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: 545 | Ratings: 2,507
Photo of Treyliff
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage poured into a glenclairn glass

Pours a deep ruby color , no head, looks like a fine liquor, tons of alcohol legs

S- opens with a wild ride of port, cognac, bourbon, wet oak, raisins, plum, fig, molasses, brown sugar, green apple skin and melted caramel

T- opens up with plenty of sweetness, highlights of port, caramel/toffee, bourbon barrel, spicy oak, vanilla, brown sugar, caramalized apples, fig newtons, dark grapes, green apple skin, black strap molasses

M- medium body that Coates the mouth, viscous, alcohol is there but not as strong as expected

O- definitely pushes the boundaries of defining beer, I consider this to be up there with the finer liquors that I've had

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Photo of BWood
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks like a cognac or brandy. No head or carbonation. But that's expected.

S: holy eruption. This is huge barrel character. Raisin, vanilla, syrup. Very heavy and deep smells. Strong.

T: follows the nose. Alcohol burn right away but not as bad as expected. Actually finishes smooth. Very complex.

F: burn to smooth. Lingering feel.

O: amazing beer. Glad to have been able to get a bottle. Lives up to the reputation. I will drink this bottle over the course of a few years. Jury is out on whether I will buy again. Price is steep.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bottle, 2015 Edition, bottle #17398, 28% ABV. I've opened the bottle and shared some with friends a couple months ago, but figured I'd give it a proper review this time. Served in a small tasting snifter (about an ounce or 2 pour), the beer pours a clear amber color with no head or lacing. It's similar to drinking whiskey, when I swirl it around in the glass you can see the "legs" sticking to the side of it. Aroma is rich, malty and boozy, the brew smells like vanilla, maple, molasses, dark fruit, wood, sweet spices and earthiness. Taste is sweet and actually not as boozy as I expected. There's caramel, maple, molasses, wood, dark fruit, sweet spices, vanilla, candied oranges, Sherry, and earthy/tobacco flavors. There's also a lingering sweet boozy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit syrupy and slick with pretty much no carbonation. I really like this brew, it's certainly a sipper. Utopias is similar to drinking a bourbon or Scotch, it's pretty hard to compare this even to most craft beer. Very unique and tasty brew, definitely worth trying if you get a chance to!

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Photo of EMH73
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It is very hard to think of this as a beer. It looks, smells and tastes more like an exquisite brandy or port. It is meant to be sipped and savored. 2008 version poured into a snifter. The most complex smell and taste I have ever encountered in a beer with notes of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel, port and honey. No carbonation and a thick mouth feel.

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Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am drinking the 2011 version, previously opened.
A - Pours a dark brown with no head.
S - First aroma is maple syrup, followed by a lot of booze.
T - An incredibly rich flavor of maple, raisin and booze. A surprisingly strong beer even after resting for 5 years.
M - No carbonation, thick mouth feel.
O - I received this from a friend. It had been opened once before, and I was worried about the condition. No worries! This beer is awesome. I'm not saying it's worth what they charge, but it is very special. One of a kind.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep caramel color. Aroma is big boozy vanilla, toffee and dark fruit. Flavor is a little sweet, vanilla, oak, figs and a lot of complex layers. Feel is a little lighter than I expected with a warm feel in the mouth. Overall a really interesting complex beer.

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Photo of DavidSomers
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a surprisingly good beer. Although the smell is overly boozy- think Jack Daniels - The taste and mouthfeel are outstanding. Basically, the biggest, bestest barleywine I've had. Did a direct comparison with BCBW 16 which tasted like a light beer in comparison. The finish or tail on the Utopias is the most impressive I've ever had from a beer. More like a fine brandy in that regard

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

This is a one of a kind beer. Excellent in every category except price. A clear caramel appearance. Strong coffee aroma. No head. The taste is high alcohol brandy coffee. Definitely a sipping beer.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,507 ratings.
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