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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
97
world-class

1,929 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,929
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 971
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: 1,929 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerwolf77
4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obtaining this beer can be quite an adventure. So I must give huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for doing the leg work on getting this one.

Poured into a snifter the beer is crystal clear orange amber with red edges. No head no lace. However the legs this beer leaves with each swirl are ZZ Top worthy. It simply clings to the glass like its life depends on it. Slowly dripping down like syrupy tears. Absolutley beautiful.

The aroma is straight up bourbon. Wow this stuff is potent. It burns my nostrils with every whiff. Once you get past the booze you can find a array of dark fruit, caramel, roast nuts and smoked oakwood.

The flavor is ahuge suprise after getting through the nose. It's so smooth and flavorful. Sweet candied fruit, brown sugar, maple syrup, oak barrel, toasted nuts, toasted bread and slight bitter cherry in the finish. This is the most complex beer I've ever had the chance to enjoy.

The body is pure velvet smoothness. Just like a fine scotch with less burn. Not a trace of carbonation.

Overall this was the most unique beer to ever touch my lips. I'm so glad Andy was able to score a bottle and split it with me. I look forward to sipping this beer on cold Wisconsin nights. Fantastic.

beerwolf77, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped open a 2005 bottle to commemorate a friend who recently passed away, here's to you Ben.

A - Syrupy pour, redish, amberish, with yellow on the edges. No bubbles or head to speak of, sticks to the glass as it slides down the side.

S - Wow, it's like I'm getting a whiff of scotch in this. Alchohol smell is like that of a bourbon, scotch, or some other sort of whiskey. A lot of maple syrup smell in this, but the alcohol definately blows you away. Oaky with a vanilla hint.

T - Hard to believe this has as much alcohol in there as there is. The beauty in this beer is that you really can't taste it. Get a huge maple syrup taste, hint of vanilla, and some oak. It's sweet and good.

M - Syrupy and thick, coats the tongue and leaves the mouth sticky.

D - Given how much alcohol is in it, this is dangerously drinkable. Not something you can pound, but easier to drink than some "normal" beers I've had.

AgentZero, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of capra12
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at RnH, 1 oz pour into a short snifer glass.

Appearance: maple in color with no head and slightly viscous.

Smell: one word intense. Sweet maple syrup, caramel, toffee, malt, earthy amd definite alcohol with a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Opens with an intense sweet raisin with hints of caramel and toffee,and earthy oakiness. The alcohol burn in this is undeniable but contributes to the intense ages flavor profile of this brew. Almost like a fine cognac. The maple syrup in this subtle but is present. The aftertaste is warm, sweet and earthy.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but packed with flavor, zero carbonation and smooth and coarse at the same time.

Drinkability: definitely a sipper but I would definitely have this again. I'm glad I tried it and I recommend others to try it as well. I recommend this for cognac lovers as well as those seeking an intense sweet earthy raisin profile with an alcohol nose and presence throughout.

capra12, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of sweemzander
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2oz. room temperature pour into a stemmed glass. 2009 Vintage. A million thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing the wealth!

(A)- Pours a hazy mahogany amber with reddish & golden yellow highlights depending on how you look at it. No carbonation, but the alcohol "legs" are just clinging to every millimeter of the glass like a beautiful whiskey or port.

(S)- Nutty, with sweet honey, toffee, butterscotch, and maple syrup. Bits of figs, raisins, and marashino cherries. Slightly earthy and rustic within the nuttiness. Very tawny port-like. Finishes with a light vanilla oakiness.

(T)- Very rich. Sweet, with honey and nutty maple syrup. Some brown sugar with a smooth vanilla-oak finish. Some of that fig nuance inside the honey characteristic. I still taste it at least a minute + after each sip. So complex that I do not think I came even close to what is all in this beer!

(M)- A warmth of alcohol, but in no way overpowering or harsh, in fact, it is surprisingly smooth! Yes, it has a whopping 27% abv, but it feels like much less than that. I am extremely surprised and impressed how easy this goes down actually. Incredible feel and silkiness behind the warmth. If this was carbonated, I think it would ruin what this has to offer!

(D)- What a crazy beer. Ridiculous on all levels, but surprisingly smooth with no serious alcohol bite. One sip of this has more flavor & richness than a whole case of your typical beer. Definitely Definitely a sipper; only have an ounce or two at a time. This is far too special and good to consume mass amounts of it (which I could if I wanted to!) A great after dinner nightcap to warm the bones in the heart of winter! Be careful, this is a dangerous brew! I could sip this all night if I could. I would rate this even higher on the drinkability scale than I did, but this is just too special and unique to be something you have on a regular basis.
So complex and tasty! So many nuances in this, In my opinion, my review does not completely do this beer justice! Another thank you to BeerFMAndy for letting me try this incredible & spectacular brew!

sweemzander, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= poured from my fresh bottle of 2007 Utopias. Really there is nothing to compare this to so how can it be anything other than perfect. It's a beautiful brownish amber color with no head; but hey like I said is this how it's suppose to be???? Yes, yes it is. I can't dock points for it not having a head or lacing because I'm not sure if it's even possible. The color is great though.
S= Loads of sweet mapley awesomness. It smells like nothing I could have ever imagined. There is of course alcohol present but It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The alcohol just tingles on the back of the nose I guess is the best way to explain it. Much like there are multiple places on the tongue when you sip there are multiple nose notes. Up front Maple then some actual recognizable malts come through. There is a lot of toffee and caramel goodness I even get a little chocolate and coffee deeper in there. Then I encounter tons of wood. Oak and vanilla take over my nose and then finish on the way down with an alcohol burn. Awesome.
T= Again completely unexpected. Of course this beer has a ton of alcohol in it but the taste is so much more. The path across my nose follows the smell very much in the same way. Up front there is TONS of maple in it. Sweet rich maple. One of the sweetest beers I've ever had. From the sweet maple goodness you sort of skip over all recognizable malt flavor because the maple hits you that deep. From there you get all the sweet wood flavor. A little bourbon (I'm not sure if bourbon barrels were used or not it may just be the alcohol) vanilla is all over my tongue. The finish is hot and boozy.
M= Burns my tongue. The most coating beer I've ever felt before. It just hit you penetrates all nooks and crannies in your tongue and sits. Even with the small sips I'm taking it covers the mouth. Hot and wild.
D= How can you rate this beer anything less than perfect... This is a beer that all other "extreme" beers will have to match up to. There is nothing to compare this too and is so far out there that I'm not sure if people will try to match this. Not only that but it's awesome. Not the best beer I've ever had but it's up there and for the "style" it's perfect.

jjanega08, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of reustyMMX
3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had this from a bottle at my favorite bar, they had two bottles and were serving by the oz.

A: Deep amber, ruby. No carbonation.

S: Rich, complex, layered, very similar to a port or fine scotch.

T: Thick, syrupy, maple tones, and a large amount of alcohol warmth.

M: Chewy, syrupy, almost certainly different from any beer you've had before.

D: Definatly a sipper due to rich flavor, alcohol content, and price.

Overall a unique experience, a novelty. I'm glad I had the opportunity to taste it, but for $225 a bottle here in Rochester, I'd rather have an early 90's vintage Thomas Hardy's ale if I am looking for a similar experience.

reustyMMX, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Thanks Torry. Consumed on 11/22/2009 in a snifter. The beer pours deep crimson and still. A swirl of the glass yields an amazing string of pearls.

The aroma is stellar. The alcohol stings my nostrils when I plunge my nose in the snifter and maple wafts from the glass. I detect tobacco, vanilla, leather, and a distinct earthiness. The sweet vinous quality is reminiscent of a fine Port or Cognac. Wood and toffee are evident. Outstanding.

Wow. This has notes of a big English Barleywine with the strong toffee. Maple is evident. This is like a cross between a fine port and a cognac. I detect Tobacco, earthiness, a touch of caramel, leather, vanilla, plums, dates, and ripe grapes. The booze is strong, about 27% strong. There's a subtle sherry-like oxidation. The finish is sweet maple with brown sugar, vanilla, and a dark fruit finish.

The beer has a sticky, coating, and full mouthfeel, like a nice port wine. This concoction is amazingly complex. This is not far off from a fine Añejo, Port, or Cognac. It's rewarding sipper and unlike anything I've ever had. Considering the price tag, I couldn't see myself buying a bottle of this in the near future.

Utopias was awesome to try and my second glass was delicious with a cigar, but $180 is simply insane. I'd love to give the drinkability a 5, but at some point the price must be factored in when it gets to such a level. If this were $40-$50 and readily available it would be a staple in my house.

HopHead84, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of josefnewsong
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

They were selling this on tap for $15 an ounce. Luckily my boy was working at the Tap and gave me a free taste...Nose was all about whisky and honey. The taste was like a port wine or mead with intense alcohol flavor as well. This was amazing, but no beer is worth so much money. A gimmick if you ask me, but a very very tasty gimmick.

josefnewsong, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of davod23
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Are you KIDDING me? Poured from the bottle into a small brandy snifter.

Poured the color of Grade A maple syrup, although not quite as thick. Medium-bodied. Obviously, no head or carbonation to speak off. However, a little swirl of the glass produces a nice surprise - the liquid sticks to the sides of the glass and produces ridiculous legs. I have never seen anything quite like this in a beer.

Smell... wow. Maple, sweet port, wood notes, vanilla, and alcohol heat combine at the very start. After I dissect the brew for a while, I discover gingerbread, spiced rum cake, and fruitcake in the nose as well. Also, there's something about it that reminds me of the holiday season, but I can't put my finger on it... it's a sweet smell, kinda like cake icing... but I don't think that is completely accurate. Anyway, this smells AWESOME.

Taste is similarly magnificent. Maple syrup is there in high quantity, but it also tastes of port, cognac, oak, and spice. The alcohol that was fairly obvious in the nose is largely absent from the taste - only by swirling this beer around in my mouth does the heat make itself known. The swallow also fills my throat and belly with a warm sensation. After a bit, I notice caramel, figs, and raisins in the the taste as well. Wow, this is awesome.

Mouthfeel is quite good. It's medium-bodied, and feels like liquor in your mouth. The finish is surprisingly clean. Given that this beer is SO unusual, I don't really know what to say about it. As my friends said, "This isn't beer."

I find that ranking the drinkability of beer to be the most difficult thing to do in reviews. Maybe that's because it's so ill-defined. Anyway, you cannot drink this beer in large quantities. BUT, this goes down better than any 54-proof liquid should. I just drank about 6 ounces of the stuff, and I had to stop myself from drinking more. The drinkability on this one is quite good.

This beer is phenomenal. It is insane, and a drinking experience unlike any other I have experienced. This is almost certainly the most complex beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. I am truly impressed with the boys at Boston Beer Co. Well done, sirs. Well done. Wow.

davod23, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24 oz bottle. 2 oz poured into a Snifter at room temperature. 2009 bottle. 05385 numbered in gold on the bottom.

A - With no carbonation the Utopias pours with no head and only a few bubbles trapped within that escape to the edges of the glass. The color is a beautiful nutty brown amber and totally clear. When it's swirled in the glass it leaves legs in the glass that cling and drip so slow it's almost like liquid lacing.

S - A deep whiff of the fresh Utopias results in heavy nostril burn from the insane amount of alcohol in this but the first thing that comes to mind? Tawny port. The malts are readily available if you can push past the alcohol. Lots of sweet caramel and maple syrup with tons of fruity notes too. Raisin, white grape, and a tiny bit of mango too. An incredibly potent aroma not rivaled by any beer available.

T - The initial reaction to this beer is sheer surprise at the difference between the perception of what the flavor will be based on the nose and what it actually is. It's a sharp right hook to the mouth with a ton of malt followed by an uppercut of sweet maple syrup. When you're dizzy from the incredible amount of nuances in this beer, if you can call it beer, you'll be tko-ed by the alcohol. Not hot, burning, spicy, or solvent-like at all, you wouldn't even begin to guess it was 27%. 16, maybe 18 tops. The maple syrup flavor is sweet but not cloying, followed by raw honey and a sprinkle of nutty shavings with a good helping of raisin and a light spritz of white grape. A lot of molasses flavor comes through too without being too rich. The alcohol really is, surprisingly, and afterthought in the flavor!

M - Smooth and rich with no carbonation, it's a good feeling beer that warms up my insides without a burning sensation. Lingering aftertaste that just gets better too.

D - This beer is so drinkable it's scary. A perfect night-cap and sipper for the winter season. If someone gave me a snifter full of this without telling me a) the percent and b) what it was I would probably be much more drunk than I'd like. A great sipper that is a fantastic beer and totally surpasses the hype.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of WeisGuy
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 edition, 1.5 oz. portion from a bottle purchased by a group of BAs. Thanks to largadeer for setting up this group purchase of a bottle.

a - deep copper color, no head whatsoever, crystal clear, not surprisingly, big legs trail behind on the snifter sides after every swirl

s - caramel, maple syrup, vanilla extract and oak all make for a beautiful aroma mixed with the obvious heat, get a nice hint of citrus after it's been sitting in the snifter for awhile

t - caramel and maple syrup flavors make for a rather sweet taste up front, mid-palate has some citrus flavors mixed in with more maple syrup and some spice, finish is moderately sweet with a decent amount of caramel and toffee with more spice and a nice smooth oakiness, surprisingly devoid of harsh alcohol notes though the booze is definitely there, a whole lot more complex than I expected

m - full-bodied, coats the entire mouth very well, no carbonation, great deal of alcohol warming on the palate and in the throat

d - if there was ever a sipping beer, this is it, incredibly complex and an ideal choice for putting a few ounces in a snifter after a nice dinner, I wish I had a few more ounces to try and pick out the additional flavors that I know are there, I give this a good drinkability rating just because I want to keep sipping this all night long

I am pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this beer. I really hope I'm able to get another taste of this sometime soon.

WeisGuy, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of Lunch
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a copper 2009 Samuel Adams Utopias vessel into a mini-snifter (2oz. pour) at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD (11/18/09). I allowed it to warm for a bit to almost room temperature.

A: Pours a tawny amber with golden edges lacking any sort of head and lace. Legs are left on the side of the glass with each sip or swirl with a rich syrupy texture.

S: A wonderful aroma of maple syrup, caramel, alcohol, dark fruits, and malt all wrapped in a complex bourbon blanket.

T: Taste is very similar to the smell as the palate is hit with maple syrup, alcohol, caramel, malt, and dark fruit again wrapped in bourbon. Extremely complex and unique with the alcohol never really reaching an obtrusive level. As this beer warms, one is able to pull even more nuances out.

M: Pure velvet with zero carbonation and a thick syrupy mouthfeel. The alcohol (27% abv.) is certainly present, but it is seemly used in place of carbonation to cleanse the palate.

D: Surprisingly this beer is far more drinkable than I would have ever imagined. Certainly a sipper, but one that never completely oversteps its bounds into a liquory mess. However, a couple ounces is enough for me.

Overall this was a very worthwhile experience and one that all should enjoy at least once. Highly Recommended.

Lunch, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of PJLukasik
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was an exceptional experience. Was able to try it at a tasting event at Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA. There is no real effervescence at all to it. The taste is along the lines of a bourbon, with hints of maple syrup. For the high alcohol content it was incredibly smooth, with an almost velvety mouthfeel to it--very easy to sip on slowly. All and all, a bit difficult to describe, but a great experience to say the least.

PJLukasik, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of almychristopher
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a beautiful brown color with golden red highlights. no head or effervescence to speak. the aroma screams of roasty dark malt, dark fruit, and a bit of hops hiding in the alcohol. the taste is great with the dark fruit, the aging in the casks really paid off some really tasty sweet wood notes. the biterness and the alcohol bite and low carbonation make this a really amazing barleywine. damn near a whiskey. thanks for the beer weswes.

almychristopher, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with no head and a noticeable clinging to the sides of the glass. The aroma is awesome!! It has a killer warmth to it as well as a damn complex array of dark fruits and burnt toffee. The taste is perfect. It has an extremely complex mix of malt character and alcohol esters. The wood aging really adds a nice vanilla character that rounds out the flavor. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a full bodied beer with no carbonation. This is an exceptional beer that's in a class of it's own.

WesWes, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 edition. Purchased and divided in cost by a group of BAs. Thanks to largadeer for setting it up.

A: Pours a clear tawny gold color with slight reddish tint in the glass. A beautiful color. No head, of course. Thick legs that, after swirling, look like the glass has a seam in it. Wow.

S: Smells just like a liqueur. Anise, caramel, oak, booze, coconut, orange, and maple.

T: Tasty, tasty, tasty. Syrupy grape-like character; I liken it to brandy but I can see a port comparison. Tobacco, light leather, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, anise, maple, dates. Slight tannins and a hint of spice in the finish. The finish is an orange syrup that reminds me of a fine liqueur and specifically of a dessert wine whose name I can no longer remember. It's warm, but not hot; it's much smoother than the smell led me to believe. Very much like a well-layered port or brandy.

M: Malty, rolling finish that comes in waves. Just a slight warmth, as noted above. Coats the mouth. Full-bodied to say the least. No carbonation of course.

D: I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I expected it to be some ridiculous booze-bomb, so I flatly turned down the invitation to share in splitting this up. I'm glad I was talked into it afterward; this was truly worth the experience. I can see myself buying one in the future as a self-gift, if I can swing something slightly better than the $200 / bottle price.

Arbitrator, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, 1 oz poured into a snifter. The beer is still in the glass, tawny in color with amber edges. It's beautifully clear, and swirling produces the most syrupy legs I've ever seen on a beer.

The aroma is huge and intoxicating, with an alcohol presence that's more like bourbon than beer. Behind the alcohol there's a huge backbone of malt and maple syrup. Barrel-aging is evident in the form of vanilla and spice, and there's an underlying fruitiness that makes me think of port wine.

While the aroma could fool you into thinking that you had a glass of brandy or port, the taste is surprisingly barleywine-like, albeit bigger and stronger. Alcohol is once again very noticeable up-front, but it's not particularly harsh. Flavors of caramel, vanilla, maple and dates are most prominent, and beneath that I get a light spiciness, port-like fruitiness and a touch of citrus. The body is incredibly full and syrupy, but surprisingly, it doesn't become too cloying; the alcohol seems to cleanse the palate between sips. The finish is fairly mellow for a beer of this strength, with a hint of oak and a kick of alcohol lending some dryness to an otherwise sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability is surprisingly high, and if not for the potency I'd be happy sipping on this for quite a while. This is a great beer, pretty much one of a kind at this point and more than just a gimmick, it's genuinely enjoyable.

largadeer, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The 2009 release pours from the bottle, rich dark walnut, syrup with ruby highlights, and becomes more chestnut with each sip. Totally without any head or carbonation. However, each swirl puts up amazing viscous legs, which continue to dance for a good long while.

The aroma reached out form the snifter glass from at least ten feet away, with a strong bourbon or cognac. The alcohol fumes are powerful, just as expected. Underneath this are cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ground pepper, ginger, dark dried fruits, truly a wonderland for the olfactory. There is little progression, as it is served relatively warm, but noting is lacking here.

Once the initial burn of alcohol leaves, each sweet sip reveals more complexity and layers. Maple/bourbon turns to raisins and figs. Molasses turns to vanilla with a particular nuttiness. Comparisons with distilled spirits weave throughout. There may even be a fair comparison to a fine Chianti. The finish is more hot spirits, but lacking the typical beer experience. I admit to licking $1 worth, from the wall of the glass!

Rich and smooth, with the texture of syrup, no carbonation, but the alcohol cleanses the palate rather well. One of the better full bodied beers, this is highly satisfying.

Utopias should be reserved for a life altering celebration or an occasion where it is the focus. While this is an amazing beer, it has few of the standard qualities of beer. One or two ounces at a time is plenty. So, amazing as it is, I find it difficult to say this is especially drinkable. I hope to have another someday, and certainly expect to enjoy it just as much. As for cellaring, I wonder how much it can progress beyond its current state. Oh, and it floods back Autumn memories, sitting on the porch with Grandpa, his cigar, and evening drink.

SLeffler27, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of craftaholic
4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09 Vintage

Appearance: Straight from the beauty of a bottle into a snifter it had a translucent copper honey hue with touches of red highlights. There was absolutely no head, not even a fizz as expected from this viscous brew. It did however have legs for days like a thin layer of glue down the side of my glass. Looks akin to a fine cognac than a beer.

Smell: The aroma is worth its weight in gold alone. It assults your nostrils with a sting up front with the fumes from this weighty abv and as it burns its way through it gives you a bouquet of perplexities to make up for such a brutal assault. The balances of just the scent are worthy of a review and are a great precursor to this one. A thick dense dry wood starts off with a bit of vanilla creaminess. There is a light velvet of cinnamon and cedar to give it just the right touch of spice. The oak aged malt really swines through as the underlying backbone scent.

Taste: Opens for business like its it's job. Palate quenching and drenching flavors abound and somehow the diesel fuel fumes arent present at all that were hinted at from the nose. There are copious amounts of vanilla, hazelnut, burnt/roasted malt, dark fruits such as figs and dark cherries, silky chocolate and riddled with a good amount of butterscotch. The malt takes a backseat to a hammock of maple that encompasses all of the nuances in this entirely.

Mouthfeel: Really is liquid velvet as if it were a thing, coats the mouth like oil and had a subtley sweet after taste that you really never want to leave.

Drinkability: If money were no object this would be a staple in my collection. Loses a .5 of a point because the abv is ridiculous but it is still insanely drinkable but obviously among others and with a celebration at hand. Comparing this to beer is just ridiculous but when compared to brandy/sherry/a fine cognac it ranks right up there with how smooth it goes down.

Overall: Its delectable and when you drink it you understand the price because this is the definition of finely crafted beer (if you can even call it that) but truly is an artfully developed masterpiece by Jim. Perfect showcase of my venture into the beer world as this is my 100th review; i've come along way from being a beer noob to knowing/respecting the likes of this one.

craftaholic, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of MrDanno96
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage:

I had a bit of a hard time rating this one because I really feel that it isn't beer. By no means does that mean it is bad (it's actually quite good), but it does mean that it's somewhat difficult to apply "beer" rating procedures to it.

Had a small glass of this at the Tap and Mallet tonight (1-2 oz). I've been wanting to try it for several years now and am excited that I finally have. Served in a brandy snifter.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown, no carbonation or head. No lacing, but lots of legs down the sides of the glass like wine.

S: Sherry immediately came to mind. Also cinnamon, maple syrup, and some subtle chocolate. All these aromas are also mixed in with a very strong alcohol - like whiskey. Really impressive nose.

T: Despite the very strong alcohol nose, this doesn't burn at all. It's very sweet like an after-dinner liqueur. Hints of maple syrup, sherry, dark, sweet fruits (plums, dark cherry), oak, and of course alcohol. Very little resemblance to beer.

M: Very thick and syrupy, a bit like a schnapps. Lots of warming in the throat and chest. It is pretty boozy, you don't want to keep it in your mouth for too long.

O: Obviously a sipper. It gets a little too sweet after drinking a few ounces - but a few ounces will go a long way. This was very good and I'm glad I had the experience, but at $14/ounce or $150+/bottle, I really don't think it's worth it. As I mentioned above, this really isn't beer either. I definitely wouldn't think it was beer if someone just served it to me without telling me what it is. You can probably get some nice liqueurs for $30-40/bottle that achieve basically the same thing that this does.

MrDanno96, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this at an event last night...so this review is based on a 2-3 oz pour, which is as close to a full glass as I will ever come!

A= Poured a flat looking murky brown with some reddish highlights around the edges. No carbonation or head at all.

S= Really, really, really intensely alcoholic but that is to be expected in a 54 proof beer I guess. I actuall thought this smelled like whisky (not necessarily a bad thing). There were also some hints of vanilla, leather, and oak in there too.

T= I found the taste to be the high point of this beer. Though its all hot alcohol in the nose, the taste was surprisingly smooth and didn't burn at all. Some big complex flavors of caramel/toffee malt, vanilla, and oak.

MF= Not as thick as I imagined it would be. Just sort of heavy medium in body, with a really incredible warming finish. Totally warmed my chest and belly!

D= Obviously a sipper, but I sort of understand the price better now. This is a beer that drinks like whisky, so the bottle will last a long time if you have an occasional "shot". Could be nursed for months!

spointon, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of champ103
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a ruby brown color. No head and no lace.
S: There are layers and layers in the nose. Sugary caramel malt at first. Some vanilla and oak are strong. Lots of dark fruits of raisins, plums, dates. A dry almond aroma. Plenty of alcohol. This is really complex and amazing.
T: Sweet sugary malt. Caramel and toffee. Dark fruits that follow the nose. Dry wood. I can tell that some subtleties are a bit overpowered by the huge alcohol presence.
M/D: Thick, sticky, and syrupy. As expected pretty much no carbonation. Very dry. It is taking me a while to finish a 4 oz sample. Obviously tons of alcohol.

I don't really know how to review this beer. It is what it is. An intense aroma and flavor profile. Obviously meant to be an after dinner drink. I love port wine, and this is very similar. I really enjoy this, and worth a purchase if you can get a few friends to go in with you (like I did). If you have the means and opportunity, pick it up.

champ103, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of waltonc
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was fortunate to try a snifter of this at a Sam Adams beer dinner recently. Pours clear caramel with no head. Smells amazing - not like beer at all, but rather like port or sherry or some other similarly delicious alcoholic beverage. Smell stings your nostrils in a good way with caramel, vanilla, oak, and alcoholic heat. Taste follows the smell - and leaves that same bite in the back of your throat as would brandy or sherry. Extremely sweet. Body is very thick and there's no carbonation whatsoever. Overall, a very delicious beverage, but I would not spend $150 on a bottle.

waltonc, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage sampled at the 2009 GABF.

Portions of this batch were aged in Buffalo Trace barrels and finished in muscatel and port casks. Some SA Triple Bock has been blended in. It clocks in at a record-setting 27%, making it the strongest commercially available "beer".

The pour leaves a copper colored, viscous liquid with no carbonation. The aroma shows notes of maple syrup, vanilla and dark stone fruit. The flavor is similar, but more complex. Maple syrup, vanilla, caramel, plums, prunes, raisins, oak and notes of sherry and brandy. The body is very rich and syrupy.

Say what you will about the price tag, this is an excellent beverage. I think calling something so high in alcohol that it forces CO2 out of solution a beer is a bit of a stretch. Though it may technically be a beer, it drinks like port and that is how it should be viewed. In any case, I enjoyed it and if you're buyin, I'll have another!

BradLikesBrew, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice. 2005 batch.

It pours a light to medium brown with no head, carbonation or lacing.

The aroma is very strong with notes of brandy, vanilla, maple syrup and lots of alcohol.

The taste is very strong with a big taste of alcohol and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy and lasts for several seconds. It coats your throat like robutussim. Flavor comes back up on the back end tingling your throat.

Pretty good, but you can't drink a ton of this.

jrallen34, Oct 18, 2009
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
97 out of 100 based on 1,929 ratings.