BOSTON — Samuel Adams has once again stepped into the realm of "extreme beers" with its latest 10th anniversary release of Samuel Adams Utopias, the brewery's legendary barrel-aged beer. Aged to perfection — for some ingredients, 20 years — the new brew contains slightly more than 29% alcohol by volume, which compares with 5% ABV in Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
The Utopias batch offers notes of vanilla and maple from its being aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and a variety of finishing casks add dark fruit aromas and flavors of fig, chocolate, raisin, vanilla and some spice. The limited-edition beer was brewed with Samuel Adams' traditional techniques and acquired its distinct hop character from the finest Noble hops. A combination of yeast strains were used during fermentation, including one usually reserved for Champagne.
"With this year's 10th-anniversary release, we're unveiling the result of complex and carefully timed brewing and aging techniques. In fact, this year's brew is a blend of batches — including some of our original Triple Bock, whose development began in 1992 — and then aged in other barrels sourced from all over the world," said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. "This release of Samuel Adams Utopias is proof — 58-proof to be exact — that extreme beers have earned a permanent and respected place in the beer universe, a world now constantly evolving with new craft brewers and excited craft beer drinkers. I hope drinkers will enjoy savoring Samuel Adams Utopias as much as I enjoyed crafting this beer over the past 10 years."
Samuel Adams Utopias beer is bottled in a unique 10th anniversary black decanter shaped like a brew kettle. The company produced fewer than 15,000 bottles of the beer due to the long aging required. It's available at select beer and liquor stores beginning this month for a suggested retail price of $190 per bottle.