Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams, today unveiled the tenth anniversary batch of Samuel Adams Utopias – the brewery’s most renowned barrel-aged, extreme beer. A unique blend of liquids, some aged nearly 20 years, Samuel Adams Utopiasconfirms for drinkers that many of the greatest things in life are best when perfected over time. In fact, a recent survey showed that four of five drinkers were not aware that like a fine wine, a handful of beers, likeSamuel Adams Utopias, actually improve with age.
Jim started thinking about the far reaches of the beer universe two decades ago; as big brewers were making their beers lighter and lighter, he chose instead to explore and experiment with the uncharted territory of extreme brewing. Samuel Adams continues to push the boundaries of traditional brewing and elevate drinkers’ perceptions of beer with this year’s batch.
About the 10th Anniversary Samuel Adams Utopias Batch:
The 2012 Samuel Adams Utopias brew weighs in a bit above 29 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) –Samuel Adams Boston Lager ® is five percent ABV by comparison – and was aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery to enhance the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes. The 10th Anniversary batch also spent time in a variety of finishing casks: Tawny Port casks and Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal, which contribute slightly more elegant, dark fruit aromas, and Rum barrels from Nicaragua, which add flavors of fig, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, and a slight spice. Using traditional Samuel Adams’ brewing techniques, the brewers begin with a blend of malts that impart a rich, ruby-black color. The distinct hop character comes from the finest Noble hops which impart its unique complexity and balance. Finally, a combination of yeast strains is used during fermentation, including one usually reserved for champagne.
What Founder and Brewer, Jim Koch, has to say:
“With this year’s 10th Anniversary release, we’re unveiling the result of complex and carefully timed brewing and aging techniques. In fact, this year’s brew is a blend of batches including some of our original Triple Bock, whose development began in 1992, and then aged in other barrels sourced from all over the world. This release of Samuel Adams Utopias is proof – 58 proof to be exact – that extreme beers have earned a permanent and respected place in the beer universe, a world now constantly evolving with new craft brewers and excited craft beer drinkers. I hope drinkers will enjoy savoring Samuel Adams Utopias as much as I enjoyed crafting this beer over the past 10 years.”
The brewers make fewer than 15,000 bottles of this limited-edition beer due to the long aging required. Samuel Adams Utopias is bottled in a specially designed 10th Anniversary black decanter. Shaped like a brew kettle, the exterior is etched with roots, a metaphor for the 20+ years of complex history and aging of the liquids that make up Samuel Adams Utopias. This limited distribution brew is available at select specialty beer and liquor stores beginning in November for a suggested retail price of $190 per bottle.
The Back Story – How Samuel Adams Utopias Began:
Creating an “extreme beer” was an adventure in brewing with an uncertain outcome. It took several years of exploration until 1994, when Jim released Samuel Adams® Triple Bock® which set the record for the strongest beer ever (17.5 percent ABV). This was also the first time that any brewer in the U.S. had aged a beer in barrels previously used for other alcoholic beverages, a practice that is now one of the mainstays of American craft brewing.
- Triple Bock, the ancestor of all the Samuel Adams Extreme Beers, served as the archetype for Samuel Adams® Millennium, a brew which commemorated the year 2000.
- With its introduction in 2002, Samuel Adams Utopias surprised the beer world with an incredible 24 percent ABV. With each new batch of Samuel Adams Utopias, Jim was eager to push for more complexity and intensity, producing brews with alcohol levels reaching 27 percent ABV over the last 10 years of Samuel Adams Utopias existence, and an unprecedented 29 percent with this year’s batch. While some of the barrels have reached over 33 percent ABV, the brewers deliberately blend down the ABV to 29 percent because taste, not alcohol percentage, is their goal.
To Learn More:
- To watch the 2012 Samuel Adams Utopias tasting video, click here.
- For additional information and to locate a retailer visit www.samueladams.com
ABOUT THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY:
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.
*Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent research provider. Demographic quotas were set to ensure that results are nationally representative of the survey audience. Results have a margin of error of 3.2%.