Samuel Adams Utopias - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

488 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 488
Hads: 2,143
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 10.25%
Wants: 1,233
Gots: 380 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 488 | Hads: 2,143
Photo of sbpyro
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I truly enjoyed the experience of the beer from the moment it is poured the beautiful rich color, the aroma of the beer as you lift it up to your lips, very intricate flavors and how drinkable it is.

I've own several bottles and feel they are well worth the money.

Also had the pleasure of having it out of a keg bout 5 years back. (333 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super dark brown almost verging on black. Poured with no head at all. Sticks to the glass nicely. Thickness is part of the appearance.

S: The nose on this beer is really incredible. Booze is definitely there and right up front. Hints of toffee, roasted nuts, wood, chocolate, raisins, dates. Basically this is just about everything you have ever smelled in a beer minus hops thrown at you at once.

T: The sweetness and booze are really powerful. Most of the elements of the nose are detectible in the taste but drowned out by the booze a little bit. This beer reminds me of a port or cognac. Totally different than anything else out there.

M: No carbonation at all. Super thick but somehow not heavy on the tongue.

D: Somehow really drinkable. Had a 2oz sample of this and that was more than enough. Then I had another 2 oz sample. The warmer this gets the better it gets. Just an amazing beer that really does push the limits of what beer can be. The cellaring potential on this beer is off the charts. I don't think it will ever get worse. (1,048 characters)

Photo of alovesupreme
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Somewhere between red and brown in color with no head just a few bubbles.
Lots of alcohol but pleasant. Very nutty, mostly hazelnut with some maple syrup.
So much flavor. Pecan, Hazelnut, almond and vanilla are all in the body of flavor. Alcohol is definitely present but actually contributes to the beer. The finish a pleasant maple syrup.
Very syrupy, where I could expect and desire it to be.
This beer is delicious. Unfortunately I know have acquired a taste for a beer I am no where near being able to afford. (515 characters)

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured at the 2009 night of the barrels panel on wood aging beers. Pretty cool tasting this while jim Koch is discussing how wood causes microxidation of the beer which gives it complexity. On to the review.
No head at all. A rich ruby-amber color. Lots of legs on my glass
Smell. A complex of sweet, vanilla, booze, maple syrup
Taste. Very sweet. Like a port or sherry. Booze warms the tummy. Sugar cane , butterscotch, vanilla.
Mouthfeel : what you would expect for a 25% abv spirit
Drinkability : one shot of this is enough for the evening. The sweetness of this is almost too much. (588 characters)

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours from a tupperware container to my glass. There is no carbonation but it sticks to the glass and slowly slides back down. The smell is extremely boozy and that is all. The taste is nothing like beer. It is very sweet but very easy to drink. There was a strong alcohol presence but not in a bad way. The mouthfeel was sweet and smooth, not sticky as it was in the glass. Drinkability was horrible for a beer but great for what it is. I am very greatful to soulfly967 for bringing a sample over. (507 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of the 2007 edition - #6787. Poured into the official Sam Adams Utopias glass.

A - There were a few bubbles when poured, but that is it. Amber-brown color, with wine-like glass stickiness. That's about as much as I can expect from a 25% brew.

S - Maple syrup, grapes, wood, caramel, toffee, smoke, chocolate, raspberry, the list goes on and on. This is one incredible smell. Surprisingly, the booze is understated. This is one incredibly deep and complex bouquet.

T - Tons of flavors as well - maple, vanilla, wood, caramel, dark fruits, butterscotch...not even sure where to stop. This thing changes with each sip. Sweet Jesus - there's even less booziness to the taste than there is to the smell.

M - Drinks like a fine cognac. Lots of alcohol warming, stickiness. Obviously there is no carbonation.

D - Ummm..the 2oz serving is plenty? I don't even know how to define drinkability of a beer of this sort. I know my wife has been sneaking shots of this, and for good reason - it tastes amazing.

I'm not even sure this is beer anymore, but it tastes amazing. If it wasn't so ridiculously expensive this would be a regular feature in my liquor cabinet. (1,177 characters)

Photo of grub
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

sampled from the bottle at the coles rare beer festival, jan 24/09. bottle #4260, 2007 vintage.

pours beautiful crystal clear deep red-brown with no trace of carbonation or head. great legs though!

aroma is intense. big rich caramel and toffee, but that just doesn't begin to touch the depth. big fruity component too - date, raisin, dried cranberry, fig. there's also no mistaking the alcohol in this one - it's there and it's proud. notes of chocolate, coffee, wood, earth, licorice, and smoke. wow, i could just keep smelling this all day.

taste is excellent. everything from the aroma and then some. nice light sweetness too. it makes me think of port or cognac, but even more drinkable. damn, i am truly in love with this beer.

mouthfeel is great. about medium body and with no carbonation, but honestly it isn't needed or missed.

drinkability is excellent. this beer is amazing. the alcohol is always there, but silky smooth and so good. the complexity and depth of character are just so amazing that you're constantly wanting more and picking out other little nuances in it.

i was a little skeptical going in to this one. i really wanted to try it, but expected something boozy and very obviously not "beer". however, i was very pleasantly surprised. even with the higher alcohol, it never loses its "beer" character. sure, there are comparisons to be drawn, but this is more like a strong finely-aged barleywine or strong ale than a port or cognac. even at the high bottle cost, i honestly want a bottle of this so i can just spend a day sipping on it. so good. huge thanks go out to mike for pulling this from his personal stash for the event. (1,658 characters)

Photo of Viggo
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage, bottle #4260. Had a couple oz's courtesy of Mike at Cole's at the rare beer fest.

Pours a crystal clear dark amber, nice honey colour, no head and no lace, but does sport some pretty insane looking legs, they really stick all over the glass. Smell is amazing and intense, vanilla, honey, oak, toffee, nougat, insanely malty, alcohol, grapes, figs and raisins, butterscotch, slightly musty, maple, just crazy rich and intense. Taste is the same, mega intense, wood, insane amount of toffee and honey, brown sugar, figs, raisins, vanilla, dark fruit, maple syrup, alcohol, just has everything in the flavour, very rich and malty. Mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy, low carbonation, insanely smooth, you do not get the almost 26% alcohol out of this. Perfect fireside sipping beer, I'd replace everything of that sort in my liquor cabinet for this stuff. Just amazing and I'm really happy I got the chance to try this. Perfect for what it is, need to get me some. (977 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition,bottle #4260, enjoyed at Coles rare beer fest. Like a great bourbon/cognac/scotch. ABV is over the top, and waft from the glass.Raisins, brown sugar, ginger, cinammon. Like a 10 or more year aged barleywine. Dark brown colour, no head.Smooth mouthfeel.
2012 bottle is very maple syrup liquor. (305 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review No. 50

I had a small sample of this amazing beer. I know it was just a taste but I felt I needed to explain the experience.

The appearance was a dark gold/amber, no head and no carbonation.

The smell was complex, many flavors blending together, the hints of dark chocolate, a little coffee bean aroma, some maple syrup flavor.

The taste was quite warm, since served at room temperature and also due to the high alcohol content. The taste had hints of chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, raisin, walnuts, peanut butter, and a few more I can't name.

I'm sure this was not intended to consume in large amounts but a tasting was just the right amount. It went done smooth and just seemed to slide across the tongue. (720 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Bottle Number 08474 - Pours a beautiful orange/brown with absolutely not a trace of carbonation. This is more like a fine conaque than a beer. Sampled along side by side with Hair of the Dog Dave. Dave being happily aged for 14 years was mellow and welcoming, purring like a cat with a ton of complexity. The young un-behaved 2007 Utopias was still screaming with plenty of maple syrup, spicy fruits and a whopping of alcohol playing haphazardly on the tongue. The 2007 Utopias could use a good 8 to 10 years of time out. This is a highly addictive drink that makes you pay whatever it takes on ebay to satisfy the craving for more. I am saving a bottle for 2017 and another bottle for 2027. (696 characters)

Photo of brandoneast
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

seriously one the MOST complex beers that I've come across

I am just all over the place on this one - a friend of mine poured this non carbonated dark ambered brew in a shot glass where I tasted it in the kitchen where his wife just pulled out homemade raisin oatmeal cookies from the oven! BTW, unbelievable pairing.

Here's what I got in the aroma and flavor as they are simply parallel:

- sugar cookie
- raisin toast
- caramel apple
- raisin oatmeal cookie (go figure)
- cocoa puffs - i was dumbfounded by this flavor and my friend's wife HAD cocoa puffs cereal in their pantry, i opened up the box and grabbed a handfull of cocoa puffs and a sip of Utopias- exquisite!
- prunes
- walnut oil
- roasted pecans
- vanilla bean
- rubber ball (tasted this weird smell and flavor as it warmed)
- some fuesel alcohol flavors were present but not overwhelming - i mean what do you expect from a 25% brew?! (902 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a golden ring around the edges; no head, of course, but I was not expecting one

Smell: Burning whiff of maple, caramel, vanilla and rum-soaked golden fruit

Taste: Sweet and burning from the outset, with maple sugar, vanilla and caramel, along with the alcohol soaked golden raisins; after the swallow, a burning sensation of maple and vanilla, bordering on a Bourbon, but more like a liqueur

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; still, with no carbonation

Drinkability: A nice after dinner sipper, but something to spread out over time, as it is very stable; a nice toast to end Christmas 2008 (641 characters)

Photo of Shaon94
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a 2007/2008 brew. Big thanks go out to a friend of mine for allowing me the pleasure of tasting this one. I know that without him having getting his hands on one I would have most likely never have tasted it.

If you blind poured this for anyone they would not be able to tell you that it was a beer. Period. I know that Sam Adams brewed it, but outside of that there is a hard time convincing myself to call it a beer.

Appearance - Same as everyone else Amber w/ no carbonation.

Smell - First and foremost alcohol, Spices, Syrup ?maple? (sorry I have a hard time with hard liquors and picking out smells)

Taste - Spiced Liquor at first with a great finish reminds me of pine nuts and maple syrup with a warm camel after taste that sticks around for a while. After finishing this I was tasting it for about 10 more minutes of a lingering Carmel taste. Very pleasant

Drinkability - It is a sipping liquor. Pour into a small glass and sip away a winter night with a group of friends. Personally thought it was hard to get down due to the high alcohol content.

If you do not like Hard liquors you will most likely not like this. I only drink beer, and I found myself having a really hard time with this one. I can definitely see where people would love this, but I personally would not go out of my way to have it again because it is more of a Hard Liquor than a beer. (1,382 characters)

Photo of Goliath
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review No. 500

Huge thanks goes out to EmperorStan for cracking his bottle with me, and for giving me a generous heavy handed pour of "a few ounces", and then a refill. What a guy!

Pours a beautiful mahogany color, with big ruby hues with some amber and brown all at once. Obviously, no head as there's no carbonation.

The aroma is awesome. Big notes of oak, tons of booze, some smoke, bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup.

I don't care what the "cheap cognac" people say. This is awesome, and one hell of a beer exploration. I applaud the envelope pushing at Boston Beer Co. Huge maple syrup note dominates the taste. It's like oak aged syrup, really. Very sweet, though not cloying in the course of a few ounces enjoyed over a moderate period of time. Some notes of vanilla, oak, and smoke are certainly all there.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied, and certainly syrupy feeling. Again, no carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability is suprisingly high. The flavor profile is spot on IMO and quite enjoyable, and although the alcohol is very apparent, it's an important aspect to this beer. I love it. (1,102 characters)

Photo of smedley
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Thick, almost syrupy. Earthy, caramel color, no head. Swirling it around coats the side of the glass nicely.

S - Raisins, maple syrup, port wine. Strong alcohol smell. People sitting 15 feet away could smell the alcohol.

T - Maple, vanilla, raisins again. Strong at first taste, then becomes smoother and easier, leaves you with a blast of alcohol. Not quite cognac, but sort of...

M - Warming, burning alcohol, but at the same time, smooth

D - Sip this one and enjoy the complexity. This is not a beer by conventional definition. I only drank about 4 oz, and that was plenty. Kept me warm on a cold winter day (618 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

A - Caramel, raisin color. Completely still. Syrupy legs left running down the side of the glass.

S - Very boozy, obviously at 20%+. Rubbing alcohol, a strange combo of sherry, port, cognac and bourbon all blended smoothly together. Raisins, brown sugar and plums with nose burning alcohol.

T - Reminds me of a nice rich cognac. Slight burning alcohol, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, sherry and plums. Nice and complex and much smoother than alcohol at similar proofs.

M - Thick and syrupy. Like a cross between alcohol and a liqueur.

D - You need to give it a little time to open up or it is an alcohol mess. Very good and nice to see some breweries, especially as big as Sam Adams pushing the edge on beer styles. (738 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

At what point does beer stop being beer? That line lies, I think, somewhere between Extreme Beer and Utopia. This beverage may start out like beer, but on its trip to the brewing stratosphere, it winds up more like a poor cognac.

Pours a dark caramel with no head. Swirling it in a brandy snifter produces long, deep legs. The smell is a deep caramel, bourbon-like, perhaps a bit rasiny, with a slap of alcohol. The taste is brown sugar, creme brule, raisins, creme, vanilla, and bourbon. It suggests butter, praline, pecan, and walnut.The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, fatty around the mouth, very difficult to drink.

This is interesting to try, but it fails a key test: what is the point? If you want a beer, have a beer. If you want Cognac, have cognac. This is neither and therefore will satisfy nobody. (806 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to tpd975 for the chance to try this. I poured my sample into a Bush (aka Scaldis) mini-goblet, which I don't think I've used since my trip to the brewery, so this felt like the right occasion.

Pours with no head, of course. (You trying brewing a 25% beer with any kind of head on it!) Rolls around in the glass like Frangelico or something; earthy amber in color.

Can't believe how good this smells. Given the high ABV you'd think it would be an aromatic disaster, but it's not. There's definitely a strong wave of alcohol fumes, but it also gives off brilliant woody and nutty aromas, a little vanilla too. Lots of oak as the smelling continues--but now I'm anxious for another sip...

Lots of repeat flavors from the aroma--oak-y, nutty, subtle vanilla (vanilla extract, anyway, but nothing wrong with that). Maybe a little maple, too. Alcohol is big, but completely sip-able, not at all cloying (amazing), lending added depth to the flavor without ever detracting. A total treat.

Texture is syrupy yet not heavy, has a soothing glide like a liqueur, and it pretty much tastes and drinks like a liqueur.

A special occasion beer--and yes, this is beer. Reminding myself of that as I sipped helped me remember 1) the almost limitless possibilities of the brewing process, and 2) the talent of Jim Koch and co. when they really roll their sleeves up and get to it. This is a far sight better than their Triple Bock--don't even compare the two, even if it's tempting to do so. (Thanks again Greg!) (1,508 characters)

Photo of michael573114
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm in love with this beer. I tasted the first version at a Boston beer fest, and was blown away. Later, I managed to pick up a single bottle of the 2005, and when the 2007 came out, I was ready.

Great beer. It reminds me a lot of a good tawny port, it's got that sweet carmelized flavor, almost like it was distilled. It's sticky and slightly thick like port.. but then you taste, and there are flavors here that you just cannot get with grapes.

Definitely sip this one... savor it. Share it with your friends, surprise them with the fact that yes, this really is beer.

Thanks to Jim Koch and everyone at Sam Adams, this is something truely unique. (653 characters)

Photo of Hemi
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure to taste this at yesterdays GABF evening session. I was much more impressed than I thought I would be as it leaves a very pleasant maple and vanilla taste on your palate and although very alcoholic it had only subtle hits of its true abv. You do have some oak and Sherry notes that come through as well. It has a very thick mouth feel and no carbonation. This is truly a great beer that can be appreciated by any beer advocate. (446 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from my brother for being his best man and shared it with everyone at the rehearsal dinner.

This pours a dark red/burgundy with no head at all, its served still. Looks thicker and almost syrupy compared to any other beer ever. Smells of cognac, port wine, alcohol, and maple. Tastes like it smells, lots of alcohol in there. This one is a sipper for sure! Sweet sticky mouthfeel with a slight alcohol burn and a thick body. This is one of those brews that truly breaks ground. Great brew that really is outside the box, I wish I could afford to drink this more often! (590 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a wine glass from a friend.

Pours a brown, almost burgundy color with no head. Coats the glass fairly well when it's swirled.

Smells like a toffee liquor. Lots of buttery aroma, with a good bit of alcohol.

Tastes the same as it smells, but a bit more complex. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be buttery, but there's also some caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate. Very warming.

Mouthfeel is very good. It goes down very smoothly, and it has a good thickness.

This is pretty drinkable. It's not something I want to drink on a regular basis, but I had absolutely no trouble finishing the glass.

Overall I'm glad I had a chance to try this. It's very interesting, somehow it still resembles a beer. Definitely worth a try. (753 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Split this bottle with some great friends. I have been holding this for a couple of months now, and was very excited to try, but always thought I was going to be let down by it. Boy was I wrong. This exceeded my expectations.

Poured a syrupy dark amber with no carbonation. Smelt of condensed maple, alcohol and molasses. Taste was pure maple, molasses, and a smooth alcohol burn. Truly unique and amazing. I would recommend all BAs try this at least once. I know I will be getting a bottle of the next release. (512 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Jwolfie70 for his incredible generosity over the weekend. Had a chance to sample this along with some other rare brews as he cracked open his cellar (it took some cracking) to break out some of his Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme, and other delicacies.

What an awesome bottle. Pretty epic stuff.

Pours a slightly amber dark brown. No head. Smells wonderful: malty, woodsy, maple-syrupy, and the taste is very satisfying, with a vanilla/oaky/boozy overlay that makes it a wonderful sipper.

I could see how this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, and it certainly isn't "drinkable" in the slightest, but really wonderful to try. (639 characters)

Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
97 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.