffee candy, quite sweet, but never cloying. Boozey and heavy on the alchohol. Like a sweet liquor.

M: Full-bodied, no carbonation, very smooth.

O: Not really in the beer catogory. This is more of a novilty. But glad I had the chance to try it. Would spend the 20 bucks a glass again.
Serving type: bottle into a taster.

FARGO619, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of pzrhsau
4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Nice rich amber burgundy color. No head or carbonation to speak of but it leaves nice streaks down the glass when you swirl it.
S: The first thing that hits you is the smell of booze, it's rather strong and shocking. Next you get some nice rich warm chocolately aromas and it blends into a port/sherry scent with some hints of dried plums and dark fruit. It also has some nice nutty sweetness to it.
T: The beer starts with a nice rich port/grape sweetness and some hints of the oak aging. The beer has some good undertones of chocolate and roasted malt that have a little bite from the hops. It also has some bourbon type vanilla undertones.
D/O: Great way to stretch the definition of beer yet again. Strong flavors that remind me of other liquors while still staying true to the traditional methods. Might not appeal to some but it's a great blend of flavors.

pzrhsau, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Thick in texture. There’s absolutely no head, expectedly. It has a deep, hazy brown color, a lot like a heavy Christmas cider.

S: The aroma is strong, it stings the nostrils. I bet it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good. What’s nice is that the initial alcohol aroma gives way to a cornucopia of scents: sweet caramel, almonds, smooth butterscotch, you really need to digest it through your nose before you digest it through your mouth.

T/M: Once you absorb the aroma, the taste adds another layer of complexity to the mix: strong alcohol closely followed by sweet molasses and caramel, tangy raisins, smooth nuttiness and a vanilla finish. It’s incredibly complex and borderline outlandish. As long as you enjoy it slowly, it’s akin to tasting a fine, sweet bourbon.

This is not your regular beer and shouldn’t be consumed as such. Appreciate this for what it is instead of what you expect it to be and it’s rather incredulous. I’m not really sure if it’s worth the price, but it’s definitely incredulous. I’m just glad I was able to partake.

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of amphion1065
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to go with "bottle." This review is for the 2011 vintage, poured into a petit brandy snifter.

Utopias pours a deep amber, ruby red with zero visible carbonation. When held up to the light, it gives off glints of chestnut. This beer redefines "coating the glass": swirling it around, it could easily be armagnac or port.

Certainly the hottest beer I've ever smelled - I got all 27% of Utopias upon first sniff. I've never experienced a nasal burn after smelling a beer before. Underlying that alcoholic singe is an incredibly rich melange of oak, leather, deep dried fruits and candied sugar. Sweet, rich and decadent.

My God the taste is smooth. There is an astonishingly small degree of alcohol bite - I felt a warming sensation shortly after starting in on my 1 (shoot me, 1.5) oz. pour, but that was the only real clue. The flavors really shine through here: leather, oak, vanilla, plums and molasses blend seamlessly. More viscous than scotch but thinner than most after-dinner liqueurs, this has a lush and pleasingly syrupy mouthfeel.

Utopias was an odd choice for a sunny June evening in Boston, but then again it does sort of make the evening its own. I'll be curious to see how it pairs with a roaring fire in December.

amphion1065, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of hamilton23
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice chestnut brown with no head at all.

S: Booze, booze and booze followed by candied sugar, some dried fruits, vanilla and a bit of candied nuts.

T: Sweet like a fine port or dessert wine. Notes of brown sugar, vanilla and candied fruit.

M: No carbonation, but who needs it with something like this. THis is a sipping beverage. Slightly oily.

O: Hard to even call this a beer. It really is like a sipping after dinner drink. Loads of complexity. It was amazing.

hamilton23, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle, 1.5 oz pour at ChurchKey DC into a snifter. Vintage 2011.

Dark cognac, deep dark amber in appearance in color. Looks like varnish without a film, clear, a few flecks of sediment or either black carbon but nothing real noticeable. Drooping legs expected and shown, red hues given on the edges of stained cherry wood.

Bouquet is concentrated malt first, almost into a paste. Hints of must. Obvious heat but nothing that burns badly, but also gives a burnt caramel sensation, or just slight burnt grain. Toffee, alcohol, wood closet sense but without the feeling something tannic is coming.

Taste is more so less noticeable at first than the mouthfeel. Incredibly sticky toffee sense, then a giant burst of black chewy licorice. Thick bodied with a toffee syrup bent and more malt concentration. The drink doesn't really flow in the palate, it gets stuck.

Cognac sensations but without the burn due to low proof. Finishes with brown sugar, and huge molasses. There is no sense of burn or heat suggested from the nose on this and makes for being very tolerable.

Overall it's a fun drink, but for the amount and price you have to pay I think I'll have to pass but I am very glad I tried it.

smakawhat, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased by BA guru harrymel and his lovely bride. I had this over at Churchkey. 1.5 oz. pour into a snifter.

A: Maroon, crystal clear, and with no head whatsoever. Hey, Sam Adams has never made any bones about the fact that this is more toward the spirt side as opposed to the beer one right?

S: Huge sugar bomb, with a bit of peppery woodiness mixed in as well. No hops, malt, or anything that might remind you that you are in fact drinking a beer... this was in a whole new category.

T: Fresh slivered almonds on the aftertaste, very port-like, and with a huge sugar profile. Think melted "Astro Pop," with chopped nuts.

M: Sweet, sweet, SWEET... yet still quite glorious. I got a mild prickle from the carbonation after searching, but that totally was not what this brew was about. No lacing.

O: There is no way in God's green earth I would ever pay over $250 a bottle for this stuff... but doesn't everyone say that? Still though, this was pretty damn good. I'm glad it exists for those willing to fork over the big dough, and thanks to harrymel for forking over the dough so I didn't have to.

Chaney, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of Gfunk720
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Bottle # 9990. Opened to honor the birth of my new nephew!

A- A very interesting brown color. Looks very much like a spirit with a thinner look on the edges. No carbonation at all. The beer is similar in color to a darkish rum.

S- The alcohol and booze hits the nose immediately, and stings a bit. It get some notes of caramel and molassas, as well as some maple. Smells like liqour.

T- Really quite nice. Like a nice clean sherry. More maple, molassas, and caramel. Malts galore, and hints of raisins and dates. It is much smoother than you would think from the nose.

M- For what they were shooting for, I'd imagine this is perfect. It's a little thick and liqoury, but the flavor just coats your mouth in an amazing way.

O- This was really an amazing beer. Far better than any of the Brewdog crap I've had. It's amazingly complex and tasty. Would love to see what this is like with a few years on it to mellow out the booziness.

-GFunk

Gfunk720, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of steffigal22
3.48/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010.
i paid $5 just to taste it, which i thought was a good deal even though the pouring was less than one ounce. it still seemed like that was enough to be able to write an adequate review on it anyway.

ATTACK- initially i was shocked by its super super sweetness, although that does make a lot of sense.

MID-PALATE- there is definitely that strong alcoholic warming sensation as it crosses the palate and goes down.

FINISH- it finished with a tingling which i would usually equate to sherry or brandy drinking because of its strength.

overall, it was a good enough experience, just much different than i had anticipated it would be; this beer surprised me.

steffigal22, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of cjacobsen
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Batch

(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.

cjacobsen, Jun 01, 2011
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.