Samuel Adams Utopias MMIII | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Utopias MMIIISamuel Adams Utopias MMIII
BA SCORE
4.22/5
45 Ratings
Samuel Adams Utopias MMIIISamuel Adams Utopias MMIII
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 25.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-16-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
45
pDev:
13.98%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
12
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's certainly not your fathers beer, now is it? From other BA ratings, I expected a beer that was either over-the-top or misunderstood. I beleive that it is both. Nevertheless, probably the most intense and serious beer that I have ever had. Aromas are mothwatering or sweet alcohol, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, barley malt, maple syrup, molassas, and a little Vick's 44 to remind us that this one does not belong in the candy aisle. Cashews and brandy bring up the rear of the aromas. Tastes very alcoholically sweet, strong, and a bit harsh initially, but then mellows over the toung and down the throat, leaving a pleasant warming in the throat without the abrasiveness that was experienced earlier in the sip. Mouth coating with flavors of those characteristics in the aroma, but with fruitiness of dates, raisons, plumbs,... The texture is slick, oily, and sugary (in a good way). One sip goes a long way as it lingers sweetly into the next sip. Clings to all surfaces in the mouth. The aftertast is far more flavorful than the initial sip. If the beer tasted this way entirely, I would rate it a 5 across the board. This beer must be treated like as a congac, perhapse a B & B. Remarkably smooth for such intensity, but powerful and intimidating neverttheless.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of BEER88
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of francisweizen
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drawn from a firkin it seems, at the 2005 EBF. A nice score indeed. This is one I have been dying to try. The pour was liberal, perhaps too liberal in fact, with my sample cup more than half way filled! 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, without having to spend $100!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the EBF 2004.

This beer poured a clear, reddish amber color with no foam (almost looks like a brandy or cognac). The smell was strong and aromatic: alcohol, phenols, malt sweetness. Very similar in aroma to cognac, and just as good for "snifting". The taste was ever so slightly sweet and malty with flavors of whiskey and resinous hops. The mouthfeel was buttery smooth as silk with full body and low carbonation. It was very warming due to the high ABV. Is this a "beer"? Whatever it is, it is wonderful to smell and sip. I will drink this whenever I can find it.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Thanks Marius, owner of Trinity Hall in Dallas for providing this. The pour is a nice dark-red amber with no head, but it's not carbonated so that's no matter. Aroma is very "hot", completed dominated by strong alcoholic notes. Taste is very sweetly malty mixed with lots of vanilla-oakiness. Alcohol is noticible but not as strong as I'd suspect for such a hefty beer. Very full-bodied and very heady.

The second time I've had this beer. It's interesting, but a bit overpowering.

 484 characters

Photo of kbuzz
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very special thanks to GregMcQ for sharing this at the Houston BA gathering at his house.

This beer is nothing like I've ever seen before its almost hard to call it beer but thats what it is. Poured a nice dark amber color and produced no head at all. The smell is of strong alcohol upfront thats very noticeable kinda like a bourbon. The taste is very similar to the smell in that the alcohol hits you first then the sweet malt comes through with some oak flavors. The mouthfeel is a little syrupy withe no carbonation at all to it pretty smooth over all. Its hard to rate the drinkability of Utopias I think that for the unique beer that it is and the 2oz suggested serving size its good. This was a beer that I was glad that I got the opportunity to try and think every one should try this beer at least once.

 815 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 bottle, purchased in 12/07 for over $200.00. Opened and consumed on 01/14/08.

Wow, where to begin? Slightly cloudy golden pour with the thickest legs this side of cough syrup. Intense aroma of alcohol. No carbonation whatsoever. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky, but in a good way. Flavor is redolent of the sherry and port barrels used to age the brew. Sweet with an alcohol burn. The flavor reminded at least one person tasting with me of Harvey's Bristol Cream. Unlike any beer I have ever had. Really something else. Fifty proof beer...

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Photo of HardTarget
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: The very cool copper boil kettle bottle, with sliding doors, is one of the best packaging I’ve seen for a beer. Screw off top reveals a standard bottle cap which opened without any pop at all.

Aroma: Strong alcohol, but maple, leather, and some whiskey notes make it very complex. Paint thinner intensity made me fear the kick that was coming.

Appearance: Headless shoe leather brown with good clarity and legs that went all the way to heaven. It seemed like it just wanted to give the glass a solid clear coat. Amazing legs.

Flavor: The feared kick was long delayed, in fact at first swallow I never felt the alcohol until about mid chest when the bomb went off instantly warming me. Maple is the strongest flavor, but very little sweetness. Whiskey and mild leather notes round it out, it really is closer to a maple liqueur.

Mouthfeel: Flat, but seemed very appropriate. A bit slick and light in body. Again, closer to a whiskey feel.

Overall Impression: Wow. I guess the major question is: is it worth it? I never thought it would be, but I see the value in this beer. It’s a small glass sipper for sure. For a suitable celebration, I could see dropping the money. Maple is a preferred flavor for me, so it really worked for me.

Major thanks to Marius, owner of Trinity Hall in Dallas for providing this. A very gracious nod to our BA gathering.

 1,390 characters

Photo of Agentveba
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RavenForBeer
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of hockeypuck
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phatz
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WoodyChandler is a Saint! Thank you friend, for sharing this with me. I love sweet. I love maple and vanilla. I love boozy brandy-like alcohol (I drink my night cap every night) This Utopias is everything I love and I love everything about it.
That said.
It is not beer - (technically it is I know) but It is Maple brandy liquor as I see it. It is 50 proof. It looks like a bourbon, it smells like brandy and it tastes like only something called Utopias could (essentially calling it self perfection). Some people have said it tastes like the Triple Bock but I have never had that one, so, I must say this is like nothing I have ever had before and is only even comparable to top self liquor. I have paid 75 - 85 dollars for a bottle of Scotch but curently $125 for a bottle of 'Maple Liquor' is ... well, it something I may not have had the opportunity to enjoy yet, if not for the amazing generosity of my man Woody.

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with no head or lacing it is what I'd except in the appearance of a brandy. Excellent clarity.

Smell: The aroma of Bourbon Barrel vanilla bean, and maple, and caramel, a hint of pecan and butter and *booze* ... lots of maple booze it excites every cell in my body just thinking about it.

Taste: Queue the music.
I wanted fall to my knees right there in Woody's kitchen and throw my hands in the air, "I have seen the light" would come bellowing out of soul, but I restrained myself. If you have ever heard 'Angels We have Heard on High' sung in 4 part harmony by a huge congregation It goes Angels we have heard on high... etc ... in reply Echoing their joyous strains - and then sopranos take off on the chorus with Glooo OOOO oooo OO o oooo ooria meanwhile the chello plucks out the harmonizing line - while the baritones gently harmonize in step with Glor-ia is thy name oh ... UTOPIAS ;-)
Well, that moment is the only way I can describe this Utopias. In both cases every single hair on my arms stand on end. I get the goose bumps and chills run up and down my back and a fully satisfying moment and feeling where all is right every takes over my entire being to the deepest level.
How to describe the flavor that causes this reaction? Well, it is rich and syrupy with an exceptionally smooth body that delivers the flavor of oak wood barrel vanilla, bourbon, caramel, cherries - or a splash of port with other subtle fruits. Although it is boozy the mouthfeel seems more driven by the sweetness than any alcohol burn. It would be a perfect nightcap and a regular of mine at $49. For me personally, this is RIGHT ON! At $125 ... well, it would be perfect if money were no object at this point.

Thanks Again Woody!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 2,731 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Extreme Beer Fest 2004.
The "beer" is a deep coppery amber, strangely similar to scotch. Absolutely no head at all, furthering the comparison to whisky. Very attractive for an islay single malt.
The aroma has more in common with bourbon or scotch than beer. I'm not too familiar with cognac or anything else, so I base much of the spirit quality on the whisk(e)y family. Huge fusel alcohol, like hard liquor, with an underlying malty sweetness. The alcohol is strong enough to create a litght burning sensation on my eyeballs. Definite maple sugar influence adds a buttery, woody sweetness, with a strong caramel quality to the malt. Some molasses, with noticable oak and a touch of tobacco. I couldn't detect any hop presence.
The flavor starts with a heavy caramel maltiness, the alcohol punching through quickly, providing an unescapable liquor comparison. The alcoholic burn evaporates some of the subtler features, sitting on the tongue with some astringency. Hints of molasses, honey, maple sugar, and vanilla. A faint nutty woodiness claws through the alcohol in the finish, providing a rather pleasant hazelnut and almond quality, somewhat hinting towards amaretto, finishing with a last blast of alcohol burn in the swallow. A lingering, combustible alcohol presence sits on your breath, likely ignitable. Some sweet caramel and maple syrup lingers, providing a sweetness that offsets the burn somewhat. Heavy, liqueur-like body, still carbonation, and a slick, oily mouthfeel all hint towards something that isn't beer.
I guess you could call this beer, but it would find a much better home in a liquor cabinet. Rather tasty and surprisingly drinkable, despite my lack of finer appreciation for spirits, but there is no way in hell I'd pay $100+ for a bottle of this, however pretty the presentation. If I was more inclined towards aperitifs, maybe I'd drop the loot. I applaud the effort and imagination, but I'm hard pressed to think of this as beer.

 1,977 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fellow BA, Genaro and I bought each bought a bottle from our friend, Brian at Luke's, in May. One bottle would be opened within the year, the other in the distant future. The resealable twist cap is supposed to keep the "beer" in fine condition much as brandy or sherry can be recorked (time will tell).

The collectible brew-kettle shaped decanter is a copper-coated ceramic. A limited Edition # is stamped on the bottom (01644).

It pours a dark toffee/amber color. There is no head or lace, just a light syrupy slide down the inside of the glass when tilted.

A sherry-like aroma mingles with maple, lemon peel, caramel and alcohol.

Nutty caramel, sherry, raisins, maple, honey and candy sugar are housed within a solid, slightly smoky malt. A mild lemony citrus flows from the middle to the back of the tongue. Traces of milk chocolate and oranges are noticed, as is a slight saltiness. Fumy and warming alcohol is present throughout.

This brew still maintains a distant ale quality, however creamy, oily and brandy-like.

I'm saving the rest till Christmas Eve.

 1,081 characters

Photo of jkane101
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of marburg
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Smells like whiskey!" Got lots of those comments as we cracked a bottle of this on Saturday evening; got even more of the same from a friend with whom I shared some of the leftovers on Sunday.

And it's true. It has a dominant wet, woody alcohol presence and clear malt sweetness in the nose. Maple syrup envelopes everything else as it's allowed to breathe a bit. A little vanilla perhaps? Golden brown; light, clear amber. Flat, of course, the rumors are true: This really does ressemble some sort of liquor moreso than a beer.

Lots of intense malt sweetness all over the flavor as well. Caramel, maple syrup, alcoholic sweetness. Oaky vanilla, peat, and natural dark brown honey add interesting, if not tongue-numbing, highlights. 25%? Yeah; it's all there. Something of an intense burning astringency that reminds of me of old, nasty, dry sherry closes this out.

With a syrupy feel to it, this is an ass-kicker of a "beer." Do I even know what beer is anymore? Do I care? How does one rate this beer fairly? I sure don't know.

I won't say that I *like* this, but I certainly respect it. And it was worth drinking -- and noodling over in my brain. Intriguing beverage experiment.

 1,194 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:

A still brown with slight hints of red. No carbonation at all.

Smell:

Reeks of brandy. There is no odor here even reminiscent of "beer".

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Tastes like a blend of sherry & port with caramel undertones throughout. Alcohol feels stronger than 25%. Interesting, but not at all what I expected. Too much like a liquor for my tastes.

 370 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Pop The Cap gathering in Raleigh.

What does one white ticket get you? An ounce of heaven. Heaven in the form the Utopias. Can you really call this a beer? It's tough to think of something so big as a beer.

Appearance is very much like a good scotch. No head. When I brought the glass up to my nose to sniff it, my eyes watered. It took me 10 minutes just to smell this one. The alcohol is so dominant in the aroma. I also detect butterscotch and vanilla. Flavors are breathtaking, with a myriad of perceptions mingling with the alcohol in a dance of beauty. Scotch aged in oaken barrels, maple syrup, vanilla, smoky undertones...something like this is tough to describe. Mouthfeel is very nice, very coating on the palate. Drinkability is way up there, too. For something this high on the ABV scale, it is extremely drinkable. One to visit again and again, when that special moment calls for something truly extraordinary. Would I pay the price for a full bottle? After tasting this, I just might.

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Samuel Adams Utopias MMIII from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 45 ratings
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