We make Utopias to challenge the perception of what beer can be. This boundary bending, barrel-aged beer blurs the line between beer and fine spirit. At 28%, it’s the badass of our brewery. Its reputation puts it on every beer drinker’s bucket-list.
Introducing an exciting finishing cask for this release, Pineau des Charentes adds hints of honey and vanilla that envelop the palate. Along with our traditional Bourbon, Ruby Port, and Carcavelos casks which bring notes of peach, wine grapes, a rich woodiness, and vanilla, we also finished with Scotch and Peated Whiskey Casks. These casks impart an extremely subtle peaty smokiness, which rounds out the complexity of the overall blend.
Balaton Cherries are Michigan-grown cherries admired for their slightly sweet, tart taste. Aging our finished blend on this unique fruit gives the 2021 Utopias enhanced black cherry and dark fruit flavor, with hints of maple and vanilla. For the first time we also aged a portion of this blend in Sauternes French Oak Wine casks, which brings subtle notes of honeyed apricot and caramel to the rich layers of flavor. 28% ABV.
Our experiments with Cognac and Madeira finishing introduce distinct vanilla notes, and subtle, nutty, elegant, dark fruit aromas to 2019. At the end we added a touch of Kosmic Mother Funk, a wild ale fermented and aged for two years in Hungarian Oak foeders. Find it and you’ll taste flavors like plum, raisins, prunes, and toasted oak. 28% ABV.
In addition to Buffalo Trace and a variety of casks, we aged the 2017 recipe in Scandinavian Aquavit barrels, a vodka or gin like spirit with distinct flavors from spices and herbs. For the first time we finished with Moscat barrels, a wine known for its slightly smoky character. We blended with beer from 24-year-old Triple Bock and 17-year-old Millenium. 2017 Utopias has flavors like dark fruit, it's a little sweet, slightly smoky, and malty smooth. 28% ABV.
Some of the beer we aged 2015 with is old enough to drink itself. We used barrels once home to Cognac, Armagnac, Ruby Port, sweet Madeira, and of course Buffalo Trace Bourbon. We finished in extremely rare White Carcavelos wine barrels, which comes from a small region in Portugal. The scarcity of the barrels makes the 2015 Utopias an extremely limited collectible. If you open it, you’ll get wood, toffee, cocoa, and maple aromas, with flavors like molasses, earthy-wood, dates, and light-smoke nuts and toffee. 28% ABV.
For the first time we blended Utopias with Sam Adams Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF), a Belgian style ale barrel-aged between 9-months (and two-years) in Hungarian Oak tuns. KMF brought a whole new spectrum of complexity to other tobacco and dark fruit notes in earlier Utopias batches. You will taste bright fruit like cherries and plums, with just a little earth. A hint of sourness from the KMF tones down the sweetness. We made less than 15,000 bottles in 2013, so it’s pretty rare drinking experience. 28% ABV.
We broke our every two-year release cycle to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Utopias, and one of our greatest brewing accomplishments at Samuel Adams. We also broke our tradition of a gold bottle, with a special black vessle. While we actually began releasing barrel-aged beers with Triple Bock in 1994, it wasn’t until the 1st Utopias in 2002 that we introduced barrels that previously held spirits to mellow the high-alcohol beer on the palette.
We introduced Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels into the process, and they’ve been a key piece of Utopias ever since. We hand-select each and every single-use barrel.
Every ingredient chosen for Utopias is the highest quality available, designed to deliver you a drinking experience like no other.
Each release we hand-select single-use bourbon casks from our friends at the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery. The beer then ages even longer in a variety of spirit barrels including Bourbon, Wine, Port, and more, each gifting their unique flavors and history to Utopias. For 2021, we used a combination of 86 different barrels. We began barrel-aging beer in 1993 with the Triple Bock. Today, our techniques have led to the lunatic fringe of brewing, one of the oldest, strongest, most extreme beers in the world.
Some of the beer in this extreme reserve spends up to 30 years in bourbon barrels, which makes for a pretty tough customer. It’s inefficient, but the long road to your glass means Utopias has earned a complex character for a drinking experience above the ordinary.
Utopias is a true community effort. Our head brewers want it to pass through every Sam Adams brewery. We brew, age, and blend in various locations across the country, before a time-intensive hand-bottling process where we personally make sure each bottle of Utopias is given special attention.
Yeast: exhilarating right? We agree, and it gets pretty radical when it comes to Utopias. We use multiple yeast strains to make this beer, which is rare in brewing. We include one typically reserved for champagne, as well as another that’s such a ruffian we call it “ninja yeast,” created for its ability to survive and keep fermenting in extremely high alcohol environments like Utopias.
It takes a lot to make a beer that’s...well, a lot. Utopias is our craft maverick, brewed for the adventurous drinkers who need a premium craft beer experience. We spare no time, expense, or effort to create the most renowned and sought-after extreme beer you can get.
Each Utopias we explore uncharted territory with new blending techniques. And each new Utopias blend is made from an array of earlier years, some of the extreme beers already aged up-to 30 years. We finish the blend in still another variety casks that deepen the final flavor.
This beer is just as special to all of us at Sam Adams as to you. For our brewers, it’s a passion project. For Sam Adams employees, it’s tradition. Since Utopias was first released, each ceramic bottle gets a number on the bottom that corresponds with the order in which they were hired. Founder and Brewer Jim Koch gets bottle number 1, of course.
Utopias drinks like no other beer on the planet. Serve at room temperature and an ounce or two of this ruby-black liquid into Utopias glass or brandy snifter. Sip, savor, appreciate.
We like Utopias with dishes like clam chowder, a really nice steak, and desserts like pineapple upside-down cake. It follows celebration meals especially well.
Utopias is a big beer. It's definitely too big to consume a lot at once. We recommend you enjoy from a 4 oz Utopias glass.
We say forever! Uncap & enjoy. Re-cap & store it. Like all good things, it gets better with time.
A deep rich malty smoothness reminiscent of a vintage Port, Cognac, or rare, fortified French aperitif. You’ll notice honey, vanilla, peach, wine grapes, rich woodiness, and a subtly peaty smokiness that rounds out the complexity of the overall blend.
Because of the high alcohol content, Utopias requires unique distribution. Samuel Adams Utopias can be found at select specialty beer, wine and liquor stores. We suggest you call up your favorite to see if they have a bottle. It sells for a suggested retail price of $240 per bottle. Price varies by market and, where the law allows it to be sold, availability is limited. Enjoy the hunt. That’s what makes life so interesting.
Utopias is rare, but not exclusive. However, it cannot be shipped or sold in 15 states including: AL, AR, GA, ID, MO, MS, MT, NH, NC, OK, OR, SC, UT, VT, and WV. Sorry, we love you all the same.