711: Sam Adams Utopias

711 - Sam Adams UtopiasName: Sam Adams Utopias

Brewery: Boston Beer

Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Boston, MA
Style: American Strong Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 29% (The ABV changes with each release. We tried and are reviewing the 2012 release)

First Brewed: 2001
Price: NA (This bottle usually goes for $199+ at liquor stores when you can find it. But Mickey Salem at Cellars Fine Wine & Spirits was nice enough to share a bottle with us.)

Tasting Notes

Strong, aromatic notes of caramel, hazelnut candy, and maple syrup. Intended for measured sipping, it crosses the tongue with a thin, oily coat of complex sweetness and angelic alcohol.

Ricky’s Thoughts

This is special. It’s even more special that we are drinking this with our friends, on Christmas Day. This is a bucket list beer, that’s for sure. The review will be short and sweet, because I am more focused on the experience and the people that I am drinking this with than leaving a longwinded review.

In the Glass: It’s thick with zero head, and a nice thick sticky lace. Oh, and Mickey served this in the appropriate glassware. I just asked Mickey if the glassware comes with the bottle, but he said you have to mail in a redemption coupon to get the glass. Mickey was also kind enough to gift me with the bottle and the glass.

Aroma: That is straight bourbon. I mean… Wow. The tasting notes mention caramel and hazelnut, but I am smelling whiskey. I don’t drink brandy often, but I am sure this is a similar experience as Utopias.

Sheryl just said, “It kind of looks like maple syrup in the glass.” She’s right. It does. I didn’t realize they used maple syrup in the glass until after the fact.

This moment has been coming for a LONG time, and I’m honored that Mickey was willing to share with us. Cheers doesn’t even begin to cover this.

Flavor: Holy. Shit. That’s right, I said it. Wow. I never swear online, but after drinking this beer… I couldn’t resist. I’ve heard people say this beer isn’t good, but they are wrong. This shouldn’t be beer, but it is. So good. Almost puts me beyond words. Oh, and I got a second pour… So I shared it with Sheryl, Mike, Brian, Jennifer and Andy. I wonder if Michelle tried it…

Mouthfeel: It’s thin, but so hot you can’t leave it in your mouth for long. I just want to swallow do I can enjoy the aftertaste.

Aftertaste: Here we go. Bourbon. It’s all bourbon. I need to do some more research on this, but wow. I’m just so pleased with this beer. So much so the next time I see a bottle, I’ll buy it. Even at $200+ a bottle.

I only had one sip of this, and the flavor just blows me away. This is a sipping beer. Oh, it’s a sipping beer. I bet this would go well with a nice cigar. I wonder if Samuel Adams would be able to recommend a cigar to pair with this.

“This is the most complicated, complex liquid I have ever put in my mouth.”  That’s the quote of the day. Mickey, I owe you big time, my friend. Wow. That is all. Is this the best beer I’ve ever had?

Sam Adams Utopias – The bottle says: “Cheers to 10 years! Jim Koch”

“ALE BREWED WITH MAPLE SYRUP AND AGED BOURBON, RUM, VINTAGE PORT AND RUBY PORT BARRELS.”

Rating: 5/5 (It’s perfect. Quite possibly the best liquid I have ever had in my mouth.)

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Hey, this is a big one!  This is a pretty big deal.  This beer is hard to get and very expensive.  It usually costs about $200 a bottle.  But thanks to our friend Mickey, we are lucky enough to both try it for free as well as share it with beer-appreciating friends and on Christmas Day, no less.  So having said all that, here we go!

Mickey poured us a bit of it into a glass, and Ricky and I have been here admiring it for a few minutes before we even attempt to take a sip.  It looks kind of like maple syrup in the glass, a medium brown color and pretty thick, for a beer.  It has a certain smell to it that I can’t pin down… but it’s probably the bourbon.  It’s actually a really good smell.  I can’t stop sniffing it!  I suppose it’s time to try it now.

This is a very sweet, very boozy beer.  It does taste a little bit like maple syrup.  And it’s definitely a sipping beer, as that is a lot of booze and a lot of heat.  It’s really got a long-lasting aftertaste too.  We all keep taking tiny sips and then standing around while the aftertaste lasts, then taking another tiny sip.  This is kind of like a good wine, in a way.

I probably won’t buy this beer again, just because of the price.  But if you wanted to spend some money on a good beer to sip for special occasions, this would be one I would definitely recommend.

Rating: 5/5

710 bottles of beer on the wall…

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