During the Beer Bloggers Conference in July, the conference attendees headed to the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston on opening night for dinner and beers. As you might expect, the beer offering was quite extensive. I didn't stop to count how many were served, but there were a lot! I focused on sampling on beers I had not yet tasted. One of my favorites was Stony Brook Red. Part of their Barrel Room Collection, this beer is inspired by Flemish reds and has a mild brettanomyces funk (a very good funk).
The highlight of the evening (and one of my favorite parts of the entire conference) was a tasting of the 10th Anniversary Samuel Adams Utopias. Why was this so special? First, Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, was on hand to greet and serve it to us in their barrel aging room. Second, this is a a very special and rare beer. If you can find it, expect to pay $180 a bottle. At 29% (not a typo) ABV, this is a sipping beer! I could explain how Utopias is made and why it's so unique, but I'll let Jim do the talking. Click on the video below for all the details from the man himself.
How did it taste? It's amazing! It tastes like no beer I've ever tasted before! It actually reminds me of a port wine. It's sweet, with MANY layers of flavor. Vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit, oak, bourbon, among many other flavors are in there! It's nearly 30% ABV, provides a nice warming sensation, but the alcohol isn't as strong as I expected. As I drank my small sample (1-2 oz. max) and swirled it around in the glass over the course of a few minutes, the flavors seemed to evolve with each sip.
A huge thanks to Jim and his entire team for hosting the Beer Bloggers and sharing this special treat with us! It's something I won't soon forget!
Have you tasted Samuel Adams Utopias? What do you think?