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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

1,967 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,967
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 988
Gots: 332 | FT: 11
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: 1,967 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of GarthTaargus
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After visiting a bottle shop in Amesbury MA and wishing I could afford the last bottle of Utopias they had on the shelf, I was pumped to see this on the list at the Ale House down the street. Paid $18 for a two ounce pour, which seems fair, judging by some other reviews.

A: Amber, thick, with legs like a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Golden on the edges, dark wood in the center: viscous yet refined looking.

S: Obviously tons of maple, citrus, walnut, pecan, amazing!

T: Maple, butter, milk chocolate, and oranges. Finish keeps going and going, a second burst of maple and walnut hits a few second after the beer leaves the mouth. Pleasant warming sensations abound. Not so hot as one might think!

M: Thick and oily. Weird for a beer, but as a cordial or whatever, very nice. Zero carbonation.

D: 27% abv, what do I say? Goes down easy for what it is. I'm just giving it an "average" (3.0) because there really is no precedent for a "beer" like this. As it is, it is very tasty and I am grateful to have tried it.

GarthTaargus, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Jesstyr
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently cracked open my 2007 version for a special occasion. Poured into the special utopias riedel glass.

A: Pours smooth, dark amber, similar to a scotch. No head or lacing.

S: Deepest smell I have ever gotten from a beer. Deep toffee and oak-like.

T: This is not a beer, its like a cognac on steroids or a great smooth scotch. Would stand up to the best cognac, even at the $150 price. Chocolate, toffee, perfect fit for a cigar.

M: Very smooth, but with a fairly strong alcohol-burn follow through.

D: Very easy to drink for a "cognac", but it doesnt take much to get toasted.

I've got 2 bottles for my bachelor party in January - looking forward to another great drink.

Jesstyr, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of roblowther
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Props to my buddy Jake for finding this. We cracked it on a crisp, sunny fall day. Pours into the glass like syrup, a deep reddish-brown, obviously thick. No carbonation but I'll be damned if it doesn't leave legs on the glass like a fine wine. Lots of greasy ones. It smells of alcohol (makes it hard to smell, really), prunes, and honey. Tastes of molasses, maple syrup, prunes, honey, vanilla, and oranges with a peppery and strong warming alcohol finish. It has an oak-like aftertaste and long after the fact it tastes like sherry. Maybe it just takes me a while to identify that. The mouthfeel is syrupy but slippery, absolutely flat. It coats your tongue and seems to be settling in to stay like an unemployed in-law. I can't call it drinkable, really, but then again its not that you don't like it, its just that its very clear that a small amount is all you need or want in a session. Really unusual, really sweet, very complex, and very, very good. A fantastic experience, cheers to Jake for the opportunity!

roblowther, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of cleeze
3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had to give this one a whirl @ Novare Res's "It Feels Like Christmas". 20$ for a 2 ounce bottle pour. I split it with a buddy of mine.

Poured a dark amberish hue with no head that I saw. Almost had a cognac appearance to it with killer lacing.

Smell was very strong. I was a few feet away and I could smell it as soon as he opened the bottle. Again strong cognac sents blended with port wine hints. Also some woody oak aromas up in the mix as well. Lots of different sents.

Taste was way to complex to be observing it after a few Life and Limbs. Again loads of alcohol burn. Bourbon and oak and loads of cognac like aspects to this strange brew

Sticky mouthfeel with alcohol burn.

Not my cup of tea at all but really glad I had the chance to try it. My hat is off to the people at Sam Adams for constructing such an innovative and unique brew

cleeze, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this courtesy of Total Wine.

appearance: dark in color and a brady like appeareance

smell: tons of heavy caremel and toffee, some oaky woody notes as well.

taste: of course liek many others says, it's like drinking a cognac with more body. I was drinkign a 3-4 year old so it was smooth and the alcohol burn was not there at all.

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: what a treat and definitly worth the expereince. Much better than triple bock.

CampusCrew, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Blakaeris
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Head is non-existent.

Aroma is hot with an alcohol burn. Sweet and sticky with generous caramel and toffee. Nice bit of alcohol infused dark fruit. Woody earthy quality with noticeable oak notes.

Taste is initially quite sweet. Many of the notes from the nose make an appearance. Bourbon soaked oak and dark fruit. Earthy with a generous alcohol burn. Finishes with a cognac like perfume quality that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is beyond beer in the traditional sense. Massive alcohol burn with a surprising amount of subtle earthy and and dark fruit character. Wonderful bourbon oak character. Rich toffee and caramel. A must try.

Blakaeris, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bashiba
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark copper with no carbonation, looks very much like deep dark whiskey.

Has a nose like a very good tawny port. Sweet with molasses, oak, and vanilla. The nose is huge and complex, can enjoy it for hours.

The flavor a found to be mild in contrast to the overwhelming smell. Very smooth and supple, big vanilla and dark sweet fruit notes - Cherry, dates, and grapes along with rich cedar and oak along with some nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is thick and very warm, leaving a nice scotch like burn as it goes down.

Excellent, great snifter drink especially on a cold night. Very much reminds me of great tawny port. If it wasn't so pricey and rare I would drink this semi regularly.

bashiba, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of realmpel
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing drink, and I don't regret springing for it. Wish I could have gotten a six-pack! That's just out of range.

I can taste that there's a beer hidden in here. If you scaled back the sweetness and powerful woods, you'd have a nice strong ale. Souped up as it is, you get a powerful warmth of bourbon and oak, mellowing out to vanilla on the finish.

Appearance is just like a cognac. The smell is out of this world with vanilla and bourbon. It singed my nose hairs a little with the strength.

Pick up a sixer and kick back with a pint! ;)

realmpel, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of AMo
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sam Adams Utopias pours a smooth amberish red liquid with brilliant orange highlights. No carbonation, and pure liqueur in appearance. Smell is strong. Wonderfull blend of bourbon, nice wood, and other whiskey notes. Complex as any nose can note. Taste has a mixed whiskey flavor thats smooth, strong, and slightly sweet. The strength is exeptional, but far more smooth than I ever expected. Feels like a fine Cognac in texture and density. Fine barrel wood types of Bourbon linger in the aftertaste with a slight sweet note of Brandy. This is one fine drink of some strong booze. My taste loves this, but its not for the faint of heart.

AMo, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've now had the opportunity to try this behemoth two times and this second time it was the perfect opportunity to put together this review. Basically, if you didn't tell someone this was beer, they would never know. But they would know it was amazing. And it is.

The beer has no head and is a bright copper/amber color with perfect clarity. No lacing, no visible carbonation. Looks like an after dinner drink. (Scotch, bourbon, Amaretto with the thickness) Absolutely has legs when you swirl the snifter.

The aroma is really nice. Sweet, dark fruits and maple.. some vanilla as well. Of course, some alcohol, but in a nice warming way and not too hot.

Depth, complexity and balance. Can I leave it at that? What a joy to drink. I am so happy that it's as good as I remember tasting at last years EBF.. Drinks like a brandy. Vanilla, maple, slight wood, sweet, but not cloying. Even some honey.

Not sure there is any carbonation, perhaps a pin prick. Almost syrup like. Obviously a sipper. Smooth and slightly warming. Not too hot at all.

I find this wonderfully drinkable and am planning on getting a bottle.

A special treat. Hats off to the folks at Sam Adams for creating this gem.

Reagan1984, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Utopias Riedel Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009 BOTTLE NUMBER: 07211
Super thanks to deliriumfest for helping me get this one!!!

This pours a translucent maple color with dark ruby highlights. There is no head and no lacing. However, it is quite viscous, oily even, and has legs for days. Just tilt the glass a little bit and watch the liquid slowly slide back down to the surface. You'll fall asleep before it all comes back down.
Beautiful.

Lots of maple syrup presence, along with a big nuttiness. Tons of oak coming through. Dark fruits, like figs, dates, raisins and cherries. Nice presence of honey and some traces of caramel.
The alcohol presence is definitely unavoidable, though it is not as overpowering as I'd anticipated. It reminds me of somewhere between a scotch and a port.

The taste follows the nose in a wonderfully beautiful way. This is absolutely delicious. Huge notes of maple hit you first. This is followed by that massive oakiness. Then it all bursts open, into a flavor explosion in your mouth. Dates, figs, and tons of raisins. Lots of honey and vanilla. Light caramel and brown sugar notes. Hints of leather and tobacco. Very light traces of coffee and chocolates.
The sweetness level is like mixing a fine rum with maple syrup. It's absolutely decadent.
The high abv is actually much more toned down than anticipated. Oh, it will warm you up, alright. It's just not nearly as hot as I thought it would be.

The mouthfeel is beyond full-bodied. It's thick. It is totally viscous and oily. The liquid just coats the entire surface of your mouth and hangs around for several minutes after you swallow.

This is very drinkable, but it is definitely an 'occasion' drink. It is just way too rich and decadent to have on a regular basis. But on the occasion that it does get poured, it shall be enjoyed, thoroughly.

coldmeat23, Dec 03, 2009
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
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 1,967 ratings.