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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,826 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,826
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 914
Gots: 307 | FT: 9
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: 1,826 | Reviews: 460 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a golden ring around the edges; no head, of course, but I was not expecting one

Smell: Burning whiff of maple, caramel, vanilla and rum-soaked golden fruit

Taste: Sweet and burning from the outset, with maple sugar, vanilla and caramel, along with the alcohol soaked golden raisins; after the swallow, a burning sensation of maple and vanilla, bordering on a Bourbon, but more like a liqueur

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; still, with no carbonation

Drinkability: A nice after dinner sipper, but something to spread out over time, as it is very stable; a nice toast to end Christmas 2008

12-25-2008 22:50:04 | More by brentk56
Photo of Shaon94
Shaon94

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

This was a 2007/2008 brew. Big thanks go out to a friend of mine for allowing me the pleasure of tasting this one. I know that without him having getting his hands on one I would have most likely never have tasted it.

If you blind poured this for anyone they would not be able to tell you that it was a beer. Period. I know that Sam Adams brewed it, but outside of that there is a hard time convincing myself to call it a beer.

Appearance - Same as everyone else Amber w/ no carbonation.

Smell - First and foremost alcohol, Spices, Syrup ?maple? (sorry I have a hard time with hard liquors and picking out smells)

Taste - Spiced Liquor at first with a great finish reminds me of pine nuts and maple syrup with a warm camel after taste that sticks around for a while. After finishing this I was tasting it for about 10 more minutes of a lingering Carmel taste. Very pleasant

Drinkability - It is a sipping liquor. Pour into a small glass and sip away a winter night with a group of friends. Personally thought it was hard to get down due to the high alcohol content.

If you do not like Hard liquors you will most likely not like this. I only drink beer, and I found myself having a really hard time with this one. I can definitely see where people would love this, but I personally would not go out of my way to have it again because it is more of a Hard Liquor than a beer.

12-23-2008 19:17:19 | More by Shaon94
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%

Review No. 500

Huge thanks goes out to EmperorStan for cracking his bottle with me, and for giving me a generous heavy handed pour of "a few ounces", and then a refill. What a guy!

Pours a beautiful mahogany color, with big ruby hues with some amber and brown all at once. Obviously, no head as there's no carbonation.

The aroma is awesome. Big notes of oak, tons of booze, some smoke, bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup.

I don't care what the "cheap cognac" people say. This is awesome, and one hell of a beer exploration. I applaud the envelope pushing at Boston Beer Co. Huge maple syrup note dominates the taste. It's like oak aged syrup, really. Very sweet, though not cloying in the course of a few ounces enjoyed over a moderate period of time. Some notes of vanilla, oak, and smoke are certainly all there.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied, and certainly syrupy feeling. Again, no carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability is suprisingly high. The flavor profile is spot on IMO and quite enjoyable, and although the alcohol is very apparent, it's an important aspect to this beer. I love it.

12-23-2008 04:35:31 | More by Goliath
Photo of smedley
smedley

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%

A - Thick, almost syrupy. Earthy, caramel color, no head. Swirling it around coats the side of the glass nicely.

S - Raisins, maple syrup, port wine. Strong alcohol smell. People sitting 15 feet away could smell the alcohol.

T - Maple, vanilla, raisins again. Strong at first taste, then becomes smoother and easier, leaves you with a blast of alcohol. Not quite cognac, but sort of...

M - Warming, burning alcohol, but at the same time, smooth

D - Sip this one and enjoy the complexity. This is not a beer by conventional definition. I only drank about 4 oz, and that was plenty. Kept me warm on a cold winter day

12-21-2008 02:31:53 | More by smedley
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

2005 vintage

A - Caramel, raisin color. Completely still. Syrupy legs left running down the side of the glass.

S - Very boozy, obviously at 20%+. Rubbing alcohol, a strange combo of sherry, port, cognac and bourbon all blended smoothly together. Raisins, brown sugar and plums with nose burning alcohol.

T - Reminds me of a nice rich cognac. Slight burning alcohol, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, sherry and plums. Nice and complex and much smoother than alcohol at similar proofs.

M - Thick and syrupy. Like a cross between alcohol and a liqueur.

D - You need to give it a little time to open up or it is an alcohol mess. Very good and nice to see some breweries, especially as big as Sam Adams pushing the edge on beer styles.

12-05-2008 01:14:50 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3.43/5  rDev -23.3%

At what point does beer stop being beer? That line lies, I think, somewhere between Extreme Beer and Utopia. This beverage may start out like beer, but on its trip to the brewing stratosphere, it winds up more like a poor cognac.

Pours a dark caramel with no head. Swirling it in a brandy snifter produces long, deep legs. The smell is a deep caramel, bourbon-like, perhaps a bit rasiny, with a slap of alcohol. The taste is brown sugar, creme brule, raisins, creme, vanilla, and bourbon. It suggests butter, praline, pecan, and walnut.The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, fatty around the mouth, very difficult to drink.

This is interesting to try, but it fails a key test: what is the point? If you want a beer, have a beer. If you want Cognac, have cognac. This is neither and therefore will satisfy nobody.

11-27-2008 00:09:44 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -2%

Thanks to tpd975 for the chance to try this. I poured my sample into a Bush (aka Scaldis) mini-goblet, which I don't think I've used since my trip to the brewery, so this felt like the right occasion.

Pours with no head, of course. (You trying brewing a 25% beer with any kind of head on it!) Rolls around in the glass like Frangelico or something; earthy amber in color.

Can't believe how good this smells. Given the high ABV you'd think it would be an aromatic disaster, but it's not. There's definitely a strong wave of alcohol fumes, but it also gives off brilliant woody and nutty aromas, a little vanilla too. Lots of oak as the smelling continues--but now I'm anxious for another sip...

Lots of repeat flavors from the aroma--oak-y, nutty, subtle vanilla (vanilla extract, anyway, but nothing wrong with that). Maybe a little maple, too. Alcohol is big, but completely sip-able, not at all cloying (amazing), lending added depth to the flavor without ever detracting. A total treat.

Texture is syrupy yet not heavy, has a soothing glide like a liqueur, and it pretty much tastes and drinks like a liqueur.

A special occasion beer--and yes, this is beer. Reminding myself of that as I sipped helped me remember 1) the almost limitless possibilities of the brewing process, and 2) the talent of Jim Koch and co. when they really roll their sleeves up and get to it. This is a far sight better than their Triple Bock--don't even compare the two, even if it's tempting to do so. (Thanks again Greg!)

10-23-2008 22:30:14 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of michael573114
michael573114

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +11.9%

I'm in love with this beer. I tasted the first version at a Boston beer fest, and was blown away. Later, I managed to pick up a single bottle of the 2005, and when the 2007 came out, I was ready.

Great beer. It reminds me a lot of a good tawny port, it's got that sweet carmelized flavor, almost like it was distilled. It's sticky and slightly thick like port.. but then you taste, and there are flavors here that you just cannot get with grapes.

Definitely sip this one... savor it. Share it with your friends, surprise them with the fact that yes, this really is beer.

Thanks to Jim Koch and everyone at Sam Adams, this is something truely unique.

10-23-2008 05:03:40 | More by michael573114
Photo of Hemi
Hemi

Colorado

4.78/5  rDev +6.9%

I had the pleasure to taste this at yesterdays GABF evening session. I was much more impressed than I thought I would be as it leaves a very pleasant maple and vanilla taste on your palate and although very alcoholic it had only subtle hits of its true abv. You do have some oak and Sherry notes that come through as well. It has a very thick mouth feel and no carbonation. This is truly a great beer that can be appreciated by any beer advocate.

10-12-2008 23:04:19 | More by Hemi
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Got a bottle of this from my brother for being his best man and shared it with everyone at the rehearsal dinner.

This pours a dark red/burgundy with no head at all, its served still. Looks thicker and almost syrupy compared to any other beer ever. Smells of cognac, port wine, alcohol, and maple. Tastes like it smells, lots of alcohol in there. This one is a sipper for sure! Sweet sticky mouthfeel with a slight alcohol burn and a thick body. This is one of those brews that truly breaks ground. Great brew that really is outside the box, I wish I could afford to drink this more often!

09-13-2008 03:27:31 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%

Had this in a wine glass from a friend.

Pours a brown, almost burgundy color with no head. Coats the glass fairly well when it's swirled.

Smells like a toffee liquor. Lots of buttery aroma, with a good bit of alcohol.

Tastes the same as it smells, but a bit more complex. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be buttery, but there's also some caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate. Very warming.

Mouthfeel is very good. It goes down very smoothly, and it has a good thickness.

This is pretty drinkable. It's not something I want to drink on a regular basis, but I had absolutely no trouble finishing the glass.

Overall I'm glad I had a chance to try this. It's very interesting, somehow it still resembles a beer. Definitely worth a try.

08-25-2008 22:44:58 | More by glid02
Photo of jwolfie70
jwolfie70

California

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Split this bottle with some great friends. I have been holding this for a couple of months now, and was very excited to try, but always thought I was going to be let down by it. Boy was I wrong. This exceeded my expectations.

Poured a syrupy dark amber with no carbonation. Smelt of condensed maple, alcohol and molasses. Taste was pure maple, molasses, and a smooth alcohol burn. Truly unique and amazing. I would recommend all BAs try this at least once. I know I will be getting a bottle of the next release.

08-05-2008 17:28:10 | More by jwolfie70
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.98/5  rDev -11%

Huge thanks to Jwolfie70 for his incredible generosity over the weekend. Had a chance to sample this along with some other rare brews as he cracked open his cellar (it took some cracking) to break out some of his Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme, and other delicacies.

What an awesome bottle. Pretty epic stuff.

Pours a slightly amber dark brown. No head. Smells wonderful: malty, woodsy, maple-syrupy, and the taste is very satisfying, with a vanilla/oaky/boozy overlay that makes it a wonderful sipper.

I could see how this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, and it certainly isn't "drinkable" in the slightest, but really wonderful to try.

08-04-2008 06:47:19 | More by Overlord
Photo of templar316
templar316

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +11.9%

Pours a beutiful golden brown into a tiny brandy snifter to capture the aroma. It looks more like liquor then beer, and the nose is off the charts (and clearly more developed then the 07). Malt, port, caramel, dates...Seriously, every other time I lifted this to my lips just inhaling the delicious aroma was enough. And the flavor; a drop on the tongue spreads throughout the mouth a delcious complicated hoppy, malty, caramel magic. Being stranded on a desert island would be worth it if a bottle of this was along. I thought this beer would be all hype but it was worth every dollar.

07-28-2008 01:28:18 | More by templar316
Photo of mhewes
mhewes

Colorado

5/5  rDev +11.9%

I was able to sample a 1 oz pour of this at Downtown Bar & Grill in Brooklyn. It was a nice dark bronze/copper color with no head or lacing (as expected). A very nice aroma with some sweet smells and vanilly. The flavor was very smooth which matched the aromas and you could taste the alcohol. It very much reminded me of a tawny port in both smell and taste. The mouthfeel was very smooth and syrupy. Even at the price, this is one that I would love to pick up a bottle of and slowly savor. It's definitely a sipper.

07-21-2008 14:00:35 | More by mhewes
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

This is a pretty brew. Flat, yes, but pretty none-the-less. Dark reddish amber, and very Cognac-like in appearance, how can one turn away. The aromas jump out at you whilst you take in the colour of this brew. Yes, they are that strong and seem to shout things like Alcohol!, Sugar!, Raisins!, Sherry!, Port!, Cognac!, Malts, and Plums! The taste is burning and singing with alcohol, but in a good way like a fine strong port, or a nice French Cognac. The taste is all alcohol, molasses, other sugars, dark fruits, nuts, syrups, and more. Truly a "beer" to behold. Mouthfeel is liquor-like and coating and the drinkability is actually quite good for a beer that you drink by the shot, or snifter. Truly a one-of-a-kind brew. I hope every BA gets to try this,

07-19-2008 02:10:43 | More by francisweizen
Photo of TheViceBlog
TheViceBlog

New York

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%

This is not just the best beer ever, it is not just the best fermented drink ever, but it is perhaps the best alcoholic beverage in the history of mankind. Let's just say, the long-dead American patriot shouldn't just be honored to have his name on this, he should be greatly worried that history will remember Sam Adams Utopias the beer before they remember Sam Adams the man.

Utopias comes in a bomber-sized, ceramic genie-bottle-shaped vessel that if you rub the side and unscrew the cap a spirit (luckily one NOT voiced by the insufferable Robin Williams) pops out, not granting you three wishes but instead telling you that if you have just a few ounces of this beer you will achieve nirvana.

Appearance: An absolutely gorgeous amber like what that dinosaur-blood-sucking mosquito was frozen in "Jurassic Park."

Smell: A bouquet of incredibly potent maple syrup, but this ain't Aunt Jemima, it's the good stuff you buy at a hippie farmer's market. The aroma goes up your nose as the Utopias' odorants bind with olfactory neuron cell bodies. Their axons synapse in the olfactory bulb region in your brain, making you go, "God Damn! I said God Damn!" like Mrs. Mia Wallace in "Pulp Fiction."

Taste: More full-bodied than Aretha Franklin. Maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, several different types of yeast, caramel malts, and a whole lotta hops though not much bite. Earthy with some spice and hints of bourbon and sherry due to aging I believe. A creamy, chocolate and coffee-like finish. More sublime than "40 Oz. to Freedom."

Mouthfeel: Nearly indescribable. As complex as beer, if not any alcohol, can possibly get. God did not create a human with enough writing prowess to adequately discuss the Utopias's feel. It is absolutely unlike beer, lacking in carbonation and with no need for refrigeration. It would best be described as nearer to being a potent barley wine, a sherry, an aged port, maybe a bourbon, or most likely fine cognac as composed to a measly brew. The difference between the "beers" of Utopias and, say, Bud Light is more pronounced than the the slugging difference between George Herman Ruth and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Drinkability: Eminently drinkable though one will probably never consume more than an ounce or two in a sitting as it is like drinking money. Figuratively of course.

Consuming this beer will ruin you for the rest of the day (if not your entire existence on planet earth). Not cause it's that potent-remember, you're only savoring a few ounces of it max-but, rather, because everything afterward will taste so sub-par.

Utopias will change your thoughts about beer and imbibing for the rest of time. If you are ever lucky enough to find this beer, pay whatever is asked for it.

I don't believe in a higher power but I still love Ben Franklin's famous saying, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." He could have easily been referring to Utopias.

My absolutely highest recommendation. A masterpiece.

Aaron
www.theviceblog.com

07-19-2008 01:29:22 | More by TheViceBlog
Photo of bonbini26
bonbini26

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance- dark copper, amber, no bubbles

Smell- vanilla, oak, maple syrup, alcohol, like a sweet port wine

Taste- sweet, warming notes of vanilla, syrup, oak barrels

Mouthfeel- thick coating of the mouth

Drinkability- sip all night long, great for breaking out for celebrations, (like when the Giants won the super bowl)

06-30-2008 19:48:50 | More by bonbini26
Photo of dewalt
dewalt

New York

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%

Tasted at room temperature, out of a snifter. It's slightly thick and syrupy, with a pleasant mouth feel. It's sweet and warming, with flavors of maple, vanilla, oak and caramel. It's a wholly unique experience -- it doesn't taste much like beer, or for that matter scotch or anything else. Absolutely worth trying, and worth the price, but not the sort of thing I'd want to regularly indulge in.

06-28-2008 23:01:38 | More by dewalt
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%

So I was lucky enough to get to try this one from a wonderful BA who capped a few ounces for me to enjoy. I had been dying to try a bottle but have never been able to land one personally so it was a good day for me to say the least to be able to finally try this. Let it chill out in the fridge for a couple days before pouring it into a small snifter to take a taste. The look was much like a strong barley wine for me. Rich and very hazy copper colored amber with a very dark and menacing look to it. No real head to speak of, nor any lace. Utterly motionless and menacing, this was really going to be a fun nightcap.

So I really did not know what to expect from this one, but went in for the smell and was blown away by how sweet it was. Really just tremendously rich in maple syrup like aroma. Lots of brandy like alcohol smell as well. Really complex, some light honey or caramel in there, quite nice overall. The flavor was more of the same with a rich and very sweet maple syrup like cognac taste. Huge profile here, with subtle hints of honey and anything else sweet you could think of. Fine spiciness with a deep warmth coming up from the bellows on this one. You could definitely feel the alcohol all the way, but it was not harsh at all and surprisingly quite mellow. The consistency of syrup, it was really quite nice. I had no issue sipping he few ounces I had, but that would be probably it for a session to really enjoy what this one can bring to the table.

Overall this was really unlike anything I had before. It is in a class of its own, as it should be and something that everyone should get to try. For 120.00 I would buy a bottle with no issues asked. I would love to have this one sitting around waiting for me every night!

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

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%

Appearance: Very deep, dark copper color. No head present. Very clean and clear looking.

Smell: Holy Maple Syrup!! Vanilla and oaky aroma are also present.

Taste: Once again- Holy Maple syrup. Very sweet. Slight vanilla taste also.

Mouthfeel: Just incredible. Silky smooth. Slight alcohol taste with the first few sips-warms all the way down.

Drinkability: Take it slow and easy with this one! A true sipper and great for after dinner.

This is a def must try- a holy grail of beer if you will- enough said.

05-26-2008 15:05:10 | More by Edgecrusher
Photo of gkatsoris
gkatsoris


4.78/5  rDev +6.9%

A: Clear oak. No head. Super inviting; alluring.

S: Even though there is a strong alcohol odor, the other aromas more than make up for it. MAPLE SYRUP, Vanilla, and oak.

T: Delicious. Wow. Maple syrup and vanilla. Warms the body and belly. The very last taste is when the hops are tasted.

M: Alcohol, and warming. BUT extremely smooth, extremely smooth.

D: Absolutely a sipper. Very complex and even more delicious.

I wish I could put this on waffles.

05-25-2008 22:50:29 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%

***2007 Vintage***

Big thanks to Mudpuppet for helping me knock off one of my holy grails.

I wanted to save this one for a quiet moment so my wife & i could savor it. Last Saturday, my daughter was babysat at my parents, so, perfect occasion to enjoy this. My wife pitched in this review.

Poured from a hand-bottled bottle, 2-3 oz.

Appearance: Pours a leather-brown body. No head or carbonation, which is to be expected.

Smell: High-octane alcohol which reminds me of a good whiskey. Heady & delightful!

Taste: Reminiscent of a good sherry or porto, strong in the forefront, kind of whispers at the end. Balanced through & through.

Mouthfeel: Warms the mouth, cloves & cherry in the palate with a dry, mild fruit-like (woodland berries) finish. A wood-like character permeates the taste but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely has a porto vibe to it. Sweet notes are also there but not sugary sweet, more of a warming, fruit-like sweetness, not artificial sweetness.

Drinkability: Top notch as this is a great sipper, perfect for the end of the evening. A couple of ounces is enough for one sitting.

Overall: Drop all preconceived notions of beer when tasting this. Treat it as you would any hard liquor of your choice & you'll be fine. Though i probably won't splurge 120$+ on a bottle, i definitely love this brew & was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to try it. You should try this at least once.

05-21-2008 12:16:59 | More by papat444
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

Quite a while ago I had the unfortunate experience of trying over and over again to like Sam Adams Triple Bock. I tried multiple bottles, both fresh and aged over 5 years. None of them worked for me. I could never get over the taste of soy sauce and dead yeast. Happily, this attempt at creating a super strong beer fares much better. First off, the bottle is beautiful- I love the copper sheathing. The pour itselff looks like a cognac or something, but slightly more viscous. No head at all, but excellent clarity and it sticks to the glass. The aromas are not at all beer like. Instead I get maple sweetened brandy, but nicely balanced and not too sweet. The taste is even nicer, for what it is. Long brandy like heat, but fairly smooth and tempered somewhat by clean-tasting relatively dry maple syrup flavors, and some vinous qualities. Extremely smooth in the mouth, and although surprisingly dry, the sweetness and feeling of alcohol build as you drink and necessitate only having a single small pour. Very interesting, and very much a beer digestif.

05-07-2008 17:10:34 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance: Spills out a clear, dark mahogany body. No head, but there's some legs to it. Oh, and what a classy-looking bottle.

Smell: Some toasty, carmelly malts along with dark fruits soaked in three parts cognac and one part Golden Grain.

Taste: It's sweet! Sugar-caoted dark fruits tossed into syrup. It's that sweet, people. Ah, caramel candy, too. Along that first taste you get a hit of very hot, throat-scalding alcohol, but with each consecutive sip it gets more and more creamy (or your tongue gets more and more numb). Warming finish, baby!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. No carbonation. Coating mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A super slow sipper for sure, and one that's made even more enjoyable when you weren't the one who actually paid for the bottle.

04-29-2008 21:08:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,826 ratings.