Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary Batch Info

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Oct 19, 2012.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,633) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff

    I've been seeing some threads asking for info on this year's release of Utopias, so here's the press release and fact sheet I received with my sample (picture below) in August. I've yet to crack it open.

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    Dear Todd,

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of Samuel Adams Utopias. It’s a huge milestone for Samuel Adams, and as a brewer, I’m excited to share this beer because I think it exemplifies our passion for brewing and the use of innovative and sometimes extreme ingredients and techniques. Before we release Samuel Adams Utopias, I wanted to share some thoughts on how it all began.

    The back story:
    • More than 20 years ago, I started thinking about the far reaches of the beer universe. As big brewers were making their beers lighter and lighter, I was curious about the other end of the beer spectrum and wanted to continue exploring the uncharted territory of extreme brewing.
    • Brewing an “extreme beer” was an adventure in brewing with an uncertain outcome. After several years of exploration, I released Samuel Adams® Triple Bock in 1994 and set the record for the strongest beer ever (17.5% ABV). This was also the first time that any brewer in the U.S. had aged a beer in barrels previously used for other alcoholic beverages. This practice is now one of the mainstays of American craft brewing.
    • Triple Bock, the ancestor of all of our Extreme Beers, served as the archetype for Samuel Adams Millennium®, a brew which commemorated the year 2000.
    • In 2002, we introduced Samuel Adams Utopias which shocked the beer world with an incredible 24% ABV. With each new batch of Utopias, I was eager to push for more complexity and strength, producing brews with alcohol levels reaching 27% ABV over the last 10 years of Utopias’ existence. Though we’re still putting the final touches on this year’s batch, it’s looking like the 2012 Utopias will net out between 28% to 30% ABV – an unprecedented level. That said, while some of our barrels have reached over 33% alcohol, we refine the final liquid with taste as our primary goal, not alcohol percentage.
    The 10th Anniversary release of Utopias is proof that extreme beers have earned a permanent and respected place in the beer universe, a world now constantly evolving with new craft brewers and excited craft beer drinkers. I’ve always had a passion for pushing the envelope of traditional brewing techniques and rewriting the rules of brewing, a passion which is evident in each batch of Samuel Adams Utopias bottled. We’re unveiling the adventure of complex and carefully timed brewing and aging for this 10th Anniversary release. In fact, this year’s brew is a blend of batches including some of our original Triple Bock from 1993, and then aged in other barrels sourced from all over the world.

    How we brewed the 2012 batch:
    • The traditional brewing techniques we use in all of our beers shines through in this extremebrew. We begin with a blend of malts that impart the rich, ruby-black color. Distinct hopcharacter from the Noble hops imparts complexity and balance. During fermentation, we alsouse a yeast strain normally reserved for champagne.
    • The 2012 Utopias brew was aged in hand selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award winning Buffalo Trace Distillery to enhance the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes. Our 10th Anniversary batch also spent time in a variety of finishing casks: Tawny Port casks and Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal, which contribute slightly more elegant, dark fruit aromas, and Rum barrels from Nicaragua, which add flavors of fig, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, and a slight spice.
    We make fewer than 15,000 bottles of this limited-edition beer due to the long aging required. Samuel Adams Utopias is bottled in a specially designed 10m Anniversary, black decanter. Shaped like a brew kettle, the exterior is etched with roots, a metaphor for the 20+ years of complex history and aging of the liquids that make up Samuel Adams Utopias.

    I hope you enjoy sipping Samuel Adams Utopias as much as I enjoyed crafting this beer over the past 10 years.

    Cheers,
    Jim Koch
    Founder and Brewer

    [​IMG]

    Fact Sheet: Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary Batch

    Since the birth of Boston Lager in 1984, Founder and brewer Jim Koch has made it his mission to change. American beer drinkers’ perception of what beer can be, and challenge himself as a brewer. In 2002, the first batch of Samuel Adams Utopias was introduced with a complex flavor profile unlike any other beer, and an incredible ABV of 24%, making it the strongest naturally-fermented beer to date. Samuel Adams Utopias was brewed again in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, with Jim continuing to aim for more complexity, eventually pushing the ABV to 27% and potentially higher for this year’s batch.

    2012 10th Anniversary Batch:
    • Though we’re still putting the final touches on this year’s batch, it’s looking like Samuel Adams Utopias will net out between 28-30% ABV in 2012 an unprecedented level.
    • Brewed using traditional methods, we begin with the world’s finest, all-natural ingredients, including a blend of two-row Caramel and Munich malts that impart the rich, ruby-black color. Distinct hop character from Noble hops – Hallertau Mittlefrueh, Spalt Spalter and Tettnang Tettnanger – imparts complexity and balance. Samuel Adams Utopias is brewed with ale yeast and a yeast variety typically reserved for champagne.
    • Rivaling the world’s finest cognacs and ports, our brewers recommend serving this strong, rich, un-carbonated dark beer as an ideal after-dinner drink at room temperature (about 70°F) in 2oz pours.
    • The 2012 batch of Samuel Adams Utopias is a blend of liquids, some of which have been aged in a variety of wood barrels for 19 years. This long aging process enhances the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes, and its high alcohol content creates a heated aroma of ginger and cinnamon. As a result, Samuel Adams Utopias invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while feeling surprisingly light on the palate. The brew has sweet flavors of honey, toffee, caramel, cocoa and vanilla, balanced by distinct notes of molasses, raisins, plums and berries.
    • After blending, Samuel Adams Utopias is aged in finishing barrels sourced from all over the world. This year’s batch was finished in single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery to enhance the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes. This year’s batch also spent time in a variety of finishing casks: Tawny Port casks and Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal and Rum barrels from Nicaragua. The Port casks contribute the slightly more elegant, dark fruit aromas while the Rum barrels add flavors of fig, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, and a slight spice. From these barrels, we created a completely, new brew, never crafted before, for our 10th Anniversary.
    • The complex flavors intensify individually over time, making Samuel Adams Utopias a very special brew that becomes even better with age.
    • The 2012 limited-edition lot of Samuel Adams Utopias is bottled in a specially designed 10th Anniversary, black decanter, shaped like a brew kettle and etched with roots, a metaphor for the 20+ years of complex history and aging of the liquids that make up this final brew. Only 15,000 bottles of the 10th Anniversary batch are available, and we look forward to toasting this monumental occasion with our drinkers.
    The exclusive, limited distribution brew will be available at select specialty beer and liquor stores starting in November for a suggested retail price of $160 per bottle.

    For more information, visit http://www.samueladams.com

    ###
     
    NickMunford, wembly13 and MarkIntihar like this.
  2. Jazzwalker

    Jazzwalker Initiate (80) Apr 2, 2012 New Jersey

    Thank you so much for this information. I'd been hearing all sorts of prices that ranged from $160- $450. I would love to get my hands on a bottle if anyone out there has access, by all means look me up and lets close this deal. :slight_smile:
     
  3. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,261) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Had a couple servings during GABF week and might actually take the plunge on buying a bottle this year.
    For the people that have bought bottles - once you open it, do you pretty much have to put it down or can you re-seal it like a liqueur?
     
  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,633) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff

    I've used a wine vacuum pump resealer. Works well.
     
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  5. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    I drank one over the course of a month and didn't notice much degradation.
     
  6. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio

    Whoa, 28-30% this year. I wish I had an extra $150-$200 laying around... and lived in a state that could legally sell this...
     
  7. skycracksopen

    skycracksopen Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 Colorado

    It has a screw cap, so it's easily resealable.
     
    aasher likes this.
  8. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    How big are the bottles? Man, this sounds awesome.
     
  9. Lare453

    Lare453 Meyvn (1,378) Feb 1, 2012 Florida
    Trader

    750ml
     
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  10. Lare453

    Lare453 Meyvn (1,378) Feb 1, 2012 Florida
    Trader

    it has a regular bottle cap under a screw cap. ive asked the brewery via email how long it will last after you take the bottle cap off and they wont give me a direct answer, but i treat it as liquor. 30% no carbonation, thick... i figure it will last a few years after you open it and put the screw cap back on.
     
  11. Lare453

    Lare453 Meyvn (1,378) Feb 1, 2012 Florida
    Trader

    i have one open for about six months now and the wife and i have not noticed any difference.
     
  12. skycracksopen

    skycracksopen Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 Colorado

    Yeah, I've had the 2011 open since it was released, and it still tastes the same to me. I think I got it in June of last year.
     
  13. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (1,950) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Premium Trader

    The timing of this thread, and the main sub-topic is amazing. I have a bottle of 2009 that will be opened in two weeks, and was wondering if oxidation would be an issue. Good to hear others think not, but I’ll still use a wine vacuum.

    BTW, has anyone tried using the Air Cork? With any beer (not Utopias specifically) http://aircork.com/ This was designed for wine, but I wonder how it would work with beer. Carbonation seems to be the primary challenge with wine pumps, and the balloon might over come that.

    However, I wonder if the balloon itself effects the flavor of the beer?
     
  14. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Meyvn (1,204) Oct 15, 2008 Illinois

    Oxidation is part of the appeal of this "beer". You open your bottle, and then for the next 6-12 months or longer you can see how the beer changes as you consume more and oxidation becomes more apparent. I've been lucky enough to sample some 2003 Utopias that has only had about 3-4 oz in the bottle for a few years and it is still fantastic.

    Cheers!
     
    AnnArborJoe likes this.
  15. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2012 Illinois

    Theres a reason the product explicitly states, do not use for beer or carbonated beverages.....

    DONT. DO. IT.

    Had that SAME exact product(the air cork) and used it TWICE for whales in 750's....
    I am no longer able to use the product for anything, including wine, until I order more balloons.
    Theres a reason the product explicitly states, do not use for beer or carbonated beverages.....

    The carbonation causes the balloon to explode.

    Anybody ever tried drinking a good beer with bits of balloon in it??
    Not very much fun.
     
    Rutager likes this.
  16. pattermj

    pattermj Initiate (0) May 31, 2008 Virginia

    The thing is, Utopia is not carbonated. It is closer to a cognac or other liquor then it is to beer and wine. I had a 2005 which I opened in 09 kept it until early 11 and I found no degeneration from it (slight oxidation) but I kept mine sealed with a vacuum wine sealer. I don't believe the aircork idea will be a problem with Utopia but yes don't use it or the pump sealers on anything carbonated as it sucks it right out.
     
    brystmar likes this.
  17. raymo55

    raymo55 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Michigan

    I do have the $160 laying around.....how do I get one of these bad boys?
     
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  18. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    I think our distributor got his allocation in the late February/March time frame in 2011 and 2009...so you'll have to wait...maybe by that time your $160 will be $160.76.
     
    raymo55 likes this.
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,387) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That's because the $160 is BBC's Suggested Retail Price - one that very few retailers charge. Given it's limited production and heavy promotion, most retailers will price it well above that MSRP - almost to the point where it's practically a kickback-like gift from BBC and their distributors to their best retail customers. What other beers are routinely marked 100% or more over wholesaler price?

    Well, that's a start - maybe some retailer will add your name to their list if you can come up with the rest of their asking price by the time it comes out.:wink:
     
  20. tjfilippo

    tjfilippo Initiate (84) Jan 28, 2008 Illinois
    Trader

    Start looking now... it's already out :slight_smile:
     
  21. terryg75

    terryg75 Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2012

    Yeah guys, if somebody gets a line in one please let me know. Since I'm in OH we can only get 12%er's so my chance are slim. But I would love to try this so any help would be greatly appreciated. And if there's a particular beer you can't get in your area that I have access to I would love to help you out.
     
  22. brystmar

    brystmar Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 Texas

    I opened my bottle from the 2009 batch around Christmas in '09, shared a few ounces of it with friends, then screwed the top back on. Repeated this for special occasions over the next two years, and finally finished the bottle in March of this year. No degradation of flavor since the original opening; its final drops were as good as the first!
     
  23. Jaru1026

    Jaru1026 Initiate (133) Mar 25, 2011 Massachusetts
    Trader

    This years release is coming into liquor stores in Mass at $200 so expect to pay quite a price between 250-300 after mark up..
     
  24. tjfilippo

    tjfilippo Initiate (84) Jan 28, 2008 Illinois
    Trader

    I paid $165.99 in Chicago for the 2012 batch...
     
  25. Hindsight

    Hindsight Initiate (73) Oct 8, 2011 Ohio

    Which store?
     
  26. bradfordjohnson

    bradfordjohnson Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2012 Kentucky

    Agreed...how can you say you did this and don't share the info.
     
  27. Auror

    Auror Defender (603) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Trader

    The cost from distributors in MA will be 200?? How is the MSRP 160 then?
     
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  28. mhacker

    mhacker Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2012

    Nobody paid anything for a 2012 bottle at any store in the country. A direct quote from a representative of Sam Adams, sent on 10/16: "As you can see, we release Utopias about once every 2 years - the next batch is happily living in oak barrels as you read this and will be bottled around the end of 2012."

    So, please tell me how the 2012 batch is "happily living in oak barrels" but is also in the hands of someone in Chicago for about $160?
     
  29. PlinyFan

    PlinyFan Initiate (55) Jun 8, 2012 California
    Trader

    I just signed up for the list at my local bevmo to receive a bottle in decmeber. I collect bottles so I am really excited to have this one.
     
  30. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Pics or it didn't happen...

     
  31. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (0) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    That quote sounds fishy since some distributors/accounts have already received their sample bottles (i.e. scaled versions of the usual Utopias bottle containing this year's release).

    Notice Todd's initial statement at the top of the thread:

    "I've been seeing some threads asking for info on this year's release of Utopias, so here's the press release and fact sheet I received with my sample (picture below) in August. I've yet to crack it open."

    Not sure your "rep" has their facts straight.

    Though, I am certainly curious as to how this ended up in Chicago already? That doesn't sound right either....
     
  32. steebo777

    steebo777 Devotee (413) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    Should be in Michigan this week from what I'm hearing.
     
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  33. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (6,809) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois

    Odd, considering I've bought a bottle of this new vintage (black bottle, 10th anniversary printed on it, brand new to our distributor, about $165) and tasted it. And I got the fourth of four bottles at this particular Binny's location.

    Trust me, it's out there...
     
  34. Flabbyjandro

    Flabbyjandro Initiate (0) Jun 12, 2012 Illinois

    Called a few stores, everyone's telling me Nov for what it's worth
     
  35. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,422) Dec 13, 2009 New York

    How do I get one of these for $160?
     
  36. Jaru1026

    Jaru1026 Initiate (133) Mar 25, 2011 Massachusetts
    Trader

    If you got it for $160 that is awesome, Chicago has sick prices. But.. I work for the distributor in central Massachusetts and they are going into the retailers at 200 a pop. So expect to pay more around here. Case in point I also work at a store part time and hes charging $289 for the bottle he received. Also, they all should be in the stores by now!
     
  37. tjfilippo

    tjfilippo Initiate (84) Jan 28, 2008 Illinois
    Trader

    Trust me... it happened! For some reason I can't upload a pic. If you can assist me, I'd be glad to post a picture... or I'll e-mail it to you.

    Edit... try this link...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/54930232@N08/
     
  38. davey101

    davey101 Meyvn (1,104) Apr 14, 2009 Connecticut
    Trader

    My store (that is always VERY reasonable) is asking $285. Not that I could afford it at $160 anyways....
     
  39. Wingfan13

    Wingfan13 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2009 Texas

    I just received this email from Sam Adams which says

    "We bottled batches of Utopias in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. In 2011, our 12,000 precious bottles were gone in a matter of weeks. As you can see, we release Utopias about once every 2 years - the next batch is happily living in oak barrels as you read this and will be bottled around the end of 2012. "

    Odd...
     
  40. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (0) Jun 7, 2005 New York

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