Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
537 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 537 | Ratings: 2,458
Photo of rden4654
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the few beers you will ever sip on and just be amazed at how well it drinks. Just like Rare when you drink a Utopia you just really sit there hoping it will never end! A fine Cuban would go well with this as well smoking jacket as well of course.

 261 characters

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.

 693 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2015 Edition. # 06552.

Pours a beautiful dark brown color. Great aroma with caramel, dates, figs, raisins, port, and Bourbon. There are so many great and complex aromas, that it is impossible to pick them all out. Wonderful sweet taste with Bourbon, caramel, port, vanilla, figs, dates, raisins, dark cherries, and maple syrup. This keeps getting better all the time. Full bodied, slick, with a slight alcohol burn, which is no problem at all, for a beer this delicious.

 475 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I saw about this beer that hasn't already been said before. It's dangerously drinkable despite the near 30% ABV. It drinks more like a cognac, but is super palatable and delicious.

 189 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 edition. Incredibly unique. Pours a nice clear amber colour, nose is boozy but loaded with burnt sugar, caramel, port and sherry notes. Flavor is incredibly complex with new flavors coming through after every sip. Molasses, caramel, vanilla, hints of oak, bourbon, sweet ice wine, raisins and figs. Reminiscent of a flat barley wine, and a fantastic sipper. When I picked it up I started having buyers remorse thinking I could've gotten a nice single malt for the same price, but now having tried it I would not hesitate picking up another bottle. A fantastic treat, and a flavor profile that would be enjoyed by any beer geek.

 633 characters

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.

 1,310 characters

Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The owner of Beer Mongers opened up a "bottle" of Utopias in honor of their anniversary, and so I finally was able to sample enough of it to rate. I'm not sure how old this particular bottle was, but I don't believe it was a current version.

The beer pours a murky brownish amber color with virtually no head retention or lacing (the beer had minimal carbonation at best, so this was no surprise). The nose is quite boozy, but even so, I picked up some vanilla, dark fruits and rum raisins. The flavor profile replicated the nose pretty closely in this sweet, rich, extremely potent beer. This beer is very soft, full and smooth on the palate, but with some noticeable heat on the finish from the alcohol. However, the heat wasn't at all out of place, and seemed appropriate for this monster of a beer (drinking this is similar to the experience one encounters when drinking single malt scotch or XO cognac, except for the level of sweetness in this beer). Also, while I've read that this beer is complete still, both this time and the time I had it previously at TJ's back in Paoli, Pa, there was something of a prickly sensation with the mouthfeel, leading me to believe there was some light carbonation in this beer. The alcohol is otherwise very well integrated into the flavor profile, though obviously this beer is very, very boozy, and a little bit goes a long way. Had roughly a 2 ounce pour of this beer, which I thought was more than sufficient (would not have wanted any more than that).

An interesting beer to try for sure, but I can't imagine paying the freight to obtain a bottle on my own (as this really isn't the sort of drinking experience I want to replicate very often). Regardless, it was a treat to try this at the Beer Mongers anniversary party (and was an extremely generous offering on the part of the owner).

 1,847 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2015; bottle 12272. Gifted by son for my 64th birthday. Poured 1oz into glencairn type glass. Medium dark caramel color. The layered aromas of Caramel Madeira, cognac and sweetness are immediately apparent. No carbonation and clear legs on the sides of the glass. Smooth, velvet richness easily covers the palate with
complex notes. This is truly a fine distilled beer to be enjoyed a little at a time with great friends!

 429 characters

Photo of Griffin2
4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a tough one to rate, as it is so unique. My buddy shared his bottle of 2007 for his 50th birthday.
L - Poured a dark brown, almost looked like molasses.
S - Like boozy cognac.
T - very much like cognac with honey on the back end.
F - Very thick with no carbonation.
O - Very interesting drink. Everyone should try this at least once.

 342 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

freshly opened bottle, 3oz pour into a snifter
served at room temperature
Vintage 2015
28% ABV
Bottle #: 08626

Drank in honor of my completion of residency, June, 22nd, 2016.

BeerAdvocate review #900, and beer #97 out of the former “Top 100” which I started several years ago. I flew through the first 50, steadily moved through the next 25, slowly progressed through the next 15, and finally am crawling towards the finish with the the last 10 or so which have proven to be exceptionally difficult to obtain. Its been a fun journey though! Onto the rating:

A: Pours a dark mahogany with beautiful ruby hues when held to light. There is no carbonation and thus no head or lacing, but alcohol legs cling to the sides of the glass. 4.75

S: The aroma is a huge, wonderful, boozy sweetness. Boozy sweet grapes, like a strong Italian desert wine, charred oak bourbon characters, rich cognac and port wine. Subtle bitter aromas to balance it out. Layers of complexity. Exceptional. 4.75

T: A wonderful combination of sweetness and booze. Port wine, heavy caramel malt and toffee flavors, sweet cognac. A bitterness and fusel alcohol character to balance out the sweetness. I also get cocoa, charred oak bourbon notes, dark fruits, syrup-like sweetness, and candied sugar. My only complaint is that the fusel ethanol may be a touch high at times which can mask some of the complexities. That being said, its still phenomenal. 4.75

M/D: Mouth feel is thick and velvety smooth coating the palate wonderfully. There is no carbonation, as advertised. Although its certainly booze at 28%, it doesn’t have the burn that most ABV equivalent spirits have. Drinkability is remarkable for the ABV. 4.75

O: A truly unique and special treat. In the conversation with the best beers I’ve ever had. 5

 1,818 characters

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark Carmel color, very thin. Extremely boozy scent as expected with some Molasis plums and toast. A lot of Carmel and Molasis spread on toast with slight plum. Also has a maple syrup taste and scent. Really sweet. Fairly smooth with a medium light body. Warming in the back of your throat. Very different and pretty good.

 327 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The beer poured a deep murky brown color with no visible carbonation.

Smell – The nose reminds me of a port with notes of dark fruits and sweet grains.

Taste – My initial impression is boozy caramel. Utopia is nutty, caramel with a definite warm alcohol presence. There is a mild licorice presence with dark fruits and perhaps some dark cherry toward the back. There is definitely a warm feeling that would make this feel great on a sore throat.

Mouthfeel – There is a definite thickness with low carbonation that allows the beer to stick to the back of the throat.

Overall – I still think this is more of a port than a beer. I am not a ticker, but I am glad to have had it. I probably won’t need to have it again.

 743 characters

Photo of pezhead_79
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

We have been enjoying this since Christmas (gift for my brother-in-law) and it just gets better. The strong flavors are something not enjoyed by all, and I'm not really much of a hard liquor drinker. So, it's hard for me to sip a beer, but boy is it needed. This can quickly overpower all of your senses with it's up front flavor. The recent tasting on May 7th was so good for my family, that my sister went to the same store I got this from and bought the only other bottle.

 479 characters

Photo of cultclassic89
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Plenty of reviews here, but this may be the only extreme abv beer I've had that actually tastes great, as most of them are awful and sickly sweet with tons of soy. Not worth the price tag at all, but certainly tasty for the style.

 230 characters

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.

 217 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The myth, the legend, the beer...if you could call it one. It's brewed like a beer, with beer ingredients, but believe everything you've read that says that this is more like a liquor, as far as drinking purposes go.

Look: Dark, clear, ruby red, leaves long legs down the glass.

Scent: Mainly cognac, old leather coat, oaky port, bourbon; hints of maple syrup, tobacco, prunes.

Taste: More leather, more tobacco, more cognac, a sweetness that is almost fruity, but not one fruit in particular - a dark one, toffee, sweeter on the sides of my tongue, faintly bitter on the top.

Feel: As thick as port or another dessert wine with nice legs down the glass, but with far more burn - the alcoholic tingle and numbness of a strong schnapps, but less aggressively hot or harsh than whisky. Zero carbonation.

Overall: This is a hard beer to rate. As I said, it's incomparable to any other beer, so it's hard to rate it as one. Compared to itself, based on pure enjoyment, I love it! It's a bold, beautiful, complex spirit, and it's sure to be appreciated by fans of other spirits (if less so by beer drinkers). I could easily see myself enjoying this as an after-dinner drink or just on a lazy evening sitting by a fire or enjoying a movie.
However, these are activities I am just as happy doing with a scotch, wine (fortified or other), or any number of other fine spirits, and I would be paying about a quarter the price. So what is the justification for buying this? Novelty - no more, no less. It's the only beer like it, for beer aficionados. It's the only beverage exactly like it in the world. It's a work of art - sure, it's comparable to other, cheaper, easier-to-produce spirits, but this is so complex, both in its execution and in its turnout, that it's like comparing Ikea to handmade artisan crafts.
Don't feel compelled to buy this if you are tight on cash; it won't change your life or affect your perception of beer forever more. Don't buy this because it's the best drink ever - it's not, though it is a damn fine and unique one. Buy it for the hype, prestige, the ability to feel like a boss, and the appreciation of drinking something unlike anything else, crafted with thought, soul, and love. Enjoy it because you only live once.

 2,266 characters

Photo of floridadrift
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L: Amber colored, no head, some lacing that stains the glass
S: Caramel, molasses, burnt sugar, bourbon
T: Extreme heat from bourbon, like drinking Grand Marnier
F: Thin, doesnt matter, its like liquor
O: A great example, unparalleled in its beer class.

 253 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. Poured from the Utopias bottle into a snifter, the beer is a deep, dark, vibrant, toffee coloring with no head. Oily slick in appearance. Nose of maple, molasses, tobacco, vanilla, bourbon, port wine, woody notes, and booze. Very rich, smooth, and warm aromas. Flavors are boozy and amazingly rich forward. Wow! Heavy and rich notes of vanilla, molasses, toffee, maple syrup, cherry, date, fig, apple, bourbon, port wine, cognac, and boozy heat. Holy shit this is good. Lots of characteristics open up in the glass as you go, layer after layer. Smooth, heavy, bold, and slick in mouth. The aftertaste has warmth, with a solid linger of the rich notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and molasses. The finish is slow and smooth, with a solid warmth and great linger. Amazing. Glad I finally got to try this one.

 821 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 2011 vintage at Rattle N Hum. My is this thing complex. There's bourbon, there's toffee sweetness, there's rich malt, and more. It's more like a dessert liquor than a beer. Something to be sipped and savored.

 220 characters

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%.

 701 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My friend Kyle decided to break this bad boy out for a bottle share. Really appreciate the chance to try it.

Look: No carbonation, which I expected. Dark brown oak color. Seems slightly darker than bourbon.

Smell: Wonderful. Sweet barley. Strong oak. Sort of in between an english barleywine and a bourbon.

Taste: Delicious. Tons of dark fruit. Whiskey. Has a port like aftertaste.

Feel: Little hot. Feels more like drinking whiskey than beer.

Overall: I've head this beer is overrated, but I really enjoyed it. It's a little too pricey I think. I would probably get a bottle for myself if it was under $100. However, price aside, this is great. Love the mix of bourbon and beer drinking feeling you get while having it.

 726 characters

Photo of jhartley
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 10 year anniversary bottle. 27% abv.
Poured into Sam Adams Utopias glasses

Appearance: Poured a caramel whiskey to cognac colored body, no head whatsoever, not surprisingly. Alcohol legs like you can't believe when swirled in the glass

Aromas: Caramel-toffee sweetness, oak, bourbon, alcohol is definitely there.

Taste: First sip...strong like a cognac; wouldn't even think this was a beer. Toffee sweetness, some fruitiness and a strong oak presence. The sweetness on the nose does not match the taste in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Is full and has a strong alcohol warming presence that goes down easy and then that warming sensation comes back to the top of the throat.

Overall: Huge beer! You get all kinds of flavors and aromas from this, but I wouldn't think it was a beer. More of like a cognac or whiskey/bourbon. Awesome beer and thanks to jzeilinger for sharing this one with me!

 905 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted alongside MMM. That made both spirits even better in my opinion. The booze on the nose presents itself with an oakiness and brown sugar caramel. Fairly smooth at such a high ABV. Like a bourbon meets a port with some sherry oxidation. Very unique. Oatmeal cookies, raisins, plump/boozy rehydrated cherries, and some wood.

 334 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

3 oz pour of the 2015 in a snifter

L: No carbonation, dark amber, sticky curtains
S: Wow! Raisins, heat, malt, sweet, dark fruit - maybe the best characteristic of this beer
T: A cross between a cognac and a beer, follows the nose, there's heat but oh so smooth
M: Viscous
O: Absolutely a wonderful experience that I would repeat at any given opportunity.

 357 characters

Photo of tubeyes
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Was brown in color, no lace.
S. Nose had lots of sweet syrup, bourbon oak alcohol kick up front, kettle corn, some whiskey, roasted caramel.
T. Taste had lots of caramel, pancake syrup, nice alcohol.
M. Mouthfeel feels similar to a whiskey, nice alcohol aftertaste.
O. Overall very nice beer that drinks like a bourbon. Had an dram at OSDH in Denton (on 11/11/2013, entered from notepad), thought I would never have a chance to drink this, but I'm glad I did! Also, for those considering dropping on a whole bottle, it's great, but not $200 great.

 551 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,458 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!