A blend of ultra-boozy liquids, some aged up to 20 years old, this wild brew is a mixture of Triple Bock beers, sweetened with maple syrup, aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon casks, and finished — unique to this 10th anniversary edition — in a combination of Tawny Port, Ruby Port, and Nicaraguan rum casks. It’s bottled — at 29% alcohol — in a one-of-a-kind decanter.
This year’s Utopias has a distinct Tawny Port character to it, on the nose and the tongue. Malty undertones are also hefty as you sniff this potent concoction. The body, as with other Utopias bottlings, is difficult to describe. It’s unlike anything else — and not akin to any beer you’re likely to have encountered. Huge malt, syrupy in consistency, is the driver, backed by deep raisins, roasted nuts, maple syrup, and chewy mushroom notes. My notes are similar to prior years, but I think the special barrel finishing has given this year’s version something unique — better balance, more nuance, and a clearer direction. However, that said, comparing this to the 2011 release (which I still have on hand in small quantities), I find the less syrupy 2011 somewhat more fulfilling.
Either way, it’s a one of a kind experience… at least ’til next year.
15,000 bottles made.
B+ / $190 / samueladams.com