Monday, 16 July 2007

Extremely Interesting

I like Samuel Adams.

I like that the company totally debunks the myth that all American beers are more akin to gnat's piss than anything else.

And I am definitely very enamoured of their 'extreme beers'.

I was judging at an international beer competition the other week and the very last beer of the day was immediately identifiable as a Sam Adams offering - and if you're wondering why I say that it's because, in my experience of beer, no one else is mental enough to brew something that strong!

Called Utopias (I later identified due to its distinctness and by talking about it to fellow anoraks!) it turns out the version I tried was a mere 24% ABV, although they have achieved 25%ABV in 2005.

More akin to an olorosso sherry than anything else it is filled with vanilla, sherry and oak notes and is brewed with five different malts and six different hops.

It is then aged in a blend of scotch, bourbon, port and cognac casks for up to ten months using a pair of proprietary yeast strains developed by the brewery.

Rather entertainingly you will find on the Sam Adams website that it can't be sold in 14 different states in the US - and if it's anything like the Triple Bock they've brewed before (think molasses and Marmite meets Imperial porter) it can't be exported to the UK either because they can't always guarantee the ABV - so do keep a careful eye out for it when you are Stateside and treat this baby with respect!


  1. I think it sells for something like $200 in the US, so better start saving!

    At 24% ABV, what kind of duty do you imagine it would attract if it were imported? It wouldn't be worth anybody's time or money...

  2. Earlyer this year I was judging at the International New Zealand Beer Awards and it came to the end of the Fruit/Spiced/Herb/Wood Aged section and the last 2 beers came out, it took one sniff and a ripple of knowing bemused smiles bloomed around the room.