hero27 (19) - Iowa, USA - AUG 14, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Limited 2005 Edition. Bottle #00732. 24oz. Beautiful bronze/copper brew kettle bottle. Easily the most stunning bottle I’ve ever seen..downright impressive just to look at. Sam Adams signature engraved on the front, and on the back, copper sliding doors that reveal a picture of Samuel Adams. Bottom of the bottle is individually numbered in gold lettering.
Strongest beer in the world? Sure, it’s somewhat of a gimmick, but I still had to try it. Saw it at John’s Grocery in Iowa City and took the only two bottles they had.
Served right around 60 degrees..let it warm to room temp as we drank it.
Pours a clear bronze/amber color..looks very much like cognac or whiskey. No head, lace, or carbonation, but it holds to the glass like syrup..very sticky consistency. Aroma is surprisingly alcoholic..smells stronger than many 40-50% liquors I’ve had...wow. Sweet smells of brown sugar and almost has a tequila-like quality to it. Interesting..
Tastes are incredible..very sweet & rich..dark fruits, brown sugar, smoky malts, oak, vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, raisins, maple syrup....with a slight burning alcohol finish. Hop character is subdued by the huge malty tastes and alcohol bite. Very warming and has a wonderful complexity to it.
Overall, I’d say the 24 ounces probably isn’t "worth" the $100+ price tag, but then again, what could be worth that? What’s gold going for an ounce these days? Other great high-alcohol beers such as DFH World Wide Stout and DFH 120 Minute IPA are less than $10 per 12oz bottle, and are around 20%. You can’t get much more unique, though..and it was nice to get the chance to try it. Goes down remarkably smooth and is surprisingly drinkable as well..the tastes linger on the tongue, and as soon as they fade, you find yourself yearning for another sip.
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket and can find this great brew, I’d say go for it. You can always split the cost with a few friends like I did. That way you won’t feel so guilty when you’re staring at the gorgeous empty bottle.
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 13, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2008 I sampled this at the past two GABF, and had the opportunity to try it again yesterday (8/12/06). Bronze color, no apparent carbonation. Aroma of maple syrup and vanilla. Oaky flavors predominate, as does the alcohol. Very smooth and tasty.
Sampled again at the EBF NOTB on 2/15/08. Aged with Cacao nibs. Poured hazy reddish-brown without carbonation. Aroma with primarily alcohol and vanilla, with some subtle cocoa complimenting the usual aromas. Cocoa adds a nice dimension to the flavor of the beer as well. Unique concept that worked out well.
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 13, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2009 A generous sample at the Great Taste. The best aroma on the grounds,so good I couldn’t get myself to sip it for a while, like a fine aged scotch ,with hints of butterscotch and carmel, stunningly smooth palate,with delicious scotch malt,vanilla, carmel, maple and a heavenly glow on the way down. The cost is prohibative,but I am so thankful I got a taste
beastiefan2k (2404) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JUL 25, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
200th rater. Thanks for the heads up on this to PilsnerPeter, also went to the Downtown Bar and Grill just to try a shot of this. And I believe the shot ($15) may have been too much as well. Color is dark copper but clear. Aroma is very very strong, as strong as cheap cognac. Pretty much all hard liquer strength alcohol in the plum/raison barleywine way. Think Thomas Hardy’s to the tenth degree. Taste is too strong, all alcohol, ridiculous burn in the throat. This is as much hard liquer as it is beer. Way too much burn. I give it points for being original but I take away points for being almost undrinkable as a beer.
PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 30, 2006 This was a lucky find (Thanks to Robert, owner of Downtown Bar & Grill in Brooklyn) He had purchased 40 bottles of it when it was released, and still has some. He charges $15 for an ounce (shot glass), but he hooked me up. It’s more like a fine, aged cognac than you typical barley wine. Very complex flavors. The aroma threw me off with it’s strong alcohol characteristics, but the flavor was pleasant. It has an oakeyness, and a sweet, caramel like body. There was also hints of vanilla extract and an amazing alcohol warming in the gut. Not like most barley wines, and I must admit to the quality and complexity.
fonefan (34595) - VestJylland, DENMARK - JUN 29, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fiery color, and tastes warm all the way down. Nose is brandy and alcohol, hints of sweet malt scattered. Toffee aroma and flavor. This is basically a sherry masquerading as a beer
Miguel (1181) - Saint-Ours, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 18, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Robe brune très claire sans mousse. Arômes d’alcool, de noisettes et de liège. Saveurs de caramel, de chocolat, d’alcool, de liège, d’érable et de noisettes. Superbe!
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 25, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled at CBC anniversary party. Pours a redish/pink/bronze color with a small fizzy white head. head receedes leaving nothing. Nose is brandy and alcohol, hints of sweet malt scattered. Palate is medium with a alcohol warming in the finish. Flavor is mostly brandiesque with some hints of sweet malt and sugar here and there.
2beerguys (299) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 8, 2006
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The Sam Adams Utopia marked the 100th review for us here at 2beerguys.com, and we were very honored to share the experience with our friends and family. Oddly enough for our beer site, the Utopia has almost no beer characteristics whatsoever. It is indeed, as Samuel Adams has said, that this is a beer brewed to show people the other end of the beer spectrum, to show what a beer can be. The presentation alone is enough to let you know well in advance that you are in for an experience. We did not know what to expect when we popped the top on the bottle, and were very pleased with the blast of vanilla that immediately permeated the air around us. As it is a non-carbonated beer, the visual qualities of course included a still body, as it pours a medium amber color. No head and no lacing, although Wood noted that it has nice legs. Some of the reaction we got to the aromas were of sherry, caskwood, alcohol, and almond. Of course, vanilla has already been noted. I don’t think there was a person there that wasn’t surprised when they took their first sip. A heavy hit of sweet on the initial taste, but instead of hops or malts, we got the same qualities we expect from a cognac or tawny port. The finish was hot, with a coating like a bourbon, a little burn follows it down. Ian got a taste of sugar free maple syrup. Mouthfeel gave a medium body with a creamy texture, with a light alcohol finish. Although I can not say this was the best beer we’ve reviewed thus far, because it lacks so many of the beer characteristics that we treasure, it does, by far, outscore those we have reviewed before because of its incredible stylings and unexpected nuances not expected from a beer. Well done Samuel Adams, well done.
bitbucket (2159) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - MAY 8, 2006
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer is really interesting. Fiery color, and tastes warm all the way down. Warms the cockles of your heart. Toffee aroma and flavor. This is basically a sherry masquerading as a beer - not that I’m complaining at all.