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: 533 | Ratings: 2,436
Photo of champ103
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a ruby brown color. No head and no lace. Really viscous looking.
S: There are layers and layers in the nose. Sugary caramel malt at first. Some vanilla and oak are strong. Lots of dark fruits of raisins, plums, dates. A dry almond aroma. Plenty of alcohol. This is really complex and amazing.
T: Sweet sugary malt. Caramel and toffee. Dark fruits that follow the nose. Dry wood. I can tell that some subtleties are a bit overpowered by the huge alcohol presence. Though still, very Sherry like, and absolutely a treat.
M/D: Thick, sticky, and syrupy. As expected pretty much no carbonation, but overall really decadent. An absolute treat to drink.

I don't really know how to review this beer. It is what it is. An intense aroma and flavor profile. Obviously meant to be an after dinner drink. I love Port and Sherry wine, and this is very similar. I really enjoy this, and worth a purchase if you can get a few friends to go in with you (like I did). If you have the means and opportunity, pick it up because it is like few others.

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Photo of waltonc
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was fortunate to try a snifter of this at a Sam Adams beer dinner recently. Pours clear caramel with no head. Smells amazing - not like beer at all, but rather like port or sherry or some other similarly delicious alcoholic beverage. Smell stings your nostrils in a good way with caramel, vanilla, oak, and alcoholic heat. Taste follows the smell - and leaves that same bite in the back of your throat as would brandy or sherry. Extremely sweet. Body is very thick and there's no carbonation whatsoever. Overall, a very delicious beverage, but I would not spend $150 on a bottle.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage sampled at the 2009 GABF.

Portions of this batch were aged in Buffalo Trace barrels and finished in muscatel and port casks. Some SA Triple Bock has been blended in. It clocks in at a record-setting 27%, making it the strongest commercially available "beer".

The pour leaves a copper colored, viscous liquid with no carbonation. The aroma shows notes of maple syrup, vanilla and dark stone fruit. The flavor is similar, but more complex. Maple syrup, vanilla, caramel, plums, prunes, raisins, oak and notes of sherry and brandy. The body is very rich and syrupy.

Say what you will about the price tag, this is an excellent beverage. I think calling something so high in alcohol that it forces CO2 out of solution a beer is a bit of a stretch. Though it may technically be a beer, it drinks like port and that is how it should be viewed. In any case, I enjoyed it and if you're buyin, I'll have another!

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Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice. 2005 batch.

It pours a light to medium brown with no head, carbonation or lacing.

The aroma is very strong with notes of brandy, vanilla, maple syrup and lots of alcohol.

The taste is very strong with a big taste of alcohol and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy and lasts for several seconds. It coats your throat like robutussim. Flavor comes back up on the back end tingling your throat.

Pretty good, but you can't drink a ton of this.

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Photo of treyrab
4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one goes out to my main man Dave, who resides directly above the center of the earth. Never thought I would get to try this beauty. Poured discretely from a magnificent, shiny, copper bottle into a tasting glass.

A: Pours a nice copper and completely still -- flat. Really not much can be said about this. It is gold, copper and great looking.

S: Wow. Is this a beer? A brandy? A whiskey? Not sure, but it is a delicious beverage. Smell is abundant with creamy vanilla, deep, robust caramel and toffee. The alcohol is apparent, but it is that of a fine brandy, not astringent alcohol.

T: Wow, this is really special. It really tastes like a fine brandy or liquor, not necessarily a beer. Strong. I could only have 2oz, but the flavors are so robust with vanilla, caramel, alcohol, brandy, bourbon, toffee, and some chocolate. Just remarkable.

Overall, this was amazing. I could sip on this all night. The epitome of a sipper for sure, but the flavors are very complex.

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Photo of nickd717
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Review #100 on BA. Figured I'd get there before I hit 1000 over on RB. This review is transcribed from an RB review, consumed in 2007. Paid $12 for a 1 ounce pour at House of Brews on 46th St. in NYC. This is very overpriced, but less so if you think of it as a nice sipping liqueur.

A - Brilliant orangish caramel color with no head.

S - Aroma is caramel, port, Courvoisier, dark fruits, vanilla, and alcohol (obviously, it is 27%).

T - Tastes a lot like a nice port - sweet with vinous notes as well as caramel, vanilla, and cherry. Alcohol definitely there, but what do you expect from a 27%er?

M - Fairly thick and syrupy with almost no carbonation, which is actually nice for this one. Liqueur-like. Nice alcohol warmth without the burn.

D - Well, it's meant to be a sipper and it is. Really awesome stuff, but way overpriced of course. Nice novelty beer.

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

A friend busted a bottle of this out, to my surprise, at a housewarming bottle.

A: Poured from the gotti copper bottle into some glass, dark brown in color, no carbonation, think enough to leg up the glass.

S: Big smell, actually bigger than the taste. You can smell the high ABV, but it's pleasant. Cinnamon maple dominates this one, but hints of caramel, alcohol, and raisins.

T: Yum. Not something one could drink in large quantities, but a very sweet and malty beer. Much like the smell, the maple dominates, but also caramel and raisins come to mind. Not overly sweet, but a lot of bold flavors that meld together nicely.

M: Pretty thick, no carbonation on the tongue.

D: The biggest deterrent is the $price$tag$, but one hell of an adventurous beer on Sam Adams part. The high abv makes this impossible to drink in large quantities, but when savored it's a great liver warming beer.

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

A vintage 2007 bottle I purchased at community beverage in Elmhurst, NY. Opened it for the first time two days ago when my cousin proposed to his girlfriend. For this tasting, I poured a modest 1-2 oz serving into a brandy snifter.

A - A glimmering, crystal clear dark golden amber, with a viscosity that leaves legs when swirled in the glass. Remniscent of a top shelf whiskey.

S - If you're familiar with lots of DIPA's, you will be able to discern the hop aromas from the malt, but to the uninitiated, this will not seem like a beer at all. Among the myraid of aromas that burst forth into my nostrils was toffee, oak, chocolate, dried fruit, and a very fine malty backing to it all. I'd give it a perfect 5, but the strong alcohol that comes with the lovely smells swoops in alongside and burns your nostrils. I would not castigate someone if they mistook this for bourbon.

T - A pervasive yet not obnoxious sweetness outlines the jarringly intense flavors of this beer. Dark maple, jammy dried fruits, chocolate, heady vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee...even a faint note of hops. To say this is an experience is a gross understatement.

M - Like a cascade of flaming velvet on the tongue. The high alcohol gives off a cooling burn as the beer rolls around in the mouth before feeling the familiar liqueur heat in your throat as it goes down.

D - It would be unfair to judge this one's drinkability compared to the norm 5-10% ABV for any other beer. One must really think hard liquor when judging it. By those standards, it is oh so smooth and easy sipping. But still, even when adjusting expectations, it is still a strong beer by puire definition, so the astronomical ABV does have to factor into the decision. It should be illegal to drink this one in anything other than small sips, in order to get every ounce of enjoyment one can out of it, especially considering the price.

Overall - The fancy, after-dinner liqueur for the beer drinker that doesn't like liqueur. If Millennium and Triple Bock challenged what a beer could be, Utopias downright defies it. Is it the ultimate evolution of beer? Or is it just a snooty pet project from the nutjobs in Boston? Does it really matter? This beer is awesome, and that's all that matters. Grab a few snifters and a few really good friends, and enjoy.

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Photo of ricke
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007. The bottle was opened for the first time about a year before I sampled it.

A: Shiny amber color, clear liquid. Obviously no head.

S: Lots of sweet fruit aromas (apples, plums, cherries), raisins, brandy. Notes of wood and a hint of dusty cellar. Big alcohol fumes, but they are well integrated and the smell is actually quite balanced. Very rich.

T: Intensely sweet with notes of fudge and toffee, chocolate, nuts and rich aromas of ripe fruit. Boozy raisins, brandy and barrel notes. The taste is richer than the smell and more complex. A faint cellar character is detectable, but not as clearly as in the smell. The finish is really hot with lots of spicy and sweet alcohol and lingering liqueur-like sweetness.

M: A great mouthfeel. Big body with a very sticky and chewy texture. Completely flat.

D: I actually like this one. Of course, it's more reminiscent of a fortified wine or liqueur than a regular beer, but that's how it's supposed to be. A great sipper with a sophisticated yet cocky character.

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Photo of DrDCon
3.55/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow. Found at a liquor store in Hammond, IN on the way to Dark Lord Day...Poured 2 oz. into a snifter with some friends. A tan-creamy brown with no head. Smells of an aged scotch whiskey with maple syrup around the edges.

I am impressed with the smooth Hazelnut and vanilla-extract taste. Reminiscent of pancakes with hazelnuts and maple syrup, doused in whiskey. There is a very warm-alcohol mouthfeel.

For being so high in alcohol this is really a shockingly smooth beer. Must be enjoyed in a room of beer lovers, because this is intense, exploding all over the place with conversational quality.

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

first HUGE THANKS to Schulzy1 for sharing this beast. pours out a slightly dark caramel color and immediately the aroma fills the nose. maple syrup and cognac smells. taste is enthralling!! notes of caramel, toffee, maple syrup, and alcohol. this is truly a wonderful elixir. if you like sweets and alcohol, you will like this, but first, you have to get it...simply amazing and hard to believe it's a beer. also, this one is a sipper

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

WHOA, MAJOR thanks to Alex (MasterSki) for making me feel totally inadequate for letting me have several ounces of this out of his copper kettle shaped 2007 bottle.

A: Pours a dark brown with reddish edges and zero head just like a liqueur. You can tell it coats the glass when swirling it around the glass.

S: Yes, there is a huge amount of booze scent like I'm smelling a hard liquor, but if you look closer, there's lots of woodsy, vanilla, oak, molasses, brown sugar

T: WOW, is the best way I can explain it. I didn't expect the flavor after what I smelled. Tons of heat...I picked up lots of dark berry and fruits, vanilla, oak, woodsy flavors, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, caramel, raisin, bourbon

M: Very syrupy, coats the palate, oily and smooth

D: Hardly drinkable due to the amount of heat, but I did find that with every sip I took the next one came quicker.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel color, very syrupy and oily.

Smells like caramel, butter, vanilla, oak and cinnamon create a robust aroma.

Tastes like I would imagine vanilla butter liqueur to taste like. There is also a nutty flavor which I usually don't like but it welds the different flavors together nicely in this beer. Caramel butternut.

Mouthfeel is silky, oily and heavy. Very much appreciated.

Drinkability is high. I would imagine most reciting this as a sipper, but I could finish a bottle possibly to myself, definitely with a friend.

Think a beer that tastes like a liquid Werther's Toffee, intertwining complexities and profiles seamlessly and balancing the liquor/beer nicely. Hard to make a a beer taste like a beer when it has no carbonation. That mission was accomplished here.

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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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Samuel Adams Utopias from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.41 out of 5 based on 2,436 ratings.
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