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Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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2,055 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,055
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 1,129
Gots: 367 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  29.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 07-09-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,055 | Reviews: 482 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 version poured into Utopias glass, thanks Chris, for cracking open your bottle for no real reason then to hook me up! Review from notes.

A - Pours like a brady/cognac, light brown, no head.

S - A wonderful boozy sweetness that has mellowed these past 8 years. Burnt sugars, rich maple syrup, caramels. Very sweet, boozy, and decadent.

T - Much like the nose, smooth/complex booze, oak, burnt sugars, dark fruits, caramel, and some vinous hints in there as well. The age has really worked wonders for this, as the 27% is really no where to be found, if sipping.

M - Medium to full, rich and smooth, excellent sipper.

D - I made my small pour last an hour, so as to enjoy it as much as possible and let it warm in order to really appreciate it. Looking forward to trying out other years here and there in the future. Really, really, good. Recommend.

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

appearance is like maple syrup with a few drops of blood added.

I have a bottle of 100% pure canadian maple syrup. poured some into a glass to compare. the sam adams is quite literally identical in the glass to the maple syrup but with a little extra. The Utopias really looks as though a few drops of blood were added to a glass of maple syrup, the red/rust sits almost suspended against the backdrop of golden maple syrup. like iodine rust color.

aroma is sweet boozy and seductive. Its all booze huge booze aroma followed by the most enticing smoky maple bacon aroma. I am visualizing making a pear flambe with this stuff. Definitely smelling bacon.

Getting some amazing taste experience. first thing i get is a hit of raspberry jam. It actually feels like sticky jam on the back of my tongue and it tates like raspberry. fantastical.

The hit of alcohol is pronounced making it a slow and methodical sipper. It leaves no boozy aftertaste and it is difficult not to rush for more. I am drinking this while reviewing as i do with most of my reviews and i am going to stop here and enjoy.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.92/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in Las Vegas from the Freakin' Frog brew pub thanks to my beer aficionado buddy who treated me with this brew on the night of my bachelor party. I thought this interesting brew was strong alcoholy-syrupy, almost brandy-like. Amber in color, like maple syrup. The flavor is like a brandy with maple and walnut. Very warming with an alcohol finish, also a bit of vanilla. It is uniquely complex; smooth and sticky mouth feel...

Photo of THECPJ
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/10/2011

A: BOOZEY! once you get past the alcohol, you do get a hint of vanilla and hints of wood.

Ap: brown with a reddish-hue, no head, lacing is similar to a fine jin--teardrops down the glass, looks like a cognac/bourbon

B/T: zero carbonation, smooth in texture, silky on the tongue

Af: BOOZEY! wicked alcohol flavor and burn, hints of vanilla and maple syrup, some sort of dark fruit taste as well (raisin/plum/figs/dates)

O: definitely a sippin' beer, no chugging this one!


Photo of domtronzero
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, bottle #12941. Thanks to Dankbeers619 for generously sharing this with me. Perfect beer for the night before the Bruery Initiation party tomorrow!

A - Clear mahagony brown with ruby highlites at the edges. No head, no bubbles, long legs. A little viscous looking.

S - Rich dark fruits, figs, caramel, huge maple syrup aroma. Obviously there is some booze but it is well balanced with the other sherry-like aromas. Vanilla and dark cherries are also detectable.

F/M - Full flavored sweet caramel and maple syrup comes across first. Then the dark fruits and slight solventy alcohol come around and lead to slightly hot finish, but that can be expected for such a high octane brew.

D - This is a sure sipper and is still a little hot. Rich, full, sweet and delicious, it is still quite enjoyable. I will definitely be on the lookout for the 2011 vintage this year.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown and thick with reddish tints. No carbonation as expected. Very strong biosphere on the nose. Smells very much like cognac. Lots of fruity smells plum perhaps with caramel too. Complex and smells great. Tastes boozy but has a lot of oak and caramel and fruits. Overall, very drinkable for 27%. Great to try. Would never pay the price for it

Photo of wesleyhighley
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle in 2007, drank it for the first time in May 2008.

Over 2 years it has retained all of it's original qualities and has mellowed a bit into a very smooth flavor.

This is what I would imagine maple syrup liqueur might taste like.

It has a sweet, boozy smell and a wonderful scotch-brown color. This beer leaves long, great legs on a glass. What a wonderful treat to share with guests!

Photo of bloomlax33
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I actually found a bottle online at Ancona's and couldn't resist ordering it...so glad that I did.

A: Dark brown with no carbonation, head or lacing, however there were legs similar to wine/spirits. Reminds me of pouring hard liquor.

S: Very strong, the alcohol hits immediatley. This is followed by some dark fruit, caramel, and toffee. Once you get past the alcohol, smells very good.

T: Slight burn/heat from the alcohol right away. Then the flavors start to emerge, some vanilla, oak, and caramel. Lots of dark fruit comes through as well. It finishes up with a taste of maple....interesting ending.

M/D: Has some heat to it as expected, but medium to full bodied. No carbonation as noted above. More drinkable than would be expected at 27%. Went right through my 2 oz. pour in no time and had another one right after. The glass that Sam Adams provides is a must for this.

Overall, this is the best stuff that I have tried. I am going to have a hard time making my bottle last. It is a little pricey, it did cost $175 for the bottle, but well worth it.

Photo of dtivp
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was fortunate to obtain 1 bottle of the 2007 and two bottles of the 2009. I plan to cellar 1 bottle of the 2009 for a few years to see how a little age changes the characteristics of this beer.

Poured about 2 oz. of each vintage into the utopias glass. The appearance was a ruby caramel color, syrupy with no carbonation, very cognac like.

Aroma of sweet dark fruit with oak and I was surprised with the high abv, the alcohol did not dominate.

The heat of the alcohol warms you right up, then the sweetness of dark fruits, vanilla and caramel come thru. Reminds you of a very nice Tawney Port leaning towards a cognac.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, medium body no carbonation. Not surprising that the alcohol dominates a t 27%.

THis is definately at the extreme end of the beer family spectrum. Very nice desert drink, night cap or thawing out after coming in from the cold. This is a definate sipper and 2 oz goes a long way. THe 07 and 09 vintages are very close, I believe the 07 maybe a tad sweeter and the 09 a little stronger.
It is worth the expense to experience.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.07/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A huge thanks to THECPJ for a taste of Utopias! We were hanging out and all of a sudden it was sitting in front me.

A: Dark brown with no carbonation, head or lacing, however there were legs similar to wine/spirits.

S: Very boozy, the alcohol hits immediatley. This is followed by some dark fruit, caramel, and toffee. Once you get past the alcohol, smells very good.

T: Slight burn/heat from the alcohol right away. Then the flavors start to emerge, some vanilla, oak, and caramel. Lots of dark fruit comes through as well.

M/D: Has some heat to it as expected, but medium to full bodied. No carbonation as noted above. About as drinkable as could be expected at 27%. It probably took me 45-60 min to drink the 2oz pour.

Overall, it is very interesting and complex. I can see why it appeals to beer drinkers who also drink nicer liquor. I am extremely grateful to have tried it.

Photo of rarbring
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is dark ruby cognac, nearly no head, much curtains - as expected at 27% ABV.

Smells like brandy matured sweet raisins, very vinous, Madeira.

The taste is also extremely vinous, sherry, port wine and Sauternes.

Nearly no carbonation, a maximal body, soft, smooth, oily and alcoholic.

This is not a common beer, it is something to enjoy very slowly - as a cognac.

Photo of birdyone
1.54/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had one of the early vintages at my cousin's. He fought hard to get one of the firsts, and paid through the nose, which is the only reason he's hung onto the bottle. It poured nothing like beer, and smelled nothing like beer. Everyone who compared it to cognac is on to something, but don't disrespect good cognac either. It tasted like bad (like spoiled bad) maple syrup. As a chemical experiment, a "beer" with that high of an ABV, is impressive. But there is a reason why Sam Adams was the first in recent history to do it, and why many others aren't following his lead. If you get the chance to taste it (especially if you don't need to pay) give it a shot, it is unique. But be honest in your impression of it, don't fall victim to it's high price and fancy bottle.

it poured nothing like beer, the smell was somewhat inviting (though not like beer), it tasted bad, it burned in your mouth, and it's far to expensive to drink (that is assuming anyone would want to)

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A small snifter giving to me by a very generous bar owner who will remain nameless. Thanks dude.

A- placed in my shaky hand with much anticipation. No head as expected. Deep clear brown with a slight red glow. Nice looking stuff.

S- wow that smells like cognac. Tons of boozy heat and sweet caramel and toffee. Booze soaked fruits.

T- opens up with tons of booze soaked fruits, caramel, toffee. Hints of nuttiness with some toasted peanuts and cashsews. I keep coming back to the spirited nature of this brew.

M- still water flat and somewhere between medium and full bodied. Slick and slippery

D- well this is the ultimate fermented beer and it doesn't disappoint. I can't believe this is beer and I'm really happy I got to try it. So complex and interesting. Easily the best brew I've had from bbc.

Photo of nkersten
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage generously shared by Chris- thanks! Pours a clear blood orange red with some lighter hues at the edges. As expected, this one is still. Smell is very boozey, some raisins and maple syrup and a hint of oak. Taste is very hot, dark fruits, mission fig, raisin, maple syrup, over-ripened peach. Mouthfeel is obviously liquor-like rather then beer. Slightly coating and sweet but the alcohol heat helps the finish. For a 27% beer, this is far better then what I expected and an excellent dessert drink (drinkability rating keeps this 1oz after dinner pour in mind).

Photo of kbutler1
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Sampled both the 05 and the 09 in one night! Crazy! The aroma is nuts with more of a liquor aroma with sweetness added. Even smells hot! Caramel, vanilla, and toffee with a taste of alcohol that is extremely unique. Oak notes as well. Really glad I was able to try this and would totally try this again in the future. A sipper for sure. Is this beer? You need to try it for yourself to determine.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the "Kings of Beer" Todd and Jon for sharing these. 2005 and 2009 vintages. I felt that the 2005 was a bit too oxidized for its own good, so the review and score are for the 2009.

Pours a completely still toffee color. The aroma is hot hot hot and is full of sweet caramel and toffee.

The flavor is also hot hot hot and is warming on the chest and throat. I feel like I could go snowmobiling in the Arctic with nothing but a snifter to protect my delicate human frame. Rich toffee flavor accompanies the burning alcohol. So damn tasty.

The body is still and coats the mouth and throat like Nyquil. Overall this beer is insanely good in small doses. Probably not worth the price considering the type of spirits that $200 could buy, but the price shouldn't affect the score.

Photo of mothman
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having some 05 and 09 tonight.

Color is a mahogany brown. No head on this one at all.

Aroma: Tons of booze. It stings the nostrils. Caramel, vanilla, oak, and sweetness. It has a ton of dried fruits. One of the best liquids I have smelt. So warming. So sweet.

Taste: Wow. This is oaky and has hints of cedar. This burns so much. It has vanilla, caramel, and sweetness with a ton of heat. So much booze. It is very hot. The oak shows so much. It is awesome in its own way.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but ever so warming. It is definitely hot, but in a good way. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. It ends really oaky and boozy, but I like it. Wow. Interesting.

Overall, this was a great beer to drink. It was very intense, but a fine sipper. Wow. It was delicious. Very drinkable for the high abv.

The 05 wasn't as sweet. I didn't like it as much. It was more toned down though.

Photo of JizackFH
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened this bottle on the New Years Eve going into 2010. It had a great color to it. There really wasn't much head or carbonation at all to this beer. It smells like brandy with notes of vanilla, and very strong alcohol. It tasted very much like a brandy type beer with vanilla and caramel notes. Alcohol was very prominent. The mouthfeel was good it was a little dense and coated the mouth very good. Drinkability was surprisingly good. It wasnt harsh to where it made it difficult to drink but it definetly had a little burn to it. It was a great experience though. It definitely pushes the envelope on what has done before. I think it is a great beer and well worth the $150 that I paid for it. I will be looking forward to the next bottle of this that I purchase. TRY IT IF YOU GET THE CHANCE.

Photo of Vdubb86
4.01/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the 2009 batch that was provided to a bunch of us from TMoney2591 and sampled in his Utopias glass. Big thanks to him for sharing this hardly obtainable, highly sought after brew.

The appearance of this beer is a headless caramel color with ruby red twinges when held to the light. The aroma is like whiskey and a hell of a lot of it. There may have been nuts or caramel tones as well to the aroma, but the alcohol made it rather hard to detect. The taste however strongly resembled that of maple syrup, partially due to the beverages consistence and mostly to do with the maple flavor. There are some toffee and hazelnut notes as well along with fruit characteristics like cherry syrup. This is a very viscous brew, but it is as advertised and compliments the style quite well. It actually doesn't really burn at all for something of such high ABV, making it very drinkable for a sipping liquor. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to try this, it was truly an interesting beer!

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"A beer unlike any other, this one has a warm, sweet flavor highlighted with notes of caramel, vanilla and oak. Touted as The World's Strongest Beer. 25%"

I'm curious to see if this beer was fortified. It is better to compare this to port as it has all of the properties of a fortified wine. Pours very thick, looks like brandy. The smell is very intense with all of the elements listed above plus dark plum and some blackberry. The taste is sweet and potent, like maple syrup with vodka. Overpowering but delicious. Worth having as a treat (or dessert).

Photo of ToasterChef
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from my tasting notes of a decent sized sample I consumed at an epic tasting event held with the members of the SMBDC. This fine beverage was our last official beer of the night. Many thanks to BrewedAwakening for sharing this bottle with us.

The liquid is colored deep ruby. There is no head whatsoever. Lots and lots of film is left behind as I swirl the glass slightly. The nose is very complex. I can smell alcohol, oak, cognac, burnt wood. The taste is syrupy, and sherry-like with lots of fruits: prunes, dried apricots and other candied fruits. It's a little sweet, which works well. The finish is warm and has some crystal sugar sweetness. The coat is quite alcoholic, but also sweet and fruity. I was very afraid that Utopias wouldn't be very drinkable, but it truly is. The first sip will shock anyone (how can a beer taste like this!?), but after that, it goes down like any sipping hard alcohol of good quality. I actually went back for another pour! This drink is an exceptional invention--probably one of the best beers I've ever had, and unlike any beer I've come across. It is most definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Amy and Michael for opening this at the latest meeting!

Poured into a sampler glass, roughly 1-1.5oz sample which you'll find is more than enough for this sipper, no carbonation as expected and it really doesn't need it, has some very good legs but not overly syrupy.

The smell does have some heat, but not nearly as much as I would have imagined, the aroma is mostly sweet with lots of dark fruit and some wood.

The initial taste is very smooth, the heat isn't evident at first but you'll notice it soon enough with a slight burn on the tongue and a warming sensation in the belly, but I've drank hard liquor that have been less strong yet burns more so this is quite good considering the strength, it is mostly sweet with lots of complexity, the woodiness isn't too dominant but just the right amount, quite oily and slick and coats your mouth with even the smallest sip.

Usually I don't do reviews with such a small sample size, but with this beer you really don't need a large amount, in fact, 1-2 ounces is the perfect pour for a beer of this type.

Photo of socon67
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the joy of trying this from a friend.

This pours with an oily, syrupy consustency. The smell is of dried fruit; maybe dates, and I get a taste of figs that reminds me of the candied fruit in a fruitcake. A dominating taste of honey is in the finish.

The mouthfeel is heavy. Obviously this is a sipping beer. And while it is drinkable (in small amounts), I'd think it would be best to have a little after a nice meal.

Clearly the hype of Utopias makes this a fun beer to have reviewed. I'd try it again sometime to see if it matches up to now.

Photo of dgilks
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Intense port aroma with lots of figgy fruit notes, alcohol and sweetness. Interesting given that this has undergone no distillation.

Cloudy golden colour with no head. Oily and sticking to the glass. I don't know what I can expect of a beer at this gravity.

Thick and sweet. The flavour is predominantly of dried figs with notes of banana, nuts, sugar, stonefruit and port. The alcohol is present but surprisingly well hidden. Really, really stunning.

Full bodied, thick and oily with no carbonation. Given that this is the aim, I have no problems with it and it works just like a spirit.

A delicious drop and something truly unique. Better than any of the other super high alcohol beers I've had.

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random Friday night tasting at my house on Friday the 13th produced some strange offerings for quite a spontaneous night of sampling beer. This was my second time trying utopias so the shock and awe of having this was not a factor this time around. My first experience with this brew was on tap at the EBF earlier this year, this time the offering came via a 2009 bottle.

Freshly cracked open, it was carefully poured in 2oz samples among 5 of us. Utopias appears a clear dark amber color. No head as expected but it clings and coats the inside of the glass as it is swirled.

The nose of this brew is a sweet mixture like dark fruits almost like plums and raisins that have been candied and caramelized. However, after that initial hint of sweetness in the aroma, the sherry-like booze and alcohol opens up and is readily noticeable. Hints of plums, raisins, slight metallic twang, oakiness and some smoke character all blend together to compose the smell of this brew.

Utopias is full bodied, no carbonation and is absolutely riddled with unavoidable alcohol character that seemingly evaporates in the mouth. Caramel sweetness upfront gets dominated by an astringent burn of alcohol and a bitterness with flavors of oak and other woodsiness that numbs the tongue. Lingering flavors suggest chocolate and raisins. Even though it is seemingly sweet, it has a drying quality about it that makes the mouth salivate. The alcohol has quite a medicinal quality about it and is very warming all the way down your throat and into the stomach.

What this beer is, makes it very hard to evaluate and review. All things considered, it's drinkability is decent for a sipper in small samples. Everything else about it is just different due to the high abv. It is of great importance to mention that despite the high alcohol, it does have an array of flavors and depth unlike other beers I had that were high abv and all solvent alcohol taste. This is one of those beers that of course I would drink again if offered but not something I would buy due to the price.

A strange side note: during our tasting 1 of the individuals used a plastic EBF tasting cup while the rest used a small 4 oz sampler glass. Utopias served in a plastic cup smells significantly different than in the glass. I know it sounds strange but everyone at the table recognized this difference. In the glass it smelled more metallic and the alcohol was much more evident. Inside the plastic taster, the smell was more sweet and the alcohol was less pronounced without the previously mentioned metallic twang.

Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
99 out of 100 based on 2,055 ratings.