Samuel Adams Utopias | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams UtopiasSamuel Adams Utopias

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 29.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GClarkage on 07-09-2005

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Reviews: 545 | Ratings: 2,509
Photo of tjthresh
3.46/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on New Year's Eve 2005. Deep amber and copper with long legs (and burgandy lips). The aroma presents some overwhelming alcohol, with maple and whisky. Tons of maple in each drink. Oak and vanilla. You can feel the alcohol evaportating in your mouth. So over the top that this is no longer beer.

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Photo of beernut
3.36/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to my friend Eric.
pours medium to dark brown. no head, no carbonation. pours like a cognac, sticky and sweet. Its beautiful the way it coats the side of the glass. Aroma is pure alcohol, can hardly smell the vanilla and chocolate. The taste is sweet and delicious. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, maple, raisin. Aftertaste is a nice burn as it goes down, smooth as well. This beer will fuck you up. Drink with caution!! Drinkabilty is low, too much and you can hurt yourself. But it is a MUST try.

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Photo of gameface23
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Strong maple notes both in smell and taste. Tasted like a port fortified with maple brandy. Created a warming sensation as it traveled down the esophagus. I drank it out of the Utopias glassware that came with the bottle. It had a slight syrupy consistency that coated the glass.

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Photo of dananabanana
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Glad I finally got to try it!

A: Medium to dark brown. Somewhat translucent. A little bit of red.

S: Very alcoholic! Sweet.

T: AMAZING. Maple, brown sugar, malt, vanilla, molasses, rum, bourbon whiskey, carmelized sugar/ creme brulee. Like a liqueur. Complex. Woody, burnt. Strong alcoholic flavor.

D: Good alone, or with dessert. Absolutely worth the cost, it has earned its reputation. Very warming, good for the winter.

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

A: Poured a murky brown color with a small cream colored head.

S: Nose is wham! Hot! Had some butterscotch, light cocoa, maple syrup.

T: Taste is very hot, maple syrup, a butterscotch, light cocoa.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and hot of course.

O: Drinkability is low due to high ABV. While very tasty, a few ounces of this and I am done for. This is a brew best shared amongst people who really enjoy craft beer and not for thr faint of heart.

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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 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 tmoneyba
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2002.

Pours a cloudy brown color with a minimal creamy off-white head that diminished and produced minimal lacing. Heavy complex aroma of roasted malt , maple sugar. Medium to full body with a thick texture and flat carbonation. Good flavor with heavy complex bittersweet and heavy complex sweet finish of long duration with a nice alcohol burn.

Great brew.

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

I truly enjoyed the experience of the beer from the moment it is poured the beautiful rich color, the aroma of the beer as you lift it up to your lips, very intricate flavors and how drinkable it is.

I've own several bottles and feel they are well worth the money.

Also had the pleasure of having it out of a keg bout 5 years back.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super dark brown almost verging on black. Poured with no head at all. Sticks to the glass nicely. Thickness is part of the appearance.

S: The nose on this beer is really incredible. Booze is definitely there and right up front. Hints of toffee, roasted nuts, wood, chocolate, raisins, dates. Basically this is just about everything you have ever smelled in a beer minus hops thrown at you at once.

T: The sweetness and booze are really powerful. Most of the elements of the nose are detectible in the taste but drowned out by the booze a little bit. This beer reminds me of a port or cognac. Totally different than anything else out there.

M: No carbonation at all. Super thick but somehow not heavy on the tongue.

D: Somehow really drinkable. Had a 2oz sample of this and that was more than enough. Then I had another 2 oz sample. The warmer this gets the better it gets. Just an amazing beer that really does push the limits of what beer can be. The cellaring potential on this beer is off the charts. I don't think it will ever get worse.

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

Somewhere between red and brown in color with no head just a few bubbles.
Lots of alcohol but pleasant. Very nutty, mostly hazelnut with some maple syrup.
So much flavor. Pecan, Hazelnut, almond and vanilla are all in the body of flavor. Alcohol is definitely present but actually contributes to the beer. The finish a pleasant maple syrup.
Very syrupy, where I could expect and desire it to be.
This beer is delicious. Unfortunately I know have acquired a taste for a beer I am no where near being able to afford.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured at the 2009 night of the barrels panel on wood aging beers. Pretty cool tasting this while jim Koch is discussing how wood causes microxidation of the beer which gives it complexity. On to the review.
No head at all. A rich ruby-amber color. Lots of legs on my glass
Smell. A complex of sweet, vanilla, booze, maple syrup
Taste. Very sweet. Like a port or sherry. Booze warms the tummy. Sugar cane , butterscotch, vanilla.
Mouthfeel : what you would expect for a 25% abv spirit
Drinkability : one shot of this is enough for the evening. The sweetness of this is almost too much.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours from a tupperware container to my glass. There is no carbonation but it sticks to the glass and slowly slides back down. The smell is extremely boozy and that is all. The taste is nothing like beer. It is very sweet but very easy to drink. There was a strong alcohol presence but not in a bad way. The mouthfeel was sweet and smooth, not sticky as it was in the glass. Drinkability was horrible for a beer but great for what it is. I am very greatful to soulfly967 for bringing a sample over.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of the 2007 edition - #6787. Poured into the official Sam Adams Utopias glass.

A - There were a few bubbles when poured, but that is it. Amber-brown color, with wine-like glass stickiness. That's about as much as I can expect from a 25% brew.

S - Maple syrup, grapes, wood, caramel, toffee, smoke, chocolate, raspberry, the list goes on and on. This is one incredible smell. Surprisingly, the booze is understated. This is one incredibly deep and complex bouquet.

T - Tons of flavors as well - maple, vanilla, wood, caramel, dark fruits, butterscotch...not even sure where to stop. This thing changes with each sip. Sweet Jesus - there's even less booziness to the taste than there is to the smell.

M - Drinks like a fine cognac. Lots of alcohol warming, stickiness. Obviously there is no carbonation.

D - Ummm..the 2oz serving is plenty? I don't even know how to define drinkability of a beer of this sort. I know my wife has been sneaking shots of this, and for good reason - it tastes amazing.

I'm not even sure this is beer anymore, but it tastes amazing. If it wasn't so ridiculously expensive this would be a regular feature in my liquor cabinet.

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

sampled from the bottle at the coles rare beer festival, jan 24/09. bottle #4260, 2007 vintage.

pours beautiful crystal clear deep red-brown with no trace of carbonation or head. great legs though!

aroma is intense. big rich caramel and toffee, but that just doesn't begin to touch the depth. big fruity component too - date, raisin, dried cranberry, fig. there's also no mistaking the alcohol in this one - it's there and it's proud. notes of chocolate, coffee, wood, earth, licorice, and smoke. wow, i could just keep smelling this all day.

taste is excellent. everything from the aroma and then some. nice light sweetness too. it makes me think of port or cognac, but even more drinkable. damn, i am truly in love with this beer.

mouthfeel is great. about medium body and with no carbonation, but honestly it isn't needed or missed.

drinkability is excellent. this beer is amazing. the alcohol is always there, but silky smooth and so good. the complexity and depth of character are just so amazing that you're constantly wanting more and picking out other little nuances in it.

i was a little skeptical going in to this one. i really wanted to try it, but expected something boozy and very obviously not "beer". however, i was very pleasantly surprised. even with the higher alcohol, it never loses its "beer" character. sure, there are comparisons to be drawn, but this is more like a strong finely-aged barleywine or strong ale than a port or cognac. even at the high bottle cost, i honestly want a bottle of this so i can just spend a day sipping on it. so good. huge thanks go out to mike for pulling this from his personal stash for the event.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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?!

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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 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,509 ratings.
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