Brewing, aging, and blending Utopias is a multi-step, time-intensive and complex process. At 28% ABV, this brew is reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac, or fine Sherry with notes of dark fruit, subtle sweetness, and a deep rich malty smoothness.
Learn more about the 2017 batch of Utopias:
This beer starts with the world’s finest ingredients, including a special blend of two-row pale malt combined with Munich and Caramel 60 malts that impart a rich, ruby color. Three varieties of German Noble hops – Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger – are added to balance the sweetness of the malt.
After the beer is brewed, the first proprietary brewing method begins – adding special yeast strains.
The brewers utilized several yeast strains during fermentation, including one typically reserved for champagne and a “ninja yeast,” created for its ability to survive and continue fermenting in an environment that has such a high alcohol level.
A portion of this freshly brewed beer is then aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery while the rest is aged in a variety of barrels including Bourbon, White Carcavelos, and Ruby Port. New this year, Utopias aged in Aquavit barrels, a Scandinavian spirit with distinct flavor from spices and herbs, primarily caraway or dill.
The brewers created the final 2017 blend by sampling and blending barrel-aged beer including 24-year-old Triple Bock and 17-year-old Millennium, we well as previous Utopias vintages, Kosmic Mother Funk, and a variety of barrel-aged blends.
After the blend was finalized, the brewers finished some of the 2017 Utopias in Moscat barrels, a wine known for its slightly smoky character.
The first bottles of Utopias bottles can be found in the hands of Samuel Adams employees. Since Utopias was first released, each bottle number corresponds with when each employee was hired, making Founder and Brewer Jim Koch number 1 and Brewer Dean Gianocostas number 2. (Not bad for a company holiday gift, eh?)
With only 68 wooden casks of Utopias created in 2017, only roughly 13,000 bottles will hit shelves nationwide. You can check our Beer Finder to see where it is available, starting today.