It may not be the world’s strongest beer, but this rare Samuel Adams drop will still get you smashed in record time. That is, if you can get your hands on it.
Released only every two years, Utopias is an “extreme barrel-aged beer” so potent its ABV clocks in at 28% and 12 US states have banned its sale. Hops hounds in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington will be all out of luck when the limited edition brew goes on sale next month.
“Utopias challenges conventional thinking about beer but it is definitely a beer – that’s what’s so exciting!” Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, told Forbes. “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-aging and blending process that makes Utopias truly one-of-a-kind.”
Utopias uses three varieties of German hops and draws from a blend of Sam Adams batches, some that have been aged in barrels for up to 24 years. This year’s barrels ranged from old Buffalo Trace bourbon casks to Scandinavian Aquavit barrels, with the final blend aged in Moscat barrels.
“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!” Koch added with great enthusiasm.
This year marks the 10th release of Samuel Adams Utopias. A run of 13,000 bottles will be produced, each with a triple-digit price tag of US$200 per 24 ounces. If you’re lucky enough to score a taste, it’s billed as “reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac, or fine Sherry with notes of dark fruit, subtle sweetness, and a deep rich malty smoothness.”
In other words, drink it like a liquor, not a beer. Sam Adams recommends a serving size of just 1 ounce, and though we’re all for living on the edge, even we have to agree that knocking back a pint of this may not be your brainiest move.