While many beer drinkers delight at the sight of the perfectly poured draft, that brewed beverage is only one part of the beer conversation. As Samuel Adams Utopias 2021 has begun to be savored by connoisseurs, the “extreme beer” is more than a high ABV beverage available in limited quantities. It is an invitation to experience perfection one sip at a time.
For many beer drinkers, that first pour to the last drop is about enjoying more than one pint. The idea of sessionable applies to many brews. Enjoying spirited conversation over a draft has filled many days. From sporting events to celebrations, beer is often that toasting beverage.
But, beer does not have to be just that light larger with its golden hue. When Samuel Adams sought to push the boundaries of brewing, it was more than creating that “extreme” beer with an elevated ABV, it is about creating a nuanced flavor that is meant to be savored and remembered long after the last sip is drunk.
What is Samuel Adams Utopias 2021?
Released every two years, the Utopias offering quite different from the bottle of Samuel Adams that many people drink on the weekend. Beyond the bottle itself, the method, concept and meticulous detail captured in the bottle ensures that this beverage is worthy of that “unicorn” status before it hit store shelves.
While some people reference the high ABV (28% in the 2021 offering) and its unavailability in some states, the reality is that those facts are just one aspect of this unique distillation. Opening a bottle invites the drinker to ponder what is perfection in a glass and can that idea become a reality.
When Sir Thomas More coined the term Utopia for his book, that fictional idea of the ultimate paradise did not seem rooted in reality. Whether the concept is ever truly achievable did not matter. Instead, it was a depiction that allows people to wonder, dream and explore what is possible.
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In 2002, Jim Koch, the founder and brew of Samuel Adams, started an exploration of what Utopias could be. As Koch said, “brewers have explored uncharted territory with each brew, experimenting with different kinds of aging barrels, new flavors, and different blending techniques. The result is always special, spirited, and worth waiting for.”
While that statement leads to more questions and a quest to unravel the secrets held in a bottle, the reality is that it invites drinkers to explore what is possible and push the conversation in new directions. Even though much is said about beverage trends, the craft of creating an exceptional sip should never be forgotten.
How is Samuel Adams Utopias 2021 unique?
Over the years, the barrel aging process has developed robust, yet nuanced flavors, in this unique beverage. For anyone who has never had the opportunity to sip a Utopias, it is better described more like a lovely cognac or port.
Best served in a specially designed glass from Riedel, the small pour in the glass allows for the nose to be revealed. When the aroma entices, that first sip is even more enjoyable.
While each release is slightly different, the Samuel Adams Utopias 2021 takes a unique approach by using copious amounts of Balaton Cherries. The sweet, tart black cherry flavor infuses with notes of vanilla, oak and a touch of maple. Never cloying sweet, the layers of flavors add to the intrigue in each sip.
For this offering, the Samuel Adams brewers used French Oak Wine casks. Adding a touch of caramel, the resulting hue and flavor is sublime.
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Given that Utopias is a barrel aged beverage, this year’s offering used 86 barrels through the process. From some of the first offerings in the beer exploration to the current one, a little piece of brewing history is shared in each bottle.
For the person who wants to explore what attention to craft and a willingness to push the boundaries can be, purchasing a bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias 2021 is worth the investment. And to be clear, it is an investment with a starting retail price of $240. Some resellers can price the offering much higher.
But, like a great wine or a unicorn whiskey, this offering it meant for a special occasion. It will age well and might be even more enjoyable when it is revisited after that first pour.
While a perfect world might only be described with flowery language in a book of fiction, Samuel Adams Utopias 2021 brings a sip of its own perfection to the glass. For those willing to the contemplate the experience, it might be time to open the bottle and enjoy the pursuit of perfection.