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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

1,916 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,916
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 969
Gots: 324 | 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
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Ratings: 1,916 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zdk9
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

zdk9, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of mlaroche
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Utopias glass at about 60-65F. 2009 vintage, opened a few weeks ago.

Appearance - tawny, no carbonation and no head (as expected). When I swirl, the liquid sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell - sweet. Not boozy - I'd expected it to smell and taste hot, but it smelled instead sweet - a bit chocolatey. A bit of raisins too.

Taste - Sweet. Less boozy-hot than many beers half its strength. Thick, complicated but balanced. A bit of vanilla, a bit of port, and maybe a bit of macadamia.

Mouthfeel - warming, sweet without being cloying. It's always what I'd imagined scotch or whiskey would be - not burning, complex, a bit like port, sweet.

Drinkability - I'm going to try to pick up a bottle every other year. If it cost $50 and were always available, I'd always have some on hand. A couple ounces after dinner makes a wonderful nightcap.

Big thanks to Bryan Brick at K&L for getting four bottles into their shop in Redwood City, California.

mlaroche, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of mjaskula
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great surprise Christmas present from my wife. 2009 vintage.

Served in a Utopias glass. Pours thick and syrupy, a slightly reddish copper, leaves some nice legs on the glass. No head or carbonation, as advertised.

Aroma is strong of alcohol and sweet brown sugar and maple syrup. Flavor is largely similar with some dark fruits showing through. Alcohol heat and spiciness come through in the middle and some faint hop flavors in the finish. Reminds me of a nice port wine.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. I guess I wouldn't call this drinkable because of the ABV (and cost), but I am wanting more.

My 100th review. Yay!

mjaskula, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of hoplover82
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I has the oppertunity to try this for free from a friend of mine sharing some that was shared with him.

This beer is truly extreme and epic

It poured a clear deep golden light amber color with no carbonation.

Smells like a harsh hot liqour. Very intimidating for me.

BUT THE TASTEIS AMAZING!!!! It was so easy drinking and flavorful. It was a 2005 addition so the flavor and mouthfeel was totally different form the smell. I got dark raisins and pruns mainly. Very simple. But I wanted to drink the rest of whatever was left, but I couldn't... :(

so very glad I was able to try it.

hoplover82, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of lightindarkness
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not really a beer I'd ever considered trying to get, then happened to come across it this year (2009) the day it arrived in my area, so, what the heck... a couple ounces poured into and sipped out of a Sam Adams Utopias Riedel glass.

Not a difficult beer to review in and of itself, but challenging because many of its characteristics need be considered outside of the average 'beer.' I find myself wondering if that inflates my rating, but I'm not so concerned given the unique nature of the beer.

Appearance- No excessively attractive 'beer' qualities other than color. No head or lace, obviously, but the legs on it are quite nice, reminiscent of a high abv wine. Viscosity with lack of carbonation hints at the after-dinner quality more common in a port or maybe sherry. The color is the highlight for me, rather attractive at a deep caramelly brown with lots of red and amber highlights.

Nose - The aroma is rather heavy, laden with notes of sugar and overripe dark fruits (prune, raisin), with a strong undercurrent of bourbon. Some light vanilla and caramel, maybe even a hint of coconut, but all likely present from the bourbon influence. Perhaps something woody like a greenish oak in there. Overall nose is familiar to high abv well aged beers, but this one has a characteristic nostril-warming alcohol presence beyond most.

Taste - Flavor is really about what I expected, though not in a disappointing sense. Very nicely arranged, strong and full, but not heavy or out of balance. Kind of like rum-soaked raisins dipped in butterscotch, it really presents overripe fruit forward in a syrupy caramelly sweetness. Almost a raw cocoa going into the bourbon finish, followed by some fumes of bourbon (and all that goes with it - caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, etc.) with only a mildly resonating alcohol. Leaves a sticky sweetness on the lips and a lingering kiss of vanilla in aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - For me, this is where this beer adds up. It is as I expected for the 27% alcohol, but with an even nicer balance of ability to enhance the flavor and experience without any detraction from it. Smooth in body, almost sticky and full like syrup. Alcohol sharpness cuts the feel and actually makes it much more palatable.

Drinkability - I suppose if you had to factor in cost of consumption along with abv, this really isn't a very drinkable beer. Except that, in reality, it is - though certainly as it was intended to be consumed. In sipping, it's easy to enjoy, very similar again to a port or sherry, though in its own way, more complex and a little tastier. Smooth and balanced, it certainly is a great concoction worth the try. Looking forward to sipping this bottle over some time to come.

lightindarkness, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of tburkhart
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from a generous BA from MN (thanks mothman) since I can't buy it here in OH.

A - Poured in my Utopias glass, appears a very deep copper with no head (no carbonation).

S - Dark fruits/raisins and alcohol. I'd be truly impressed if they managed to hide the 27% abv.

T - VERY SMOOTH. Alcohol is hidden nicely until the after taste. Just like the smell would imply, getting some dark fruits from this.

M - Above average for an American Strong Ale.

D - It's a sipper. Don't be stupid! For Jebus Christ sake, it's 27% abv! Don't drink a pint!!!

tburkhart, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of CRichardsMN
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have the rare opportunity to compare and contrast two vintages of Utopias (2007 & 2009). Thanks to my loving wife for understanding such an extravagant set of purchases!

Appearance:
Poured ~1 oz servings into side by side Riedel Utopias glasses.
2007 - Amber gold, no carbonation, syrupy film coats the glass.
2009 - Similar characteristics but slightly darker amber in color.

Smell:
2007 - Warm maple syrup and butter, caramel, walnuts, oak, warm but not of alcohol. Very intense but mild and smooth.
2009 - Again, similar characteristics but has a slightly denser nose that is less sweet.

Taste:
2007 - How can this be even considered as anything but perfect? Nearly identical to the smell but so much more intense. The flavors are so well balanced between the sweet and savory while being both light and dense at the same time. The alcohol is obviously there as it warms down your throat but never do you actually taste "alcohol." My favorite part is the intense mental image of pancakes with whipped butter and real maple syrup and walnuts.
2009 - Absolute bliss as while they are both the "same" "beer," they are distinctly different and both incredible. The 2009, with it's darker complexion has a bit more oak but is somehow lighter on the tongue as there may be a detectable carbonation. The flavors are slightly less sweet but equally balanced in every way as the 2007.

Mouthfeel:
2007 - Sipped so slowly, trying to pull every hint of flavor out of this beautiful liquid, the body is creamy smooth and thick with a sticky coating last long in the mouth. The flavors lend to being light on the palate so while the flavors are strong they do not change over the course of the drink.
2009 - The same syrupy sweet consistency coats the mouth but with a hidden lightness from a nearly imperceptible carbonation.

Upon initial opening of the 2007 vintage (nearly 9 months ago), it had the same perception of possible carbonation but as it has waited in it's bottle, it has not lost any attractiveness.

Drinkability:
This it truly the most intense and enjoyable beer experience I have had. Both brews are equally enjoyable and I will refrain from picking a vintage to prefer as I honestly don't know. In either case, I cannot think of a beverage (of any type) that has had as much impact on me.

Comment:
I have to say that Utopias is well out of my day-to-day price range, even if I could find it (I will not disclose my seller as I don't want to cause a stampede). I was first let into the know of Utopias by a co-worker of mine who has to this day, not found a bottle of for himself. I almost feel bad...

CRichardsMN, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Beerbuddha
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage

Appearance: Poured a golden amber color with no head at all. You could tell it was thick and syrupy.

Smell: Had nice hints of maple, caramel and vanilla. Smelled very cognac like to me.

Taste: Wow. Again very cognac and bourbon like in its flavor. I could taste hints of maple syrup, vanilla and caramel which was present int the aroma as well. A bit raisin-y(is that a word) as well.

Mouthfeel: syrup-y with no carbonation at all.

Drinkability: I was truly shocked. I thought this beer was all hype but after trying it I change my mind. Not sure I'd pay $200 for it but it was great.

Beerbuddha, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of HoldensHomebrew
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beer like any other beer? The Temecula Valley Homebrewers Association was lucky enough to have a representative from Sam Adams come to our meeting last night a bring a bottle for sharing. Unfortunately I was the last person to get about 0.25oz of this delicious beer.

A. A dark brown with ruby highlights, very clear. No carbonation, no head

S. Bourbon, Alcohol, Vanilla, Chocolate all come though in this beer.

T. Wish I could have gotten a bigger taste, but when 40 people are attempting to sample from one bottle what do you expect! The first taste you can tell this beer has some high alcohol to it. This was the latest version and could perhaps mellow with aging. Lots of Bourbon notes with some underlying chocolate/vanilla tones. Very sweet

M. No carbonation gave the beer a heavier mouthfeel then if this same beer had been carbed. No astrigency, some fusels.

D. Wonderfully drinkable, wish I could have had an entire glass of this beer to really sip and enjoy.

HoldensHomebrew, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Room temp, poured into the Riedel glass. Brown, chestnut look. No head at all. No lace at all. Big ass legs, however.

S - BOOZE, nuts, prunes and other dark fruits, burnt sugar.

T - Yawzah. Sweet, alcoholic, harsh, dark fruits, nutty, crazy.

M - Pretty heavy mouth. No carb. Balance on this is hard to discern.

D - Poured 3 oz. Probably enough for now. Excited I have more.

srandycarter, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ripped shots of this the other day at the bar. Thought it was ok, but definitely not worth it for the price. Poured a pale straw color with about three inches of white head. Smell was definitely of lemons with a metallic twinge. Looked weak in the shot glass. The first shot tasted a bit like rotten oranges. Ugh. Gross stuff. Luckily for the next two shots, we freshened this stuff up with some Kamchatka vodka ($10 for a handle, what a deal!). That made it a bit more tolerable, at least it got us drunk.

Just kidding.

I've wanted to try this stuff for a long time, and had basically decided that I would never get the chance. Damn it is tasty stuff, though. Maybe it's not exactly like a beer, but it definitely has beer-like characteristics. Many thanks to Josh, alleykatking, for a taste of this 2009 vintage.

Pours the color of maple syrup, deep copper brown-ish with no head. Has some legs on it too. Not especially beery, but with the bottle, this looks great. Smell was definitely robust, but a bit boozy for me. Raisin, syrup, vanilla, but good too. Taste is just exceptional. Little or no alcohol burn, tremendous vanilla, raisin, wood, figs, dark fruit, maple syrup, bourbon-y flavors, and a bit of malt in there too (reminds me that this is a beer). MF is a bit light, like a liquor, but smooth smooth smooth. Drinkability is exceptional considering the ABV. Definitely one of the best beers I've had, although not sure I could shell out the price for it.

Thanks again and many cheers to Josh for letting me sample this treat.

LordAdmNelson, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of weatherdog
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Gonzoillini for bringing this over to our tasting.

2009 Vintage

It was about a 2oz. pour into a nicely shaped mini glass that seemed perfect for a beverage of the sort. It was a deep ruby burnt brown color with legs that stayed on the edges of the glass for longer than I had ever seen. Just by looking at I could tell this is unlike any beverage I have ever had.

It has a similar aroma profile to cognac or a nice scotch but much sweeter and with a more robust fullness to it. Not nearly as much alcohol in the nose as I would have expected, I've smelled other 10-15% ABV beers with more burn. It was quite nice and just so rich I couldn't wait to taste it.

It drank like a brown sugar, bourbon, cognac mixture but with such a full body behind it. It was suggested to me to look for a little soy sauce character. I searched and got just a little bit of it but not enough to have pulled it out on my own and what I did taste was more complimentary to the taste than detrimental. It is easily the most complex thing I've ever tasted and every place in your mouth picked up a different character. When it was left in my mouth long enough I got a little alcohol burning sensation on the top of my mouth but not as much as I would have expected. It was truly a wonderful drink.

It was so smooth I couldn't believe it. I'm really glad it is served flat as carbonation would have been distracting. The 2 oz. I had were the perfect size and any more would have been filling. I'm giving it such a high drinkability score as it is well over twice as drinkable as the cognacs and whiskeys I have had. I figured halfish the ABV should be about twice as drinkable. The full bodiedness of it masks the alcohol and makes for an enjoyable drink.

I really am glad I got to try this without shelling out $25-40 in a bar setting. I really loved it and was a great experience and may even look for my own bottles as funds allow just to be able to pull out on those special occasions.

weatherdog, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of wnh
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small ounce or so pour, courtesy of a local distributor rep.

Pours a bright golden amber with lovely long legs. Completely flat.

Aromas of golden raisins, maple, brown sugar that is somehow 'clean,' highly oxidized fleshy apples, butterscotch, alcohol, and God only knows what else. Smells a lot like a well-aged English old ale, intensified.

Smooth and rich on the palate, showing the same notes as the nose. Alcohol is warming but not hot or boozy, quite an accomplishment for a beer of this caliber. Certainly a sipper, in any case. An absolutely beautiful beer, one not to pass up if given the opportunity.

Not as un-beer-like as many BAs seem to think. Big and complex and certainly unique, but fits relatively well under the strong ale / old ale umbrella.

wnh, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of JamesC7625
4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

While at the Flying Saucer in Garland, Texas a friend and I ordered a 2oz. taster of the Samuel Utopias. They advertised the tasters for New Years Eve, however we tried it several days later. We wound up getting probably 4-5oz. in a snifter, which delighted the hell out of us.

A. Dark, ruby color. Almost no carbonation at all. Syrupy, but not as much as I have seen in other beers other this style.

S. Because of the high alcohol content, you need to treat this as if it were bourbon or brandy. Keep your mouth slightly open as you sample the smell of the beer to really gather in more of the notes and avoid burning your nose hairs.

The smell to me was right off very buttery with lots of caramel. Very robust and complex, yet at the same time not totally overpowering.

T. Caramel and raisins. From here it turned to joyful bliss and nirvana.

M. A little syrupy, but not so much as to be a nuisance, just right. Almost immediately coated my tastes buds with a lasting and delicious finish.

D. Well, it is 27% ABV, and it is quite pricey. For a taster it cost us $25.00! However this a wonderful beer for anyone who has the funds and appreciation for what it is. This is one you have to try at least once.

JamesC7625, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of drgonzo3705
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice chestnutty carmel color with only a few bubbles popping up.

S: Caramel, soy sauce, port, brandy, cognac with a hint of a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick or a slight alcohol burn however you want to look at it.

T: Much like it smells. Many liquors from the barrels are evident. Big caramel maltiness some port, brandy, cognac.

M: Still with a full body and light creaminess.

D: surprisingly well for the ABV. Definitely a sipper. This was split amongst a small group. Definitely the way to go with this one.

drgonzo3705, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 300. 2009 vintage. This beer is difficult to pinpoint as it is not really like anything else I have had in the beer world. But with that said...here goes nothing. Poured 3oz glass.

A- Pours a clear deep copper amber color. This beer has no head which I expected. No lacing which once again I expected. Swirling it around in the glass I could see it coating the sides of the glass I used.

S- This is a very complex beer to sniff. There are a lot of hot alcohol qualities in this beer. But under that there is a light hint of vanilla along with some oak. Sweet caramel malts are in here along with a slight soy smell. Bourbon hints here and there as well.

T- Interesting beer to sip on. Overripe fruits tossed into a caramel sweetness is the first upfront flavor I get. This tended to go right into a bourbon style alcohol taste along with the hints of vanilla, some woody flavor, and a light sugary sweetness. Light burn throughout I thought. This is a monster of a beer which I am not sure if it could be actually called a beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is well...not really there at all...dead flat. Alcohol and a sugary sweetness is left on the palate and in the aftertaste. My lips had the same two things left on them after each sip. It's hard to say the beer was crisp or clean with the alcohol in it being so high. Dryed the mouth with each sip.

D- Nice drinkable beer at 3 to 4 ounces. Anything more than that and I think I would have a problem. This beer isn't made to be drank in huge amounts. Very interesting beer to say the least which I am glad I got to try. I don't think it was worth the price I payed (overall) but I went in on this with a couple of friends. Worth trying at least once in your beer drinking life.

alleykatking, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

To be honest I was not too impressed with this beer. While I am a Samuel Adams fan, this beverage did not hit it with me. First off, its very expensive which is the biggest turn off. Second, it drinks closer to a tawny port or port wine, maybe sherry. In some cases it's not classified as beer because of it's fermenting methods, and ABV Levels. Good taste, very good for sipping on. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great, it just doesn't remind me of what a beer should be. Plus, it's not worth the money.

StevenBilodeau, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

Pours deep tawny in color with no head. Get a nice sized sample because when you swirl it about half of it sticks to the sides of the glass.

This is one of the best smelling beers i've encountered. It reminds me of a nice stack of pancakes with melted butter and hot maple syrup on top. Raisin, alcohol, and vanilla come out as well. I'm sure there is a lot more going on in here that I can't pick out.

The flavor is a little more bourbony to me, not quite as strong, showing the maple, brown sugar, and vanilla notes. No carbonation, it doesn't need it, and a just slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Very rich and complex, one bottle of this could be shared with about thirty people.

This is a great beer that everyone should try if given the opportunity. If you find one, try to have a few friends go in on it with you and it'll be more fulfilling and won't bruise the old wallet quite as much.

brownbeer, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best of traders, largadeer, saved a couple of oz of the 2009 release for me. Thank you, Chris

The pour is quite excellent, a beautiful reddish brown color with immaculate legs. The snifter really shows this beer off.

The nose is rich, deep and complex. A blend of caramel, maple syrup, toffee dominate, but behind it, there's no mistaking the vanilla. The alcohol is quite dominant too, lending a spicy character. Mellow oxidation is noted, with a pleasant soy-like character. Fruity and vinous, this beer is like a blend of a liqueur and a port.

The palate is pretty amazing. Rich and complex, all the flavors on the nose are replicated, with the vinous character being boosted. Vanilla, maple, caramel, toffee, dates are all noticeable, and the fruity vinous character is just outstanding. While sweet, this is far from cloying, with the noticeably high alcohol helping to cut through the sweetness. A little hot on the finish, but it's thoroughly appropriate for a beverage like this. As expected, the tannic character is low. The oxidation I picked up on the nose isn't as noticeable too. Big in body with non-existent carbonation, this beverage is remarkable. I'm glad I got a chance to revisit this beer, I'm definitely picking up a bottle at the next release, price be damned. This is just too unique to pass up on.

*** Original review dated 01-28-2008 ***
Boy, I'm grateful i work with the people i do. We brewed beer today and my co-worker brought out a bottle of this year's Utopia(2007)!

A: It looks gorgeous, a deep ruby red with no carbonation. Swirling the glass revealed gorgeous legs. 4.5/5

S: Caramel, toffee, maple syrup. I smell some grapes too. This is a very different beer (You can't stress that enough) - more reminiscent of the port i had on new years than any beer i had. 4/5

T: Same as the nose with a mild nutty flavor. The alcohol is definitely present 4/5

M: Similar to a port or a dessert wine - thick, sweet and a sipper4/5

D: How do you rate the drinkability of this beer? A couple of ounces after a meal is all you really need. In that respect - it's good. 4/5

DefenCorps, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of dpg02633
3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an ego-project for Jim Koch. He and his comrades really challenged contemporary beer. Many tasters would probably compare this to a cabinet liquor to be poured over ice, however when you label it beer your mind starts to search and eventually locate the characteristics of a brave brew.

The smell was by far the best part of the beer. It smells of smokey oak vanilla. The taste is foreign for beer. It is very sweet, and heavy. You immediately pick up on the caramel and finish with burning sensation, similar to that of whiskey. The flavor reminds me of my Aunt Ethel's Christmas rum ball cookies. They were not her best, but we ate them. This is not for a weak-palate. Do not be afraid to move around in your mouth. The syrupy texture sticks and resonates in your mouth to cause a true flavor explosion. My advice is to drink this beer as directed. Two ounces at a time, once a decade.

I am sure many main stream beer drinkers would like take a shot of Utopias and chase it with Bud Light, or even drop a shot of this into a pint of Guiness, but please hold back the fratboy-horses and enjoy the complexity of this beer.

dpg02633, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review number 700.

2009 Vintage.

Pours a beautiful deep clear burgundy color sticking nicely to the side of the glass.

Scent of vanilla, sweet brandy, strong sugars, maple syrup, molasses, oak, burnt caramel, a hint of smoke, and a nice warming alcohol. Deep, rich, and complex, surprisingly balanced for being so fresh.

Taste of sugars, caramel, molasses, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, brandy, charred oak, and strong alcohol. Sweet and boozy, this is some very tasty stuff. The bitter alcohol and sweet sugary flavor blend together very well.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth, with a slick syrupy consistency. The strong alcohol content adds a powerful bite to the mouthfeel adding to the slick oiliness, the mouthfeel is simply sublime.

It is somewhat hard to rate a beer like this in terms of drinkability, but this stuff does go down pretty easy.

paco1029384756, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of callmescraps
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ups to my buddy for giving a tipple. Wasn't expecting it, a very pleasant surprise. Enjoyed with good company.

Appearance- Very nice light brown color. Almost a chestnut. No head at all. Not even a bubble. Very nice legs on the glass.

Smell- Very pleasant. Like a port or a brandy. Some raisin, some vanilla. Plenty of maple syrup. Lots of alcohol fumes, which was unexpected. Leather.

Taste- Fascinating. Definitely the maple syrup, it's got a nice sweetness. Which is balanced by the booze. Hint of cherry and raisin. Touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel- Very pleasant. Carbonation would be misplaced. However, it's a little syrupy.

Drinkability- Pretty good given the abv. I finished my pour faster than anticipated and certainly wanted more.

This isn't really a beer. It's incredibly hard to rate "within style" because I'm not sure there's really a style here. It's a wholly unique creation. It's almost like a maple syrup port liqueur. But not overly sweet. Glad for the opportunity. Probably wouldn't buy a bottle, but would be happy to have it again.

callmescraps, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Richardberg
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - looks like brandy in color and body. Poured into a Kahlua tasting glass, it's quite sticky and leaves tons of fingers & ropes on the rim when swirled.

S - whoa - vanilla, raisin, bourbon/oak, alky, toasty sweet caramel

T - similar to a sherry, with all the added complexities from the smell

M - very smooth, medium to full body, no fizz obviously, surprisingly little bite

D - quite drinkable -- err, sippable -- considering the gravity. But let's be real, it's not the first thing to come to mind when you think of drinkability, no matter how enjoyable

Richardberg, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to procure a bottle of this 2009 vintage on christmas eve.

Poured into a snifter at room temperature (just couldn't wait for my "free" utopias glass). 2 or 3oz for starters. Pours a dead flat (as expected) ruby brown color with legs like a fine liquor.

Nose is loaded with sticky malt sweetness and some slight soy like twinge. Lots of booze in the nose, and some caramel.

Wow. Certainly an excellent beverage. Big sweet dark fruit notes like booze glazed plums, vanilla raisins, and a brandy like body and base. Really like a huge, colossal, monstrosity of an english barleywine. The booze profile is certainly high in this one, but when you think of it as what it really is, a liquor, its not bad at all. Malt sugar is apparent, but not overly cloying or anything. Even in this beer, you can taste that typical high abv sam adams tweak. The finish is not bitter at all, goes down pretty easily, and then a brandyish cognacey nip followed by nearly booze like alcohol burn sets in, but doesn't give that solid stomach flame you find in good booze. Basically a gimungous hunormous english barleywine.

Mouthfeel is pretty viscous, but certainly not overly so, about right for what it is...booze. No carbonation whatsoever, but that is intended so i can't really take any points away here for that.

Drinkability, well, its good...for booze. haha. Beerwise its fuckin terrible, but really, come on, this is beerbooze. And for booze, it drinks scarily easy, as it is low in abv.

Well, i dont know if i've said this or not yet, but this is BOOZE! Yeah, the base is beer, and its really cool, and its beer-like englishbarleybooze, and a fine beverage, but this is more of a malt liquor (I mean that literally, not in the steel reserve way). The closest beer this resembles is a fatass gigantic english barleywine. Certainly worth the experience, but given the option of spending $180 on this again, or buying a $180 bottle of fine scotch or other whiskey...i can't see purchasing this again. Definitely not upset with the purchase though, a tasty beverage that i would certainly drink again, and buy again if i could just buy a shooter of it or a snifter at the bar. There is really no way to accurately rate this as far as a numeric score, but i have to to post this, so i will...i guess..

Many have questioned whether or not this can be opened and enjoyed over time rather than all at once. I will see over time, because there is no damn way im drinking this bitch all tonight, but my first impression is that you could recap this and let it sit just like a bottle of booze. What gives me this impression? Oh i don't know, maybe the fact that this IS a bottle of booze!

AKBelgianBeast, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of jzeilinger
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This particular bottle is the 2009 batch, bottle number 437. Pours into the Sam Adams Utopias glass as a brownish/red or deep copper color. Swirl the glass gently and it sticks to the sides like a viscous, syrup; this stuff is THICK! There's no carbonation and no lacing. Smells of maple, cinnamon, whiskey, bourban, vanilla. Perhaps a slight hint of butter? (very, very faint, though.) The taste is, well...good gawd, is this really beer? I sip this and think I'm drinking a fine cognac, it doesn't taste like beer, it tastes like a cordial. Picking up nuances of vanilla, cinnamon, maple, massive amounts bourban, sherry, and whiskey. In fact, there's so many different layers of complexity that I can't even detect them all. There's a huge burning sensation in the throat for an extended period of time after the sip. The texture is amazingly velvety smooth on the tongue. This is more of a cognac than a beer and I'm blown away by this beer, it's so incredible, different, and pushes the envelope to such extreme measure that the line between liquor and beer has now been fogged. I'm fortunate to have gotten a bottle of this through a family connection, I hope to experience this again before I die! The big down side is because of the 50 barrel quantity, it's darn hard to find and when you do, who can really afford it? My father in law works for Sam Adams so I'm blessed. (Go ahead, punch me!!)

jzeilinger, Dec 23, 2009
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,916 ratings.