Everything You Need to Know about 2015 Batch of Samuel Adams Utopias

Utopias_1_Social MediaFor beer fanatics, Samuel Adams Utopias has become one of the most sought-after beers on earth. Only the ninth batch brewed since the first release in 2002, this year’s Utopias, like previous vintages, is a beer unlike any other. Sam Adams Utopias is the “lunatic fringe” of craft beer – it’s radical and pushes the limits – challenging the idea of what a beer can be.

What does it taste like?

Utopias is meant to be savored like a fine cognac or port. This rich, uncarbonated beer is known for its extraordinary flavor profile and is a blend of previous vintages aged in a variety of barrels.  Wood, toffee, cocoa, raisin and maple aromas contribute to the distinctive flavor of Utopias, which ranges from notes of molasses, earthy wood, dates, and light smoke to nuts and toffee.

With each new batch of Utopias our brewers push for a complex flavor profile, and during this process have created brews with alcohol levels reaching over 30% ABV; this year’s beer is 28% ABV and is best enjoyed as a two ounce pour in a snifter glass at room temperature.  We often blend down because the goal is to create complex flavors, not an extreme alcohol percentage. Read More

Utopias Cigars: A Q&A with Ted Jackson, Founder of Ted’s Cigars

Utopias CigarsThere are few things more rewarding for us at the Boston Brewery than seeing the excitement of our drinkers when their favorite brew is released. This is especially true with Utopias because of all of the passion and history that goes into this brew. And this year, we were happy to partner with Ted’s Cigars on the first-ever craft beer-seasoned cigar. It’s widely accepted that certain spirits pair with cigars. With this year’s release of Utopias, we thought it would be fun for cigar connoisseurs to try pairing with beer instead of the more traditional pairings.

I had the opportunity to talk with Ted’s Cigars founder Ted Jackson about this one-of-a-kind creation and here’s what he had to say:

Q: Ted, I had the opportunity to taste one of the Samuel Adams Utopias cigars and it immediately put a smile on my face. Brewing Utopias is an intense, tedious process, but it’s so rewarding to see this batch come to life not only in bottles, but in this cigar.

A: This was one of our most exciting projects to work on. Utopias has always been a favorite of mine, and I know it’s coveted by beer lovers worldwide. I’ve had a chance to try a few different batches of Utopias over the years, and no single batch tastes the same as the one that came before or after it. Each year’s batch’s flavors are so complex, but the common denominator is that Utopias is unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted.

Q: Utopias seems like a natural choice for a cigar pairing. Why does it work so well?

A: People naturally think of spirits to pair with cigars. Utopias works because of the complex flavors and the qualities that make it almost like a port or cognac. So many of the flavors in the Utopias – from its fruitiness and nuttiness – go together so well with the cigar’s spicy, complex character. It’s a match made in heaven.

Q: Exactly. This is proof that a craft beer be an equally enjoyable cigar ingredient and pairing. What can you tell us about your process for aromatically-seasoning the cigars? It sounds like something out of a mad scientist movie.

A: Our aromatic-seasoning process is proprietary, so I can’t tell you much aside from the fact that there aren’t any white coats or lab assistants locked in the basement. It’s an extremely tedious, time consuming process, but as you can see it’s the best way to meld the true Utopias character into the cigar.

Q: How much does the quality of the cigar itself matter for aromatic seasoning? You certainly won’t find this kind of cigar at the corner drug store.

A: Utopias on its own is otherworldly, but there isn’t a single liquid on the planet that can rescue a bad cigar. We take a lot of pride in the fact that this cigar blend received a rating of ‘88’ (Excellent) by Cigar Aficionado. That’s nothing to scoff at.

Q: Where can you buy the Samuel Adams Utopias Cigar?  I know I’ll be picking up a few for the holidays.

A: This cigar will be sold exclusively on our website, at TedsCigars.com/SamuelAdams. They’re only available through the end of December, though, so get ‘em while you can.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2013 Release of Utopias

If you haven’t heard of or had Utopias before, it is a brew that challenges the notion of what a beer can be.

It is an extraordinary brew that is the result of complex and carefully timed brewing – it is a blend of batches, some having been aged more than 20 years in a variety of woods in our Barrel Room. (If you’d like to learn more about the history of Utopias, check out this post).

This year’s Utopias was aged in casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery and eight-year-old Port barrels from Portugal. We then blended it with a touch of our Kosmic Mother Funk ® (KMF), a Belgian-style ale barrel-aged for at least nine months (and up to two years) in Hungarian oak tuns.

This is the first time we’ve blended KMF into Utopias. Here’s what Jim had to say about the new addition: “The KMF brings a whole new spectrum of flavors and complexity to the beer, including brighter fruit notes like cherries and plums and just a hint of earthiness.”

Utopias Comp2 (2)Utopias is a strong, rich, uncarbonated dark beer with fruit notes and a rich malty sweetness, reminiscent of a deep, rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while being surprisingly light on the palate.

Our Find a Sam page will tell you where you can find Utopias, but keep in mind that it is likely that many locations will sell their few bottles quickly. If you are planning to travel a far distance to acquire a bottle, we strongly recommend calling the retailer ahead of time to ensure they have it on hand.

We brewed fewer than 15,000 bottles this year, so it is a truly rare drinking experience.

NOTE: Thirteen states prohibit its sale because its alcohol content exceeds the legal limit for beer: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

So, how much will it cost you? Retailers are free to set their own pricing, but we have placed a suggested retail price of $199.00 per bottle.

Because this beer is un-carbonated and high in ABV, it can be opened and closed to be enjoyed when you want to enjoy it. Don’t store this beer in the fridge… a cool/dark place is ideal. And don’t be afraid to hold onto the bottle… the liquid will only get better with age!

Our brewers recommend serving Utopias as an ideal after-dinner drink or toasting a special occasion at room temperature (about 70°F) in 2oz pours.

This year we worked with Ted’s Cigars to create a limited-edition, Utopias-seasoned cigar, to be enjoyed on its own or as a pairing with the brew. The Utopias-seasoned cigars are made with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, long leaf Dominican Republic binder, and tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua, and of course, seasoned with Samuel Adams Utopias through Ted’s proprietary process of aromatic seasoning, which marries the complex flavors of both the cigar and the Utopias.

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When enjoying Utopias and the seasoned cigar together, the beer brings out a creamy, spicy sweetness from the cigar and enhances the subtle leather and smoky character in the cigar’s finish. You can purchase Ted’s Utopias-seasoned cigars at Ted’s Cigars during November and December.

If you get your hands on a bottle and/or cigar be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!

Samuel Adams Octoberfest Celebration to Raise Funds for Boston Marathon Victims

edited ofest photoWe are excited to announce that we will be partnering with The Greg Hill Foundation to host a Celebrity Stein Hoist at our annual Octoberfest event on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Park Plaza Castle!  Former players from the Boston Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and New England Patriots will go head to head—or stein to stein—to compete in a traditional stein hoisting competition to raise money for Boston Marathon victims.

So, who will these athletes turned hoisters be?

Joe Andruzzi, former New England Patriots offensive lineman
Dana Barros, former Boston Celtics point guard
Lou Merloni, radio personality and former Boston Red Sox second baseman
Bob Sweeney, former Boston Bruins center

We will also be joined by Greg Hill, founder of The Greg Hill Foundation and host of WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show.

Need more reason to join us?  We will also be offering a very unique tasting booth. For a $10 donation to the Greg Hill Foundation, you can sample Utopias, one of the strongest beers in the world (29% ABV).  According to Jim, ” Utopias invokes the flavors of rich vintage port, fine Cognac or aged sherry, while feeling surprisingly light on the palate.” It’s a tasting experience you won’t soon forget.

Tickets for both Friday night and Saturday’s all day Octoberfest Celebration are on sale now.  It’s a release party, and a celebration of all things good about beer, brewing and Octoberfest in Boston.  The event will feature more than 15 specialty beer styles, stein hoisting competitions, food and beer pairings, giveaways and more!

Prost!

10th Anniversary Utopias… What You Need to Know

For those who have not heard, this year marks the 10th anniversary of one of our greatest brewing accomplishments: Samuel Adams Utopias®. As with every release of this special brew, Jim and the other brewers get excited about sharing this beer because of the passion and innovation that went into brewing. The extreme ingredients and techniques used to make this beer are unlike any other style we brew. Look for this years release to hit stores in November. 

It all began with Triple Bock … 

Cheers to 10 years!

Over 20 years ago, Jim started thinking about the far reaches of the beer universe. As big brewers were making their beers lighter and lighter, Jim was curious about the other end of the beer spectrum and wanted to continue exploring the uncharted territory of extreme brewing. After several years of trial and error, we released Samuel Adams® Triple Bock in 1994 and set the record for the strongest beer ever (17.5% ABV) but Triple Bock wasn’t just about breaking the historical ABV ceiling. Jim found that aging the beer in whiskey barrels helped mellow the harsh ethanol attack on the palette, while adding some wonderful complexity to the beer.  This was also the first time that any brewer in the U.S. had aged a beer in barrels previously used for spirits, a practice that is now fairly common among American craft brewers. Read More