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Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
527 Reviews
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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
527
Ratings:
2,402
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
1,344
Gots:
467
For Trade:
15
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Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 2,402
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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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

2015 vintage. yes I Finally bit the bullet and spent $240 on this. I have been dreaming of getting this for decades now and the day has finally come. This looks, smells and feels unlike any beer I have ever drank . Pure bliss! Wow, there is no beer to compare to this, unlike anything you have ever experienced in a beer! I can sit and sniff this for hours, the smell alone is intoxicating! When sipped your taste buds totally explode with flavors so rich and perfect I can't begin to describe the complexities of it! Unlike any other malt beverage ever brewed! I'll be back next year to update another 2 oz of this heaven 5.00

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Photo of Ristaccia
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Clear amber pour with no head. Looks closer to Bourbon than anything else.

Smell: Maple syrup, port, brandy, bourbon, caramel, alcohol. Smell is hot but complex.

Taste: Follows the nose. Maple syrup, burnt sugar, caramel, brandy, port, bourbon, and subtle hints of wine. Very complex and inviting.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and light; much akin to a thicker, stickier bourbon.

Overall: Impressed even given high expectations. A terrific sipper and one I happily would have had several additional ounces of.

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my brother was able to score a bottle of this at his local total wine and more. 200 bucks. well worth it in my opinion. at 29% he was more than happy to share. not overly boozy. outstanding overall.

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Photo of emyers
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Approx. 2 oz. pour from 2015 bottle (Bottle # 14857) into mini snifter.

Pours cloudy ruby-brown. No carbonation.

The nose is absolutely unbelievable. Tons of dark fruit/raisin, toffee, brandy, cognac, vanilla, molasses. I could go on but I'd be listing all of the aromas you can pick up from this all day. Definitely a strong dose of alcohol in there, but its actually more refined than I was expecting.

Taste has essentially the same components going on as the aroma, but the alcohol heat is much more present. Crazy complex, but as expected the alcohol makes it difficult to drink more than a very small amount. This is definitely more akin to a fine port or brandy than beer.

Mouthfeel is very thick. Could come off a bit syrupy if not for the alcohol heat warming up the palate.

As often mentioned, this really isn't beer. That being said, I would highly recommend trying a pour of this if you can - it truly is an experience.

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Photo of Rice_Nate_25
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't know how this is classified as beer, other than it is brewed rather than distilled. Drinks more like sherry/cognac and tastes of port. The hops/malt are completely masked by the complex flavors derived from all the finishing barrels. Wouldn't pay $180 again but glad I got one.

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Photo of jayhammed
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 Vintage. I really enjoyed this. Has a nutty maple syrup nose. Taste is so complex with oak, maple syrup, amaretto, bourbon notes. Hard to consider this a beer - but it's great nonetheless. Excited to age one to see how it matures.

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Photo of HopHunter19
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - nice clear mahogany color, obviously no head - flat, huge alcohol legs
S - butterscotch, caramel, brandy, bourbon, sherry, dark fruits, lots of alcohol
T - butterscotch, caramel, bourbon, syrup, marshmallows, chocolate, dark fruits, smoother than you'd expect
M - heavy, syrupy mouthfeel, alc present but I guess you can't knock it, aftertaste is butterscotch, caramel, sweet alcohol
O - unlike any other beer I've had. FW ddba is probably the closest I've had to this, but it's like the ultra light version of this

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Photo of Sintech
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown.

Nose - All alcohol. Breathtaking!

Taste - The complexity is mind-boggling. Absolutely fantastic.!

Mouthfeel - Thick and sticky. World class!

Overall - One of the best beers I've ever had! Highly recommend. Seek this out!

Grade (A)

 299 characters

Photo of Jordanpaterson08
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honestly, a beautiful beer (more like a liquor) with a lot of whiskey characteristics. Vanilla, figs, honey... But what stood out the most for me was how similar it was to some bruery offerings. Biased opinion, because I am a society member, but the bruery offers similar beers for roughly $40. Compared to the $400 price tag of Utopias. Definitely a pleasure and an honor to drink, but IMO not worth the price tag.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
98 out of 100 based on 527 ratings.
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