Beer aficionados, take note. Samuel Adams just released a beer that’s unlike any others, with a price tag to match.
As Fortune explains, Utopias is a specialty beer released by the company every two years with a suggested retail price of $199 a bottle, although exact prices vary by market. So what makes this beer so special? Samuel Adams pioneered the practice of barrel-aging, which is the process of aging beer in a wooden barrel with the intention of making the alcohol take on the unique character of the wood and/or the flavor of what has previously been in the barrel.
Utopias takes this practice, which has now become commonplace in craft breweries across the industry, and brings it to an extreme. This is the 10th time Samuel Adams has released Utopias, and this year’s incarnation was aged in a variety of barrels including new Scandinavian Aquavit barrels. A portion of the final blend was aged in Moscat (a type of dessert wine) barrels, which is a first for the beer.
Pricey Beer – Sam Adams’ $199 Utopias Release http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=88890X1542043&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FEkdmIBaSut via @AmericaCrftBeer @SamuelAdamsBeer #Utopia #BottleRelease #beer pic.twitter.com/thHEiL9DrQ
— Bevv .co (@BevvShop) October 28, 2017
The resulting beer clocks in at a staggering 28% ABV, and the taste is said to “be reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac or fine Sherry with notes of dark fruit, subtle sweets and a deep rich malty smoothness,” according to the craft beer news site Brewbound.
Utopias is also not carbonated like most brews, because the high alcohol level destroys CO2. If you’re wondering how anyone could chug a beer with 28% alcohol content and stay standing, Samuel Adams recommends sipping just a one ounce taste. (By way of comparison, the average alcohol content for craft beer is 5.9 percent ABV, according to CNBC.)
The exclusive beer is in short supply, with only 13,000 bottlesfrom 68 wooden casks being made available across the United States. However, in 12 states, you can’t get your hands on the beer at all! Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington have all banned the sale of Utopias due to its high alcohol content.
Sam Adams Utopias – 2017
If you’re a fan of vintage ports
Limited availability…ask your Bond sales rep or your local retailer to purchase! pic.twitter.com/gsVIpi9rKF
— Bond Distributing Co (@BondDistCo) October 18, 2017
“My original idea for Utopias was to push the boundaries of craft beer by brewing an extreme beer that was unlike anything any brewer had conceived,” said Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., the parent firm of Samuel Adams, in a statement. “I’m proud to present to drinkers this lunatic fringe of extreme beer worthy of the Utopias name.”
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states where Utopias is being sold, you can expect to see it on shelves soon. And remember to drink responsibly!