Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
98
world-class
531 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
531
Ratings:
2,424
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
25.85%
 
 
Wants:
1,350
Gots:
475
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 531 | Ratings: 2,424
Photo of Viggo
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage, bottle #4260. Had a couple oz's courtesy of Mike at Cole's at the rare beer fest.

Pours a crystal clear dark amber, nice honey colour, no head and no lace, but does sport some pretty insane looking legs, they really stick all over the glass. Smell is amazing and intense, vanilla, honey, oak, toffee, nougat, insanely malty, alcohol, grapes, figs and raisins, butterscotch, slightly musty, maple, just crazy rich and intense. Taste is the same, mega intense, wood, insane amount of toffee and honey, brown sugar, figs, raisins, vanilla, dark fruit, maple syrup, alcohol, just has everything in the flavour, very rich and malty. Mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy, low carbonation, insanely smooth, you do not get the almost 26% alcohol out of this. Perfect fireside sipping beer, I'd replace everything of that sort in my liquor cabinet for this stuff. Just amazing and I'm really happy I got the chance to try this. Perfect for what it is, need to get me some.

 977 characters

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.

 305 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review No. 50

I had a small sample of this amazing beer. I know it was just a taste but I felt I needed to explain the experience.

The appearance was a dark gold/amber, no head and no carbonation.

The smell was complex, many flavors blending together, the hints of dark chocolate, a little coffee bean aroma, some maple syrup flavor.

The taste was quite warm, since served at room temperature and also due to the high alcohol content. The taste had hints of chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, raisin, walnuts, peanut butter, and a few more I can't name.

I'm sure this was not intended to consume in large amounts but a tasting was just the right amount. It went done smooth and just seemed to slide across the tongue.

 720 characters

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

2007 Bottle Number 08474 - Pours a beautiful orange/brown with absolutely not a trace of carbonation. This is more like a fine cognac than a beer. Sampled along side by side with Hair of the Dog Dave. Dave being happily aged for 14 years was mellow and welcoming, purring like a cat with a ton of complexity. The young un-behaved 2007 Utopias was still screaming with plenty of maple syrup, spicy fruits and a whopping of alcohol playing haphazardly on the tongue. The 2007 Utopias could use a good 8 to 10 years of time out. This is a highly addictive drink that makes you pay whatever it takes on ebay to satisfy the craving for more. I am saving a bottle for 2017 and another bottle for 2027.

 695 characters

Photo of brandoneast
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

seriously one the MOST complex beers that I've come across

I am just all over the place on this one - a friend of mine poured this non carbonated dark ambered brew in a shot glass where I tasted it in the kitchen where his wife just pulled out homemade raisin oatmeal cookies from the oven! BTW, unbelievable pairing.

Here's what I got in the aroma and flavor as they are simply parallel:

- sugar cookie
- raisin toast
- caramel apple
- raisin oatmeal cookie (go figure)
- cocoa puffs - i was dumbfounded by this flavor and my friend's wife HAD cocoa puffs cereal in their pantry, i opened up the box and grabbed a handfull of cocoa puffs and a sip of Utopias- exquisite!
- prunes
- walnut oil
- roasted pecans
- vanilla bean
- rubber ball (tasted this weird smell and flavor as it warmed)
- some fuesel alcohol flavors were present but not overwhelming - i mean what do you expect from a 25% brew?!

 902 characters

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

 641 characters

Photo of Shaon94
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a 2007/2008 brew. Big thanks go out to a friend of mine for allowing me the pleasure of tasting this one. I know that without him having getting his hands on one I would have most likely never have tasted it.

If you blind poured this for anyone they would not be able to tell you that it was a beer. Period. I know that Sam Adams brewed it, but outside of that there is a hard time convincing myself to call it a beer.

Appearance - Same as everyone else Amber w/ no carbonation.

Smell - First and foremost alcohol, Spices, Syrup ?maple? (sorry I have a hard time with hard liquors and picking out smells)

Taste - Spiced Liquor at first with a great finish reminds me of pine nuts and maple syrup with a warm camel after taste that sticks around for a while. After finishing this I was tasting it for about 10 more minutes of a lingering Carmel taste. Very pleasant

Drinkability - It is a sipping liquor. Pour into a small glass and sip away a winter night with a group of friends. Personally thought it was hard to get down due to the high alcohol content.

If you do not like Hard liquors you will most likely not like this. I only drink beer, and I found myself having a really hard time with this one. I can definitely see where people would love this, but I personally would not go out of my way to have it again because it is more of a Hard Liquor than a beer.

 1,382 characters

Photo of Goliath
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review No. 500

Huge thanks goes out to EmperorStan for cracking his bottle with me, and for giving me a generous heavy handed pour of "a few ounces", and then a refill. What a guy!

Pours a beautiful mahogany color, with big ruby hues with some amber and brown all at once. Obviously, no head as there's no carbonation.

The aroma is awesome. Big notes of oak, tons of booze, some smoke, bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup.

I don't care what the "cheap cognac" people say. This is awesome, and one hell of a beer exploration. I applaud the envelope pushing at Boston Beer Co. Huge maple syrup note dominates the taste. It's like oak aged syrup, really. Very sweet, though not cloying in the course of a few ounces enjoyed over a moderate period of time. Some notes of vanilla, oak, and smoke are certainly all there.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied, and certainly syrupy feeling. Again, no carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability is suprisingly high. The flavor profile is spot on IMO and quite enjoyable, and although the alcohol is very apparent, it's an important aspect to this beer. I love it.

 1,102 characters

Photo of smedley
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Thick, almost syrupy. Earthy, caramel color, no head. Swirling it around coats the side of the glass nicely.

S - Raisins, maple syrup, port wine. Strong alcohol smell. People sitting 15 feet away could smell the alcohol.

T - Maple, vanilla, raisins again. Strong at first taste, then becomes smoother and easier, leaves you with a blast of alcohol. Not quite cognac, but sort of...

M - Warming, burning alcohol, but at the same time, smooth

D - Sip this one and enjoy the complexity. This is not a beer by conventional definition. I only drank about 4 oz, and that was plenty. Kept me warm on a cold winter day

 618 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

A - Caramel, raisin color. Completely still. Syrupy legs left running down the side of the glass.

S - Very boozy, obviously at 20%+. Rubbing alcohol, a strange combo of sherry, port, cognac and bourbon all blended smoothly together. Raisins, brown sugar and plums with nose burning alcohol.

T - Reminds me of a nice rich cognac. Slight burning alcohol, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, sherry and plums. Nice and complex and much smoother than alcohol at similar proofs.

M - Thick and syrupy. Like a cross between alcohol and a liqueur.

D - You need to give it a little time to open up or it is an alcohol mess. Very good and nice to see some breweries, especially as big as Sam Adams pushing the edge on beer styles.

 738 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

At what point does beer stop being beer? That line lies, I think, somewhere between Extreme Beer and Utopia. This beverage may start out like beer, but on its trip to the brewing stratosphere, it winds up more like a poor cognac.

Pours a dark caramel with no head. Swirling it in a brandy snifter produces long, deep legs. The smell is a deep caramel, bourbon-like, perhaps a bit rasiny, with a slap of alcohol. The taste is brown sugar, creme brule, raisins, creme, vanilla, and bourbon. It suggests butter, praline, pecan, and walnut.The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, fatty around the mouth, very difficult to drink.

This is interesting to try, but it fails a key test: what is the point? If you want a beer, have a beer. If you want Cognac, have cognac. This is neither and therefore will satisfy nobody.

 806 characters

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

Thanks to tpd975 for the chance to try this. I poured my sample into a Bush (aka Scaldis) mini-goblet, which I don't think I've used since my trip to the brewery, so this felt like the right occasion.

Pours with no head, of course. (You trying brewing a 25% beer with any kind of head on it!) Rolls around in the glass like Frangelico or something; earthy amber in color.

Can't believe how good this smells. Given the high ABV you'd think it would be an aromatic disaster, but it's not. There's definitely a strong wave of alcohol fumes, but it also gives off brilliant woody and nutty aromas, a little vanilla too. Lots of oak as the smelling continues--but now I'm anxious for another sip...

Lots of repeat flavors from the aroma--oak-y, nutty, subtle vanilla (vanilla extract, anyway, but nothing wrong with that). Maybe a little maple, too. Alcohol is big, but completely sip-able, not at all cloying (amazing), lending added depth to the flavor without ever detracting. A total treat.

Texture is syrupy yet not heavy, has a soothing glide like a liqueur, and it pretty much tastes and drinks like a liqueur.

A special occasion beer--and yes, this is beer. Reminding myself of that as I sipped helped me remember 1) the almost limitless possibilities of the brewing process, and 2) the talent of Jim Koch and co. when they really roll their sleeves up and get to it. This is a far sight better than their Triple Bock--don't even compare the two, even if it's tempting to do so. (Thanks again Greg!)

 1,508 characters

Photo of michael573114
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm in love with this beer. I tasted the first version at a Boston beer fest, and was blown away. Later, I managed to pick up a single bottle of the 2005, and when the 2007 came out, I was ready.

Great beer. It reminds me a lot of a good tawny port, it's got that sweet carmelized flavor, almost like it was distilled. It's sticky and slightly thick like port.. but then you taste, and there are flavors here that you just cannot get with grapes.

Definitely sip this one... savor it. Share it with your friends, surprise them with the fact that yes, this really is beer.

Thanks to Jim Koch and everyone at Sam Adams, this is something truely unique.

 653 characters

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

I had the pleasure to taste this at yesterdays GABF evening session. I was much more impressed than I thought I would be as it leaves a very pleasant maple and vanilla taste on your palate and although very alcoholic it had only subtle hits of its true abv. You do have some oak and Sherry notes that come through as well. It has a very thick mouth feel and no carbonation. This is truly a great beer that can be appreciated by any beer advocate.

 446 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from my brother for being his best man and shared it with everyone at the rehearsal dinner.

This pours a dark red/burgundy with no head at all, its served still. Looks thicker and almost syrupy compared to any other beer ever. Smells of cognac, port wine, alcohol, and maple. Tastes like it smells, lots of alcohol in there. This one is a sipper for sure! Sweet sticky mouthfeel with a slight alcohol burn and a thick body. This is one of those brews that truly breaks ground. Great brew that really is outside the box, I wish I could afford to drink this more often!

 590 characters

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a wine glass from a friend.

Pours a brown, almost burgundy color with no head. Coats the glass fairly well when it's swirled.

Smells like a toffee liquor. Lots of buttery aroma, with a good bit of alcohol.

Tastes the same as it smells, but a bit more complex. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be buttery, but there's also some caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate. Very warming.

Mouthfeel is very good. It goes down very smoothly, and it has a good thickness.

This is pretty drinkable. It's not something I want to drink on a regular basis, but I had absolutely no trouble finishing the glass.

Overall I'm glad I had a chance to try this. It's very interesting, somehow it still resembles a beer. Definitely worth a try.

 753 characters

Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Split this bottle with some great friends. I have been holding this for a couple of months now, and was very excited to try, but always thought I was going to be let down by it. Boy was I wrong. This exceeded my expectations.

Poured a syrupy dark amber with no carbonation. Smelt of condensed maple, alcohol and molasses. Taste was pure maple, molasses, and a smooth alcohol burn. Truly unique and amazing. I would recommend all BAs try this at least once. I know I will be getting a bottle of the next release.

 512 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Jwolfie70 for his incredible generosity over the weekend. Had a chance to sample this along with some other rare brews as he cracked open his cellar (it took some cracking) to break out some of his Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme, and other delicacies.

What an awesome bottle. Pretty epic stuff.

Pours a slightly amber dark brown. No head. Smells wonderful: malty, woodsy, maple-syrupy, and the taste is very satisfying, with a vanilla/oaky/boozy overlay that makes it a wonderful sipper.

I could see how this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, and it certainly isn't "drinkable" in the slightest, but really wonderful to try.

 639 characters

Photo of templar316
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beutiful golden brown into a tiny brandy snifter to capture the aroma. It looks more like liquor then beer, and the nose is off the charts (and clearly more developed then the 07). Malt, port, caramel, dates...Seriously, every other time I lifted this to my lips just inhaling the delicious aroma was enough. And the flavor; a drop on the tongue spreads throughout the mouth a delcious complicated hoppy, malty, caramel magic. Being stranded on a desert island would be worth it if a bottle of this was along. I thought this beer would be all hype but it was worth every dollar.

 586 characters

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

I was able to sample a 1 oz pour of this at Downtown Bar & Grill in Brooklyn. It was a nice dark bronze/copper color with no head or lacing (as expected). A very nice aroma with some sweet smells and vanilly. The flavor was very smooth which matched the aromas and you could taste the alcohol. It very much reminded me of a tawny port in both smell and taste. The mouthfeel was very smooth and syrupy. Even at the price, this is one that I would love to pick up a bottle of and slowly savor. It's definitely a sipper.

 517 characters

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

This is a pretty brew. Flat, yes, but pretty none-the-less. Dark reddish amber, and very Cognac-like in appearance, how can one turn away. The aromas jump out at you whilst you take in the colour of this brew. Yes, they are that strong and seem to shout things like Alcohol!, Sugar!, Raisins!, Sherry!, Port!, Cognac!, Malts, and Plums! The taste is burning and singing with alcohol, but in a good way like a fine strong port, or a nice French Cognac. The taste is all alcohol, molasses, other sugars, dark fruits, nuts, syrups, and more. Truly a "beer" to behold. Mouthfeel is liquor-like and coating and the drinkability is actually quite good for a beer that you drink by the shot, or snifter. Truly a one-of-a-kind brew. I hope every BA gets to try this,

 758 characters

Photo of TheViceBlog
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is not just the best beer ever, it is not just the best fermented drink ever, but it is perhaps the best alcoholic beverage in the history of mankind. Let's just say, the long-dead American patriot shouldn't just be honored to have his name on this, he should be greatly worried that history will remember Sam Adams Utopias the beer before they remember Sam Adams the man.

Utopias comes in a bomber-sized, ceramic genie-bottle-shaped vessel that if you rub the side and unscrew the cap a spirit (luckily one NOT voiced by the insufferable Robin Williams) pops out, not granting you three wishes but instead telling you that if you have just a few ounces of this beer you will achieve nirvana.

Appearance: An absolutely gorgeous amber like what that dinosaur-blood-sucking mosquito was frozen in "Jurassic Park."

Smell: A bouquet of incredibly potent maple syrup, but this ain't Aunt Jemima, it's the good stuff you buy at a hippie farmer's market. The aroma goes up your nose as the Utopias' odorants bind with olfactory neuron cell bodies. Their axons synapse in the olfactory bulb region in your brain, making you go, "God Damn! I said God Damn!" like Mrs. Mia Wallace in "Pulp Fiction."

Taste: More full-bodied than Aretha Franklin. Maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, several different types of yeast, caramel malts, and a whole lotta hops though not much bite. Earthy with some spice and hints of bourbon and sherry due to aging I believe. A creamy, chocolate and coffee-like finish. More sublime than "40 Oz. to Freedom."

Mouthfeel: Nearly indescribable. As complex as beer, if not any alcohol, can possibly get. God did not create a human with enough writing prowess to adequately discuss the Utopias's feel. It is absolutely unlike beer, lacking in carbonation and with no need for refrigeration. It would best be described as nearer to being a potent barley wine, a sherry, an aged port, maybe a bourbon, or most likely fine cognac as composed to a measly brew. The difference between the "beers" of Utopias and, say, Bud Light is more pronounced than the the slugging difference between George Herman Ruth and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Drinkability: Eminently drinkable though one will probably never consume more than an ounce or two in a sitting as it is like drinking money. Figuratively of course.

Consuming this beer will ruin you for the rest of the day (if not your entire existence on planet earth). Not cause it's that potent-remember, you're only savoring a few ounces of it max-but, rather, because everything afterward will taste so sub-par.

Utopias will change your thoughts about beer and imbibing for the rest of time. If you are ever lucky enough to find this beer, pay whatever is asked for it.

I don't believe in a higher power but I still love Ben Franklin's famous saying, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." He could have easily been referring to Utopias.

My absolutely highest recommendation. A masterpiece.

Aaron
www.theviceblog.com

 3,005 characters

Photo of bonbini26
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark copper, amber, no bubbles

Smell- vanilla, oak, maple syrup, alcohol, like a sweet port wine

Taste- sweet, warming notes of vanilla, syrup, oak barrels

Mouthfeel- thick coating of the mouth

Drinkability- sip all night long, great for breaking out for celebrations, (like when the Giants won the super bowl)

 327 characters

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

Tasted at room temperature, out of a snifter. It's slightly thick and syrupy, with a pleasant mouth feel. It's sweet and warming, with flavors of maple, vanilla, oak and caramel. It's a wholly unique experience -- it doesn't taste much like beer, or for that matter scotch or anything else. Absolutely worth trying, and worth the price, but not the sort of thing I'd want to regularly indulge in.

 396 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I was lucky enough to get to try this one from a wonderful BA who capped a few ounces for me to enjoy. I had been dying to try a bottle but have never been able to land one personally so it was a good day for me to say the least to be able to finally try this. Let it chill out in the fridge for a couple days before pouring it into a small snifter to take a taste. The look was much like a strong barley wine for me. Rich and very hazy copper colored amber with a very dark and menacing look to it. No real head to speak of, nor any lace. Utterly motionless and menacing, this was really going to be a fun nightcap.

So I really did not know what to expect from this one, but went in for the smell and was blown away by how sweet it was. Really just tremendously rich in maple syrup like aroma. Lots of brandy like alcohol smell as well. Really complex, some light honey or caramel in there, quite nice overall. The flavor was more of the same with a rich and very sweet maple syrup like cognac taste. Huge profile here, with subtle hints of honey and anything else sweet you could think of. Fine spiciness with a deep warmth coming up from the bellows on this one. You could definitely feel the alcohol all the way, but it was not harsh at all and surprisingly quite mellow. The consistency of syrup, it was really quite nice. I had no issue sipping he few ounces I had, but that would be probably it for a session to really enjoy what this one can bring to the table.

Overall this was really unlike anything I had before. It is in a class of its own, as it should be and something that everyone should get to try. For 120.00 I would buy a bottle with no issues asked. I would love to have this one sitting around waiting for me every night!

 1,747 characters

Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,424 ratings.
  • About Us

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

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

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!