Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,513
Reviews:
546
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
12.02%
 
 
Wants:
1,372
Gots:
493
For Trade:
18
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Ratings: 2,513 |  Reviews: 546
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.68/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: no head on a clear deep amber body. no lacing as expected.

S: oak, toast, caramel, bourbon, lots of booze. smells like a shot of whiskey/bourbon, lots of sugar, maple syrup.

T: wow this one hits hard at first. the booze and sugar combine to make this one hard to sip. Basically tastes like severly boozy maple syrup with some caramel. very oak.

M: thick chewy body and no carbonation.

Overall: glad i tried this one but not wanting it again. even more boozy than the 29% or whatever it is would suggest. the sweetness I think is what makes it a little too unbareable.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of spycow
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a few ounces into Brandy snifter.

A: Deep dark brown color with the look of a nice brandy. No sign of carbonation or a head.

S: Unbelievable smell. You can smell the carmel, toffee, hazelnut, chocolate and tobacco notes. It is strong but pleasant as you swirl it around the glass.

T: When tasting this beer, the smell is so overwhelmingly strong that it can create a sense of a bad taste. Easier to make sure to not breath as you take the first sip. This really gives you a sense of the deeply complex beer. You can immediately taste the strong alcohol but perfect. The taste of tobacco, chocolate, and leather. A strong taste of hazelnut and raisins just overwhelm the palette. Leaves a warming aftertaste that you wish could stay with you for longer.

M&D: Feel warm, oily, and smooth to the palette....like a smooth brandy. It is still very drinkable for a beer of this strength. A few ounces every once in a while is a great pleasure.

I have the bottle from 2006 and still tastes unbelievable and actually think it is getting better with age. Highly recommend trying this beer if you ever get the opportunity.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nakalakaboom for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

2012 vintage. Bottle # 04542.

Pours a clear brown with no head. Legs of beer form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, sherry, and port. Taste is much the same with some wood and maple flavors as well. There is an alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. This beer has no carbonation but there is a smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is extremely strong and extremely rich but super tasty.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

the good people at boston beer brought five gallons of this to big beers in vail this weekend, and i have to thank them, because i would never be able to afford to try this one of a kind brew any other way. with much anticipation my glass is filled with a hazelnut colored liquid that shines mellow bronze on the edges and has essentially no head. the nose is hotly alcoholic, i smell it long before it even gets to my nose, very intense. but i also smell rich malted barley, the start of homemade caramel is white sugar just sweats in the pan, and a woody vanill vibe that reminds me of a good bourbon. the taste is more like a cognac than a bourbon or a beer through, and thats what i notice the most. its not nearly as sweet as it smells either, but has some necessary residual sugar to soften the alcohol burn. it almost feels distilled instead of brewed. i get a ton of wood on the finish, like a combination of countless barrels. its a little bit of everything rolled into one, but it somehow, to me at least, makes beautiful beer. i know others have been critical of the lack of carbonation, massive still body, and the price tag on this beer, which is certainly not for everyone, but i found it positively delightful. would i buy it? maybe. but i am overjoyed that i got to sample this, and honestly, a sample is all you really need with this strength and intensity of flavors. this proves that sam adams still makes some of the most far out beer in the world, even if the flagship brands are super safe.

 1,512 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle on this in November of 2009. Opened it in January of 2010. I've been having a few sips out of it over the last year or so just to see if there is any changes taking place of over time. The major change I've noticed is that the smell of maple is much stronger now than it was when it was new. The flavor is also along the same lines. The maple is really coming through now, it's almost like I should put it on pancakes or something. For a beer that's over 20% abv it's very smooth. There isn't much of an alcohol burn. This beer is just all around very impressive. I don't know if I'll ever buy it again but I'm proud that I got some when I did.

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Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Extreme beers don't get any more extreme. ...or higher in quality. ...or more sultry or savory. This year's 10th Anniversary edition satisfies all the sophisticated taste, texture, and pleasure of anyone who believes they have a discerning palate. If, as a craft beer enthusiast, you enjoy the better things in life, then do yourself a favor.

An ounce and a half poured into a small brandy snifter proves to be all of the beer that's needed for full appreciation in taste. Its dark tawny redish brown hue and absolutely stillness allows the beer to relax and mirror port wine in appearance. A casual swirl of the glass allows the brandyish legging to climb up to the glass with a glossy sheen. No carbonation or foam character is necessary- all the complexities are built in to the aroma and taste.

Incredibly strong aromas of brandy-like alcohols weave into a savory mix of maple syrup, molasses, and rich dark fruit. Bordering on sherry, the mouth watering aromas waft over the palate with concentrated red grape, raspberry, plumb, dates, figs, and cashews. Aged oak becomes the common thread that ties all the dense fruit, peppery alcohol, and savory sweet notes together.

Insanely complex flavors of maple, toffee, and sorghum coat the mouth with a film of mature sweetnesses that's toasty and slightly seared to bring out a buttery taste that's devilishly seductive. The sweetness merges with fortified alcohols that stop shy of overly boozy distilled spirits. It's result is a port-like brandy taste that's even more captivating with the oxidized fruits- rum soaked cherries, raspberries, grapes all seem concentrated in taste even as complex sherry, cognac, bourbon, and scotch flavors emerge with each alternating sip. Mild herbal hops give a tea-like roundness to the taste, even as vinous tartness balance the sweet. Dried aged oak and even savory soy sauce and chocolate tastes emerge with elegance, grace, and an obviously masculine quality. This beer begs a pairing with a fine aromatic cigar.

Thin alcohol sweetness seeps into the mouth without the lift of carbonaiton to brace from its full brunt of tooth. Lightly oily and chewy at the same time, the beer's coat is like a rich dessert that's meant for sipping and savoring rather than drinking. Extremely warm, the beer is surprisingly balanced from the fusal heat and rounded off nicely for a smooth and peppery finish. Its closure of alcohol-sweet texture keeps rewarding the taste buds well into the next sip.

After recently having the past five vintages of the beer, its quite obvious that these beers get better and better with each subsequent release. Even as earlier versions are lesser in alcohol, they portray an overall rougher alcohol taste. The more recent versions are smoother, stronger, and more sophisticated in taste- and yes... worth every penny!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 version, in a 24oz, um, bottle? I suppose a case could be made for this as a can, given all the metal encasing this copper kettle replica. One hard to come by offering for this brewery around here, as they are indeed repped locally, but finally I got my hands (for a mere ~150 dollars) on one. My infant son spent his first birthday today out and about with his mom, and even visited dear 'ol dad at work this afternoon. Now that he's well and down, here we freaking go.

This beer pours a (what, a simple cap? no cork, really?) mostly clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with zero head, zero lace, and zero sound, save the mild glugging of the er, liquid, as it hits the glass - weird, man. Not a particularly appealing looking offering, IMHO.

It smells of ridiculously pungent maple sap, port fruitiness, sherry Flor, vanilla and caramel that have spent serious time in a Kentucky whiskey barrel, tanned leather, more rather tannic warmed red wine, rum-filled holiday chocolates, and a slight musty funk, one that seems more capable of cutting through the mire than any hops in the mix. The taste is more decadent and super-heavy caramel malt and its bourbon barrel equivalents, thick natural vanilla, maple doughnuts, rich port and fruity sherry, a reduced brown sugar rum booziness, concentrated sour stone fruit, hints of bittersweet cocoa, and a somewhat surprising leafy, musty hoppiness.

The carbonation is obviously not the main point of this affair, as it is pretty much unheralded and non-existent, the body a sickly viscous, thick and chewy, full as full can be weight, and smooth like your favourite single malt (and ethereally creamy, by the same metric). It finishes sweet, hell to the yes, but with a noticeable attempt at moderation, the fruit, some latent, but still weak-ass funk, and yes, hops doing enough to keep me from scraping both my tongue and teeth at the same time.

A whole lot of acclimatization is required to actually get into this one at first - but once you're past that initial palate gang-bang, the teetering balance of malt, bourbon, port, rum, funk, maple, sugar, and hops starts to make more and more sense, and that's only due in small part to the 54-proof alcohol. Utopias is one of the few end-points of beer fandom, and is almost worthy of its sticker price (I'd say shelf tag, but, heh, it never actually made it there, around here). My only real beef here, is that I can only make an educated guess as to how much I have left in the 'bottle' - I'm thinking at least 16oz, as this kind of thing surely engenders more writing than imbibing, eh?

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.7/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Metal bottle served into a sampler glass at the Surly Goat in Hollywood, California. Reviewed from detailed notes. It hit the wallet hard at $16.00 for about two shots worth. I savored it and had very high expectations given the hype and its current rating.

A: There's absolutely no head whatsoever, not even a floater. I'll write this off to the monstrous ABV. Colour is a chestnut copper. Nontransparent. Nonopaque. No yeast particles are visible. Not real vibrant. Leaves viscous clear brandy-like legs that slide down the glass' sides. Appealing in a general sense.

Sm: Heavy alcohol, whiskey, and strong port influence. Some vinegar and wine notes make it in as well. Dried grape, raisin, and hints of fig. Other dried fruit esters. Aroma gets better as it warms.

T: Heavy dried fruit - raisin is there, as is dried cherry. A bit strong but the sweetness is tame. Comes across as very sugary. Wow. Warms the stomach but the alcohol is nicely concealed. Apple, grape, and hints of cognac. Some whiskey burn on the climax. Lilac on the finish. Nicely balanced and built. Rich and decadent. The alcohol is present more on the backend, lending it a nice heat.

Mf: Very viscous and slick, but also nicely smooth and wet to aid delivery. Slight undercarbonation, aiding the general tone of the flavours as well as delivery. Quite thick. Complements the flavour nicely.

Dr: She's a sipper to be sure. Nicely drinkable for the monstrous ABV though. Drinks like a fine cognac or bourbon. I wouldn't buy a bottle of it at its ridiculous price point, but it's lovely to try once. I did expect better, but it lives up to its hype to an extent. It's certainly a quality sipper, anyway you slice it.

I love the bottle itself; it'd make a good souvenir or home bar piece. I remember the Mikkeller Bar has one laying about.

Best consumed warm, hands down.

B

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Photo of brentk56
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of emerge077
4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing, it was most generous of you sir.

I've had this three times now, mainly due to the generosity of others, and I can say it's not really my thing. Would much rather but a top shelf bottle of bourbon or scotch for the price, though obviously no comparison there.

Pours a tawny almond skin brown, zero bubbles, zero lacing, bright clarity in the glass.

Aromas are sticky sweet, big raisin and prune, nutty sweet tawny port. Flavors are largely the same, flavors linger long into the finish. Seems like any number of aged strong ales... Hardy's, JW Lees, etc, albeit with a nitro boost of alcohol. What mars the experience to me is the jarring astringent bite from the alcohol, which is more akin to sipping a whiskey neat. The complexity and flavors are there, it's just not as easy to sip as it could be, maybe 27% has something to do with it. Again, my personal preference is for beer and/or whiskey, not a hybrid, though this is an exceptionally unique product.

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Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2009 bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber/mahogany color with no carbonation at all.

Smell: Sweet, warm alcohol hits the nose right off the bad. I'm picking up some maple syrup and dark fruit in the nose as well.

Taste: The age has done this well. Still burns, but much smoother than it was when I first got it. Lost of alcohol and very sweet. More like liquor than beer. Very sweet with maple syrup and dark fruit notes. Reminds me a bit of bourbon, there is also some oak. Very complex. The finish is sweet and hot.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. No real carbonation to speak of with a slick finish.

Overall: Super complex and good. Such a unique beer. I feel like I picked up a new taste every time I took a sip. Definitely will have again.

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Photo of largadeer
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, 1 oz poured into a snifter. The beer is still in the glass, tawny in color with amber edges. It's beautifully clear, and swirling produces the most syrupy legs I've ever seen on a beer.

The aroma is huge and intoxicating, with an alcohol presence that's more like bourbon than beer. Behind the alcohol there's a huge backbone of malt and maple syrup. Barrel-aging is evident in the form of vanilla and spice, and there's an underlying fruitiness that makes me think of port wine.

While the aroma could fool you into thinking that you had a glass of brandy or port, the taste is surprisingly barleywine-like, albeit bigger and stronger. Alcohol is once again very noticeable up-front, but it's not particularly harsh. Flavors of caramel, vanilla, maple and dates are most prominent, and beneath that I get a light spiciness, port-like fruitiness and a touch of citrus. The body is incredibly full and syrupy, but surprisingly, it doesn't become too cloying; the alcohol seems to cleanse the palate between sips. The finish is fairly mellow for a beer of this strength, with a hint of oak and a kick of alcohol lending some dryness to an otherwise sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability is surprisingly high, and if not for the potency I'd be happy sipping on this for quite a while. This is a great beer, pretty much one of a kind at this point and more than just a gimmick, it's genuinely enjoyable.

 1,407 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,513 ratings.
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