Yes, I am talking about Samuel Adams Utopias.
What makes this story so cool is that I was COMPLETELY unaware that on a random Friday in December, for no special occasion, I was going to finally get to try this super rare brew - for free.
I got off of work a little early, so I called my buddy Dick to see if he wanted to meet up for a little sampling party. We met a couple of other friends to throw some darts and start the weekend off right, and Dick brought over some bottles that we had ordered from letspour that don't distribute to VA.
It turns out Dick had purchased it on a trip to New Jersey without me knowing about it to celebrate a big year. In 2013 he earned his doctorate, his wife had their first child, and he just started a new job. Congrats, Dick!
This was definitely the right beer to celebrate with - and I am very thankful for him sharing it!
Lets go through the specs: This was the 2011 edition, which falls between 25-28% ABV and contains two-row, Caramel, and Munich malts, two different yeast strains, three different Noble hop varieties, maple syrup, and Kosmic Mother Funk. Oh, and MAGIC.
After the pour, the nose is slightly sour and it almost feels like there is heat coming off of the beer. Obviously uncarbonated, it is recommended to be served at room temperature. Dick actually brought the matching Riedel serving snifter (just the glass retails for $60 on eBay!) which just ratcheted up the awesomeness of the experience.
The mouthfeel is that of a liqueur, both syrupy and silky smooth. The first flavor that hits your palate is the oak from the aging casks, followed immediately by sweet fruits. However, it is much more malty than a Belgian quad, giving it a very rich character and it pushes back against the sweet. The maple syrup is present, as well as a slight tartness in the finish.
My favorite part of the entire beer, though, is that I could still taste the essence of a Boston Lager through it all! May have just been in my head, but it seemed like the roots were still there...
Overall it was quite an experience, and I can't reiterate how thankful I am to Dick for sharing it with me! Turns out I was celebrating something too...Utopias was officially craft beer #1,900!