Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 29.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GClarkage on 07-09-2005

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Reviews: 546 | Ratings: 2,509
Photo of hophopandaway
1.53/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A friend of mine had 5 bottles of this, including a 2002 (does it age or is my friend wealthier than he is smart?), one of which we opened for my 30th. He told me it's very expensive but did not say how much. I felt a certian pressure to enjoy this and I pretended I did, but I did not.
Poured with no head and no lacing. It smelt like a forified wine and, in fact, that is what it is. This has no place being called a beer. The ABV should instantly say that it is not a beer and the taste confirms it. I'm not really a spirits man. I appreciate a gin and tonic and an occasional single malt but that's it.
The flavours that I got were a scotch-like peatiness with malt, caramel and what tasted like lager hops. This didn't really know what it was. It tasted to me like a cross between scotch, sweet dark rum, lager and pure alcohol.
Maybe if this was called something else I would have been more receptive to the taste but to call it beer is sacrilege to me. Can you imagine calling something that was 20% wine? Wine makers and experts would label you an idiot. This should not be on this list imo, hence the very low marks.

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Photo of birdyone
1.54/5  rDev -65.1%
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)

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Photo of TheRossness
2.32/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2

Where to start?... I was in Greenpoint Brooklyn, visiting Torst (which is the best beer bar I've ever been to) and left torst to try a little brewpub a few streets over. I'm drunk, but anyway, I make it over and sample some of their brews and they all aren't impressive. Their beer menu says they have Utopia and the beer geek in me has to try it. 2oz. for $26. I had a 2012 batch and upon my first sip, I ran to the bathroom to puke. It tasted more like thick congac than beer. After puking, I returned and finished the glass. It was a very hard beer to drink and wasn't enjoyable in the least. However, I can brag to my friends that I tried a 29% abv beer. I would never get this crap again.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.4/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought this beer at Blanchards in Jamaica Plain.

Packaged in a copper kettle bottle. Very attractive. I served some of this to some friends in shot glasses (no, we did not drink them as shots).

Smells of alcohol, vanilla, and maple.

It tastes like it smells and in that order. Nice maple finish as it goes down.

I was all about this with the 2005 version. I mean really talked this up to friends who themselves loved it. However, this version was a real disappointment. Flavor was consumed by the alcohol in this batch. Someone told me that this version tastes like a cheap port. After having this I would have to agree. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED the 2005 version. I paid a grip of money to get that version and felt it was money well spent. This version really bummed me out. I may be wary of future vintages from now on. I would say, taste this (if you can) before you buy.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.83/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Unattractive appearance, no head. Brown liquid. Looks more like bourbon. Doesn't look like beer. Super boozy heavy brown malt kind of aroma going on. Maybe some toffee and caramel under the massively hot aroma.

Taste finally got better, still plenty of burn from the heat, some brown sugar, molasses, cognac like orange gran marinier edge to the mouthfeel should you ever get passed the massive heat. Drops some barrel aged flavors like oak and vanilla along the line too, although I don't know if this is actually barrel aged.

The price point on this is a joke. Tastes equal parts cognac, English barleywine and old ale. No not equal parts. More like Cognac 50%, bw 25%, old ale 25%.

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Photo of krl2112
2.86/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Being that I am also a wine lover, the best way for me to describe the 10th Anniversary Utopias is as a bad Port wine. It smells and looks similar to a port with dark brown cognac like features and tastes like one, unfortunately a bad one. Very heated in the mouth and all sorts of flavors but they are subdued by the bad alcohol taste. I had the 2009 earlier this year and it was much better thn the 10th Anniv. IMO you are much better off buying a $30 Warres Port if you are looking for this taste. I was very much looking forward to this one with all the hype it had around and since I very much liked the 2009 but this one was just a diasppoinment unfortunately.

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Photo of TheBCrew
3.01/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I'm not really sure how to rate this "beer" as it is so different as to preclude it from being compared against any conventional beers, but I'll give it a shot. I poured a 1 oz. sample into my Utopias glass that came "free" with the purchase of the bottle. Color is a clear burnt orange with hints of amber and ruby. As it is flat, there is no head. Swirling reveals legs on the side of the glass as you get with fine wines and cognacs. Swirling also exposes the intense aromas of vanilla, maple, and brown sugar. These come out in the flavor as well, with an intense sweetness and a warming alcohol sense as it goes down. Given the sweetness, strength, and most importantly the cost, I would not want to drink more than 1 of these in a given evening, which is why I gave a low score for drinkability. Overall, its a nice novelty but not really what I look for in an alcoholic beverage, and the cost is staggeringly high at $150 per 25 oz. bottle (roughly $6 per once).

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.29/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one doesnt even deserve the typical way I do reviews, nor does even remotely deserve to be on the top 100 for even a second. I commend SA for doing what they did with this. But overall its a syrupy mess. Heavy fruit and syrupy malt on the nose and same in the flavor. It actually starts off like it might taste good, then takes a dive. I mean its not bad, its just not that good. The mouth is exactly what you'd expect, flat syrup. Shame on you guys for rating this as an exceptional "Beer"

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Photo of deaddear
3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two ounce sample, vintage c. 2011. Smells and tastes like sherry. I'm sure it took skill and effort to pull it off, but I just don't see the point of this one, especially for the price. I drank it. But I don't get it.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.31/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a mini-snifter. Received as a surprise bonus in a trade from SatlyMalty and was told it's the 10th Anniversary.

A- Pours a medium brown color with no head and maximum liquid stickage to the side of the glass.

S- Boozy as all hell with that brown sugary brandy-like aroma you find in lots of high gravity barleywines and old ales although this is much stronger.

T- Cloyingly sweet with lots of sugary caramel and maple notes only it's not pleasant. Also just as much alcohol as one would expect from the 29% ABv, maybe even moreso. Astringent aftertaste. Big raisin bomb.

M- Thick, sticky and highly viscous. Leaves a coating of sugar on the tongue as it burns the throat. No carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Thank God I didn't have to pay any money for this especially since it has such a ridiculous price tag. If I paid $200 or more for a whole bottle of this and found it to be this gross I'd shoot myself. Why people actually enjoy this, I'll never know. I wince every time I take a sip. Huge disappointment. At least I got a buzz off just a few ounces.

Update: Had the rest of the dram at room temp a couple weeks later and the flavor as well as the mouthfeel are drastically improved. Don't drink this one cold folks.

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Photo of redneckchugger
3.33/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a brandy snifter
no head at hall, syurpy, reminds me of a coffee liquer
Smells of booze, caramel, tofee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits
Taste is like a kick in the mouth, boozey, and complex beyond belief, all of the tastes in the aroma follow up, but with more intensity, the booze is a bit raw for my tastes, but this beer is 25%.
Mouthfeel is syurpy, thick as hell, and raw.
Definitly a sipper. A good beer, but not worth 100+ a bottle imo

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Photo of beernut
3.36/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to my friend Eric.
pours medium to dark brown. no head, no carbonation. pours like a cognac, sticky and sweet. Its beautiful the way it coats the side of the glass. Aroma is pure alcohol, can hardly smell the vanilla and chocolate. The taste is sweet and delicious. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, maple, raisin. Aftertaste is a nice burn as it goes down, smooth as well. This beer will fuck you up. Drink with caution!! Drinkabilty is low, too much and you can hurt yourself. But it is a MUST try.

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Photo of Dzman
3.39/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I was excited for this beer the 2015 edition and I finally after three months after purchasing to give it a try with a friend. I only poured one ounce each for the both of us as I believe there are only 24 ounces in the bottle. The first thing I noticed a very strong alcohol smell very much like a cognac or brandy and similar to the flavor/smell. I know it was 28% alcohol so I know what to expect. This was nothing to any beer in existence. For one there is no carbonation and it should be served at room temperature. Another is the overpowering sweetness and it feels a little gritty on my tongue. You can feel the beer going down to your stomach. The best way to describe the taste is imagine drinking molasses that had fermented. The thing is the sweet taste threw this one away for me. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't. I have no regrets buying this rather expensive beer. It's something to try at least once in your life. I also heard from another friend to add two drops of water to my one ounce and that may improve the taste. I have yet to try this method. Overall I would not recommend as a curious purchase but to try at a bar or have a friend who is willing to share. On the plus side the bottle is pretty cool and each one is numbered for it is only available in limited quantity.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.4/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled this one at EBF (2/20) on a clean palate (second beer sampled). Poured into a sample glass. Usually I won't review at a fest... however, since most people only review a 2oz. pour of this one anyway...

A: Beer is a semi-clear mahogany. No head, no lacing, no carbonation. I understand that this is an "extreme" beer, but reviewing to style, I can't give it a good score with no head or lacing grade.

S: Nose is outstandingly potent. Booziness is over the top and then some. Caramel, brown sugar, a bit of nuttiness come in behind the scenes.

T: Booziness makes me cringe a bit. To me, this is beer in its purest and strongest form. Comes out of my nose and is by far the hottest beer I've ever had. A bit of brown sugar is apparent as well as some caramel and toffee. Finish is hot as heck and lingers a bit, but no real flavor, just straight up booze.

M: Full bodied, flat, really smooth, but also really average for the style. Finish is boozy and over the top and the hotness makes it hard to get down more than any other beer in this category.

D: I'm glad I only had a 2oz. pour of this one. Can't and won't stand any more of this. I'm really glad to have had it though and taste what the commotion is all about. Not worth the investment in my opinion and might need a couple of years to tone down the alcohol and heat.

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Photo of Rob_Marquis
3.41/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a beer. This is a dessert liqueur. Thick, sweet, very port like. The price tag is bogus. I'll spend a quarter and less of that on Founders KBS or Weyerbachers Sunday Morning Stout and then head to my local antique shop and but a nice bronze or copper decanter for my hutch that's cheaper and nicer then that Genie in a bottle looking crap you get from Sam Adams. In my opinion Sam Adams should stick to their main stream beer.

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Photo of gameface23
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Strong maple notes both in smell and taste. Tasted like a port fortified with maple brandy. Created a warming sensation as it traveled down the esophagus. I drank it out of the Utopias glassware that came with the bottle. It had a slight syrupy consistency that coated the glass.

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Photo of Shaon94
3.44/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tasted on multiple occasions, poured from the tap at the GABF. Can't say I agree with the general public on this one. The taste was extremely sweet, nearing that of cough syrup. The alcohol percentage was difficult to hide with significant alcohol burn. Mouthfeel was nice and rich. However, overall, this isn't one I would want to try again. Nice try Sam Adams

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Photo of Seanibus
3.44/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.46/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on New Year's Eve 2005. Deep amber and copper with long legs (and burgandy lips). The aroma presents some overwhelming alcohol, with maple and whisky. Tons of maple in each drink. Oak and vanilla. You can feel the alcohol evaportating in your mouth. So over the top that this is no longer beer.

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Photo of steffigal22
3.46/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i paid $5 just to taste it, which i thought was a good deal even though the pouring was less than one ounce. it still seemed like that was enough to be able to write an adequate review on it anyway.

ATTACK- initially i was shocked by its super super sweetness, although that does make a lot of sense.

MID-PALATE- there is definitely that strong alcoholic warming sensation as it crosses the palate and goes down.

FINISH- it finished with a tingling which i would usually equate to sherry or brandy drinking because of its strength.

overall, it was a good enough experience, just much different than i had anticipated it would be; this beer surprised me.

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Photo of psumjl269
3.46/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to this and had it summer of 2013 at Churchkey in Washington DC. Very disappointed.

This beer may be better with aging, but when I had it, the booziness was just too much. It was almost cloyingly sweet. The mouth feel and look were awesome; however, the smell was overpoweringly boozy. The price point is also something I wasn't thrilled about - it was over $30 for a small tulip pour (~4 oz).

I'd try this again if I knew it had been aged for a few years. I think the sweetness would really be tempered, which would allow some of the flavors to come to the forefront of the beer. You know there has to be something pretty wicked about this beer because of its price and rarity - I just didn't get it when I tried it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent copper brown color with no head. The nose has a fair bit of whiskey up front, notes of roasted barrel and some untertones of vanilla, sweet caramel and an earthy root type aroma. The taste is similar, sweet caramel, root beer, a piney syrup, earthy and root like with some notes of chocolate. Strong whiskey/bourbon notes, lots of heats with a fair bit of sugar left over. Syrupy feel, chewy and viscous, well carbonated and a touch of driness in the finish. Lots going on, spirit like, a touch all over the place.

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Photo of Odysseyalien
3.52/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Was treated to a sample today at Three Bling Monks in Garfield, NJ. In a single word ... "delicious"...and thanks to Brian for the sample. I would say though that to call this a beer is almost a misnomer as the taste is really more like a liquor or brandy. Tasty for sure, but difficult to call it a beer. The rating system for this is difficult cause I don't feel like I'm rating a beer.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,509 ratings.
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