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Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias
Written by Tom
I was wondering when the purchase of this beer was going to pay off. I guess now is the time. Two years ago, in my quest to try all things Sam Adams, I bought myself a little Christmas present. If you look back to Megan’s flowchart I’m the guy who has a “…$500 love” for beer. Although this beer was expensive (I’ll forgo telling you how much it actually cost) it was nowhere near 500 dollars.
Sam Adams Utopias! A collectors item more or less. Out of the 12,000 copper brew kettle shaped bottles made, I got lucky bottle #3313 (I was even given an engraved snifter glass for presentation). It was first released in 2002 and then again in 2007. In the Fall of 2007 I was able to tour the Boston Brewery where I literally saw and touched the barrels containing Utopias in its final stages of aging. Defying the limits, you could consider this the ultimate extreme beer. With an ABV of 25% it seems more like a Cognac, Brandy, Sherry, Port, or something Clark Gable would drink as a night cap while lounging in his smoking jacket not giving a damn.
Building on the foundation of Caramel and Munich malts they used three noble hops Spalt, Hallertau and Tettnang along with several yeast strains (one of which was a Champagne yeast). It is then aged for a number of years and blended together. The fact sheet that came with the bottle says that some barrels are aged for up to 13 years. The casks used for aging were no doubt varied. Single-use Bourbon, Sherry, Brandy, Cognac, and Madeira barrels each impart their unique characters.
Aroma: I’ve had this on a couple occasions and every time I take a waft the dominate notes are of maple syrup, raisins, and a strong alcoholic presence. I decided to explore the aroma in more depth and found hints of caramel, oak, rich wood, sherry, figs, prunes, dates, maybe some vanilla or cinnamon, and a slight nuttiness.
Appearance: Deep amber/mahogany, no carbonation, liquid clings to the side of the glass like light syrup.
Taste: Maple syrup was the strongest flavor. I could not pick out the malt or hop aspects, but only the bi-products from all the barrels. It literally was a blend of all the liquors mentioned above. Not sweet, but rather sharp on the tongue at first. Very big raisin and prune highlights.
Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. Rolls on the tongue and coats the entire palate. Finish has a warming effect from the alcohol and it did not go down as smooth as I hoped. The aftertaste leans towards dark fruit notes with a small hint of almonds. Served at room temperature.
Grade: C-Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias,