Before I dive in to this 2002 first edition of Utopias, read on about the history of the beer from noted beer writer, Jay Brooks right HERE.
Reviewing a beer like this is hard. It is not a new release and more museum piece. New Utopias are not done in the same manner and barrel-aging is totally different now than in 2002. Even the naming convention was abandoned after this beer.
But, the beer was due to be opened after nearly twenty years and I need to talk about it. First off, the top is twist off and then there was a bottle cap as well. Was kinda of expecting cork but this was much easier. The first aroma was a bit on the soy sauce side which had me concerned but then wave after wave of maple started hitting the air. The kitchen smelled like a pancake breakfast.
The three main words I would use to describes Utopias is maple, sweet and viscous. At first you get a big hit of alcohol heat but that really fades as the beer warms up. I have had much more hot, cheek warming beers at lower ABV’s.
I gave samples to two other gutsy drinkers and got descriptions such as vanilla extract, molasses, syrupy and caramel.
I now want to compare a newer version to do the whole compare and contrast thing.
A while back, I was gifted a Sam Adams Utopias. Quite an old one, I think. I could never quite find the occasion to fit the beer. Well, silver linings are here.
When California lifts the gathering ban, I am going to schedule some friends to attend an opening party and bring some stouts of their own. Maybe like…
I suggest that you and yours break out a special beer when your lockdown is lifted. You don’t have to break any social distance rules if you are don’t want to but break the saving for later rule.
Unless I dozed off this upcoming collaboration pilsner is the first get-together since Sam Adams and Dogfish Head joined financial forces. From logo to ingredients this hoppy pilsner skews to the DFH side of the ledger but could have a nice Brut like taste to it considering the honey added.
I wanted to do something special for the first review of 2016, so I held onto a “media copy” of last year’s Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru from the cellar of Samuel Adams until now. The Boston barrel-aged version of the Flanders Red pours a dark-ish brown with red streaking to it. There is a pie cherry note here of both the fruit and spice (and very nearly the crust) that I enjoy before the sour notes kick in underneath. There is a bit of wine barrel flavor profile here as well. I don’t know Hungarian oak but that must be what I am picking up. There is a slight viscosity as well a bit oily on the glass and tongue. Quite nice, especially with the sour being muted. Little bit of cherry pit aftertaste though.
One of the joys of winter warmers are the spices. Ginger, cinnamon and the like that just have a wonderful aroma and add backbone to a beer. Here is one such beer from Sam Adams….
“This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays, hinting at the merriment and spices within. The flavor of gingerbread comes alive beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat. But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief.”
Here is the info on this year’s LongShot winners!
“With the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23 Variety six-pack hitting shelves this month, drinkers nationwide can taste the two innovative homebrews that triumphed over more than 700 competitors to win the 2010 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch tapped homebrewers nationwide to think outside the box and develop a “Category 23″ style beer unlike any other. Georgia resident Richard Roper’s Friar Hop Ale and Illinois resident Rodney Kibzey’s Blackened Hops beer were named the 2010 winners at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF).
In addition to Richard and Rodney’s winning brews, Samuel Adams also honors Employee Homebrew Winner Caitlin DeClercq for her Honey B’s Lavender Wheat beer. All three winning homebrewers had the opportunity to brew alongside the Samuel Adams brewers in Boston. Their recipes were bottled and are now available nationally in the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American”