Day #224 – Samuel Adams Utopias

August 13, 2011

Today is a very special occasion so I am featuring a very special beer. I attended a bottle share with some very cool people in Dallas. It was a bottle share hosted by local Beer Advocate members. I had previously only met a few of those people but I met lots of people today! Several folks brought some awesome beer to share, and this one in particular is well worth talking about.

Samuel Adams Utopias

Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company) created this badboy a few years back, and it only comes out on odd numbered years. I had previously tried the 2009 version, and today had the great fortune to try the 2011 batch. Utopias is a barley wine, and it’s a HUGE barley wine at that. 27% ABV huge! This beer also comes in limited quantities, so each bottle sells for around $200 a pop. Yeah, so this beer is rare, high in alcohol and very pricy. The bottle itself is a collectors item. It’s made of metal and resembles the shape of a copper brew kettle. Annnnnnnnnd it’s awesome. You’ll see why.


I swirled the hell out of this beer and there was no head to be found. Pours a very pretty reddish orange color with drippy sticky legs that stick to the side of the glass. This looks more like a brandy than anything.

Huge alcohol nose. Smell that curls the nose hairs. After that there is candied sugar, raw apple and snozeberries. Thick rich legs. Very alcoholic on the nose. I’m also pulling lots of lovely maple syrup notes, it’s incredible how syrupy this is. Very nice! I seriously smelled this for a long time.

Taste is incredibly complex. Huge flavors of brown sugar, black cherries, alcohol and oak aged wood fill the palate. Literally my nose is tingling every time I bring the glass up. Insane. Like waffle syrup on the nose, but hot. Damn. Large taste of maple syrup also. Drips down the throat. This is fantastic. A sipper no doubt. Hot hot hot as it warms.

If you ever have the opportunity to try this beer, I HIGHLY recommend it. Absolutely one of the best beers I have had in a long while.




  1. Why’s the bottle purple?

    • Odd lighting and the reflection from my phone’s flash.

  2. Wow – that’s an awesome bottle – and a great find!

  3. where were you that you were able to get hold of utopia in DFW??

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