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Samuel Adams Utopias is Getting Close


Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias & Riedel Glass

It’s 2011. To many, it’s just another year. For those really into beer, it’s the year Sam Adams
Utopias is released. Released every odd year since 2003, Utopias is the world’s strongest naturally fermented beer. “But what about the beaver that had the 110 proof bottle of beer in it??” First of all, it was either a squirrel or a stoat, depending on which of the eleven bottles produced you saw. Second, that was achieved through ice distillation, which essentially is freezing alcohol to where the water freezes and separates and the alcohol left behind is a more concentrated product than what was started with, which they do repeatedly until they get the desired strength. Sam Adams, however, manages to achieve a staggering 27% alcohol by volume beer all at the hands of yeasts that are typically reserved for wine and champagne, along with ale yeast.

Utopias itself is brewed using traditional methods and is a blend of several malts and three variety of Noble hops; Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger — and it is then blended and aged in a variety of different barrels. Sam Adams uses some fairly obscure barrels, some of which have been filled holding liquids for as long as 18 years before being blended into the final product. This year’s batch was finished in sherry casks from Spain and Madeira and port casks from Portugal, all of which gives it tremendous depth and flavor.

Utopias is not carbonated, and because of this, it can be opened and shared and put back on the shelf when done, which is something I find very appealing about it. I personally treat it more like a spirit in that I only need a two or three ounce pour in a small snifter at room temperature and I can sit back all evening and savor it, slowly appreciating the illustrious aroma and wonderful taste that it has to offer.

2011 Sam Adams Utopias will be bottled in numbered, ceramic brew kettle-shaped decanters and only 53 barrels have been made available for this batch. Utopias will be released starting in May just in time for Father’s Day, and as with other years, you can expect a retail price of around $150 or more depending on the store. Also important to note, Utopias is prohibited from being sold in thirteen states as it exceeds the legal limit allowed for beer in those states. The thirteen states are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, or West Virginia.


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  2. Denise LaPrad Whalen | Friday, April 15, 2011

    Two things wrong..I am a retailer in Tennessee and received Utopia today and I payed more than 150 on my invoice.

  3. Brian Kropf | Friday, April 15, 2011

    “.. around $150 or more depending on the store.”

    The price is going to vary by state due to a handful of variables, but the suggested retail price (not cost) by Sam Adams is $150. Even still, many shops will charge $175-250 … some as much as $599, though they will never sell for that much. They probably wouldn’t even sell for close to $300.

    Second, the information above regarding the release date of Utopias was taken verbatim from the press materials they sent me. Even though they’ve sent it out to all (or some) retailers, they may still have an on-sale date of next month in mind that they would like followed.

    I’ve had my 2011 for 3-4 months, but doesn’t mean it’s out yet.

    Thanks for the response!

  4. Jessica Shaver | Saturday, April 23, 2011

    I want to buy a bottle of this for my husband who is returning home from deployment, but am having a hard time finding a bottle. I live in North Carolina and have called different states but they said they haven’t received their shipment yet. When should I expect the bottles to be released and do you have any suggestions of where I may purchase one?

  5. Brian Kropf | Saturday, April 23, 2011

    As you’ve found out, it isn’t available for purchase in NC. Stores across the country are starting to get their shipments in and most places are only getting a few bottles. Some online shops should be able to help that ship.

    I used to be in the military as well, in Fort Bragg!

    My best to you and your returning husband.

  6. Jessica Shaver | Sunday, April 24, 2011

    We are stationed at Fort Bragg as well. I guess the search for this bottle is on. This would be a great surprise for him. He is a huge fan of Samuel Adams and has a very large collection of the multiple beers hes tired. I hope I am able to buy one soon. Thank you for the response. Happy Easter!

  7. Liam | Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    jessica, I’d love to help you out. Drop me an email at intrepid1999 at gmail.

  8. Todd | Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Jessica I can also help you out email me samantha.rhodes96@yahoo.com

  9. Linda | Friday, May 13, 2011

    Just bought a bottle of Utopias 2011 for $199.99 (not including tax) at Total Wine in Florida. I thought the price was high but wanted to add it to the collection. Pretty crazy!

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