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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
Reviews:
537
Ratings:
2,460
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
1,351
Gots:
484
For Trade:
18
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Reviews: 537 | Ratings: 2,460
Photo of cleeze
3.73/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had to give this one a whirl @ Novare Res's "It Feels Like Christmas". 20$ for a 2 ounce bottle pour. I split it with a buddy of mine.

Poured a dark amberish hue with no head that I saw. Almost had a cognac appearance to it with killer lacing.

Smell was very strong. I was a few feet away and I could smell it as soon as he opened the bottle. Again strong cognac sents blended with port wine hints. Also some woody oak aromas up in the mix as well. Lots of different sents.

Taste was way to complex to be observing it after a few Life and Limbs. Again loads of alcohol burn. Bourbon and oak and loads of cognac like aspects to this strange brew

Sticky mouthfeel with alcohol burn.

Not my cup of tea at all but really glad I had the chance to try it. My hat is off to the people at Sam Adams for constructing such an innovative and unique brew

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

had this courtesy of Total Wine.

appearance: dark in color and a brady like appeareance

smell: tons of heavy caremel and toffee, some oaky woody notes as well.

taste: of course liek many others says, it's like drinking a cognac with more body. I was drinkign a 3-4 year old so it was smooth and the alcohol burn was not there at all.

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: what a treat and definitly worth the expereince. Much better than triple bock.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Head is non-existent.

Aroma is hot with an alcohol burn. Sweet and sticky with generous caramel and toffee. Nice bit of alcohol infused dark fruit. Woody earthy quality with noticeable oak notes.

Taste is initially quite sweet. Many of the notes from the nose make an appearance. Bourbon soaked oak and dark fruit. Earthy with a generous alcohol burn. Finishes with a cognac like perfume quality that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is beyond beer in the traditional sense. Massive alcohol burn with a surprising amount of subtle earthy and and dark fruit character. Wonderful bourbon oak character. Rich toffee and caramel. A must try.

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Photo of bashiba
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark copper with no carbonation, looks very much like deep dark whiskey.

Has a nose like a very good tawny port. Sweet with molasses, oak, and vanilla. The nose is huge and complex, can enjoy it for hours.

The flavor a found to be mild in contrast to the overwhelming smell. Very smooth and supple, big vanilla and dark sweet fruit notes - Cherry, dates, and grapes along with rich cedar and oak along with some nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is thick and very warm, leaving a nice scotch like burn as it goes down.

Excellent, great snifter drink especially on a cold night. Very much reminds me of great tawny port. If it wasn't so pricey and rare I would drink this semi regularly.

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

This is an amazing drink, and I don't regret springing for it. Wish I could have gotten a six-pack! That's just out of range.

I can taste that there's a beer hidden in here. If you scaled back the sweetness and powerful woods, you'd have a nice strong ale. Souped up as it is, you get a powerful warmth of bourbon and oak, mellowing out to vanilla on the finish.

Appearance is just like a cognac. The smell is out of this world with vanilla and bourbon. It singed my nose hairs a little with the strength.

Pick up a sixer and kick back with a pint! ;)

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Photo of AMo
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sam Adams Utopias pours a smooth amberish red liquid with brilliant orange highlights. No carbonation, and pure liqueur in appearance. Smell is strong. Wonderfull blend of bourbon, nice wood, and other whiskey notes. Complex as any nose can note. Taste has a mixed whiskey flavor thats smooth, strong, and slightly sweet. The strength is exeptional, but far more smooth than I ever expected. Feels like a fine Cognac in texture and density. Fine barrel wood types of Bourbon linger in the aftertaste with a slight sweet note of Brandy. This is one fine drink of some strong booze. My taste loves this, but its not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've now had the opportunity to try this behemoth two times and this second time it was the perfect opportunity to put together this review. Basically, if you didn't tell someone this was beer, they would never know. But they would know it was amazing. And it is.

The beer has no head and is a bright copper/amber color with perfect clarity. No lacing, no visible carbonation. Looks like an after dinner drink. (Scotch, bourbon, Amaretto with the thickness) Absolutely has legs when you swirl the snifter.

The aroma is really nice. Sweet, dark fruits and maple.. some vanilla as well. Of course, some alcohol, but in a nice warming way and not too hot.

Depth, complexity and balance. Can I leave it at that? What a joy to drink. I am so happy that it's as good as I remember tasting at last years EBF.. Drinks like a brandy. Vanilla, maple, slight wood, sweet, but not cloying. Even some honey.

Not sure there is any carbonation, perhaps a pin prick. Almost syrup like. Obviously a sipper. Smooth and slightly warming. Not too hot at all.

I find this wonderfully drinkable and am planning on getting a bottle.

A special treat. Hats off to the folks at Sam Adams for creating this gem.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Utopias Riedel Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009 BOTTLE NUMBER: 07211
Super thanks to deliriumfest for helping me get this one!!!

This pours a translucent maple color with dark ruby highlights. There is no head and no lacing. However, it is quite viscous, oily even, and has legs for days. Just tilt the glass a little bit and watch the liquid slowly slide back down to the surface. You'll fall asleep before it all comes back down.
Beautiful.

Lots of maple syrup presence, along with a big nuttiness. Tons of oak coming through. Dark fruits, like figs, dates, raisins and cherries. Nice presence of honey and some traces of caramel.
The alcohol presence is definitely unavoidable, though it is not as overpowering as I'd anticipated. It reminds me of somewhere between a scotch and a port.

The taste follows the nose in a wonderfully beautiful way. This is absolutely delicious. Huge notes of maple hit you first. This is followed by that massive oakiness. Then it all bursts open, into a flavor explosion in your mouth. Dates, figs, and tons of raisins. Lots of honey and vanilla. Light caramel and brown sugar notes. Hints of leather and tobacco. Very light traces of coffee and chocolates.
The sweetness level is like mixing a fine rum with maple syrup. It's absolutely decadent.
The high abv is actually much more toned down than anticipated. Oh, it will warm you up, alright. It's just not nearly as hot as I thought it would be.

The mouthfeel is beyond full-bodied. It's thick. It is totally viscous and oily. The liquid just coats the entire surface of your mouth and hangs around for several minutes after you swallow.

This is very drinkable, but it is definitely an 'occasion' drink. It is just way too rich and decadent to have on a regular basis. But on the occasion that it does get poured, it shall be enjoyed, thoroughly.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obtaining this beer can be quite an adventure. So I must give huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for doing the leg work on getting this one.

Poured into a snifter the beer is crystal clear orange amber with red edges. No head no lace. However the legs this beer leaves with each swirl are ZZ Top worthy. It simply clings to the glass like its life depends on it. Slowly dripping down like syrupy tears. Absolutley beautiful.

The aroma is straight up bourbon. Wow this stuff is potent. It burns my nostrils with every whiff. Once you get past the booze you can find a array of dark fruit, caramel, roast nuts and smoked oakwood.

The flavor is ahuge suprise after getting through the nose. It's so smooth and flavorful. Sweet candied fruit, brown sugar, maple syrup, oak barrel, toasted nuts, toasted bread and slight bitter cherry in the finish. This is the most complex beer I've ever had the chance to enjoy.

The body is pure velvet smoothness. Just like a fine scotch with less burn. Not a trace of carbonation.

Overall this was the most unique beer to ever touch my lips. I'm so glad Andy was able to score a bottle and split it with me. I look forward to sipping this beer on cold Wisconsin nights. Fantastic.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped open a 2005 bottle to commemorate a friend who recently passed away, here's to you Ben.

A - Syrupy pour, redish, amberish, with yellow on the edges. No bubbles or head to speak of, sticks to the glass as it slides down the side.

S - Wow, it's like I'm getting a whiff of scotch in this. Alchohol smell is like that of a bourbon, scotch, or some other sort of whiskey. A lot of maple syrup smell in this, but the alcohol definately blows you away. Oaky with a vanilla hint.

T - Hard to believe this has as much alcohol in there as there is. The beauty in this beer is that you really can't taste it. Get a huge maple syrup taste, hint of vanilla, and some oak. It's sweet and good.

M - Syrupy and thick, coats the tongue and leaves the mouth sticky.

D - Given how much alcohol is in it, this is dangerously drinkable. Not something you can pound, but easier to drink than some "normal" beers I've had.

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Photo of capra12
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at RnH, 1 oz pour into a short snifer glass.

Appearance: maple in color with no head and slightly viscous.

Smell: one word intense. Sweet maple syrup, caramel, toffee, malt, earthy amd definite alcohol with a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Opens with an intense sweet raisin with hints of caramel and toffee,and earthy oakiness. The alcohol burn in this is undeniable but contributes to the intense ages flavor profile of this brew. Almost like a fine cognac. The maple syrup in this subtle but is present. The aftertaste is warm, sweet and earthy.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but packed with flavor, zero carbonation and smooth and coarse at the same time.

Drinkability: definitely a sipper but I would definitely have this again. I'm glad I tried it and I recommend others to try it as well. I recommend this for cognac lovers as well as those seeking an intense sweet earthy raisin profile with an alcohol nose and presence throughout.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2oz. room temperature pour into a stemmed glass. 2009 Vintage. A million thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing the wealth!

(A)- Pours a hazy mahogany amber with reddish & golden yellow highlights depending on how you look at it. No carbonation, but the alcohol "legs" are just clinging to every millimeter of the glass like a beautiful whiskey or port.

(S)- Nutty, with sweet honey, toffee, butterscotch, and maple syrup. Bits of figs, raisins, and marashino cherries. Slightly earthy and rustic within the nuttiness. Very tawny port-like. Finishes with a light vanilla oakiness.

(T)- Very rich. Sweet, with honey and nutty maple syrup. Some brown sugar with a smooth vanilla-oak finish. Some of that fig nuance inside the honey characteristic. I still taste it at least a minute + after each sip. So complex that I do not think I came even close to what is all in this beer!

(M)- A warmth of alcohol, but in no way overpowering or harsh, in fact, it is surprisingly smooth! Yes, it has a whopping 27% abv, but it feels like much less than that. I am extremely surprised and impressed how easy this goes down actually. Incredible feel and silkiness behind the warmth. If this was carbonated, I think it would ruin what this has to offer!

(D)- What a crazy beer. Ridiculous on all levels, but surprisingly smooth with no serious alcohol bite. One sip of this has more flavor & richness than a whole case of your typical beer. Definitely Definitely a sipper; only have an ounce or two at a time. This is far too special and good to consume mass amounts of it (which I could if I wanted to!) A great after dinner nightcap to warm the bones in the heart of winter! Be careful, this is a dangerous brew! I could sip this all night if I could. I would rate this even higher on the drinkability scale than I did, but this is just too special and unique to be something you have on a regular basis.
So complex and tasty! So many nuances in this, In my opinion, my review does not completely do this beer justice! Another thank you to BeerFMAndy for letting me try this incredible & spectacular brew!

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Photo of jjanega08
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= poured from my fresh bottle of 2007 Utopias. Really there is nothing to compare this to so how can it be anything other than perfect. It's a beautiful brownish amber color with no head; but hey like I said is this how it's suppose to be???? Yes, yes it is. I can't dock points for it not having a head or lacing because I'm not sure if it's even possible. The color is great though.
S= Loads of sweet mapley awesomness. It smells like nothing I could have ever imagined. There is of course alcohol present but It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The alcohol just tingles on the back of the nose I guess is the best way to explain it. Much like there are multiple places on the tongue when you sip there are multiple nose notes. Up front Maple then some actual recognizable malts come through. There is a lot of toffee and caramel goodness I even get a little chocolate and coffee deeper in there. Then I encounter tons of wood. Oak and vanilla take over my nose and then finish on the way down with an alcohol burn. Awesome.
T= Again completely unexpected. Of course this beer has a ton of alcohol in it but the taste is so much more. The path across my nose follows the smell very much in the same way. Up front there is TONS of maple in it. Sweet rich maple. One of the sweetest beers I've ever had. From the sweet maple goodness you sort of skip over all recognizable malt flavor because the maple hits you that deep. From there you get all the sweet wood flavor. A little bourbon (I'm not sure if bourbon barrels were used or not it may just be the alcohol) vanilla is all over my tongue. The finish is hot and boozy.
M= Burns my tongue. The most coating beer I've ever felt before. It just hit you penetrates all nooks and crannies in your tongue and sits. Even with the small sips I'm taking it covers the mouth. Hot and wild.
D= How can you rate this beer anything less than perfect... This is a beer that all other "extreme" beers will have to match up to. There is nothing to compare this too and is so far out there that I'm not sure if people will try to match this. Not only that but it's awesome. Not the best beer I've ever had but it's up there and for the "style" it's perfect.

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Photo of reustyMMX
3.72/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had this from a bottle at my favorite bar, they had two bottles and were serving by the oz.

A: Deep amber, ruby. No carbonation.

S: Rich, complex, layered, very similar to a port or fine scotch.

T: Thick, syrupy, maple tones, and a large amount of alcohol warmth.

M: Chewy, syrupy, almost certainly different from any beer you've had before.

D: Definatly a sipper due to rich flavor, alcohol content, and price.

Overall a unique experience, a novelty. I'm glad I had the opportunity to taste it, but for $225 a bottle here in Rochester, I'd rather have an early 90's vintage Thomas Hardy's ale if I am looking for a similar experience.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Thanks Torry. Consumed on 11/22/2009 in a snifter. The beer pours deep crimson and still. A swirl of the glass yields an amazing string of pearls.

The aroma is stellar. The alcohol stings my nostrils when I plunge my nose in the snifter and maple wafts from the glass. I detect tobacco, vanilla, leather, and a distinct earthiness. The sweet vinous quality is reminiscent of a fine Port or Cognac. Wood and toffee are evident. Outstanding.

Wow. This has notes of a big English Barleywine with the strong toffee. Maple is evident. This is like a cross between a fine port and a cognac. I detect Tobacco, earthiness, a touch of caramel, leather, vanilla, plums, dates, and ripe grapes. The booze is strong, about 27% strong. There's a subtle sherry-like oxidation. The finish is sweet maple with brown sugar, vanilla, and a dark fruit finish.

The beer has a sticky, coating, and full mouthfeel, like a nice port wine. This concoction is amazingly complex. This is not far off from a fine Añejo, Port, or Cognac. It's rewarding sipper and unlike anything I've ever had. Considering the price tag, I couldn't see myself buying a bottle of this in the near future.

Utopias was awesome to try and my second glass was delicious with a cigar, but $180 is simply insane. I'd love to give the drinkability a 5, but at some point the price must be factored in when it gets to such a level. If this were $40-$50 and readily available it would be a staple in my house.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

They were selling this on tap for $15 an ounce. Luckily my boy was working at the Tap and gave me a free taste...Nose was all about whisky and honey. The taste was like a port wine or mead with intense alcohol flavor as well. This was amazing, but no beer is worth so much money. A gimmick if you ask me, but a very very tasty gimmick.

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Photo of davod23
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Are you KIDDING me? Poured from the bottle into a small brandy snifter.

Poured the color of Grade A maple syrup, although not quite as thick. Medium-bodied. Obviously, no head or carbonation to speak off. However, a little swirl of the glass produces a nice surprise - the liquid sticks to the sides of the glass and produces ridiculous legs. I have never seen anything quite like this in a beer.

Smell... wow. Maple, sweet port, wood notes, vanilla, and alcohol heat combine at the very start. After I dissect the brew for a while, I discover gingerbread, spiced rum cake, and fruitcake in the nose as well. Also, there's something about it that reminds me of the holiday season, but I can't put my finger on it... it's a sweet smell, kinda like cake icing... but I don't think that is completely accurate. Anyway, this smells AWESOME.

Taste is similarly magnificent. Maple syrup is there in high quantity, but it also tastes of port, cognac, oak, and spice. The alcohol that was fairly obvious in the nose is largely absent from the taste - only by swirling this beer around in my mouth does the heat make itself known. The swallow also fills my throat and belly with a warm sensation. After a bit, I notice caramel, figs, and raisins in the the taste as well. Wow, this is awesome.

Mouthfeel is quite good. It's medium-bodied, and feels like liquor in your mouth. The finish is surprisingly clean. Given that this beer is SO unusual, I don't really know what to say about it. As my friends said, "This isn't beer."

I find that ranking the drinkability of beer to be the most difficult thing to do in reviews. Maybe that's because it's so ill-defined. Anyway, you cannot drink this beer in large quantities. BUT, this goes down better than any 54-proof liquid should. I just drank about 6 ounces of the stuff, and I had to stop myself from drinking more. The drinkability on this one is quite good.

This beer is phenomenal. It is insane, and a drinking experience unlike any other I have experienced. This is almost certainly the most complex beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. I am truly impressed with the boys at Boston Beer Co. Well done, sirs. Well done. Wow.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24 oz bottle. 2 oz poured into a Snifter at room temperature. 2009 bottle. 05385 numbered in gold on the bottom.

A - With no carbonation the Utopias pours with no head and only a few bubbles trapped within that escape to the edges of the glass. The color is a beautiful nutty brown amber and totally clear. When it's swirled in the glass it leaves legs in the glass that cling and drip so slow it's almost like liquid lacing.

S - A deep whiff of the fresh Utopias results in heavy nostril burn from the insane amount of alcohol in this but the first thing that comes to mind? Tawny port. The malts are readily available if you can push past the alcohol. Lots of sweet caramel and maple syrup with tons of fruity notes too. Raisin, white grape, and a tiny bit of mango too. An incredibly potent aroma not rivaled by any beer available.

T - The initial reaction to this beer is sheer surprise at the difference between the perception of what the flavor will be based on the nose and what it actually is. It's a sharp right hook to the mouth with a ton of malt followed by an uppercut of sweet maple syrup. When you're dizzy from the incredible amount of nuances in this beer, if you can call it beer, you'll be tko-ed by the alcohol. Not hot, burning, spicy, or solvent-like at all, you wouldn't even begin to guess it was 27%. 16, maybe 18 tops. The maple syrup flavor is sweet but not cloying, followed by raw honey and a sprinkle of nutty shavings with a good helping of raisin and a light spritz of white grape. A lot of molasses flavor comes through too without being too rich. The alcohol really is, surprisingly, and afterthought in the flavor!

M - Smooth and rich with no carbonation, it's a good feeling beer that warms up my insides without a burning sensation. Lingering aftertaste that just gets better too.

D - This beer is so drinkable it's scary. A perfect night-cap and sipper for the winter season. If someone gave me a snifter full of this without telling me a) the percent and b) what it was I would probably be much more drunk than I'd like. A great sipper that is a fantastic beer and totally surpasses the hype.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 edition, 1.5 oz. portion from a bottle purchased by a group of BAs. Thanks to largadeer for setting up this group purchase of a bottle.

a - deep copper color, no head whatsoever, crystal clear, not surprisingly, big legs trail behind on the snifter sides after every swirl

s - caramel, maple syrup, vanilla extract and oak all make for a beautiful aroma mixed with the obvious heat, get a nice hint of citrus after it's been sitting in the snifter for awhile

t - caramel and maple syrup flavors make for a rather sweet taste up front, mid-palate has some citrus flavors mixed in with more maple syrup and some spice, finish is moderately sweet with a decent amount of caramel and toffee with more spice and a nice smooth oakiness, surprisingly devoid of harsh alcohol notes though the booze is definitely there, a whole lot more complex than I expected

m - full-bodied, coats the entire mouth very well, no carbonation, great deal of alcohol warming on the palate and in the throat

d - if there was ever a sipping beer, this is it, incredibly complex and an ideal choice for putting a few ounces in a snifter after a nice dinner, I wish I had a few more ounces to try and pick out the additional flavors that I know are there, I give this a good drinkability rating just because I want to keep sipping this all night long

I am pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this beer. I really hope I'm able to get another taste of this sometime soon.

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

Served from a copper 2009 Samuel Adams Utopias vessel into a mini-snifter (2oz. pour) at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD (11/18/09). I allowed it to warm for a bit to almost room temperature.

A: Pours a tawny amber with golden edges lacking any sort of head and lace. Legs are left on the side of the glass with each sip or swirl with a rich syrupy texture.

S: A wonderful aroma of maple syrup, caramel, alcohol, dark fruits, and malt all wrapped in a complex bourbon blanket.

T: Taste is very similar to the smell as the palate is hit with maple syrup, alcohol, caramel, malt, and dark fruit again wrapped in bourbon. Extremely complex and unique with the alcohol never really reaching an obtrusive level. As this beer warms, one is able to pull even more nuances out.

M: Pure velvet with zero carbonation and a thick syrupy mouthfeel. The alcohol (27% abv.) is certainly present, but it is seemly used in place of carbonation to cleanse the palate.

D: Surprisingly this beer is far more drinkable than I would have ever imagined. Certainly a sipper, but one that never completely oversteps its bounds into a liquory mess. However, a couple ounces is enough for me.

Overall this was a very worthwhile experience and one that all should enjoy at least once. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of PJLukasik
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was an exceptional experience. Was able to try it at a tasting event at Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA. There is no real effervescence at all to it. The taste is along the lines of a bourbon, with hints of maple syrup. For the high alcohol content it was incredibly smooth, with an almost velvety mouthfeel to it--very easy to sip on slowly. All and all, a bit difficult to describe, but a great experience to say the least.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a beautiful brown color with golden red highlights. no head or effervescence to speak. the aroma screams of roasty dark malt, dark fruit, and a bit of hops hiding in the alcohol. the taste is great with the dark fruit, the aging in the casks really paid off some really tasty sweet wood notes. the biterness and the alcohol bite and low carbonation make this a really amazing barleywine. damn near a whiskey. thanks for the beer weswes.

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Photo of WesWes
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with no head and a noticeable clinging to the sides of the glass. The aroma is awesome!! It has a killer warmth to it as well as a damn complex array of dark fruits and burnt toffee. The taste is perfect. It has an extremely complex mix of malt character and alcohol esters. The wood aging really adds a nice vanilla character that rounds out the flavor. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a full bodied beer with no carbonation. This is an exceptional beer that's in a class of it's own.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 edition. Purchased and divided in cost by a group of BAs. Thanks to largadeer for setting it up.

A: Pours a clear tawny gold color with slight reddish tint in the glass. A beautiful color. No head, of course. Thick legs that, after swirling, look like the glass has a seam in it. Wow.

S: Smells just like a liqueur. Anise, caramel, oak, booze, coconut, orange, and maple.

T: Tasty, tasty, tasty. Syrupy grape-like character; I liken it to brandy but I can see a port comparison. Tobacco, light leather, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, anise, maple, dates. Slight tannins and a hint of spice in the finish. The finish is an orange syrup that reminds me of a fine liqueur and specifically of a dessert wine whose name I can no longer remember. It's warm, but not hot; it's much smoother than the smell led me to believe. Very much like a well-layered port or brandy.

M: Malty, rolling finish that comes in waves. Just a slight warmth, as noted above. Coats the mouth. Full-bodied to say the least. No carbonation of course.

D: I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I expected it to be some ridiculous booze-bomb, so I flatly turned down the invitation to share in splitting this up. I'm glad I was talked into it afterward; this was truly worth the experience. I can see myself buying one in the future as a self-gift, if I can swing something slightly better than the $200 / bottle price.

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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.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,460 ratings.
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