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: 544 | Ratings: 2,496
Photo of HartsyThaiFood
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2 oz pour of the 2007. The smells is a bit strong an boozy but for such a high ABV this drinks incredibly well. I could see myself getting really in to this. So glad to have tried this.

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Photo of KentMills
4.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

When poured this beer was beautiful like that rainbow you see in a puddle in the grocery store parking lot from the drops of oil in it. Not being sarcastic...
The smell reminds me of that part in Harry Potter when Hermione is asked what the love potion smells like and she's overwhelmed by wonderful nostalgic aromas and notes that it smells different to everyone. That's how this smelled to me, but I'll try to be more specific: Light dark fruit (i know that sounds impossible but think yellow raisins), a little alcohol, and something like molasses but lighter.
It tasted like it smelled with the fruits and hint of alcohol and sweetness. It really reminded me of a very good fortified wine (like brandy/cognac)
The mouthfeel was that of a fine fortified wine as well; it was impressively full and "heavy" and rolls across the tongue like syrup (ok syrup is exaggerating, but it's very thick for a beer)
This is an amazing beer, but I wouldn't spend the money on it. I tried it from other people, though I would certainly consider chipping in for one.

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

2013, 2oz. don't ask how much it cost me @ michael jordans steakhouse. 2 oz. was enough, was more like cognac doesn't seem like beer, very good worth a try.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ray for letting me sample this.
2012 vintage.
Dark reddish-brown color, super viscous, obviously no head, oily coating all over the mini snifter. Smell of bourbony booze, caramel, brown sugar, touch of burnt marshmallow. Tasted like good booze combined with rich caramel, notes of molasses and vanilla, with some dark dried fruits. High booze % very well integrated. Thick, smooth mouthfeel, with hardly any burn. Just a small amount is plenty--especially considering the price--but I could definitely sit around and sip on this for a while.

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Photo of domdomdomdom
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 version into snifter, 4oz pour. I didn't know what to expect but I feel that this beer exceeded my expectations and I really enjoyed it. Smelled maple-syrup sweet with a lot of alcohol heat. Taste was very similar, dominated by maple syrup and bourbon with a good burn going down. Felt fairly thick for 28%ABV and it went down very smoothly, with no carbonation. Can't wait to try this again!

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

Hard to rate as its such a strong beer. Really tastes like a liquor. Was pretty good though. Definitely worth a try if you drink liquor.

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Photo of Thedraftdoctor
3.75/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

If you can't find or afford a bottle of this, mix equal parts Madeira and Sherry with a splash of Marsala and you've got it. Each batch does very from the previous, so some are much better than others.

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Photo of Newport_beerguy
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I had a healthy serving of this finally. A little strong for me - it appears Dogfish 120 is my upper limit! Fantastic as a liqueur, not quite top of my list beer-wise but excellent for sure.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I was on the fence giving this one a perfect score, since it doesn't have any true resemblance to beer, but more like a port wine, cognac, liquor combo type of drink. With that said all attributes of this booze conconction truly are amazing to sip a few oz. worth. Dark fruit, vanilla, slight smoke from wood, smooth finish like the finest of liquors. If you ever get the opportunity to try it, definitely do so.

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Photo of Rob_Marquis
3.41/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a beer. This is a dessert liqueur. Thick, sweet, very port like. The price tag is bogus. I'll spend a quarter and less of that on Founders KBS or Weyerbachers Sunday Morning Stout and then head to my local antique shop and but a nice bronze or copper decanter for my hutch that's cheaper and nicer then that Genie in a bottle looking crap you get from Sam Adams. In my opinion Sam Adams should stick to their main stream beer.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.79/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 edition.

Is it worth the $? no.

Is this beer? Probably not.

Am I glad I tried this? Yes,

1 inch pour - nose - Fortified wine, sherry, port. No resemblance to beer in terms of carbonation (zero) - or taste. Taste - sherry/brandy/port.

Glad I tried but no way worth the cost, esp. at retail.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a free sample in my local beer store. Definitely pays to frequent one place.

Appearance: Deep caramel with good clarity.

Aroma: Spices galore with a touch of alcohol.

Taste: A great mix of hot alcohol and a whole spice cabinet in one sip. Closer to top shelf liquor than beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium and tepid, which is no problem considering the ABV.

Final Thoughts: Amazing to have had the chance to try this. Albeit just one sip but I'd take another sip over half the mediocre craft beer taking up shelf space these days. Would I drink it again? In a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

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Photo of GeeL
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2013 poured into a snifter. There was an aura around this bottle, a subtle glow; or, that could have been me glowing with excitement.

Look: Just like a ruby-black vintage tawny port. Thick "legs" around the glass. It looked sweet and thick. No head, though there shouldn't be because this isn't a carbonated beer. It didn't look like any beer I've had before.

Smell: Like over-dried raisins, slight hint of spices, some cinnamon. It smelled vaguely like dark rum, maybe a little like rum-raisen ice cream, lots of vanilla. Mostly it smelled like aged port. Slight hint of floral--maybe a tad spicy-- aromas consistent with Noble hops.

Taste: Aged port. Good thing I like port. The label said there's a hint of Noble Hops. There is no hop bitterness, some taste (very feint) consistent with Noble hops. It is a LOT of flavor. Take a port and boil/reduce it by 25% to strengthen the flavor. It's really malty-sweet, not due to it being under attenuated, but from the malt and lack of carbonation/carbonic acid to counter some of the maltiness/sweetness. It tastes over the top strong. I liked it, but a little went a long way.

Feel: Really thick, almost like syrup. The thickness helped the flavor linger a long time.

Overall: the recommended 2-oz pour would have been too much for me. I had about an ounce and it was plenty. After that and the taste was becoming overwhelming.

I didn't pay full retail for this and I'm glad because it allowed me to be more impartial. I think sometimes we overrate things we pay a lot for because we want to reassure ourselves we got our money's worth.

Keep in mind I'm reviewing the 2013 vintage and each vintage reportedly tastes different.

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Photo of M_chav
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - Pours a dark burgundy brown, thickness coats the glass and virtually no lacing
S - Definitely HOT, but tons of dark fruit/vanilla flavors - incredibly complex brown sugar, tobacco and wood
T - surprisingly smooth and awesomely warm, completely coats the throat with sweet molasses and deep and rich sugars - overwhelmingly complex - like a smooth brandy - I'm not doing it justice for how many flavors are present here.
F - raisen/dates/prunes form a thick layer on the palate, warm alcohol but not overly hot like a shot - this is cool
O - hard for me to rate it against the IPAs I just consumed right before, just completely different but absolutely happy to have been given a chance to try it. The 2oz pour was the right amount for a night cap.

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

This is just perfection, if you like cordial-like flavors. From the deep ruby hue, to the warm, inviting smell, next to the way it just coats your mouth with deep, dark fruit flavors, I just can't get enough of this beer. A steep price, yes, but small pours and the look it brings to people's faces when you break it out make it a worthy investment.

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

10th Anniversary edition, 2012. Only had a few ounces, but it was more than enough. Rich and sweet, with boozy dark fruits and figs. Drank like a brandy or dessert liquor. Very nice though, unlike any other beer I've tried.

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Photo of Marius
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A dark amber / golden brown liquid, thick, with no carbonation and no head. It looks a lot like a darker brandy, with the alcohol sticking to the sides of the glass when you move it around.
The smell is incredibly rich, something between a bourbon, a cherry and a brandy (as far away from beer as I have ever smelled), blended with caramel, vanilla, raisins and, of course, alcohol, especially right after the pour.
As was expected, the taste is quite complex. Rich caramel sweetness up front, together with vanilla, toffee, maple syrup, notes of bourbon, a bit of wood and much, much more. Figs and other dried fruit right after that - raisins and dried plums - as well as dark cherries. A very nutty aftertaste, with different flavours unfolding after every sip.
The body is viscous and thick, and the alcohol is at 29%, yet this is incredibly pleasant to drink, much more than any spirit that I have tried.

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

Slightly lighter caramel coloring, but still rich. Has a sherry/amarone type nose and has a rich taste that for its abv, is remarkably balanced. I'm not positive if this is the best beer I have ever had, but nothing else comes to mind.

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Photo of swanfungus
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This review is for the 10th anniversary (2012) bottling, which I don't believe has its own entry. Aromas of port and bourbon with a hint of caramel sweetness. Tasted sweet and oaky with lots of heat on the back end (which at 27% seems obvious) but it was definitely not overwhelming. After not having any Utopias for years I was really, really impressed with this iteration.

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Photo of cubs943
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am new 2 all this but I've had some good stuff and by far I think this is the best of what I've had so far. It looks cool, smells great, and goes down easy just like I like it!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure what I did to earn some positive beer karma, but I was at a going away party for a coworker on Friday night and suddenly the head of our company shows up with a brand new bottle of 2013 Utopias [record scratch]. I didn't realize before that the bottle itself is actually ceramic, with a metallic lacquer or something on the outside. Poured into a classic Old Fashioned glass, since--let's face it--Utopias is technically beer, but drinks more like a fine spirit.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a deep ruddy brown that brings to mind brown sugar and molasses. The liquid has a fair amount of haze in suspension, with the edges taking on a more golden brown hue. There is zero head formation, partly because of the nature of the beer, but also because I poured it ever so gently so as not to be the jerk who takes an overly-generous pour. Lacing is completely nonexistent.

Smell (4.5) - A wonderfully rich blend of sweet aromas comes wafting out of the glass--caramel, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, graham cracker and even some notes of sherry and port are all present. Alongside the sweeter overtones is a complementary base of dried leather and moist tobacco as well as some nice woody notes to prevent the aroma from being cloyingly sweet.

Taste (4.75) - Upon first sip, I can't decide if I'm more stunned by the decadent flavors or the fact that I can't believe how easily it drinks for a near-30% abv drink. I've had beers with a far lower alcohol content that were harsher to consume. Many of the same sweet notes from the aroma are again present in the taste, with emphasis going to molasses, vanilla and port wine. I also get some nice hints of brandy-soaked cherries that I didn't pick up on the smell as well as some candied plums. I have to say, the subtle notes of fruit are really what kick the taste up a notch from the aroma. It adds a layer of complexity that makes it dangerously easy to drink this extreme beer. Drinking something with 30% alcohol that costs as much as this one shouldn't be so easy.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - Body is on the full side of medium, with a nice viscous, mouth-coating feel that sticks with you and allows you to savor the blend of flavors long after the drink has been swallowed. Carbonation is extremely low--for all intents and purposes, it's nonexistent.

Overall (4.5), what can I say about this beer. Prior to having it, it's one of those beers that it's easy to remain aloof about--the price point is so over the top that thoughts of "how good could it really be?" come naturally. I've always wanted to try it--mostly for the novelty of a 30% "beer"--but also recognized that it would surprise me if the opportunity never presented itself, given that I wouldn't go out of my way to procure a bottle and probably would balk at the cost if one ever crossed my path. Now that I've had it, I can honestly say that I would actually have to talk myself out of buying a bottle if I came across one, and that in spite of it's high rating on BA, I think it might actually be underrated. It's just an amazingly well-done and envelope-pushing beer.

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Photo of kerry4porters
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the Samuel Adams 2012 Utopias 10th Anniversary
When this gets poured for you you know you are in for an experience
Pours a dark Ruby hue that is slightly transparent nose is a world class barley wine with candied dark fruits molasses and hints if vanilla
Taste follows smell lots of sweet dark fruits and boozy sweetness surprisingly the abv doesn't overwhelm everything
Mouthful is thin and somehow syrupy warms your belly as it goes down
This beer is a definite experience and I'm stoked to have had the opportunity to try something I wouldn't have bought for myself it's an incredibly smooth beer at that high of an abv that is surprisingly drinkable and to me tastes like a world class barley wine that had been age in bourbon barrels but the bourbon flavor faded away

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

This stuff is not beer. It's liquor. Very strong on the first sip. It cools down after a few sips, but that might be because your drunk. This is an interesting experience, not all I hoped for though.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into an authentic Sam Adams Riedel tasting glass

Smells like a rich port or sherry

Syrupy , silky smooth

Cannot taste the alcohol, but, it is there

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Photo of MrBrewMaster
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

I bought this beer several years ago and opened it on my 30th B day. Very complex with layers of flavor. Hats off to the vision they had to age a beer 18 years. I really enjoyed it.

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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,496 ratings.
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