I’m not here to ruffle any feathers but I really don’t like Samuel Adams. For some reason they’ve started selling it in my local and I honestly can’t tell why. It’s simultaneously fruity and dull, which I understand makes no sense. It tastes like an alcoholic man chewed up some hops and then spat into your mouth.
With that said, all beer is better than no beer – with perhaps the exception of Bud Light – and if I went to a party and all they had was bottles of Samuel Adams, at first I’d be very confused and then I’d drink too much of it.
But as it turns out, Samuel Adams do have one beer that I really want to try.
I’ll tell you more, obviously.
It has an alcoholic percentage of 28 and is illegal in twelve American states, so that’s quite cool. Just try to imagine a beer so strong that it’s considered more dangerous that guns. Unfathomable.
Called the 2017 Utopias, the beer comes in a fancy, stubby golden bottle and isn’t actually a beer at all. In fact, it’s called a barleywine and there were only 13,000 bottles produced in 2017, along with 68 casks.
So don’t go expecting to pick up a bottle at your local Sainsbury’s.
Look, I’m not a total pessimist, and there’s every chance that you could run into a bottle of the good stuff at your local supermarche, but make sure you bring your credit card, since a frosty bottle of Utopias will set you back a cool $200.
Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams, told Forbes:
“Utopias challenges conventional thinking about beer but it is definitely a beer – that’s what’s so exciting!
Utopias is brewed like any other Sam Adams beer, using four main ingredients and the traditional brewing process, but it’s the yeast strains we use, as well as our barrel-ageing and blending process that makes Utopias truly one-of-a-kind.”
The beer owes its deep flavour to a blend of various – and presumably too many – hops, malts and yeast. They’re then aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks and Aquavit barrels.
It’s also made with champagne yeast, with one of them specially designed to survive in environments with high alcoholic content… such as 2017 Utopias.
Koch said on it:
“This process, along with our blends from various barrel-aged beers, creates the most complex naturally fermented beer available anywhere – truly the lunatic fringe of extreme beer!”
He lost me with the last five words there.
Remember those ridiculous adverts where people would, essentially, be killed, followed by a voice saying “what it feels like to chew Five gum”? You can imagine something like that for this beer.
Actually, they could just release the whole of The Shining and then at the end, have an old-timey Boston man come up and say “what it feels like to drink 2017 Utopias”. That’ll do it.
Regardless of the price though, you don’t have to worry about it going off if you do make the investment.
“Utopias has an indefinite shelf-life, getting better with age, even after opened, due to its complexity and high alcohol content, much like a port or cognac.
While oxygen would typically cause unwanted oxidation in an average beer, it smooths the flavour profile of this beer, making it even more complex over time.”
I’d rather a Budvar, I think.
With that said, if there are any fans out there who want to buy me a bottle, please don’t let me stop you.
Images via Getty, Samuel Adams