Thursday, October 11, 2018

Samuel Adams Utopias (2013 vintage)


Fill date: 2013

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 34C Experimental Beer; 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer; 31B Alternative Sugar Beer

AROMA: Huge maple syrup presence with other sweet confectionery notes of caramel and toffee. Fairly strong fruity presence of raisin, red apple, and fig. Alcohol is somewhat fusel, but in no way distracting or abrasive. No distinct individual malt or hops (none needed). No oxidation. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Light brown/deep murky amber hue (17-22 SRM). Body is rather cloudy due to age. No foam (none needed due to lack of carbonation). Alcohol legs clearly visible.

FLAVOR: Sweet and complex palette with many flavors happening simultaneously. Maple syrup seems to be most dominate flavor along with other confectionery notes of caramel, toffee and treacle. Vaguely similar to a British Barleywine. Though the massive malt base is present, it is not bready. Barrel character imparts some vanilla and woody flavors as well. Bitterness is quite low, but not non-existent. Alcohol provides much of the balance in the form of a light spiced rum-like sensation. Aftertaste is briefly sugary, though the alcohol dries it out quickly. 19/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied with a smooth, sticky texture. Non-carbonated, but it does not feel flat or undeveloped. At 28% ABV, the alcohol is strong in all forms. Slight burning of the sinuses upon the initial swig, but is smooth thereafter. Remarkably drinkable (dangerously so) for such a beastly brew.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not only is it an amazing, impressive brewing accomplishment, the beer itself is actually delicious and fun to drink. Every craft beer enthusiast should try a sample of this at least once. 10/10

TOTAL SCORE: 47/50

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