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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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2,051 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,051
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 1,123
Gots: 366 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-09-2005

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 2,051 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pahn
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of iii9ix3
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of mentor
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

November of 2011, a 2007 vintage into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pours still over a brilliant rich caramel-colored liquid. Smells caramel, vanillins, brown sugar, salt, soy, butterscotch schnapps, dusty maple syrup, mild smoke, burnt marshmallow, unripe green apples, honey, potent clean alcohol. Intriguing and inviting aromas. The brown sugar and alcohol pull me in, but the salt is a negative effect.

Tastes sticky sweet with refreshing alcohol burn. Caramel, toffee, oak, char, vanillins, clover honey, strongly of light-colored esters (pear, peach, tamarind), candied plums, salt, sherry, and cognac. Super thick in the mouth with no carbonation and with strong clean alcohol sting makes the beer liquor-like. Easy to hold in the mouth to suck on the flavors and see how the flavors slowly change as my saliva slowly dilutes the sample. Evolves while in the mouth.

One of a kind. Stunning. Complex, balanced, challenging, and yet very personable. Highly recommended.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 2 oz sample at beer week here from the 2011 batch.
Glowing, bronze/copper color with zero carbonation and lots of 'legs'. There is so much going on in the nose, smells so much like cognac with lots of vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee with hints of maple. The balance that is obtained in this beer even with the ABV and the amount of blending and aging is just fantastic. The tiniest of tiny sips explodes on the tongue with so much flavor. This beer is nothing short of spectacular. The smell and taste completely take over your senses. I was lucky to get a sizable portion for sampling. One of the most creative concoction, something every beer aficionado must have at least once in their lifetime.

Photo of stabzmcgee
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GABF 2011 Aroma is that of caramel, toffee, slight alcohol. Appearance is a beautiful amber with heavy legs, no head.Taste was amazing... like a very delicious maple syrup- cognac like taste. Palate was warming and smooth, perfect sweetness/ alcohol balance. Overall an amazing beer, something I was lucky enough to try. I don’t know if I would ever buy one (with the amazing price tag) but its definitely something special.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my brother-in-law and father last night. Opened in celebration of my passing the bar.

2011 vintage, bottle 12,560, served at room temperature.

Appearance – Pours a still flat into a sniffer. Held up to the light the beer gives off a dark caramel hue. When swirled around the glass it beads up in different sections as it trickles down. It looks quite fantastic for what it is.

Smell – Molasses and caramel, dark fruits, a slight nuttiness, and of course alcohol.

Taste – Wow. Loads of vanilla and dark fruits up front. The dark fruits begin to mix with sweeter caramel and toffee flavors midway through. There is a slight tinge of alcohol when you first take the sip but it fades. Oak and walnuts and a hint of oxidation it would seem finish up the array of flavors.

Mouthfeel – Completely flat (appropriately), medium bodied, creamy, coats the tongue.

Overall – A very unique and delicious after dinner beer that was enjoyed with good company. I can’t wait to have this again come Thanksgiving and Christmas time. My brother-in-law thought this was absolutely incredible and is also looking forward to visiting this again with a bit more age on it. While one could taste the alcohol, obviously, it was less prominent than one would have expected. A sipper for the ages.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle scored from Argonaut Liquors in Denver, CO $150. 2011 edition, bottle #01833. Into the SA Utopias glass.

A: Pours a beautiful brown deep with red highlights, no head (which was expected) just a few bubbles around the edge. This beer leaves some serious legs. Excellent clarity. Really a nice looking beer.

S: Intoxicating aroma, this is the beer that LA's Angel's Share strives to smell like. Tons of maple syrup, vanilla, toffee, a huge amount of caramel as well. Notes of port, sherry, rum, just a nice boozy aroma. A decent amount of oak finds its way in here as well. Smells incredibly rich and sweet.

T: Breath taking. Such a complex, flavorful beer. Caramel, and toffee, tons of vanilla, rich chocolate, walnuts. A lot of port notes. Rich dark fruit, plums, raisins, and over ripe cherries. Really a long, lingering after taste of raisins though. A touch of bitterness, which I'm not sure if it comes from the 27% alcohol or from hops, hard to say. Awesome amount of oak and the various barrels really shine, more as a melange of awesome as opposed to individual -bals. Really spectacular.

M: Thick and rich, no carbonation, a bit of warmth but it never really gets hot like other high abv beers are. Quite sticky on the lips.

O: Spectacular. Not much else to say here. Awesome flavors. Strong booze doesn't get in the way of the flavors either. This beer absolutely has lived up to the hype and everything that precedes it. Very happy to get a shot to try this, and I will enjoy the bottle for quite a while.

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2009 bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber/mahogany color with no carbonation at all.

Smell: Sweet, warm alcohol hits the nose right off the bad. I'm picking up some maple syrup and dark fruit in the nose as well.

Taste: The age has done this well. Still burns, but much smoother than it was when I first got it. Lost of alcohol and very sweet. More like liquor than beer. Very sweet with maple syrup and dark fruit notes. Reminds me a bit of bourbon, there is also some oak. Very complex. The finish is sweet and hot.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. No real carbonation to speak of with a slick finish.

Overall: Super complex and good. Such a unique beer. I feel like I picked up a new taste every time I took a sip. Definitely will have again.

Photo of peacebone116
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed the 2011 release of this beer at the Davis Whiskey Club. Poured into a small snifter at a little below room temperature.

A: Dark Ruby colored body with brown lowlights. Absolutely no head, but the beer is thick and clings to the legs of the glass.

N: Incredible aroma of oak, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, and booze--very hot!

T/M: The taste really follows the nose, but is significantly more complex: Oak, vanilla, bourbon, a little dark fruit, maple, toffee, caramel....there is so much going on in this beer! The heat is a little bit overpowering, but the richness of the flavors does decently to stand up to it. The beer is sticky and hot--no carbonation, which makes this seem more like a liquor than anything else. Very dry finish.

This is a fantastic, style-busting beer. I feel very privileged to have tried it...However, at $160/bottle (2011), I am not sure I would ever really want a bottle for myself. The beer is hot and is a great sipper, but it really reminds me of a bottle of Lost Abbey Deliverance, but stronger. Not to detract from the quality of the beer, but I really feel like the price-to-enjoyment ratio just does not pan out on this one for me personally. Good shit though.

Photo of bcostner1
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally opened my 2011 bottle after sitting on it for about 6 months. I couldn't take it anymore! Been wanting to drink this for a long time.

A: Dark mahogany brown with deep ruby red overtones. Pours very thickly...almost like syrup. Leaves heavy, viscous legs and lacing on the sides of the Utopias drinking glass. Very cool...

S: It hits me right away when I open the bottle. Get a very complex melange of: maple syrup, booze, bourbon, toffee, malt, and lots of other aromas I can't quite place. In the words of Ron Burgundy, "it stings the nostrils," but in a good way. :)

T: Really unlike anything I've ever had before. Rich toffee, caramel, maple syrup, nutty oakiness, dark fruit, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar...you name it, it's pretty much there (except for hops). A little hot kick on the back end from the booze but as I get about 1/2 way through the 2oz pour, that starts to dissipate (or else I'm getting buzzed and I don't care anymore) I know it's been said before, but it pretty much defies all styles to me. It is delicious.

M: Viscous and syrupy. Doesn't take much on my tongue to get the full flavor profile. For a beer this thick and this high of an ABV, mouthfeel kind of goes out the window for me. It's about as good as one can expect, but 2oz is plenty.

Overall, this was well worth the wait. I love it and am glad that I bought a bottle. I plan to enjoy it slowly over time with friends and for occasions.

Photo of Domingo
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been seeking this one for years and I luckily got to pour it at the 2011 Rare Beer Tasting at the Wynkoop.
It was on draft (a keg likely worth $6-7K) , and I got to try it both cooler and closer to room temperature. As it warms, I'd say the maple character comes out more in both the nose and taste.
From the tap it literally looks almost like maple syrup coming out. Very thick and viscous. It's roughly a chestnut brown color and is almost completely flat. It looks to be slightly more active than say, a brandy or whiskey, but there's no real carbonation.
The nose is less boozy than I figured. It reminds me a bit of an aged barleywine. Really heavy on the malt character. Almost like a mix of malt syrup and liquor, but not quite so hot.
The flavor's a welcome surprise and while it's definitely strong, it's a long way from being as strong as a liqueur. Brown sugar and maple along with that ever-present heavy malt syrup character. It should be noted that I LOVE malt syrup, so this isn't a bad thing! Compared with the other stronger beers I've had (ranging from 16-19%) I don't really think it's as boozy as I though it might be. It wasn't even as alcoholic tasting as some other beers I had the same day.
The texture is definitely closer to a liqueur than a beer. It's a hair thicker, but not by a lot. Still, at nearly 30% ABV, that's actually pretty ideal.
It's tough to review this as a beer simply because it's pushing boundaries of all sorts. It's somewhere between a barleywine, a liqueur, and even a spirit.
A modern marvel that's quite tasty in its own right. I'm not sure I'll go rushing out to buy a $150 bottle any time soon, but then again, I am tempted...

Photo of bonkers
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won a 4 ounce sample of the 2011 vintage at a festival, best 10 bucks ever spent. Poured into a tasting glass, dark brown headless pour. The aroma is amazing, oak, vanilla, bourbon, hot booze. The taste is as amazing as the aroma, finishes with lingering caramel and vanilla. The beer is smooth and sticky, no carbonation actually makes it smoother. The beer exceeded what I was expecting, my first 5, I definitely will be looking for more.

Photo of beagle75
3.96/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.
2011 vintage

A: Clear, dark amber color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass, although impossibly long legs are displayed.

S: Hot spirituous bourbon prevails here, showing many interesting facets and remarkable depth that speak to the more subtle contributions of other spirit barrels involved. Its volatility invades the nose, carrying with it notes of vanilla and dark fruit.

T: Begins extremely sweet, with potent fruit qualities, carnivorous savoriness, and strong ethyl alcohol. Brown sugar is revealed as a flavor component in the middle as the aggressive fruit recedes. Flavors generally lack octane later, becoming unexpectedly mellow after the early booze-driven assault. The finish is mildly woody but not bitter, preserving the lingering brown sugar from the middle.

M: Medium viscosity, evaporating on the palate like a pure spirit, with no carbonation. Alcohol is palpably hot, stinging the palate, and invisible solids are felt.

D/O: At first encounter this beer exhibits a convulsion-inducing quality that reminds of the way that an actor takes a stiff drink. Its early flavors overwhelm the senses while remaining true to the smell. It is able to lift the bourbon and other spirits from the wood successfully, yet their presence is short-lived. The latter two acts are surprisingly vacant--not by the standards of normal beer, but in this case compared to the beginning. Utopias may be the poster-child of extreme beer in America, possibly in need of a new style that is the plank-owner of.

Photo of cratez
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generous 4oz sample courtesy of Peter Chiodo. Thanks again! Savoured in a Samuel Adams Utopias glass.

Pours a clear reddish brown with no head or lacing, as expected. Resembles a fine cognac.

Robust and layered nose is sherry, bourbon, oak barrel, maple syrup, caramelized sugar, fusel alcohol, dark pit fruit, hazelnut, vinous red wine aromas, vanilla, and cream.

Taste is sticky sweet malts, toffee, more cream and vanilla, caramel, sherry, warming liquor, brown sugar, a little tartness, boozy burn to end. A remarkably delicious spirit-like beer.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick and oily middle, no carbonation, long drying finish with some heat in the throat. Satisfying.

Overall, this outrageous Strong Ale represents a huge achievement in craft brewing. Prior to tasting, I didn't know if I'd enjoy it since I'm not a big fan of hard liquor. However, it defied my expectations with its smooth, bold flavours and enormous depth of character. A boundary-pushing ASA that further expands the notion of what beer can be.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.97/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by jrallen34 before Sean's b-day party in Chicago (thanks Jason!). I've seen it previously for $150-199, never felt like throwing that much coin at a small bottle. So I was pretty glad to get a taste of this first.

It pours with no carbonation, clear copper color and no head. The aroma is really strong in a flavorful way, toffee/molasses and sherry, sweet smelling and like a liqueur.

Extremely tasty too, like an amaretto or sherry, sweet malts and alcohol, toffee and so forth, awesome. Burning aftertaste but not as burning as cognac. I liked it a lot more than I'd imagined I would.

Absolutely a magnificent example of how far beer can go. Worth $150+? Maybe or maybe not, at least the bottle will last a long time as a night cap beer.

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep cherry mahogany appearance. Not as thick as expected, leaves a nice legging.

S - Boozy, but has a sweet, maple aroma.

T - Not as boozy as the ABV or aroma leads on. Warm.

M - Has a nice, boozy tingle, nice prescence, and surprisingly drinkable. Very smooth, silky.

O - I was a bit apprehensive about the overall experience with this one, based on ABV, but Utopias is surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Mahogany in color with very noticeable ruby highlights throughout the beer. No head or carbonation, but that was known before I even poured.

S- BOOZE. Although this is not the only thing, its hard for it not to be the first thing you observe (and not surprising at 27% alcohol). Beneath the alcohol is maple syrup sweetness as well as figs and strong dark fruits. At the finish of each whiff is a stinging alcohol in the nostrils.

T- Strong dark fruits; figs, plums, and raisins. Sweet taste throughout the beer, best description I could give is it is that it is very "rich". Although the alcohol is quite noticeable from the get go, it rises towards the end with a strong bite on the tongue and a warming sensation with each sip. A very interesting and enjoyable maple syrup aftertaste.

M- A certain creamy feel even with the alcohol bite (if that makes sense) in the beginning which is followed up with a finishing hard alcohol bite on the tongue. No carbonation, warming alcohol sensation.

O- This, as expected, was a very different beer. Incredibly rich with an interesting alcohol bite that would intrigue those who enjoy sipping on bourbon. Seeing the high price on this beer gives me the lingering suspicion that I have tried it for both the first and last time. What a foreboding feeling.

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the saucer. It was poured from the bottle and served by the ounce. Poured into a small snifter.

Appearance- dark reddish brown, clear and syrupy. Clings to the glass as you swirl it around.
No head, no visible carbonation.

Smell- molasses and brown sugar. Alcohol is a caramelized scotch(as if it were reduced by heat). Very sweet, strong alcohol.

Taste- Sweet up front, but not as complexly sweet as the nose. Alcohol bite, but not as much as I expected. Very caramel and molasses.

Feel- much lighter than it looks and smells. Still a bit sticky.

Overall, very good, but not what I expected with the hype and price. I have a feeling it will be amazing in time!

Photo of adam42381
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 250th review on BA.

2011 Vintage.

This was available at Boulevard Tavern in Gateway - Fort Myers, FL. 2 ounce pour from the 750ml Utopias bottle into a snifter by the bartender.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown color reminiscent of flat cola. No head, no lacing as to be expected from a beer of this ABV%. There are nice legs to it reminiscent of a nice whiskey or cognac.

Smell: Sweet caramel, wet walnuts, dark fruits and alcohol. It smells hot, but not overpoweringly so.

Taste: Sweet caramel, vanilla, dark fruit. This is very complex and delicious. The alcohol is obviously there, but it doesn't overpower the flavors at all. There is a nice nutty/woody characteristic that's hard to define. The aftertaste is sweet and wonderful. Overall, the flavor is quite sweet and I love it.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and quite creamy. No carbonation at all. There's a clear alcohol burn going down, which is to be expected.

Drinkability: High drinkability. I really wish I had more than this 2 ounce pour. I could drink a few of these.

Overall: Amazing beer overall. I am so glad that I shelled out $15 for a 2 ounce pour. This would rate as as good a whiskey/cognac as I've ever had. Phenomenal. If you have the chance, try it.

Photo of shoky01
4.37/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of dstc
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of ajsdad06
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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.

Photo of jethrodium
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 2,051 ratings.