It’s marketed as an “extreme barrel-aged beer,” it packs a whopping 28 percent ABV, and it’s illegal in 15 states. It’s Sam Adams Utopias beer, and if you’re looking for a brew unlike any other, you won’t want to miss this one. Now in its 11th edition, the beer is available in stores across 35 states and will be on tap—for the first time ever—at the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Tap Room on Nov. 15.
Only 77 casks of Utopias were brewed this year, and the beer was made at the three Samuel Adams breweries in Boston, Cincinnati, and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, according to a press release from the company. It’s made with a special blend of Munich, Caramel 60, and two-row pale malts, along with three varieties of German Noble hops—and a little Vermont maple syrup thrown in, too. The latest release is actually a blend of different batches, some of which have been aged in barrels for up to 24 years.
“Since it was first brewed, Sam Adams Utopias has been nothing short of a labor of love,” said Jim Koch, Samuel Adams founder, in the release.
The limited-edition brew is bottled in 25.4-ounce ceramic decanter that evokes the copper kettles used in breweries. Get your hands on one, and you’ll be treated to an uncarbonated beer with a taste that’s similar to a vintage port or sherry. With its 28 percent ABV, this is a beer that demands to be savored: The company recommends drinking it from a snifter glass at room temperature in small pours. Don’t have a snifter? You can buy a special Utopias glass to enjoy it in.
Following tradition, the first people to get bottles of Utopias are Sam Adams employees. Each bottle is numbered, and employees get the bottle whose number matches the date they were hired. For the rest of us, Utopias is on sale for $210 per bottle, and you can find some near you using the company’s store locator. Just remember, it’s not available in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. If you’d prefer to get yours on draft (or don’t want to shell out for your own bottle), tickets are now available for the Utopias tasting event in Cincinnati on Nov. 15 for $20.
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