Skip to main content

Around 505

Extreme Brewing Times 10

Dec 20, 2012 11:25AM ● By Scott Blackwell

Another note from the love-it-or-hate-it department: brewer Samuel Adams’s latest incarnation of its Utopias just keeps pushing the envelope in alcohol and intense flavor.

 This drink, only the tenth issue since 2002, can only be called beer because of its ingredients. Light lager lovers will equate this drink to cough syrup; cognac and brandy fans will say beer has finally reached its potential.

 Regardless of taste, the obsessive commitment required to produce the elixer is admirable – a variety of beers is blended and aged almost two decades in barrels that once sheltered Portuguese Tawny Port and Nicaraguan rum.

 The result is a non-carbonated, dark liquid with “syrupy vanilla sweetness, followed by a cloying gush of honeyed port wine, with notes of chocolate, figs and raisins,” according to at least one critic.

 Of course, he could have been under the influence of Utopias’ 29% alcohol level. Just 15,000 bottles of Utopias, at $190 each, hit the shelves in November. For more information, visit