Posts Tagged utopias

Utopias is among us! (part 2)

First of all, I’d like to say Happy Birthday to America this coming Saturday. What better occasion to celebrate with a super special, uber-concocted barrel aged beauty as Sam Adams Utopias? Few, my friends. Few.

Knowing the painstaking process followed to make such a brew, I wanted to enjoy this without getting smashed, so I took only the small amount you see below. This was all I needed to get the full experience of this beer (which is technically more of a barleywine).

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It poured a deep golden amber color, almost like a long-aged bourbon. As expected, it had no head or carbonation, as the aging process takes this element out. One whiff gave me a full spectrum of aromas that reminded me of the holidays: dark fruits, cherries, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves and honey. The taste was thick, with honey up front, followed by bourbon and tart fruit flavors. The combination of flavors and heavy mouthfeel reminded me of maple syrup. Dark fruit made up the middle, with a little sourness. It then moved to clove flavors, finishing with sticky sweet honey, balanced by tart fruit.

The long wait to try this one may have influenced the score I gave it, but this is about as complex and nuanced a beer you are likely to find.

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Utopias is among us! (part 1)

Merry Christmas to me! (a little late)

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Every two years, Sam Adams releases a special concoction called Utopias. This is a mixture of some very old and very limited-release beers from what has become one of America’s favorite breweries. They then move the mixture into different kinds of barrels during the aging process to impart different flavors into the beer. I understand that there is an 18-year-old brew in this one. No two releases are alike. They already released the 2012 batch, which was their 10-year anniversary brewing of Utopias, but decided to do it two years in a row and released it again this year. This is a so-called “extreme beer” due to its extremely high alcohol content. At 28% abv, I would say this definitely qualifies.

IMG_1703With all of this in mind, a buddy of mine and I decided we would treat ourselves to this most magical and elusive elixir when we got a chance and I have been looking a long time. Well, they say you always find what you’re looking for when you least expect it. This dream became a reality on an innocent trip to the Keg-N-Bottle liquor store in Rancho San Diego. This chain of liquor stores is the same one that brought me K’n’B Wine Cellars and man am I glad they did.

As I said, we went in to just bring back some beers to our final location for the night, when the guy behind the counter, Chris, said, “You know, we also got in a bottle of Sam Adams Utopia.” I almost said something about his incomplete pronunciation of the name of this brew, but I decided against it and instead asked, “Yeah, but how much is it?” It was pricey, but Chris did a good job of selling us on it; it wasn’t hard, since it was something we already wanted anyway. We quickly put back the other brews we had picked up, slapped down the fee and took home our prize. Of course, we deliberated quite a bit before deciding and Chris did his best to make our decision for us. He said it comes with a coupon code for a special edition Utopias glass, made specifically for this beer by Riedel.

Well, when we got it home and out of the box, there was nothing with any kind of code on it. We called Chris and he said would look into it for us. Boy did he come through. I am amazed at the effort he is putting into helping us out on this. It turns out Sam Adams is not allowed to ship this glass to certain states and California, where I live, is one of those states. Chris called his sales rep from Sam Adams to see what could be done and we are just waiting to hear the word.

I will post part 2 of this saga when we find an occasion auspicious enough to crack this one open.

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