With an alcohol level of 27%, served at room temperature, and not carbonated, Samuel Adams’ Utopias is not your father’s can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. With 8,000 bottles produced — some fetching up to $600 (though a still-insane $175 is a little more standard) — it’s definitely not PBR, no.
So, what is it?
Utopias tastes closer to tawny port than anything else. It’s got a strong chocolate and raisin flavor, coating a light, herbal bitterness and malty aftertaste that is the only aspect of the drink that will remind you of beer in any way. The alcohol has a real kick to it. Those hoping to gulp this down like a Miller Lite will be sorely disappointed. Utopias is perhaps the only “after dinner beer” I’ve ever tried. Try sipping it with ice cream or a big chocolate cookie instead of downing it with a taco. (That said, I’d still prefer to simply drink an inexpensive port over this. Major league beer fans will probably feel differently.)
I would be remiss without mentioning the collectible decanter it comes in, a copper number designed to look like an old-style brew kettle. Two little shutters open to reveal the Sam Adams portrait logo in a sort of etched glass. Whoever designed this thing was either a genius or as high as a kite.
B / $175 / samueladams.com